This fitness Instagrammer’s U-turn is the real inspiration we all need

There was a time when Sophie Gray's followers were given constant updates on her the health and fitness progress.

From snaps showing off her sculpted abs and toned triceps to images highlighting her lean physique, Sophie was just one of thousands of fitness bloggers online.

But not anymore.

Turning her back on her old approach to Instagram, Sophie now highlights the important of self-love, the need for a realistic work / life/ exercise balance, and does her utmost to remind her 370,000 followers that their self-worth isn't determined by the number on the scales or the duration of their exercise session.

And why the change of tack?

Well, Sophie stumbled upon an old photo of herself which had been re-posted by a fitness account, who captioned the shot: "Nothing tastes as good as feeling fit feels’.

Uncomfortable by the connotations which accompanied this photograph of herself, Sophie replied: "Actually, from experience and seeing as I’m the person in this photo… I know that pizza and cookies taste way better."

And with that, Sophie decided to change the vibe of her uber-popular Instagram account.

Now, Sophie shares inspirational posts which aren't solely focussed on the physical, and instead made reference to mental health, mindfulness, self-contentment and self-assurance.

And frankly, we're all over it.

Here are just a few of our favourites.

1. How to reach out.


Have you been all levels of emotional lately? I cried in my shower this morning thinking about the ending of Wonder Women. I also cried uncontrollably for 15 minutes while hugging Rio because I know one day I won’t be able to do that. All of the emotions. Can you relate?!! If you have been going through something similar the past week or so, know you’re not alone. I won’t go all woo woo on you, but the moon plays a huge role in our emotional experience as women. It’s bizarre to me that I can have these crying fits, or deeper, more “I’m not moving from my couch for 2 days straight” experiences and in the moment think I’m so alone. But, when I connect with my girlfriends, I learn that they’re experiencing the same thing. This connection and ability to hear what they’re going through instantly makes me feel better. It doesn’t make me feel better because I’m stoked that they’re hurting. It makes me feel better because it shows me just how connected we all are, especially women. I’ll be completely honest… I have never had a great relationship with my female peers. My own insecurities left me feeling judged, insecure and shut down. It feels like as women we were trained to see each other as enemies, or competition. This couldn't be further from the truth. As of late I have been learning the absolutely necessity of finding people to connect with. I know it can take a long time to find girlfriends who lift you up, so I want to give a space for that right now. Is there something you’re going through that’s making you feel really alone? Or have you been crying uncontrollably about random things? I would love to hear your experience below. But, I'm making a rule.. if you’re sharing – connect with at least one of the other lovely ladies who have shared their experiences. Connect. Relate. Be vulnerable. This isn’t a place to vent or rant. It’s a thread to show up, be heard and connect. It's not about dwelling in these experiences. It's about allowing them to be heard and then instantly releasing them. Okay, go! Tell me what you're going through. Or, what you have been crying about recently. Share, and know it's a safe space to do so.

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

2. Understanding self-care.


This is what self care can look like. Self care isn't only reserved for those who have the privilege of attending a yoga retreat in the jungle. It's not only for those who regularly go for massages. You don't need to lock yourself away in a day spa. Self care isn't one single activity. It's simply making time for you. Today I took a long shower, ate this dairy free ice cream thingy and watched Fifty Shades of Grey. Some days I drive with the radio turned off and repeat positive affirmations. Other days I go for walks with my dogs – and sometimes I do go on tropical vacations or get massages. This photo clearly isn't Instagram Fabulous – but it is real. I want to remind you that you can make time for yourself on the regular – and you are deserving of it. So, go out there and take care of yourself. Go for a walk, take a long shower, sing in your car, read a book, cry, practice yoga, go to Costa Rica.. just do something that allows you to care for your incredible self!

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

3. Treating anxiety and depression.


Okay you guys.. if you have been following my page for a little while, you'll know that I personally have gone through a lot of growth lately. I have been learning to view my anxiety and depression as a gift – anddd, my journey has hugely included books. I was never a reader before – but now, I'm hooked. Self help books are where it's at. My favourites: The Universe Has Your Back – Gabrielle Bernstein Anything by Louise Hay The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte Tears To Triumph by Marianne Williamson When @chaptersindigo asked me to get involved with their #alwaysbereading campaign, I of course said yes! SO, friends, get out there, check out your local @chaptersindigo, read some books, learn to be your own best friend and love yourself! What's your favourite book? Comment below or share using the hashtag #alwaysbereading #experienceindigo

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

4. Learning self-love.


Hi. I have 400,000 followers on social media, and this is what I look like every morning. At first, I didn’t want to share this photo. I was thinking how I should brush my hair out first, then maybe I’d look better. But, nope. This is me. No makeup. No fake lashes. No hair to hide behind. This is how I start every morning. I am not ashamed of this bare face. I am not ashamed of my blemishes. I am not ashamed of my blonde basically invisible lashes. I am not ashamed of my dry lips. I am not ashamed of myself – and you shouldn’t be either. While this may not be the most flattering photo, it’s real. If you’re a female, and you shower, you most likely have a bare face with your hair wrapped up in a towel at some point in the day. I want you to celebrate this part of you. Self love isn’t only for hashtags and a face full of makeup. Self love is looking yourself in the mirror when everything is washed away and knowing you still accept yourself. It’s time for you to love who you see in the mirror. It’s time for you to love yourself. I have put together a FREE offering that highlights my morning routine for being my most confident self. It includes the steps I follow each morning to love myself – and it has nothing to do with styling your hair in a certain way or how to apply concealer. You can access it through the link in my bio!

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

5. Living a guilt-free life.


This wasn't gluten free, sugar free or calorie free. It was guilt free though.

A post shared by Sophie Gray (@wayofgray) on

Sophie, we salute you.