Body Transformation: Jade Socoby's Powerlifting Journey

Jade Socoby's Powerlifting Journey
Tired of giving up, Jade set out on a fitness journey that helped her not only lose weight, but build the muscle and confidence to become a competitive powerlifter!
Editor's Note: Everyone is different and these results may not be typical for the average person. To achieve these results you need to be willing to put in the work both in the gym and in the kitchen. Use this transformation for motivation for you to make the changes you want!

Before Stats

  • 23
  • 5'10"
  • 320lbs
  • Unknown

After Stats

  • 27
  • 5'10"
  • 200lbs
  • Unknown

Transformation Timeline

  • Transformation Start: March 22, 2013
  • Milestone: Hitting the 100lbs lost mark
  • Milestone: My first 300lb squat
  • Milestone: Becoming a nationally ranked powerlifter
  • Transformation End: My transformation will truly never be over.

Background

What was the driving force that made you decide you wanted to start your fitness journey?

After leaving a long term and abusive relationship, I made a lot of mental changes. I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself and realized that nobody is dealt a hand they have to live with. I realized that I had the power to change everything - so I did.

The moment I was mentally strong enough to make physical changes is when everything truly began.

What was your lifestyle like prior to your change?

I had such severe social anxiety. I was severely bullied my entire life and just had no confidence. I was scared to even be seen in public.

I ate fast food almost daily. I stayed in my apartment and really had no direction. I just thought it was the hand I was dealt and I’d learn to live with it. And I felt extremely stuck in the awful relationship I was in.

Most transformations create a support group for the transformer. Who were your biggest supporters and how did they help?

I’m very transparent with this question – I had no supporters. And I say that in the least salty way possible, because it’s understandable. Everybody had seen me try fad diets or start at the gym for a week and quit. Everybody, myself included, figured this lifestyle wouldn’t stick.

But the one person I can say that has been my rock is my brother. He’s always lent an ear to listen to me regardless of what I have to say, a shoulder to cry on, and he’s the only person in the world who will tell me exactly what I don’t want to hear when I need to hear it the most.

For every supporter, there is likely a hater. Did you have any haters? How did you deal with their presence? Have you turned any of your haters into fans?

I don’t use the term “haters,” but yes, absolutely. It’s funny, because I get a lot of nasty, hateful comments, DMs and people in real life that talk behind my back – but I haven’t had one of those things said to my face.

The way I see it is, who cares about things people say that they don’t have the guts to say to your face? It used to get to me when I first started getting them, but now I know that these people are truly bored or want something that I have.

The sun still rises, and a mean message doesn’t dim my successes or push me any farther away from my goals. And as far as turning them into “fans,” I’m not sure. I can say that I noticed a lot of people who didn’t care for me or even give me the time of day before everything, now tell everybody how they know me.

You really learn a lot about people when your life changes, and even more importantly, you learn who’s truly there for you.

 

A photo posted by Jade Socoby (@jadesocoby) on

Transformation Training

What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?

When I first began, I truly dabbled into everything. I was a cardio bunny, I did a lot of basic weight lifting, and finally found a happy medium.

A majority of my transformation was weight training/powerlifting based with some cardio on the side.

Currently I don’t do cardio, even when I’m cutting, unless I feel like it (stadium steps and hiking are my favorite).

What motivational tools did you use to stay on track in the gym?

It’s just kind of second nature to me now. I love powerlifting, so it definitely makes it easier to get to the gym when I need to.

But like everyone else, there’s days I’d rather be anywhere but the gym. I like to always have a goal in mind to keep pushing me through.

If your goals don’t motivate you, you probably need different goals.

Please share 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training, and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:
  1. You absolutely can’t outwork a bad diet.
  2. Women who lift aren’t going to turn into Shrek. It embraces the nature curves you already have, and you actually burn more calories even when you’re not working out.
  3. Don’t freak out if the scale goes up. I’m the leanest I’ve ever been at 200lbs. Even leaner than I ever was at a lower body weight.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?

I’m currently being coached with structured powerlifting training.

It’s way different than it’s ever been. I’ve never had a coach, or been on anything really structured.

I’ve always done more bodybuilding work on top of everything else, but once I trusted the process and reevaluated my nutrition approach, everything else just fell into place.

Transformation Diet & Nutrition

What was your diet/nutrition approach like during your transformation?

I was a very firm believer in IIFYM since day one. I still preach that to this day, and will put clients on such approach if it can work with their lifestyles.

When I first started, I had no idea what I was doing, so I ate what I wanted within a caloric range, with no regard for macros…I didn’t even know what they really were.

Once I began seeing results, and doing more research and followed true macros (which I’ve always done myself), is when the results started to really show.

Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes that you made and learned from?

Way too many to count. When people ask what I did and what my “tricks” are, it was just a lot of trial and error. I learned what my body responded best to and what it didn’t.

Same with doing my macros – it was all a learning experience because everybody is so different. People are so afraid to make mistakes with their macros and want to follow the exact ones I did.

It’s not that serious. Experiment a little or just bite the bullet and hire a coach if you’d rather have more structure and accountability.

Please share 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:
  1. Food is not the enemy. Stop being afraid of calories, carbs and fats. It’s all about balance.
  2. Nutrient timing plays a bigger role than most may think. I used to think it was stupid and a huge waste of time, but now that I actually do it, it’s made all the difference.
  3. It’s ok to enjoy life and food. Don’t kill yourself with your diet and miss out on birthdays, dinners, and time with family and friends to ensure you’re on point with your diet. Trust me, that was me at one point and I refuse to ever do that again.
 

A photo posted by Jade Socoby (@jadesocoby) on

Can you provide us with a sample daily eating plan?

Currently I’m just eating a certain amount of protein/carb/fat sources at different times of the day. For example I eat about 5-6oz of lean protein 4-5x a day, a lot of veggies, and fats/carbs depend on if I’m training that day.

I drink my protein/carbs intra workout and have casein at night. I have a pretty boring “bro diet,” but I enjoy it, and I find ways to make things taste good. Dieting or changing your lifestyle doesn’t have to suck. But, if I want pizza, I’ll have pizza. It’s all about balance.

Did you allow yourself cheat meals?

Absolutely. I feel like enjoying your favorite foods once in a while is pretty necessary. And I don’t have set cheat meals, I just kind of live my life in balance.

If a friend wants to grab dinner, I will. Or if I want a quick meal after the gym, I’ll grab Chipotle or something.

I just run around so much and work crazy hours that I like to keep things fairly flexible for my own sanity.

Advice for Others

What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?
  1. Get in the right place mentally. Before I did, I never stuck with anything because I was so mentally weak and not ready.
  2. You’re going to have “off” days. You’re going to go over your calories or eat junk for an entire weekend because you could. It’s not the end – just get back on top of things the next day.
  3. Find what you love. I’m lucky enough that I found and fell in love with powerlifting. It makes going to the gym and doing what I do so much easier and fun.
How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who's having trouble staying on track?

I always remember where I started and know I never want to be that girl again. And again, I always have a goal that I’m working towards.

My advice would be to step back and evaluate what it is that you’re doing and why you’re having trouble. Bringing it back to finding something you love.

I have friends who love so many different sports, like obstacle course races, CrossFit, running marathons, and powerlifting. There’s something out there for everybody if they play around enough to figure it out.

As far as diet goes, IIFYM is always my choice, especially for beginners that can inch their way into more complex dieting. I've found it has always been the most easily sustainable diet.

 

A photo posted by Jade Socoby (@jadesocoby) on

Your Life Now

What is your life like now that you've made a transformation?

My life is crazier than ever, in the best way possible. I’m the healthiest, happiest, and strongest I’ve ever been – I’m a completely different person.

I’ve had a film crew follow me around for a TV show, I’ve had huge magazines reach out to me and I’ve met some of the most amazing people I could have ever imagined.

Although I’ve lost some people I never imagined I would along the way for whatever reason, the good always outweighs the bad.

I know who’s truly there for me. Those who never treated me differently and those who do treat me differently now than they did when I was over 320lbs.

What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?

I plan to keep building my business and make my living off of helping others take on a new lifestyle.

I know that if I don’t practice what I preach, I can’t be successful, and not being successful and happy is just not an option.

I’m also just a very driven person now and love the push of wanting to be stronger than I was before.

Also, when I read messages saying that I’m the reason that person does something or gets up to go to the gym, it melts me.

The people that think I motivate them are my biggest motivation, as cliché and cheesy as it sounds. For every nasty message I get, there’s 20 that make up for it.

Anything else you'd like to share?

Don’t worry about what other people’s opinions of you are. There’s always going to be people that don’t like you, make up excuses about why you succeed, and just want to see you to fail.

With physical transformation comes mental transformation, and some people can’t handle that.

Some people also just don’t like to see others succeed, and that’s not your problem. It hurts to lose people you care about or hear nasty lies about yourself, but surrounding yourself with good people with good intentions, and not worrying about the rest is the best thing you can do.

Just remember that you’re living your life for yourself, nobody has to understand your journey but you.

How can people contact you?

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11 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sat, 08/13/2016 - 09:05
Jayne Brooks

You inspire me so much. I'm tired of the yo yo diets. I'm tired of crying everytime I step on the scale at the doctor. I'm tired of being depressed and feeling helpless about this fat suit I'm stuck in. I'm tired of being a loser with no will power. I'm 38 now. 4 kid's that are getting older and don't require much time anymore so, I'm lost and need a hobby anyhow. Perfect time to get myself together. 6ft tall, 224. Doing cardio and calorie counting for 2 months so far. I've only lost 10lb. Pre pms cravings are my biggest downfall. :( I am going to join a gym nearby next week and can't wait to actually move forward with my total self construction project. Again, thank you for inspiring me and others to keep pushing.

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Posted Wed, 01/04/2017 - 15:17
moh

i wonder if you joined the gym? how did it go?

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Posted Tue, 05/24/2016 - 17:30
Big Jibbs

My hat is off to this girl for making changes that she wanted to and changing her whole body composition.

With that said I want to get one thing out there, and I'm sure just as she was hated on for her weight, I'll be hated on for this enlightenment...

Her results are not attainable naturally.

She absolutely took steroids to help her out. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this. What I am saying is it is wrong for her to put out there that her results are able to be achieved without drug use. You don't go from being that obese and never exercising to having the amount of muscle mass she has in that time period without using steroids. It is impossible and no amount of exercise and diet control can do that in a small period of time. Only steroids can overcome this hurdle.

I am writing this because other obese females should know that yes you can lose weight and yes gain some muscle doing this but you will never be able to get her exact results naturally and plan to use steroids if you want her look because otherwise you're buying into lies and deceit.

MikeWines's picture
Posted Wed, 05/25/2016 - 11:26
MikeWines

Jibbs,

Unfortunately, drugs are rather common place within the fitness industry. In the case of most fitness models and "athletes", they're likely using (or used) some sort of endogenous substance which allowed them to get excessively lean, train harder than ever before (i.e. anti-catabolic agent), or enhance MPS (i.e. anabolic agent). Marketing capitalizes on the consumer connection between aesthetics/strength and supplementation. As such, if you want to "make it big" within the modeling side of the industry or the world of professional bodybuilding, you better be willing to go down that road.

Now in Jade's case, is that possible naturally? Possibly as I've seen plenty of similar transformation in that same time frame. If she worked with someone who truly knew what they were doing from a physiology perspective coupled with nutrition then sure, she definitely could have made this transformation naturally.

There are alot of recreational lifters using drugs these days, yes. However, if you simply assume that with everyone who completes an amazing transformation then you're discrediting what one can accomplish with knowledge, determination, and an exceptionally high work ethic.

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Posted Tue, 08/02/2016 - 23:55
Shads

So because she's strong and slimmed down she must be on steroids? Your not providing "enlightenment". You're just a bitter hater. Go sit in the corner and make sure you put your dunces hat on boyo.

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Posted Tue, 05/16/2017 - 22:44
Chase

I disagree completely. This was over FOUR YEARS. I've lost 14% of my body weight in three months, went from 167 to 143. I was healthy and felt great. It was pure diet, no exercise. If I were to keep a disciplined diet plan coupled with a powerlifting regimen over four years, there's no doubt in my mind that this is easily NATURALLY attainable.

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Posted Wed, 05/18/2016 - 21:56
Mai

I am just so darn proud of you. I wish you nothing but the best. You are a beautiful person no matter your size. But that you had the guts to become the best version of you is priceless.

I don't admire you because you lost weight or that you look physically better than you did before. I respect and admire you because you didn't let excuses get in the way of your goals end he didn't let the haters get in the way of your dreams. I'm sure you lost a friend or two along the way in your transformation journey. But no worries because what you gained in yourself as an individual will see you through anything that life can throw your way.

You are just a beautiful person never forget that. Much love and respect.

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Posted Tue, 04/12/2016 - 19:59
Kelly

Awesome! Very inspiring. I want to be you when I grow up. ;)

I only gained weight (I swear 100% belly fat) when I was in a bad relationship. Also I had not many, if any friends. Cupcakes were my comfort. When I stopped caring what he thought I dropped most of that weight. I have Fibro, so I can't push like when I was in my 20s. I had endless energy and could do what I wanted. I never could put muscle on. I was 8.9% body fat at 20. As a child and teen, I was bullied for being small, and people started rumors I was anorexic. They really try to put everyone in the same mold. Your body is your body. No one else should have control or say over it.

I'm sure this sounds all over the place the way I am writing, but I hope that myself and others can over come my obstacles as you have.

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Posted Sun, 01/03/2016 - 18:36
Paul

WOW ! YOU ROCK ! :) I was looking for some inspiration and found more from you than I could hoped for,I love your attitude !
Thank you so much for sharing your story and tips etc. :)

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Posted Sun, 11/01/2015 - 13:49
Greg Garner

Absolutely love this! I relate every step of the way! As a father of 4 the lack money has forced me to quit the local gym BUT, personal motivation from never wanting to be who I once was has pushed me to lift at home. using my weights and a very intense body weight routine I hold my own.

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Posted Sat, 10/24/2015 - 08:17
Wenona

Jade, this story is truly inspirational! I knew you were looking good when I saw you last but seeing the pics of your transformation is amazing. I am so happy for you! I was thinking before I got to the end of the story, "she would make a bad ass cop!" That is so cool. A good role model for the youth. Keep up the good work! :)