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Hungry for change, Sophie Gleeson transformed her body, life and mindset. 

At 25 years old and 93kg, my job was my life. I was working 70 hours or more a week and living on fast food and coffee. I had gained unbelievable amounts of weight; I didn’t recognise the person in the mirror. I was unhappy with life and my achievements. 

I truly believed that someone would change my life for me, but the reality was the only person who was going to change this was me. I refused to get into photos with friends, or would hide at the back so I couldn’t be seen, I found it difficult to walk upstairs and was struggling to fit into my pants and work uniform. Being lethargic wasn’t fun, and I really missed being an active, healthy person. 

It was at this point I decided things needed to change. I found a new job, which was right around the corner from my new gym, and began working with a PT who educated me on training and nutrition. Being vegetarian my whole life, I wasn’t achieving the results that I wanted to see. Chicken and fish were introduced into my diet, and I gained knowledge around food preparation. 

Two of my applications for state finals for beauty pageants were accepted. This gave me motivation to work hard and to prove everyone who told me I couldn’t make it to the stage wrong. Training got turned up a notch, and from there on in, it was a complete lifestyle change for the better. Every Sunday, I spent time preparing all my meals for the week, and within two months, I lost 15kg. 

Unfortunately, during this time my job was made redundant. I felt like I lost everything I had worked for and didn’t know what was going to happen next. Although most days I felt like crawling up in a ball and eating inconsumable amounts of chocolate, I had goals that I wanted to achieve at the gym, and nothing could get in my way. 

I competed in two beauty pageants and went on to Nationals to represent Victoria. The judges’ feedback was that I was too muscly. I wasn’t sure what to think of this, because I felt like I had worked so hard to get on stage. After talking to people who helped me reach my goals, they suggested I try something different: fitness modelling with the INBA. 

Resetting my goals, the next six months seemed so much brighter. I competed in my first INBA competition. This was a milestone I didn’t think I would ever achieve, and even during the weeks leading up to the competition, getting on stage seemed impossible. It was the experience of the event and the photos that made me realise how far I have come. I now have new goals I am working toward and cannot wait to come back better than ever! 

My transformation has not only made me a stronger person, but has also taught me a lesson in itself: that if you truly believe in what you are doing and you see your goal, no one can stop you.

You can follow Sophie on Instagram @sophgleeso to see more of her journey.

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