"You learn to love yourself more" - Candice Warner shares how motherhood changed her for the better
Jordy catches up with former Ironwoman and mum of three, Candice Warner to talk about the challenges of SAS Australia, her love story with cricketer hubby David Warner and how her girls are gearing up for the new school year.
You recently competed on gruelling TV reality show SAS Australia, how was that experience?
It was awesome but it was brutal - even worse than it looked on the show!
There wasn’t much eating involved – thin porridge for breakfast, a scoop of soup for lunch and some lentils and chicken at night. I went from 60kg to 55kg in just 12 days.
Physically the hike in the snow where I had to pull a sled behind me that weighed as much as me was very tough. We’d shiver all day and that takes up a lot of energy.
You could never switch off and relax burning so many calories. At night they’d turn the lights off at 10pm but often they’d have us up again to do something else. You never knew what was coming.
Mentally the hardest thing were the vehicle rides. It’d take an hour and a half to get to some locations. You’d be in the van shivering in wet clothes with all this time to think. I’d start missing my family and questioning what I was doing. I had to remind myself the reasons for being there. Just talking about this is starting to give me flashbacks! However ultimately, I loved it.
How did you and David meet? Tell us your love story!
We actually grew up in the same area of Sydney, so we always knew of each other but had never met. Years ago, I watched this documentary he was in which showed him in a different light. So I sent him a message saying it was great to watch, and just to keep up the good work.
From that we started chatting and discovered we had this really incredible bond and got along so well. After a while we arranged that I’d fly to England where he was playing to meet up and the rest is history.
You’re a retired Ironwoman. How did motherhood change your relationship to health and fitness?
I exercise about three days a week in the gym and also now like to exercise if I’m stressed out. I’ll go for a walk or job, which gives me time to switch off. As a mum I’m not as harsh on myself in regards to my body as I once was. When you’re younger you really want to look a certain way. Now I appreciate my body for what it can do and what it’s been through! You learn to love yourself a bit more.
Our eating as a family is very balanced – just wholesome and healthy. I guess I’m no different to anyone else – I like things like chicken schnitzels and salads, or chicken wraps. I’m not the best cook so I just keep it simple and colourful.
You’ve got three gorgeous daughters, Ivy, 6, Indi, 5, and Isla, 18 months. What values do you feel are important to instil in the next generation of women?
Self-worth, plus knowing that you value yourself and your opinions. I want them to know that nothing comes easy you have to work hard – that’s part of the reason why I wanted to do SAS to show them that. I want them to see what David and I have achieved and realise it’s down to hard work and discipline.
With Ivy going into Year 1 and Indi about to start kindergarten, how are you preparing them for the new year?
So on the reading side, I want them to know all their sounds and letters, and also have some writing skills. A few years ago the girls started doing an app called ABC Reading Eggs after a friend told me about it, so that made my job as mum and make-shift teacher easier during lockdown. It gave me peace of mind that the girls were doing something educational whilst having fun and now have a good foundation going back into the school year.
The app teaches reading skills such as phonics through animated games and songs, they love it when they finish a game, and a character called Sam the Ant comes on. They’ll sing along with him and like the reward of extra games It gives them a sense of accomplishment and that’s exciting for them. In fact, because Ivy really engaged with the Reading Eggs app during this time, once classrooms resumed, she went back with increased confidence in reading. So it increased her love of school.
I've also been trying to get Indi used to her new uniform. She was fine with it in the shop but hates trying it on at home! She hates the shoes as well!
What else does 2021 have in store for your family?
This year is going to involve a lot of time for myself and girls. It looks like David will be away on tour for a minimum of seven months from the end of February to September – maybe even November. Unless laws change, we won’t be able to visit him. I know it’s going to be important for me to find balance. I don’t want things to get tough and then take it out on the girls as that’s really unfair. I’ll be continuing to exercise and do some work whilst spending time with the girls. In wintertime it would also be nice to get away somewhere accessible which is nice and warm. We’ll see!
Visit ABC Reading Eggs to sign up for a free 30-day trial.