Before Survivor Philippines changed her life in 2010, Solenn Heussaff had already made a name for herself as a model, makeup artist, and fashion designer. A lady who never does anything half-heartedly, Solenn applied the same perseverance to her showbiz commitments.

She starred in four films in 2011 alone, and she'll be playing Ogie Alcasid's leading lady in the upcoming movie, Boy Pick Up. You can also see her on teleserye Legacy on weeknights.

Keep reading to learn what all this experience has taught Solenn about life and overcoming adversity.


1. BE VERSATILE.

Talented Solenn isn't content with learning just one craft. "I'm artsy. I love creating things," she confesses. She was already a fashion designer, makeup artist, painter, singer, and model before she decided to join showbiz--and now she's also an actress and TV host.


2. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES.

Back when she was 13, Solenn was overweight. "I was 5'1" and weighed 65 kilos (nearly 150 lbs). I was called Free Willy, Shamu, and just about every whale character. I was 13 and stupid, so I lost weight in a very bad way." She only ate an apple a day, and her eating habits landed her in the hospital. Now, she's older and wiser and knows that the right food and exercise can keep her healthy.


3. HAVE DISCIPLINE.

To maintain her figure, Solenn sticks to her fitness routine, which includes doing yoga and Plyometrics as well as playing squash. "I realize that it's harder to maintain a certain physique as a woman because we tend to get bigger faster than men, but as long as you have discipline and self-control, you can achieve that body you want."


4. DON'T GIVE UP.

Solenn was in the final four of Survivor Philippines's first celebrity season. The experience was tough, but she made it all the way to the final judgment, despite losing to another castaway. She shared that when one of her fellow castaways quit during the show, she had thoughts of leaving herself, but she never acted on them. "I saw everyone else was still there, and I'm like, if he can do it, if she can do it, then I can do it. Anyone can do anything, if you set your mind to it."


5. BE THANKFUL.

Solenn's experiences in Survivor Philippines also helped her appreciate her life even more. "[Our parents] worked so hard to give us a comfortable life, so I'm very thankful for everything that we have. While I've always been appreciative, I learned to appreciate everything a little bit more since Survivor."


For more on Solenn Heussaff, check out these galleries and articles that feature her:

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(First published as "A Charmed Life" by Denise San Jose in Women's Health; adapted for use in Female Network; with additional reporting by Belle Yambao; photo courtesy of PEP.ph)

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