Introducing Victoria Bowen: she's a mum of two beautiful boys, a soon-to-be Personal Trainer, and a lover of health and fitness.
She's also one of our proud and passionate ambassadors, who is eager to help other women feel amazing about themselves.
Victoria has transformed her life, health, and fitness routine. Her journey has inspired and motivated others. She has demonstrated that hard work and perseverance pays off!
While Victoria enjoys healthy meal prepping, she makes sure to fit in her favourite meals from time to time. "I love to eat burgers, pancakes, and chocolate," she says. "And I'm protein oat obsessed!"
We speak with Victoria about how to keep motivated to exercise in winter, workouts to do at home, and her incredible fitness journey.
What are your top tips for keeping motivated to exercise in winter?
To keep on track with your workouts, an idea is to treat your sessions as meetings. Book your workouts in your diary. You wouldn't cancel a meeting, and these are one of the most important "meetings," one that you are going to have with yourself. You wouldn't want to cancel on yourself!
What are some exercises to do from home?
There are many ways to get a great workout at home! An example is to use resistance bands or some lighter dumbbells. Or, if you don't have these available, an option is to use heavy drink bottles or get your kids involved.
What are your favourite workout routines?
Most of my workouts revolve around strength and weight training. I love to lift heavy weights. Squats and deadlifts are my favourite!! There's no better feeling than pushing through what seems like an impossible session and finishing it on such a high. I love that rush of feel-good endorphins.
How do you keep yourself inspired to exercise?
I love continuing to improve and better myself. I don't always feel like exercising, and most of the time, it comes down to discipline to get my toosh to the gym and do my session. Usually, once I put my headphones on and start to move my body, the groove, vibe, and motivation hits me, and I'm good to go!
How many times a week do you exercise?
My current work-life balance allows me to work out four to five sessions a week.
Tell us about your fitness journey! You've had a fantastic transformation. What were your challenges? How did you stay on track, and what motivated you? What did you discover along the way?
At the start of my fitness, health, and weight loss journey, my main motivation was my kids. I remember the time I realised that I HAD to take back control of my life; it was an afternoon at the park with my husband and kids. My husband was running around and playing with the kids on the playground, and I was stuck sitting on the picnic blanket, unable to get up physically, let alone climb the play equipment. My journey started that very next morning. I got up, fastened my shoes on, put my two babies in the pram, and went out for a walk. I started with 20 minutes each day, and slowly as I was able to, I increased the time. I was so motivated that nothing stood in my way. That was until the weight stopped coming off; this was when I knew it was time to step things up and join a gym.
What were your habits before your transformation, compared with how they are now?
Before my transformation, I lived a very sedentary lifestyle. I was quite low and hard on myself. I was alive, but I wasn't living a life. I had almost become a prisoner in my own home, scared to leave in case someone I knew saw me. I drank a lot of soft drink and ate my fair share of chocolate and take away. I now live quite an active life. My mental health has never been better. I still eat my fair share of chocolate, though!
What does your week look like now in terms of meals, exercise, and making different choices?
In terms of meals, I like to do a big meal prep on a Sunday afternoon. I work full time, so this gives me so much extra time during the weekdays to not have to think about my meals. I like to grab and go. It takes away the temptation to grab something quick, easy and not so healthy. I follow a flexible dieting approach (IIFYM), so I plan my food diary according to those macros and plan my meal prep around that.
I also enjoy using Happy Way products. I have three favourite whey protein powder flavours: vanilla, chocolate, and banana! But my all-time favourite is the vanilla whey protein powder. I love using it in my warm oats and smoothies!
How are you maintaining your fantastic transformation?
I think maintaining is the hardest part, but I make sure to stay on top of my diet and keeping active.
How do you feel now?
I feel amazing! I've never felt more comfortable and confident in my skin. Coming from where I was at 120 kilos, a depressed, self-hating woman, it feels so nice to be where I am today and able to love myself and my flaws.
What are your tips for others beginning their journey?
My advice to anyone just starting their journey would be to simply START! It sounds crazy, I know, but take the opportunity to start! Make healthier choices, make homemade versions of your favourite takeaways, and swap from deep-fried to oven-baked! I also suggest increasing your water intake, swap soft drinks, juices, etc. to water or sugar-free alternatives. Also, include lean meats and fruits and vegetables in your diet. These are just a few of the things that I did in the beginning.
Thank you, Victoria, for your amazing tips and for sharing with us your fantastic journey! It is inspiring!