Welcome to You Got This, news.com.au’s weekly slice of fitness inspiration featuring tips and advice from real women who’ve experienced it all.
Like most teenagers, Sarah Bell loved fast-food.
Her daily diet consisted of McDonald’s, KFC, large kebab snack packs and service station meals that would often leave her feeling lethargic.
On top of this she had a very expensive Red Bull habit spending about $105 a week, drinking three 330ml bottles a day at $5 a bottle of the highly caffeinated energy drink.
“I had a very unhealthy relationship with Red Bull,” the 19-year-old told news.com.au.
“I also couldn’t say no to a greasy feed either.
“I had deep fried service station food for breakfast, would snack at all times on potato gems and gravy and large meals with Coke whenever I wanted.
“I wasn’t eating home cooked meals whatsoever and barely drank any water.”
Sarah, who lives in Townsville, Queensland, said her poor eating habits worsened at the beginning of last year during the pandemic.
“I began drinking very heavily, eating unhealthy amounts and as Covid hit, my bad habits became even worse,” she said.
“Throughout my whole life I have always been a bigger girl. As a kid I went through quite a lot and I found comfort and temporary happiness through indulging in unhealthy food.”
She attempted to kick her bad habits but after “many failed attempts” said she had “given up”.
“I would think about my failed attempts and lose motivation instantly,” she told news.com.au
“I was too lazy to do anything about it because there was no fast or convenient way, and to me the time and effort just wasn’t worth the wait.”
But the teen became so fed up with her lifestyle choices, she decided to have final go at kicking her habits and went on to lose 30kg.
“One thing that really affected me was not being able to wear the clothes I liked,” she said.
“I wouldn’t be able to dress nicely because I couldn’t ever find clothes that would fit me properly.
“I was never able to wear a bikini in front of anyone my whole life, not even my family or close friends.”
However, that all changed when signed up to online fitness program Bodies By Rachel eight-week shred challenge.
“As soon as I started seeing results I really wanted to do everything right, which for me meant cutting down on how heavily I was drinking, including energy drinks,” she said.
“It took me a while to understand that I am able to have a flexible diet and miss a few days of gym.
“I was able to shed 30 kgs, it’s not impossible to do it again and eventually I found that balance.”
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Sarah said not understanding what to do at a gym contributed to her fear of signing up, but after taking the time to learn about fitness and nutrition, she overcame her struggle.
“I found out about ‘Bodies By Rachel’ through Instagram as many girls started posting her (founder Rachel Dillon) tags with their Instagram stories.
“One morning I woke up and just bought the eight week shred challenge without even thinking and from that my life changed completely.”
Sarah now trains six days a week, mixing weight-based training with cardio sessions.
Her diet now looks very different, made up mainly of vegetables, proteins and salads and if she’s still feeling hungry, a protein smoothie and extra fruit.
“If you feel yourself giving up always remember consistency is key. It takes 21 days to form a new habit so don’t let yourself give up,” Sarah said.
“No matter what as long as you get up and move your body everyday (even if it’s just a walk) you have proved your old self wrong because you can do it.”
If you’ve got a transformation story you’d like to share, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org