EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS: Our Marathon Runner, Sara!

EWL_Sara

If there is any word to sum up our dear friend Sara, it has to be inspirational. Although it may have been a long road to get there, this remarkable lady proved to herself and to the world that absolutely nothing can hold you back from accomplishing your goals!

Sara’s journey was simply amazing and I am so excited to hear what she has to say about her stunning transformation!

Heidi: Sara, my friend!! I don’t even know where to begin. You overcame so much this year and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations – including Chris’ and mine! What was that journey like for you?

Sara: The journey was incredible. Really there are no words to describe this last year. I thought I was going just to lose weight, but I lost so much more. I lost what was holding me back for years. I never believed in myself and this was the year I started  to believe I was just as important as the next person and that I did matter.

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H: You were met with so much adversity from the very beginning even with Chris questioning whether or not you could handle the challenges! How did it feel to prove everyone wrong?

S: I won’t lie, the challenges were hard. At first, I even questioned myself as to whether or not I could handle them. I think I saw this opportunity to prove myself wrong and so many other people. I learned that I held myself back from doing things for so many years. I didn’t want that anymore. I wanted to do things just like everyone else was doing. I may have to do some things a little differently than others, but I learned that I was still doing something. I was also doing more than the people that didn’t want to make any change at all.

We are all different and all have different obstacles every day that we just have to get out and overcome. It was great to do things and watch people’s reactions when I did them. I love telling people I ran a marathon and seeing their mouths drop. I hope people will realize, like I did, there is a way to overcome physical obstacles and it doesn’t matter that you have to do things differently. All that matters is that you are doing something to better yourself.

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H: So very inspirational, Sara :). Like you said, a lot of people judged you and assumed your height would hold you back from making a full transformation, but it absolutely didn’t stop you one bit! What do you think your biggest obstacle really was?

S: Myself! I would feel bad when everyone was finishing and I still had a lot to do. Then I thought to myself, hey I’m doing it!! I figured out as the year went along, everybody has their strengths. Some things I found that I could do easier than other people such as squats and my favorite-burpees!! I also learned that the only one you should be in competition with is yourself. Just compare yourself to who you were the day before and that is all that should matter.

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H: Okay Sara…spill it!! Tell us some of the greatest, and not-so-great moments during your transformation.

S: I will start with my least favorite…weigh-ins. I remember the nights before we weighed in were the worst. At times, it did get frustrating when my body was slow to lose the weight. However, you and Chris were always there to help me troubleshoot and support me in ways beyond what I imagined.

My favorite parts were getting to know the rest of the contestants from Season 4. We were together for 3 months during boot camp and we became family. We all support and want the best for each other. I am so blessed by the opportunity of going on the journey of transformation together with them. It was fun to get to know them and learn from all of them about their experiences and unique things each of us had to offer.

I also loved my 6 month challenge in Hawaii. It was the first time I had ever been on an island! It was so beautiful, and I was blessed with the opportunity of running my marathon there. Then…the marathon!! Crossing the finish line was unbelievable. I am so blessed that you and Chris believed in me enough to let me run the full marathon. Finishing the marathon is something that no one will ever be able to take from me and no one helped me do it except myself. You and Chris supported me and encouraged me and gave me the tools to help prepare myself, but I did it!!

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H: Such a huge accomplishment!! I hope you know how truly proud we are of you! So what’s new in Sara’s world since the show ended?

S: I moved to Arizona and got a job at a university. I have stayed active doing Cross Fit, hikes, gym time, and different fun things with groups of people I have had the pleasure of meeting. I love to explore the different happenings in Arizona. I have been skydiving, fly boarding,  sight seeing, gone to movies, a couple dates, and I am loving being involved in yours and Chris’ organization Be Your Best AZ

 Oh my goodness, it sounds like you are just living life to the fullest!! I love it!! I am so happy for you, Sara, and so grateful for the inspiration you have been to so many…myself included!

xoxo,

Heidi


43 Comments

  1. Caroline Cordelia - March 16, 2017

    Just watched the episode with Sara. I’m so impressed that she really finished that maraton. I think I couldn’t have done it myself and I’m like 1,80 m with long legs. I really could realite to her story of being picked on for her height, even though being in the oposite end of the scale. When I was younger it bothered me when always having to wear to short jeans and when photographed in a crowd my head was sticking up like a hat, but now I don’t care anymore, in fat I’m love walking around in high heels. It’s not always fun to being asked “You’re so tall could you take that ting down for me” instead of just asking for help. When painting my living room I had to look around to find a chair that was low enough as I was to short to stand just on the flor painting the up per part, but to tall to get up on a normal chair or a ladder, but I can now also see the benefits of being tall. What I’m trying to say it’s that your height is not what makes your personality, and I think Sara’s personality is the most incredible I’ve ever sen on the extreme weight loss series, and I think I have watched almost 4 seasons. One moment that impressed me watching Sara was when she stod in front of that 50cm tall wooden case and couldn’t jump up on it, but then she said to herse that it is just her will that stop her, and then she jumped right up as it had suddenly shrunk to just being an inch tall. It showet me that if you want it enough you CAN do it. In 2014 I was at a friends funeral, and it made me want to do something about my body as I realized it could be me next time. I decided to loose weight also because it was the only thing I had not tried to make my Fibromyalgia get better. I also at that point struggled with gallstone and had several attacks. I really a lot about weightloss, but it was the extreme weight loss show with Rachel I think her name was, that made me think that I spent half a century being fat, so if I was going to loose the weight and sta there I had to do it in a year. One year later I had lost 66 pounds (30kg), but now after I had a cholecystectomy I have gained 13 pounds because the last six months before the surgery I couldn’t eat anything with fat, even sallad made me sick and I was not eating well because I couldn’t, and people started to yell about me being anorexic, the only people who did not say anything about being to skinny was my doctor, he was really a surgeant, but now worked as a regular med. Dr, but he understood why I was so skinny due to the gallstones and he requiered the operation that my former Dr. said was not necessary because my blood showed no signs of gallstone, (I had an ultrasound the same week that she claim ed that, that showed several stones), but she then told me that I should have several attacks before she would requiered an operation so I had 24 gallstone attacks before it was remove, but just because it took so long I have had problems with kidney stones and UTI and Fibromyalgia getting worse and really bad migraine attacks holding me back from working out as much as I wanted to. (I asked my current Dr. and he found out that I had hyperparathyroidism with my kidneys starting to fail and severe d vitamin deficiency so he said to me to work out but not to hard. Now that I had treatment for all those issues I can start to work out more, but it has been so long so my body is not responsive, and I loose muscles instead of gaining them, and that made me stop work out for a few week, but now it’s real hard to work out and I really struggle to do things that was easy 1 year ago, but watching Sara today gave me a kick in my butt, and I will think of her when I struggle and think that if she could do it, so can I, and I will loose those pounds in a heartbeat if I want to. My goal is not to be think, but to be normal and healthy, with healthy meaning better than today. With my new Med. Dr. being a specialist in fysical medecine and rehab I think it is possible to maybe someday be healthy as in the full meaning. (He look a little like Harry Potter, so it could be magic). Being sick is not a good enough excuse anymore, I’m sick of being sick, so when my body hurts badly instead of eating pain medecine I work out with my fitness ball and weights and my corestep machine, and slowly It will help loosing those pounds or loose fat and gain muscles preferably. Thanks to you Heidi, and to Chris and to you Sara for helping me. (Sorry about my spelling, I’m Norwegian so it’s not always easy to find the right words in English).

  2. Jennifer Tidbury - November 29, 2016

    What a beautiful incredible person you are. Even when you thought you didn’t believe in yourself there was an inner voice that drove you on. The strength you possess is mind blowing & has definitely motivated me to go after what I want in life. You’re a role model & a beacon to all those who haven’t believed in themselves. Wishing you a lifetime of inner peace & happiness! Thanks for sharing you story. Pure magic 🙂

    • Cheryl Bularz - December 8, 2016

      Dear Heidi, I cannot believe what I just saw on Extreme Weight Loss I am 62 years old and I am a smoker and Sarah had me in tears. I am about 35 – 40 pounds overweight and what I saw on your program tonight Extreme Weight Loss I watched an angel. I have no words for how Sarah made me feel watching the program. God bless her for who she is what she stands for what she is. the whole total package! I’m 5 foot 2 always felt my whole life that I was a little person and Sarah just showed me I can still be at my age anything I want to be anytime. I hope this comment reaches her and thank you for you and Chris. I’ve never written to anyone about anyone this is my first time and I mean every word I say

  3. Mariel - June 19, 2016

    I have just recently watched Sara’s story and can i just say she is inspiring!!! I too like Sara watch people running and wish i was one of them but something was holding me back, laziness, never enough time, tired etc (I do have Thyroid issues but levels are normal with meds) but now realise just excuses!! After watching Sara embracing exercise and marathon training as she couldn’t just lose the weight with diet made me realise it can be done! You can make a change it just might be a bit harder than other people and you may have to take a different route but you can get there….that’s what Sara had shown me. So I am now just about to go out for a little jog in Sunny England! (yes I jest…its raining!) and start my journey.
    So thank you for sharing such an inspirational story.

  4. Emma - June 6, 2016

    Your an inspiration a breath of fresh air well done Sara!! I hope I get to my goal I will think of you maybe that will motivate me ? xx

  5. Emma - June 6, 2016

    Hi I’m writing this message for Sara.. I watched you on your journey with Heidi and Chris and I think you are amazing, beautiful lady with a heart of gold. I watch every episode but this one really touched my heart I was bullied as a child because of my hair colour (red head) but never had my sister ever put me down, I was disgusted what she had said for your sister to bully you I think she is a very jealous, vindictive person and I wouldn’t want to know her you don’t need people like that in your life. I hope your life is a lot better now and live life to the max your amazing I would love to be your friend. I am 32 and over weight not to much but I don’t like what I see so I to at the moment am dieting and going to the gym I hope I full fill my dream as you did your an amazing lady and your my hero xx

  6. Crumpet - February 26, 2015

    I’ve never felt so inspired by one of the transformations on this show. Sara seemed to have so much in common with my own struggles — particularly experiencing so much bullying from a sibling. Like Sarah, I found a refuge in running and in marathons. Her cheer and lovely personality makes me want to aspire to more. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  7. lena - September 2, 2014

    what an EXTRAORDINARY woman, incredibly inspiring, and what a beautiful personality too

  8. Abby - September 1, 2014

    Hey Sara! Great transformation. Thank you very much for inspiring people like me. God bless you!!

  9. Stephanie - August 17, 2014

    Just finished watching Sara’s episode…..so happy for her. She is a real sweetheart , her story made me sad. I feel so inspired , I have never been a runner….I’m going to start in the morning. No excuses !!

  10. Don aka DCBoyWonder! - August 16, 2014

    I am in awe and truly inspired! I was sitting at home catching up on my DVR and decided to watch a couple of my Extreme Weight Loss Edition episodes before heading out for the day. The espisode featuring Sara was amazing! I was totally glued to the TV while witnessing her transformation. The thoughts, emotions, and inspiration shared was so real! The words and outlook captured on Sara’s journey touched me tremendously. Sara, Chris and Heidi…..THANK YOU! We have all have challenges in life and even though I don’t had a challenge in weight loss, it is amazing that…in a show as (such as EWL) you can still find inspiration to cope with your own journey in life! Simply put, to keep pushing on and reaching for your very best. Sara’s journey is a testimony to the fact that no one can stop you from accomplishing your dreams and goals, except for yourself. And, that is the blessing that this episode taught me and equipped me with today in dealing with my own struggles.

  11. Pascale - August 14, 2014

    Congrats Sara – I ran the 2013 Honolulu Marathon as well – wow…wasn’t it hot that day? Was fun to see your journey…as well as footage from the race. Congrats again – keep up the good work.

  12. Kanda Smith - August 14, 2014

    Of all the shows I’ve watched in regards to weight loss this one episode with Sara left me in awe. Sara is such an inspiration and offers proof there are no excuses and she proved that anyone can do it no matter what size. She said on the show a lot I don’t deserve but she totally did and looks so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your struggle Sara.

  13. Rachel - August 14, 2014

    Hi Sara! WOW what a show!
    I am several inches under 5 foot tall and have been teased a lot for my height…. so when I saw the preview for your episode I got excited. Not once did you ever complain or give an excuse. Sara YOU are incredible. Even though I don’t have a weight problem, I learned so much from you. Congratulations on ALL your hard work and your accomplishments! wow, wow, wow! And marathon(s) too! way to go~ Keep it up Sara!!!!!!!!!

  14. Heather - August 14, 2014

    Hi Sara~

    I normally don’t leave comments on websites, but I just had to write to you. I watched your show with my 16 year old son. We sat there with amazement on our faces. We could not get over your journey. I never heard you once complain about anything, you just pushed through it and gave it your all every single day. You are one gorgeous girl and absolutely love you smile! I want to give you a huge hug for your accomplishment. I am 38 years old and have been thin all my life even after having three kids. About two years ago I put on almost 45 pounds and it came on fast and out of nowhere. People made hurtful comments just like your sister to me because they were not used to seeing me this way. I went from doctor to doctor even drove to different states to specialists to see what was going on with me. No one had answers. My husband just retired after 21 years from the U.S. Navy and we had a huge dinner with family and friends in Wisconsin our home town. I bought an adorable dress felt good in it and all I kept hearing were negative comments, whispering and people starring at me. Even my one son said “mom people keep calling you fat”, what a horrible thing for my son to hear and for him to feel he needed to repeat it back to me is just awful. I live in PA and getting ready to move back to my home state in WI in a few weeks. I will tell you this, I have been working hard on my diet (clean eating), and walking/running everyday and the pounds are coming off. I want to prove when I see my family and friends in a few weeks that I have lost some of the weight and their negative comments didn’t hurt me they only pushed me to prove to them that I will be back to my old self again. Since Christmas I have lost almost 25 pounds. I know it’s not a whole lot, but as my two friends who are personal trainers told me, I am doing it the right way by letting it come off slowly and exercising everyday. It may take time but I will get there. Thank you for sharing your story, you truly are an inspiration. Keep up the hard work and take care!!

  15. Bloomiesgirl - August 13, 2014

    She had it in her the whole time, she just needed to someone to believe in her. As soon as she knew she had some in her corner, she was a beast! Unstoppable! I have never cried so much during an episode. This one truly touched my heart.

  16. Kristine Flynn - August 13, 2014

    Hi Sara, I was completely sucked in to last night’s show. You are so positive and have a “can & will do” attitude. I kept telling my husband, “I would love to have this lady as a friend”. You are an inspiration. I was really impressed by your accomplishments and to see you reach your goals. I would like to follow you on Facebook but I can’t seem to find anything. The Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition page doesn’t seem to have been updated for over 2 years. Congratulations! And please, let me know if you are putting anything out there on social media. I’d really like to continue to follow your success and find you a motivation to keep moving toward my goals too. Kristine

  17. Tonya - August 13, 2014

    Sara,

    Wow! Great transformation thank you for inspiring me to be better!

    You are awesome!

    God Bless,

    Tonya

  18. Penny Wosar - August 13, 2014

    Sara! Wow! You never complained once! You pushed yourself so hard. You are not a little person–YOU ARE A GIANT! You are so beautiful inside and out. You deserve this so much, never let anyone bring you down. You are my hero.

  19. Geri Phillips - August 13, 2014

    August 13, 2014
    Sara,, What a journey you took,, you look marvelous,, I don’t think that there isn’t anything that you can’t do,, a very determined woman that has proven that even be small means that you can accomplish any goals set forth.. Congratulations on your journey,,,

  20. Geri Phillips - August 13, 2014

    Sara,,, you really killed this make over,, what an awesome job,, with your personality,, your fortitude,, you can do anything you want to do and you have proven that.. Great job,, you look marvelous…

  21. Tati - August 13, 2014

    Here in Brazil season 4 hasn’t started yet! So it was hard to watch these season..but when I found and started watching..I couldn’t stop! I got emotional in every episode! The one with Melissa was so incredible! And with Bruce.. i cried a river!
    Heidi, you and Chris are saving lifes! That’s a thing almost all of them said in the end of each episode… and you truly are! You always get mad about people leaving ou giving up.. and that shows how much you care! You both do what you love..work out..help people..but every year you touch more lifes! And.. as angels you guys are saving people from all over the world.. tomorrow I will start my transformation inside and out! And I was not lucky enough to be born in the USA and try to get your help. But you inspired me to try and I will get there!
    Sara, you are incredible! Enjoy your body, your new start..you deserve!
    Heidi, just stay this angel.. you and Chris are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! And people from all over the world love you 2 and what you do! Well.. I do! Big kisses from Brazil! Tati

  22. Nathalie Paquin, Québec - August 13, 2014

    Sara, you are my most favorite person on the show, other than Heidi and Chris, Of course! I’m 5 feet tall and my mom is 4’8″. I never was ashamed Of my height, i even tell others That greatness and height are two différent things. This beiing said, you have impersonated my words yesterday! You are so remarcable and so lovable! Those people from your past, Who try to diminish you are the wee ones.

    Loads Of love to you and thank you for existing, you are my hero!

  23. Sheryl - August 13, 2014

    This was by far one of my favorite episodes. Sara,I am so inspired by you! I wasn’t happy though to see that Chris let you run a full marathon after only having run 12 miles in total. I know you were pretty insistent in doing it but I think the producers shouldn’t have let you until you trained properly for it. You could have really sustained a bad injury like Chris had said. I was glad you made it though! I was cheering big time for you! Kudos to you! I’ve also completed the Honolulu Marathon. As a fellow runner, I know the dedication it takes to run marathons and get to that finish line, and as someone who has also lost over 100#’s too, I know the hard work and dedication it takes to lose weight and you truly have the will & determination. I wish you nothing but the best as you train for your next marathon, and I hope you take a little more time for your training this next time. Congratulations!

  24. trina - August 13, 2014

    I freakin love these two. I’m 43 & I want them to adopt me ha!

  25. Emmy - August 13, 2014

    Last night I watched the program for the first time, very inspiring! I want to be a success!

  26. Jana - August 13, 2014

    I love this show, but this is my favorite episodse because Sara didn’t let the challenges in life get to her.

    I can definitely relate to her experiences of bullying and feeling out of place.
    She turned her weakness into a strength.

    She shot up when everyone pushed her down.

    I’m still in shock that her own sister would tell her she didn’t care and she’ll never be worth any thing.

    Sara is very brave and awesome
    Thank you fore inspiring me.

    Jana

  27. Sharon - August 13, 2014

    You are an amazing woman who has inspired me at a low point in my weight loss. Every time I get down I will think of you and know I can do it.

  28. Di - August 13, 2014

    you just have to SMILE everytime you see Sara. Kuddos to you…you are a shining star-and so cute

  29. Jennifer - August 13, 2014

    Sara and Heidi,

    You are so inspiring! Thank you for the opportunity to share your story with the world. Your transformation is my favorite because it hit very close to home for me. I too was told the same things except by my dad. My sister has told me told me she has always resented the day I was born and hops on the bash Jenn bandwagon. I don’t communicate with either my father or her. My dad is hard of hearing and no longer has his own phone. Anyway only a couple of people in my life have acknowledged the abuse I endured as a child. I too have fought those demons through my transformation. You are not alone. I’m so thankful to know that I am not either anymore!

  30. Laura Smith - August 13, 2014

    I am completely inspired by you Sara! Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve book a half marathon and will have you in my thoughts the whole time!!!!

  31. Danelle - August 13, 2014

    you are sooo amazing Sara! My hubby watches with me but never all the way through or crys at the end… he did last night!

    Being a VERY large busty lady I have to ask do they do skin removal everywhere? You look great!!! Rockin that bikini!!! hot mamma!!! hugs you are an inspiration 🙂

  32. Lee Moraglio - August 13, 2014

    Good for you, Sara!

    As a Catholic myself, I was shocked and ashamed by the fact that you were not treated in the convent with the kind of love and respect we are all called by Jesus to share with one another. The fact that religious sisters did not accept you because of something that you had no control over was a disgrace. I can only hope that someone in that community saw last night’s episode and felt sadness, regret and contrition.

    I also love the fact that you pushed yourself harder than Chris wanted you to. He prides himself on pushing people out of their comfort zone and helping them to realize they are capable of more than they think. Instead, you turned the tables on him a bit and convinced him that you were capable of more than he thought. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that done before on EWL. And the fact that you ran that complete marathon after training for less than 6 months was amazing and inspiring. You showed Chris (and all of us) that we’re capable of doing far more than we think we are.

    I hope you find much joy in your new life in Arizona. Chris was excited to hear that you were moving there, but I suspect that your parents were sad since they are now probably missing their very special and newly famous daughter.

    Best of luck to you!

    -Lee

  33. Anna Williams - August 13, 2014

    This is so awesome and inspiring!!! The fact that burpees are your favorite makes you a rockstar in my books! Congrats on your marathon accomplishment as well and everything else you have done in the last year…truly amazing! 🙂

  34. Erin - August 13, 2014

    Incredible, Sara! Well done! Xo

  35. Debra - August 13, 2014

    I’m so very proud for you!!! You are a beautiful person and so are Heidi and Chris

  36. Kirstin Becerra - August 13, 2014

    Sara,

    You are remarkable! Watching you on Extreme Weight Loss and seeing your transformation was
    so inspiring:) I wish nothing but the best for your future!

    Way to go!!!!!

    Kirstin Becerra (Phoenix AZ)

  37. Margaret - August 13, 2014

    Hello Sara!

    I am so proud of your transformation! I am especially excited to watch your episode because like you felt, I feel like my height has held me back from a lot of things in life! It’s a constant struggle and battle with myself, my weight, and moving forward with opportunities for me. You are a TRUE inspiration and I cannot wait to watch you transform! You give hope to us women (and men) who may be a little shorter in stature, that nothing should keep us from succeeding our dreams! Thank you for your bravery this year; you will never know how stepping into EWL will touch millions of us who are going through the same struggle you did when you started the show!

    Keep on keeping on! You are an AMAZING woman!!~! NEVER FORGET THAT!

    Kindest Regards,
    Margaret =)

  38. Camille shirina - August 13, 2014

    Hi Heidi and sara, I loved the show last night it was my favorite so far!! Sara I can relate to you so well as I have a form of dwarfism. You and Heidi as well are such an inspiration to me!

  39. Diva - August 13, 2014

    Heidy! since you joined the show I love it even more!

  40. Mindy - August 13, 2014

    Sara-thanks for sharing your journey with the world! Watching you train and complete the marathon was so inspiring! You really have a “can do” attitude and I am happy that you have learned to believe in yourself!

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