It may sound like a nightmare to raise five teenagers under one roof but it's something Ahwatukee Foothills resident Amber Sessions does every day. That is - when she's not flying off to exotic locations for a modeling job, joining a bikini contest, working on her cooking blog or authoring her own workout program.
It's all a day in the life of the 34-year-old and it's all one step closer to the life she hopes to give her kids.
"My goal in life is to be a really good example for my kids," Sessions said. "I don't want to just tell them how to do it but show them and be a really good example. They can be independent and creative and become entrepreneurs."
Becoming a successful entrepreneur is what Sessions is working toward. She became a model through the art community in Colorado, after she had given birth to all three of her kids, and though she's been a professional model for about 15 years it's not something she considers a career. After running an unsuccessful art agency for about a year she decided to get creative.
"I've had a lot of inquiries from women online asking how I stay in shape after having three kids," Sessions said. "That's been a big one through the years. I used to email back and say something like, ‘Oh, that's so sweet,' but I thought, ‘How can I be honest about what I really do? It's a lifestyle.'"
Sessions began to take notes on what she was doing differently. She saw many models deprive themselves of food and kill themselves at the gym and that's never been a problem for her.
"I have a lot of sympathy for that but I don't get it because it's not something I've practiced," she said. "Why am I allowed to eat everything and keep hearing things about weight loss and weight gain and a roller coaster of eating disorders? I honestly think it's the way I eat. I call it earning my meals. I have a healthy exercise regimen. I'm very consistent with my workouts and I always have been but I'm not killing myself at the gym. When I eat I don't eat a whole lot at each sitting."
The idea of eating just a little bit at each sitting, but eating four to six times throughout the day, is what Sessions calls tapas-style eating. It's small appetizer-like meals that are colorful and meant to be enjoyable but not gorged on.
Sessions, who enjoys doing most of the cooking in her home for her boyfriend and their combined five kids, says it's the way she has always eaten and it's a secret she's passing on to readers of her new website, hotfortapas.com.
Visitors to the site can also download her Bare Condition Body Workout program for free and watch videos of Sessions cooking some of her meals.
The problem is she's still not making money off of it.
"That's why I entered myself into the swimsuit contest," said Sessions, who is now one of the contestants in the SpyOn Vegas Hot 100 Contest. "The purse is quite heavy on that. If I win, this will give me the capital to hopefully catapult my workout program and hotfortapas.com to the next level."
Sessions is competing against women 10 to 15 years younger than her in this competition. She's hoping this contest will get her the coverage and popularity she needs to garner some sponsorship on her website.
Most of the prize money will be used to publish her workout program in a book along with her recipes.
"If I can raise some eyebrows and get some more eyeballs, bring it," Sessions said. "It's a harmless way to get some attention and I have a bigger message. Most of the girls in the contest are just there to shake their booties. I'm there to say, ‘Hey, I've got something to offer."
Voting for the contest is going on through Aug. 12 and Sessions needs votes to win. A link to the voting can be found at the top of her website, hotfortapas.com.
Winning this contest and getting her business going is really all about her kids. Raising five teenagers together with her boyfriend is not easy but it's what her life revolves around.
"I'm used to it," Sessions said. "When you have kids I think that's your initial fear is, ‘How am I going to do this?' But you just become acclimated. That's your life. It might sound really crazy for someone who doesn't have five kids, three blogs to author and modeling shoots to go run off to and do these crazy things that I do but it's just the life that I've created for myself. I'm OK with it, my kids don't know better. It's busy but who isn't busy?"
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