[MOVE YOUR BODY LOVE YOUR BODY] Q and A with Libby Babet from Agoga/Bottoms Up Fitness
Posted on 10 February 2014
- What is your "Love your body" mantra?
Sometimes women have an ‘all or nothing’ approach to staying active and eating clean, so I like to use the mantra, “keep a healthy attitude towards healthy living” to remind myself and other busy women out there that it’s not about being perfect, or getting to the gym every single day, or never eating a morsel of sugar again that counts. Consistency is the best thing you can give your body, so just take every opportunity to get active and outdoors, choose the healthiest/greenest option possible at each meal, but don’t beat yourself up if life gets in the way from time to time.
- What do you love most about yourself?
I love that I make decisions based on what I’m passionate about, or what’s going to support the awesome people around me, not because of money or because I want to follow a crowd. Every path I’ve followed in life has started with a burst of passion and energy, followed by a lot of hard work until each dream has become a reality, and I’d hate to ever lose that about myself.
- Why do you think it is so important to love your body?
I think it’s important to focus first and foremost on loving what your healthy body allows you to experience, rather than just how it looks. Fit women can climb mountains, cycle around continents, run on the beach and chase their kids. Strong women can carry their own bags, paddle a surfboard, do a handstand and climb hundreds of stairs to an Indonesian Temple, or around the cliffs of Coastal Italy. What’s not to love!?
- Why do you love the type of exercise you do?
I do a mix of girls-only toning and cardio training with Bottoms Up! Fitness, then some more intense circuit, interval and athletic performance training at Agoga. Almost 4 years into running these businesses and I still can’t wait to try each week’s sessions – I love the variety, the group training environment, the way my body never yo-yo’s because we keep things varied and cutting edge. Mostly, I love it because it truly is a lot of fun and works on not just building muscles or shedding kilos, but trains me through functional movement patterns and switches on neuromuscular pathways that will hopefully have me fit as a fiddle well into old age!
- How do you nourish your body?
I’m not obsessive about what I eat and I never diet or go on a strict ‘health kick’, but I do have a few important nutrition rules and I pretty much always stick to them. They are: veggies or salad at least 3 times a day, always choose the most micronutrient dense foods (those with lots of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and all-round good stuff) over the ‘empty calorie’ kind, absolutely NO trans fats (e.g deep fried chips, donuts, hydrogenated oils) and limited processed foods, particularly packaged grains, gluten, soy and dairy. Like I said, I’m not obsessive about these rules but I do choose to stick by them 90% of the time and I’m super consistent, which is why moderation works for me. I also don’t really like alcohol (unless it’s a good margarita!), so living pretty much booze-free is one of the top ways I choose to nourish my body.
- What are your top three beauty tips for caring for your body?
- Keep it simple when it comes to caring for your skin – a gentle cleanser and moisturiser with SPF, plus a dash of mineral makeup wins over harsh cosmetics and stripping cleansers in the long run.
- Move your body multiple times every day – this doesn’t have to mean making time for an exercise class, it can be as simple as a cheeky 15-minute home workout in the morning, a walk in the sunshine at lunch and a few stretches in front of the TV after dinner. Just keep moving!
- Educate yourself on what it means to eat ‘clean’. Learning about why certain foods nourish your body and others put a spanner in the works is a really powerful thing. For example, bet you didn’t know that while healthy fats encourage your body to shed fat, the trans fats found in things like hot chips are so hard for your body to process, that they can literally sit in storage (on your legs/tummy/etc) for up to a few years, before your body is able to break them down! Eep! My favourite, free e-course on clean eating comes from Precision Nutrition. Check it out at http://www.precisionnutrition.com/womens-free-course
- Do you have any advice for anyone who is struggling to love their body?
Take up an active hobby, like surfing, rock climbing, hiking, yoga… or join a fitness community that suits your personality. You’ll soon be so wrapped up in getting better at your activity of choice, catching up with your new community of friends over a sweat session, or finding the coolest new walking path. Your focus will start to shift from worrying about the way you look, to finding ways to improve at, or train for what you’re doing. And maybe try a one-week social media detox… seriously, it helps to stop comparing yourself!
- Who is your biggest move your body, love your body inspiration?
My little sister, Julia. She was born with a club foot, which meant one foot was turned completely the wrong way when she was born and she has no calf muscle. Many operations later (including one to break every single bone in the front of her foot and realign them!) and as an adult, she can walk normally but her back is constantly out of whack, one knee frequently dislocates and she has a lot of scarring to show for her journey. Despite this, she’s always finding ways to work around all the things that hold her back, training a number of times each week in the gym and staying as active as possible, while attending release classes and working with an amazing Exercise Physiologist (Veronika Larisova) to stay as mobile and flexible as possible. I’m constantly impressed by her no excuse attitude and just think she’s so brave and fabulous! If you’re curious to meet her, you can find her at www.becomingjuliet.comX