Sara Sherlock, also known on Instagram as GymDwellingDiva has dealt with weight problems and issues with her diet her entire life. After realising how unhappy she was and seeing how food was being used to comfort, rather than nourish, she decided to make a big change!
Sara initially started dieting the unhealthy way, by cutting out large food groups and making unrealistic changes that couldn’t be sustained long term. After deciding to sign up for her first bikini competition, she ditched the scales and wanted to transform her relationship with food, how she felt and her body in the process.
Sara was kind enough to share her insights into losing almost 30lbs and packing on quality muscle, by detailing her diet and workout routine below. Sara also answered some of our questions on her training, nutrition, lifestyle and transformation. Be sure to follow her on Instagram for more updates and photos!
Sara’s Typical Daily Diet Now:
Breakfast: Protein shake & 3/4 cup Old fashioned oats, cinnamon, PB
Snack: Protein bar
Lunch: Chicken breast, veggie of choice & quinoa/rice, Apple, Greek yogurt
Snack: Chocolate/caramel rice cakes
Dinner: P28 flatbread w| chicken, spinach, FF Mozz, BBQ
Post Dinner: Occasionally (I have a terrible sweet tooth) Vanilla froyo, 1/2 Lenny and Larry cookie & Walden Farm calorie free chocolate syrup
Sara’s Weight Loss Workout:
Right now, I am currently 4.5 & 6.5 weeks out from my second and third Bikini Fitness Competitions so my workout routine looks different than it would if I wasnt on prep. A typical week of training would look something like this:
Monday: Chest & Triceps (Cardio 15 minutes HIIT)
Flat bench 3 x 8-12
Incline dumb bell press 3x 10
Pec deck machine 4×10
Tricep push/pull downs (superset) 3 of each x 10-12
Skull crushes 4×10
Triangle push downs 3×8-12
Rope pushdowns 3×8-12
Tuesday: Back & Biceps
Straight Bar Cable curls: 4×10-12
Dumb bell hammer curls: 3×10
Barbell Curls: 4×8-12
Single arm cable curls: 3×10 (each arm)
Lat pull down: 4×8-12
Single Arm Dumb bell Rows: 3×10
Close Grip Cable Row: 3×8-12
Barbell rows: 4×10-12
Thursday:Shoulders (Cardio, 30 minutes MISS)
Lateral Raises: 4×10-15 (each arm)
Front Raise: 4×10-15(each arm)
Shoulder press (with DB or machine) 3×10-12
Face pulls: 4×10
Friday: Abs & Cardio (15 Minutes HIIT)
Cable crunch: 4×25
Crunch machine 4X25
Side oblique crunch: 4×15-20
Squats(smith machine or normal): 4×10-15
Leg press: 3×10-12
Conventional Deadlift: 3×8-12
Leg extension: 4×8-12
Abductor/Adductor Machine superset: 3×15-20
Calf Raises: 3×15-20
Leg curls: 3×12-20
Sara Sherlock Interview:
Before Stats: Age: 20 | Height: 5’7′ | Weight: 155lbs | BF%: Unknown
After Stats: Age: 24 | Height: 5’7′ | Weight: 128lbs | BF%: 15% (Estimated)
How Did You Put On The Weight?
My weight has fluctated my entire life and my health was never a top priority (Mainly because I lacked the proper knowledge). It wasnt until college where I was in my first “real” relationship, where I realized I had gained as much as I had. Being in a “comfortable” relationship, combined with going out frequently, drinking multiple nights a week and eating the most convenient foods available at all hours of the night, had lead me to gaining more than 20lbs.
How Did You Feel At Your Heaviest?
My self worth at my heaviest weight, had little to do with my weight and much to do with how I was living my life and the outlets I was turning to to comfort myself. (Food being one of them) I truly didnt know how bad my weight had gotten until much later on. Looking back now, I don’t recognize that girl because she was so sad. She was masking her problems with alcohol and social gatherings so she didnt have to face how unhappy she was.
What Was Your Diet Like Originally?
My initial diet was an unhealthy and vicious cycle. I started by cutting whole groups of food such as dairy and carbs in hopes that I would see the results that I wanted. I would make drastic, unrealistic changes to my lifestyle and begin to see results (loss of 5 or so pounds) I became obsessed with the scale and the number plastered across it. When I saw the number dropping, I would “reward” myself with food. I would eat outside of my restrictive diet and landslide back to my old habits. I would immediately gain the weight back (And then some) – then the cycle would begin all over again with being restrictive and rigid. My relationship with food was no relationship at all. Food had total control of me and this was a cycle that continued for well over a year.
What Made You Start Getting Healthy?
Deciding to compete in my first bikini competition encouraged me to lose the scale and gain muscle. Lifting weights empowered me and enlightened me. I realized that if I had any shot at a lifetime of fitness and health, I needed to mend the relationship I had with myself, and with food.
What Small Changes Do You Think Had The Biggest Impact?
There were many things that had positively impacted me. Surrounding myself with like-minded indivuals kept me accountable and on track. Also, creating a fitness Instagram helped to connect me to those with similar interests. I slowly started incorporating foods back in my diet, drinking more water, and practicing more internal self love. All small and significant changes, not extreme and drastic ones that will lay the foundation for healthy steps ahead.
How Did You Stay Motivated?
I will be the first one to tell you that it is not easy to stay motivated. Setting short term goals has helped me drastically to keep my momentum going. Some days, its crying on a friends shoulder and being built up by those who understand what you could be going through and other days, it requires getting inside your own head and digging deep to find out how bad you really want to be sucessful.
Were There Any Particular Tough Points On Your Journey?
See “viscious cycle” phase above 🙂
What Advice Would You Give Someone Looking To Lose Weight?
My biggest piece of advice is prepare yourself to fall off the wagon. Also prepare yourself to get back on, every single time. Leading a healthier lifestyle is so rewarding but just know that you will earn every drop of sweat and every pound lost!
Advice/Tips/Exercise For Developing That ‘Booty’?
HEAVY LEG DAYS; do not be afraid to push heavy weight and eat an ample amount of nutrients to build the booty & a strong body for that matter.
What Are Your Favourite Healthy/Weight Loss Recipes?
I love a good ground turkey stir fry, with veggies, over a bed of brown rice 🙂
How Does It Feel After Completing Such An Amazing Transformation & Inspiring So Many People On Your Instagram?
I am always so humbled that people are inspired by me. This also fuels my fire to continue to progress. I have so much love for the online (and real life) fitness community for their ongoing support and tough love.
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