Despite having been incredibly active all my life, when I was pregnant with Adam, my first son, I was advised to sit on my arse because, "At your age, there are too many risks". My age? I was a perfectly healthy 36 year old former dancer. But, like millions of other women, I listened to the advice of the so-called experts, in order to protect my unborn child from the perils of being an "elderly" mother. I put on 17 kilos and was waddling around like a small planet. I hated it.
Six months after Adam was born I had lost 14 of those kilos and was feeling much better when I got pregnant again [note to new mums- beware that one glass of wine after over a year of not drinking- it's dangerous!] but this time I ignored everyone and did as much exercise as I felt was safe; swimming, walking, light yoga. This time I only put on 11kg, felt fab, and lost most of that within two months.
When I finally forced myself back to the gym, my body was worse for wear. My abs were non- existent after being stretched to the limit for two years, my back was weak and my neck was constantly sore from carrying a toddler and baby all day, every day. My flexibility was limited and my stamina was rubbish. I was so cross with myself. How the hell did I let this happen to me? I used to dance in fashion shows and Om my way through weekend yoga retreats! I have more gym leggings and trainers than I do work clothes!
So if this had happened to me, an informed and active, thirty-something working mum, how do women manage who don't have the experience and knowledge of exercise?
It got me thinking about the need for a TV series about fitness for real people. I sat down with the Padi team- Craig (Director of Photograhpy), Violeta (Producer) and Juliana (Sound Engineer) and we thrashed out some ideas.
We wanted to give excellent information in an entertaining way, without any of the disgustingly humiliating stunts so often seen on existing shows about health or weight loss. And besides, this wasn't just about weight loss; it was about something much more important- fitness.
I also wanted to make sure the ethos of the show includes some very important elements; doing exercise should be fun, it doesn't have to be competitive or extreme if that isn't for you, it should just be whatever you like doing but you should do it consistently; we should showcase all kinds of training at all levels- young, old, professional and beginner; and we should film in the city I fell in love with over 20 years ago- Barcelona.
And so Barcelona Fit was born.
We were lucky enough to meet Fito Florensa, one of the best personal trainers in Spain, and one of the most enthusiastic, positive and practical people I have had the good fortune to meet. He filled in holes in our knowledge and suggested a group of people we might find interesting to film. After a couple of meetings with the gang, we knew we were on the right track and launched into pre- production.
And as we finish editing the 1st episode, designing the web and writing the articles, I am amazed my how much we all have learned and how much fun we are having. It doesn't seem like work at all! The positive energy, the dedication and expertise of the trainers, and the self-discipline and in some cases, sheer bravery, of their clients is pure inspiration. I offer profound thanks to each and every one of them for trusting us and allowing us to share their lives and tell their stories.
I really hope you enjoy the shows, the website, blog and all the extras. Please check out the blog weekly for news, expert tips and competitions. We want to hear your feedback about the show and your own personal stories- this is for you.
So with that in mind all that is left for me to say is "Be fit, Barcelona Fit".
Meet the cast and crew; trainers, experts, clients and the Padi team.