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The Summer School Series: On starting a new fitness journey

Opening our Summer School Series we have Victory Onuoha from The Victory Face discussing her interest in health and fitness and sharing some amazing tips with us. I was excited to hear what Victory could share with us, as health (fitness particularly) is something I’m entirely oblivious about and if I’m still standing is by grace and glory because I certainly don’t make the healthiest decisions. Follow through if you’d like to get a little healthier and are wondering where to start when you’d like to have a new fitness routine.

Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do nowadays?

Well, I am currently working part-time while I recently started blogging on the side as I work towards my goals of becoming a writer and filmmaker. Before that, I just graduated from Carleton University where I majored In Neuroscience and Mental Health with a minor in Psychology. I am a third culture kid, with ancestral roots in Nigeria, lived in Scotland for most of my formative years and I now reside in Canada. As I say Home is everywhere and anywhere!

How did you become interested in the topic of health and fitness?

I became interested in the topic of health as I initially considered becoming a doctor when I was kid. I also spent most the last 4 years of my degree scientifically studying human health in a broader sense while I specialised in mental and social well-being.

What are the top recommendations you have for young women interested in starting a new fitness routine?

I am glad you asked that question Ana! I have admittedly struggled with keeping fit and staying healthy, but it helps to do some research about the food you eat and about exercise itself If you are interested in staying healthy. I realised from experience that an additional struggle can be finding time for these things as we tend to be busy. So, first:

Research: This is important whether you want to gain or lose or simply want to maintain your current fitness level. First you must consider making Google your best friend to research all the resources available to whichever goal you’re trying to meet. I do however recommend, in all honesty, considering getting a personal trainer if you can afford it. Sometimes even a few sessions will help as they can prescribe you exercises that will work for you. Having a few meet ups with a trainer will be a kind of research in learning what works for you and being able to continue to apply it if you’d like to go back to working out on your own. For example, I wanted to lose some weight, but I also wanted to tone up. So, I read up to enhance my knowledge in exercise and metabolism and was able to get information for the kind of foods to eat, the kind of exercise to do, etc. I also recommend going in with an open mind as goals might shift. I went in with a mindset of wanting to lose weight and get abs but ended up lifting weights progressively which has really done a lot of my back and posture.

Make A Schedule: I cannot emphasise how important and amazing an exercise schedule is. I realised after years of struggling with exercising and keeping fit that I needed to plan what I was going to do in the gym, so I can monitor my results and not just go for the sake of going. I was introduced to an app called Aaptiv ( but didn’t use it for too long as I kind of got the hang of it. So, every Sunday, I try to make a quick note down of what I want to do. See example below:

Trial and error: Given that your body is constantly changing, that you’re human and knowing that not every exercise will work for you at the stage you are, it’s important to understand that not every suggestion will work for you. But I know from trial and error that exercise teas are not enough, you got to move your body. Enjoy the process, exercising is a lifestyle change and one with a lot of benefits.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

As we all know, your diet is also a big part of your health and fitness journey. So, to make things easier, we can thank Pinterest. On Sunday when I make my exercise schedule. I make a weekly menu, so I know ahead of time what I’m eating during the week rather than eating foods that won’t help my goals. I look for 7 breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes. It can make things easier, follow a schedule and just trust the process.

Thank you so much Victory for sharing with us! You can find her on Instagram at @thevictoryface, and follow her blog at The Victory Face.

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