Babi Beluco is a 35-year-old model, married to Marcos Motta, a lawyer specializing in entertainment who works with actors, TV and football stars. Babi started her modeling career at the age of 15 and has worked in six countries, including Paris, London, Japan, New York, Hamburg and Milan. During her career, she has appeared on the covers of magazines such as Vogue and Elle, and has worked with internationally renowned brands such as Dolce Gabbana, Victoria Secret and Gucci. Furthermore, Babi also walked for Valentino in her first fashion week in Milan.
The model started running at the age of 14, accompanied by her father, and since then, she has participated in more than 30 half marathons and four international marathons. After a car accident left her with a broken neck eight years ago, she began training seriously to compete in trials. In Chicago, she was the third best Brazilian, while in Boston, in 2022, she was the second best Brazilian. Boston is considered one of the most difficult marathons in the world, as only runners who have a speed index enter. Currently, Babi has been running an average of 100 km a week and 3000 km a year for over six years, having run in 24 different countries. The coldest place she ran was in Aspen, Colorado, and the hottest was surprisingly in Rio de Janeiro. Check out the interview!
How did sports practices, especially running, start in your life? Tell us more about this passion passed from father to daughter?
It started out natural and challenging, and I really want to do the same with my kids one day. I grew up watching my dad go out for a run and exercise, and my mom working out at home with Cindy Crawford tapes. Exercise has always been normal for me. I was always tall and gawky and struggled in team sports at school. Seeing this, my father started to challenge me to run with him. At first I hated it, it was torture, but when I moved to São Paulo to work as a model, I missed home so much, and running became my only connection. That’s when I really fell in love with her.
In an extremely competitive universe like running, a lot of discipline and maximum physical fitness are required from runners. With that in mind, what foods do you consume to prepare for your routine?
Like everything in life, the phases of runners are also cyclical. Eating habits change depending on whether there is an imminent race or not, because in running, the lighter (healthier) you are, the less weight you have to carry with you. So just because we expend a lot of energy, we can’t eat whatever we want all the time. But in the days leading up to big races and training sessions, my diet changes. I take a different approach than most runners. I prefer the Low Carb High Fat line. So while many runners eat pasta and carbs, my main source of energy often comes from avocados and peanut butter, and my satiety comes from protein. Every runner is different, and while carbohydrates are crucial to performance, there are no hard and fast rules about nutrition, just adaptations that work for each person.
You are an ambassador for the shoe brand On. How do you see the future of the fitness and sports fashion market, and what are the main trends you are following?
I believe that sustainability and versatility are the most important things. Today, intelligence is in preserving the planet, and for me, the more a brand stands out and gains value, the less pollution and more recycling it does. Now, speaking of aesthetics, I believe that comfort is here to stay. High heels are amazing, but sneakers are heaven. I believe that #sportfashion is the mix of elegance and fashion with sport (my personal word for the well-known athleisure), and it will be something that will never go out of style. Feeling beautiful, comfortable, flexible and comfortable is an achievement that this “new” fashion brings us.
As an influencer on social media focused on health and wellness, how do you intend to use your influence to positively impact people’s lives? What are the main messages you would like to convey?
There are no perfect beings, thank goodness, right? And I have my flaws, despite having many qualities. I really like to talk about the importance of sport, movement and healthy eating, as I believe that these three pillars are essential for anyone to find balance and longevity. However, I also like to show that I am real. I often open my heart to talk about my shortcomings. I believe that, at a time when mental health is on the growing agenda, when depression and anxiety invade people’s lives via cell phones, showing that we are not perfect can be a relief for those who are watching. To show that we are looking for the best, but that if we stumble, it’s okay. My main message is: we’re not perfect, and that’s okay, but we can always improve on little things that are in our control.
You commented that the individuals who run Euphoria/Soul deeply understand the connection between movement and spirit. How do you see this connection and how does it affect your life?
It’s funny, because before I tried this breathing practice that leads to a state of euphoria, even when standing still, I had never realized that it could be that the euphoria we feel when running is a consequence of intense breathing. If there’s one thing that brings us to the present in any situation, be it pleasant or stressful, it’s breathing. Breathing can accelerate, calm, energize or even make you sleep… It’s a few minutes a day that you take to gain better hours, connecting your physical body and calming your mind.
Nowadays, especially with the growth of social networks, the market for influencers has expanded more and more in its segments. Regarding this sporting lifestyle, how has the approach been with the public on the network?
We have more and more new runners, I confess that many times on my own Instagram I think: “My God, is everyone running?” And on the one hand, I think that many of those people who today give tips and compete in races with me were influenced by me. It is very rewarding to know that, in some way, you helped the person to turn on a trigger for their own good. On the other hand, I think: “So what? Is the market going to be saturated?” I do not believe. I think that each person ends up creating their own communities and we all have something that can never be copied: our life experience. And this one is worth gold. If you know how to take advantage of it to teach others, you’ve won. You have to update yourself many times, but that place belongs to you. Showing everyday life is the best approach, I believe…
So far, you’ve run in different countries around the world. What was the country that marked you the most and why?
Ah, without a doubt, the United States. I had great achievements in the race and also in life there. When I lived in NY modeling, it opened my eyes to the distance of a marathon, because I saw it happening for the first time in the streets. That energy drove me crazy. Then, still in the USA, in Chicago, I was the 3rd best placed Brazilian and made a time of 2:57 in the marathon, that is epic. Lastly, I ran the Boston marathon, which is the queen of marathons, the hardest of all, as you need an index to compete and, returning to NYC, it’s the marathon I dream of doing next. So really, USA is my special place when I think about running.
Overall, how do you think sport has changed your life? Is today’s Babi the same as before all this?
It’s quite difficult to remember Babi before the race. It could be that I confuse being a teenager with being a woman. I started running at the age of 14, which was when I also blossomed into life. One thing that has changed and always changes every day is trust. I realize that if I can’t run for some reason (injury, illness), I feel insecure, impotent, without spirit. I find the confidence of feeling like I’ve overcome inertia each day gives me the sense of power I need to face the day.
Follow Babi Beluco on Instagram
*With Regina Soares