Way of Gray’s founder Sophie Gray sat down with me to offer up an intimate view into the work she’s doing to empower other women to fall in love with their bodies and their minds. The Edmonton, Alberta native gets personal with us about real life, revealing the world behind her workout guides, meal plans, recipes and social media posts.
As a teenager, you worked as a model. Today, you’re a Certified Personal Trainer and Holistic Nutritionist who spreads a message of wellness to hundreds of thousands. How did your modeling experience spark your passion for encouraging others to adopt a healthy lifestyle?
SG: When I was modeling, I was obsessed with looking like a Victoria Secret angel – but my legs and hips never fit the size. This drove me crazy. I would obsessively workout, limit what I ate and measure myself every day. After a couple of years, and when I started Way of Gray, I released that yes, you can lose weight, but no, you cannot change your bone structure. So often women are aspiring to goals that are not realistic for their body type – and they focus on the end physical result, not on feeling healthy and happy. It’s super important to exercise and eat well for reasons aside from the number on a scale!
Hindsight is always 20/20, but if you could reach out to that teenage version of yourself, is there anything you would tell her?
SG: I would tell myself that it is okay to cry, and an amazing gift to feel your feelings deeply. When I was younger I had my heart broken, and spent a year crying because of the rejection. It went deeper than the boy; I was ashamed of my own vulnerability. It has taken a long time to work through these restrictions and learn than vulnerability is beautiful – and necessary.
You look like you’re living the dream these days! Are things as perfect as they look?
SG: I live by myself with my incredibly cute but destructive puppy Rio and I love chai lattes and chocolate. It is easy to assume from my channel that life is all six pack abs and smiles – but that’s not the case. I also know what it’s like to be unhappy. I think if [my followers] knew that they’d be much easier on themselves. Everyone on social media, even celebrities, are just people. We all poop, swear, and have bad hair days!
Social media often shows the world a very curated version of our lives. Can you give us a glimpse into what we might not see from your posts, that is very much a part of your real life?
SG: I cried on New Years Eve. I was crying because I was reflecting on how things have changed so radically for me over the past year. I exited an old relationship, let go of friendships no longer serving me and moved out of my house. It was a happy crying though because with all the loss, came an amazing relationship with the love of my life, incredible friends and independence.
You talk about cravings a lot, and how eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up all the foods we love. Anything on your plate that might surprise us?
SG: I love nachos – so much. I can’t help myself. I don’t like to reward myself with food, but I definitely do get a big plate of nachos when I’m feeling a bit stressed!
Any last words of advice?
SG: I want people to know that everyone is going through something – and that they are not alone. Don’t be afraid to be authentically you. You are so incredibly valuable, and don’t ever lose sight of that when pursuing your passion. It’s easy to look to other people, see their success and want to replicate that – but do your best to be the best version of you, not someone else!
You can join Sophie’s and 400,000 others on her Instagram page, WayofGray. She regularly uploaded videos on her YouTube channel as well as shares updates on her Facebook page! If you’re interested in getting started on her Love Yourself Workout Guides, you can learn more on her website!