Annie, Lauren and Jen are joined by longtime Balance 365 member Sarah Cole to discuss how the program has helped her take control of her fitness, nutrition and other important lifestyle habits (and lost 50 pounds in the process!) Here is what they talked about and why they all ended up doing Beyonce hair flips by the end:
- Yo yo weight loss and food group restriction
- The slippery slope of “clean eating”
- The reality of reaching your goal weight and what that can mean
- The value of mindset and sustainability as part of a lifelong plan
- Weight loss as part of women’s identity – when striving becomes who you are
- Gaining perspective on the relative significance of your weight loss efforts
- Negative self talk vs self love as motivation for healthy changes
- Why you don’t need to run on self-deprecation
- The moment Sarah almost threw in the towel and the game changer that made it all work
- Spiraling up and how self love can keep you from re-entering negative cycles
- Eating for power and fuel
- The difference eating 3-4 meals a day makes
- What is Balance 365 and why is it different?
- Realistic weight loss progress and its impact on functional fitness and overall health
- Learning to “fish” – implementing lessons in daily life
- Sarah’s advice for current and prospective members
- Trusting the process and seeing the results
Join our free Facebook group with over 35k women just like you!
Healthy Habits Happy Moms Radio
Or subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below
Annie: Hey everyone welcome to a special edition of our podcast where Jen, Lauren and I chat with one of our Balance365 members, Sarah Cole, all the way from Tasmania, Australia.
If you’re new to our podcast, Balance365 is our signature, habit based health and wellness that helps people address their nutrition, movement and other lifestyle habits to feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.
Sarah has been with us for 18 months, and her journey has been incredible. We also know that hearing from those who have worked with us is hugely important to women who are thinking of joining our program or who are just at the beginning of their Balance365 journey.
We hope you will enjoy hearing about how Sarah has reclaimed her life, took control of her health, nutrition, fitness, self care, and spoiler alert: she’s lost 50 pounds since joining Balance 365. Enjoy!
Sarah, how are you, welcome to the show!
Sarah: I’m great, thank you very much for having me.
Annie: I feel like our listeners need to know about the behind the scenes blooper that happened this morning so I sent out a link to join the podcast and you responded saying it was the middle of the night.
Sarah: Yes, I had a few little buzzes going on in my phone in the bathroom and I actually needed to pee anyways, I was putting it off and I got up and saw all these messages with the link and I was like, “What is this? Is this for real? It’s midnight.”
Annie: Oops! Sorry. Because you’re in Australia.
Sarah: That’s right.
Annie: There’s quite a few time zones between me and you and so when I scheduled this I thought for sure I had it in PM and apparently it was 1 am.
Annie: Thank you for sacrificing your sleep and joining us in the middle of the night. I appreciate it.
Sarah: It’s okay. It’s my pleasure. I can always nap tomorrow.
Jen: I feel terrible!
Annie: Spoken like a true mom. Like a true Aussie. And Jen and Lauren, you’re both here, how are you?
Annie: Okay, so Sarah. We invited you on the show. Have you ever been on a podcast before?
Sarah: Never ever. Never ever. No i haven’t.
Annie; you have a voice for podcasting
Jen: Every time she talks I want to copy what she’s saying. Neva-eva. I’ve neva-eva been on a podcast.
Sarah: That doesn’t sound like me at all. Sorry, I’m a bit delirious, it’s 1 am.
Annie: It’s alright. We’ll give you a pass if you say anything too wacky.
Sarah: Thank god.
Annie: The reason we invited you on, one of the reasons we invited you on is because you have been a member of our Balance365 coaching program for about 18 months and you have quite the journey and I appreciate this so much about you but you are an open book when it comes to sharing the successes and the frustrations and the struggles that you’ve had with us and before us and you’ve really become quit etc Big sister in our community. How do you feel about that?
Sarah: Well, it’s really sweet, it’s very humbling, actually, because I feel like I’m still learning as well.
Annie: Well, I do too.
Sarah: Well, yes. I think it’s lovely. It’s good to be able to put a big sister rave on, so to speak, as I do sometimes just to help the newbies out and give a little bit of insight into what goes on in real life.
Annie: Yes, because you have some great insight, because you’ve got quite the history. As you’ve got older, you have quite the experience and history of weight loss and weight regain and in that process, that you shared in the group, that you’ve also developed some pretty poor eating behaviours. Can you tell us more about that? Because there’s some pretty big numbers in your history, for weight loss.
Sarah: That’s right. So, yes, this is where it’s gonna get real.
Annie: Yes, let’s get to it.
Jen: That’s what we’re all about.
Sarah: So, basically, I decided to lose some weight. I’ve always been heavy my whole life. except when I was about 12, 13, 14 years old when I had braces on my teeth. And I didn’t have any sugar in my diet at all, I was really looking after my teeth, so naturally I grew. I was 5 foot 11 when I was 12 years old, yeah grew really tall and slim but after that when the braces came off I just gained weight and from 15, 16 right through to 26, 27 just, yes, lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, gained weight, and then finally one day, I don’t know, I got the help from a personal trainer and in 18 months I lost 70 kilos.
Annie: Which is a lot.
Sarah: A lot.
Annie: A lot a lot.
Sarah: But during that time, I was eating 1200 calories a day, so I was counting every single one and it was for me, it got very obsessive and it was all about what food group I was going to cut out next. I started with meat, I cut out meat and then dairy and then, well, everything really, I can laugh about it now but I can just remember I used to lay awake at night and think, “Okay, how am I going to cut my calories down, even more. What can I stop eating next?” And then it was eggs. And then it was fish and basically in the end, all I really ate was vegetables and fruits and nuts and seeds and legumes. That was it.
Sarah: There was never any … like it was a whole, doing this with inverted fingers, clean eating thing which now I just roll my eyes at so hard. It got to the point where it consumed my whole life. I would say no to social events because what if they had a sausage roll. God forbid! What if there was something there that was going to tempt me and it would just ruin my whole weight loss. It was such a messed up mindset.
Annie: Did you reach your goal weight?
Sarah: Yeah. Yeah, I did and I was there for-
Annie: And what happened?
Sarah: about 5 minutes.
Annie: So what happened? You stepped on a scale, you reach that number. How did you feel, what did you do? What happened next?
Sarah: It was like such a let down. I thought it would be this huge celebration, that I would finally be happy and everything would be just golden but nothing changed and I had never felt more self conscious. Ever.
Annie: Wow. I would imagine that that’s going to resonate with a lot of our listeners because we are kind of misled that suddenly we’re going to be happy. We’re going to stop nitpicking. We’re going to have this confidence that we didn’t have before and you’re so right unless you really do that internal work, that inside yourself sort of work, looking different on the outside doesn’t really change anything. And that was your experience.
Sarah: Absolutely. I was running anywhere between 30 to 50 kilometres a week to maintain that, or try and maintain that, so it was very unsustainable for me. I was never going to be able to do that when I’m 50.
Annie: Right. And it sounds like you just kept doing more in an effort to maintain or continue to progress, you had to keep levelling up, you had to keep decreasing calories, keep increasing activity, right? Is that what I’m hearing?
Sarah: That’s right. Yes, that’ right. When you start at a higher weight at just under 1200 calories, there’s nowhere to go from there. At one point I did cut down even further to try and accelerate the weight loss at different times when it was stalled and some days I was having as low as 7 or 800 calories just to try and, again, just to try and reach that magic number.
Annie: Right. And no magic occurred. Unfortunately.
Sarah: No. It was a bit of a, “Wait a minute. I don’t feel any different. I’m still actually the exact same person in a different looking body.”
Annie: Yeah, so that’s obviously not the approach you’re taking now. You found Balance365. You had a baby, correct? And you found Jen, Mama Lion Strong, through her page.
Sarah: That’s right. Yes. That’s right.
Annie: And through Jen’s Mama Lion Strong page, you found Balance365.
Sarah: yes, so initially Healthy Habits Happy Moms and I joined the big group, the main group. And then I saw something about Balance365 and it only took me a few days I think and then I signed up. I joined.
Annie: Did you have, when you saw this, because our program, you know we focus on behaviour based change and habit change and it’s much longer term than most programs offered out there, we’re all about slow, sustainable change, in a way that works for you so it’s kind of grey in that there is no one right way to do our program. When you were kind of figuring that out did you have any reservations or hesitations when signing up?
Sarah: Honestly, I don’t think I did. I was just at a point where I just wanted to walk away from all the bull* – pardon my language.
Annie: That’s okay.
Sarah: I don’t think. I’m just trying to remember, to be honest. I just remember reading the information. It was so different from everything else that’s out there, and for me, I wanted to make changes not only to my body but to my mind as well. And nothing else really offered that in a way that was just straightforward and without the hype. I don’t know. Yeah.
Jen: I think that’s really interesting because we do work a lot on mindset in Balance365 in addition to movement and nutrition habits, and it’s really interesting to me that you knew that you needed that.. And it’s really hard for us to conceptualize what that mindset shift is so could you explain, so you know you want to walk away from dieting, but did you just innately know that you needed, what were you looking for, what did you know you needed and what could we provide?
Sarah: So, I knew that now I had two little babies, I had a newborn and I had an 18 month old. I knew that I couldn’t maintain what I tried in the past. I didn’t have the time to be getting up at 4 am and running 10 kms every morning. I just wanted something that was going to be for life, you know, that I could maintain until I was 50, 60, 70, 80 years old.
Annie: I like that you said you wanted something that you could do for life. I think that’s super important for women to consider when they’re making changes to their diet and exercise routine. That’s something that we preach over and over and over again. If you can’t maintain this for 6 months, 6 years, like, is it worth your energy?
Sarah: That’s right. And we all know the science. We all know that diets fail, what is it, 90+% of the time. People regain the weight. So, habits is one proven way that it can work and it can be a lifetime thing and you can break the mold and do it your way, sensibly and safely. And be happy the whole time.
Annie: You mean you don’t have to hate yourself and engage in self-loathing?
Sarah: Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. You don’t have to step on a scale ever, if you don’t want to. Especially you don’t have to do it twice a day every day.
Jen: Is that what you were doing, Sarah?
Sarah: Yeah, I was. Yeah. Morning and night just to see the differences. And I know it’s the amount of exercise I had done and the amount of water I had taken in. It was an ingrained habit, a bad habit, that I couldn’t just not step on the scale and see. And it would affect my whole day. So If I was down it was like, “Yes, well done, Sarah.” And if I was up I would go for a 15k run instead of a 10k run.
Jen: I feel like there’s a thrill there with weighing yourself when you’re in that mindset, that you and you kind of want to know what every single choice you made how it affects your weight so you can do more of that choice. Like that sort of thing. It’s a constant.
Annie: It’s feedback.
Jen: It’s constant feedback. So, you had this kind of morning. I’m going to run and weigh myself and see how that kind of morning affected my weight and why this kind of day or this kind of weekend. Yeah, it’s really, really, really disordered. It really is.
Annie: So, Sarah, you have a long history of dieting, you have this experience with a personal trainer where you lose a lot of weight. You have a baby, you realize the methods that you were using to achieve weight loss or manage your health in the past are not going to work moving forward and not sustainable for the rest of your life so you find our community, you purchase Balance 365 and you get it and you open it up, and you realize that we’re probably encouraging you to take things considerably slower than anything you’ve ever tried before. We’re telling you to do things one at a time. We’re kind of guiding you to find the answers that work for you versus giving you the answers. What do you think when you open the program?
Sarah: So it was a really, really pleasant surprise. I thought everyone was a little bit crazy telling me to go so slow. And the best thing I found was do one thing at a time until you nail that and then move on. It’s so tempting and all I’ve done in the past is to do all the things. All at once. And that was the biggest thing and it was so refreshing.
Annie: Did you do, in fact, just one thing at a time?
Annie: Confessions. Balance365ers confessions.
Sarah: So back then, they have it accelerated now but we had pre-habits when I joined. So I thought I would try to do a couple of those, 2 or 3 of those at once. Before moving onto the main habits. I was trying to do sleep and self-love and something else. Sleep wasn’t happening so I quit that pretty quick.
Annie: Yeah, because you had a baby.
Sarah: Yeah. And so I actually just did, we don’t have self-love anymore and diet deprogramming literally for 3 or 4 months, that’s all I did to start with. So I took it very slow.
Annie: And how did that work for you?
Sarah: It was the best thing I could have done. It was so good. I went through this huge shift in how I thought about everything and it was life changing because I went through all those stages of anger and disappointment and abandonment and all those things I worked through and dealt with and I’m just so pleased I did it that way. Yeah.
Jen: It’s sort of like grief, I find, for a lot of people. It’s like you’re losing a huge part of yourself. A part of yourself you realize isn’t serving you anymore but it has been, for a lot of women, dieting and a lot of their life revolving around their weight and their body is such a big part of their lives that letting that go and also exploring the reasons why it ever did become a big part of your life it can really painful and its process.
Sarah: It is. It’s really, really eye opening. It’s almost like women, if you’re not dieting or trying to change yourself, then what are you doing? It’s such a big thing for us for significance and conversation and how we connect with other women. So suddenly when you’re not doing those things it can be a little bit strange and uncomfortable and awkward but it’s definitely the way to go. As we know.
Annie: I feel that sense from a lot of women, even in my real life and even in our online community sometimes, that if they’re not at their current lowest weight that they need to be actively be pursuing that and-
Sarah: Pursuing it.
Annie: And that seems to really give a lot of women purpose. That’s a lot of the reason behind the actions they take and why they take them and I like to think we can provide an alternative mindset and approach to that that your lowest weight doesn’t have to be your sole purpose and your lowest weight won’t guarantee happiness and peace and self love.
Sarah: Right. And I found too that it’s okay to have fat loss goals. I felt that some communities don’t welcome that and that’s fine and that’s beautiful if you can love yourself exactly the way you are but sometimes you want to make changes and that’s actually okay too and it can come from a place of self-love and being gentle and accepting of yourself. It doesn’t have to be from a place of restriction and punishment. It can be a really beautiful thing.
Jen: It’s subtle. It’s such a subtle shift. What I like to tell women when I’m talking to them about fat loss is that, so for women they have no idea what a healthy weight is for them, really, because, like Annie was saying, they have a number in their mind that is often the lowest weight they could be in their heads and they really have no idea what that weight is that’s healthy for them that they can maintain 365 days a year that they don’t have to fight to be and then if anyone has seen my story, like Annie’s lost a significant amount of weight over the years with the behaviour change approach as has Lauren, but I’m actually heavier than I was.
So, Balance365 is about finding what’s healthy for you and for many, many women out there, they are living at a weight that is higher than what is healthy for them and they are at that weight because of all those years they have gone yo-yoing their weight, emotional eating, dieting and rebounding and for a lot of women in our community is doing that weight loss through the approach we take is about reclaiming who they are. It’s about so much more than weight loss which is why we don’t call it a weight loss program.
Annie: And I think we’re one of the few, actually, the only program out there that marries self-love and support of fat loss goals, if that’s what you’re after and we really push body autonomy. If you want to strive for fat loss, great, if you want to strive for healthy, great. If you want to improve your mindset game, great. We feel like we can really cater to a variety of women’s needs in a healthful way. Just out of curiosity, Sarah, what were your goals when you purchased the program? Did you have anything in mind that you wanted to achieve?
Sarah: The best thing was to stop obsessing about my appearance being the be all and end all. Like, yeah, I had fat to lose, that was obvious, but I didn’t want my whole life to revolve around that. And honestly, I didn’t even know if it was possible, I just thought I was going to dive into everything and see what happens and so I had fat loss goals but that was not the most important thing kicking off since I’d given birth I was more worried about just being at home and being with my babies but at the same time, just wanting to slowly kick things off and start to really appreciate my body for what it was capable of.
Annie: And do you feel that you’ve achieved that or you’re in the process of achieving that.
Sarah: I feel like I’m definitely in the process still but I can look in the mirror now and say, “You’re alright. You’re okay. You get me, strong.” For me it’s still definitely still a process so I can definitely look at all the positive things my body is capable of doing. It’s more a neutral thing physically, you know, aesthetically but it’s so much better than hating yourself. It’s just so odd. If somebody asked me to score my body on a scale of 1 to 10 I would say it’s a 5 not because I love it, not because I hate it but because it’s not all that important. It’s not the most important thing about me.
Annie: I feel good just hearing you say that.
Jen: We’re all doing Beyonce hair flips.
Annie: I feel like if everyone could have Sarah narrate, “You’re alright!” when they look in the mirror. And I just butchered the Australian accent, I realize that. But like how could you not feel good, when you look in the mirror and be like, “Yeah, I’m okay, I’m doing alright. Like, I’m hanging in there.” That’s a good feeling. Especially when you come from an expansive history of not feeling that way. That’s awesome.
Sarah: Yeah, and you know, in the past, walking past a mirror and catching a glimpse and looking away in absolute disgust, that’s not a very good place to be at all. When you say mean, nasty things to yourself, you want to be kind to yourself and gracious that’s probably two of the biggest things I’ve learned.
Annie: I think one of the biggest reservations that we hear from women is they believe that they’re using that negative self-motivation that negative talk that the self-deprecating,t he self-loathing dialogue that they are having in their head as a way to drive their fat loss efforts and our approach is actually that you take great care of things you love. And you can make really caring, compassionate choices, and improve your health. Do you find that to be true, that you’re making different choices because you love yourself?
Sarah: Yes. Absolutely. Because it’s like I tell myself, I’m worthy of making time to prepare a nice, balanced healthy meal. My body deserves to be nourished, not starved. It’s so many things, Annie. It’s so many things.
Jen: Annie’s crying, I think.
Annie: I was like, “Of course your body deserves to be nourished and not starved.” Like it sounds so sensible but so many women, they do feel that way, they do feel like they kind of have to punish themselves to get the results or the body that they think they want. That’s really sweet.
Jen: I think it’s often deeper than that. It’s not just the body they want, it’s the love they crave and still looking for validation from the world around you rather than filling that empty hole with self-love.
Sarah: Right. Yeah. Absolutely.
Annie: It’s getting deep over here. Okay. Sarah, so you can be honest here, did you, throughout the last year and a halfish, have you had any frustrations, any sticking points, have you ever thought, you know what, I just want to say screw it and throw the towel in?
Sarah: Yeah, I have to be honest, I did at one point.
Annie: And what happened?
Sarah: It was when, I’ve got this massive hernia that needs repairing so I had a 12 cm diastasis and it’s now down to 8. I’ve got this big hernia in the way. So I went to see this surgeon about getting my hernia repaired and he said, “Yeah, that’s okay, we can do it, but first you’ve got to lose 20 kilos, you can do that in 12 weeks, right?”
Jen: 45 pounds, we’re talking-ish with 20 kilos for our American listeners. Crazy!
Sarah: And I’ve actually done it before. And I know what it takes to do that and there was just no way on this earth that I was going to do that for anybody. But I did have that very big moment where I was like, “I can just go and eat a thousand calories a day and walk for three hours a day and I can lose the weight and I can get the surgery and I can be pain free.” But then I slapped myself and realized how silly I was being while listening to that doctor’s advice. So there was a brief moment there where I thought, “Okay, I want this fixed, I might just do it.”
And actually I told my best friend and she talked me down as well so it was a very brief moment of insanity. Yeah, that’s the only time. When you’ve got a health professional telling you that, “Oh, you can do that, that’s no big deal.” I did consider it for a second, and I thought “I can just go back to habits after that.” But why waste all the hard work you’ve put in? Yeah. It’s not worth it.
Jen: I also feel like once you learn to treat yourself well, and you learn that for one, how good it feels to be healthy, and not starved, and two how when you learn about the science behind rebound and weight regain you can become fiercely protective of who you are, your habits and how you’re going to go about things. I will give death stares to anyone who ever says anything like that to me.
And you also realize how unhealthy it is to lose weight that quickly and Sarah, I know you work out and see a trainer a couple times a week so you work hard for that muscle and losing 20 kilos, 45 pounds in two month, you’re not just losing fat, that’s what a lot of people don’t understand in these crazy rapid weight loss programs, besides the psychological ramifications of losing weight that quickly, you will lose a lot of your muscle mass as well.
So and it’s like, how does that help you as a women when we have higher risks of osteoporosis and things like that, you want to keep that muscle mass, right? That’s your health. That’s your longevity. That’s your function.
Sarah: Absolutely, and since I’ve been eating balanced meals, since I’ve been feeding myself, I can lift heavier, I can chase the kids around, I can go for all these long walks and do all these cool things and it feels so good, why would you go back? Why would you go back?
Jen: It’s kind of like spiralling up, instead of spiralling down on a diet. Yeah.
Annie: And that’s kind of the premise behind our Power Bowl Challenge. It’s like, how great do you feel when you eat a balanced meal instead of leaving out food groups or skimping on portions. Eating for power for women is really kind of a new mindset, like how good does that feel to fuel your body and all the great things that you can do with that energy.
Lauren: It’s empowering. Pun intended.
Jen: Empowering bowl challenge.
Annie: Corny jokes!
Lauren: Dad joke!
Annie: Okay, Sarah, biggest, I firmly believe that women come to us not for the information but for the support and the guidance in getting the habits to work for them in a manner that works for them and to help troubleshoot and get around obstacles, so I have no problem… Lauren and Jen are probably like, “What?” I have no problem just telling you what our habits are but we won’t give away all our juicy secrets for free but if you could just tell us one of the biggest habit game changers for yu.
Sarah: I can tell you the biggest one.
Annie: Tell us.
Sarah: Was definitely 3-4 meals.
Annie: And why was that a game changer for you.
Sarah: Well, because I was, prior to starting that, that was the first nutritional habit I started, by the way, prior to that I was just grazing constantly. I was constantly hungry and looking for something. I would walk past the fruit bowl, grab a banana, not that there’s anything wrong with bananas, but breakfast would be the crusts of my kids’ toast and two or three cups of coffee and that’s not going to sustain anybody for more than an hour or so.
Sarah: So, the minute I started, and I didn’t focus on anything else, it was just eating 3 or 4 meals every day, and sitting down and eating a meal and not looking for food in between so that was actually really hard but it was the biggest shifter I think for me. I went from being a grazer into actually sitting down and eating a proper meal.
Jen: I think 3-4 meals is eye opening for many people because, and I’ll talk from personal experience as well, I was putting food in my mouth all day long and actually, for me personally, my fat loss started when I did the 3-4 meals habit, it just was very eye opening for me to think, “Holy Cow!” I was just constantly eating and but I was also never rally getting hungry and never really getting full. Because I was just eating these small amounts all day long.
Sarah: Yeah, that sounds exactly like what I was doing too.
Jen: Which is hard as a busy mom.
Lauren: It’s common.
Jen: It’s very common.
Lauren: Because of the advice to eat 6-8 small meals a day, I mean that’s all day long, if you’re up. You know.
Jen: And we should add, you know, our advice changes. So Balance 365 provides guidelines that are kind of like goal posts. Like, what you do when you read our habits is up to you and the way that Lauren has structured the program it’s very easy to figure out how that will work for you, like we find a lot of our nursing moms need more than 3-4 meals a day. It doesn’t cut it for them. And that’s fine, because it really is about figuring out what works for you. So they might do 5 meals a day kind of thing. There’s no failure.
Annie: Lauren- Oh go ahead, Sarah.
Sarah: Sorry, most of the time I end up having four meals, just because of the hunger. If I get up early, like I find if I get up quite early, if I get up at 6, I might be hungry at 7, sometimes I might not be hungry until 8 or 8:30, so if I’m eating early, I’ll tend to eat, you’ve got a longer day, so you’re waiting until you’re truly hungry to eat that next meal, sometimes by, if you eat an early dinner at 5 or 6 o’clock, then you’re hungry again at 8 or 9 o’clock. So, every day is different.
Jen: And the point being that you are honouring what your body needs within those guidelines. Like, it’s not a prescription.
Annie: You might also have four meals when we wake you up in the middle of the night to do a podcast. I mean, I could anticipate, maybe you might be a little hungry tomorrow.
Sarah: I might. That’s okay.
Annie: So one of the questions some of the newer members had asked that they wanted a big sister perspective was when you share information about Balance 365 to the outside world, how do you describe it, or how would you describe it to people who aren’t in the community?
Sarah: So I’ve tried to do it a few times and it depends who you are talking to, sometimes I find it really easy to explain and other times I find it a bit more challenging. But I normally say that it’s a community of women, it’s a supportive program, that’s based around what you want to achieve so if you want fat loss, if you don’t, if you want to get control of your eating or focus on movement, different things, it’s all there, I just tend to say it’s up to you how you want to go about it, how you want to do it but, I’m not trying to sound negative again.
Just when you’re stuck and you want to escape all the noise, all the hype, all the bull that’s going on in the world, in society, constantly on our news feeds, in ads it’s just everywhere, just societal expectations of what you should be, you don’t have to be that. You can be whatever you want so if you want that’, that’ sin this program.
Jen: Sarah, you joined with fat loss goals but you definitely had a, you know you were going to take a different approach this time, and can you talk about in the last 18 months, what have been the results for you whether that’s fat loss or health markers or you’ve talked a lot about improving your mindset so can you expand on that for us.
Sarah: Yes, so, in the beginning when I was going through diet deprogramming, I hid my scale up in the barn, far away, so i didn’t step on that for a lot of months and I put on a little bit of weight. I think about 8 or 9 kilos but now, speaking of weight, I’m 24 kilos lighter than day one, so that’s happened over the 18 months including a little bit of weight gain.
Annie: That’s almost like 50 pounds. Am I doing my math correct?
Sarah: Yes, that’s right, yes.
Annie: That’s that weightlifting kilograms to pounds-
Sarah: Sorry, I’m not familiar with pounds but it’s around there somewhere. Yeah.
Jen: So in the last 18 months you’ve lost 50 pounds.
Jen: You know what, that’s a, I mean, I’m happy you’re happy but that’s also a very realistic timeline for people, rather than the, your doctor, can you lose in 12 weeks
Sarah: 20 kilos in 12 weeks.
Jen: And that’s a sustainable, because we know how you’ve done it. And so that’s also a sustainable loss. And do you feel that’s improved your health, Sarah?
Sarah: For sure. Yeah, it has because, just little things that I notice. The other day, my daughter says, “Mommy, can’t catch me!” and I’m like, “Okay. Yes I can!” And I’m running after her. Just being able to get, just the simple things like getting off the floor without having to use your hands, you can just pop up easily off the floor and run after your kids. It’s all those little things that you notice. Although it’s nice to fit into different clothes and that sort of thing but that’s not the be all and end all.
Sarah: Yeah, I just had bloods done the other week, and everything’s good. I was a little low in iron but that’s all sorted out now and that stems from a long way back now, from the first pregnancy so it’s all sorted now but my bloods all really good, my blood pressure is perfect, I don’t know what else to say there.
Jen: You’re just one healthy mama right now.
Sarah: I’m feeling pretty good.
Jen: And you’re happy and you’re living your life. It’s good.
Annie: Wasn’t it you Sarah, gosh I hope it was you, you had been a little quiet in the group and someone had asked about you and you came back and you were like, “I’ve been out fishing.” Wasn’t that you?
Sarah: Yes, that was me.
Lauren: That’s so great.
Annie: Because we always say we don’t want to give you a fish when we can teach you how to fish. We really want to give women the tools to make choices that suit their lives and we don’t want you to be forever reliant on us for meal plans or macros or what to eat and when to eat it and how to exercise. We want to teach you how to do all of that stuff to yourself so when you came back to the group and were like, “I’ve been out fishing,” I was like, ‘This is exactly what we want.”
Jen: Which was great. Yes, we want you out living your life and nutrition and your body size that should not be an ongoing daily struggle for you. Because you have your habits. I’m sure they’re somewhat effortless for you and they go on in the background while you live your life.
Annie: And it compliments your life, it doesn’t take away or distract from your daily activities.
Sarah: No, that’s right because it’s been such a gradual, gradual process, it sticks, and it’s almost like you’re building a meal and you don’t even have to think about it. It’s when you know it’s really ingrained and it’s not a big al at all. It doesn’t feel restrictive or ‘Oh I can only have a quarter of this avocado instead of half of it” You just build it, you look at it. You sizes and just put it together and sit down and enjoy the meal. That’s good
Annie: Okay, one last question for you. Do you have any advice or thoughts for either our current members or women who might be listening that are on the fence about the program?
Sarah: So advice, did you say?
Annie: Yes, let’s do advice for current members first. Do you have any advice for current members?
Sarah: Yes I do and I would say every time, if you’re unsure of what’s happening, if you feel stuck, just take a little step back and trust in the process because it’s all there and it does work. It sounds so bloody corny but all I would say-
Annie: We’re like an infomercial.
Sarah: Trying not to sound like that, trust the process and trust yourself to be able to make those choices because you’re worthy of that love and care. If there’s any uncertainty at all, I would say, “Just give it a whirl.”
Jen: You know what, I hear that all the time from the women who join us who are getting the results that they wanted to get when they joined us. That’s a constant. “I trusted the process.” Rachel Graves, who’s also in Australia, Aussies love us, we have lots of Aussies in our program, she kind of said that, “I was so ready for your message.” She was just kind of feeling very beat down in her life and she was so ready for our message and she was just so open and accepting to it and she reminds me a lot of you because she’s kicking butt at life right now too. I think we should try and get her on as well but, yeah, it is just a process and if you just release and trust us, we’ll get you there.
Sarah: That’s right and it’s like, I was almost searching for something, I was going through all those different emotions and feelings and knowing what I wanted but not really knowing how to do it by myself so when it come along that’s why it wasn’t much of a question to jump onboard because it was what I’d been looking for.
Annie: And, Sarah, do you have any words of wisdom to women who might be listening who are on the fence about “Uh, is this for me, do I want to do this, I’ve maybe tried everything else?” What would you say to them, if they’re considering but they’re not quite sure.
Jen: Or another really common one is “Is this just another diet?” That’s one that we hear a lot.
Sarah: Yeah, it’s really not. I haven’t counted a calorie in this entire time. I actually haven’t measured macros, like I roughly, I don’t even count grams, I do the palm, fist, thumb. It’s just not a diet. You can’t. No, you’re not telling us what to eat. It’s all there and we use it how we want to use it so, it’s up to the individual how we go about it so no, it’s cool, man.
Annie: Oh, Sarah, I love you. You’re cool. Okay.
Sarah: Well, thank you.
Annie: Should we let her get some sleep?
Jen: Yeah, you gotta get some sleep.
Lauren: I guess, yeah.
Annie: Sarah, you were an absolute joy, your accent, your answers, your perspective was incredibly refreshing and I can’t thank you enough for staying up in the middle of the night to join us.
Jen: Yeah, thank you, Sarah.
Lauren: Yeah, thank you so much.
Sarah: It’s my pleasure, thank you, girls, I’m very happy I found you.
Annie: We are too. We’re happy to have you in our community. We need women like you. You’re a powerful woman.
Jen: Also, Sarah and I are personal friends on Facebook, and she is a strong advocate for not dieting and being who you are, habit based approaches to nutrition, it’s cool, really cool.
Sarah: Just planting seeds, planting seeds.
Jen: Yeah. And your photos of your food are amazing.
Sarah: Oh, thank you. Well, I love food.
Annie: Okay, Sarah, you go get some rest and we’ll talk soon, okay?
Sarah: Thank you.
Jen: Thank you, Sarah.
Lauren: Bye! Good night.
Sarah: Bye, bye, see you’s!