Ms. Namita Nayyar: What exercises/physiotherapy comprise your fitness regime or workout routine you may wish to share?
Ms. Katie Knowles: My fitness regime consists of horse riding up to twice a week at the moment until I start training more for competitions and then regionals. I walk my big dalmatian 3-4 times a week at an hour a time either at the beach or the local beautiful countryside, to try and build up my stamina and also the muscles in my damaged leg. I have hydrotherapy depending on when the hospital can book me in, it could be once a month at the or once every two/three months; but in the mean time I try swimming and walking in the water 1-2 times a week at my local gym – Greens Gym.
This may not sound a lot but this is a lot compared to having no lower half mobility. I am hoping to get involved in badminton in a wheelchair as whilst doing a photoshoot for Aspire Centre in London they have all these disabled sports, so I am hoping to get more involved in them up North. Swimming is also a massive help and relief for me as I am not in pain in the water as I am not carrying any weight. I am also in talks to start trying to swim competively again in disabled competitions, I won’t be back up to county league but I miss the buzz of competitive sport.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Do you take some special diet or have a strict menu that you follow to remain healthy and physically fit?
Ms. Katie Knowles: I follow Weight Watchers mainly. It seems to be what works for me. With this diet or what I call ‘change of life’ I mainly track my food at its pointed value. Every one is allocated so many points a day by their weight and height and age with an extra 49 points on top. I find this easy to follow as I can see what I am putting into my body. I am a massive fruit fan so being able to eat limitless amounts of it makes me very happy and stops me picking at bad things. I was lucky enough to be in the Weight Watchers July 2015 edition in the inspiring people section for my successful weight loss.
This was a massive achievement for me and something I worked so hard for. If for some reason I cannot follow it I try and stay healthy and nutritious, making sure I get lots of vegetables and oily fish to help my bones stay strong. I try to avoid fatty foods as they make me sluggish and again due to medications and their side effects, my digestive system doesn’t appreciate it. I love to cook in my home and so I make a lot of the family meals which are always full of protein and goodness, my favourite dish to cook is thai green curry.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You have glowing skin and gorgeous hair. Do you take some kind of skin treatment to keep it young and glowing and secondly what you do to your hair to make them look so stunning?
Ms. Katie Knowles: My hair funnily enough falls out quite a lot due to my medication I take so I had to try find a solution to keeping it healthy for myself but also for photo shoots. I discovered coconut oil, the jar you can buy in the supermarkets. I wash my hair normally first with Garnier Ultimate Blends shampoo – the marvellous transformer and then put coconut oil on like a mask put a cap on and leave on for about 30 mins before washing. It makes my hair shiny and strong. I also take Magnesium and Vitamin B and make sure I drink plenty of water to keep hydrated with my hair and my skin.
I try to avoid heat on my hair as it is so thick but also gets damaged easily because of my medication. If it is a must I make sure I use Tresemme heat protection keratin smooth and Loreal lumina contrast gloss serum. I have been very lucky with my skin, I think I get it from my mum. My diet is key to my skin being good, especially if I fall of the wagon with my food I can tell by my skin straight away as it would look dull and dry.
I do not use some secret lotion, I literally cleanse my face with Simple purifying cleanser and use a very rich moisturiser, usually Olay active hydrating cream for my face as I can suffer from dry skin. I use No 7 rich night cream for the face a well. I do try and do a charcoal face mask – Origins active charcoal mask twice a month to clean my skin and pores.
Water is the big thing along with diet so I try and keep drinking it by the gallon. I also try not not have much dairy as I find that makes my skin suffer, so I have almond milk or dairy free products when I can to keep my skin glowing.
For my body I swear by Vaseline dry skin moisturiser as I suffer with eczema along with the dry skin and this always clears my skin up. When I am suffering with my skin I use coconut oil as a face mask and let it sink in, I have also been known to make avocado and honey face masks and try to keep them on and not eat them. My medication really plays havoc with my skin it really drys it out, makes my nails peel and my hair fall out; so I have to be on top form to not let this happen. This also might sound weird but I always make sure the make up brushes are clean with photoshoots as I just want my skin protected. Along with the brushes I make sure every single day no matter what time it is to thoroughly take my make up off.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Tell us about one of your memorable photo shoot or a cat walk you still remember as model?
Ms. Katie Knowles: My most memorable moment was shooting a bridal photoshoot with the fantastic Laura-Jayne Photography with birds of prey from Andy Howey. I was so excited to be in the bridal gowns from Curious Heart Ltd at a incredible castle but I was even more excited to work with these beautiful creatures. I worked with owls and birds of prey, my favourite was a little owl called Tinko who just sat on my Glam stick and sat on my shoulder happy as anything. Tinko and the other birds have worked with the likes of Cara Delevigne for Mulberry and Mercedes among many more, I felt so privileged. They were so well behaved and loved to be stroked and kissed. The pictures are incredible and the memory of working with these fantastic creatures are edged in my memory forever.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: With exceptional hard work you are credited with all your achievements as a model. Do you believe that does the hand of Providence (Supreme Being) played a role in your success?
Ms. Katie Knowles: I don’t necessarily believe a supreme being helped with my success. I do however think that the modelling success would not have happened if it was not for the complications with my surgery. When that happened I had to learn to be more confident in myself and confident in asking for help. I do not think this confidence would have come about that way if it was not for the surgery, modelling was not on the agenda. I think my success with my walking and strength is down to hard work and determination. I do not like to be beaten, I do not like my body to have control. I am in control of my body.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Advice and motivational words to the inspiring and budding fashion model girls, who all are your fans and shall like to know from you for their climb to the ladder of success in the field of modeling?
Ms. Katie Knowles: My words of advice are be yourself and stand out. At photoshoots and pageant auditions I stand out like a sore thumb, I am using Glamsticks and I am disabled I don’t think I can hide among the others. I have learnt to use this to my advantage as I am remembered even if some view it as being remembered for a negative reason.
It is a very hard industry and you need thick skin. Just this month at the pageant someone said I was using my Glamsticks as a prop and surely I didn’t need them. Unfortunately this is ignorance that I deal with daily and have learnt to reply with decorum and grace. I won’t lower myself to that attitude. You have to enjoy it and I mean genuinely enjoy it and do it for the right reasons. I know people say be yourself but I mean it, you want people to want you not something you think you should be. Be yourself and stay true to who you are, for example I don’t shoot nudes or glamour or anything like that as that isn’t the route I want to go down plus I am training to be a solicitor and that wouldn’t look favourably. Don’t take things personally, sometimes you don’t get things because that isn’t the look they want, trust me I’ve heard it before being a disabled model. As one door closes another one opens.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.