Welcome to another edition of Faces of Fitness, where I feature the top health and fitness influencers on the web. Check out who else has been featured here.
This week, I am excited to feature Anna from Anna the Apple! Anna lives across the pond but I love reading about her running adventures. She and I bonded over our recent injuries, and she is coming back with a marathon on the schedule in April… wishing her loads of luck!
Where to find Anna the Apple
1. Tell us more about your blog!
My blog is generally about my fitness and culinary adventures (and disasters – generally baking and me don’t go well together!). I’m proud to call myself a runner and love everything to do with the running community. I’ve run six half marathons, several 10ks, five milers…and I’m currently desperately trying to train for the Paris marathon in April but after coming back from an injury it’s really tough. I’m still questioning whether I’ll get there or not.
2. What do you think is the hardest thing about living a healthy lifestyle?
Personally for me it’s understanding what exactly is a healthy lifestyle. There is so much conflicting information out there (from the media, research, friends, blogs) that it’s hard to understand what’s good for you and what’s not. Paleo’s love their meat, but hang on isn’t protein as bad as smoking now? Carbs are evil – but what about wholegrains? Fat’s behind heart disease…oh no wait, it isn’t. That’s sugar. What!? My approach is keep things balanced, don’t exempt anything from your diet, eat foods that make you feel good inside and out. Everything in moderation.
3. You are just getting over an injury. What’s the biggest thing that you learned during this time?
That as much as I love running I can’t just run. I never used to do any strength training and that’s where my problems began. All I cared about was running, running, running. I’d run every run fast to prove my ability, I’d ignore small niggles and I thought weight lifting and strength routines were for gym bunnies and hard core lifters. After suffering from runners knee and then a prolonged IT Band issue, I realised I needed to change. Now I do three strength training sessions a week, specifically focusing on my weaknesses. Think lots of bridges, squats, single leg squats, hip hikes, core exercises. Not particularly interesting, but essential.
4. What do you think are the biggest differences in eating/fitness between the U.S. and England?
I’ve been to America quite a few times and I’m always amazed by the food – in good and bad ways. Firstly, portion sizes. I couldn’t believe the size of meals when we went out to different restaurants. For example, just ordering what we thought was a small lunch was enormous. Don’t get me wrong though, it was amazing.
Though it blew my mind that you could order a huge stack of pancakes and bacon together for breakfast with syrup, I loved it. Secondly, the sheer amount of sugary foods you could buy. I’m not saying that the UK doesn’t have its fair share of rubbish, but walking down the aisles of American supermarkets was like a dream for me (I have such a sweet tooth). How many different flavours of ice cream do you guys have?? I must admit I did take a lot of food back with me (not ice cream obviously!) and I wish we had as many fro-yo shops. But chocolate is a huge disappointment – you cannot beat English or European chocolate I’m afraid.
5. What is your number one tip for people to stay motivated to reach their health/fitness goals?
Make your goals tangible and measurable. Having the vague notion of “let’s be healthy this week” won’t work for long. You need something to work towards. I love having a race planned in the future. It focuses my training and when I get de-motivated or fed up I remember I have that race and it helps keep me on track. Having a marathon looming in the distance scares the hell out of me and I haven’t intentionally missed a run yet.
Any questions for Anna?
Why do you think portion sizes are SO huge in the U.S.?
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