Sophia R.'s Story

Ottawa Personal Training Client Success Story

My name is Sophia Ranieri and I’ve known Ruslan for over 6 years now. However, it wasn’t until last spring that I decided to take a leap of faith and put my trust in his hands.  I have been in a constant struggle with my relationship with food and my body image. Every year my weight would fluctuate up and down over 30 lbs. I would restrict my calories for weeks only to wake up one day and decide I wanted to eat everything in sight. I would work out 2-3 times a day thinking that more is better. I wouldn’t dream of getting off that elliptical before burning those 500 calories. This has been a continuous cycle for over 15 years. I remember one summer when I was at my lowest weight, and the compliments were soaring… only to have gained all the weight back and more by Christmas. I was embarrassed to see my friends who just a short time ago were complimenting me on my success. I knew what was going through their minds. She failed. Again. This lowered my confidence significantly and at times of my heaviest weight I would avoid social functions because none of my clothes fit. I was moody, depressed, exhausted and clearly not happy with my life.

But last spring something changed. I was tired of going up and down. I was tired of being defeated. I was tired of feeling frustrated with myself. I was just plain tired. I emailed Ruslan immediately, knowing that he was the only person who could help me with this. It was tough talking about my struggles to someone else. It somehow makes them real when you acknowledge them. I think that was my biggest problem. I tried to pretend that everything was ok, when it clearly wasn’t. The most valuable thing I learned that day was that it’s not about the food. It never was. Once I made that connection, it somehow all made sense.

At first I was skeptical of the changes Ruslan was implementing. No cardio? Eating carbs? Less working out? I did tell him I wanted to lose weight didn’t I? But as time went on I began to trust the process and started to believe in myself. This taught me that everything was about balance. Eat whole foods, challenge the body through enjoyable workouts and most importantly have fun. I think that was the biggest thing I was lacking in my life. I was too busy planning my workouts throughout the day that I forgot to do the things I enjoyed. For instance, going to Chapters for an afternoon read, watching a movie or planning a get together with friends.  Once I started doing exactly what Ruslan prescribed the weight started falling off.  I couldn’t believe it. I was finally working with my body as oppose to against it.

The physical changes were an amazing accomplishment throughout the process, having lost about 30 lbs and 4 dress sizes. Shopping was more fun than ever but proved to be tough as I kept trying things on that were too big! Never thought I would say that. It took awhile to realize that I wasn’t a size 12 anymore. My overall demeanour, mood, and outlook on life have changed drastically. It finally made me realize what I wanted to do in life and that was help people who are going through the same struggles as I did. The old Sophia would never have had the confidence to make such a drastic change from the office back to the gym. But here I am, working as a personal trainer, helping people achieve the same success that I have.

I would love to say the battle is over, but I know this is a lifelong commitment to myself. I know there will be struggles each and every day, but the difference now is that I have the tools, resources and most importantly the confidence to overcome the setbacks that come my way. This is all thanks to Ruslan’s extensive knowledge and coaching techniques. Without him I wouldn’t have been able to be where I am today. What I love about his coaching is that he allowed me to grow throughout this process, never telling me what to do, but by providing me with the tools I needed to think for myself. This has tremendously strengthened me mentally and has helped me with each conflict that I face. When I look back on how I was only 1 year ago, I am so glad that I made the decision to work with Ruslan and I look forward to becoming a stronger person, mentally and physically as I continue this journey.

Sophia Ranieri