Information & Advice
"I used Boots.com a lot when I had the kids," explains Sophia, 37, from Surrey. "It's really great when you become a mum. There's so little parenting advice out there. As a mum, Boots has played a big part in my life."
Sophia's first baby – her little girl Lucca, now aged six, – was born at 24 weeks.
"It was quite horrendous," recalls Sophia. "Our doctor recommended a special feed to give her. We used Boots.com to buy it."
"We also used our local Boots pharmacy quite a lot," says Sophia. "It was just around the corner from where we lived. They are so friendly in my local shop. It was easy to talk to the pharmacist about minor illnesses."
Sophia has sought online health information from BootsWebMD.com for both Lucca and her little boy Felix, now five.
"Being a parent was my first experience of Boots advising me about my health rather than just a place to shop," she says.
"Felix had really bad colic. After a diagnosis from the doctor, I found more information about colic on BootsWebMD."
But parenting isn't all hard work – and Sophia soon learned how to maximise the treats she could earn with her Boots Advantage Card.
"I bought all of my nappies at Boots," she recalls. "At one point both children were in very expensive nappies so I got a lot of points on my Advantage Card. Lucca had to wear extra small ones when she was born.
"At Christmas I got lots of gift sets for everybody with my Advantage Card. I love the way Advantage Card lets you go out and get yourself a treat. When you have two kids, you often don't have much disposable income but an Advantage Card helps you go out and treat yourself for free."
And it's important that Sophia – like all busy mums – gets a chance to treat herself. Because, for the rest of the time, she exists in a whirlwind of training, work and family life.
Her husband, Haydn, is a builder and, until recently, Sophia also worked full-time as a marketing controller and used to do her six hours of training a day after doing a full day's work!
Since May 2011, she has taken up sprinting full time. She is already number one in Europe and won silver in the European Championships. Nowadays, she gets up between 6 and 6.30am to start getting her children ready for school or holiday club.
"I get their packed lunches ready and drop them off before I go to meet my physiotherapist for my first training session," she says. "My daily routine is jam-packed. I go to meet my physio for my first session which is two to three hours of balance and stretch programmes. Then I go home and have a high-protein lunch. Then I go back for my second session in the afternoon – that's normally about three hours of track work, and sprinting, or lifting and pushing in the gym."
Until she was granted leave from her job, Sophia didn't get to spend much time with her children.
"It's really hard because they don't understand – hopefully they will in the future," she says. "I rely on my husband a lot. I'm not sure how it would be possible to do all this as a single parent, without support."
That said, Sophia believes being a parent shouldn't deter people from living a healthy lifestyle.
"It makes me laugh when people tell me they don't have time to go to the gym," she says. "If you want something badly, you will find the time to do it."
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Visit our athletics health information centre to find out more about Sophia
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