Since hanging up her sash, this former Miss Texas has swapped her swimsuit for boxing gloves. The 26-year-old news anchor has been winning pageants since 2008 and she’s no stranger to the gym. “For years, especially when training for Miss Texas, I would spend hours in a traditional 24 hour gym. I liked it—at one point I even loved it, but now I’m honestly burnt out! I knew I wanted to try something new. So, I found boxing and fitness kickboxing.” Felicia began training with mixed martial arts fighter and Memphis police officer, Brian Hall. You can find them at Memphis Fitness Kickboxing in Midtown, outdoor distance running in areas of Memphis, the Police Boxing Gym, and Memphis Judo & Jiu Jitsu in Bartlett.
Why is being fit important to you?
For me, fitness is not just about the outer appearance; Fitness is about improving mental health and a method to prolong my life. I have noticed that I am more empowered, focused, and happier when I work out.
What or Who inspires you to be fit?
While I was in Costa Rica, my mother was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and given only three months to live. She did not tell me while I was abroad, but I knew there was something wrong. I came back home, she was at least 60 pounds lighter and could barely walk. My mother, being the strong, beautiful woman that she was, decided to fight back! The entire family started a lifestyle change: mom, dad, aunts, uncles—everyone. We changed how we ate everyday by looking for fresh fruits and vegetables. We bought natural supplements, which I still take today, and sought the help of a homeopathic doctor, as well as the traditional doctor. Those “three months” became two years. She was a warrior. She never gave up. She never took “no” for an answer. She inspires my dreams, my fitness, and my life.
I love heading to the boxing gym. When I walk into a ring or a room full of battle ropes and tires, I get excited! I’m ready to fight. I’m ready to dive in and gear up for the challenge ahead of me.
Here is a thigh workout that I do on my own when I’m not training with Brian Hall:
Repeat 2 times
- REGULAR SQUATS: 25 Reps
- FEET TOGETHER SQUATS: 25
- WIDE SQUATS: 25 Reps
- LUNGES: 25 Reps with 45lb bar
- JUMPING SQUATS: 50 Reps
What is your approach to nutrition?
Overall, I believe in clean eating—meaning no processed food, no junk food, and no fast food. Find the diet that works best for you. My workout partner, WMC meteorologist Brittney Bryant, and I are on different diets because we have different goals and palates. When I want to step it up, I cut out starches and meat and become a pescatarian.
Beauty product must-haves:
MAC studio sculpt foundation! Its SPF formula works on the face and body. It also comes in a large color spectrum, so you can change it for your summer skin or winter tone. I Love MAC!
When I am not working out I love to…
Dance! I have been salsa dancing and bachata dancing since 2011. I fell in love with those styles while I was living in San Jose, Costa Rica. My host mother and host sister showed me my first salsa steps while I was in the kitchen one night. Five years later, I’m still spinning, turning, and styling. The passion and flavor of salsa invigorates me. It’s a workout in itself. Latin dance is a true passion of mine.
Interview by Laurenne Hom. Photos by Philip Murphy.