I’m Gina B, from Sydney Australia! I’m a professional Latin & Ballroom dancer/instructor, certified personal trainer/group fitness instructor and founder of Up to the BEat fitness! But my journey to get here started as a kid…
“I’m often asked questions about my background, advice and tips about health and fitness, so I thought I would put some of your most common questions down on paper so you guys can get to know me a little better and gain a little insight into my journey and the way I think”.
I’m Gina B, from Sydney Australia! I’m a professional Latin & Ballroom dancer/instructor, certified personal trainer/group fitness instructor and founder of Up to the BEat fitness!
My journey to get here started as a kid. I would always move and shake whenever I heard any kind of music play. At age 9 my mum enrolled me in ballroom dance lessons to get me moving (and because she’s Russian…). I didn’t realise it yet, but within 3 years I would be standing on the podium at the World Junior Latin Championships in Moscow representing Australia. Dancing took me all around the world. From Moldova to Tokyo, Germany, London, Moscow, Miami and more. I was so lucky to have visited these incredible places doing something I loved.
However, after years of gruelling training and a non-existent teenage-hood, at 19, I made the decision to quit dancing competitively and go back to study (I completed a B.A. at UNSW). But losing such an important part of my life, made me gain another… weight and lots of it. 55lbs to be precise. Going from training everyday, eating like a bird and laser focused goals, to sitting at a desk and eating everything in sight, in retrospect, I’m not surprised.
But, In my final year of University, a pivotal moment occurred. A colleague asked me to teach some dance lessons at his studio. That first step back onto the parquet wood instantly made me realise what was missing in my life; dance and movement! This was the spark to get me back on track. I worked on my nutrition and started moving everyday, dancing and teaching.
It wasn’t easy, but after nearly 2 years, I lost those 55lbs and regained me. I learnt the importance of doing something you love in a balanced way. This is what ultimately motivated me to start helping women all around the world and share my way of living your best self.
It’s hard to narrow it down to one thing of course, but I’d have to say these are my top 4 tips:
I created Up to the BEat to be able to encourage ALL women to live their best life, which is why my workouts are perfect for any shape, age or fitness level. I even have a seated workout program, because I believe everyone should keep active no matter what their situation is. Our style is low-impact and never jarring on joints. Our approach to fitness and lifestyle is to make working out fun and non-threatening!
I’m a big believer in habit! My morning habits are a bit of a ritual and I find they set a really positive tone for the whole day. I’ve stopped snoozing (that was a task let me tell you!), I always make sure I make my bed, I rehydrate (as we all wake up completely dehydrated) and at the same time take my fibre drink. I’ll then, over a coffee, quickly look over my days’ tasks (which i wrote the night before) and then i’ll head off for my morning workout, which gets those endorphins flowing and further helps set that positive tone i mentioned above. If you want some of this positivity for your day, then read more about my routine and tips to help you set up some great habits also.
I always have to workout to music, as I find it is the greatest motivator and that carries through in my foundation to all my workouts for Up to the BEat. I love nothing more than going for a walk or toning with weights with my earphones on, music pumping out my favourite tunes. But of course my heart is always with dance so I’ll always throw in some dance cardio workouts at home.
As I almost always workout in the morning (yes it’s a habit, read more here about how habits can help you!), I actually prefer to be fasted. I just like to have a black coffee beforehand which gives me a nice little energy boost and then lots and lots of water throughout the workout.
I always like to have a carb and protein based snack after my workout. So a common thing I’ll have is 2 rice cakes with 1 tbsp of natural almond/peanut butter and a drizzle of raw honey or some banana slices. Another go to for me is also 2 eggs (usually boiled) with a slice of sourdough and some cherry tomatoes, and always with some strawberries to finish. I always make sure i fuel myself with protein to optimise muscle recovery and it’s the perfect way to satiate me after a good sweat.
I like to live by an 80/20 rule in most things in life. In terms of eating, that means eating nutritious whole foods, 80% of the time and allowing myself 20% for the treats that I love like pizza, chocolate and cakes. I don’t know about you guys, but I couldn’t live without these. I’ve found eating this way keeps me on track without ever feeling deprived, which is such a common (and almost expected) thing when people try to change their way of eating.
Another tip is not obsessing over cravings. If im craving chocolate for instance, I’ll have some and move on. I’ve found if I don’t have it, it becomes a source of obsession in my mind and I’ll try to find foods to replace the craving, which will ironically often lead to even more calories than if i would have just had the chocolate in the first place. So I say satisfy your craving and if necessary make adjustments in your eating for the rest of the day, to account for this delicious detour.
But in reality, it’s chocolate, cake and pizza 🙂
I love my Easy One Pan Dukkah Crusted Salmon & Veggie Bake. It takes no time and leaves little mess. Great for my weeknights when I finish up with work pretty late and I need a filling dinner in no time!
Exercise and awesome music! I know this sounds cliche, but when i’m stressed, I really just want to do something I love and escape, even if it’s just for a moment. And I love nothing more than to move and sweat it out to inspiring beats. So headphones on, I’ll go for a walk outside, maybe put together a little circuit, work on some choreography for up to the BEat or get into a nice yoga flow which truly lets me zen out.
Secondly, I think having people to talk to and spend time with is also extremely valuable. It doesn’t even have to be a serious discussion, I find just having some company and chilling out with someone de-stresses me. Nowadays we are only a mouse click away from connecting with people all around the world, and that’s also the reason why one of my goals is to build the Up to the BEat community of like minded people, so we can all share, encourage, support and de-stress each other!
This is a tough question to answer briefly because I’ve learnt so much, but I have to say these are a few things that stand out to me: