The Tale of Rachael Finch
With her dazzling brown eyes, warm smile and toned physique, it's hard to take your eyes off Rachael Finch. At least, that's when you're not cooing and gooing at her angelic one-year-old daughter Violet. Insanely good looks aside, Finch, 24, is the quintessential girl next door: easygoing, down-to-earth and very likeable. It's no wonder then, that shes one of Australias most beloved media personalities.
To kick off our shoot, Finch, who was crowned Miss Universe Australia back in 2009, steps out in a sleek black full piece Speedo swimsuit looking nothing short of spectacular. Let's start with the body. Admittedly, great genetics have something to do with it, but it's reassuring to know that Finch is also very passionate about health and wellbeing. Pilates is also a big part of her life (note to self: start Pilates classes next week). "I try to be physically active every day whether it's taking Violet for a walk in the pram or going to a Pilates class. I love swimming, yoga, dancing, running and skipping. I stretch every night before bed which helps me sleep", she says.
During her pregnancy, she focused on exercises such as swimming. I have always loved swimming, but found it was the best during pregnancy. It's low impact, improves circulation and still increases muscle tone and strength. I took it at a relaxed pace but made it a priority to get in the pool at least twice a week. I also danced up until eight months and found yoga to be very beneficial. The only change to my fitness regime during pregnancy was the intensity. I made sure I was physically active every day but listened to my body and stopped when I thought it was too much.
Finch also sticks to a healthy diet. "I love adding variety to my meals every day. I try to eat food as close to its natural state as possible and make things flavorsome by adding other ingredients like avocado, ricotta cheese, nuts, herbs and spices", she says. "For breakfast I love fresh, whole pieces of fruit, yoghurt, organic wholemeal toast or a bowl of All-Bran high fiber muesli. For lunch I make a really big satisfying salad with pumpkin, pine nuts, tomato, spinach and goats cheese and for dinner a favourite is grilled fish and steamed vegetables." Finch skips the snacks and makes sure she drinks plenty of water. "I dont really snack in between meals, drink lots of fresh water and have one coffee a day", she says.
It's also hard not to notice how remarkably fresh-faced she is for woman who only gave birth a year ago. Finch credits her glowing skin to eating well, drinking enough fresh water, getting a little sun each day, staying relaxed and sleep. Of course, since sleep isn't really a guaranteed part of motherhood, Finch calls on a few favourite beauty products to help battle tired skin. "For my skin I find Dermalogica cleanser, Dr Spiller moisturiser and Colour Theory makeup products work really well. Taking the time to test products on yourself is important", she says.
Finch married her Dancing With The Stars partner Michael Miziner in early 2013. Later that year, their daughter Violet Rachael Miziner arrived. The model mother took six weeks out of her busy schedule to focus on settling into her new role. "I took the first six weeks off after Violet was born then we all flew down to Melbourne because I worked on the Melbourne Cup Carnival coverage with Channel 7", she recalls. "Violet has travelled from a very young age, so has adapted well to being flexible. In fact Spring Racing is fast approaching so again we will travel down for a couple of weeks. I also have a full calendar of photo shoots, radio work, publicity requirements and study material for the health-coaching course I study."
A year into motherhood, Finch is the ultimate multi-tasker. Shes currently signed to the Seven Network, presenting across a range of lifestyle, fashion and sport programs. Shes also studying Health Coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York by correspondence; a spokesperson and ambassador for a number of charities such as The Heart Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Camp Quality; and the face of iconic Australian swimwear brand Speedo since 2010. Yet during our shoot, its clear she couldnt be a more present mother.
On juggling so many hats, Finchs outlook is positive. "I love the challenge of finding balance. I think it's incredibly important to tick all the boxes including family, love, joy, creativity, healthy food, exercise, meditation, work and relaxation. Making time for myself to do the things I love is just as much a priority as eating healthy." Her tips? The most important thing to remember when life gets crazy is to breathe and remain relaxed. Making decisions and acting upon them is done best in a calm state of mind. That said, being apart from her daughter is never easy. "The hardest part of being a mother is saying goodbye when I go to work and the best part is walking back in the door after a long day and seeing her reach out toward me," she says.
Finch also highlights how important it is to have a strong support network. "When I go to work, Im lucky enough to be able to take Violet with me or I leave her with Michael or Michael's mum. Having a great support system is an absolute blessing, she says. When she's at home, Finch makes sure she takes advantage of her daughter's nap times. I exercise and do online work when Violet is napping or I love taking Violet out of the house and making her a part of my daily exercise. Again, I believe its about efficient time management and using every minute wisely. As for what motherhood has taught her, Finch says: "It has allowed me to understand my own parents more. Along with the intense love I have for Violet, I love knowing how Mum and Dad would of felt when they were holding me in their arms. Its a beautiful thought and I treasure it every second." There's also that very valuable style lesson which every mother learns very early on: "I've learnt to wear lots of black", she says, laughing.
Rachaels little list of loves:
Oven baked salmon fillets (skin on).
Our sunny winter days.
Watching Violet build the strength the take her first step.
Planning for the spring racing season.
Knee-length pencil skirts.
Working on my rhumba routine.
Mango and banana smoothies.
Celebrating milestones with my family and friends like birthdays and babies!
For clothing credits, scroll over the images below
CLICK ANY IMAGE TO ENTER THE SLIDESHOW AND TO READ MORE FROM RACHAEL FINCH