Evan O.

sarah cuff

January 7, 2016

“We’ve all heard the saying about how insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Well, I used to think I knew everything I needed to know about healthy eating. I used to think I knew everything I needed to know about running and fitness, too.

And yet, as someone who had been active and outdoors-y most my life, had run Chicago in under 4 hours to celebrate my 30th birthday, here I was less than 10 years later, out of shape and easily 60lbs overweight. In fact, I used to rationalize the discrepancy by blaming ‘life’. My efforts to eat well and get back into shape consistently derailed in favour of other responsibilities that just always seemed to be more important. Then every once in a while I would get a sign that would hit me like a two by four to the head: chronic back and joint pain, getting out of breath after a single flight of stairs, outgrowing my clothes, having a herniated disk, even slowly losing touch with friends I used to be active outdoors with because I’d rather sit out a trip than be the straggler who can’t keep up.

It’s no surprise that having children prompts a candid re-appraisal of your life. Even more so thinking about what kind of life you want for your kids. It’s so blatantly simple – I realized that as our kids grow up, more than anything else, they will require our example. And I was going to need some help.

The part about needing help was a tough one to wrap my head around. I like to think I’m a (reasonably) smart person, surrounded by an abundance of all kinds of nutrition information and resources. But what I needed was somebody who ‘got it’, could help filter out the junk science and put the right information into a context that made sense for my life and what I wanted to accomplish, and make it fit into my life, help make it stick. And that’s what Sarah did for me.

No fads, just a comprehensive look at what I was doing, what I was eating, and tweaking it by getting rid of what doesn’t work and doing more of what does work. What is most remarkable is that achieving results did not require a complete overhaul of my life and habits, only a series of minor changes and smarter choices. My food experience has increased significantly, too. I love both the variety and taste of what I get to eat on a daily basis.

But that’s not what impressed me the most. This is how Sarah earns the distinction of being ‘great’ as opposed to just ‘good’:

Anybody who has trained for a sport during their life understands that there are no shortcuts around the hard work that is required for reaching your goals. So it stands to reason that if you are going to be investing your hard work into a program, you also want the best possible return on that investment. Simply put, everything needs to fit and work together.

Sarah understood my fitness goals and used her insight and personal experience to develop a complementary running and nutrition programs. More importantly was the focus on injury prevention and how she continued to modify both programs as I progressed and was able to increase intensity. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • over the course of a year, I dropped over 70lbs
  • decreased my body fat % from 29% to 8%
  • went from a size 42 waist to a 33
  • improved my PB in the 1/2 marathon by nearly 15 minutes (!!!)
  • am training to qualify for Boston
  • am pain free, and in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life

Simply put, how Sarah helped me achieve my goals was amazing. It was always clear to me that she was genuinely interested in seeing me succeed. What continues to impress me is how she can be empathetic to how hard you’re working during drills, yet how she is also able to push you further to get that extra effort out of you. I look forward to our discussions on a variety of topics, from quinoa to the trend towards minamilist running. I think it makes the difference between good results and great results.

But what I’m most grateful for is seeing my kids eat what I eat, and how my 2 1/2 year old will throw on her sneaks and tell me she’s going for a run – and giggle like a lunatic as she chases the dogs around the yard 🙂

It worked (is working) for me and I recommend Sarah with no reservations.”

-Evan O’Regan, Ottawa ON