As a woman who's struggled with weight and confidence, seeing and learning about women who have overcome those things is so inspiring. I had the immense pleasure of sitting down with Jade Socoby and learned how she was able to take the goal of losing and turn it into breaking records as a powerlifter
Introduce yourself to the GWPL community.
My name's Jade Socoby, I'm 26 and live in Maine. I work at a local Police Department and have lost over 130lbs naturally.
When did you get into powerlifting and why?
I've been deadlifting for over 2 years now, but I always did it as part of my workout routine while I was on my weight loss journey and didn't make any crazy gains in it, but as time went on, I grew to truly love it. About a year ago I began competing in a deadlift suit in WABDL for deadlift-only. That was fairly short lived, as I began training cardio mostly for my career. About 6 months ago I got off my cardio training and actually began training all 3 lifts for a full APF meet and completely fell in love. It was hard coming from doing mostly cardio, to jumping into a 12-week training cycle with movements I had never really trained before but loved every second of it.
I don't really have a rhyme or reason as to why I started, but I do remember never seeing any women in the red room (my gym's powerlifting room), and I was intrigued. So one day I took it upon myself and put my anxiety and nerves aside and decided to just try it. Ever since then, they can't get rid of me!
Best meet total to date?
I totaled 837lbs in my first meet this past November. 330lb squat, 149lb bench, 358lb deadlift.
You've had one of the most epic transformations I've seen. How did you do it and what motivated you to change your life?
I was in a very mentally abusive relationship for about 5 years. After I decided to leave and work on myself mentally, I knew I had to make some physical changes as well, so I walked into a small local gym one day and never turned back. I was a cardio bunny at first because it truly was key to my weight loss along with nutrition. But as I stated above, I began deadlifting and messing around with that after a while and the rest is history! I do have to say though, and I preach this all the time, that when I started at 320lbs, all I wanted to be was skinny...and now all I dream about is being as strong as I can possibly get.
Who's your biggest inspiration, lifting or otherwise?
I don't have heroes, and I obviously have powerlifting inspirations from the OG's to modern day beasts - But I have to say all in all it has to be Ronda Rousey, hands down. There's a lot of controversy with her and her attitude, but I truly respect where she came from, her mindset and most of all her passion. We all have our quirks, but the passion and true she has for her sport really comes through to me and how I feel about powerlifting.
What's your approach to nutrition?
Currently, I'm eating to perform for my next meet scheduled for May by paying attention to what I put in my body, but I don't deprive myself. If I want pizza or a burger, I'll eat it. But as for how I go about my diet and nutrition, I truly believe in IIFYM and just learning moderation. Regardless of my goals, IIFYM has always been my lifestyle since starting my journey.
How do you combat the "lifting makes you manly" criticisms?
It was really hard for me at first. I'm built bigger anyways, and have always been strong, had broad shoulders and I'm 5'10, so I've always been heavily made fun of (especially when I was overweight). Since I've become leaner, stronger and gained muscle mass, I get a lot of comments from guys saying they could "never date a girl stronger/bigger than them," or my favorite comment has to be that I could "probably beat them up." It's frustrating and I'd be lying if I said it didn't annoy me...but I will say it doesn't bother me anymore. I do this for me, and nobody has to accept my body for what it is besides me. I love having thick delts, huge traps and cut quads. There's going to be negativity everywhere and in everything you do, but I love that more and more women stopped caring about "getting too big" and some even tell me they want my arms/legs. If somebody doesn't like my muscles, they simply don't have to look at them.
Favorite go-to post-workout meal
I'm a big fan of pancakes and a shake with protein, water, spinach and frozen strawberries.
3 tips for newbie lifters
What get's you through the tough training sessions
- Don't do worry about a weight cut for your first meet. Just go in as is and have fun with it! Worry about weight cuts later if need be.
Always look to get better and don't be afraid to ask for advice or to use to the internet. Eventually, you'll find your groove and what programming, training or coaching works for you.
Food and carbs are not the enemy! Don't be afraid to eat!
I work rotating shift work, so most training days are extremely mentally and physically rough; but I find that it's mostly a mental game for me. I appear as a calm lifter, but I'm aggressive in my mind because I refuse to waste energy on going nuts before a lift. I think of every bad thing that's going on in my life or the absolute hell I've gone through in my past. I also always have a goal, and that helps me keep my tunnel vision going, especially on the worst training days.