In life we can be driven by desperation or inspiration. Desperation is the kick up the butt where as inspiration is the carrot on the stick. Now what would you say was a better way to be driven?…..hmmmm? I’m thinking the carrot (although I admit I’ve needed a kick up the butt on a fair few occasions). Being inspired gives us a fire in our belly, as well excitement, enthusiasm and in most cases enjoyment. Desperation is more likely to leave us with sweaty palms, resentment, stress and a feeling of entrapment.
Inspirational people are all around us if we simply open our eyes and really look. I feel incredibly fortunate to have met and know many inspirational people. I would say lucky but I’m a believer we create our own luck so really it’s not lucky at all. It’s being open to seeing the inspiration that surrounds me, in fact I actively look for it, but, the cool thing is I need never look far. With this in mind I wanted to bring that inspiration to my blog by starting a series of articles called ‘Interviews to Inspire’. These will be interviews with individuals I’ve met or know who I find inspirational in some way, in the hope and intention that it can provide inspiration to others too .
For the first ‘Interview to Inspire’ I want to introduce you to the uber amazing Belinda Benn. Belinda is an international fitness model, health writer and transformation coach. Just looking at Belinda’s hot and beautiful portfolio of pics is inspiration enough, but to build on that tenfold is the fact that Belinda is 48 – (yes really), yet has a bod that most 20 year old cheer leaders would die for (not to mention the rest of us). It’s Belinda’s story though that really hooks you in. Just over ten years ago Belinda was a successful business woman but led a stressful and unhealthy lifestyle until she decided to completely transform her life and her body and follow her dreams. Those dreams led her to learn how to surf, move to panama, transform herself physcially and sculpt a body that is admired around the world and has adorned many magazines. This is just the tip of the iceberg because once Belinda transformed her own body she made it her mission to help others transform theirs too by sharing everything she had learnt on her journey.
I was fortunate enough to meet Belinda earlier this year and witness first hand the passion, energy and genuine good will that radiates from her.
So what better inspirational role model to be the first ‘Interview to Inspire’. This lady certainly inspires me and I’m confident she will inspire you too.
Belinda Benn – Aussie Transformation Coach
A: Transformation starts by discovering you have the power to change what you don’t like – about yourself and your life! One day in my late 30’s I realized I was living my life for everyone but myself. So I decided make a change and follow my childhood dream of learning to surf. By just taking that that one step it radically changed my outlook on life. This change in my thinking completely transformed my body and lifestyle.
Q: What do you love about your life?
A: I love that I have a lot of freedom. I worked as a corporate executive in an office for many years, I was married and lived a very conservative, closed life. After a lot of soul searching, traveling and risk taking – I now have my own fitness business that I can take anywhere in the world. That is priceless to me!
Q: What’s your top tip for people wanting to get in the best shape ever?
A: After coaching tons of people both personally and online, I think it’s simply making the decision that you are not going to give up. There will always be discouragements, speed humps, the unexpected, the naysayers – and it’s simply about getting tougher. Deciding that when things get difficult, when we have a rough day – we are not going to throw the towel in no matter what. In my experience, when someone gets that attitude, they end up suprising themselves as to what’s possible.
Q: What 3 other things would you recommend for maintaining a great physique?
A: A consistent, challenging workout routine. A solid sustainable nutrition plan that is easy to stick to. Being able to ride out the ups and downs – being flexible with your schedule when necessary and then being able to get back on track.
Q: Name 5 foods you couldn’t you couldn’t live without?
A: Dried figs, almonds, lean meats, green vegetables, high fiber cereals.
Q: What would you say was the hardest thing about keeping in shape and how do you combat it?
A: We are often our own worst enemy, judging ourselves too harshly, criticising our bodies and only seeing all the imperfections. I think the mirror is the hardest thing in that regard. I combat that by paying attention to progress (no matter how miniscule it may seem), taking time to recognize it and give myself a pat on the back. I refuse to spend time thinking about or looking at the imperfections. Whatever we feed our mind (even through our eyes) has a big impact on how we think and feel, our actions and results.
Q: What’s a typical eating day for you?
A: Breakfast of steel cut oats, with a few chopped dried figs. Morning snack of natural yogurt with chopped almonds and papaya. Lunch lean chicken and raw vegetable salad. Afternoon snack, protein shake with added ground flax seed. Dinner; lean protein and green and yellow vegetables (no starchy carbs).
A: My training changes every 6 weeks and I am constantly experimenting with different ideas to help develop new body sculpting programs. Right now I am doing bodyweight training 6-7 days a week. It’s high intensity, short sessions that focus on specific body parts so it is sustainable. After every workout I try to do 20 minutes of biking. I am amazed at the what results are possible with just bodyweight workouts and I am enjoying the shorter sessions every day. I think the main challenge most girls would find with this type of training is the mental aspect of having to push yourself harder with just bodyweight – the burn is very intense when done properly!
Q: Weights or cardio – what floats your boat?
A: Weights all the way! High intensity resistance circuits develop muscle density to help firm, tone and smooth the surface of the skin while also burning fat more effectively.
Q: You look AMAZING – what’s your secret to a youthful appearance?
A: Thank you!! J I think it’s a combination of always having looked after my skin (I worked in the cosmetic industry for 10 years), maintaining a healthy but not extreme diet, having a great body composition (having more muscle that the average girl has a big impact on our hormonal balance to prevent premature aging) and keeping the stress levels as low as possible (the biggest challenge).
Q: What would be a perfect day for you?
A: Now here’s an awesome question! Wake up to the sound of the surf as the sun peeps in my window, grab my surfboard and run out to the beach for a sunrise surf (in warm water – no wetsuit). Come back and have a hot shower and healthy breakfast, check in to my member’s website Aussie Transformation Coach to look after my little chickens, go for a short bike ride, a little more online work, healthy lunch, afternoon nap (I love my naps), workout (or another later afternoon surf, maybe even a sunset surf), dinner then relaxing time with someone I love. That’s the goal I am working towards right now!
Q: Do you have a role model that inspires you?
A: Yes many, hard to choose one. I know everyone says this, but my Mum has had a huge impact on me. Our father died at 57 and to an extent Mum lived in his shadow – so it was very traumatic to find herself alone. But she was very courageous and embarked on a journey to “find herself”. Since then, she paid off her home, traveled alone, sky dived, competed in an Australian Masters Swimming Event and even traveled Panama with me in my 4 wheel drive on a ton of adventures including zip line canopy. She has transformed herself much later in life without any of the resources us younger people have available – and with a lifetime of “old thinking” to combat. That is a constant source of inspiration to me.
A: My butt :0)
Q: What drives and motivates you?
A: This changes from time to time – different things motivate me according to my current goals and timeline. Simple things like imagining how awesome that hot shower will feel after my workout, motivates me to workout on daily basiss. Reminding myself of my current short term goals that I may have (to shoot a specific video or photoshoot) keeps me focused. Bigger picture, longer term, I am movitated by reminding myself of those less fortunate than myself – that I have a responsibility to make the most of every opportunity given to me – no excuses.
Q: What has been your biggest success that you are most proud of?
A: It’s hard to pick just one. On a personal level, recovering from a traumatic divorce and being able to turn my life around is something I am very proud of, learning to surf later in life required a lot of determination, launching my own business to help others is a lifetime dream come true, overcoming my weakness and continuing to learn and grow is something I am proud of also.
Q: What’s next for Belinda Benn. Any Plans for the future?
A: I am leaving Panama this year to pursue my business in the States, Australia and NZ. I can’t say much just yet but hopefully in a few months I will have some very exciting news on that front!
Q: Tell us a bit about your ‘Get Lean Program’?
A: Get Lean is specially designed for women to create a shapely, sculpted, toned body. It’s about eating the right kinds of foods in the right amounts (kiss those hunger pangs goodbye)! It includes bodyweight and resistance exercises for toning, sculpting, lifting and getting rid of cellulite. And it offers the missing link that often leads to failure – ongoing coaching, guidence and support through my Aussie Transformation Coach membership site.
To find out more about the amazing Belinda Benn and her story visit: