Anna Victoria’s Best Advice for Overcoming Obstacles
“What’s stopping you?” Fit Body CEO Anna Victoria recently asked this question on Instagram. And the responses flooded in.
It sparked an amazing question and answer session in which Anna tackled all your questions about eating well, getting stronger, and committing to a healthy, attainable lifestyle. It’s just one more reason the Fit Body Community is so powerful: it’s a place for you to feel supported, no matter where you are in your fitness journey.
This Q+A was so inspiring, we wanted to share some of the most common questions that people asked and Anna’s thoughtful responses!
Not knowing where I should start first, food or exercise?
“If you have the capacity to do both, I highly suggest it.
If you don’t and need to choose one, start by focusing on nutrition. It will make the biggest impact on your progress by far.
Personally, focusing on both helps keep the other in check, but that’s just me!
With that being said, exercise doesn’t always have to be about seeing progress. I worked out my first year postpartum with no expectations physically (I was still breastfeeding and eating as much as possible). This was amazing for my physical and mental well-being from a health standpoint!
But if you’re asking in the context of seeing progress, dialing into your nutrition will take you the furthest, and strength training is what will sculpt and tighten your body.”
I have trouble sticking with a program because I get bored or worry that I’m not making progress!
"Ok, now this is a legit problem. ‘Getting bored.’
Let me start by saying I feel that way sometimes too. But don’t let it dictate your workouts. It’s SO important to follow one program and stick to it. Stop program hopping! If you want to see progress anyways.
Doing different workouts every day is something popularized by Instagram. This is not the way to see serious, long-term progress.
You could literally do the same 5 moves for each leg day over the course of MONTHS, and as long as you’re applying progressive overload principles, you will still see progress. You don’t need to do different moves to see progress!!
With that said, I know boredom is an issue, and I want to prevent you girls from falling off. I try to design my workouts with a balance of both: enough consistency in the main compound moves to where you’ll be able to master the move and progress in it, and enough variety to keep things interesting. Repeating the same workouts for two to four weeks is important and normal. Doing different workouts every day, every week is not.”
Time. It’s REALLY hard working 40+ hours a week and having a one-year-old that doesn’t like sleep.
“With that being said… I feel like an ass just saying ‘make it happen,’ and leaving it at that when in reality, there are very valid scenarios where you just can’t make it happen.
There are seasons of life, and fitness can’t be the main priority in every season.
I think it’s actually healthy to let workouts take a back seat and focus on whatever else is going on in your life when those seasons pop up!
But it’s important to not let that season become your new normal and never get back to taking care of yourself.
Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary.”
Not enough hours in a day, and thinking “if I don’t work out every day, what’s the point?”
“You don’t have to work out every day to see progress, and doing so can actually be harmful to your progress! Rest days are growth days.
All of my programs can be condensed into three to four days. If you need to spend the least time possible, I suggest three days a week, 30 minutes a day, and prioritizing strength workouts in the program.
The max days I suggest working out is five to six days with one of those days being only cardio.
You absolutely need 1- 2 rest days a week for recovery, injury prevention, and muscle repair.
I said it before, but don’t underestimate the benefits of even a 10-minute sweat sesh a few times a week! Something is always better than nothing. Try to avoid the all or nothing mentality.”
My inner voice tells me I can’t… Silly, I know.
“It’s not silly. While it’s not correct, a lot of people feel this way, and I’d never call it silly.
One of the biggest rewards of this journey is realizing just how much you’re capable of when you really make an effort. I think some people don’t start because they are protecting themselves from the upset in case they fail. It’s a sort of defense mechanism.
But the only failure is never starting at all.”
Lack of motivation.
“Motivation is overrated. I’m motivated maybe 30% of the time. The other 70% I’m DEDICATED.
The moment you stop waiting for motivation and start making it happen regardless of how you feel is the moment when the magic happens.
Focus on being dedicated, not motivated.”
Not seeing results fast enough discourages me.
“This is why it’s SO important to not focus only on the physical results.
Results take TIME.
You cannot expect to see serious progress in 4 weeks when it’s been 4 years of habits that got you here.
If you are joining the FBG community, please promise me you’ll do this:
- Focus on increasing strength
- Focus on improving endurance
- Focus on how much more energy you have through the day
- Focus on how amazing it feels to do something you one day weren’t able to
- Be patient! Minimum 3 months
If you do the above, you will get results. And it will be done in a healthier way mentally and emotionally because you’re not picking your body apart in the process.”
Yummy foods. I feel like it’s all or nothing, personally. If I have some, I just want to eat it all!
“You absolutely can still eat yummy foods!! No food is inherently fattening. It all comes down to energy balance (calories in vs. calories out).
So, if your indulging is what puts you over your calories, it’s not those specific foods that cause weight gain. It’s just the fact that they were eaten in excess.
This is why I love 80/20. It’s anti all or nothing. 80% of the time, prioritize eating whole, natural foods, and 20% of the time, eat those yummy foods you love!!
(80/20 is still a general approach and not meant to be calculated out as exactly 80% of your calories from this and exactly 20% from that).”
Lifting makes me bulky!
“So, this is the thing. Muscle is lean in nature, it isn’t bulky.
‘Bulky’ muscle is simply muscle with a layer of fat on top.
Now, you may be prone to gaining muscle in a particular area, but the muscle itself isn’t bulky. It’s possible that’s also where your body holds onto fat most, making you feel ‘bulky.’
Those that DO have a lot of big muscles (bodybuilders, etc.) have been following a very specific strength training routine and very specific diet over the course of YEARS to look like that. It doesn’t happen by accident or because they’ve lifted weights for a few months.
If you feel ‘bulky,’ I encourage you to check on your diet and see if you’re in a caloric deficit or not.”
Messing up. If my week isn’t perfect, I end up giving up for weeks or months.
“This is really common. So many people struggle with an all or nothing mentality.
Here are a few things I think of to avoid this:
If I miss a workout, I think, ‘That was just extra time for my muscles to rest, recover, and re-grow stronger!’
If I overindulge, I think, ‘That was just extra fuel that will help me crush my next workout.’
If I’m in a caloric deficit and I overindulge to where I normally am for that week, I think, ‘That’s just extra calories that will help improve my strength and overall muscle growth.’
There’s always a silver lining.”
Thinking it’s too late now that I’ve turned 40.
“Guess what!! New research shows that our metabolism doesn’t slow down until we’re sixty years old. After that, it slows down at a rate of 1% per year (i.e. not much).
So, if you think it’s ‘too late’ or your ‘metabolism is working against you’ … it’s not. It’s likely just a reduction in movement (exercise or just regular daily activity) and an increase in eating.
This is where making excuses for ourselves runs rampant. We tell ourselves reasons that we can’t, and those reasons are BS.
It’s all in the story you tell yourself.”
My hypothyroidism makes it hard for me to lose weight, so I don’t see results and quit.
“I have hypothyroidism too.
I’m going to say something controversial. And as with anything, nothing is black and white, and science is always progressing. We’re learning new things so… take from this what you will.
But from following researchers like @thealanaragon and doctors like @drnadolsky, it seems that conditions like hypothyroidism, PCOS, etc.… it still comes down to what you eat (i.e., eating too much and not being in a caloric deficit).
Now, some hormone imbalances can affect satiety and whether you FEEL full, which can lead to overeating. But at the end of the day, it still comes down to calories in and calories out.
I think it's important to say because while there can always be exceptions to the rule, the large majority can lose weight but have been fed the narrative that having PCOS or hypothyroidism means that you can't lose weight, which just isn't true.”Postpartum. Where to start?
“This is my recommendation:
1) Get a referral from your OB to see a pelvic floor PT for after six weeks postpartum.
2) If you don't have access to one, my Restore Your Core program is designed for newly postpartum C-section moms but is great for everyone postpartum. It is eight classes, five to 10 minutes each, so not a big time commitment but such important information for regaining core strength postpartum.
3) Once you're done with Restore Your Core, Revive is our postpartum strength program in the app.
4) After that, you can choose your next Fit Body program based on how you feel, but I think Tone on beginner or intermediate level is a great place to start!
It is so, SO important that you ease back into it to avoid diastasis recti, prolapse, or a variety of other issues. I hear about so much more harm being done from someone jumping back into a non-postpartum specific strength program, so be careful, please.”
I'm obese, and I need to lose about 60 kilos to get to a healthy weight. It feels impossible to lose that much.
“First, I'm so proud of you for being here.
Just take it one day at a time and try not to think of how far you have to go.
Time is going to pass by anyways and in the blink of an eye at that… so, you might as well do something productive with that time.
It all starts with you. No one else is going to do it for you, so you can either be in this same spot in six months, or you can look back and be like, ‘dang I did that!’
Start with small changes if it’s feeling overwhelming. Switch soda for water. Switch takeout for a home cooked meal. Small changes will add up!
And remember, just take it one day at a time. This is so important (no matter your starting point). You got this, and myself and the entire FBG community will be cheering you on!!”
Feeling like I'll never know what works for my body to lose weight.
“Something I think that is important to discuss is the difference between what works for your body and what works for your personality.
What works for your body for fat loss will be a caloric deficit. I know I've said it a million times, but it's what the most current research says time and time again. However, there are always outliers and exceptions. I won't pretend that every single person on this earth responds to the exact same protocol. But in the case of fat loss, the large, large majority does.
With that being said, identifying your personality traits, what encourages you and what doesn't, is so important in making this a lifestyle.
I feel like there needs to be a personality quiz for fitness journeys and best practices for each personality type.”