Weight loss story on Transformation Tuesday with Sarah McGee
These transformation tuesday posts are the highlight of my week. Especially when you get to meet these inspirational people. Let me introduce you to the amazing Sarah McGee, I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting her in person down in Melbourne over the weekend as our team VisionCrusaders.com completed their 4th ride out of our 6 RTCC Grand Slam rides. So thank you Sarah for coming down to see us and your hug!!!
I purposely didn't edit anything in this post, as I like to keep things real. So please enjoy this amazing story as Sarah has lost over 70kgs (that's an entire Dani Stevens!!! ME!) so I am totally blown away by her and loved her 100 reasons that keep her motivated.
Sarah McGee 70kgs weight loss story
25, and a repeat offender of the "over-share", so sorry about the editing job ahead of you, Dani :P
I've been over the 100kg mark since childhood. I couldn't tell you when that first happened, but I remember going to the Royal Adelaide Show as a kid, the one time big rides come to town in little Adelaide, and wanting to go on one of those roller coasters. You know, the ones with the safety harness that shuts over you and locks in for safety? I was too big for it to close. The ride manager came over and tried to help, closing it with a little force, but it just wouldn't shut & I had to get off and wait for my sister. I would have been 12 or 13 at that point.
The last time I weighed myself (before last year) was when I went to a kickboxing gym with a girlfriend and we had to weigh in before training. The club was owned by her dad who had suggested we come and play for the night. I stepped on the scales, at this point I was 15, and weighed in just under 120kg. I remember my small Cambodian girlfriend looking at the number and saying something along the lines of "wow Sarah you're SOOOO heavy" in an innocent reaction with no harm intended... I avoided the scales for almost a decade after that. (out of sight, out of mind)
When I left Uni (the first time) I went to work in a call centre, expecting to be there as an "in-between" and ended up working my way up into a comfortable management position and staying for about 6 years. I learned all kinds of new & creative ways of avoiding movement whilst in that environment, wheeling my way around the office on my chair instead of walking, printing out a report at 10am but not picking it up until I had to walk passed the printer for that lunch time meeting, or catching the elevator between a single flight of stairs.
Fast forward to February 2012 and I was standing on the scales in a doctor's office being told that I was 165kg and at serious risk of a heart attack. I'd gone in initially to have him sign a medical waiver for me to do an event with some friends, he took one look at me and said no. The next thing I know I'm having blood tests for obesity related illness, being sent to hospital for an ECG to check my heart and being told I shouldn't be doing anything more than light cardio until I get a little of the weight off.
I bought a bike, I started hiking with friends on the weekends, and joined a circuit gym where I could train with professional guidance. I spent one night a week with a "foodie" friend who taught me how to cook one new healthy meal each week, and I would go home and prepare that in bulk for freezer meals for the week ahead. 12 months later I was no longer scared of the kitchen, training in ways that felt more like playing than training (crossfit, rugby, boxing, cycling, hiking, trail running),and, a pretty amazing bi product of this new life, I was 70kg lighter.
The short version is that I trained 6 days a week & prepared every meal I ate for 12 months. I trained weights (crossfit) in my lunch break and cycled 30km home from work most nights. The physical "what did you do" is just so much less significant than the mental empowerment this process brings about though - and that is your own to find.
My whole family have always been overweight, I ate a lot of fish and chips, fast food, pasta bakes etc. We always had frozen vegetables on hand and I always avoided them - I didn't realise "real" veggies tasted any different until I had a carrot from out school veggie patch one day in grade 4.
I carried those fast food, highly processed, foods into adulthood and added a lot of alcahol on top.
I play Rugby and touch football and I don't watch ANY sports. I've never quite understood the appeal of watching other people have fun.
People are my passion, I'm back at Uni studying to be a psychologist at the moment because I believe people are powerful beyond measure. The impact one person can have by simply making a choice to live their own lives passionately is incredible and hopefully one day I can help people to unlock that. Aside from that, I play the guitar and dance in exceedingly embarrassing ways. Embarrassing for my friends generally, not for me. I spend my time hiking mountains around the Sunshine Coast here in Queensland, riding my bike through rainforest trails, and swimming under waterfalls. I have an amazing home gym, a housemate who cooks like a boss, and a 4 year old housemate who keeps me smiling with the variety of cute and random things you will only know if you live your life surrounded by small children at some stage.
People always ask me what that “moment” was that motivated me. Well it wasn’t a moment, it was a series of events that lead to me being bold enough to get real & get honest. You can read more on my blog, but I spent my entire life obese. I was over 100kg as a child and I told myself and everyone around me that I was perfectly happy as I was. There came a point where I let myself admit that I wasn’t happy. I didn’t want to ask for seatbelt extensions in aeroplanes, or have to worry about fitting in a chair, or missing out on that snow trip because they didn’t make snow clothes big enough, or feel like a burden to society because I took up two seats on the bus instead of one. I let myself get real, and I admitted that I NEEDED to change. I have quit 100 times. I have had breakdowns, panic attacks, cried in the gym, on my bike or whilst climbing a mountain more times than I can count. I have eaten crappy foods, fallen back into old habits and cried “it’s all too hard, ill never get there” on more than one occasion. But guess what? It is possible, you can do it. Just look at what can be achieved in 12 months if you just turn the volume down on your doubts, and get up
travel to Manilla and mountain bike through the mountains, hike a volcano and watch the sunrise, compete in a few more obstacle course races, lift heavier, run faster, smile more & let my weight continue to be an amazing reaction to the life I'm living.
You get there by realising you are already there. Stop waiting for the perfect diet, time, or guru. Start building a life that's good for you right now. Go for walks on the beach with your family, get off the bus a stop early, ride a bike, take the stairs, start reading the labels when you're shopping. Change up your idea of relaxation & recreation - go to the beach or on a hike with your friends instead of letting your down time be dinner or drinks every time. You need to live a life that is good for you, right now, tomorrow, and the next day. When you make a poor choice let it be just that, one choice. Every day you wake up take that opportunity to shape your life and your weight will be a reaction to that. The recipe really is simple - find ways to move that make you smile so you won't avoid them. Exercise is not punishment, it should be a celebration of your body & your life. Eat foods that you LOVE and get creative in the kitchen. This is not about diet and deprivation, it's about getting back to basics and reintroducing yourself to what flavour really is. Celebrate everything. Don't take yourself too seriously - and find like minded positive people to fill your life with.