Even though weight loss was the goal, SJ McShane focused on a “health first” mentality and fitness soon followed.
When did you get serious about training?
Around 12 years ago, I seriously got into training and was going for strength and health vs weight loss. Even though weight loss was the goal, I focused on the mentality of “health first”.
I would like to tell every woman out there at the minute that is looking to get into shape to stop everything right now and love their bodies. Right here. Right now and in the state it’s currently in.
We aren’t defined by the size of jeans we wear – love your body at every weight. Focus on being the best version of you, eat clean and work out because you love feeling strong and capable. This will create a healthy relationship between you and your body.
Can you remember your turning point?
My life changed for the better was when I was enrolled in a personal training school in Orlando, Florida. I was on my one-mile run at a track and I literally couldn’t run. I was totally weak and felt completely embarrassed.
I knew at that very moment that I never wanted to feel that way again. And so I made it my mission to feel strong after that experience – and, most importantly, I made it happen.
What was the first step you took toward gaining control?
From that moment at the track, I began my very first training routine and clean eating plan. I didn’t diet, and I didn’t spend hours in the gym; I simply made a few changes in my life and it wasn’t long before big results came. I lost around 30lb in two months.
How did you change your diet in the beginning?
Before I went to school and learned what good nutrition was, I would eat cake for breakfast. Literally, a birthday cake! All of it. Then I began making protein pancakes and incorporating simple food swaps and the rest is history.
Sarah’s secrets to success
1. Have healthy snacks on hand to prevent the chances of eating something that you’re trying to stay away from at that time.
2. Incorporate “no pressure” training. I don’t spend hours in a gym, I simply do what I like (trail run, hike, Tabata, HIIT) and if I do 20 minutes, I tell myself it beats sitting on the couch and remind myself I don’t have to train, I get to train.
3. Avoid living a life of extremes. When I want something rich, I’ll have it and then continue on to my normal clean eating routine.
4. Always remember, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Getting healthy helps you learn a lot about yourself; your weakness and strengths. Hold onto the strengths and focus on them and know you will grow, learn and definitely become stronger.
Remember why you started and embrace this journey.
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