If you’ve ever been in an abusive relationship, you know how it drains you of your spirit and self-esteem. Today, our true weight loss story focuses on Sara Kolling, a woman who had the courage to leave her abuser and for the first time in a long time, devote herself to her own well being. After losing 85 pounds, Sara feels stronger than she has in years, in more ways than one.
Though Sara admits she was always the girl who was picked on and teased in school about her weight, she acknowledges that the pounds really started to pack on during the first year of her marriage. Once the abuse began, Sara became an emotional eater and says she just ate, “no matter what.” After three years, Sara finally sought a divorce.
The first thing I changed was no more diet soda, and no more eating after seven p.m.
On her own again, Sara finally got serious about wanting to lose weight when she got tired of her clothes being too tight, not being able to keep up with the students she worked with, and feeling like she couldn’t do even the simplest workout routine. She started by eliminating all the sugary, processed and junk food from her diet. The book, The Eat Clean Diet, by Tosca Reno was her first guide.
I got a personal trainer and that was a mistake, but then I went to a smaller gym, and trained with the best people ever.
After a bad experience with a larger gym, Sara found a place she felt comfortable. She started going to a spin class with her sister, and then eventually added a weight training circuit twice a week. Months later, her mother became very ill. Instead of turning back to food for comfort, Sara became a runner. “I did not become a runner to lose weight,” she explained. “I did it to relieve stress.”
My migraines get pretty bad so I’m limited to the types of food I can eat.
Another road block Sara has had to work around is her allergy to Tyramine, a substance found in fermented or aged foods, which cause debilitating migraine headaches. Tyramine-rich foods include:
- Aged Cheeses (blue cheddar, Swiss, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Romano, feta)
- Smoked Fish
- Some Meats (salami, ham, corned beef, hot dogs
- Homemade yeast and sourdough breads
- Miscellaneous (red wine, sauerkraut, soy sauce)
- Overripe fruits
I do have a cheat meal, not a cheat day.
Now that Sara is 85 pounds down and closing in on her weight loss goal, she’s learned how to weave healthy behaviors into her every day activities, but admits that there are days where she really has to dig deep for the motivation to work out or not eat that special treat. She admits that now she has a balance and eats clean about 85% of the time.
Looking back, Sara knows the life she’s living now is so much better than the one she had before, and she has the medals to prove it. Running medals that is. Over the last few years she’s run eight half-marathons, four mud runs, and several 5K and 10K run. In June she’ll be running her first marathon, which she admits will be 26.2 hard-won miles but she’s excited to cross the finish line.
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