Losing weight on national television – the journey

I am not sure how to begin my story, so let’s go to the very beginning. Back in August, I was moving out of a place, because me and my boyfriend got our own apartment. As I was packing, I had the TV on in the background. And that’s when I saw the commercial: “Do you want to change your life, do you feel like you are not realising your full potential?…” I didn’t make much of it, but I snapped a pic of the show and the e-mail for submissions.

The beginning:

The studio!

Two days later, here I was, taking “before” pictures and writing my motivation letter. An emotional ordeal in itself, as I poured my soul into it. All the setbacks, all the injuries, the depression and the excuses I made for myself over the last 4 years… all in 1 sheet of paper. But I was determined. I had already lost 10 kg over the past year or so, I had 20 more to go to get back to my normal self. I soon found myself invited to the official casting, where the team got to meet me, we shot a couple of scenes and that was my first exposure to the whole business and what was to come. At that point I was just one of the many who applied, no idea that I would eventually get selected.

The journey:

But sure enough, a week later I got the call and the adventure began. Looking back at it, I am so incredibly grateful to the team for all the opportunities they gave me, but I am also proud of myself for having the courage to take them. This is what Zdraveto Otblizo on BNT is all about – giving you the necessary tools to change your life, what you do with them us entirely up to you. That was the push I needed. The incredible support system the team provided me, paired with the healthy fear of disappointing not only the people close to me but an entire nation watching at home, was my recipe for success.

Make no mistake – none of it was easy, none of it was handed to me on a silver platter. I had to shed sweat, blood and tears to get to where I am today. But most importantly, I had to be ready for the journey. I have been preparing myself for over a year. I had stopped smoking almost 6 months ago, I had already changed many of my consumption habits. It was time to level up!

What followed next was weeks of hard workouts with a personal trainer, as well as group workouts emphasising on cardio. I was introduced to cross-fit trainings and using your own body weight to shape and tone yourself. I was always sore, my muscles burning from the tension.  However, during the 3d week I started feeling stronger, faster…better! My knee, which had sustained a very serious injury in the past, was feeling stable. Nothing could stop me! All this was combined with a custom-tailored daily meal plan, meant to help my weight-loss process.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Perhaps the most helpful part of the program was the access to a psychologist, who helped me work on some of the deep-rooted issues, the hidden reasons for my initial weight gain of 30+ kg. I feel so much more self-aware today, then I was 3 months ago and that is what truly makes me stronger than ever before.

And that is not even all! I was able to get out of my comfort zone, to try out new things, like free-fall flying in an aerodome, like carting races with the team, like alternative mind and body therapies. And the people…I met so many, so different and so amazing individuals along the way. The memories we made together, this is what was truly beautiful about this whole experience.

What’s to come:

I am finally myself again – confident, full of life, full of hope for change. I can’t believe that I let myself get lost for such a long time. Thanks to the show I now know what my purpose for 2015 is: I want to help others feel as good about themselves as I do right now. I want to help teenagers in my country understand that they are beautiful, amazing individuals, just the way they are! I was bullied a lot while growing up, I never quite fit in anywhere, because I was a bit different, the way I perceived my surroundings was different. At the time I didn’t know that was OK. It took me 10 years of self-discovery to realise that each person is beautiful just the way they are!

Me :)

This is my new mission. I have an incredible team behind my back, we have conceptualised the idea and are on our way towards founding and NGO that will travel the country, going to schools and talking to young minds about body image and promote anti-bullying. We are confident that we can grow this idea into a community with the help of our friends and supporters. BNT gave me the strength to dream again, and this wild dream of mine, I am yet to make into a reality! Wish me luck 🙂




When enough is enough – 8 steps for getting out of the start-up rut

Ger out of the Rut

I’ve never had the urge to celebrate successes. For me those mark the end of a road, rather than the beginning of another. I enjoy them, but I believe tooting my own horn about it is redundant. Failures on the other hand are another story. I love them, and as of lately, they seem to love me back.

In my modest experience both as a human being and as a struggling consultant, there is no balance between good and bad things that happen to you on daily basis. It’s either raining frogs, or every problem you have miraculously sorts itself out in a blink of an eye. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, because balance is boring.

Balance = comfort zone = no growth (both personal & professional)

We all welcome the good times, but how we get back on the horse after a fall is what truly defines our capabilities and motivations.  When it comes to business, here’s some of my tips for getting out of the rut:

1. Never doubt yourself – constantly repeat to yourself that you believe in your skills and that you are 110% committed to achieving your goal. Sometimes it’s harder, because people will try to put you down, but you can’t let a random individual define you.
2. Make sure you find the right people along the way – support systems are crucial when you are starting your own thing. Even though you always need an objective opinion, sometimes the ‘mommy’ appraisal gives you the extra push you need to keep going.
3. Select your partners very VERY carefully – think you can make it on your own? Great! If not, make sure you take the time to find the right partner. And if you find yourself in a scenario where you thought you had one, but things go south, don’t be afraid to let go. It’s just business. Look up and move forward.
4. Dream big, but scale with a realistic pace – dreams are sometimes what truly keeps us in the race. However, don’t make the mistake of having 20 great ideas that just rot around in your brain. Pick 1 or 2 and focus all your energy in realizing them. If that doesn’t pan out, at least you have a list of 18 more to try out.
Get out of Rut!5. Don’t be afraid to be yourself – a lot of people start doing their own thing because they saw a model that works and think they can duplicate it at their local market. Do something you are truly passionate about and the model will build itself around that.
6. Network, network, network – worn out, but can’t emphasize it enough. You can’t expand your contacts, potential clients, etc. if you’re not out there mingling. Put your best smile forward and see what happens. I guarantee you’ll be surprised.
7. Have your priorities straight – especially when dealing with clients, you have to have a defined working model or a plan of action, because without one, you end up losing your focus of the big picture and end up wasting time solving irrelevant minor details.
8. Play a little make-believe – I am young enough as it is, so when I am trying to book a new client, there is no room for doubt. I make sure the client knows I mean business and if I have to exaggerate a bit to grab their attention, so be it. Earn your respect.

And if all of the above don’t work, sometimes I just look at myself in the mirror and say enough is enough to snap myself out of it, only to come out stronger. That’s why I’d take raining frogs over unicorns and rainbows any day!


Teddy T

A Kick in the Butt goes a long way!

kick in the butt

I don’t know about you, but I often struggle with motivation in my personal life. In the office, I can be like Shiva, handling many tasks at a time and loving it, but once all the lights go off, I’m hardly an ‘active’ person.

I kept wondering why I didn’t have the desire to do anything, besides lie on the couch and watch TV in my free time. To be honest, I still don’t know what the reason is (besides pure laziness). However, it got to a point when I was fed up with looking at pictures of my friends hiking, going to clubs, to the beach, etc. while I was sitting at home, munching on a bag of chips. The sad truth is, life tends to happen around you, whether you want any part of it or not. So I started forcing myself into things. You know how in acting classes/ life coach sessions/ therapy sessions they teach you that if you start repeatedly faking an emotion eventually you’ll believe it yourself? Well, I started faking my desire to socialize, to try new things and to meet new people. It felt odd at times, but I kept smiling and doing it over and over. And BAM! I soon noticed I increasingly drew much more enjoyment from my social interactions. I wanted to try new things. I wanted to go to new and exciting places. My circle of friends started expanding and I was feeling more accepted, more loved. I was feeling unstoppable.

Now, it would be a lie if I said I still don’t have my off days, when I simply don’t want to see anybody or do anything, however, I now accept them as my days for recharging and gathering strength. I know I’ll soon be out there, exploring again.

Today, when I see my friends posting pictures and videos from their adventures, I can’t help but smile, because I’m genuinely happy that they are also out there, living life and enjoying every minute of it.

And to give you that extra push to get up and go, I’ll leave you with some pictures from my biking trip today. A 3 hour off-road ride into the wilderness of Northern England and an amazing way to spend my Sunday! To be honest, it did take me about half an hour to get out of bed and actually go, but I remembered my rule, kicked myself in the butt and I don’t regret it for a second!

So next time a friend invites you to a new club, a concert or a walk in the park, don’t be the couch potato that internally you are dying to be, and force yourself into saying yes. You never know what fun you might be missing.


Teddy T