Sara Kadlec's weight-loss transformation is truly an inspiration. A mother of two, she managed to drop 60 pounds in just one year — going from 287 pounds to just 227 — by making a few simple changes in her daily lifestyle. We caught up with Sara to chat about how she got her health back on track and learned a few very necessary tidbits about self-love. Keep reading to hear more about her yearlong weight-loss journey.
Ever since she was a young girl, Sara has struggled with her weight. After having two kids and trying "every diet that exists," she realized she had put on 100 extra pounds. When she weighed her heaviest, flying was her worst nightmare. "I couldn't even cross my legs while sitting in a chair," she told POPSUGAR. "Flying on a plane gave me so much anxiety because I could barely buckle the seat belt. I was out of breath all the time." She added, "I was exhausted, depressed, and . . . I was not the mom or wife I wanted to be. But I realized that I had a choice, and I made the decision to turn my life around."
"I promise you that if you learn to approach your health from a viewpoint of self-love, you can change your whole life."
At the start of 2017, Sara began transforming her body, a process that she says started with her mind and heart because she had already tried every diet in the books. "I knew I had to try a new approach. I had to face the reasons why I was turning to food," she admitted. Sara described how she had to actively change her negative habits of "emotional eating" and "binge eating," which took a bit of time. "I had spent so many years hating myself, and it can be very difficult to break that mindset," she told us. "But I promise you that if you learn to approach your health from a viewpoint of self-love, you can change your whole life."
Changing Diet and Exercise Habits
Once Sara kicked her negative mental relationship with food to the curb, she was able to move onto the next phase of her weight-loss journey: altering her daily food intake and workout routine. When she first began, she stuck to a ketogenic lifestyle, consuming meals that were high in fat and low in carbs. Sara told us that she started every morning with a special coffee concoction — a frothy blend of french press coffee, grass-fed butter, MCT oil, and Further Food collagen peptides — to increase her healthy fat intake. Yum!
In addition to a ketogenic lifestyle, Sara has interspersed a few rounds of the Whole30 diet into her journey. "[It] helped me recognize how certain foods affect my body and also helped me face my addiction to sugar," she said of the popular diet, adding, "it's a great way to reset your body."
As for exercising, Sara's preferred workout is lifting weights. "It makes me feel strong, confident, and sexy. I think there are a lot of women who are afraid to lift weights because they think it will make them bulky," she told POPSUGAR. For Sara, lifting weights accentuated her curves, and even when the number on the scale didn't budge, she noticed changes in her body. Besides weightlifting, she did some cardio as well. Although she admitted to having a "love/hate relationship" with the StairMaster, she was able to go from only being able to spend five minutes on the workout machine to crushing 45 consecutive minutes on it. You go, girl!
Overall, Sara told us that her weight-loss success boiled down to these three lifestyle switch-ups: fixing her harmful relationship with food, sticking to whole foods that were low in carbs and sugar, and finding exercises that she truly loved and looked forward to doing (aka lifting weights).
Of course, losing weight can be a struggle, so we asked Sara if there were any "hacks" or "tricks" that helped fuel her 60-pound journey. Here's what she shared with POPSUGAR.
- Intermittent Fasting: Sara said that adopting this type of shifted eating schedule "helped boost [her] metabolism and helped [her] body become fat adapted."
- Good Supplementation: Sara takes two key supplements every single day: Further Food collagen peptides protein powder (which is known to aid with gut health and weight management) and magnesium (which was a natural way to ease anxiety, prevent sleeplessness, and balance electrolytes).
- Trying New Foods: Sara was sure to give us a much-needed reminder that "healthy food does not have to be boring." During her weight-loss journey, she's discovered a whole new world of healthy foods that were just waiting to be tasted, and she even started a blog to share her fun recipes with the world.
- Journaling: "This has helped me process through my emotional eating habits and binge episodes. It is a great outlet for me," Sara said of her newfound journaling habit.
Words of Advice
For Sara, losing 60 pounds was just the beginning, as she plans to hit her initial goal of losing 100 total pounds in 2018. She has plenty of inspiring words of wisdom she wants to share with people who are trying to shed weight like her. "You have to start showing yourself some love and grace," the mother of two said. She continued by telling us, "This is a journey, and I personally know how hard it can be," and added that it's OK to make mistakes, so long as you get right back up and keep chugging along. And last but not least, she gave us the best reminder of them all: "You are not defined by a number on the scale." Do yourself a favor and write that on a sticky note and slap it on your fridge!