Sofia Rozhko, the owner and coach of theBODY School, specialising in eating habits and the passion for a healthy lifestyle, has seen her business grow into a great success. We had an interview to find out Sofia’s story.
What is your story, how did you start?
I started in 2014. I was offering private lessons and advice to people, based on my personal work-outs and my new-found eating habits. I lost 13 kilograms. I never really had problems with extra weight before, but I had terrible eating habits. Over several years, I had gained those extra 13 kg and knew that I had to work to lose them. To give you an idea, I used to eat every day at McDonald’s.
I studied ecology and chemistry, so I understand human physiology. That helped me understand and build my diet and later adopt the habit of eating right. I took on a diet course and later started to coach people.
We were two people at the start, but less than in a year I decided to create my own school. I gave it a name, created the logo, built a website and most importantly, I already had some reputation and contacts to build a client base. So I did my first presentation and had my first group to coach.
My school is two years old now. The overall number of people that have taken on our course is 600 people. I coach most of them, but some are families. When the wife, for instance, begins to take the course, she desires to implement our basic diet principles in her entire family, therefore her husband starts to follow the healthy diet too.
Can you tell us more about the course itself? What are the basics?
The course lasts for 3 months. These are weekly group courses with individual support during the entire period. During classes I explain about physiology, how food influences the processes that happen in our body, how sugar, salt and fat transform our very organisms. Lessons help to follow the program consciously; people should understand what effect this or that eating habit or product have on their bodies.
After each lection , everyone receives a task; everyone should follow a special eating regime and write it down in their food dairy. There is an application Food Instagram, people take pictures of what they eat so we can monitor and control them. I adapt every diet plan individually for every group member.
There are 12 classes, one class per week.
Do your students have some medical examination before?
Yes, this is how we start the course. Each has an individual consultation and then we can adapt the diet depending on the specific health conditions of everyone. The doctor provides support throughout program.
Who works in your team?
We have a doctor, a talented and curious one, she is constantly taking some additional training abroad. We also have a stylist. At the end of the course we do a photoshoot. The stylist also give tips and create an individual style. We have two coaches, one is more into cardio training and another one is a “butt specialist”. She only works with legs and butt.
Is physical training obligatory in your course?
We suggest physical training, it can be three times a week or self-training. Every week a person can receive video training guides from which they can practice individually at home. We have our gym people can attend. However, this is not our main product, it is a part of the program to help people build their body. For some people I even do not always recommend to start practice sport at the very beginning of the program. First, they have to focus on food diet and then from the 3d week implement physical activity too.
How do you control your students? They can have a Mcdonald’s and not tell you about it.
I write feedback for everyone via a food application. I can also see the absence of results when I measure the person during the class. If I see that, I ask them to explain. Most of the time they confess what has caused the stagnation in their progress. I have time to provide assistance to everyone individually, but they come here for a change, I may not force them, but encourage them to face that change.
So how many people do you coach at one time?
I take 50 or 55 people from different groups at one time. I have male-only groups, online groups. This is the maximum number I can comfortably control and monitor on my own. People come to my course because they like the fact that I will coach them personally. I enjoy it too, I don’t wish to become only a manager of the school, I like working personally with people and see the results.
What are the products you ban completely during the program?
Sugar and white wheat. Duck and pork.
Do you practice the delivery of the pre-cooked dishes to follow your diet?
No, we do not do that. The main idea is to create the healthy habit that will work for the person after the course too. Everyone should be able to find the right product even if short in term. Or indeed to be able to cook for himself.
Do you receive feedback from your very first students?
We do, I keep in touch with all the students.
Some funny story that happened with you and your students.
Once in a restaurant I was being watched very closely till the time I received my plate. The person knew me and said she was just curious to see if I followed what I teach myself. It happens very often.
I had a friend too who was in a hospital and she asked me to buy all the things you can only imagine: chips, sweets, Coca Cola, snickers. A vendor at the cash desk in the supermarket looked at me and said : “I truly believed you were not eating this all…”. I abandoned the idea to explain her the whole story.
Thank you Sofia! We look forward to your new projects and have definitely got some inspiration for a healthier lifestyle!