by VEJAY STEEDE
Staying in shape is hard work. Even professional athletes can sometimes struggle with maintaining fitness and discipline. For those of us who grew up loving food and preferring a more relaxing existence, fitness can be a thoroughly overwhelming proposition.
This is why people who break the cycle of excess and put in the work to transform themselves both physically and mentally are so inspiring.
Sonia Costa is one of those people and her story is nothing short of amazing. We had a chat with her about her often grueling journey.
RGMags (RG): Briefly describe your fitness journey.
Sonia Costa (SC): My fitness journey started in 2012. I signed up for a fitness challenge at the Athletic Club. I lost 15-20 pounds during the challenge and I automatically fell in love with the results. I knew at that moment I had to continue. Once the challenge was over, I invested in getting a trainer and that was the best decision I made in my life.
RG: When was enough, enough?
SC: Enough was enough when I realised that I was 23 years old and 255 pounds. I reached a point where I was not happy with myself. My health was simply going downhill at such a young age. I also realised I was hiding my body and I had low self-confidence. I wanted to look and feel good, so I knew I had to make a change.
RG: Was the change more physical or mental for you?
SC: The change was both mental and physical for me. It first started with the mental, and once I changed the mental, the physical became a by-product of my mental change.
RG: How have you maintained your physique and fitness?
SC: I have maintained my physique by trusting and listening to my trainer, Hafid James, and eating properly. Also, having self control and remembering where I started. I never want to go back to the old me. My fitness has become a huge commitment. Even when I don’t feel like going to the gym, I make myself go. I push my feelings to the side and remember that the gym is making me a stronger woman mentally.
RG: How has your fitness journey affected your overall health, both mentally and physically?
SC: My fitness journey has taught me a lot about patience, commitment and when things get rough to keep pushing through. To never give up. I’ve gained a lot of self-respect and confidence in who I am. My journey has humbled me and made me a better woman. I’ve learned to love myself completely.
RG: What advice would you give to persons who want to make a similar fitness transition to yours?
SC: My advice would first be to never give up; even when the scale shows you gained a pound or two or even when you stayed the same weight for the week, just keep going and do not get discouraged, this does happen. Think of it as a commitment you’ve made to yourself.
Another thing I would suggest is creating a support system to help you reach your goals. Whether it’s your loved ones, or someone that specialises in food or training, or just good friends who will keep you focused.
For myself, I found great trainers and a gym family who supported me from the start of my journey. A few months later I met the man I love, who I also admire, and I wanted to accomplish something great in life just like he had; to have my own story. The people you surround yourself with make a big difference.