Diary of a fitness model

How a multitasking, bicoastal pro keeps her body ready for action.

Elle Macpherson may be "The Body," but model Linda Baltes' moneymaker is also her brain. Between posing for magazine covers and fitness shoots, she manages to hold down demanding jobs with the Air Force and a Biotech company. With constant cross-country commutes, the triple-careerwoman keeps exercise a top priority to stay sane. "Creative time management and planning becomes paramount to stay in shape," she says. We asked her to record three days in her jam-packed life:


"I work in corporate Biotech sales and travel almost every week (Can we say Up in the Air?). Today I have to catch an early morning flight to the East Coast. I make a smoothie packed with acai, protein, kefir, bee pollen and olive leaf then pack fruit, a protein bar and tea bags for the plane."

"On the plane, I power out emails to try and get ahead of the week. I always travel with a clean, moisturized face and carry a spritzer of Evian."

"Why is it so hard to find non-stop flights these days? During the layover, I stop at my favorite lunch spot at O’Hare Airport, Argo Tea, for a crustless quiche and iced green tea ginger drink."

"Commute to the hotel, which I already know has a great gym. (I always preplan and find a local college or rec center where I can swim in a pinch)."

"Company work dinner. Given that I have lots of these, I use the following strategies: find a coworker who likes to split an entree, or order sides only."


"Still in NYC, today is a shoot day. I sneak in a light morning workout — a slow jog and some stretching. I know the shoot will be challenging, but it wakes me up, gets me loose and helps set the tone for the day."

"Light breakfast of tea, greek yogurt and fresh fruit, then it's transit time! It's fun for a West Coast girl to navigate the subways."

"Wardrobe, hair and makeup. Feels so glamorous every time!"

"It's a video shoot, and we're filming cardio routines, so sweating was highly encouraged. The action-packed two hours included jumping, jogging, plyometrics and my favorite new move­: explosive pushups. Start on the ground in a traditional push up and then "explode" to standing."

"Lunch! And given my light breakfast, by now I'm hungry for the salad, salmon and lots more water."

"Dinner at the airport. I reward myself for the hard work with a gluten-free pizza slice."

"Commute home. Yes, this means it's been a long day."


"Wake-up call. As an Air Force reservist (I run the medical unit's fitness program), I spend one weekend a month at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California. (And no, I am not in boot camp anymore. If I was, this would have been considered sleeping in.)"

"I leave the house in my military uniform. Combat boots and Captain bars are a far cry from suits and heels, or my favorite: yoga pants and workout attire."

"We start off with a morning briefing, and then I'm off for my Physical Fitness test. In the Air Force, this is a 1.5 mile run, 60 seconds of pushups and sit-ups and a waist measurement. My fitness modeling keeps me ready for this test."

"Lunch. We are allowed to go off base, so learning the local area became important for finding healthy choices. I found a great local grocer that makes take-away salads."

"After more trainings and briefings with my Squadron, we have an end-of-day group workout. Today it was a circuit-training event for all the troops. Moves included: partner-assisted resistance training, plyometrics and a cool down."

"Dinner at a local Thai restaurant, where I realize that I can find healthy salads and protein choices"

"Off to bed! Exhausted from juggling everything, but at least I'm never bored."

Strangely fascinated by real-life diaries? We are, too. Don't miss entries from a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and master trainer.