Making a Change | Sophie Allen
So often the motivation to get fit stems from aesthetics however, you’ll more than likely find way more benefits outside of looking good. Sophie Allen started off no different than the rest of us. The goal was to achieve the body that she wanted but it turned out to be something more than she could have ever expected!
As I mentioned before, Sophie wasn’t afraid to point out the fact that her quest to fitness began with wanting to lose weight. “Like so many people my motivation to start exercising was to lose fat, and feel confident in myself. However, my motivations have changed so much from the beginning to now,” Sophie says. Intrigued by her statement, I asked her to elaborate a little more on how her motivation has changed over time.
“Whilst I’m still focussed on feeling confident and changing my body composition, my motivations don’t come from a place of self-hatred anymore, but from love. I train because I love my body, and I want to see what I’m capable of. I feel strong, mentally and physically when I test myself, and this seeps into my everyday life. I’ve developed more confidence in my decision making, abilities to back myself and chase things I’d never have thought possible and feel comfortable in the unknown,” Sophie explains.
As we know, things are never perfect. Everyone has to face some sort of obstacles to get to their destination. For Sophie, there were often mental hurdles that she had to overcome. “I honestly think the hardest challenges I’ve faced were mental ones. Learning to love my body at every point in my life has been an ongoing battle that I’m only now facing head on. I wouldn’t say I’ve completely overcome it, because it’s something that constantly evolves, on some days it’s strong, and on others I feel I’ve got control. But I’ve managed to come very very far from someone who was insanely critical of themselves and never focussed on the things I was proud of or loved about myself,” Sophie expresses.
Change for You
Because Sophie has obviously had great success with her fitness, I was excited to get some advice for her to share with all of us “If you’re just starting out, and your lifestyle has been sedentary small changes or swaps are going to make a hell of a difference to your health. Making small gradual swaps will help ensure the changes you’re making become a lifestyle and last long term. You don’t need to go out and join a gym, sign up to marathons, go on crazy diets, start swapping everyday activities things out for things that require more effort. For example walk or ride your bike to work, or drive/ train closer to work and walk halfway, go for a lunchtime walk, get up from your desk every hour and stretch/ walk up the fire escape stairs, take the steps instead of the elevator/ lift – this is the exercise side of things, diet plays a huge role in your health too. There are a lot of question marks around diet, what you should eat and what you should avoid. And unless you’re getting really technical into changing your body composition, you can pretty much eat most things in moderation. Don’t cut out entire groups of food, try the swapping method again – opt for a plate that’s filled with more veggies that are cooked by steaming or baking, eat some small snacks throughout the day to keep you full (opt for things like nuts, vegetable sticks, yogurt, berries, rice cakes) instead of chocolate or protein bars, bags of chips. These small changes add up and can make a huge difference to your overall health,” Sophie shares.
Why do you think a person’s mindset is so integral to their success?
The majority of the time when it comes to training & nutrition, the mind gives up before the body does. If your mind isn’t in the game, if your motivations aren’t strong enough, the times you need to dig deep that matter most, will be the one’s that stand in the way of you achieving above average results
What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?
A range of weights (dumbbell or kettlebell)
In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?
This really depends on the goal, all exercises will be beneficial if performed with the correct technique, so I’m going to answer this question a little differently
Overrated: Smashing reps out quickly with poor form, going as heavy as you can with poor form (all about time under tension and good technique) muscles don’t count reps!