My name is Scola and I am currently 17. I am originally from Zimbabwe but I’ve grown up in England. When I was 14 I was very unhappy with my weight and so decided to get healthy. I managed to shed 50lbs (4st 23kg), something I never imagined I would be able to do! I already had a passion for video making from a very young age and so it only felt right to make videos about my weight loss journey and help others.
I make videos on all things weight loss, health and fitness with some fashion and beauty mixed in there too.
This has really helped shape my career path too, it’s something I am so passionate about and hope to go on to study at university.
Like any teenage girl I was very insecure about the way I looked, after a school trip to Paris my insecurities just multiplied. It was rather hot summer for Paris and all of my friends could wear tank tops, shorts, skirts, dresses and when I wore all of that I just didn’t feel comfortable.
I soon started to notice how terrible my fitness was too, I used to love playing sports at school and sprinting on sports day but by then I was obese and unfit. I would get out of breath just walking up the stairs! I just wanted to change so badly, I just wanted to be happy and healthy.
3. We’ve seen you with your sister and her trying to lose weight too – what was your family’s initial reaction when you decided to lose weight at 14?
My family didn’t really think much of it at first. Everyone had thought I would grow out of my weight but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I had said I wanted to lose weight so many times before but being so young I had no idea where to start. I was around 8 when I started to get bigger and as far as my family knew it was just puberty. My mum always made me healthy foods but as I got older I started having more control over what I ate when she wasn’t looking so she had no idea why I was gaining so much weight, which is why she assumed I would grow out of it.
I remember it wasn’t until my sister came to visit from university for a weekend that my family noticed I was actually losing weight. She hadn’t seen me for a month or two so it came as a shock to her that I was actually losing weight. I think that’s when they realised I was serious this time and started supporting me more.
4. Teenagers and body image go hand in hand – has your health journey inspired those around you at school and college?
Surprisingly it has. I never expected that my health journey would inspire anyone let alone those around me. I tend to be self-deprecating at times so it’s just so lovely when I get messages from people I used to go to secondary school with asking for advice or just congratulating me. Even now, I go to a college and every now and again someone will mention they watch my videos and follow my challenges, recipes and workouts and that’s just…just so lovely! It makes me so happy to know that I can help those around me in some way to become healthier and happier.
5. What were some of the challenges you think people face when trying to lose weight and what are some of the misconceptions?
The biggest obstacle when it comes to weight loss is your mind. You have to have the right mind set. You need control, willpower, motivation, patience and most of all hope. If you manage to find these within yourself, you are sure to succeed!
You need control and willpower for those times when there’s a cake or chocolate bar staring you in the face but you know you need to stay away! Imagine control and willpower as a muscle, the more you work them, the stronger they get! One day it will be easy to turn down those foods. Motivation is rare though, finding the motivation to get your butt to the gym or turn on your workout dvd can be difficult and sometimes you just have to force yourself! As for patience, you won’t get your dream body overnight! It took me almost a year to get to where I am now. Sometimes you can feel discouraged but you have to remember that it will all pay off in the long run and keep that hope.
6. Did documenting your journey via pictures and YouTube videos help in any way?
Definitely! It made it feel more real. The pictures meant I could actually see myself losing weight so I knew it was working and could only imagine my progress would get better as I went along. The videos made me less likely to back out, if I gave up then people would know I gave up. Also it helped me find an online community of people going through the same thing so I didn’t feel so alone.
7. What are your tips for getting the beach ready abs?
Abs are made in the kitchen! If you want that flat and toned tummy, you need to be putting good things into your body, it is a must. You also have to be doing some workouts that burn fat to reveal those abs, you can find some good workouts on my channel.
1. Reduce your portion sizes! Sometimes we can end up piling up our plate and even if we’re full we’ll keep eating whatever is left on the plate.
2. Plan! Don’t just wake up and say I’m going to be healthy today, make a plan of how you’re going to go about it. Make an exercise regime detailing the days you will work out and the days you will rest and also make a little diet plan with what you will eat and when you will eat (make sure you include a treat! Don’t deprive yourself)
3. Stay active! How many of you are guilty of coming home from school or work and spending your day just sitting around? Keep yourself busy, do some cleaning or even just have a little private dance session! Get active!
4. Everything in moderation- so don’t feel you can never have the foods you love, you can! Just in moderation.
5. Stay positive! You need to stay positive in order to succeed! Keep those negative thoughts at bay. Your body is beautiful no matter what size It is! You’re just trying to get healthy and times that beauty by 100 because happiness and health is beautiful.
9. What advice would you give a teenager who is facing weight issues and wants to embark on this journey?
Remember your health is the most important thing! Don’t get pulled into these crazy weight loss methods, you have your whole life to be healthy and you can start now. Sure we all want to look a certain way but at the end of the day it’s what’s on the inside that counts so learn to love yourself now and get healthy!
10. Tell us 3 fun facts about Scola.
My favourite animal is an Elephant! (Baby elephants are SO cute)
I love food now way more than I did when I was obese
I am terribly shy when you first meet me but I loosen up eventually
YouTube Channel: ScolaDondo
Photo Credits: Scola Dondo
4 thoughts on “Scola: Young & Inspirational Fitness”
Great interview Scola. It’s so refreshing to find teens with a passion for health and well-being. I wish you success in whatever you choose to study in uni 🙂
Scola >>I am so inspired by all of your videos and I discovered you about a week ago on youtube and I have just been constantly “stalking”you :)) I am really impressed >what inspired e was the most was that im just doing everything that you used to do like my friends tell me that I don’t need to loose weight but I feel it and I have now reached an emotional point in my life where I have just given up >I look at myself in the mirror and im disgusted and I am really going to start following your excersise plans and meal plans and I want a beautiful body like your >>truly inspired
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