★FitStars: Actor-Turned-Anchor Melissa Francis
Melissa Francis may have come on the Hollywood scene as a child actor on Little House on the Prairie, amongst various other acting gigs, but in college she changed courses and became a business journalist. She recently left CNBC to join FOX Business and launched her own show on June 4, entitled MONEY with Melissa Francis. (Fun fact for the 30 Rock fans out there: she’s rumored to be the inspiration behind Avery Jessup!) We recently got the chance to chat with Melissa about how she balances work, being a mom, and staying healthy and fit. Read on for her secrets for making fitness a priority!
Interview with Anchor Melissa Francis
- FBG: What’s a typical week of workouts like for you? What exercises do you love? Hate? Love to hate?
- MF: I actually hate working out with a trainer. I know a lot of people use a trainer to get motivated, but I just feel like I’m paying someone to annoy me. I love to listen to my iPod or watch a TV show on the treadmill while I run, and I try to do that as many times a week as I can stand. I need to be distracted. I’m envious of the people who love the actual act of working out. I guess they are the real athletes. My mother-in-law is like that, and I wish I were too! But I’m not. I have to trick myself into thinking I’m not working out. One thing I like to do is push both my kids to a park that’s not close, at least twice a week. The two boys together with the huge stroller add up to about 100 pounds, and uphill that’s something. Then I chase them around and push them home, and I’m usually stuck carrying my older son’s scooter while I push. Anyone who thinks that’s not a workout can come help me next Saturday morning.
- FBG: Your new show is all about the money. Can you give us some advice for people who say they don’t have enough money to get fit? Or join a gym? Or buy healthy foods?
- MF: I certainly sympathize with that. It’s cheap to go to McDonald’s, and let’s face it, it tastes good. Sitting on the couch watching TV is cheap, too. But buying bigger jeans costs money and is depressing! I would think about how much money you’ll save shopping in your own closet when you lose a few pounds and can’t wait to wear the stuff you’ve avoided putting on because you knew it was snug. It’s also fun to work out without a gym outdoors, or just at home. You can DVR a workout show. Also, I bought very cheap barbells at Target. I leave them underneath my nightstand and work out my arms before I go to bed. Quick, productive, cheap!
- FBG: We read that you were the captain of the Harvard Polo Team in college. What was that like? And do you use any of the skills you learned today in regards to your workouts or just life in general?
- MF: Polo is a very aggressive sport; it’s very physical. You use your mallet, arms and horse even to bump the other riders off the line of the ball while you’re galloping full speed down the field. You throw a ton of elbows. It got me ready to cover Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meetings around the world where the reporters push and shove to get close to the ministers and shout questions. I love to do both, so I guess that says something about me. Wait, let’s not analyze that actually.
- FBG: Best piece of advice you’ve received?
- MF: Live every day. I have a bookmark that says that. You’ve got to wallow around in the fun and joy of what’s in front of you before it’s gone. It’s all a blessing.
- FBG: Best piece of advice you can give?
- MF: There’s always someone who has more than you… money, success, recognition… and that person is usually envious of someone else with even more! So let it go, and see and enjoy the good things in your life.
- FBG: Anything else?
- MF: Whew, no! I’ve got a show in 45 minutes! I gotta run!
We love that Melissa brought up that tricky comparison trap! And that she admits to hating working out with a trainer and needing a distraction—so refreshing to hear a celeb admit that. Any Melissa Francis fans out there? Little House on the Prairie fans? 30 Rock fans? Let’s hear it! —Jenn