“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure” – Colin Powell.
At 24 years old, I am proud to say that I’m in the best shape of my life, although it has been quite the journey for me! Growing up, I was always on the heavier side. When I was in the 4th grade, I had to have major surgery on both of my hips. I suffered from a severe case of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE). In laymen’s terms, this means the growth plates at the top of my thighbones that are used to connect the thighbone to the head of the femur slipped out of place. It took three surgeries and almost two years to correct it. Part of the process required me to be in a body cast, from my belly button to my toes for 8 weeks. What happens when all you can do for eight weeks is lie in a bed? YOU GET FAT!
Although it was impossible to make them 100% normal, the process was worth the pain and my hips were corrected. I went through physical therapy and learned how to use my legs all over again and by 8th grade, I felt like a normal kid again! I started playing basketball, running track, and continued to do so my first two years of high school. I was able to drop all the weight I had put on over the past years when I was unable to be active. Before I knew it, it was time to start driving! My last two years of high school, I fell back into my bad eating habits and lack of physical activity. When I graduated from high school, I was probably at the heaviest point in my life.
The summer before heading out to college I decided to join Weight Watchers with my mother and sister, as I had seen their successes. I had much success with the program myself and dropped about 20 pounds before starting college. It seemed that my first few years of college I was losing weight without necessarily trying, but still nowhere near where I envisioned myself. At that point, it wasn’t a top priority; and because I did not make it a priority, it was only a matter of time before it all came back.
February of 2011 is when I decided to take my fitness journey seriously. I joined a gym and began working out 3 or 4 times a week and tried to eat “healthier”. At this point, I was just doing cardio and taking baby steps with my diet to slowly phase out the foods I had been accustomed to eating for so many years. As I began to meet many people at the gym, they helped to guide me in my journey. I met a very good friend in October of 2011, who helped me incorporate weight training into my workout regime and gave me pointers on my diet.
I started to see results and it all began to make sense. Eating clean, balancing weight training and cardio really works?! The results I found drove me to begin to do my own research on how I could be more successful in my journey. Baby steps turned into bigger steps, and before I realized it, I had taken off running. This lifestyle has become my passion. I am constantly searching for new healthy recipes to try and workouts that will have me crawling out of bed the next morning. I truly believe you can always be better than the person you were yesterday.
In August of 2013, I finally reached my goal weight. Beyond dropping a total of 50 pounds from the heaviest point in my life, I was also able to gain muscle and cut body fat. My current workout and diet have been fueling great results and I found that they work for ME! I work out six times a week; incorporate both weight training and cardio. I eat small, clean & balanced meals 5-6 times a day. I have found this to be most effective for the lifestyle I choose to live. Changing my lifestyle was not exactly glamorous, although the results are! It was truly a very long and hard process for me that took a lot of hard work and dedication. Each and every day we face situations that put our willpower and determination to the test. If your friends are out to happy hour; you drink a protein shake and hit the gym instead. If you are at a birthday party; pop in a piece of sugar free gum instead of reaching for a piece of cake. Wake up every morning and tell yourself, “I will not sacrifice what I want most for what I want in this moment”. In the end you will realize it was all worth it.
There are so many people that have been my support system throughout my journey, and continue to show me support each and every day. I have an amazing group of friends and a very supportive family. I also have my “fitfam” who constantly keep me hungry for more. What I think has made me the most successful, is the drive I found within myself. I am stubborn and strong-willed. If I want something bad enough, I will find a way to get it done.
What I love most is using my success to help and inspire others. Many of my friends have told me that I am their inspiration to live a healthier lifestyle. They believe if I can do it, they too can reach their goals. This is what makes all the hard work worth it. Our successes have no purpose if we do not use them to empower and inspire others. There is no better reward than watching someone else succeed, thanks to your contributions. As my fitness journey continues, I am not sure what the future holds. The sky is the limit but I make a promise to myself each and every day that I will wake up on a quest, ready to tackle a new challenge.
– Sara White
You can find her at: Instagram