Mindset is EVERYTHING. Your mind can either make you sick or make you heal. I truly believe how you think has more of an affect on your health than most believe. If you think you will, you will and if you think you won’t, you won’t. You control whether you succeed at anything and it starts in the mind.
Asa part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sofia Rodriguez, also known as “SoFITfia”. Sofia is a Fitness & Health Expert in the Virginia/Washington D.C. area. She comes from a military background, having traveled and lived in different states as well as countries. Being bilingual and multi-cultured, Sofia has been able to inspire and motivate individuals from all facets of life through her passion for fitness and health. Sofia received her Masters in Clinical Exercise Physiology from the University of Virginia in 2012. Her undergraduate degrees were in Kinesiology and Psychology. She has a vast amount of experience in the field working with cardiac, cancer, diabetic, and injury rehab patients. She is a Certified Personal Trainer ranked among top trainers in the country who has many years of experience training various populations for weight loss, muscle gain, and overall health. Sofia has been the Go-To Expert on many TV morning shows, has been featured in several magazines and online publications such as Forbes & Huffington Post, is a published fitness writer touching on subjects related to exercise, nutrition, health and fitness hot in the press, a fitness model and specializes in bodybuilding and nutrition. In addition, Sofia has launched her own products and created a class targeting the Glute muscles that has been featured at many expos and events in the DMV area
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Noproblem! Thank you so much for having me for this series, I am very honored. When it comes to fitness, my backstory isn’t a huge weight loss or fighting cancer. I grew up a military kid, always moving around the world and country, very shy and not confident. I was always into sports, playing soccer, doing gymnastics, basketball, competitive cheerleading, track & field, and long distance running. However growing up, I was often taken advantage of because I was so nice, never saying no, and had a mentally abusive boyfriend. All in all, mentally I wasn’t strong. I turned to fitness to combat that, getting into weights and doing bodybuilding shows, slowly building my mental strength as time went on. The gym and lifting was my way of transforming not only my body, but my mind too. Now I try to help other individuals increase their mental strength in the fitness industry.
Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
- Mindset is EVERYTHING. Your mind can either make you sick or make you heal. I truly believe how you think has more of an affect on your health than most believe. If you think you will, you will and if you think you won’t, you won’t. You control whether you succeed at anything and it starts in the mind.
- Consistency is KEY. I always tell clients that being strict isn’t sustainable when it comes to anything, including nutrition and workouts. You have to be consistent OVER TIME in order to reach attainable and long lasting goals. Working out and eating healthy should be apart of your life, not your whole life. This is where consistency plays a role. You may have a bad meal here and there or don’t workout a few times, but if you are consistent, you will sustain any physique or attain any other goal.
- Hard Work, dedication, perseverance and a will to never give up are the necessary factors to get anywhere in life. Work ethic beats talent any day of the week. If you don’t put in the effort, don’t expect anything to get done. What you accomplish in life is a direct reflection of what effort you put forth.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
It is hard to narrow down the most interesting thing that has happened in my health & fitness career for the past over a decade. But one story that sticks out is when I was doing the NBC4 & Telemundo Health and Fitness Expo in Washington DC in 2018. I did my class Glute Camp ™ and was walking around, trying to connect and network with other fitness professionals. A little boy, probably 9 or 10 years old stopped me and asked me for my autograph. I was caught off guard but so humbled he wanted me to sign his flyer. It made me realize I am impacting individuals even at younger ages, despite me not being a celebrity.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Outside of the regular business mistakes most of us entrepreneurs make, I think the biggest mistake is believing everyone means well and being too nice. This is not to be negative in any way, but realistic. I have always given people the benefit of the doubt in the beginning, but have learned I have to have a balance between being myself but also cautious about people’s intentions. The reason I say this is I have been swindled a few times in the past when I first started in the fitness industry, only because I was too nice and somewhat naive. Now, I always proceed with caution but also am cordial until I can gage the individual. Time is money, and I really don’t have time to deal with people playing games. I am better at knowing if people are serious or trying to get something for their own personal gain. Unfortunately, not everyone is trying to help you or is honest.
When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
More than anything, I believe I am affecting people’s mindsets about life and themselves through fitness. Whether it is working one on one with a client, teaching my class I created called Glute Camp ™ , selling my products, writing published articles, being the go-to TV Fitness Expert, engaging with people at big events or motivating followers online, I am making an impact little by little. Just being myself and speaking what I believe in, along with the scientific and educational background with the fitness experience I have, is having a domino effect. One person I touch turns into them telling their coworkers, their friends, which results in all those people telling their family and so on about what I teach them. This is hopefully how I will reach thousands and millions one day.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I think this isn’t just one person that I can attribute helping me. Along the way, there are countless of mentors, people who went out of their way to answer my questions even with a busy schedule, even people I hired to coach me or help me out. One particular person I can think of was a woman named Nic. In my quest to getting on TV morning shows, I did months of research and reached out to so many people, even a few close to me, that wouldn’t help me or didn’t respond. Nic spoke to me for an hour giving me advice and gave me a contact to reach out to. Mind you, I never met her before this. She helped me get my first break to get on TV for a fitness segment, which turned into many more after that. I am forever grateful to her!
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would focus on Mental Health because at the end of the day, you will not truly be happy until your are healthy inside. I would make a case that MOST people struggle with some sort of degree of mental health, so tackling that would be important and it would impact a LOT of people.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Set boundaries with people: As a “yes man” myself, I wish I would have set boundaries to prevent being overworked and used. Put yourself first, know your limits so you can focus on quality and not quantity.
- Can’t please everyone: No matter what, you can NOT make everyone happy! That is the harsh truth, and the faster you accept this, the better it will be for you. Don’t do things to please anyone. At the end of the day, do what YOU think is right and in alignment with who you are and what your brand is. The right people will support you. The wrong ones will fall back.
- Confidence will get you a long way: Having virtual zero confidence growing up, I now know that confidence is the key to happiness, that inner knowledge that no matter what happens you love yourself. This will protect you from any external factors that may get you down. True confidence is impenetrable, allowing you to accomplish anything, and attaining this is the ultimate goal.
- Get out there and meet people: Being the biggest introvert and scaredy cat growing up, I never grasped this until later on in my career. Fear will stop you from getting far in life. Don’t be scared to talk to others! You can meet one right person that can change your life.
- Break the rules: In life, you MUST break the rules to get anywhere. Not break the law, but the rules. There is not one great individual in this world that didn’t break the rules to reach their success.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental Health is something I have ALWAYS focused on in my career because of my own personal struggles with it. Working out and being fit is already hard enough amongst the population, but I believe mental health is REALLY a huge problem more so than the physical health levels. Stress is not benign, it affects your entire body and can cause some serious health issues that lead to disease. Even though we can’t necessarily cure mental health diseases and spectrums, we can help manage them and control them so it doesn’t take over or affect your everyday living. That is the goal, using fitness and communities of health and support to help people combat that.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
These are my social media sites, website and email that anyone can follow or reach me at:
Email: [email protected]
Thank you for these fantastic insights!