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41 Is NOT The New 21

5 reason’s why I’d rather be 41 than 21!

Today I turned 41. Kinda hard to believe actually. I’m not exactly sure where the time has gone. Sometimes I feel like I woke up one day and my twenties and thirties where over, without any warning. I remember being in my twenties thinking that women in their forties where soooooooo old. Like end of life old! I thought they looked ancient and acted even older.

Yet here I am.41 is NOT the new 21

On most days I don’t feel “old.” Or not as old as I thought those women seemed anyway. So it got me thinking; is our perception of age really changing? People say that your forties are the new twenties and I’d have to disagree. Maybe they are the new thirties, but my God! Am I happy I’m not still in my twenties!

 

So I thought I’d share five major lessons that my twenties, thirties and forties have taught me.

 

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Health & Fitness

How I lost 20 lbs in 8 Weeks!

sarah centrella weight loss

How I used the #HBRMethod to loose 20 lbs in 8 weeks!

I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. I remember being eleven years old working out in my room to videos of Jane Fonda.  She’d be wearing this hideous G-string swimming-suit-looking apparatus over neon spandex, with leg warmers covering her calves. She was so skinny. Long thin legs and graceful arms. I was “chubby” as my mother would say. “It’s baby fat.” She’d tell me, patting my protruding belly or grabbing my round chubby face. “One day you’ll wake up and it will all be gone.” She promised. I waited, and waited some more. But my baby fat loved me, it had no intention of abandoning me that easily.

What’s “baby fat” called when you’re forty? Sloppy? Saggy? Ugly? Plain-old fat?

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Health & Fitness

Choose Beautiful.

I don’t remember ever hearing the words “you’re beautiful” when I was growing up. I remember criticism about my weight, or my chubby cheeks, or my mother telling me to never cut my hair because it was my “saving grace.” But I don’t remember anyone ever saying “Sarah you’re beautiful.” As a result I struggled, as most young girls do, with a very negative self-image growing up.

I searched for that validation from any source, including doing pageants as a teenager in hopes that it would make me feel beautiful. But instead when I didn’t win, I felt less validated and cut myself down even more. I learned early on that if I made fun of myself, or was self-deprecating that I’d be the one to control how people saw me. I thought that if I brought it up first, and often, then they would realize that I already knew I was “fat and ugly” and therefore I’d save them the trouble of pointing it out. But I didn’t realize that all this did was make the people around me uncomfortable, and pressured them to compliment me.

When I met my ex-husband at sixteen, I constantly looked to him to tell me I was beautiful, which was something that he was not naturally good at. It made him uncomfortable to verbalize it, so when he did I argued and cut myself down even more, in a passive aggressive attempt to get him to tell me more. But all that accomplished was him telling me less and less.

When I got divorced, I made a conscious decision. I’d learned that my beliefs and thoughts created my reality and I decided I no longer wanted to feel this way about myself. I was thirty-four years old and I wanted to find true happiness, and that meant loving and accepting myself as I was. I started by looking in the mirror every morning and telling myself, out loud, that I was beautiful. It was the biggest lie I’d ever told myself, and it felt uncomfortable and awkward, but I was relentless. I looked myself in the eye and said it over and over, day after day. I made a commitment to say it to myself every time I looked in a mirror.

Then slowly an amazing thing began to happen. I started to believe it.

That lead to me taking better care of myself, caring how I presented myself to the world, which lead to me believing it a little more. As time passed I became a new woman. One who truly believed that I was beautiful.

I am not a thin girl. I’ve always been curvy and have ranged from a fit size 10 (in my skinny twenties), to a fit and curvy size 14. I’ll never be a skinny girl, and I’m fine with that. I have come to love and appreciate the woman I’ve become, on good days and bad, whether I feel “fat” or great that day, I’ve learned to see myself as beautiful no matter what.

I have two seven-year-old twin daughters, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t tell them multiple times, how beautiful they are. Yes I tell them they are smart, and talented, and all of that knowing beauty is perceived to only be outward. But I believe that if you don’t truly feel beautiful, and if it doesn’t come from within, than your hiding your true potential and doing yourself and the world a disservice. When you feel beautiful, you also feel like you can take on the world. You believe that anything is possible. You feel respected and seen. Call it shallow but all of that builds your self-confidence, which empowers you to be your best self and to live the fullest life possible. And that is what I want for my daughters. I want them to believe that they are beautiful, and not be ashamed of that. I don’t want them to search for validation in men, or anything else to “feel” beautiful. I want them to love and respect themselves, which starts with knowing that no matter what they look like, they ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Last year I was the target of a body-bullying video created by Yahoo for their top daily news stories. They chose to freeze-frame images of me as a guest on the Steve Harvey Show that made me look morbidly obese, and deformed, even though they knew full-well what I actually looked like. That video got a half-million views in 24 hours, and thousands of comments that would have made the old me self-destruct. Those comments included death-threats, all based on just my looks. I called Yahoo out on this and they eventually pulled the piece off the Internet, which I am grateful for. However that does not excuse the acceptance in social media, and media in general to bully because of a persons looks or weight. That experience made me so grateful for all the work I’d done the previous years to change my internal view of myself, which enabled me to see if for the shallow, low-blow attack that it was.

This brings me to a new trend I’m seeing recently in the media, which I want to put my complete support behind. It’s the movement to change societies definition of “beauty.” Dove has released a campaign called #ChooseBeautiful, which is incredibly powerful.

I cried watching this video, and can’t wait to show it to my daughters. This video broke my heart because I know that until a few years ago I would have walked through the “average” door. And it made me emotional knowing that now I’d chose the “beautiful” door, but not without shame and embarrassment.

And that is a problem.

There is a fucked-up idea out there that if you “think your beautiful,” or god-forbid, say that you are, that you are a stuck-up bitch. There’s this underlying societal notion that you shouldn’t say that, and you shouldn’t act that way, because if you do then you’re a conceded narcissist. That you can’t believe you’re beautiful and be humble at the same time. I bet there were women who wanted to walk through the “beautiful” door, but chose not to for that very reason. They were afraid that others would look at them like; who do you think you are? Your not all that!

And that bullshit needs to change.

It’s okay to feel beautiful. It’s okay to tell yourself that you are. It’s okay to say it out-loud, and to carry yourself as a beautiful woman would. It’s okay to be beautiful, and know it, REGARDLESS of what others think of your physical appearance. Who cares what they think? You have the power to be self-defined. Don’t be ashamed. It doesn’t make you a bitch, or arrogant to believe that you are beautiful. It doesn’t make you “full of yourself” or “better than anyone else.” It just makes you a woman who loves and appreciates what God has given her, and wears it with pride.

I want to thank Lane Bryant for their recent campaign #ImNoAngel which is a swipe at Victoria Secrets “perfect” angel. Thank you for making curvy girls sexy. Thank you for showing the world that you don’t need to weigh 90 pounds and have fake tits to be “beautiful.”

THANK YOU!!

Im no angle

And thank you to Kelly Clarkson for not giving a fuck what all the haters have to say about her appearance. She’s been taking a beating lately by media and Internet trolls calling her “fat.” Good for you for not taking their shit and for embracing the beautiful talented woman you are. And for showing the world that it can really suck after you have a baby, most of us don’t automatically “bounce back” nine months after giving birth. I know I never have. So thank you!!!

Kelly Clarkson

And thanks to the newswoman in Canada who has taken cyber bullying for her pregnancy body, and who finally spoke out about it. Good for you!

This trend makes me so happy because I pray that it changes these insane views on beauty, so that my daughters will feel more acceptance than my generation has. I think it’s important to speak-up and let your voice be heard, because YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

 

Books I Love Health & Fitness Hustle.Believe.Receive. Motivation & Inspiration

Sadie Lincoln: Barre3 Courage.

Sadie’s inspiring story and interview below is featured in my book Hustle Believe Receive

What does it mean to truly believe? For some it’s a process that happens over time, and is cultivated with effort, for others it seems to come naturally.  But for all who wholeheartedly believe in their dream, it’s the courage to step out on faith that is the ultimate test of belief. It’s one thing to talk about it, work hard every day to get closer to it, and believe it will happen, but it’s an entirely different thing to take action that involves great risk. Most people stop at this stage of the journey. They fear the unknown. They like their “real job” while they quietly pursue their passion on the side. I know because for four years I’ve been one of those people, I get it, but those are not the success stories that change the world. Because it’s impossible to reach that level of success with your passion if over 50% of your time and energy is focused on something completely unrelated. It simply doesn’t work.

Everyone I’ve interviewed for my upcoming book Hustle.Believe.Receive. has displayed that courage which resulted in action. They risked everything to pursue their passion. It’s an undeniable common thread. And it’s a requirement for you too, at some point, if you really want to realize your dream.

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No one is a better example of this than Sadie Lincoln. Nine years ago, in 2005 Sadie and her husband Chris were living in Oakland California, in a beautiful home with a view of The Bay. Sadie had a thriving career as a member of the executive marketing team for 24 Hour Fitness working directly with the CEO. It was an ideal career; one anyone would love and aspire to have. Sadie’s husband Chris, also had a successful career, they had built the “perfect” life. They had a child, two thriving careers and by all accounts they were “living the dream”.

“But it wasn’t us. It wasn’t who we really were as people, that life didn’t fit us.” Sadie tells me when she calls for our interview. “I’d discovered yoga when I was pregnant with my first child and fell in love with it. I didn’t connect with the gym environment, it never resonated with me. I always knew I wanted a big sexy career, but something that would allow me to be present with my children. And something that would be a family business.”

Chris and Sadie had looked at options in the past to start their own business, but the right venture had not come along. For most of her life she taught, and had a passion for group exercise, dating back to old-school aerobics in the ‘90’s. But the gym atmosphere felt too big, masculine and lonely. She loved the warmth of Yoga and its balance of ease with effort, but her body was ready for something different. She tried all types of exercise, studios and classes, even other Barre programs but nothing seemed to have the combination and balance she was looking for.

And then one day, in 2006, after having their second child; Chris came home and pulled a folded spreadsheet from of his pocket. On it was a plan he’d quietly been working on; running the numbers, weighing the options. “My husband is the opposite of me, he’s the analytically one. I act on optimism. I believe it will work out, so I jump all in. I’ve always been that way; Chris is a perfect balance for me.” On the spreadsheet Chris had mapped out a plan for them to sell their beautiful home, sell the second car, live minimally, quit their jobs and move to Bend Oregon… taking one-year away from work so they both could stay home and raise their two young children.

Sadie Lincoln #HustleBelieveReceive
You can even try a FREE online workout.

 

Sarah: What was going through your mind when he told you this dramatic, life changing plan?
Sadie:
I was so moved. As a wife and mother, I thought it was so beautiful that he wanted more than anything to find a way that we could be home raising our children together. And then I thought, ‘well I don’t want to move to Bend!’ So we settled on Portland and decided we’d live minimally, renting a small home, and selling what we didn’t need. We packed up our car, our two kids and the cat, and drove to Portland.

Chris and Sadie went to work writing the business plan for Sadie’s dream group exercise studio; what would become the national franchise brand, Barre3.  She incorporated moves from over twenty years of teaching group and gym exercises, and brought inspiration from many different disciplines. “Balance is my North Star.” Sadie says. “It’s what the ‘3’ in Barre3 stands for, like a triangle with three balanced points. Barre3 merged the wisdom of yoga, with the grace of the Ballet barre and strength of Pilates. She designed a studio to feel welcoming and warm, and put a child care center in the lobby, so moms like her could get a non-gym workout. “We put every penny we had into Barre3, all our savings.” Sadie adds.

Sarah: Were you ever afraid it wouldn’t work? That you would lose everything?
Sadie:
  Never.  Not for a moment. I never thought of quitting. I always knew it would be big. We started the first studio in downtown Portland six years ago, but we did it with the vision that it would be a franchise. We believed it would take off, but didn’t know how big obviously. From the beginning I had courage. I wanted to create something totally different, something done my way. Yet you always have those voices that say; ‘who are you to think you can create a new form of exercise?’ But you just have to put that to the side and move forward with courage.

Since that first studio was opened in 2008, Barre3 has grown to have studios in 23 states, with 70 studios in the United States and five international locations. Barre3’s Portland based headquarters employs 20 full-time women, who were all once clients, and have over time organically grown into their individual roles in the company. Sadie recently launched a book tour, on the release of her new book “Love Your Lower Body” with the editors of Prevention magazine. She’s appeared on QVC, Bloomberg TV, and has been featured in Prevention magazine along with countless others.  She’s even launched the new Barre3 online workouts for those of you unlucky enough to not have a studio close by.  And oh yeah… rumor has it she even personally trained Madonna!

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With all this success I asked Sadie; what was the moment when she felt like she was living her dream?
Sadie:  I have that moment all the time, honestly, especially in the down time. Like when I’m in the office with my team, drinking tea. I’m surrounded by these amazing beautiful women who have helped take this vision and brand to an extraordinary place.

And last year on our fifth anniversary, my team organized a free public park class and asked me to teach it. We had no idea if anyone would show up; we’d never tried anything like it before. But over 300 people came, clients that have been coming since the studio first opened. It was the most magical moment, looking out at all those people doing Barre3, and my mom and daughter in the front row. My daughter even got on stage and helped lead the class with me. It was just so unbelievably amazing.

Sarah: What has been the best part of this experience for you?
Sadie: 
Validating that my intuition was right. That something which worked for my body could also work for thousands of others. I’m not a workout guru; I’m just a mom, trying to get her workout on.

Sarah: What’s your dream now?
Sadie: 
I want to keep going down this path of whole body health. I want to help families. The triangle of Barre3; our foundation is: exercise, nourish, and connect. I want to always grow and learn, and be a wise educator. And beyond the studio walls, I want to make sure the studios are servicing and engaging with the community. And of course I want it to be very successful and become an iconic brand that holds up over time.

Sarah: What advice do you have for someone who’s just starting out on their path to pursue their dream?

Sadie:  Have courage. Be fearless. It’s a practice, learning how to make decisions that are not fear based. When we operate from a level of fear it closes so many opportunities. But be buttoned up; make sure you know what you’re getting into and do your research. Explore your options and ask questions.

And make sure you have balanced people around you, people who support you but can give you a different perspective. And always enjoy the moment… celebrate the joy of the moment.

 

Barre3 founder Sadie Lincoln #HustleBelieveReceive
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I love Sadie’s story because it shows us just how critical courage is to the fulfillment of our dream. It’s that Hustle, the action behind our thoughts and words. It’s the thing that forces us to face our fear and move forward anyway. I also love the dynamic between Sadie and Chris, showing that either “born this way” personality is capable of stepping out on faith. If you are naturally optimistic, a “just go for it” type (like I am) that’s awesome and courage probably comes naturally for you. But even if you’re not, even if you’re more fact-based and cautious, you can summon courage and jump too; even if it’s after you’ve done a ton of research!

It’s always scary to step out on faith, to put your belief to the test, believe me I’m doing it right now on a daily basis. It’s terrifying. But it’s also so liberating. And for the first time in my life I know what each of these amazing people I’m featuring have been talking about when they say… “I have joy.” Joy is so hard to find in this life. It can be so elusive and fading, but if you are daily living a life you’ve purposefully created, doing what you love, you wake up with that joy. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever known, and something I wish for each of you to experience. It’s not for the faint of heart, but then again neither is success. The time it takes you to become successful is a critical journey that is building your resilience, proving what you’re made of, weeding out the people in your life who don’t bring value and making you the kind of person who can handle success with grace. So take it all as a valuable part of getting you to the next level, so that you can shine bright when the spotlight stops on you, the way Sadie does.

sadie-barre3
Sadie still teaches classes at the original Pearl District location in downtown Portland (my home studio!)

 

Follow  Sadie on Facebook Instagram Twitter

 

Note: I did NOT receive any compensation for this piece monetary or otherwise. However this is my favorite workout, and am proud to say I’m a paying monthly member taking 3-5 classes a week at the original location Sadie first opened in downtown Portland.. the Pearl Location, studio pictured above and in most Barre3 official photos.

 

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Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella

Health & Fitness Hustle.Believe.Receive.

Marathon Life. Week 11.

Today I had the best run to date.  My personal best… 9 miles, run at a 13.3 pace, 4.5 miles up a hill and 4.5 down. And for the first time I had no stopping, and  no walking.  Just non-stop trudging along.  And yes I was passed by a walker.  But that is beside the point.  Why? Because when I got my second wind, I zoomed (well, relatively speaking) right past my walking nemesis. So that was extremely gratifying.

But for real, today my body felt so different. Lighter, quicker (stop laughing), and I could actually feel my abs and butt and legs working instead of just pain in my shins, knees and ankles. Progress baby, progress.  I’ve also been seeing an acupuncture guy which has really helped my knees and body handle the trauma of these runs a little better.   Plus he’s aligning my Chi.  He said it was “stagnant’.  I said “I could have told you that!”  And then he asked me how my apatite had been lately.   I told him, ‘ehh so so’, I felt I was doing pretty good on that front but could always use any added help he was willing to give me.  So I asked if he had anything to take it away completely.  He nodded knowingly, though I wasn’t totally convinced. When I got up to leave he said, “So today you will probably be pretty tired so take it easy. You will also notice you’ll be very hungry.”  I looked at him mouth open.  “What? I mean, what do you mean? Why will I be hungry?” I was clearly showing my concern, and he patted my knee to reassure me everything would be okay. “It’s okay, it’s good for you to be hungry. You said you were ‘so, so.’  So now you’ll be hungry.”

If the risk of assaulting an acupuncture dude didn’t include possibly getting arrested I would have hit him. Seriously, hit him. Then my Chi woulda been allllll fucked up. But he would have deserved it, let’s be honest. I mean what on God’s green earth gave him the notion looking at ME that I’d want to have my appetite INCREASED? I mean….whaaaaatt?

So yeah.  Let’s just say the next few days were counter productive and leave it at that. I immediately registered for the Helvetia Half Marathon that the rest of my running group is doing but I was hoping to skip somehow. Thanks acupuncture guy… ruined that plan. But that’s okay, I’m kinda excited for next Saturday’s race.  It will be my first ever, and my deepest wish is that somehow I cross the finish line.  I will be perfectly fine if they are removing the race paraphernalia by the time I get there, and nothing but empty Gatorade cups strewed everywhere is the only thing cheering me across it…. just let me finish.

So be sure to follow my Saturday morning runs on Twitter (#MarathonLife)  from 7:00 am ’till I finish (who knows when that will be).  Yes I stupidly tweet and run at the same time  (I’m THAT girl).  But it’s basically the only thing that keeps me going while I’m waiting for my second wind, so tweet me, encourage me… make me laugh, anything to help the time pass.  I mean, I’m out there for HOURS on end running by myself like a lunatic.  It’s a recipe for insanity. I’m not responsible for what I might say in those hours of duress, I’ll just say it might be worse than drunk posting. Well, the inspired tweets are like; totally more brilliant than I normally could be, but the others… don’t judge me unless you wanna get your butt out here and run with me!

Pics form today’s run… your welcome.

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Gathering for our pre-run pep talk “Red and Proud” baby!

 

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Headed straight up that hill….

 

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So yeah… I was just past by a walker.

 

 

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“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch.” Portland Fit motto #LoveIt

 

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My reward, Starbucks and farmers market fresh flowers.

 

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This weeks progress pic.. Left: Week 8, right this week. Read my post about this Weight is ONLY a Number... you’ll be shocked.

Has this series inspired you? I want to hear from you… are you working out? Do you run? What do you love or hate about it? Can you relate to what I’m going through or do you just think I’ve lost my mind (that’s my vote). Remember I’m doing it to PROVE anything is possible for anyone if they apply Hustle.Believe.Receive. (no I’m not doing it to lose weight, which is a good thing since I’ve not lost any… well 5 lbs but same difference).
Author Bio:
Sarah Centrella is a Life Coach for professional athletes, and anyone with a dream. She is also an author and motivational speaker. Follow her on Twitter for motivation and inspiration, be sure to Subscribe for my newsletter and info on free coaching classes.

Health & Fitness Motivation & Inspiration My Stories

Weight is ONLY a Number. Really.

weight-scale

Ever wanted to take a sledgehammer to your bathroom scale? I know I have! It’s always seemed like the most ridiculous measurement of “fitness” or “beauty” in my opinion.  I’ve never fit the mold when it comes to weight. Not even close. Let me just warn you that this post is my most revealing, TMI, embarrassing, shame-filled, humiliating post EVER.  Why? Because for the first time in my life I reveal my true weight, a number I’ve never been able to come to terms with regardless of what that number was, it’s never made any sense to me.  So what you’re about to read is stuff I’ve never told my closest friends… until now.

I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life, ever since my dad told me I was getting “chubby” at the age of nine.  My mother followed it up with “you shouldn’t ever cut your hair, because you want people to focus on it rather than your face.” She constantly told me I was just covered in “baby fat” and that eventually it would magically disappear. It never did. So at the age of sixteen I was hospitalized with bulimia and spent most of my high school years either puking or starving myself (like most teen girls I’m guessing). It was my normal.  Even in my early twenties when I was on Atkins like the rest of the country, and dropped about twenty pounds, I was still a size 8-10, and weighed 149 lbs (my lowest adult weight). I ran five miles a day, lifted weights at the gym, eat the strictest diet imaginable, yet still could not get the scale to drop below the dreaded 149 lbs. When I got married I was a “thin” at a size 8, and for the first time felt really good about myself, though I still thought I was fat.

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Age 24, my “skinny” years a size 8-10 weighing 155

But then when I got pregnant with my son and gained the recommend 35 lbs, I was shocked to discover that even though I was nursing him, I had basically not dropped a pound after having him, and this kid arrived weighing almost 9 lbs! I left the hospital in the maturity pants I’d worn in and they were tighter when I left then when I got there. That was the beginning of the destructive hate-based relationship I had with my body for years after. No mater what I did that 35 lbs I’d gained during pregnancy refused to budge. So when I was pregnant with our second child I was starting from that new base weight, and when I lost that baby at 20 weeks, I again couldn’t  lose the weight before getting pregnant with my twins.

weight is just a number
9 months pregnant with my twins, weighing 229

Which brings me to the mear 28 lbs I gained with my twins.  Each child weighed in at six lbs each, and I’d made it to full-term (which never happens with twins). My stomach was so large that I couldn’t drive my car the last month, I couldn’t get behind the wheel. I was a whale, yet had only put on 28 lbs. My doctor assured me that the babies had basically eaten all my fat, and when I had them I’d be magically skinny, since I’d gained so little.  But alas when I went in to have them I weighed 229 lbs. One year later I weighed 225, wearing a size 14-16. Nothing I tried made the scale even consider budging. I tried Weight Watchers, trainers, kick boxing, every infomercial product on the market, even thought about liposuction side effects and that great result I could get if I tried it.

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11 days after the twins were born, weighing 225 (only a 4 lb loss from having them…like WHAT??!)

Until my husband left. Then I didn’t eat for four months, and for the first time in my life 40 lbs melted away. I was 185 and delighted to be wearing a size 12, and feeling like a million bucks. Yet, I’d never heard of a size 12 weighing 185 lbs, and actually looking fit. I’d exercised regularly my entire life, and I felt fit, and for the first time ever started to feel beautiful. I began changing my mindset and killed the negative voices that were always trying to depress the shit out of me, and began telling myself little white lies, until I began to believe them and find confidence and even start feeling sexy.

Sarah Centrella 2009
Feeling great at 185, size 12.. training for the marathon in 2010

Then in 2011 I started working with a trainer, who against my wishes had me lifting massive weights. I told him I was already denser and more muscular than most girls and that if he wasn’t careful I’d get bigger, not smaller.  He assured me I was wrong, and three months later after busting my ass and eating clean I’d gained fifteen pounds.  I’d gone from 185 to just under 200 pounds when my goal had been to lose.  He scratched his head, he just couldn’t understand it.  Needless to say when I moved to Seattle shortly after I basically gave up.   It was the first time I’d ever actually put on weight without a pregnancy and I was beyond depressed.

So at the beginning of this year I found myself at a shocking place… on a scale at my doctors office weighing 209. Yet I was STILL a size 12, sometimes 14.. but for the most part that 24 lbs hadn’t required me to buy new clothes. Like how is this possible? I talked to my doctor, she was baffled. I hired a new trainer, he scratched his head. I talked to my friends, they didn’t believe me.. “no way are you 200 lbs!” ohhhh but I was! I starved myself, eating 500-700 calories a day for months on end while working out, I eat small healthy meals, I tried Advocare, and diet pills. The number didn’t budge by a single pound. “It’s impossible” everyone said.  Yet it’s true. It’s my reality. No idea if I’m alone in this or not, but it’s what I’ve been dealing with my whole life.

Sarah Centrella 2013
January of 2014.. 209 lbs size 12-14… feeling like a size 22.

When 2014 started I wrote my resolutions like I always do, and I put that this would be the year I started training for the Portland Marathon again, and this time I vowed to run it.  I wanted to do it for three reasons:

1. Because I trained before but didn’t actually run it.  Therefore anytime I told my son to finish what he starts, he promptly reminded me I never ran the marathon.

2. Because I’m a chick on a mission to prove anything is possible for anyone.  And since I’m NOT a runner I figured who better to prove my teaching method Hustle.Believe.Receive. works with any dream.

3. Because I’ve had a “26.2” sticker on my vision board for 6 years and I desperately want to put it on my car!

I did NOT chose to run the marathon to lose weight. Believe me when I say that would not have remotely provided the motivation needed to torture my body in this way.  So since March 22, 2014 I’ve been running with Portland Fit, doing a piss-pour job of training. But I do it. I show up and I do it, documenting my weekly progress in my blog series Marathon Life.  And I’ve kept my routine of 3-5 Barre3 workout classes a week (the only group exercise I’ve ever totally fallen in love with), and I started doing it all with a waist trainer.

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My bathroom progress selfie for Marathon Life Series: Left Week 7, right this morning week 11. Zero lbs lost between the two photos…. yeah weight is ONLY A NUMBER ON A SCALE.

And today 3 notable things happened.

      1. I took my weekly bathroom progress selfie and had to examine it for a few minutes before I realized for the first time that I could really see results. Not only that for the first time in almost three years I was back feeling like my old self again. Energy, confidence, happy, sexy. I felt like I’d easily lost 20 lbs.
      2. I was back at the doctors today standing on the scale, and after killing myself for the past 11 weeks, running like a maniac and killing myself in Barre3, and eating right…. I weighed in at 202. Yep that’s right… all this work, and I’ve ONLY  lost 5 lbs!!  A normal person would have easily lost 15-20. And yes I’m still a size 12.
      3. I immediately began to downward spiral! Thank God for my girlfriends.
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part 1 of 2

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So let me recap here… Since March I have been torturing my body, putting my physical and mental through hell, working out five days a week and pushing past every barrier I have (look for Marathon Life tags). I’ve been eating healthy, drinking water… doing everything I’m supposed to do, and I’ve only lost five pounds.  Do you see why I’m not doing it to lose weight?  Losing weight is not something my body does. If that had been my motivation I’d of quit today for sure.  Because let’s be honest, why would I do all this when I can eat whatever I want and not exercise and not really put on weight? It makes no sense.  I was a size 12 when I weighed 160 (my “standard” weight/size in my 20’s), a 12 when I was 185 fit and feeling great, and today am a 12 at 209. So if that’s not proof that weight is NOTHING more than a number on a scale, I don’t know what is. I’ve felt beautiful, “skinny” and sexy as a 12, and I’ve felt like I was a beached whale in a 12.

But this is the reason I am FINALLY convinced that weight is ONLY A NUMBER ON A SCALE….. (be sure to read the caption below)

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This mornings bathroom progress selfie I weigh 202…. compared to 2007 when I was 9 months prego with twins and I weighted 229. A difference on the scale of ONLY 27 lbs! ….. yeah weight is ONLY a number on the scale.

Note: my size 12’s are a little big on me now, and my XL shirts are way to big, yet I weight 20 lbs more than when these clothes fit me…. go figure.

So I’ve decided to never look at another scale for as long as I live. It’s a pointless battle, that has gotten me exactly nowhere in the 38 years of my life.  The only indicator to me of how I look, is how I feel. If I feel energized, happy, beautiful and sexy than who the hell cares what the scale says? I’ve never in my life had a guy say; “get on a scale, I want to see the number before we can date.”   And if I ever do meet a dbag like that, you better believe I”m gonna laugh out loud and tell him to go kick rocks! No, people are attracted to you by your presence. Not the number on your bathroom scale. They believe you if you present yourself as beautiful and confident, they don’t question it.  And every now and then when I run into a dbag who is into skinny chicks, I let him know that he’s barking up the wrong tree… that will never be me. I finally love my body just the way it is. I’d love a tummy tuck to remove the skin from twins, (please god let a very generous plastic surgeon be reading this right now) but hey, that will come some day. Until then the work I put in I can feel and see and that is good enough for me.

So if you have struggled with loving your body the way I have, do me a favor and take a sledge-hammer to your scale. Vow to never get on it again. Know your body, know when it doesn’t feel great, and then do the work it takes to make it feel that way. Know a size that works for you and when your there, do what you need to do to stay fit and healthy and feeling good in that size. Because the scale is an evil bitch and it’s only purpose is to enable people to judge you and for you to judge yourself. Be kind to yourself, and your body and start loving all it does for you instead of tearing it down for what it doesn’t.  How sad is it that shame, humiliation, embarrassment and mortification have to be attached to this number? I say who cares what the number is, it’s irrelevant if you are living a healthy lifestyle and feel good about your body.

Here’s to beauty at any age and at any size.  Dare to love the skin you’re in.

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Finally able to love and accept my body the way it is… May 2014
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Love the skin you are in. Thanks Dove.

 Facebook Feedback: Join the conversation… what do you think? Is weight just a number? Leave your comments below and let me know…

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Want to work with me? Learn more about my coaching and schedule a free 15 min consultation to learn how you can live your dreams!

 

Health & Fitness Motivation & Inspiration

Marathon Life: Week 10.

Yesterday marked the 10th week of my marathon training with Portland Fit for the Portland Marathon. My mission? To run 11 grueling miles. This time it wasn’t grueling because of the vast rolling hills, crazy flights of stairs or weaving in and out of traffic… it was painful because it was the opposite. Flat, boring and never-ending. My fifteen minute pit-stop three miles in at the park restroom proved two things: 1. I should never eat spicy Thai the night before a run, and 2. I was never going to catch up with my group again. So I trudged along the next 8 miles by myself, no pace-setter, no group to aspire to run with. And let me tell you there was more than one time when I considered turning around and going home to my cozy bed, since there was no one watching, but I’m proud to say I didn’t. I forged on alone for the entire 11.

To keep me occupied I took pictures of anything remotely interesting along the way…and tweeted my misery and epiphanies, and inner dialog into the unknown. Yes I take selfies while I run, and tweet, and sometimes send bitchy “FML” texts to my besties. Don’t judge me, when your out running 11 miles by yourself see if you don’t go a little crazy! So be sure to follow my progress, journey, thoughts and ramblings live on Twitter Saturday mornings from 6:00 am -God knows whenever I finish. I’m sure it will at least entertain you.

Here is my photo diary of yesterdays run….you’re welcome.

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The dreaded “Spring water trail” not sure why I hate it so much, it follows the river with a view of the city, it’s only for runners and bikers and the entire thing is flat…. and it goes on FOREVER!

 

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This is the most interesting thing along the trail… a bird shelter thing.. with paintings if giant birds…

 

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Really, really wanting to turn around at this point….

 

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…but I decided to start tweeting up a storm instead…

 

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OK I have to admit… this was a nice view of downtown Portland…

 

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It’s called “Bridge City” for a reason…
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Portland lonely, only “sky scraper” tops out at 36 floors.
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who knew Portland had it’s own version of the “lover’s bridge” in London… not me!

 

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And then I got tired of looking at bridges…
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so I started texting… or bitchin.. depending on how you look at it…
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Finally crossing my “home stretch” bridge, while being tweeted by Portland Fit, and nearly trampled by the “fast group” who’d started their run a good 40 minutes after me… (while taking a selfie, that turned out too horrid to post.. I blame the “fast group” for that unfortunate epic fail..they stressed me out)…
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Highlight of my run… watching the fast group take a water brake after passing me (I had no idea they took breaks…why didn’t anyone ever tell me this was allowed!?)… oh yeah..the highlight was passing them… the low light was them sailing past me 30 seconds later…
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lovely, encouraging tweet from Portland Fit, which totally derailed any hope I had of quitting, stopping at the Saturday market for breakfast, or running up the street to Starbucks and waiting till everyone was gone to return to my car…After all they were assuming I could finish this thing… dammit
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I promise you if I’d of run with my debit card I totally woulda stopped for a slice… best believe!
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…That’s all I need… an angry Goose dad attacking me…

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well….it’s not pancakes but I couldn’t wait long enough to drive to a breakfast place, and there was no way I could wait for my order once I got there!

 

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Sooooo…. This week marked another milestone. The first time I’ve put on, or taken a picture of myself in a 2 piece swimsuit. Yeah…not saying it’s a good look or anything, but I’m documenting my progress for this Marathon Life blog series and that was this weeks progress. The interesting thing (insane thing) about this picture is it’s probably the first time anyone but my kids have seen my stomach in years! I’ve hidden it at all costs sense having my twins (yet I just put it on the internet like a total lunatic..smh).  When I was pregnant with my twins I could not reach my arms around my belly to touch each other, I could not fit behind a steering wheel to drive my car the last six weeks of my pregnancy.  My abs are torn and separated by more than three inches, something only surgery can repair… so please understand that this picture is painful for me to post.  But I want to inspire someone out there that anything really is possible. That if you set your mind to do something and apply Hustle.Believe.Receive. you really can live out any dream you have for yourself.

Two months ago AOL and about 1/2 million people on the internet thought it was pretty hilarious to call me a “fat disgusting pig”. To send me death threats and say things like “miss piggy should die, no wonder why she can’t get a date.” And on and on…. It’s intense when your thrown into something like that, especially when you did it from a good happy place, you don’t think people are capability of that type of animal cruelty. But they are, and the only choice I had, was to shake it off, and move forward towards my dream. I want to be clear that I registered for this marathon training and planned to run this marathon this year, for YEARS. It is absolutely NOT a result of those ignorant comments or the reaction to my weight from the Steve Harvey show. I am a size 12. I was a 12/14 when I did the show, I’ve not lost more than maybe 10 lbs during this training, and if I don’t lose any more I’m fine with that. I’ve learned to love the skin I’m in. To appreciate the health that God has blessed me with and to take care of my body in a healthy way. For all of you women (and men) out there who don’t think that you are beautiful, or good enough just as you are, please knock it off! Please look in the mirror and thank God for the health he has given you, and then if you want to change anything about yourself… go change it. If you want a different life… go get it.

Anything is possible. I am your proof.

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Marathon training week 10. First time I’ve put on a 2 piece swimsuit in 15 years.

Author Bio:
Sarah Centrella is a Life Coach for professional athletes, and anyone with a dream. She is also an author and motivational speaker. Follow her on Twitter for motivation and inspiration, be sure to Subscribe for my newsletter and info on free coaching classes.

Health & Fitness

Marathon Life. Week 9.

It’s Saturday so that means I’m icing my knees after another grueling training run with Portland Fit. Today I ran ten (10) miles through neighborhoods, up crazy vertical hills, along a highway, through a forest up a hillside of stairs and along the river… then did it all again on the way back.

After an hour of icing, red and bruised.
After an hour of icing, red and bruised.
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up the hillside of stairs…
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Down another hillside of stairs… the “down” is the reason for the red knees 🙁
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Up the steepest longest vertical hill EVER!
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Limping down said hill… 🙁
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Never been more excited by sidewalk chalk in my life!

It’s crazy how I equally dread and get excited about these Saturday marathon training runs. I never thought I’d get excited that’s for sure. But the feeling of completing the run is like nothing else, for real. I think I’m most addicted to the feeling of accomplishment and triumph over my mind, that it takes to get it done. Today I ran it at a 14 minute mile pace which I’m overjoyed by, finishing in 2 hours and 18 minutes, I guess that means I could finish the Portland Marathon in under 8 hours! Wooohooo!

I’m doing this for two reasons:

#1. I’ve had it on my Bucket List for years that I wanted to run a marathon by the time I’m 40 (I’ll be 39 next month).

#2. To prove to my son that Hustle.Believe.Receive applies to anything in life, and with it anything is possible.

The kinda awesome side effect is that I’ve lost about 15 lbs, and am finally getting in the kind of shape I haven’t been in since I was 22. It’s about time! Better late than never.

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This week I started with the pack, and despite not walking more than maybe 2% of the course I still wound up near that back (though not as far behind) and found myself without a pace setter.  It’s funny though, this week my own motivation and determination and personal goals were enough to keep me going when I would have walked before. I set out with the goal to run all the parts I’ve walked before, and finished with it accomplished. I love how tangible running is, it’s an immediate visual and actual connection with what we think and its following action.  It’s a great exercise in controlling your mind, and for that alone I needed this experience. I needed to be reminded of all the things I believe in and practice it more diligently than ever before. Mission accomplished.

I can’t wait ’till October and race day, can’t even imagine what that’s going to be like, but I know I can do it.

 

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