ThankStories: Sophia’s Weight Challenge

Overcoming the Weight Challenge

I had a great chance to speak to Sophia about her life change and I am excited to help tell her story: Sophia might not have ever been as big as most people would categorize as obese, but her journey is one that I believe most people identify with: I know that I have. Lets see how Sophia overcomes her Weight Challenge! 

Get some basic tips on how to start working out -check out that blogs!

Sophia’s life change exploredSophia overcomes her Weight Challenge

AA: What made you feel like this is a journey you needed to go on for yourself, Sophia?

SA: I think I’ve always felt like my weight was an issue because, while I was never excessively obese, I was almost always bigger than most of the rest of the kids in my classes growing up, so I always felt fat. At one point, I actually had an English teacher tell me that I would make a very beautiful plus-size model, which really kind of got to me. I had gone back and forth trying to lose weight and be skinny, trying to eat a very minimal amount of food everyday, and nothing really seemed to work, so I always gave up.

AA: How did it affect you to have a teacher point out your size? How far did you go to try and lose weight at that point?

SA: Having a teacher say that to me, let alone anyone for that matter, kind of put me further into a depressed state because it told me that other people noticed my weight. It was upsetting for me to hear that. I wish it had given me motivation to change myself, but it didn’t, unfortunately.

AA: Growing up and looking different from other students your age can be tough, tell me- emotionally what did you feel growing up?

SA: I spent a good majority of my life being depressed, feeling very alone, and having very low self-worth because I never felt that I was good enough and while I would strive to be great at things, and sometimes succeed, I still felt like it wasn’t good enough. I think a lot of my coping went into eating whatever I wanted because those comfort foods made me feel better when nothing else did. I think being Greek/Italian played a factor as well, as food is a huge part of both cultures.

AA: What was the turning point for you in moving forward with your journey?

SA: It wasn’t until my boyfriend and I decided to do the Tough Mudder earlier this October that I actually dedicated myself to working out regularly and eating healthier options. The main goal wasn’t to lose weight, as much as it was to get fit so that I could complete the course.

AA: Your goal shifted from just looks or weight to accomplishing a goal- a challenge beyond a weight challenge. How much do you feel that shift in your focus became important in your journey?

The Shift of focus from my weight challenge to my goal was a huge factor in my life change!

SA: I think the shift in focus from my weight to achieving my goal was a huge factor in my transformation. When I decided to do the Tough Mudder, I had several people tell me that they didn’t think I should do it or that I could do it, which just made me want to prove them wrong. So I worked as hard as I could for 3 months to achieve that goal. Along the way, I realized how much I enjoyed working out and how great I was feeling and how much more energy I had. Honestly, if it weren’t for my desire to overcome that challenge, I’d still be one of those people who keeps planning on starting Monday and never really does.

AA: Why do you feel you wanted to respond to the challenge of proving other people wrong because you didn’t respond to your teacher the same way? Both were a challenge of sorts. 

SA: I think it was partially the implication that I was heavier that made me feel worse about myself and I wasn’t as mature. At the point when my teacher said that to me, I was maybe 16 or 17 and I wasn’t very strong-willed and I felt shame for who I am and what I looked like. When people told me that I couldn’t do the Tough Mudder, I didn’t feel as though it was directly related to my weight as much as it was related to my gender, my build (as I’m a fairly small person at the whopping height of 5’2), and not really being in shape at the time. I think feeling as though people were challenging whom I am in general brought out the huge competitive side in me. And like I said as well, 5 years later, I have grown as a person mentally, and I have become a stronger person who is ready for the challenges thrown my way now.

AA: What changes did you see that helped spur you forward with your fitness journey?

SA: When we started training for Tough Mudder, I slowly started to see my body changing even though I didn’t have a ton of weight to lose. I felt myself feeling better and healthier as I progressed through my training. I think one of my biggest “aha” moments where I realized there was hope for me was when I went from running a grand total of 3 miles without stopping to 7. It was probably the best run of my life! I felt fantastic! And from that point on, my confidence had been boosted a great deal and I knew I had it in me to actually lead a healthier, more active lifestyle.

AA: When you were on this journey, how difficult was it to keep moving forward?

I’m a full time student and I work- This isn’t easy!

SA: Moving Forward on a path to becoming healthier isn’t always the easiest thing when you’re a full time student and you work and don’t have a day off between the two. I have to constantly make the conscious decision to not eat all the delicious foods that are constantly in my face. I still struggle regularly with eating healthier (although allowing myself to have a piece of chocolate everyday certainly helps tame the desire to eat all the foods I love!). I don’t always have time to work out and exercise between working and writing papers and studying and getting a few hours of sleep in a day. I often have to force myself to get off my butt and even do a little cardio, whether it’s doing a series of exercises in my bedroom to get the blood pumping or going on a jog at night with my puppy or another friend.

AA: Do you see your health journey ending in a finish line?

SA: If you want to be healthy and stay fit, I don’t think you are ever done with the journey. Like I said before, for me, I was never excessively obese. I started out at 150 pounds wearing 10/12 pants and large clothes. My goal weight is 130. I now weigh about 138 and wear a size 4/6 and am much more fit and toned. For someone who struggles with weight and body image, I don’t want to go back to wearing those sizes again or weigh that much (at least not until I decide to become a baby maker!), so it’ll be a constant journey for me to maintain weight and be healthy.

 

Sophia went from a size 12 to a size 4- She didn’t start out weighing a large amount (like I did when I started) but she took her body into her own hands, set a goal before her, enlisted help to achieve that goal, and allowed that goal to help propel her forward. She accomplished her Mud Run, and she get healthy- I would dare say that she had a great time while running! 

Check out more of the ThankStories Blog series: Tanya’s Motivated and Dramatic Life Change– or Rob’s new Healthy Life. Some great Stories are represented in these people! Also-  What did you think of Sophia’s story? Did she inspire you? Post about how she inspired you below! 

 

Rob's New Healthy Life
Tanya's Dramatic Weight Loss Transformation and Story

Tanya Achieved a complete life transformation.