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Sarah Barwell

15kgs down and creating a healthier version of myself.
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Client from Brookvale | Trainer: James Marlor

Before Sarah-Before
After Sarah-After

Hi, my name is Sarah and this is a little insight into my weight loss journey at Vision Brookvale. It was December 2021, we were coming out of the covid lockdowns and I was the heaviest I had ever been, even heavier than I was full term pregnant with any of my four kids, I hit 72kg. Being petite, at 150cm, there was no where the weight could hide, I hated seeing photos of myself, I just felt like a fat, frumpy middle aged lady.

I knew just joining the “regular” gym wasn’t going to be enough of a turn around and I also knew it was going to be tough starting whatever I decided to do. I’ve always driven by Vision and seen their messages on the windows of waist reduction experts etc and thought why not just do it!

I set out thinking I can join the nine week challenge, I have never had a personal trainer before, let’s take it on! I’m quite strict on myself when I want to achieve something and when I’m held accountable. Mainly because I don’t want to waste my time and effort. So, setting the first goal to lose 10kg for my sister in laws wedding in May was my first target. The MyVision app has been great, as it tells me what my food limits are for the day to go into calorie deficit. I can eat what I want, but I can’t go over the limits in place to lose weight… sounds good!

It’s really like a brain teaser some days working out what foods you like eating that fit into your macro limits (carbs, fat and protein). I’ve always enjoyed exercising and looking back, the extra weight was making me puff and pant just walking up stairs. Slowly I’ve gotten back into running, I went from running 5-10 minutes in one circuit of Long Reef in February. To 4 months later running a 6km circuit (2 x laps of Long Reef and home) in around 40mins with no stops.

Once I hit the 10kg weight loss, I set a new goal to lose another 5kg. This would get me down to 55kg. The next 5kg is for my mother’s wedding in August, where I will be a bridesmaid and have lots of photos taken… Some weeks the weight just didn’t move. I had a week off when I caught covid and the recovery was hard too. With a couple of accelerator days thrown in everything started to drop again. My dress sizes have dropped dramatically too, I started at size 14 (Large) and I can now fit size 10 (Small). That’s 2 sizes.

Some of my tips:

  • Schedule your exercise days, make time for it.
  • Stay for 30mins cardio after a 30min weights session.
  • Enjoying what you are doing, even if it means putting on some great tunes on your headphones to help push you through it.
  • Weigh what you eat and also read the packets and understand what is a serving.
  • Keep yourself accountable by entering everything in the food diary and the activity diary each day.
  • Find foods that work, spend some time looking at labels in the supermarket - I found a love of yoghurt, and Dari hearty chicken veg soups in the fresh soup section ( really low in Carb), salmon salad with cottage cheese and for a snack mushroom crisps and wafer crackers, for something to crunch. -
  • Eat out on the weekend but look for low carb variations in what you would normally order- Indian curry with cauliflower rice, a naked burger, salad with the dressing on the side, spaghetti Bolognese with zucchini noodles,

I love trying to challenge myself, can I go faster or further.... my 6km track around long reef keeps getting a new PB each week. Get into trying out some of the group sessions, even if you modify exercises, motion is lotion.

Thanks to James Marlor my fabulous PT and Vision Personal Training for taking me on this journey (it’s still ongoing). A New Years resolution is starting to come true, next year I will head into my fifties fit and lean after losing 15kg and counting. James you have held me accountable for everything that has entered my mouth and pushed me through moments of doubt.

One thing I love about Vision is that it really is so welcoming, when you feel a bit like a fish out of water. I would recommend it to anyone.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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