It is time for our next transformation story, and this month Sarah is opening up about how she managed to find health and happiness through a healthy lifestyle! I find this story so inspirational, as it shows us how small changes and adjustments in our lifestyle can have a huge impact on our overall wellbeing, health and happiness.
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Sarah and I’m from Knoxville, TN! I have two sweet little boys and my husband is the best! I love fitness and trying new workouts and I’m an avid Tone It Up follower!
What made you rethink your lifestyle?
Bouncing back after having my second son was much more difficult than after my first. I needed to change up my routine and I stumbled upon Tone It Up’s Nutrition Plan. They had free workout videos on their YouTube channel and free recipes that sounded delicious so I decided to give it a try.
What changes did you make?
The biggest change I made was changing my eating habits. Exercising has never been my issue, but I had a habit of eating well throughout the week and splurging on the weekends. I never realized how much I was setting myself back until I stopped doing this and started seeing changes.
Have you tried diets before? What were the results?
I can’t say I’ve ever tried a specific diet before, but I used to count calories. I really wouldn’t get anywhere doing that because I would make up for the calorie deficit on the weekends by eating sweets or going out to eat. Now that I follow Tone It up, I really don’t feel like I’m on a diet. This is just how eat and how I live. The recipes are delicious and I feel refreshed and nourished when I eat this way instead of tired and bloated like before.
Every new beginning is difficult - how did you stay motivated?
Checking in with the TIU Community is the biggest motivation! I love holding myself accountable by posting my workouts and meals. Whenever I’m tired and not in the mood for a workout, I can always get a push by seeing what #tiuteam members are up to!
How did you go about setting goals for yourself?
I set small goals for myself that are easy to accomplish. Once you’ve reached a bunch of small goals, you realize they’ve added up to some pretty big goals!
How long did it take you until this change became a lifestyle, a normal part of your everyday life?
I started with a Tone It Up 8 week challenge and by the end of week 3, I was excited to start on week 4! It kept me motivated to complete the entire challenge and then start over after the 8 week challenge had finished!
Did you have any setbacks, and how did you overcome them?
I think it’s totally normal to have setbacks. Some days I’m not in the mood to do anything at all or I want to sit down and eat a bunch of junk food. For the most part, I keep pushing through and have faith that I will feel good if I stick to my plan. Very rarely have I ever regretted a workout. I do have my moments though where I give in and have a lazy day. I think those days are what keep us sane!
What does your typical day look like in terms of nutrition choices and workouts?
4:30 AM- Wake up and go to the gym
6:45 AM- Come home and have M1 (meal 1) after getting my kids ready. Usually a Perfectfit Waffle.
9:10 AM- Jazzercise
10:45 AM- M2 (meal 2). Most of the time I have fruit or a bar because I need something easy to eat while I run errands.
1:00 PM- Salad for M3 (meal 3)
4:00 PM- Snapea Crisps and guac
7:45 PM- M5 (meal 5). Baked chicken, quinoa, and a green vegetable.
How do you stay healthy on the go or when you travel?
I pack snacks! I can often find at least one healthier choice on a restaurant menu for M3 and M5, but I make sure to bring healthy choices for M2 and M4 so I’m not tempted to pick sugary snack. Sweets are my weakness.
A lot of people are concerned that such a change will affect their social lifestyle. Did this change affect your social lifestyle?
Not at all! Most of the time my friends and I get together for a girls night out. I always give myself a break and have a glass or two of wine and stick to a cleaner meal option to offset the wine indulgence.
How has your life, health and overall wellbeing changed throughout this process?
I’m a different person! I’m so happy and I feel great! I feel proud of the person that I am because I’ve accomplished so much that I never imagined for myself. If you told me that I would be doing pistol squats, burpees, and jump tucks on a weekly basis, I wouldn’t have believed you. I didn’t even know what a pistol squat was a few months ago and now I’m getting better at them every day! Choosing a healthier lifestyle has had a huge effect on my whole life. I know that I’m a better mom and a better wife and I can see that my family is happier as a whole!
You are working and you have two young kids - how do you manage such a lifestyle (workout and nutrition) while managing everything?
I make the time for it because it’s what I want to do. I didn’t always love getting up at 4:30 AM to go to the gym and I’m still tired some days, but it’s important to me to take care of myself and feel good so I make time to be my best self.
Do you ever allow yourself unhealthy food? Do you feel guilty? How do you deal with it?
Absolutely. If I didn’t let myself live a little now and then, I would go crazy! I don’t feel guilty about giving into cravings because no one can be perfect 100% of the time and it wouldn’t be much fun to try to be that perfect. Instead, I plan my cheats around date nights or traveling so I can just go out and enjoy myself without worrying.
What can we always find in your fridge?
Almond milk, frozen chicken and veggies, berries, and I’m always armed with Perfectfit Protein in my pantry!
What did you learn about you throughout this lifestyle change?
That I am stronger than I could have ever imagined. We’ve already established that I’m practicing my pistol squats right. That’s a big one right there! I also never imagined having this kind of determination to keep going, to keep pushing myself, and to keep getting stronger!
What kind of advise can you give to anyone looking to change their lifestyle to a healthier one?
Believe in yourself and have patience. Every day won’t be easy or fun, but you will be stronger than you were the day before. Give yourself time to find your routine and find what you really enjoy, then you will flourish!