My interview with fitness model, Belinda Benn
Belinda: Sue, yes it’s true! I was a coffee drinking, sugar addicted executive. I was so busy trying to be a “super women” with my career, husband and all my other responsibilities that I had stopped caring for myself – doing things “just for me”. One day while trying bathers on in a department store dressing room I was shocked to see cellulite and saddle bags (amongst other things) and I realized the body I had in my 20’s had disappeared without me even realizing. Soon after I set myself the goal of learning to surf and before I knew it I was eating healthily, losing weight and feeling in the best shape of my life.
Sue: I think we can all relate to the dressing room story at some stage or another – probably unbeknown to them retail stores do an amazing job drumming up business for weight loss companies!
What was the hardest aspect of your transformation?
Belinda: The hardest part was not knowing how to eat right – for energy, longevity and fat burning. I knew nothing about nutrition. I started getting fitter but the big change didn’t come until I got my diet straightened out. It took a while but once I got on track I couldn’t believe how much food I could eat and not put on weight. I had been eating the wrong foods, at the wrong times in the wrong combination! When I think back to what I ate in my 30’s it’s shocking – I lived on coffee, milk, sugar, Arnott’s biscuits and fatty foods!
Sue: I know you get asked this all the time, but how on earth do you look so young?
Belinda: Early in my career I worked with Shiseido, the Japanese skincare company and they taught me about holistic wellness. Which simply means, looking after the total person – inside and out. We all know things like stress, toxins, over eating, too much alcohol, not enough sleep or a lot of sun, ages us prematurely. I neglected myself and over indulged like a lot of people do but once I realized, I made some radical life changes – and thankfully it paid off in a big way. I believe that doing the right things, consistently, adds up to big results over time.
Sue: Since I am talking with an expert then, a lot of people find that their skin becomes slack after weight loss and they suffer stretch marks. Did you have those problems?
Belinda: Yes I did! When I started losing weight I began exfoliating every day. The Japanese had taught me about this and it really works. I also made sure I included foods in my diet that improved the elasticity of the skin. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I wrote my Fitness Model Skincare Secrets so I could help people with concerns like that and prove that getting older doesn’t mean we have to age prematurely.
Sue: What makes your Get Lean Program different from everything else out there?
Belinda: Sue, as you know, many diets start out super strict. Then as our motivation wanes we go back to our old habits and the weight comes back on. I have discovered that the easiest and most effective way to achieve a lean physique is to work with the natural harmony of our body’s physiology. From my experience, it takes roughly four weeks before our metabolism jumps to the next fat burning level. So, the process of obtaining our ideal lean physique should be viewed as fat burning “phases” that we control through establishing new eating habits, rather than a “diet”. For this reason the Get Lean Program is divided into three, monthly phases: Momentum, Acceleration and Peak.
The Momentum Phase begins the process of increasing your fat burning metabolism. Your body will adjust to new eating habits and these changes will enable you to maintain your diet while gradually reducing your caloric and carbohydrate intake.
The Acceleration Phase will help reduce your body fat % while maintaining the energy levels necessary to work and train hard. Your body will adjust to producing efficient energy from fewer calories and you will see acceleration in your fat loss.
The Peak Phase will help you reach your optimum lean physique at the end of Month 3.
Many physique competitors use a similar system to prepare for competitions. But this program takes that science and makes it doable for anyone who wants to lose weight!
Sue: I noticed that you focus a lot on the mental and emotional aspects of losing weight – why is that?
Belinda: Often it’s not eating healthy or working out that’s our biggest challenge – is our own self-image and self-esteem. If we allow negative thoughts from the past to contaminate our thinking then that will continually undermine our efforts for success. Personally I have done a lot of work to change my thinking, from feeling like I am over the hill, old, not sexy anymore, it’s too late or I’ve failed in the past (add in a few of your personal favorites here) and replaced those with new thought patterns of self-confidence and a can do attitude. We all have moments of weakness and self-doubts, that’s normal. But there is a lot we can do to get our thinking straightened out! For that reason I will be giving away my “Think Lean – Get Lean” audio recording with every purchase of the Get Lean Program next week.
Sue: Belinda, once last piece of advice for all my readers please!
Belinda: Transforming your body can seem like an insurmountable task. But if you take one new positive step forward every day (no matter how small) and tomorrow do it over again – your habits, body and life will progressively change. Positive change will become a way of life and one day you will catch your reflection in the mirror and realize – there’s a new you!