From model to fitness warrior: Matilda Finnegan

Matilda Finnegan. Photo: Chris Lew.

When Matilda Finnegan hit the modelling circuit in Australia a few years ago, skinny ruled. The Before photos below tell a story of constant dieting and anxiety at having to keep a stick figure. Eventually Matilda had enough.

While she remains a model, it’s a healthier version of her. Also a personal Trainer at Fitness First and a swim coach with a business slogan of “Find the warrior within you,” Matilda tells that she decided to make big changes when the pressure of modelling got to her.

“I sort of put modelling on the back burner and I thought to myself, I really want to start being really healthy and start loving my body more,” she says.

“I was sick of having to be so stick thin, I wanted to have a bit more curve and the more I started exercising, the more I noticed a change in my body. So from then on, it was like, yeah, let’s work, let’s be strong, let’s be fit and let’s get a bit of a peach happening with the booty.”

Matilda now does lots of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), boxing, weights and plyometrics, she says. And not leaving anything to chance, she has also taken on a PT for herself, Ryan Fenasse, at Mona Vale Fitness First (Sydney, Australia), who’s been writing programs for her which include lots of heavy weight training, squats and deadlifts as well as sled work and box jumps.

You can see the results in Before and Afters below.

The secret to the change, Matilda says, is that she transformed her way of thinking, helped by going to the gym and surrounding herself with positive people, as well as altering her eating habits.

“By exercising more and at really high intensity, like with the battle ropes and the sled and box jumps, I needed to eat more, otherwise I would be fainting,” she says. “So I forced myself to eat more and by doing that, I’ve found much more of an appreciation for food again.”

“What I eat now is a kind of high-fat, low-carb diet, with lots of really nourishing good fats, avocados, spinach, olive oil and tuna. I pretty much eat Mediterranean really.”

So, are there any specific exercises that Matilda would recommend for the Matilda-like transformation we see here in the pictures?

Matilda says: “Definitely squats for booty, 100 percent, plus walking lunges, deadlifts and glute work. It works amazingly for me and for my girl clients, both at boot camp and in the gym.”

Matilda’s fitness company is Alaois Fitness + Swim, which comes with her inspiring slogan “Find the warrior within you.” She says, “I find that I’m kind of a little bit of a fitness warrior and I push through and I keep going and I exercise from the inside out.”

Well, the results of this approach are there for all to see. Her modelling career is still on track, but this time, Matilda’s way healthier and happier.

Matilda Finnegan, model. Photo: Steve McKee

Find Matilda on Instagram at @tilfinnegan and on her modelling Facebook page and her Alaois Fitness + Swim business Facebook page and Instagram at @alaoisfitnessandswim.