Sonya Roemisch

Sep 11, 2007 | Fit in SA, September 2007

Striving for her personal best, finding and living her dream.

By Joy Capps
Photography by Robert French

Body builder, nutritionist, personal trainer and fitness pro Sonya Roemisch works out, religiously, five times a week. Her routine usually includes 45 minutes of cardio and a combination of weight training. Her goals are high, and she’s attaining them, for she’s determined to be the best she can be. She’s so dedicated to her workouts that she considers working out only two-three days a week to be taking time off from her rigorous schedule.

After years of training, Roemisch, owner of You-nique Physique, a nutrition and weight loss, core training, body building, yoga, Pilates, massage and fitness center, is so toned and muscular that it’s not uncommon for her to have men say to her, “Your biceps are bigger than mine.” Roemisch’s diet is high in protein and low in sugar and fat. Splurging or cheating for her includes fun things like adding salsa to a salad or eating a handful of chips to go with the salsa.”Some people’s version of dieting is my idea of cheating,” she says. “It’s pretty bad when you feel guilty for eating too many protein cookies,” she laughs.

Figure bodybuilding
Roemisch considers herself an extremist, but her dedication comes from her passion and desire to become an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) pro in Figure/Fitness. She began her quest four days after she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from Angelo State University in 2000, and she has never stopped. In 2002, she started training to compete in a specific category of bodybuilding known as Figure/Fitness, or simply “Figure.” Figure was developed as a response to the demand for fitness competitions that didn’t require performing a routine. With an emphasis on aesthetics, Figure focuses on beauty combined with an athletic physique. In 2001, Figure began in the National Physique Committee (NPC), which is the official amateur division of the IFBB. Several years later, the IFBB developed Figure as a new sports discipline as another way to promote the sport of bodybuilding and fitness worldwide.

Roemisch competes one to three times a year.
“Taking your body to the extreme degree, as far as trying to get that perfect package for competition, is just a lot on your body to constantly do it,” she says. Currently, she competes only in Texas, but she is thinking about branching out to competitions in other states next year.

A compassionate athlete
Roemisch’s interest in athletics began when she was a child. “I was born to run and play basketball,” she reflected. “Mom always encouraged me to pursue my dreams, including my natural athletic ability.” She played basketball with her older sister as soon as she was old enough to dribble a ball. In addition to basketball, she ran track and was a cheerleader in grade school. In college she taught cheerleading and dance for kindergarten through sixth-graders.

“In college, I decided to pursue a degree in kinesiology so I could help people and keep myself in shape,” says Roemisch. She was drawn to it as she was intrigued by human biomechanics and how the body responds to exercise.

During her senior year of college, an internship at a medically based health and wellness rehab and fitness center in San Angelo allowed her to work with cardiac rehab and pulmonary patients. “In those couple of months, I was able to see the difference it made in people’s lives to help those recovering from heart attack or pulmonary problems,” says Roemisch. “For the patients to see young, bright and healthy faces every day made such a difference for them.” This experience, coupled with more education, fed her passion for wanting to make a difference in people’s lives. “When I moved into the big city, I discovered Ms. Fitness magazine and thought I’d really like to go into the fitness industry so I could compete and stay in shape,” says Roemisch. “Since I’ve always been really goal- oriented, the fitness industry would allow me to set goals and follow through with them.” She would later discover the new Figure/Fitness bodybuilding discipline to fit her perfectly since it doesn’t require a routine of tumbling and splits, which aren’t her forte.

Unwavering dedication
When asked to share her secret to staying so committed, Roemisch explained, “Sometimes I think I have too much drive, but keeping fit and helping others become the best they can be is my passion. I encourage others to always have a goal to shoot for and not to settle for less than the best they can be.”

No excuse she’s ever heard holds water.
Says Roemisch, “There’s no acceptable reason for not pursuing physical fitness. ‘I’m too old,’ ‘My back hurts,’ ‘I’m too fat,’ or ‘I’m beyond help’–none of these works, as it’s all a mindset. If you have a goal and you believe in yourself, you can accomplish whatever you set out to achieve.” For those who want to improve their physique, Roemisch offers these tips and tricks: “Keep a notebook and chart your progress. Write down each rep [exercise repetition] or the smallest increment of weight increase. You’ll be able to see the one more rep you accomplished and how you’re always doing a little better. Don’t try to do too much, as you’ll de-motivate yourself. Take baby steps. By doing so, you’ll always continue to challenge yourself to do better and better.”

For those who are interested in becoming part of the fitness industry, Roemisch says, “Find your passion, your drive and stick with it. This industry is such a growing field, and the need for knowledgeable, dedicated trainers is huge.” Educated, passionate trainers who really want to help people and keep their clients motivated will be successful. “If this is what you truly want to do,” she says, “get as much education as you possibly can get. Not only fitness, exercise and nutrition but psychology, too, as psychology is a big part of this career path.” When she’s not training, Roemisch specializes in changing lives at You-nique Physique with her staff of personal trainers.

“I know that if it weren’t for my family and the great group of clients who joined me when I started You-nique Physique, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she says. “These individuals are my biggest fans and supporters, and they have helped me really find and live my dream.”

Joy Capps is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to San Antonio At Home magazine

South Texas Fitness & Health