Quite frankly, Sam Wood is the poster child for The Bachelor.
Not only is he a great guy, the 36-year-old found his perfect partner in Snezana Markoski on the reality show. Along with her daughter Eve, the trio are living the happiest and healthiest life.
Now To Love caught up with the fitness guru to chat about his exciting new book, 28 by Sam Wood, when the nation will receive their invite to the first Bachie wedding, plus what it's like living with an 11-year-old (it's messier and louder than you'd think!).
28 The Book
What made you want to turn you program into a book and do they work separately?
The program will always be the program.
The book came from existing 28ers saying they'd love to be able to have the recipes in hard copy. Or they have lots of friends that are interested in the program but are a little tentative to dive into the online program.
The great thing about a book is that you can go at your own pace - whether you want to do multiple workouts or just do a few. Plus you have over a hundred recipes on hand.
How involved was Snez with the creation of the book?
She’s been involved since the 28 program.
From a workout perspective, she’s very real. She’s a busy mum and she won’t do the workouts if I’m in the lounge with her. She’ll swear at me and say stop critiquing me. She’s really honest – she’ll tell me what she loves and what doesn’t work for her.
Snez comes from a Macedonian background so she’s got this great flavour understanding. Food is massive part of her culture. And she put that in some of her recipes.
She’s just an amazing cook. I always listen to what she says and as long as it stays healthy and is in the 28 philosophy then I’m happy!
Snez looks great and is obviously a huge advocate of the method, how much weight has she lost?
Snez put on 10kgs during the show and has since lost it, which tends to happen when you’re trapped in a mansion and they’re feeding you fun-sized Mars Bars.
She wasn't annoyed with herself but when she was out she said 'OK it’s time to get back in shape.' And she did! Snez lost 10kgs training with me in a couple of months.
She didn’t really do anything with her weight when the show finished filming. Then there’s a delay with when the show finishes to when it goes on air.
She saw herself on TV and was like. ‘WTF! I’m not liking what I’m seeing!’ And I was like ‘You look beautiful!’ and she was like ‘No!’
Snez’s sister also did the program and she looks incredible. What was it like training family?
Snez and Lidija are just the closest sisters ever. They have very different body types.
Lidija had known me for fair while before she started asking me fitness questions. I feel like she didn’t want to ask because she may not have like what I had to say. I might have given her some tough love – which is hard.
I wasn’t hard on her but I did say to her, you keep on going to the gym. You’re working your butt off and you’re not really going anywhere. Don’t keep doing it. It’s silly.
She was doing so many classes. And that wasn’t working for her body type. You’ve got some results and you’ve hit a plateau.
She joined the program. Food was a huge change for her. From a Macedonian way of eating to the 28 style – it’s very different, there’s a lot less carbohydrates, there is more protein.
You’re testing different things in your system and seeing what you actually need. For a lot of people, their body changes in a really good way. You feel less bloated, you move better, you don’t inflammation.
Lidija has lost 10kgs. She’s working less and getting triple the results. She was working out for 1.5 hours a day to now just the 28 minutes.
How do new users find getting settled into the 28 program?
It’s not hard for them. I find after a week many seem to be fine. But every person will have their own experience.
There are factors to account for – how much weight do they have to lose, have they had a really unhealthy lifestyle or are they somewhere in the middle.
The biggest mistake people make is that they crumble after a couple of days. They may get a sugar craving or sore muscles… All the things that happen in days 2-5.
If every time that happens you think that this is too hard, then you’re always on day 2-5, then you’ll always be stuck there. If you can get past the first week physically and mentally – then you’ll begin to set yourself into a new pattern.
Any other big diet mistakes you think people make?
I think a lot of people tend to focus on either diet or working out but you really need both. You’re far better off having a healthy balance with both rather than focusing on what your stronger at and neglecting the other.
Can we still enjoy all the good things on 28?
The good thing is that our everyday diet is sustainable. It’s not like we’re eating a tiny lettuce leaf. We’re eating wholesome yummy food. But I’m a massive believer that you should treat yourself – have a wine, have a beer or chocolate.
If you deprive yourself eventually the dam walls will break and you’ll drop the ball.
How do you indulge, do you have a secret treat you just love?
We had PLENTY of those in America. We tried to make healthy choices but it ended up pointless!
I think the big thing with me and Snez, there’s nothing better than an Italian night out filled with wine and pasta and all the good things.
When will Sam and Snezana get married?
It’s what we’ve all been waiting for… Our very first Bachie wedding! Are you all set?
We don’t actually have a date yet so it isn’t as close as people think it may be. I understand why they do. We were going to do it in the middle of this year but it was all happening a bit too fast. We wanted to give people the right amount of notice. We’re cooling our jets a bit.
I think our whole relationship has been chaotic and fast.
I think from the outside looking in, you guys seem to just work?
Yeah, it has in a way. It isn't as smooth as it seems. Not that we’ve had issues but the girls moving to the other side of Australia and Eve starting a new school – all that stuff is normal people challenges.
Making new friends and missing their family – I mean Snez is so close to her family. On top of all that, we have all our work stuff happening. You literally go from being the most normal person (I still think we are normal) to everything you do being scrutinized and paparazzi waiting outside your house. Just weird stuff.
I think it takes a year or longer to settle. It’s all been crazy and we can’t wait to get married but we’re not rushing it.
Sam and his best mate, Eve
Do you think your relationship will change once you get married?
Yeah, I don’t think it will that much. It’s been a really good speed of development.
The biggest thing has been my relationship with Evie. That’s something you can’t rush.
I’ve said this a million times but I feel like she is the one that needs to dictate the speed of our relationship. And she sort of has! We’re mates. We get closer and closer. Holidays like the one we’ve just been on definitely accelerates it. You’re spending all day every day with each other – joking and goofing around, having a ball.
Her and Snez are so close! Literally outside Snez’s immediate family, Eve hasn’t done much where her mum isn’t there.
For me to say to Eve, ‘Oh do you and I want to hang out for the day?’ – not that I’d push it but you could tell that would take a little bit of time if it wasn’t the three of us. She might have felt that would be a bit odd.
That’s not the case anymore. We hang out just the two of us all the time which I think is really healthy for Snez too. Eve and I are just two mates goofing around.
When will the Bachie have a baby?
In the past you’ve spoken about wanting kids. Is that still a priority? Have you spoken to Eve about that?
Eve wants a brother or a sister for sure. She always has actually.
She’d be the first one pushing us for it. I guess this falls in the same boat as the wedding. Without any dates set or urgency, we both want the same thing.
The Bachelor, 2017
What are your thoughts on Matty J carrying the Bachie baton?
He seems like a good fella. I’ve never met him but he seems like a really good guy and I think he’ll be really popular.
Alex and Richie are in a similar boat to you and Snez with long distance and being considerate of Alex's son, Elijah. Do you have any advice for them?
We probably have experienced similar things – I didn’t really think of that. It really does take work. The thing Snez and I did I think well was that we spoke about it on the show.
We both wanted to ensure that we weren’t heading down a road that was going to have a dead end or have an ‘OMG we should have had this conversation before’ type of moment.
I had said to Snez that it would be hard for me to move at least in the immediate future with my businesses in Melbourne. I would hate to jump to the conclusion that she would move. But she said that she’d come on the show for a change and if that change meant moving then that would be an adventure that both Eve and I would love.
We kinda had that discussion… On air in front of a million people.
It’s an important conversation to have, maybe in real life you wouldn’t do it quite like that. But that is The Bachelor!
I think a show like The Bachelor just opens up your mind up to taking a chance. Particularly when it works out as well as it did with us – it just reinforces that attitude in life.
It really did work out incredibly well for you!
It did! Oh look, I think it’s funny. My mates thinks it’s hilarious, my family thinks it’s hilarious.
I was as cynical as any normal person going on the show would be. I remember thinking it would be a crazy-never-forget experience but do I really think I’m going to meet someone that I will fall in love with and perhaps marry? Well no, not really.
I hope I do but let’s be honest what are the chances? Probably 1 in a 1000.
And then Snez was there... And the rest is history.
It seems like your season of the show was one of the most organic…
Yeah, the producers said that.
I remember when it was happening, they didn’t have to do too much. They’d ask how I was feeling and I knew something incredible was happening with me and Snez… we have something special and they were stoked. They loved it because they knew I really meant it.
There's Whispers Keira Maguire, Sam Frost or Nikki Gogan could be the Bachelorette, who would you like to see do it?
I think it should be someone new! I understand why they do it- we’ve formed an emotional attachment to these people but I don’t know.
I think the show works better when it is someone original and they have to be there for the right reasons.
With so many reality TV dating shows on telly now – why do you think Bachelor works the best?
I think it is pretty obvious. We spend more time with the people and get to know them.
I came out of the show feeling like I knew Snez far better than people would think I did.
It’s a long time and it’s all you’re thinking about for that time. It kinda fast tracks outside the Bachelor bubble relationship.
That’s not to say we didn’t have a lot to learn about each other when the cameras weren’t around – we sure did. You know more about them. You go with your gut instinct.
With MAFS you marry someone before you know them. With Bachelor is you don’t click with someone you don’t have to choose them. You’re not forced into anything you work it out as you go along.
It is still in a fairly contrived environment, I’m not oblivious to that but I think it is very different.
Would you and Snez ever do your own fitness show?
I would! What an interesting concept. I hadn’t thought about it.
You know what, Snez hates the limelight – she’s very private but she LOVES reality TV. She loves the Kardashians and all that kind of stuff. I don’t know maybe if it was pitched to her like a Khloe Kardashian style fitness show she’d be up for it. Maybe (laughs).
It is really nice doing stuff with Snez. I think we have a really good work-relationship balance. Snez knows she can do as much or as little as she likes – depending on what she needs to do for Eve or her fashion stuff on her blog.