I wanted to share another great inspirational story from someone whom I met recently. Once I read her accomplishments to date I reached out to her and now am pleased to present Teodorovic, her accomplishments, and her obstacles in getting to where she wants to be. I am also very excited that she agreed to answer some questions for Team Never Give Up!, take a look....
First of all I love my family and I know they love me, they have been a great support all my life. They didn't know any of this. Kept it all to myself....
I was never overweight as a child or as a teen. But I was always compared to my sister. We have different structures and she's always been thin like a toothpick. Certain uncles and aunts made comments "why aren't you as thin as your sister?" or "when are you going to loose your babyfat?" and so on....they only said it directly to me and never in front of other family members. I was just a child and couldn't defend myself, only knew I wasn't worthy their love because I wasn't thin enough.
As a teen I developed early, and I was embarrassed about it. Tried to hide my boobs by wearing large, oversized jumpers and shirts. Did everything I could to hide them. None of my friends or my older sister had developed yet. Had a G-cup when I was 15 years old, believe me it wasn't funny!!!! Being so heavy in the front department it caused my constant back, shoulder and neck pains. I used to play basketball but had to give it up at the end, I had to wear 3 pairs of sportsbra to try to keep them in place..I used to workout (basketball practice, swimming, aerobic and running) 7 days a week and played matches so I was fit as a teen. But still wearing oversized shirts, and my relatives kept on pointing out to me that I was not as thin as my sister....Starting to criticizing myself, hating myself and wondering what was wrong with me...why couldn't they just love me for me!? Still couldn't tell anyone, still hadn't found my voice.
When I was 18 years old I got an appointment with a plastic surgeon to perform a breast reduction. He asked me to stand on the scale and when the nurse said that I weighed 69 kg, he asked me to lose weight 9 kg and then call back for another visit. He never looked at me, I was physically fit, there wasn't an ounce of fat just muscles. Went out to my dad and cried, the result was that I gained 9 kg instead...at the same time I stopped with everything, concentrating on my grades that had been slipping due to all my training and I had also started working on weekends. From thereon it went downhill, I gained about 5-10 kg per year, till I was 24 years. My aunt had started to attend Weight Watchers and got me in to it. During 2 years I lost about 30 kg, then disaster struck. My dad died suddenly and I fell back into my bad habits, finding comfort in food and snacks. Didn't want to be a burden on anyone so I kept all my suffering and sadness locked inside. BIG MISTAKE! Gained it all back within 3 years. Then I started a crazy diet, 3 shakes a day, kept it going for about 4 months and lost ca 35 kg. Started to eat "normal" again and moved to Skåne to write my bachelor (only for 7-8 months) and gained it all and a little extra kg within 2 years this time.
So now we are back to the pic in may 2010, where my journey started....
How did you begin an Adaptive Fitness program? "I was heavily overweight and I knew I had to take it slow. It all began with power walks, one in the morning and one in the evening and portion control. I still ate the same food, healthier alternative if possible (ex. full grain pasta iso white pasta). Been on diets before, restricted ones, and they always backfired. Gained it all back and then some. I'm not good with diets, after a while I fall back to old habits because I miss eating real food. I'm an emotional eater, so it's very much a mental struggle too.
I first started out with gymclasses, like pilates and yoga for a few months along side the power walks. My friends (Carola and Camilla) started to drag me to a BodyPump class at 6.45 every Tuesday morning with a crazy instructor that yelled at us all the time (in a good way, kept us motivated). The instructors play a large part, if I don't feel like they love what they do and that they are there to teach me, I don't give it my all, I give 100% but not 210%.
That consistency with Carola and Camilla is a big contribution to where I am today, and having friends supporting you is important. I felt stronger after going to strength classes so I eventually started to workout in the gym, it was scary at first because I wasn't sure I was doing it right. But now I just do my own thing, try to go through all big muscle groups. I combine classes, power walks and
Haha my face, red like a tomato, taken 10min after a class with mr. Andersson who always pushes me and make me give 210%, never less than that!! btw I "lost" half my face and got a neck as well :) hahaha
I only have one life and I would like to enjoy it to the fullest :)"
Where do you train?
"At a gym chain called SATS, can use all their facilities in Sweden, so if I'm traveling (domestic) I can still go to the gym! No excuses :)"
What limitations do you encounter at the gym and how do you work around them?
"Haven't encountered one yet....If there is anything I lack at the gym I'd check if that is possible in another of their facilities. There is more than 30 SATS in the Stockholm area were I live. Get back to you if it happens :)"
What does your routine consist of?
"Classes (strength, HIIT, pilates and yoga), power walks (going to start to run now...have a 5km race in September) and machines/lifting weights at the gym. Strong believer in combining different sorts of workouts to maximize my progress. "
How do you stay motivated to workout?
"My motivation is me! This time it's all about ME, stop hating myself and my body. I have spent almost 15 years of my life hating me. I want to be healthy and to be the best version of me :)
You've got to have the willpower, YOU must want this. Want this more than anything. It is bloody hard work and no one else is going to do it for you! Just wishing it won't make it happened. It's you and ONLY you that can do the work. If you're not doing this for yourself it won't succeed.
I know what my gym membership costs ($ 100/month) it's money well spent only if I use it and go to the gym! I've wanted so many times to give up because I didn't see any progress or the scale worked against me (gaining instead of loosing kilos). You tend to forget that when you lose fat and gain muscle mass the scale goes up...But if I gave up I would just hate myself even more. I'm kind of stubborn and I hate to lose.....in this case it's two good qualities! ;)
My advice: just take it slow, one day at the time, it will happen. There is no magic, only hard work and it will pay off! Surround you with people who are true, who helps and support you through the bumpy ride no matter what!
My journey began almost 3 years ago and I'm still on it :) "
What is your favorite exercise?
"Oh good question, it varies. Depends on what mood I'm in. But I do love my long power walks and I have my favorite instructors that pushes me to give at least 210% EVERY TIME hahaha"
How do you measure progress?
"Being overweight most of my adult life, the numbers on the scale has been the main measurement, unfortunately...you forget that when your gaining muscle mass you gain weight. The main focus has been to lose weight and not gain, the numbers on the scale has been the most difficult thing to come to terms with. It's a hell of a ride, ups and downs (a lot of plateauing) but I wouldn't want to miss it for the world!"
What are you most proud of?
"Not giving up! Even when I'm at a standstill, have been now for the last 5-6 months, I keep going. Wanted to give up and say "f**k this it's pointless" so many times!! Especially when my numbers wasn't moving or I couldn't see the progress!
It all began with a pic of me from my friend's henparty, when I saw that pic I couldn't believe that that BIG person was me!! I literally broke down in tears because I knew that girl wasn't me, not the real me!
I look in the mirror every day, and I get blinded. I still see that BIG girl starring back at me! The mind is a BIG obstacle, it play tricks on you and try to fool you. You have to learn to ignore it. I would have gone mad without my support team"
I always stress consistency to all of my clients, what advice would you give to someone living with a disability to stay consistent? "Depends on what kind of disability you're talking about. You have to consult a doctor and/or a physiotherapist or someone at the gym to make sure it's safe for you, and what kind of exercises you can/cannot do.
Even here is consistency the key to success, it doesn't matter whether your disable or not. We can all come up with excuses not to go to the gym or even go out for a walk. It is easy to make excuses which means that you don't really want it bad enough. You have to put your time and effort into it in order to succeed! It may sound hard but it's about your health. You have to put yourself first, no one else will!!! "
Thank you so much Teodorovic for sharing your very inspiring story of motivation, determination, and perseverance to accomplish your goals.
You are true representation of a never give up attitude!
For those of you that would like to reach out to Teodorovic, you can check out her fitocracy page here: