Victoria Norton has a passion for fitness that is contagious. A self-confessed reformed chocaholic, Victoria is now the poster girl for healthy, balanced living. A full-time mum and wellness blogger over on Training for Chocolate, she now sees every day as an opportunity to break through limitations and set a good example for her kids. And in her own words, “if I can do it, anyone can.”
Take us through your week in exercise
Well I’ve gone from zero to hero – three years ago there was, literally, no ‘week in exercise’. Other than pushing the buggy around and an occasional foray into scootering with my son (which ended rather ungracefully in knee-scarring tragedy), I did nothing. I had always done nothing. But now…
Monday 5.45am – Female FIT CrossFit session
Tuesday – rest (although I sometimes sneak a 6am spin class in… oops)
Wednesday – 6am spin and a 30 minute weights session with my PT
Thursday 5.45am – Female FIT CrossFit session
Friday 6am yoga and 9.30 spin
Saturday – 7am outdoors session
Sunday – rest or run
What’s your favourite place to work out?
Without a doubt, the great outdoors. A scenic ocean or lake-side run or a Saturday morning outdoor session on one of the headlands on the Northern Beaches is pretty hard to beat. You get so much more from the workout. You get the forces of nature, be it sunshine or rain, the views that make you glad to be alive, and a couple of lungs full of glorious fresh air. The best feeling ever.
But music is super important to me in spin. It has to be LOUD. The spin routine needs to have been choreographed to the music, so it helps build up your speed and keep it there when it’s tough. My spin instructor Kristy is brilliant at this. Some of the tunes she uses to get our legs spinning and hearts racing are Sandstorm by Darude (we go absolutely mental in the fast bits of that, mental) and another oldie but a goodie Put Your Hands Up For Detroit by Fedde le Grand. We jump in and out of our saddles the whole freakin’ way through this tune, it’s a killer. And now I can’t hear this track without moving my body up and down vertically to the count of two. I look pretty funny if it comes on the radio while I’m driving.
Describe your workout fashion style
I am a total gym gear junkie. Total. And whilst I obviously want it all to look good, it needs to be functional for each particular type of training. If I’m running, for example, my tights need to have pockets (thank you, Lululemon); if I’m at yoga, the rise needs to be high enough and the top long and tight enough so that everything stays covered when I’m doing the dog.
In terms of style, I usually opt for monochrome. Colours and crazy prints get a look in at yoga. Stylerunner is my go-to shopping destination. ‘Go too often’ my husband would say.
My workout style has crept into my regular wardrobe too; jeans have been replaced with full length tights, shoes with sneakers… I’m turning into one of ‘those’ women, always in spandex.
Your favourite post-workout meal?
Breakfast! Of any sort really, but I am rather partial to pancakes.
Spin and running. And I get a great deal of satisfaction from a chest press for some reason.
Least favourite exercise?
Argh, BURPEES! Need I say more?!
What positive impact has being fit and healthy had on your life?
Oh wow, what a question! Where do I start? Being fit and healthy has changed every aspect of my life. I used to be a couch potato. I had never really exercised in my life, never participated in sport even at school, and preferred a sedentary life. I was pretty lazy, actually. I gorged on sugar all day long, ate burgers and fries a few times a week, drank alcohol every night and was a pack-a-day smoker.
Now, I feel so proud of myself. I am righting the wrongs I inflicted on my poor body all those years. I am reclaiming myself and my health. Being fit and healthy makes me grateful to be alive and be able to experience the things I can now do. I am a much happier person for my new-found fitness. I am more open to new things and have a zest for life that had been knocked down by bad life choices. Most importantly, I love that I am setting a good example for my son and step-daughter. I want them to grow up in a world where exercising is the norm, taking care of yourself is paramount, eating nutritious real food is a given and respecting your health a necessity.
What are your top three tips for staying healthy?
1. Literally, just do it. If you think too long about starting, or getting up when the alarm goes off early, you’ll come up with excuses. Just take the first step (at the time it may seem like a really big one, but once you’re on the right track it will seem small in the grander scheme of things) and get out there. If I can do it, seriously, anyone can.
2 Have fun. Find the right training for you. Need someone to motivate you on a run? Grab a friend or join a running group. Try different things until you find the exercise that makes you want to jump out of bed. You’re never going to stick to something if it feels like a chore rather than a privilege.
3. Eat real food. I’m ditching the processed rubbish for home-made goodness and health-food store rawness. Start reading labels and getting your head round what’s good for you and what’s not. Because you can’t out-train a bad diet. I still have a sweet tooth so now I make my own chocolate and bliss balls rather than demolish packets of supermarket-bought biscuits and lollies. So I still treat myself, I just make sure I know that the ingredients are good and natural, and try to keep treats in moderation. Try!