I came across another remarkable transformation a few days ago. The before/after picture below belongs to Sara Gentry, a personal trainer from Arizona. She has graciously agreed to share her story with us, so here goes:
MuscleReview: Sara thanks you for taking the time to do this interview. Why don’t you tell my readers a little bit about yourself (education, work, etc.).
Sara: I currently work for Anytime Fitness as one of their Certified Personal Trainers, something I had wanted to become since about 6 months into my journey.
MuscleReview: Let’s talk about the “before” version of you. Did you always have weight issues (since childhood) or did you gain weight after you became an adult?
Sara: I had always been a bigger girl–I gained and lost here and there throughout my adult life. It wasn’t until my last child that I became heavier than ever. It lasted about two years before I finally said, “enough is enough.”
MuscleReview: What was the breaking point for you? What made you decide it was time to change your lifestyle and body?
Sara: The breaking point for me was the day I got married. That day that was supposed to be the happiest day of my life, but instead I was miserable. I hated myself; I hated how I looked and couldn’t believe that I had let myself go so far. I didn’t like my wedding photos and told my husband, “just wait, one day we are going to have good pictures.” It’s been nearly three years since we were married and I’m hoping we can take some new pictures on our three-year anniversary.
MuscleReview: How much weight have you lost overall (you can also include measurements such as body composition if you want)?
Sara: I have lost a total of 103 lbs. I went from a size 28 jeans to a size 4/5. I never really went by other measurements during this journey, but plan to start using them for other purposes such as upcoming physique competitions.
MuscleReview: I noticed the before/after picture shows about a three-year span. How long did your transformation take? Where you tempted to give up?
Sara: It took 16 months for me to lose 103 lbs. I maintained that loss for a year, then decided to study to be a Certified Personal Trainer. I received my certification this year in January. Back in August (2013) I also decided that I wanted to try competing in a physique competition. I started preparing and took the stage in March 15, 2014, where I won 4th place. What an awesome experience that was for me!
MuscleReview: Was there a particular dietary method you found to be most helpful (or the easiest to follow)?
Sara: I never followed a “diet”, I counted calories in the beginning for an entire year, then kind of knew how much I could eat and went off on my own. Once I started training for the competition, I had to start counting macro-nutrients. This was much harder to learn than just regular calories. There is so much more to learn, every day learning something new about nutrition.
MuscleReview: What advice would you give to someone who wants to make a transformation like yours?
Sara: I would tell them to not give up! I have found that the key to staying motivated is just doing it, over and over. Make yourself do it until it becomes habit. People around you can inspire you, but motivation has to come from within–you have to want this. You have to want it bad! It’s going to suck at times and you will hate it, but do not let that stop you.
MuscleReview I see you are a personal trainer. Would you ever have imagined this before your transformation years ago?
Sara: The thought never crossed my mind. I actually wanted to be a chiropractor for a very long time. I absolutely LOVE helping people achieve their fitness goals and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else in this life.
MuscleReview: Do you plan to continue competing (fitness competitions)?
Sara: Yes, I did the NPC Natural Outlaw in Arizona on March 15, 2014. It was the most amazing experience to date and I plan on doing another in about a year.
MuscleReview: Please tell my readers about your diet and exercise regimen (in very general terms).
Sara: Currently I eat around 1800 calories a day, still counting macros: protein, carbs and fats are the main things I count. I also eat a ton of veggies and fruit. I weight train 6 days a week and do some type of cardio 6 days a week as well (kickboxing, HIITS, biking, hiking, walking, running, or the elliptical).
MuscleReview: What’s next for you?
Sara: My next goal is to do another competition in a year. I want to learn more about nutrition in the next year and step it up at the next competition. I would also like to get certified in cardio kickboxing and take a few nutrition classes. Other than that, I will keep training at Anytime Fitness and keep moving forward.
MuscleReview: Is there anything else you’d like to say/share?
Sara: There are going to be many people who will belittle you and tell you that you can’t do this, that this is impossible. Do not listen to them. It is possible. It is very possible. There will be plenty of haters along the way, let them hate while you rise above!
MuscleReview: Thanks again for your time!
Note: You can visit Sara’s Facebook Page: Gentry Reality Fitness if you’d like to follow her or inquire about personal training.