For Sonya McAllister hard work at the gym wasn’t paying off – and her family was suffering as she struggled in pain through multiple fitness sessions every week.

But, when she discovered that the pain she was suffering was a result of  an unknown diagnosed condition called Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS) combined with other issues it explained the pain and bruises Sonya was suffering.

Today Sonya, owner and founder of WST Community, leads a healthier lifestyle.  Not only is she happier and no longer weighing 22 stone – but she’s dropped seven dress sizes. 

Her journey was one that saw her do extensive research into nutrition, weight management and self-analysis.

The decision to change her lifestyle again came after a fortuitous doctor’s appointment, but before that it was a tale of agony.

“For me a week was: Sunday three hour ‘boot camp’; Tuesday a personal training session; Wednesday a running class; Thursday was circuits; and, Friday personal training. For many this is normal life and I too felt this was how life should be to maintain my weight loss and gain that perfect body and not to ever be 22 stone again.”

“When I looked in the mirror I could see some changes but wasn’t enough I  was always wanting more.”

“I was also in agony spending a lot of time in bed as my muscles were excruciating pain which I was told and believed was normal! My family life was non-existent because it was sleep, work, exercise and in bed in agony, I pushed on through as this was to be my new life, I couldn’t possibly allow myself to be the big girl again.”

Her diagnosis of JHS came after a referral to a rheumatologist and changed her life and explained the pain, numerous ‘accidents’ causing broken bones that she had experienced since childhood.

“Now I had to adapt, basically change everything about my life, I was scared, if I stopped exercising would I creep back to 22 stone again?” Sonya explains. “He said that when I was exercising my muscles where working 10 times harder than a normal person just to keep my joints in place.”

Having quit the rigorous regime over the weeks the pain eased and the time I wasn’t spending exercising meant more family time!”

“My food remained how it was but my evenings and days of work that used to be used for personal training or exercise classes was now spent with family and creating WST Community (Formerly We Slim Together).

“I had more time to research nutrition and weight management but also self-analysis. My diagnosis of JHS I believe saved me as I was becoming addicted to aiming for perfection through exercise.”

“When i stopped the intensive exercise I then realised, yes my clothes became a bit tighter, but my weight wasn’t really increasing. And, what is more I was happier, my family were happier, and my lifestyle was completely different. I was not just healthy now in body I was healthier in mind. ”

With her plan in place Sonya has not only created a business in WST Community but has helped thousands of people get back control of their weight and relationship with food while creating a healthy lifestyle through the network of consultants and the supportive on and offline community.

“I’m a lot happier, I’m a lot healthier and all by stopping the lifestyle I thought I had to maintain. Yes I look back at pictures of my body shape sometimes wishing I had the toned shoulders, legs and waist that I achieved in my previous lifestyle. This was never sustainable for me having JHS. Also I’m no longer 22 stone and that has been through focusing on our guilt free plan enjoying balanced nutritious meals alone.”

“So, if you have got to the end of this, thank you but the moral of my story is if you can relate to my journey and exercising to a level that is affecting everything around you to gain perfection you don’t need to. Find peace in yourself because a lifestyle that is for one person may not suit another. Find a lifestyle you can sustain which for me now is enjoying nutritious food with my family along with  a few pilates classes here and there.”

What is perfection? Because health in mind and body is to me now the most important thing and i know have a lifestyle that allows both.”