I have been lucky and blessed in life. I have all that I can dream of, and more. I am your typical ambitious overachiever (are you hating me already J?), with a fantastic husband, the best parents and family, entertainment guaranteed friends and recently also the cutest six pack baby.
I had always been one thing though, overweight. For as long as I can remember. I was only skinny as a baby.
On my 30th birthday, after many many many trials to lose the weight, I faced the facts: being thin was not something God had planned for me. So I decided to get rid of all the clothes I “grew out of” and went shopping with my boyfriend for a new wardrobe. Sounds great no? Yet there I was, on my birthday, crying my eyes out cause I felt like an elephant in about anything I put on. This person did not look like me. It is hard to describe in words how embarrassed I generally felt, but to give some examples, I wouldn’t allow people to take photos from something other than my face, I hadn’t been on a scale for months and I would always wear “the right underwear”.
When I landed in Singapore, the girlfriend of a friend (Singaporean, petite, perfect from my point of view J), told me about her trainer who helped her friend lose 30kg (YOU LIE!), and had helped many others.
Also, she told me Sara had herself lost 20kg after haven given birth to her first baby. And that she fitted right back into a “Herver Leger” dress only weeks after her second.
I wouldn’t show it, but I had totally lost hope. In my head, the war was lost, and this was my absolute last shot. Living the way I had been living and losing the weight wasn’t going to work, and as Sara had done it herself, I thought that maybe she could understand a little bit how it would be for me.
So on my 3rd day in Singapore, my friend took me to train with Sara. The session killed me, obviously ;). After we got settled (about a month later), it took me all my courage to text her to ask to meet and start training. The rest is history J, she completely turned around my way of life, my food, my sports, my priorities…. Let the pictures speak for themselves!
What makes Sara special?
– Sara didn’t judge
She never looked back into the past, never tried to find reason for why I was always big. She just focussed on getting my food right and increasing my fitness and muscle mass.
– “I’ll stand by you” / “Nothing you confess, will make me like you less”
When you just start off, she makes you send a picture of every meal and every type of exercise you do on the side. She was on standby 24×7, and that really really really helps. You don’t know what to eat at the start, you don’t know how big your portions should be, you don’t know how to balance things out. It really makes as big difference to have someone advising you all the time these first few weeks. And if you fail, no worries, you just start over again. She’ll still be there J.
– Sara understands the journey and she doesn’t give up
You don’t lose 20kg overnight. It takes a long time. You don’t go from no sports to 6 times a week in one shot. You don’t find the right balance in terms of work, sports, food, social activities, etc. immediately. It takes time. And she knows that. My typical trainer would just look at me and think: why isn’t sports the thing you live for? Most trainers have a much harder time to put themselves in your shoes.
Questions I often get
What was the key priority – being slim or being healthy?
I just wanted to be normal! Not having to be terrified of a sports event at work, not having to be totally embarrassed when you ask for your size and they don’t have it in their range, etc.
Low carb, low dairy, no sugar… how do you do it?
Sara sat me down, and ran through my food, and then told me what to scrap and what to eat. HELP. She explained me exactly why I wanted the muffin in the afternoon, and the ice cream in the evening. The rules were simple, making it happen was, well, less simple J.
1. What the hell do you eat when you can’t eat carbs?
2. Cutting out sugar also known as Golem vs. Sméagol: “We’ve been good for 2 days now .. a little bit won’t do any harm” vs. “NOOO, we cannot eat sugar, sugar is bad for us”
Sara helped me out big time. She was available on whatsapp, and was adjusting my diet as we went. Every time I wanted to eat sugar, she helped. I took pictures of every single thing I put in my mouth, and after a while, you really get better at it. After 3,5 years, I know what I can and can’t do, and it doesn’t require a lot of thinking to adjust meals. I ask restaurants to change the dish all the time, and I only got a “not possible” once!
Is this for life?
Jup, it is. At least for me. I don’t have the fast metabolism genetically, so I need to work for it. But once you are used to living this way, you long for being “clean” again after a two week holiday.
How much sports do you do, and did you always do that much?
In the beginning I trained twice a week and that was it. After a while I started adding. I tried things out, and sticked with what worked for me. As I don’t like doing things just for doing them, I for example run home after work, instead of taking the taxi or the bus. There is a purpose to the run.
Now I train three times a week, I play tennis once and I run once. Before I had my baby, I also did Muay Thai and we went biking quite often. More cardio is better, but fitting it all into my schedule is very difficult.
My favorite kind of photo when I was big
Sara and Tim chatting away while I measure progress 😉
Junkdays are happy days
The day I got rid of all the clothes I grew out of again 😉
The day Tim cried for what I had achieved – 1 year after arriving in SIngapore
At my best – right before a run
Training when pregnant (where the stretch t-shirt comes in handy again :D:D)
Restart after C-Section
Sara feeds while I train