From Vogue to cozy Seattle–Russian native, Polly shares more on her raw, heartfelt health journey with us. Read our interview and find out more about the Women’s Best athlete!
Name: Polly Wants
Location: Seattle, USA
Height: 178 cm
Can you share more about yourself and what you are doing?
My name is Polina and I’m a Russian living in the US. I follow my husband in his international assignments and reinvent myself every time. In Russia I was a book editor, in Ukraine, I was deputy editor-in-chief of Vogue UA, in the US I suddenly became a blogger. I lost 50 lbs/23 kg due to running, intermittent fasting, exercises, and diet. That’s what my blog is about.
When did your journey start? Was there a certain event or situation after which you decided you needed a change?
I started my blog on the same day when I resigned from my job, February 5th, 2020. 2.5 years I had two full-time jobs and I was burnt out, disappointed in the profession which I’ve been dreaming about since childhood, and overweight. I gained 23 kg trying to do my best on two jobs. Enough was enough.
What is your inspiration and what keeps you going?
My community inspires me every day, the girls who share their before and after photos with me, who go on the first run, who start the push-up challenge or begin to accept their body. They often say that I’ve inspired them, but the truth is inspiration is a two-way process. I’m blessed to have such a kind, smart and inspiring community.
You’re a fan of intermittent fasting. Can you tell us more about your diet?
Intermittent fasting is not a dietary plan, it doesn’t limit consuming calories, restrict any group of products, or suggest any precise schedule. That’s why I love it so much. It has some health benefits but is not suitable for everyone. For me it is an anti-binge eating tool: I commit not to eat after dinner and it works. I follow the most popular 16/8 pattern and high protein low carb diet due to my prediabetes background.
Also, your training, what does this consist of and what do you recommend to women who are beginning a similar journey to you?
Since childhood I’ve been an athletic person, performing sports such as rhythmic gymnastics, badminton, and cross-country skiing. I have been running since 2008. But I’ve never been consistent in training and due to some injuries, I almost didn’t do any sport in 2019.
I was an athletic person, but I’ve never been able to do even one proper push-up, it was my big dream. February 18, 2020, I started with basics: 10 push-ups every day no matter what. That was my first small change. Then I added jogging as slow and as long as I could (not much at that time and no judgment!), and after that, I added resistance workouts at home (I’m a big fan of HIIT no equipment workouts).
Tread everything lightly is my motto and a piece of kind advice to everybody at the beginning of something new.
As a body positive blogger, what are you aiming to share to the world?
Body positive for me is not celebrating my cellulite or being proud of my stretch marks. Many women have them, many do not, so what? Our bodies don’t define us. Want to change something? Go for it. If you don’t, you do you! Your body is your business! Make peace with your body, stay active for your health and do real things.
You previously worked in the world of high fashion and editorial. Now on the other side what do you see when you compare yourself in that world to who you are now?
Oh, now I wear colors! There is an old joke that creative people always wear black, that’s partly the truth. More seriously, all my life I have been a person behind a subject of an article, behind a model on a photoshoot, or behind an author of the book. Now for the very first time, I’m an author and the main character of my own story. Incredible feeling.
Your online following has grown significantly since you started sharing your journey in 2020. What has been the response and engagement from your online community? Do you ever receive any negativity, and how do you deal with that?
Last August when in two months more than 100k people started following me, I received a lot of assistance requests, many people wanted to hire me, but I had no qualifications. One day in stories I said “I’m not a fitness trainer or nutritionist. I’m not going to tell you how to lose weight. I used to be an editor, I can recommend a book’. Some people considered me rude, but I was honest. I kindly ask my followers to believe the specialists, not someone from the internet, especially when a lot of scammers use my before/after photos without my permission for promoting unhealthy diets. Instagram doesn’t help with my fight against these scammers, that’s what really makes me sad.
Is there a message you have for young girls and women who are affected by a negative self-image?
Don’t be obsessed with things you can’t change. But if you can and want to change something, do it. The more you do for yourself and others, the more you respect yourself. When you say, I hate my body, you betray yourself. Please, don’t look for hatred in your heart. Find the reason to be proud and respectful of.
“To be honest, I’m so proud of that girl on the left! She is the real hero!…”
A big part of your Instagram feed is the before and now progress approach. When you see the woman in the mirror now or the photo on the right, what is she most proud of?
To be honest, I’m so proud of that girl on the left! She is a real hero! The beginning is always the hardest, but she didn’t quit! The fit appearance is a nice benefit, but there is much more behind: health, confidence, amazing community, new skills.
Fun question: you live in such a beautiful city, Seattle. Do you prefer indoor or outdoor training, and what kind of training?
I’m definitely on the outdoor team! I adore hiking and running outside, snowboarding and skiing, cycling. This year I even climbed outdoors for the very first time. Also, I often do HIIT workouts or yoga in my favorite Gas Works Park.
What supplements do you use? And what is your favorite Women’s Best product?
Lastly, you decided to collab with Women’s Best. Why did you choose to be part of the community?
I love the honest, positive, and inspiring vibe of the community. I appreciate that Women’s Best aren’t afraid to speak out loud on unattended topics. I love the considerable diversity among Women’s Best athletes. And, I live in Women’s Best clothes, that’s a fact!