A very lovely comment from Tony Laity who moved from Arboleas back to the UK. Thank you.

Back in the gym after months of lay-off due to injuries. It's a fact of life the older you get the longer it takes to recover! Despite using the gym every day for nearly a week no one has spoken a single word to me. I have not been asked whether I want help or guidance and the instructors are so downbeat, terrible. Even when I joined the only words uttered were, "read the disclaimer and sign".

I look forward to re-joining Sophias gym & wellness centre Arboleas later this year. A health club where everyone gets a smile and warm greeting when they enter and you can train in a friendly professional environment.

Kind Regards

Tony Laity

I arrived in Arboleas in 2009 and have used the Hairdressing facilities at Sophia's ever since, and during this time I have had various hairdressers applying their talents to my short hair. I have always applied a full head colour to my hair myself but during the course of 2015 I decided to just have it highlighted.

In December I was going to England for Christmas and I wanted a trim before I went. When I went to make an appointment Paula asked me if I would try the new lady hairdresser Gill for my appointment as everyone else was busy so I agreed.

I decided that it was time for me to have a total change and that I would like to have more than one colour in my hair. The day of my appointment came and I had a lovely chat with Gill and I put myself in her hands. I explained that I would like some colour and not just one and left the rest to her.

Before I go any further let me just explain one thing. I have never been one of these ladies who spends hours in front of the mirror styling my hair; I brought a new meaning to the term 'Wash and Go' and I literally washed, brushed and went.

Back to Gill and my hair. When Gill finished her ministrations to my hair I was speechless; in fact I was moved to tears. The transformation was unbelievable and I could not stop looking in the mirror, I felt like a million dollars.

The way that Gill had layered the colours and dried my hair was amazing. My friends and family, both here and in England could not believe the change either and I have had nothing but good comments and compliments and been told that I look years younger.

Thank you Sophia's and Gill I love my hair.

Lindy Loo xxx

The summer before I started Uni, I ended up weighing between 94 - 96 kilos, about 15 stone (you can see it in this video of my band recorded during that summer.

When I started Uni, I began to eat a lot more healthily and, after 18 months of will power, a bit more salad, a lot less chocolate, fewer Digestive biscuits and one VERY intense month in my local gym; I have managed to get my weight down to 82.5 kilos. So up to now I have lost between 12 - 13 kilos (just over 2 stone) and I feel a lot better (and lighter haha).

I would just like to thank Aran, Stacey and everyone at Sophia's for all their help this passed month

Danny Ogden - August 2015

Originally posted on Facebook 28th August 2015

A Toning Table Story by Heide

Yes, years ago I used the toning tables at Sophia's gym and enjoyed considerable success. Now, being older and having been diagnosed with an extremely painful degenerative spinal condition, I use the Toning Tables under the expert guidance of Michele to stay mobile. Along with others, who have had similar health issues or who had strokes or hip-replacements. Sophia's has become a rehab-centre par excellence for us.

Ever-cheerful Michele never tires to help us, advise us, and monitors our progress. In my case, being on my own, the daily sessions at Sophia's also have an important social aspect: clients get to know each other, it's like having a big family - and I am always made to feel so welcome. Amazing also, that Michele and Paula seem to know everybody by name- quite a task with hundreds of clients. Sophia's is not just a gym it's a rehab-centre of a special kind: I get one-to-one instructions from the ever patient Michele, including even hugs and a shoulder to cry on (luckily that does not happen to often), and I have made some wonderful friends. Thank you Michele and Paula.

Heide xx

In May 2015 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Although an operation removed one tumour the other was inoperable so I was put on a course of chemotherapy.

After a short period of time I had lost weight, became very weak and tired, I was not eating properly (everything tasted like cardboard). Then my last stay in hospital in the middle of September, where I was not allowed to get out of bed, by the time I left I couldn't stand let alone get around unaided.

It was hard watching my husband trying to cope with the daily chores, let alone looking after me, as I couldn't help him. I was sleeping most of the day and night, and felt I was wasting away, this was no life at all, and it was barely an existence. I needed to do something . . . . and soon.

As a past member of Sophia's Wellness Centre in Arboleas, I decided to go and see them to find out if there was anything they could do to help me improve my strength. After talking to Michele in the toning tables, she devised a training programme for me, starting off slowly with gentle exercise on the toning chairs (which do most of the work for you, thank goodness), then gradually increasing the exercises over the weeks.

After the first couple of weeks I was feeling better in myself, mainly due to the fact that I was actually doing something to improve my situation and knowing there were people here who were willing and able to help. I was also amazed at the number of men and women with varying disabilities working to improve their health. Each week I could see minor differences in their achievements, and they certainly could see mine.

In less than 2 months I have gone from wheelchair bound to a walking stick, albeit a bit wobbly at times. But I would not have got this far without the help and support of my husband and Sophia's. I am now eating much better, not fully mobile yet, but I know I will get there, it just takes time and determination, and of course, the on-going help and support that I am currently receiving.

If you have any physical or mobility issues, then get yourself to Sophia's and talk to Michele to see what they can do for you. What is the alternative?

Don't give up - get moving!

Kathy - Arboleas

My Experience Since Walking Into Sophia's

My name is Helen; I walked into Sophia's on November 11th 2011 and at that time I had very little confidence and low self-esteem. I was overweight and I had never done any exercise except some swimming.

So my journey began.

After a few free trials, I joined the toning tables for a year I did not understand how it would affect different parts of my body especially the core.

After 9 months I asked Michelle if she could start training me one to one. At first I really didn't have the confidence that I would be any good at it, but with all her patience and all the help she gave me. I gradually came to understand it.

I have now been doing this for three years. During this period my mind set has changed a lot. I am now able to do things that I would never have thought possible. I know that this is due to her patience and encouragement and her time which I really appreciate.

I have lost a lot of weight, which is due to a lot of exercise and change of diet.

My special thanks to Michelle, Paula and her team for all their help during the four years. I would recommend anyone to do what I have done. You will be surprised what you will be able to achieve.


A Clients Success Story with Hypnotherapy

Earlier this year I decided it was time for me to stop smoking so I booked an appointment with Karen Whitworth for Hypnotherapy.

My target date of Monday 13th July arrived and with trepidation I attended my appointment. First Karen congratulated me for turning up - this is apparently the first step to success; secondly she put me totally at ease with both myself and my surroundings. At the end of my 2 hour session I came away feeling exhilarated; determined and a bit light headed.

It is now six weeks since my appointment and I am still smoke free. I will not lie and sugar coat it; yes, it has been hard at times and, yes, I have wanted a cigarette on more than one occasion, I also went in with a positive determined attitude which helped; it is taking a lot of will power but for me it is working. Yes I have a follow up appointment booked and I am looking forward to receiving more help and guidance. Karen, I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for me.

I would highly recommend people to try Karen.

Linda Hawkswell