What does a typical day in the life of Sonia look like?
My day usually starts at about 4.15-4.30am to my alarm waking me up for work! I’m trying to get into a good habit of telling myself “it's going to be a great day” as my feet hit the floor and I do a big stretch before jumping in the shower.
I will usually have made myself a protein shake the night before ready to go but of late have been making a greens drink with a few other supplements mixed in to kick start my day.
After work I usually come home, have something to eat or a shake and then try to get a big walk in using the Map my Walk app where I always try to better my pace time/km.
Then dinner and sometimes a bit of a dance concert in the front of the mirror (if I need to get my steps up for the day)
You’ll be surprised how many steps you can get up just having a bit of a dance to a few songs! Plus its fun!
What was the defining moment that made you spark a change with your health and wellbeing?
In late November of 2019 I was listening to a podcast or audiobook (I can’t quite remember) about how most people fail at their New Years resolutions because they don’t put any effort into preparing themselves for the goals they set. It talked about making small changes and easing your way into different behaviours in the lead up to the end of the year which can make it easier for you to stick to something come the new year. It also spoke about public accountability and how if you declare that you are going to do something to others (publicly) then you’re way more inclined to stick to something because we seem to be fine letting ourselves down but find it harder to let others down.
Anyway, I then decided that for 2020 I wanted to attempt to be the healthiest, best version of me that I could. I’d been following a nutrition program but had never fully committed to it for the full 30 days it ran for so that was going to be my starting point. I also declared on my facebook page that for Jan I was going to do a minimum of 10000 steps per day for the whole month and I posted my steps everyday in my stories so that I knew and everyone knew that I had done them..and then at the end of Jan when I had followed through with everything I set out to do, I felt amazing and just kept doing it.
What makes you feel inspired or like your best self?
Not giving up/in when I’ve set myself a task. Being able to say no to things that I know don’t serve me or won’t help bring me closer to where I want to be physically and emotionally. Challenging myself to be better than I was yesterday.
If you could turn back time and talk to your 18yo self, what would you tell her?
I’d tell her to be open to trying different things in regards to nutrition, like cutting things out and then adding them back in to see how they really affect her. I’d tell her to research how food contributes to your moods, your mental health and the aches and pains in your body. I’d tell her to concentrate on just making small changes to start with and never beat herself up if she slips up! Just start again the next day. No one is perfect, perfect doesn’t exist and so progress is what you should always aim for..and to be kind to yourself.
What is your best tip for making the world a healthier place?
A little cleaner eating and a little bit of consistent movement can make a world of difference to your overall well being. It's not about punishment or deprivation, it's about knowing what really fuels you in a positive way.
If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it be and why?
Get out of your own way and just start. Now.
I’d have it say this in regards to anything and everything in life.
There are so many people that just go through the motions of life and only really live out their dreams/desires and best lives in their head..with a ‘one day..’ way of thinking. Life is short, tomorrow is not guaranteed so just start now. In regards to health, start by just cutting out 1 thing that isn’t serving you.
In regards to exercise, just start by walking around your block once a day or walking around your house even to get to a certain amount of steps! Speak nicely to yourself and be your own biggest cheerleader.
What excuses did you previously use to not get healthier and focus more on your wellness?
That I suffered from back pain etc so couldn’t really exercise too much or I’d probably hurt myself. That, because I’ve always battled with my weight that that's just how my body was. That I didn’t obviously have the discipline or dedication to follow through with sticking to a healthier diet and exercise plan. Basically just a lot of self sabotaging negative self talk.
Do you still slip up with your food and fitness? If yes what was it and how did you get back on track?
Yes, definitely! This whole last month I’ve been very up and down with my eating and my walking actually but given the time we’re in at the moment in the world, with a global pandemic and quite strict lockdown isolation rules here in Melbourne, I’ve tried to just give myself some grace and tell myself it’s ok. I’m in the process of working out a plan of attack in a way to end the final quarter of the year with as much enthusiasm and structure in regards to eating, exercising and practicing good self care habits like meditations and affirmations as I started the year with.
I want to start 2021 being my best self. I don’t want to write 2020 off, yes it's been a weird and whacky year with a lot setbacks but it's also been a year that's given me time to really work on myself and figure out what I want in my life and how I want to live to make myself happy and I think that’s been an amazing gift.
Has the improvement in your fitness and health affected anything else in your life?
It’s helped with my mood and overall general mental health (which has been so beneficial during this year)
It's really made me happier and have a better understanding of how I (my body and mind) really work.
I fully believe it has helped prevent me from getting sick at all this year, even with crazy work schedules for a lot of the year.
What does being 10kg lighter mean to you?
Being lighter means I’m more comfortable in my own skin, I have less aches and pains. I suffer less from moodiness and anxiety.
I seem and feel generally happier. My clothes are fitting better and it's given me the confidence to know that if I truly want something and put my mind to it, I can in fact achieve whatever I want!
Was it hard to lose the weight and keep it off? What and how did you achieve it?
No, it actually wasn’t hard at all. I think the main things one needs are.. to make the decision in your own mind for yourself, that you want to change your life and habits, get organised and prepare where you can and then make yourself accountable to someone or somehow. I personally had a nutrition plan available to me where I cut out all (as best I could) the inflammatory food groups which meant I swapped things out for different things. In regards to the nutrition and eating I found that because I have been living alone this year it made it a little easier because if for example I wanted to cut out dairy from my diet, I just made sure I didn’t have any in my fridge or house! And that helped.
Food prepping was a really big help for me. I’m not really someone that loves cooking, I love baking but not cooking and after some very long days of work, that would be the last thing I ever wanted to do and so getting takeaway or eating quick, not so nutritious foods was the easy cop out. Doing some big cook ups occasionally, portioning them and freezing them meant that even after a long day and even if I was just heating something up to have, I knew it was compliant with my healthy eating program and fuelling me properly. Also as time went on and I felt better and better, it became easier and easier to stick to healthier habits.
What advice would you give to someone that might be where you were at the end of 2019?
Just start! Don’t wait for a better or more right time.
Start with small achievable changes and don’t beat yourself up if you slip up! Be kind to yourself and just try to do better the next day. And then the next..and before you know it, it will just become routine and what you do. Set yourself some little goals to aim for and when you achieve them, reward yourself with something if you want. A massage, a new outfit, something that brings you joy and then set another lot of goals to work towards. I know for myself, that I need a bit of structure and something to aim towards to really keep me focused and on track hence why I’m wanting to make a plan for my ‘Final quarter’ of the year. Figure out what works for you and the only way to do that is to try things. If something doesn’t work, great! It’s something you can cross off your list and then it narrows down the list of what will work for you.
Do you have any final words you’d like to share?
I don’t think I can emphasise more how important it is to speak nicely to yourself and how much of a difference it makes.
It might feel a little silly at the start but it really does get easier and I truly believe it really does help.
Start with simple little things like telling yourself it’s going to be a great day as soon as your feet hit the floor when you roll out of bed! When looking at yourself in the mirror, maybe smile and say ‘You’ve got this’ or ‘Good job today’ Honestly, I know it sounds so silly and trivial but the words we hear the most are the ones we speak to ourselves so if you want to make some positive healthier changes in your life, start speaking them to yourself as often as you can until you really start believing them and watch how much easier it is to make the physical changes.
Good Luck from me and 100%..You’ve got this! 😘