Healthy is The New Skinny!
Interview with Anna Victoria
Anna Victoria talks with WOMEN’S BEST about her journey from a skinny-fat junk-food lover to a super-toned healthy eater.
NAME: Anna Victoria
Developed the “12 Week Fit Body Program“
Instagram profile: @annavictoria
WEIGHT: Between 125-130 lbs (I don’t really weigh myself)
– was born and raised in California
– resides in Italy at the moment
– moved to Shanghai for one year with her boyfriend in 2012
– is now engaged
– studied Mandarin
– was a fast-food junkie in the past
– supported herself financially since she was 17 (worked full-time during college)
Hey Anna, tell us your story. How did you get started with your healthy lifestyle?
My story started in November 2013. I was 24 years old and experiencing health problems that a normal 24 year old shouldn’t have. I went to the doctor’s and they simply prescribed me medicine, which helped to some extent but I could tell there was a root cause causing the health issues and I was forced to look at my lifestyle. I was eating fast food for every meal of the day and I felt exercise was pointless, which left me without much motivation. My motivation ended up being my health. I knew something was wrong and that I was the only person who could change it. From there I began studying and researching how to go about living a healthier lifestyle, and I became so overwhelmed with all the new information I was learning that was so opposite of what I grew up thinking. I never realized food was supposed to make you feel good, I thought it was for pure indulgence.
Have you also experienced any setbacks?
Going from a completely unhealthy eating style to a healthy eating style was not easy, and it still isn’t. A journey never goes up in a straight line, it’s been a lot of little ups and then big downs, and then big ups and little downs. Setbacks happen on a regular basis but as long as you keep going, they will only remain setbacks, and not anything permanent. Setbacks and struggles are what helps you learn and grow. I don’t see setbacks as a negative thing, I think we need them to really understand our strengths and weaknesses and how to improve upon those weaknesses.
What has changed in your life so far?
My mentality has changed. I was very lazy before, I had little drive and motivation to even get out of bed. This was due largely to my poor eating habits but it also was my attitude and that I thought I didn’t have the power to change anything, which was so wrong. Aside from my mentality, of course my eating habits have changed. I exercise now, and of course I am happy that it helps me improve my body physically, but I appreciate more the emotional and mental aspects of working out. I feel like a totally different person on the inside.
Can you describe your relationship with food now and then?
Before, it was all about what I craved in the moment. If I wanted ice cream in the morning, I would have it. Chocolate chip pancakes for dinner, I would have it. No one ever told me that’s not what food was about! This is why I am so passionate about sharing my story because I didn’t have anyone to tell me and if I had, maybe I wouldn’t have encountered those health problems. Now I see food what will fuel my body, give me energy and nourishment, and I look at food in terms of it’s nutritional value and ingredients – will it help me feel better, give me energy, help me achieve my fitness goals or keep me from them?
But i also think it’s OK to enjoy yourself every once in a while too – it’s good for your mind. For this reason, I practice an 80/20 approach. 80% of the time, I eat healthy. 20% of the time I indulge. This way I can go out for dinner once a week or so, eat whatever I want, enjoy anniversaries, birthdays, vacations, and since I eat healthy most of the time, those indulgences won’t negatively affect my body.
What keeps you motivated to keep training hard and eating right?
My followers! I don’t even like to call them “followers”, they’re more like my instagram friends and family. They are SO supportive and any time someone comes to me whether it’s to tell me I have helped them or to ask for help, it makes me feel a sense of responsibility to do my best for them. How can I tell them to be their best if I’m not being my best?
On top of that, my health motivates me. The more I study and learn about health and fitness, the more convinced I am how important it is for exercise and nutrition to be a part of your daily life.
Which part of your body do you like most?
Lately I have been focusing on my arms and shoulders, and I have been seeing really great progress, so at the moment they are my favorite. :)
What does your daily diet look like?
I eat three main meals and have three snacks through the day. Each meal is balanced between the main macro-nutrient food groups being protein, fats, and carbs. Since I am always on the go through the day, I have one protein shake a day as a snack, and a post-workout protein shake to help repair my muscles right away. My friends at Women’s Best have sent me some samples so I am excited to try theirs out! :)
I get asked a lot whether I believe in cutting carbs completely and the answer is absolutely no. I don’t even believe cutting carbs to a tiny amount. Carbs are your main energy source and cutting them will leave you weak, without energy, and unable to perform exercises effectively. Fats are commonly thought to be bad as well, but there is a difference between good fats and bad fats. You want to have an appropriate amount of good fats throughout the day like nuts, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, fatty fish like salmon, etc.
I also have 1-2 servings of vegetables with every main meal through the day, and 1-2 servings of fruit a day. All in all, I believe in having balanced meals in order to give your body the proper nutrition it needs.
What is your favorite exercise and why?
I love glute bridges and stiff-leg deadlifts. Working my glutes is my other favorite body part to work and these two exercises help me to establish the muscle-mind connection with my glutes (and hamstrings) and really help me feel the burn and push my body to the next level.
What are the contents of your fridge?
A lot of fresh food! I don’t allow junk food in my house (because I really love junk food...my mind will convince me why I should eat it and all moderation goes out the window.)
What’s your favorite cheat meal?
Since I live in Italy at the moment, my favorite meal would be a cheese and honey appetizer, Cacio e Pepe pasta, and panna cotta dessert. I don’t hold back! But the next morning I am right back to my meal plan.
What’s your gym playlist like? Which song motivates you most?
I use Apple’s iTunes radio while I am at the gym, so I listen to whatever is popular on the radio at the moment. But if I ever need a big boost of motivation I put on the Spice Girls Radio! I was a young girl in the 90’s so of course they were one of my favorites and inspire girl power. :)
What’s your favorite quote?
I don’t know if it’s an actual quote, but my favorite idea to think about is if someone else achieved something, that means you can too.
I am human and get discouraged and overwhelmed by things I have in front of me or want to achieve, and I tend to focus on the big hurdles which can make me feel like it’s impossible. I have to remember to focus on the daily tasks that will help me get to where I want to be, and Rome wasn’t built in one day! Anyone who has gotten to where they are did so by working hard every day, so if I work hard every day that means I can get there, too.
What is your greatest achievement so far?
Motivating people to live a healthier lifestyle. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
What are your plans for the future?
Lots of plans...so stay tuned!! :)
Source: Instagram @annavictoria