"My transformation was more about how I felt on the inside, about my health, and that's not something I can show you in a picture."
Not every transformation is about looks, and Anna Victoria, trainer and founder of Fit Body Guides, perfectly sums up why.
In a recent Instagram post, the fitfluencer shared a picture of herself 5 years ago next to one of her today, showing how far she's come over the years. While her body has obviously changed, Anna says that the biggest changes she's experienced are those you can't see.
"My 'transformation,'" she captioned her post. "Sometimes I don't like calling it that because I was never unhappy with the way I looked to begin with. My transformation was more about how I felt on the inside, about my health, and that's not something I can show you in a picture."
"While I'm happy with the physical changes I've worked so hard for, they don't compare to the non-physical changes that aren't visible to the naked eye," she continues. "Those non-physical changes are what keep me going."
In her post, Anna emphasizes the importance of focusing on how you feel both physically and emotionally, rather than on the way you look because let's be real, fitness is about so much more than that.
"There's always room for physical improvement and there's always someone who looks better than you, and those two facts can be freaking exhausting if it's all you're concerned with," she says. "It can put you in a constant state of wanting to restrict food more, work out more, and if you're not careful, lead to an unhealthy obsession and relationship with workouts and with food. That's not what I want for me or for any one of you."
And while Anna has put a lot of hard work and dedication to get to where she is today, she made it a point to listen to her body and have some fun in the process.
"I've always been overly conscious of maintaining balance and never letting fitness take over my life," she writes. "These last five years I've been pushing myself, but I've also been living my life, enjoying vacations and cheat meals and completely indulging and having no regrets. I don't work out to punish myself for eating ice cream and I don't restrict myself if I feel I want to relax a bit."
Unfortunately, Anna still receives comments about how she could become leaner and stronger. (Ugh. Trolls.)
"Do I have people telling me I should be more lean? Yes. That I could gain more muscle? Yes. But I'm not concerned with other people's ideas of what I should or shouldn't do with my body," writes Victoria. "I'm doing what I want, which is to kick ass in the gym, be empowered by my workouts and feeling strong, but still enjoy life and to value balance above rock hard abs or a lower body fat percentage."
We couldn't agree more. While the physical aesthetics of a healthy body are great, having the healthy mentality to go along with it is even better.