Bella is also coming out with her own personal training and coaching service very soon, something that has been sought after for many years. If you are looking to start training or getting into shape it’s something you should consider looking into! [email protected].
Bella, It’s Been A Few Years Since Our Last Interview, How Have You Been?
I’ve been great! Feeling good! There has been a lot of change in my life. I can say that i’m feeling better now than I used to before, in terms of feeling ‘complete‘. Being happy in my own personal life and business wise, just everything!
How Has Your Approach To Fitness Changed In The Last Few Years?
I used to be very strict when it came to diet and training. Since I have had my baby and I don’t have the same amount of time that I used to have before, I can say that I simply do the best I can, with what I have, wherever I am. Which doesn’t mean I can do things perfectly like I used to do before since my priorities have changed. Everything I do now is more focused on my family and my baby, but I still keep everything pretty healthy. Staying healthy and eating right is just my lifestyle, it’s in my DNA. I love going to the gym and keeping fit.
I recently start Muay Thai training, which I love to do and it’s a great workout! Going to the gym is more like therapy for me and looking after myself is just natural for me at this point. If there is an option to eat junk food or to eat something healthy, I’ll go for the healthiest option possible.
My body has been built over the years through hard work and making the right decisions. Everything I have, I’ve kept, my body is still well conditioned. When you build up your body over the years, even though I gained 30 pounds when I was pregnant, through muscle memory and having a good ‘base’, I was able to lose all this weight and a little more in less than 4 months after giving birth. Making the right decisions consistently helped me with this, and even though times can be quite hectic now, and I don’t have the same free time anymore, I can still stay healthy and keep a balanced life.
It also helps not having a set ‘goal‘. I used to train for competitions and want a very, very low body fat percentage, to show off my body and make it the best it could look. Now, i’m happy sitting around 14-15% body fat and being content with this, knowing my attention and focus needs to be on other things. I know I don’t have the exact same body I had before, but I’m happy to make this sacrifice knowing I get to spend more time with my daughter. I dedicate all my mornings to her and stay in my home until 1pm with her. I do any tasks or work that I can at home and make any other appointments that need to be somewhere else for between 1pm – 5pm and try to get back with her as soon as I can. It’s going to be like this for a little while.
I can understand other moms who stop having time to themselves and focus all on their children because it’s very important to be there for your children, especially during the first few months of their lives because they grow up so fast. I don’t feel guilty now if I don’t spend that much time at the gym or eat perfectly 100% of the time. I think as long as you take care of yourself, eat right most of the time and stay healthy, everything in balance, then that’s great, you need to be healthy for your own sake and your child’s sake. Everything in life is a phase and we need to live every moment in the way that it requires us to.
What Is Your Diet Like Now?
It’s hard to say, like I said, I don’t have the same amount of time that I used to before, to weigh my meals, count the macros of everything, count the calories etc. But I try to eat 6 healthy meals a day, lots of good protein, low GI carbs and fruits and vegetables. I stay away from red meat and don’t drink any soda, but I’ll have a treat every so often of sweets or chocolate. I can say I cheat more often than I used to before, but I do try and stay more on the healthy side and be a lot more balanced and not be really strict on myself and my diet.
Counting calories and macros are not part of my lifestyle right now, which doesn’t mean it wont be again in the future, but only when I have the appropriate amount of time to do it. For the next few months, until my baby is a little bit older, its going be like that, because I want to be there for her and I prefer to focus on her nutrition and cook her meals rather than my own.
What Is Your Workout Routine Now? (Could You Give: All Days: Exercises : Sets : Reps)
I’m training with weights about 4 times a week now. I also train Muay Thai 5-6 times a week, 1 hour a day, which is a quite a lot. Muay Thai training is an amazing way to exercise, it requires a lot of energy, it burns a lot of calories and is great for your cardio. I’m sure it’s one of the main reasons I lost my baby weight so fast!
In terms of weight training, I do a standard split: legs, shoulders, upper body, lower body, 4 times a week. I try and make these workouts more functional and flexible. I try to optomize my time in the gym, so I do 45 minute training sessions, more focused on maintaining my body and being ‘toned’, rather than trying to gain a lot of strength and muscle. It’s impossible for me to count macros and everything at the minute, so it’s not worth it to try and go overboard when training.
My genetics are naturally to be quite skinny with not much muscle, unless I eat a lot of calories and really work on getting everything perfect. So at the minute, i’m just focused on embracing my own body and nature, being happy with myself, training hard but moderately, maintaining my current body and doing Muay Thai which I am really passionate about. I have really ‘found’ myself while doing it and have fell in love with this sport!
You Recently Gave Birth To A Baby Girl. Congratulations! How Was That & How Did You Balance Being Pregnant & Keeping Fit?
It’s just part of the way I am now. It wasn’t hard to drag myself to the gym, it was quite the opposite! I love going to the gym and feel it’s very good for me, both physically and mentally. It really is like therapy! It helps with my mind. It calms me. It helps with anxiety and everything else. These things can become heightened when you are pregnant so it really helped make a big difference.
Though, it should be said I was used to training a lot before I became pregnant and had a history of working out. I spoke with my doctor to make sure everything I did was okay and would advise everyone to do the same. Make sure your doctor okays everything that you do and you aren’t pushing yourself too hard. It’s obviously okay to take some time off and focus on yourself when you are pregnant, then wait to train after you have given birth. I did gain over 30lbs during my pregnancy, which is more than some people thought I would gain.
What Would Be Your Advice To Women Who Want To Manage Their Weight Gain During Pregnancy?
Like I said, it’s very important to stay healthy when you are pregnant, both for your baby and yourself. If your pregnancy is not risky and your doctor has given you the ‘okay’ to train, then you can do that. Ask specific questions and find out exactly what you can do and not do. It’s always better to be on the safe side, to ask your doctor’s advice and then to stick to it and don’t go overboard. Do all the usual healthy things, get enough rest, drink water, eat healthy, stay calm and try and control your stress levels. It’s normal in this period, especially for first time moms like myself, to stress out and worry about everything and it’s important to control what you can.
It’s also important to remember that everything you input into your body, the baby will absorb too. So it’s best to eat as healthy as you can. My baby was born very healthy, it was a natural birth at almost 40 weeks. She was around 8lbs and at 5 months now still hasn’t gotten sick. She’s doing really well and I associate this in part to what I did when I was pregnant, continuing a healthy lifestyle and making the healthy choices that I did before. Also taking prenatal vitamins helped me too. Again, everything i’m saying worked for me, but I consulted with a doctor each step of the way, and it’s important that you consult with your doctor before following any advice or suggestions from anyone.
What Did You Do To Get Your Body Back To Top Shape After Only 4 Month After Giving Birth?
Honestly, I think Muay Thai was the main thing. Of course, I have my training history, my muscle memory, I’ve been training and dieting for years so my body is pretty well conditioned. Compared to someone who has never worked out and who has to start anew, it is a lot easier for me to get back in shape than for someone to get into shape who didn’t have the base that I had to begin with. Though as I said, I love doing Muay Thai, it helped me burn a ton of calories and training like this 5-6 times a week really helped me drop the baby weight quickly!
How Do You Manage Your Time & Fitness Goals Now You Have A Baby?
Right now I don’t have a specific fitness goal, but I do want to maintain my body where it is now and stay healthy. I don’t want to think about getting back to 9% body fat and all of that. Having really low body fat requires a lot of effort and time and at the minute I just want to stay healthy and keep my body fat between 12-15%. I’m hoping to have another baby within the next couple of years, so I don’t feel it’s necessary to try and force myself to get abs exactly like I had before or make my legs look a certain way. I just want to be healthy and happy and comfortable in myself and my body. It’s important to look in the mirror and be content with where you are and right now, I’m pleased with where i’m at, both in my body and with my life.
Your Abs Are Still Amazing? What Do You Do For Abs Exercises Now & Any New Tips For Getting A Ripped, Flat Stomach?
My abs are not amazing like they used to be before! Like I said, i’m happy with myself and i’m pretty sure they are still there somewhere. I still have some water retention and a little bit of extra skin. I do have some loose skin from the pregnancy. You’ve seen my belly was huge! It stretched so much, you have no idea, but i’m okay with that. I won’t have a procedure or anything to fix that. I’ll just have nature work on its own, respect the time it takes and wait until it goes back to normal.
To get ripped abs, I would recommend Muay Thai again. It really works the abs, burns calories and targets the obliques. I do active rest in between rounds so I work abs pretty much every day, but not with a lot of weight like I used to before. For getting that lean, ripped, flat stomach, there is no secret! Cardio, drinking water, and a healthy diet. I don’t think people have to be as strict as I used to be. My goal before was to have very low body fat, so for that, you have to scacrifice a lot of things. No cheap meals or junk food and eating as clean as possible. Some people just have really good genetics which helps them stay at a low body fat with minimal effort. Depending on your goals, you need to be stricter or you can be more relaxed. Sticking with your goal is key to achieving them, if you aim for abs and get them after a year or so, they will be much easier to maintain and keep if you lose them again.
Give Your Best 3 Health Tips That People Can Implement Right Now:
Drink lots of water. Start cutting back on sodium. Don’t drink soda. Try and avoid everything that is artificial or heavily processed. Some foods that are canned. Try to cook at home as much as possible. A good rule is, as long as it comes from a tree, the soil or has a mum, you can eat it, otherwise you should think twice!
How Do You Handle Setbacks & Bad Days?
Motivation has to be renewed every single day! Theres no secret or magic formula for us to achieve success. But we do have to try to stay motivated and reignite the motivation every single day. Try to remember what your purpose is, what you are fighting for. There will be lots of obstacles and suffering on the way so there has to be purpose and an end goal that you think of and remind yourself of why you are doing it. Remind yourself all the time. Write it on a piece of paper and glue it to your wall where you can see it everyday.
Remember that everything you do today is going to reflect in your tomorrow. I don’t know where you want to be tomorrow, but wherever it is you have to be working on it today otherwise you’re not going to get there!