• Sophia Petrakis

The Beginning

I'm sure many reading this can relate to my story. It's a familiar one, it's been told by many before me and I'm sure many more to come. It's the story about a mom of 3 who just wanted to get back to feeling good about herself and who desperately wanted to learn how to balance it all without losing it!

My story starts in January of 2017, I had a 7 year old, 3 year old and a 1 year old at the time. I was ready to start the long process of trying to get my body and mind for that matter, back to where it was. I knew that baby girl #3 was going to be the last baby for me, I was turning 35 in a month and I was ready to get started on the long road that lay ahead. The long road of exercise, healthy eating (notice I didn't say diet) and figuring out how I was going to stick to it all with our busy family life. I wasn't looking for a diet because I needed something that was going to stick with me for the long run not just until I dropped the baby weight.

I began with signing up at a local gym and going to classes about 4 days a week. That's where I discovered my love for Pilates. I had taken the classes offered at the gym and had really enjoyed one of the instructors method of teaching. I always made more of an effort to be at her classes. Things were looking great, and then I missed one day and another and then another and before I knew it, a month had gone by and I hadn't been to the gym. I started working out from home, using videos, work out plans that I had found on Pinterest and others from books I had. That seemed to really work for me and my busy schedule. After I stopped going to the gym, I decided to do a little more research and learn all that I could about the history of Pilates. Who Joseph Pilates was? How and why he created this method of exercise and why was it so good for your body? I then decided that I would further my education and become a Certified Pilates Mat Instructor. I began teaching friends and family and slowly, pureSELF was born!

Pilates was helping me get strong and build lean muscles which I was so thrilled about, now I needed to work on my cardio. In January of 2018, I joined the local Muay Thai gym that my oldest daughter trains at. Two classes in and I was hooked!!! The feeling you get coming off of a work out like that is like no other. The most fun I have ever had while working every muscle in my body to the point of exhaustion.

So at this point, I'm working out about 5 days a week and eating "healthy" why am I feeling bloated, tired and sluggish all the time? It was time to take care of my eating habits. I began what ended up being a life changing 30 day cleanse with my husband. The cleanse was like no other I had done in the past. I basically eliminated all common food allergens (eg. soy, caffeine, alcohol, gluten etc.) for 30 days, replaced unhealthy food choices with vegan shakes for breakfast and lunch, introduced supplements, ate healthy lean and green dinners (with recipes provided by the 30 Day Facebook Group) and lots of WATER! Not only did I figure out what foods were causing my bloating, I was alert, I lost the last bit of stubborn baby weight I was struggling with and literally felt like a new person! To this day, I follow this new way of eating and living that I learned from the 30 days that I was on the cleanse. Don't get me wrong, I drink my coffee and enjoy some of those other common allergens, but I know how to keep it all balanced. I live a 60/40 life now. During the week I follow the program more strictly, on the weekends I give myself the pass to be a little less rigid and enjoy myself without overdoing it.

So much has really changed in the last couple years and especially this past year for me. I am probably the healthiest I have ever been, I am happy and I am doing things in my life that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be doing, and I'm loving every minute of it!

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