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  • We Fired our Shine with Training for Chocolate aka Vicky Norton.

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    Couch Potato to Fitness Blogger - The 5 Defining Moments on My Journey To Health


    People often ask me how I did it, how I turned my life around, what was it that made me transform myself into such a health and fitness enthusiast after a lifetime on the couch eating burgers and fries.

    And I wish I had a brilliant little anecdote, an ‘epiphany moment’ to share. But truth be told, there was no light bulb that suddenly went on. There was no New Years Resolution to be met or a sudden decisive goal set.

    It’s been a gradual process, and initially it was without any precise intention.

    I had always been ‘lazy’ when it came to physical exercise. Never did any. Never. Not as a kid, not as an adult. I drank a lot, partied a lot, ate my bodyweight in junk food and smoked a pack of Marlboro Lights a day.

    Now, in my 40s, I train 6 days out of 7. I run, do spin, yoga, weights, HIIT… And whilst I still have treats (once a chocoholic, always a chocoholic), they’re almost always the healthier homemade variety.

    So how did I get here? As I said, baby steps.

    Looking back, I can probably identify 5 defining moments in my journey to wellbeing. Some of them happy, some of them sad, some of them scary… All of them significant.

    1. Motherhood - 2009

    Becoming a Mum changes everything. Everything!!

    And for me, one of the things it changed was my attitude to my own health and fitness (let alone bub’s!).

    I want to make sure I stay strong so I can be there for my little boy (and keep up with him – parenting boys is the ultimate in endurance training). You can’t be physically, mentally or emotionally strong if you’re not healthy. So the cigarettes went, naturally.

    The physical activity increased (not by much… walks to the park, scooter rides along the beachfront, that kind of thing). And the food I consumed became a little healthier (although still left a lot to be desired, given what I know now).

    I am a passionate believer in setting a good example for children. I want my son and my stepdaughter, to grow up in a household where healthy eating and regular exercise is the norm, a given… to lay the best foundations possible for a long and healthy life of their own.

    2. Toddler No More - 2012

    Having no family to help out here in Australia and a little boy with pretty extreme separation anxiety, there was never really the opportunity to work out in the first few years of motherhood. A crèche was out of the question back then, way too stressful for everyone!

    So it wasn’t until the toddler years were done and dusted and my son became a pre-schooler that I could even consider joining a gym.

    In his first week of pre-school, I dropped in to our local gym on the way home and before I knew it, had signed up for some PT sessions a couple of days a week whilst I was ‘child-free’.

    Over time, I added some spin classes to my weekly schedule too.

    Nothing more than that, at that stage. Frankly, I didn’t have the confidence to try something new if it meant walking into a room full of fit people sweating it out in a group-exercise class.

    But at least I was doing something, it was a start.

    3. My Biggest Loss -2013

    My Mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer. The diagnosis came way too late and she was gone just 7 weeks later.

    Life will never be the same without her.

    I will never be the same without her.

    I lost my biggest fan, closest friend, comfort, adviser and emotional support system. No-one loves you like your Mum loves you.

    It’s a loss I still struggle with and probably always will.

    Yet she continues to inspire me and as far as I can see it, the one positive thing that has come from the tragedy of losing her has been the discovery of running. I decided to take part in the Mothers Day Classic fun run for my first Mothers Day without Mum.

    I didn’t feel like decadently celebrating; I felt like doing something meaningful in her honour. At the time, I thought it would be a one-off, but in fact that first emotional 4km got me hooked and I have been running ever since. Thanks, Mum.

    4. A Husband’s Challenge - 2014

    Hubby had been going to CrossFit Athletic for years. Not my cup of tea. Too bloody intense!

    But in late 2014, his gym ran a 30 Day Challenge and he signed up. The Challenge covered both training and nutrition, with 4 weeks worth of meal plans and recipes provided.

    Given that I am the food provider in our household, it all seemed a bit hard to cook a thousand different meals every day. So more out of convenience than anything else, I signed up too. Just so that I could cook the same meals for all of us, to make my life a bit easier.

    I learned so much during that 30 Days about food and nutrition. It literally changed the way we eat as a family (thank you Danielle of Food to Nourish).

    And I had to catapult myself right out of my comfort zone and rock up to workout sessions at 5:45am with a bunch of women I didn’t know in a training environment that was completely alien to me. A CrossFit gym!!!

    I was terrified. Thought I’d hate every second. And you know what, I freaking loved it.

    I found that actually, group exercising is fun. And I was introduced to a whole new world of fitness… burpees, sled pushes, wall balls… I ended up staying in that program for over a year and was a little bit devastated when they disbandoned it.

    But prepped and ready for the next training chapter.

    5. Training for Chocolate - 2015

    Taking part in that 30 Day Challenge opened up my world, and everything I was experiencing was so exciting and positive that I felt compelled to share it.

    So I started my blog.

    In turn, the blog has facilitated more and more opportunities to take me out of my comfort zone physically, to discover new ways to move my body.

    It’s allowed me to educate myself further on nutrition... I’ve completed the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program (no mean feat for a sugar addict like me), have learned how to brew my own kombucha, make my own healthy chocolate, and that tuna salad can actually be really delicious (with the right recipe!).

    I’ve gotten to trial new products and meet amazing people in the health and fitness industry. And it’s introduced me to the notion of wellness – which is so much more than health or fitness.

    So yes, I have completely transformed my life. Not overnight (is that even possible?). But step by step, adopting a positive attitude, seizing opportunities, pushing myself and just embracing it all, all the change. And allowing myself to love every minute.

    Perhaps my new-found health and fitness is even more satisfying because it is still so new. I don’t know if I’m enjoying it more because my life hasn’t always been this way.

    One thing I do know is that I’m still learning, still a work-in-progress.

    And another thing I’m absolutely certain of is that if I can do it, anyone can.

    Vicky wears Lilybod Zoe Legging and loves Vie Active and Nux ranges from Fire and Shine.


    About Victoria

    Victoria Norton’s blog,, was borne, as you can see above, from a newly discovered passion for health, fitness and wellness. If she finds a great new workout or a way to help you take better care of yourself, she’ll share it on the blog. Along with activewear reviews and lots of healthy treats (all the recipes are really easy and delicious).

    Check out the blog, subscribe to her emails and follow her on insta (@trainingforchocolate) to see her journey continue to unfold.