Irish Examiner | Original Link
by Irene Feighan
Dublin, Ireland —Toned, tall and stunning, Teodora Sutra was born to be a model.
Originally from Latvia, she moved to Ireland with her mum with siblings when she was eight years old. And though she regularly returns to see her family in Latvia, her roots are firmly here.
“I do feel like Ireland is my home but I go back to Latvia about twice a year. I say I am Latvian but I couldn’t imagine moving back — even though all my family is over there. ”
Aged 23, she lives in Dublin with her boyfriend James Murphy, a personal trainer who run his own studio Zest Fitness. It’s a perfect match: both support each other in all matters relating to health and fitness.
Though bright and bubbly when we talk, in her quieter moments she continues to grieve the recent loss of her youngest sister, Gabriela, aged nine. She tragically died, along with her babysitter, in a house fire in Wexford last September. “I cry very often about it — about memories and stuff like that,” she says.
What shape are you in?
I’m not in my very best shape. My best shape is when I train six days a week and I eat 100% healthily. I’m so busy right now, I’m finding it hard to go to the gym as much as I do when it’s quieter at work. I come home and my feet are covered in blisters and I just can’t imagine putting my shoes on and going out to the gym. I’ve started running a few weeks ago for the half marathon, so, fingers crossed, I can keep that up. We are doing the Rock’n’roll Dublin Half Marathon on August 4. I only started training three weeks ago. I am going to have to start running every second day. If it’s not raining I’ll try and run every day. I’m just practising my breathing right now — not wondering about how far I can run . I’ve never actually ran. I’ve been used to lifting weights just the normal workout in the gym but not much cardio — it is a bit of a challenge.
Do you have any health concerns?
I have spina bifida — it’s mild. I only found out about two years ago. I was having back pains and they’d only last two weeks and then my back would be sore then it would stop for about a month and then it would be sore again. I went to a doctor who specialises in backs when I went home to Latvia. Straight away she could tell by the way I was standing and by the way my back looked that there was something wrong. She brought me for an x-ray and found out I had spina bifida. I am not really meant to run or do sports with a lot of impact — but I want the challenge of doing the half marathon. They said there is nothing you can do to cure it but that you need to build up muscle belts around your abdominals and lower back. I’ve been doing a lot of those exercises. It could have been a lot worse.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
I eat healthily a lot. Breakfast is gluten-free porridge, some berries and coconut milk, lunch is usually fish, salad chicken or tuna, and dinner is the same. I love sushi and snack on nuts and fruit, vegetables and hummous.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
I like snacking on chocolate — once in a while I allow myself. My diet is not 100% strict. I’d be little bit depressed if it was. My favourite chocolate bar would be a Yorkie.
What would keep you awake at night?
Heat. That’s the only thing really. Once I’m asleep I’m out for the night. Nothing would wake me up.The last few weeks when the weather was so hot, our apartment was roasting and my boyfriend was like a little heater beside me. It didn’t help.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Alan Carr — he would be the most hilarious party guy — and Graham Norton. A perfect combo.
What’s your favourite smell?
Vanilla. The perfume I wear all the time is Ralph Lauren No4. It’s very fruity and sweet and it has to be my favourite perfume.
What would you change about your appearance?
I wish that when I train I would get thinner instead of looking muscly. My body is quite athletic — I’d like to look leaner. Nobody is ever happy with how they look.
What trait do you least like in others?
When people only care about themselves and are very selfish. That’s the worst trait anyone can have.
What trait do you least like in yourself?
I stress over being on time or if I’m late I would stress over being late. I would jog to get there on time. I should be used to the Irish way of time keeping.
Do you pray?
I say prayers now and again or go into a church and light a candle. I don’t have a special prayer but I make up what I want to pray about on that day or time. I’m a Lutheran.
What would cheer up your day?
Chocolate ice cream and a walk in the park with my boyfriend. Also, any day that the sun comes out.