Wickedly smart with a mega-watt smile, originally from Venezuela and a Wharton grad, Alexandra is the founder of cult-followed workout, Bari Studio and the near to launch Talent Hack. I caught up with this bad-ass mama at the tail end of her second pregnancy, between investor meetings and workouts, to get the lowdown on how she went from finance to fitness, the importance of self-care, and what she’s been craving. @yayabonetti @thebaristudio
Current state of mind?
Surrendered. I’m giving birth for the second time any day now. I feel very peaceful as the process takes shape, but mostly, I can’t wait to have this baby in my arms.
An overrated virtue?
Patience. When things are in your control, doing is always better than waiting.
Craving this pregnancy vs last?
During this pregnancy I’ve been craving a lot of sweet and hydrating fruits like pineapple, watermelon, and oranges. Whereas my last pregnancy, I craved salty drier fruits, like apple, mango, and pear with salt.
What’s your mindset on eating?
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Okay, okay, that’s Michael Pollan’s motto, but it’s a good one—I’d like to think he doesn’t mind if I borrow it. In short, I believe in real food. I over-consume kale and think life is too short to ever eat food out of a box. I also think life is too short to eat food that’s not delicious, therefore while I prioritize my health, I never neglect my taste buds.
First thing you plan to eat post pregnancy?
Pizza. No question.
Funniest pregnancy moment?
Recently the elevators at my office building were broken, so instead of taking the stairs, the doorman offered to take me up in the freight elevator. Meanwhile, a guy was passing by overheard this and commented: “She’s not that big, bro. That’s just rude.“
Unexpected during this pregnancy?
How different this go around has been from the first. Apart from the fact that I’m making a human, there are no parallels between my two pregnancies. They look and feel completely different.
What’s been your go-to pregnancy style?
I’ve been launching a new company while pregnant, which has involved lots of meetings and fund raising, so I’ve been wearing lots of leggings, white t-shirts, and blazers. It’s simple and versatile for anything I have throughout the day.
Sex while pregnant?
Lots of it.
Important for women and moms to make self-care a priority?
No question. First off, it’s vital to clarify what kind of self-care really works for you and then include it into your life—guilt free and unapologetically. For some moms, that means time away from their family, and for others, self-care involves their family. Whatever it is, find it and do it.
Your number one wellness secret throughout pregnancy?
Bounce at Bari. I’ve done our trampoline class throughout both my pregnancies until 37 weeks and I believe that’s what has kept me in such good shape and feeling like a strong (read: normal) human even with an extra 25 pounds.
Daily beauty routine?
Meditate, eat well, and do something every day that makes me happy.
Does pregnancy feel different the second time around or is it more like “I got this”?
Actually, no. I thought it would feel more like riding a bike, but instead it’s a very different experience. I still tell myself “I got this“, but it’s more of a mantra than a reality!
With baby number two on the way, what are you fearing?
My fear is: how does it all work?!?! What do you do with one if the other wants to nap? How do you handle two schedules?
Feel about your body and boobs?
I’m really obsessed with how a woman’s body transforms to create and nurture life. Of course sometimes it’s scary to see how different your body is, but mostly I’m really grateful, connected and in awe of the changes . I think it’s really beautiful and if we’re lucky enough to experience it, we should celebrate it.
Important for kids to see their mom working?
All moms work, regardless if they’re stay at home moms or not. Being a mom is hard work! I grew up with my mom working in a large corporation and I’m really grateful to have her as my role model.
How you started Bari Studio and the near to launch Talent Hack?
I’m a former consultant, Wharton grad, and exercise fanatic. Prior to launching Bari, I sampled every workout possible during my years traveling as a consultant. Limited by exercise myths and methods that did little to transform my body or mind, I committed myself to researching and developing a workout that delivered the results I craved. Hence the advent of Bari Studio. I’m now launching a job search and community site for fitness professionals, Talent Hack—after over seven years struggling to find good talent for our studio and business, I decided to develop the solution.
How do you take maternity leave given your important role at Bari Studio?
I don’t take maternity leave, but I do work from home for the first couple of months, so I can breastfeed as much as possible. Sometimes I wish I was able to really take time off, but mostly I’m grateful for the life I’ve created, even though it doesn’t include maternity leave!
Be proud to be a woman! When I began fundraising for Talent Hack (at 8 months pregnant) I was so nervous to walk into investor meetings with my huge belly—what would they think?! However, fairly quickly I realized that most people were extremely impressed and that made me feel proud. Yes, I’m about to give birth, AND I’m raising capital, opening an office, hiring a team, etc. There’s nothing to hide there. Never hide what makes you a woman as it’s just one more superpower.