By: Melissa Walsh
He was the Bachelor 2015 and chose single mum, Snezana Markoski, declaring his love on national television. A year and a half later, life could not be more different for former bachelor Sam Woods, with Snezana and her daughter, Eve, relocating from Perth to Melbourne to be with him.
Peninsula Kids Magazine talks to Sam about life, love, step-parenting, and his successful “28 by Sam Wood” program.
HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INVOLVED WITH “THE BACHELOR” IN 2015?
It was driven by a lady who came to my gym and used to give me a hard time that I was single. One day she said “Sam, you are going to apply for this show”. I had never watched it before and, by the advertisements, I didn’t really know if it was my thing but applied anyhow. I never thought I would get it though, so was very pleasantly surprised.
HOW WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF “THE BACHELOR” AND HOW DID IT CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
Well how didn’t it change my life? I had been single for five years and never expected to meet a girl who is a mum on a TV show and then be getting married to her this year. If anyone had told me that two years ago, I would have laughed.
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE FOR YOU NOW THAT SNEZANA AND EVE HAVE MOVED TO MELBOURNE?
It is fantastic. I love having them live with me and it’s more than I ever hoped for. We are taking it slowly and our main priority is getting Eve settled into her new school, making new friends, and showing her around Melbourne.
HOW HAVE THE GIRLS SETTLED IN WITH THE MOVE?
It is a massive adjustment for them but they have both settled in well and Eve has already made great friends. I’ve said from day one that the pace my relationship with Eve develops must be dictated by her. I just want to be her friend and love and support her and her mum. I’ve only ever experienced the single mum thing with Snezana.
SO DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER GUYS IN THE SAME SITUATION?
Once you have made the decision to be with someone, be fully in it. It’s far more common these days and you need an open mind and be able to let go of your little habits and the way you are set in your ways.
WHAT IS DAY TO DAY LIFE LIKE FOR THE THREE OF YOU NOW?
Well for a start I have changed my routine and am not working such long hours as I want to spend time with the girls. We do a lot of fun things together as a family like bike riding, and the girls have their own time together too. Eve is very artistic so she and Snezana went off to a life drawing class together recently which they loved. Eve loves food so we cook a lot together, and I help her with the sporting side of things as well. Now she is in Melbourne she’s interested in playing footy and basketball so I help her with that.
WHERE DO YOU ALL LIVE NOW?
We bought a new house in Elsternwick this time last year and have moved in now. It’s close to schools and work, and we were able to have all the family here for Christmas which was great. It has been a really smooth transition and everything has just fallen into place.
DO YOU HAVE SET IDEAS ABOUT CHILDREN AND EXERCISE?
My background is in adult and children’s fitness. I opened Gecko, a kid’s gym in 2007, and have 33 locations around Australia. From 2001 to 2006 I ran my own personal training business at Harper’s, Brighton, which at the time was the biggest personal training facility in the country. While completing a Bachelor in Applied Science, I began training junior athletes aged from 8 to 16. I ended up doing 80 personal training sessions with kids each week simply from word of mouth and so it evolved that I created a child-friendly fitness centre with Gecko Kids Fitness. My main belief is that kids’ fitness can make a real difference to their self-esteem, and it is an honour to be able to help them feel better about themselves so early in life. The most important thing to remember with kids is training must be fun first and foremost.
AFTER THE SUCCESS OF GECKO KIDS FITNESS, HOW DOES IT FEEL FOR YOUR “28 BY SAM WOOD” PROGRAM TO BE DOING SO WELL?
I am so pleased the 28 program is successful after only celebrating our first birthday a month ago. It is different to other programs around and perfect for mums who don’t have a lot of time on their hands but want to keep up their fitness or increase their fitness. The best thing about it is how sustainable it is and our motto is ‘progress not perfection’. It is all about taking baby steps in the right direction and easing into a better lifestyle. The program launches specifically on the first Monday of very month, and we offer support along the way so people are in touch with me every day. The community support in the program has blown me away, with people sharing their recipes with each other and constant support throughout the program as well as participating in the exercise program.
WHY IS IT CALLED “28” AND WHY IS THIS DIFFERENT TO OTHER PROGRAMS?
It’s in real time, so you can work in four-week blocks, and it is accessible and realistic in terms of the time needed to do the program. I strongly believe everyone can find 28 minutes a day to exercise. Our attitude is really about not beating yourself up when you have a bad meal or miss a workout, just get back on the horse and keep going. As a personal trainer I have always worked in short, sharp, consistent workouts. With the 28er, you can do the workouts from your phone or iPad and the recipes are easy to follow. We also do Facebook live sessions, and can customise the program for people with certain dietary requirements or those who are coming back from injury or even if a woman has had a caesarean. 28 days is perfect for goal setting.