BBG Girl Interview: Fitleea a.k.a Veronica
This is the third of a series of interviews I will be conducting with the awesome and inspiring members of the Kayla Itsines BBG community. Click here to read my interview with Dr Ally a.k.a @healthybyfifty and click here to read my interview with Carrie a.k.a @fitbyfifty.us.
Two years ago Veronica Leea a.k.a fitleea started the BBG program. Two years ago Veronica was in a very different place to where she is now. Along with learning more about nutrition and exercise, Veronica has learned a profound truth about body acceptance and happiness.
“Happiness comes from within. You won’t love yourself if you achieve a certain type of body. It’s in your mind and the way you think”, says Veronica.
Veronica has been very open on her Instagram account about struggles with binge eating, body acceptance and weight management.
Overcoming binge eating and yo-yo dieting was achievable with education and balanced nutrition and exercise (to add my own my two cents: sometimes that means PAYING NO ATTENTION TO NUTRITION AND EXERCISE AND JUST LIVING YOUR LIFE—ha, I am sure Veronica will agree). Veronica says that among other things, working out differently has helped restore balance to her life and metabolism,
“I started to train differently, added resistance training, HIIT and weightlifting” says Veronica.
To date Veronica has completed a whopping 8 rounds of BBG (that’s 96 weeks). Veronica says that while she didn’t stop and start the program, completing the first 12 weeks upon first attempt, her first workout was more than hard.
“My first workout was horrible! I was struggling a lot”, says Veronica.
I admire Veronica for several reasons. I think it is very brave that she shares her previous struggles with food, exercise and self-worth with openness and honestly. I think it is brave to share before and after pictures (everyone who shares before and afters on the Internet is brave AF, just to be clear). I also think it is brave that Veronica, at the age of 22, has struck out on her own and studies in a different country to where she grew up.
Veronica is currently studying Tourism in Madrid (she grew up in Finland) and recently completed an exchange semester in Lisbon even though she doesn’t speak Portugese! She does speak four other languages though.
“I speak fluently Finnish, Polish, English and Spanish. I have studied Swedish, German and French too. Would love to learn Portuguese”, says Veronica.
Girl crush alert (wooooaaaoooo woooaooooo—my attempt at siren sounds)! Veronica, I reckon you’ll learn Portuguese soon enough, meanwhile I can barely speak English here in the Land Down Under.
Now without further ado, here is the rest of my interview with Veronica. As with my interviews with Dr Ally (@healthybyfifty) and Carrie (@fitbyfifty.us) I have highlighted parts in bold that I find to be of particular use.
1. When you first started the BBG were there any particular struggles you faced? How did you overcome them?
The biggest struggle for me was completing push ups. I couldn’t do a single push up without putting my knees on the ground. My arms felt extremely weak. Nowadays I still find them hard, but I complete all of them now with a proper form.
2. Posting before and after pictures is a really brave thing to do. What went through your mind when you posted your first before and after picture? Any advice for others who may be too shy to share theirs?
I was terrified, when I posted my first transformation picture. Scared that people who knew me would find them and judge me. I personally believe it was the best decision for me, as I really want to work in fitness industry and help others. For someone who is scared and doesn’t want people to know, I would suggest creating a private account at first to keep accountability. By creating a profile, you can meet truly amazing people and feel like you are in a part of a community.
3. If you could give advice to the girl you were before you embarked on this fitness journey, what would it be?
My biggest advice is stop judging yourself. You will see results when you stay on track and you will feel better about yourself. Accepting your body will be the hardest thing to do but start. Love yourself and the rest will come along.
4. Do you ever take longer breaks between circuits?
Of course! At the beginning I tried to take less but the harder the circuits became I took longer breaks. As long as your heart rate is up and you complete the workouts with all of your energy, then take as many rests as needed. Nowadays I do 14 minutes straight as I feel like I need a bigger challenge.
5. Do you ever, or did you ever modify any moves? Which ones?
I modified the exercises from the beginning, as I couldn’t do a single push up. As long as you do your best you can always modify them. Now I have upped my weights and try to challenge myself in new ways.
6. Where do you train?
I always train in the gym, except when I’m on holiday, then I workout inside or outside. I love the feeling when I’m surrounded by people who are working out.
7. I am in the middle of BBG 1 and am currently really lacking in motivation. In particular I am resisting the leg and cardio workouts (probably because they are hard, ha ha) do you have any advice for me?
Just stick with it. Complete the 12 weeks and you will feel proud of yourself. Working out is not easy, but just think about anything that keeps you motivated. I love the feeling that you get after working out!
8. Any other tips for first time BBGers like me?!
Challenge yourself each time you complete the circuits. Try to improve each time and you will see even more changes!
9. Who are your fitness inspirations? Which accounts do you follow for daily inspo?
I have tons of fitness inspirations, some to mention are Kayla Itsines, Grace Fit Uk, Tammy Hembrow, Meggan Grubb, Denice Emoberg, Katie Crewe and Whitney Simmons.
10. And finally, just for funsies, what does your ultimate lazy day look like?
My ultimate lazy is enjoying life, seeing my friends, treating myself with yummy food and sleeping a lot. I normally go for a walk as I don’t like to stay inside the house.
Images: All images courtesy of @fitleea