Strong Friend Anita: A journey through pain to happiness
Anita Albrecht's story is what "Strong Friends" is all about
Anita was an early inspiration for me to become a part of the health and fitness industry. Ten years ago, other than being an athlete, I had not yet had much exposure to the industry. I met this fun, bubbly Kiwi at a gym I used to train at in Essex. She exuded such positivity, such high energy that I was instantly drawn to her.
While I was a 400- and 800m runner, I sought Anita out for advice on my nutrition, to help me improve my performance and reduce my body fat % for sport. I had great results working with her and, at the same time, she helped me gain an understanding of the importance of nutrition and an insight into working in the industry outside of athletics.
I had a chat to Anita to find out more about her journey. It wasn't an easy one and she is all the more inspiring because of it.
Tell me about yourself
Born in New Zealand, I was always a pretty sporty kid. I did ballet, modern dancing and many, many different sports growing up. Fast-forward to many years later, a lack of exercise, depression and other reasons led me to being overweight and not leading a very healthy or happy life.
A big personal jolt in my life in 2003 found me totally transforming myself in 2004 and soon after I launched my own personal training business to help others and teach them how to become their best and I have not looked back since!
And your business?
I run an extremely busy personal training studio in Warley Essex, including teaching Metafit classes and I cater for competitive bodybuilders doing posing coaching and choreography.
I've been a PT for over 12 years and always been self-employed and I hope that I will continue to teach my clients and their families to be healthy and transform themselves no matter how busy they are! The rest of the stuff I am working on is currently and tightly under wraps... :-)
What drove you to start out on your own?
Having done my own transformation in 2004, I decided to fulfil my goal of becoming a personal trainer and nutrition advisor.
Having walked the walk and done the steps to change my own life, I knew that I was ready to do just that and make a huge difference to others.
What do you like most about working in this industry?
Seeing a client not only change their health and their body but see their confidence grow exponentially and how that positively affects other areas of their lives too.
Tell me about your favourite Success Story at work?
I don't have a favourite as, without sounding cheesey, they are all important to me! Whether a client does a pull up or a press up for the first time, whether they lose a stone or 4/5 stone, they step on stage for the first time to compete or they complete a marathon or a Nuclear Race or Tough Guy type of event, everybody has a goal that is just as important and celebratory as the next.
It doesn't matter what the goal is - what matters is that my clients set their goals with me and then we work together to achieve them. When they do achieve them, not only is my job done but it reinforces just how much I love what I do.
You mentioned facing some challenges...
Life is always full of challenges. Most of mine have been emotional, some physical. Injuries are frustrating but can be worked around, emotional challenges have to be faced head on.
Starting all over again after a nasty end to a marriage and having suffered insomnia, financial hardship and serious depression was the toughest. I soon realised, thanks to an amazing therapist, that a happy future was a choice and that by facing the responsibility of being accountable for my own happiness, life could be great again.
I stopped feeling sorry for myself and put many steps in place to be happy and healthy again. I won that battle and its taught me what signs to look out for when I have my 'black dog' days and how to deal with those.
I truly believe that life experience is what has helped my sickeningly positive attitude to develop along with the fact that others benefit from my crazy spirit and 'can-do' attitude! Attitudes are contagious and choices are ours.....being happy is a choice.
One thing I know for sure from personal experience is that exercise and training is the BEST cure for depression! Better than any tablet I had to take anyway...
Who’s your inspiration in your industry?
I have many but think Frank Medrano is incredible! A true dedicated, natural and drug-free athlete that grinds day in day out and has done for years.
I love Alexia Clark on Instagram too as she has some great workout ideas!
Misty Copeland is also a new inspiration to me. She is a stunning ballerina/athlete!
Where do you train and what is your usual regimen?
I train either in my studio or at Ab Salute or in any aspect of mother nature!
Most of the time it varies as I often have to work around my ongoing injuries.
I weight train 4 days a week, do a ballet class and a yoga class once a week and do 2 HIIT sessions and occasionally, if I think I need extra, I will do 2 steady state cardio sessions a week too.
I also love really long walks on active rest days and recently discovered 'Fight Klub' and 'Fit2Fite' on a recent fitness holiday break which I adore!
Tell me about your sports and fitness background?
It's so varied as I love so many aspects of exercise! It includes all of this: ballet, gymnastics, modern dance, street dance, boxing, cricket, netball, soccer, bodybuilding, yoga and fitness. I have also done a half marathon despite the fact that I have never found running easy!
Any advice to people wanting to start their fitness journey?
Simple. Find what you love and just do it. Stop making excuses, stop waiting for the motivation to come.
You have to create it by DOING it!
Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?
Become who you really are!
And finally, where’s your favourite place to eat in London?
Lots of them! lol
Fine Anita online and follow her journey - keep an eye out for her new projects coming soon!
YouTube: Anita Albrecht From Fat to Fit!