Libby Babet will have you loving all things health and before you know it, you’ll also be living it.
Looking at Libby Babet you would never believe she was anything but fit and healthy. She’s toned, drinks smoothies out of wine glasses and spends her time living and breathing all things health and fitness. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for this wellness devotee, who in her mid-twenties was diagnosed with malignant hypertension, otherwise known as chronically and dangerously high blood pressure. “I wasn’t allowed to get my heart rate up and the doctors told me this would be my life-long fate,” Libby recalls. “My response was no thanks!” she adds defiantly.
Starting out as a journalist, Libby used her skills to research the body, how different foods affect health, and the kind of exercise that would help, not hinder, her recovery. This lead to her completely changing her lifestyle – the food she was eating, how she was moving and the people she was hanging around with. It meant no more all-night party friends. “I made big changes and was medication free about three years later,” explains Libby.
Libby also changed her career path. Working in the glossy world of magazines in Sydney, something just didn’t sit well. “I felt like I wasn’t giving anything back,” reflects Libby. She always knew she wanted her own business, and after her health scare was certain it would be something to do with health. After considering a number of different health-related fields, Libby completed her Certificate 3 and 4 in Fitness at the Australian Institute of Fitness.
Over six months, Libby worked for various fitness businesses and absorbed everything she could from a range of mentors. Then in Spring 2010, Libby launched her first business, Bottoms Up! Fitness (BUF). “From there, I developed a complete love affair with business and have since opened an indoor studio, AGOGA, started an online training program bufgirl.com and have been working on getting our first food product, Chief Bar off the ground,” details Libby.
This is all while keeping up her journalist skills being the fitness expert for Women’s Fitness magazine and Lifestyle You’s health channel, as well as a contributor to various news and feature publications. This girl certainly knows how to challenge herself while empowering others along the way.
Libby’s message for improving your health is not the flashy, quick-fix fad so often promoted within the health and fitness industry. In fact, it’s the complete opposite being easy, simple and practical. “I always talk about how important it is to develop a healthy attitude towards healthy living. To me that means not being obsessive with your fitness, or your eating patterns but instead finding the joy in movement and properly educating yourself about what healthy eating really means to you,” explains Libby. It’s about finding balance so you actually make the best choice for your body with food and movement rather than feeling like you “have to”.
According to Libby, it also means you’re cool with having a total blowout and not feeling guilty about it. “I just spent the most glorious few weeks on a road trip, not doing any structured exercise, just surfing and eating cheap flatbread with cheddar and tomato for lunch, red wine and choccy with dinner and there was not a smidge of guilt involved – it was glorious, simple, indulgent and the downtime made me feel a million bucks.” BUT Libby stresses, “I was also oh-so-ready to get back to my healthy eating and workouts when I returned from holidays.”
So if you’re a female living in or around Bondi and are wanting to experience Libby’s healthy world, become a #BUFgirl. (If you’re not in Sydney, then visit www.bufgirl.com for your own online experience starting from February 16th). Bottoms Up! Fitness (BUF) is all about loving, encouraging and empowering women to embrace themselves, as well as each other.
“You can expect to meet a group of totally kick-ass, amazing women, who are committed to working out at the crack of dawn. “They’ll make you feel like one of the crew from your first session!” says Libby enthusiastically. “Bottoms Up sessions are all about the experience, so we theme them around anything from holidays, beach trips and surfing, to celebrity workouts and we’ve even been known to whip out the ol’ boom box at dawn to crank out squats and burpees to blasting pop music!” she adds. Now that will have you jumping out of bed in the morning.
3 quick questions with Libby
- Favourite training style: I love 3D, multi-planer and ballistic training and it’s no secret that the ViPR is my favourite workout tool. It’s basically a long, log-shaped hollow tube made from rubber, with a few handles built-in. ViPR basically makes you feel like a ninja, as you lunge, twist, flip and rotate it in multiple directions, all while performing squats, lunges and other basic (and not so basic) moves. It is SO much fun and engages not just your body, but your mind too.
- Key to success: A mix of staying excited about what you’re doing, which I always am because I LOVE this industry so much and also, not being afraid of failure. In business and in life, failure is your friend, not your enemy. Messing up leads to learning, learning leads to progression, and progression is happiness.
- Favourite quote: I stumbled across a great quote this week and it’s a new fave; “You’re not perfect but you’re not your mistakes either”. How good! And how true!
About the author
Caitlin Reid is a unique health professional with qualifications as an accredited nutritionist, accredited exercise physiologist and yoga teacher. Caitlin is passionate about all things health and wellness, and keeps up-to-date with the latest health research, which she uses when contributing expert advice to health, fitness, lifestyle and food companies. She is also the nutrition expert for the Women’s Fitness magazine, the dietitian for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and ambassador for Papaya Australia. Follow Caitlin on Instagram @caitlinareid or visit her website.