By Liana Jacob
MEET THE British blonde who silenced her bullies and ex-boyfriend who called her fat by turning to the gym and DOUBLING her calorie intake, allowing her to sculpt her figure into a bodybuilder’s dream.
Self-employed beauty therapist and social media influencer Sophie Armitage, 25, from Huddersfield, UK, grew up with a passion for sports, maintaining an active lifestyle which kept her fit and in shape.
But despite her active upbringing and healthy lifestyle Sophie was severely bullied by her peers, something which she says forced her to think negatively about herself. The bullying, coupled with an ex who called her ‘fat’, drove her to obsess over her appearance and diet, consuming only 1,000 calories a day and shrinking down to a weight of just eight stone and a dress size of six.
It was while she was on this downward spiral, though, that Sophie met a new man, who was also fond of the gym. He introduced her to new exercise routines and diets, allowing her to begin to feel good about herself once again.
Sadly, the relationship didn’t work out in the end, but that didn’t stop Sophie continuing to improve her life.
She soon began to have four to five meals a day, consisting mostly of carbohydrates and protein, which saw her calorie intake rise dramatically to between 2,000 and 2,500 a day.
Sophie now weights a healthy 9st with a size eight body, and says she couldn’t be happier with her transformation.
“Growing older, I was severely bullied by girls and was in a very negative relationship. I found the gym was my only place they couldn’t get to me,” Sophie said.
“I had a high metabolism and didn’t eat thinking I was fat and that people would like me more if I was skinny.
“I was very unhappy; always out to please everybody. I felt fat but knew I was skinny, I got told I was fat, so I eventually convinced myself I was, and I would just go out running and then eat fruit or Ryvita’s.
“I worried everyday about the future and convinced myself I would be a failure.
“But eventually I got myself into another relationship where he was very into the gym. He taught me quite a lot and we were happy.
“It quickly turned sour and again I found the gym was my saviour, my sanctuary to get away. I got myself a personal trainer and I began to enjoy the small changes I saw.
“I put my all into the gym and decided it was time to make myself happy as no one else was going to do that for me.
“I found girls on Instagram that inspired me; followed their journey, researched, found out what foods worked for me, what exercises and just really enjoyed the changes my body made. If I trained more I could eat more.
“The mental side is definitely more important than the aesthetics. I’m more confident, strong and independent.
“I know how to approach people, speak up and when to rid those negative people out of my life without feeling guilty about it.
“I enjoy what I see when I look in the mirror, even when I’m gaining body fat, because I know I could easily remove it if I wanted to.
“I feel like a female warrior who has been through so much. I talk to young girls on how to make those positive changes and ignore the haters.
“I also added weight training to my exercise regime. I made this change about five years ago so that I could stop jumping from the cross trainer to the treadmill to the bike.
“It was hard at first; pushing myself through the pain and not feeling like I was doing things wrong, but those are the problems that make you mentally stronger.”
While this process certainly boosted Sophie’s confidence, she says that people will still leave negative comments for her online. However, while this may have bothered her in the past, Sophie says that she has now learned to ignore them.
“I have come across friends and girls I knew making snide comments and jokes on Facebook and Twitter. I knew they were aimed at me,” she said.
“At first, I let it get to me, but then I just thought it says more about them than me. If it bothers them so much that I enjoy the gym, then let it.
“I had a lot of girls write things about me taking pictures in the gym. I think people think you ‘love yourself’; even if that’s true, why not?
“But that’s not it; I take pictures to try and inspire others, to have accountability for myself. If people saw me as this ‘fitness girl’ then I can’t let that drop and I didn’t.
“My advice would be to get yourself a personal trainer or online coach, even if it’s for a month just to give you the confidence.
“Find people on Instagram and YouTube who inspire you and educate you. If you don’t know any, google it.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/sophielaa/