My message is believe in your abilities; love the body you are given; eat healthy and exercise on a regular basis. If you must go on a diet; restrict yourself from using any form of diet pills. There are plenty of ways you can learn to lose weight and stay healthy while doing it. Also, you need learn to love your body, because if you don’t love yourself, how do you expect others to love and accept you?

In this competitive world of modeling and acting it takes faith, perseverance, and self confidence. Self confidence is one of the main ingredients a person needs in order to achieve anything we want to have in life. Everyone wants a good paying job; a successful career and even a family. A lot of people do not have faith in their abilities to achieve anything they set out to do. Somewhere along the way, low self-esteem crept up on them and they just gave up on themselves, so they accepted whatever life has handed down to them. These individuals do not have any motivation to change anything to make their circumstances any better. Today I come to you to change that negative way of thinking. I am an individual with high confidence, who knows what I want out of life. I know how to turn the negative into the positive and I will not allow a situation to define who I am.

PHOTOGRAPHER: LESLEY PEDRAZ STYLIST: JAMILA CHOYCE MUA/HAIR: CLAUDIA RIVAS

PHOTOGRAPHER: LESLEY PEDRAZ
STYLIST: JAMILA CHOYCE
MUA/HAIR: CLAUDIA RIVAS

Coming to America

I am a plus size fashion model, inspiring actress; and an ambassador for plus size women all over the world. I was born and raised in a little town called St. Florian by Linz, Austria. At the age of 19, I decided to come to America to pursue my dreams of becoming an actress and a model. At 5’11 and a curvy size 4/6, I received the blessing of my family and headed to California to pursue my dreams. Shortly after my arrival, my weight skyrocketed to the point of being classified as being “obese.” Although, I was soon diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This diagnosis was not going to keep me from pursuing my dreams. I was determined to lose weight because I was raised in a culture that said being curvy was unacceptable among women.

In Austria, it is rare for a women to be overweight (it is known that 20% of Austrian women were overweight vs. 50% of Austrian men). Over the years, I tried a series of failed diets that ruined my health.

I mainly took diet pills thinking it would be the quickest and safest way to lose weight. I did not know that one of the side effects of using diet pills was that it can damage the heart tissue.

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By the age of 33, I was diagnosed with having a life threatening condition called Aortic Aneurysm. Immediately following my diagnosis, I had to have open heart surgery to save my life. I was saved by the grace of God, and I recovered from the condition that was caused by years of using diet pills. I bounced back and was more determined than ever to pursue my life goals. This experience has taught me to love myself even much more than I already had.

Modeling Opportunity

About three years ago, I was back to work as a nanny which was a position I held since I arrived to the U.S. While working as a nanny, I taught myself how to become a chef.

On one occasion, I was preparing an appetizer and refreshments for a photoshoot with photographer Kenneth Johnson. He asked me if I would substitute for a model who was unable to attend the event at the last minute. Finally, I had an opportunity to rise up and shine in my dream profession. I gladly accepted his offer. Mr. Johnson was amazed by what he saw in me behind the lens. Surprisingly, I was very photogenic.

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The photos were posted on social media and I became an overnight internet and YouTube sensation with millions of views. Instantly people started to contact me for photo shoots, fashion shows and other events. I proudly became a spokeswoman for the plus size industry. With my instant success, I have traveled throughout the U.S. and back to my homeland of Austria where I am a local celebrity. I am proud to be a self-acclaimed ambassador who represents full-figured people from all over the globe.

My experience from being an average size 4/6 turned into a proud 24/26 plus size woman has given me the opportunity to teach people to learn to love their bodies.

It has been my experience that trying to alter or change your appearance with diet pills or even cosmetic surgery can produce serious consequences that could either be permanent or fatal.

Most recently, I had a joyous photoshoot featuring Jamila Jay Plus Size Fashions with photographer Lesley Pedraza. In addition, a German television crew was filming the entire photoshoot and they followed me home. It is for the RTL television show which will be aired soon in Germany.

I am inspired to keep pushing my way through any negative stereotypes of plus size women with exercise, eating healthy, and enjoyment of life.

PHOTOGRAPHER: LESLEY PEDRAZ STYLIST: JAMILA CHOYCE MUA/HAIR: CLAUDIA RIVAS

PHOTOGRAPHER: LESLEY PEDRAZ
STYLIST: JAMILA CHOYCE
MUA/HAIR: CLAUDIA RIVAS

My mentors have been the source of my inspiration and motivation: Velvet D’Amore and Rosie Mercado.

I am currently working as a signature model for both Arttwear clothing line and fashion designer Dede Allure, the first plus size designer to ever participate in LA Fashion Week.

In addition, I also model designs created by Babydoll Couture, an up and coming designer who is trying to make her mark with her unique fashion line.

I am striving to merely be a size healthy! I hope you are, too!

Please visit my website, ClaudiaFloraunce.com!

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