By Liana Jacob
MEET the stunning blonde who piled on the pounds after she stopped playing sports and has since lost an incredible four-stone.
Logistician, Leah Saar (27), from British Columbia, Canada, grew up as an extremely sporty student all the way through high school, university, and college; playing baseball and volleyball professionally.
After she graduated from college, her sports ended along with it, which she described as a ‘drastic and hard lifestyle’ to come to terms with. She ended up feeling depressed, didn’t exercise, and started binge-eating on junk food, which led her to reach 15st 10Ibs and a UK size 16.
One day she was sick of waking up every morning feeling rubbish about herself that she decided to make a desperate attempt to turn her life around. After following Kayla Itsines bikini body guide (BBG) programme, she managed to shrink to a trim 11st 6Ibs and UK size eight. While she used to consume a whopping 3,000 to 3,500 calories a day, she has now reduced this by 1,000.
“Once I graduated from college and sports ended, it was a drastic and hard lifestyle change for me and I struggled to adjust,” Leah said.
“I gained about two-stone-twelve to three-stone-three in the first year and a half after graduating. I felt very depressed and didn’t exercise much, while binge-eating a lot.
“I can remember nights coming home from work and eating a whole bag of crisps, pizza, and all kinds of other junk food.
“I didn’t take care of my body, I didn’t treat it well. After some time, I knew something had to change.
“I felt terrible about myself, hated my body and how I looked and I didn’t feel like myself. I felt depressed and struggled a lot with anxiety.
“I reached a point where I was tired of waking up every morning and feeling so negative about myself; I had so many dreams and goals of whom I wanted to be and they always felt so far.
“I just got to a place where I said to myself that I have to start this now; I know it will be hard but I want to be proud of myself and I don’t want to feel like this anymore.
“Within one-month, six-months, two-years, I want to be able to thank myself for starting now. I want to love myself again and it has to start somewhere; no matter how small the step.”
With a new healthy perspective on her lifestyle, Leah has added many more activities to her to-do list, including mountain hiking every weekend.
She now eats gluten and dairy-free food, clean, organic, whole foods while focusing on consuming mainly fish and eggs and the occasional meat.
“Looking back now, I can see that my head wasn’t in the right place in the beginning,” Leah said.
“I became very obsessive about how much and what I ate and I restricted myself in terms of food. All I focused on was my weight and how many calories I was eating each day.
“This wasn’t healthy and it led to self-destructive thinking. I’m very thankful I found a wonderful therapist to help me see myself in a better light and learn to appreciate my body.
“I realised that I have a very sensitive stomach, and gluten and dairy especially make me react. I’ve removed both gluten and dairy from my diet and I try to stay away from added sugars.
“I incorporate outdoor activities into my exercise routine because I love spending time outdoors, it’s therapeutic for me. I go on hikes and walks as much as I can.
“The mental roller coaster ride was the hardest part of the process. It’s really hard to learn to love yourself and not compare yourself to others.
“Sometimes, it takes a while to see yourself in a new light, but once you do, you realise how silly it is to see yourself in any other light.
“There are so many wonderful people out there. I’m so thankful for my friends and family because they’ve been so supportive.
“What has stuck me most was a comment from a high school friend who said I’m ‘back to my old self’ – this hit a spot in me and I just felt overwhelmed with emotions.
“Sometimes it feels impossible to change your life, but every little step counts. Set small goals and celebrate them.
“Remember you’re not stuck where you are, your body can do anything you want it to. It’s your mind you must convince.
“Losing weight has drastically changed my life and it’s not the weight that I’ve lost, it’s all that I’ve learned along the way.
“I feel the healthiest and strongest I ever have. I have much more energy, and an appreciation for exercise and taking care of my body.
“I look forward to going to the gym and pushing myself as hard as I can.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/amostlyhealthylife/