Meet Sophie of Tracking is the New Black. She’s a proud Weight Watchers Lifetime Member focused on living a healthy life for her and her family. In 2015, Sophie changed her perspective on food and fitness, lost 60 pounds, and discovered a newfound love for running and being active. Her strategy for diet and wellness created a passion for inspiring others through social media to be their healthiest and happiest selves.
Harney & Sons had the opportunity to talk to Sophie about her weight loss journey, fitness tips, diet habits, love for tea, and more!
Harney: Tell us about your weight loss journey. How did you get to where you are today?
Sophie: I gained weight in college, and again with both of my pregnancies. After my youngest son was born, I began a roller coaster ride of fad diets that lasted about 10 years, leaving me at the highest weight of my life. I joined Weight Watchers and left everything I thought I knew about weight loss behind. I re-learned food portions, developed healthy habits, found balance in foods and within myself, and discovered that I like being active. Feeling good in my clothes never gets old.
Harney: Why are health and wellness so important to you, and how do you stay on track?
Sophie: I want to set an example for my children so they learn healthy habits for themselves, and ultimately I just want to live my best life! I don’t want to be sedentary or unable to enjoy experiences with my family and friends. I want to go places and explore the world without worrying if I fit into airplane seats, or if I’ll find clothes that fit me for the occasion. I want to chase my kids when we play games, without feeling out of breath at the top of the stairs. And, I want the reflection I see in the mirror to be accurate to what I see within myself, without weight crushing my confidence.
I stay on track by keeping a log of my food and water, monitoring my activity, setting goals for myself, recognizing personal victories, treating myself kindly, and finding joy in the small things.
Harney: What does a typical day (or week) of healthy eating/exercise look like in the life of Sophie?
Sophie: My typical day will always start with a coffee and end with a quiet cup of hot tea. My weeks vary depending on the family and my work schedule, but I can generally count on being busy all the time! I plan weeknight meals over the weekend and try to prepare as much as I can to make things easier during the week: wash/chop veggies, cook chicken, prepare jars of oats, portion snacks, freeze things. Summer is our down time. Summer days are usually spent at the pool, eating fresh foods al fresco, and pretty much every meal comes off the grill and involves watermelon somehow! I exercise 3-5 days a week depending on our schedule, but no matter how busy life gets I dig for holes in the schedule where I can make it work, even if it’s a quick 30 minutes.
Harney: How do you stay motivated to eat healthier, curb cravings, and still enjoy dining out?
Sophie: My motivation comes from my reasons to want to be healthy in the first place (see question 2 above). I curb cravings by not depriving myself of foods. I spent years restricting certain foods thinking that was the key to losing weight before I finally learned what balance truly meant. So, if I really want a brownie, I have one—I’ve just learned that I don’t have one every day. Tea helps me curb cravings as well. I have lots of different flavors to choose from!
I enjoy eating out, and I’m that picky customer that will order most things on the side, omitting/subbing items, and ask the servers questions about the menu and how food is prepared. When I travel, I will usually pick one or two foods that are true to that city’s culture and really savor it; those are the times that I don’t substitute anything!
Harney: What are your top weight loss tips?
- Don’t restrict foods, learn to make everything work in moderation. Moderation is a skill that has to be learned and it’s not always easy. Be kind to yourself. Think, research, and learn about ways you can make your favorite foods work in your life. And get creative with making healthy twists to your classic dishes, too.
- Balance your meals by adding colors to your plate with fruits and veggies
- Move your body more, in whatever way feels right for you. An important lesson that I’ve learned is that I don’t need to be an athlete to be an active person. I love to walk with my dog, dance in the kitchen with my kids, get my heart pumping on a spin bike, and I love to run with some good music on and a gorgeous trail under my feet! Be open to what fitness can look like for you.
- Make time for yourself. As a Mom, I had to learn to put myself on the calendar alongside the rest of the family!
- Sleep, and drink water. It’s amazing the correlation between being tired and thirsty, and over-eating. I make it a point to drink a lot of liquids in my days; I change it up with plain water, fruit-infused water, different flavors of unsweetened teas (hot or iced), and coffee. I try to go to bed with my wake up time in mind. This lets me know what time I should go to bed in order to get the hours of sleep I want for the night.
Harney: What are your favorite healthy meals/snacks for on-the-go or when you're short on time?
Sophie: I like to make a batch of pulled chicken in my crockpot to have ready for the busy weekdays. I’ll use it in multiple meals, and it saves so much time to have it on hand! My favorite ways to use the chicken is on flatbread pizzas, tacos, stuffed baked potato (sweet potato, or jacket potato), on top of salads, or in a wrap. And if I don’t have time for cooking my own chicken, I’ll just pop over to the grocery store and pick up a rotisserie chicken on the way home!
I love overnight oats with chia seeds. I’ll make different flavors using cacao, nut butters, vanilla, and fruit—so many options and it’s my fave! Quick snacks are usually any portable fruit like an apple, pear, or banana that I can throw in my bag, beef jerky, nuts, popcorn, or carrots and hummus.
Harney: When did you discover Harney & Sons and why do you drink it?
Sophie: I discovered Harney a few years ago because the lovely tins caught my eye, and I absolutely love the delicate triangular tea bags filled with chunky leaves and delicious fruit. I love the fruity herbal and green teas! I drink tea because it’s always been a way of life for me personally; my childhood was spent in England, where tea time is part of the culture. The whole process of making tea slows me down in such a wonderful way... from boiling the kettle, to steeping the bag, and sipping calmly from my cup. It’s perfect for me!
Harney: What is your favorite type of tea?
Sophie: Any green tea. I love peppermint herbal with a slice of lemon. Green tea with coconut, because I love all things coconut (and the gorgeous pink tin!). I’m a huge fan of cranberry—it’s both tangy and sweet and perfect for any time of day since it’s naturally decaffeinated.
Harney: What do you hope others learn from your story?
Sophie: I hope that they would be inspired to do it for themselves. It takes work and learning that we are worth the effort makes all the difference. I hope that they would see that making a change when something’s not working can happen and that achieving what we want for ourselves is possible through persistence and determination.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us and share your story, Sophie! To learn more about her weight loss journey, visit her Facebook page. All photography in this post has been provided by Sophie. Follow her on Instagram at @trackingisthenewblack.