My Journey

Yesterday, Trent posted a “brag post” on Facebook and Instagram about me and I was shocked at the response from it.

Here is what he posted:

“My amazing wife @sarahachap reached her goal! Dropped 4% body fat in 2.5 months! You’ll have to ask her about how she did it and what was the biggest change for her. You inspire me Sarah!”

20140216-201342.jpg

In response to all those that asked, “What’s your secret?” I decided to write this post to share my journey that began last June when I decided to commit to living healthy.

I live West of Thanksgiving Point and a friend of mine from my neighborhood invited me to work out with her at a gym in the Brick Canvas building at Thanksgiving Point called “Lyceum”.  This gym was exactly what I was looking for.  They taught TRX suspension training and also integrated kettlebells into their program.  

I had been introduced to Kettlebells back in April of 2012 when I lived in North San Diego County and was taught by Lauren Brooks

Lauren also had the TRX suspension training set up as well, but I didn’t use it too much.  I worked with her to get my kettlebell technique down and once I felt comfortable I bought her “at-home” DVD program and did it from home but I wasn’t as consistent.

So I was excited to find Lyceum when I moved to Utah and be taught more of how to use TRX and kettlebells together.

I do have to say that my workout schedule in the past decade was inconsistent between having children, moving and just letting life get in the way. My typical cycle consisted of 3 months on and then I took 3 months off.  I don’t suggest that schedule, it leads to mediocre results!  I determined that in a new gym, in a new area, with new friends, that I could get a fresh start and be committed to sticking it out and not repeat the past 3 months on, 3 months off cycle that I didn’t like.  

I began my training and went about 3 days a week to start and met new faces each time and began to feel comfortable on the TRX suspension training system.  At the end of the summer I had bumped up my schedule to 5 days a week and decided it was time to focus on the nutrition aspect of living healthy.  

The owners of my gym are Jesse and Trish Allen and they are quite the dynamic duo.  They had only had the gym open for about a year by this point and had done a phenomenal job of making you want to come back and making you feel like you were worth the time to take care of your body.

20140216-201520.jpg

So in August I decided to invest in my nutrition education and scheduled a sit down with Trish for a one-on-one nutrition consultation so that my nutrition would be on track with my workout program. 

My nutrition at this point consisted of 3 meals a day and maybe 3 to 4 cups of water. I knew I needed help because I had a lack of energy, felt depleted, was dehydrated and to add to it all I was not at all “regular”. I knew I had to change my diet because I had now hit my 3 month mark and I still had a desire to workout!  Yep, I had made it last the typical “stop working out” point and I wanted more. 

Trish taught me some great lessons on nutrition and how to help support myself with supplements. I learned quite a lot from her so if you’re in need of one-on-one help and you’re in the Lehi area, I highly suggest her. If your on Instagram go follow her she also has amazing recipes and tips on there. @trishallen

I slowly began eating 4 meals a day and adding 3 more cups of water to my previous plan. She asked me what my goals were when I came to see her and I said that I wanted to reduce my body fat percentage. I knew it wasn’t about the magic number on the scale, because I knew that if I lost 10 pounds of fat and gained 5 pound of muscle, the scale wouldn’t show as much progress as I was seeing in the mirror.  I wanted to see my progress in percentage not weight. Trish taught me a great lesson that day when she said that a lot of women focus on the scale but once they get where they think they should weigh, they still see fat pockets throughout their body and get frustrated and give up. So the fact that my goal going into this was about my body fat percentage, I wasn’t worried when my weight on the scale wasn’t “moving” as fast as I would have expected if I wasn’t also building lean muscle.

I continued to work up my meals and water each day and do my best to refrain from treats but I began to sabotage and cheat and eat food that I know makes me feel like crap because I would think, “I deserve this, because I’ve worked out so hard.” 

We convince ourselves that we “deserve” things that we know aren’t good for us, because we did something hard, but that’s not what we are going for here!  My goals was to create a LIFESTYLE change not a “current situation change” and then go back to what I did before. 

I still struggled with my relationship with food after working out consistently for about 4-5 months and my body fat had not changed much, although I felt much stronger. 

In October the gym had a challenge to do 2500 kettlebell swings for breast cancer awareness week. I was determined to accomplish this goal. I was motivated to do it and of course the support at the gym was encouraging as well. 

In December the gym did another kettlebell challenge where I ended up doing over 7,000 swings and that’s when I really started to see some changes in my body.

20140216-201650.jpg

At the beginning of January was the biggest mind-shift that has ever happened for me. I had already done great things but once again felt like I needed to amp up my game plan and push myself to something outside my comfort zone.

I just started to have a love affair, you could say, with kettlebells that month and I realized that if I wanted to increase my fat burning and strength, I needed to increase my intensity.  I train with a guy, Rob Morris (he’s a former NFL player who won a Superbowl with the colts a few years ago) and he put a little bug in my ear about becoming certified to teach kettlebells.  

He has been working at it as well and mentioned that at the end of February a certification course would be held in San Diego and that I should consider it or prepare for the next one in Chicago in April. 

I thought about it and at first it scared me to death. My fear of “not knowing enough” came into play and the fear of “failure” appeared but I’ve recently learned that these feelings are simply feedback from my subconscious mind telling me something (usually trying to protect is from doing things that we are not 100% sure of that may have caused us pain or a feeling of failure in the past).  I learned from my coach that I needed to process these feelings and put them in check and reconsider the possibilities and to feel the emotion that comes when I thought about achieving something like this that is out of my comfort zone.

I took this and thought about it over and over again and decided that my fear was not rational and that this is something that I can do.  At the first of January I began my kettlebell training with Jesse and a group of awesome people at my gym.  We started training at 5am, 6 days a week and I committed to myself that I was going to do it. 

Since I’ve started I’ve noticed an increase in my mind power but I’ve also been more aware of the “stories” (aka- lame excuses) that I make up in my mind about justifying my fears and doubts. I’ve learned to train my brain and focus on what I want and not on what I’m scared of. Most of my fears I realized are “worse case scenario” type thoughts and never actually happen!

I have seen a change in me. Others have seen a change in me. My strength has increased tremendously and I have had amazing results since December and especially since the first of the year. 

I met another powerful coach recently who came into my life the second week of January.  Trent and I went to an event that Trent’s friend, Gerald Rogers put on called “New Years Breakthrough” and learned a lot of great stuff, but the best part was I met Marci Lock.  I know it wasn’t just by chance.  She came into my life for a reason and I was drawn to her instantly and knew that I needed someone like her to get into my mind and shake things up a bit to get past some beliefs and doubts that I had.

Marci has been a great resource to turn to daily at times where I felt weak and insecure. She motivates me to live my purpose and to fight for myself and to chase my dreams. 

She has become my life coach and a great friend.  I came to her for the mind aspect of her coaching program, although she does have a great body and a workout program as well. I already had been working on my body, so that wasn’t my main goal in working with her.  I wanted to find out why I had made up all these stories in my head about exercise, nutrition, relationships, etc and how I could change those beliefs to support my new “story” of who I am and what I can accomplish. 

If you asked me to identify the 3 things that have had the biggest impact along my journey it has been:

1- Food: Understanding my relationship with food and why I had cravings and how to no longer crave crap food and what foods fuel my body to become a fat burning machine free from addictive/harmful substances like sugar and other refined foods.
2- My mind: The way I view myself, my value, my worth as a woman has a huge impact on how everyone in my life is blessed when I am able to show up healthy and powerful in my roles as wife, mother, daughter and friend.  When I see myself as a powerful and energetic woman, it’s easy to invest time to work out and fuel my body with nutritious/delicious food.
3- Kettlebells: Oh how I love my kettlebells and how powerful I feel when I work out with weights! The  fastest changes I’ve ever seen in my fat loss and strength gains (mental and physical) have come from working out with kettlebells!

Wish me luck! Next weekend I’ll be in San Diego becoming a certified kettlebell trainer!

20140216-201808.jpg

So that’s a quick update on my journey so far. It’s been quite the ride and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m excited to see where this year will take me. I am doing the kettlebell certification for myself to prove to myself that I will succeed and face my fear of “not knowing enough” and the fear of “failure”. If the opportunity comes along to teach, that would be incredible. My goal in the not-to-distant future is to be able to train and work with people one-on-one.

I just feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my journey and what I have learned and the coaches I’ve been able to be surrounded by and of course I couldn’t do this without Trent and the kids supporting me all the way. I am one blessed mama.