Anna is a shining example of fitness – and she doesn’t want any women thinking that just because they aren’t built like Cameron Diaz, they’re not fit and fabulous. Anna spoke up in Best magazine to show readers the true meaning of fitness.
Just saying – you don’t have to be thin to be fit.
Anna, 36, says:
Fat back, chunky arms – that’s what people think when they see me coming.
You probably think I’m a layabout, right? Wrong. I get it all the time. When I enter my Zumba class, people think I’m there to dawdle at the back. When I go to the front of the room and take charge, their faces are a picture.
How can I possibly do up to eight hours of exercise a day and still wear a size 14?
Well, I can and I do. I’m sick and tired of people looking me up and down when I tell them I’m a personal trainer. I know what they are thinking – that there is no way I could possibly know anything about fitness.
Well I’ve got news for you. I have built an entire career on my body. So before you judge this book by its cover, listen to what I have to say.
I’m a size 14 and weigh 12st 7lbs. For my 5ft5in frame, my BMI (body mass index) is 29.1, which puts me in the ‘overweight’ category.
But you don’t have to be thin to be fit. In fact, most skinny people are not fit at all. I will bet money on the fact that I could out run, out dance and out weight-lift most skinny girls.
Because skinny so often doesn’t equate to strong or fit. Skinny usually means a fast metabolism or a diet of coffee and cigarettes. We need to stop trying to morph our bodies into unrealistic physiques. Yes, Victoria Beckham looks great in her clothes, but does she look good naked? Some skinny girls are flabby – unlike me, I might be bigger but I’m toned and I look great naked.
Besides, thin people can be fat on the inside. If you are thin but unfit then you could have internal fat clogging your vital organs.
My skinny boyfriend, Chris Duffy, 38, is a good example – he can polish off a packet of biscuits in one sitting and not put on a pound but can he keep up with me on a ten kilometre run? No chance.
Society hankers after size zero but to look like that, you’ve got to live off lettuce and you can’t have any muscle weighing you down. I’d much rather have my shape and know that I am strong enough to keep up with my hectic schedule without passing out.
Once people have got over their shock about the fact I am a size 14 fitness instructor, they are usually quite relieved. My size encourages my clients. Rather than seeing me as intimidating, they can see that fitness is achievable. I’ve got lumps and bumps just like any normal woman.
I’m honest and open about my body hang-ups. Rather than dwell on them, I concentrate on the fact that I am can do 30 full press ups or lead a Zumba class for an hour, going hell for leather.
I am happy being a size 14. I wouldn’t want to be a waif. I shake my toosh at Zumba and finish off with an AquaAerobics class and my students tell me they expected it to be an easy class, but I work them to the bone. I’m fed up of the misconception about me – do the run with me, join in my class, then tell me what you think of my shape.
Just because I’m bigger doesn’t mean I’m not gorgeous. So many girls have self esteem issues no matter what size they are, but we’re not all meant to be the same. I celebrate what I’ve got and I wish other women would focus on their good bits too.
Since I set up Fitness Fusion, I have been encouraging my clients to be healthy, but not to set unrealistic goals and expect to end up a size zero. It’s all about making your body the best it can be, not turning everyone into another size zero.
I love my job because I help people feel better about themselves. It doesn’t take a size zero to do that, it just takes someone who understands health, fitness and nutrition. Being a size 14 doesn’t stop me doing that.
If you ask me, BMI measures are nonsense. Who cares how tall, old or heavy you are. Remember, you don’t have to be fit to be thin – it’s my mantra. Next time I catch someone looking at my fat back and wondering how on earth I’m going to run the Zumba class, they better be ready to keep up with me!
Please visit: www.fitnessfusion.co.uk