IG handle: sarahmkrause & sarahmk_fit
Location: I’m from Norcross, GA but I go to school in Milledgeville, GA
Occupation: I’m a senior at Georgia College and a part time pharmacy technician at CVS
Hobbies: Usually most of my time is filled up with school and work, but I really love spending time outside whether it be laying by the pool or hiking in North Georgia. I also love anything artistic and creative. I’d like to say I’ve got a pretty good taste in music, and I love a good music festival!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself… hobbies, career, what we can find you up to on a weekend.
I’m a biology major so I spent a lot of my time going to class and studying. I’ve always been really interested in science so it’s something I enjoy. I’m planning on using my degree to go on to physician’s assistant school for dermatology. I also work part time as a pharmacy tech at the local CVS in Milledgeville. I’ve had a bunch of different part time jobs over the years, but this one is definitely my favorite, and it doesn’t hurt that I get to wear scrubs every day! Besides that, my weekends are always pretty different. Since I’ve been at college for almost a whole 4 years, my friends and I have (shockingly) grown out of the party downtown every night phase. I’m usually traveling back home to Atlanta or heading to Athens to hang out with my friends at UGA.
2. How did you get started with your health and fitness journey?
Ever since middle school, I’ve done sports through school. In middle/high school I did cheerleading, swimming, and a year of cross country. I went to a small private school so the teams were a bit smaller than usual but that meant we really got worked at practice! Most of what I learned about fitness then came from swimming. A couple days a week we would go to the weight room before practice and work out with some of the trainers. From sports I learned the basics of weight training and how to stay in shape after graduating, but I was still kind of lost once I got to college. Thanks to genes, I’ve never really had to bother with actively working out or dieting to keep up with my body, but at around the middle of sophomore year I felt the college weight creeping on and decided to get back into the gym.
3. Share with us how weight training in particular played a role in your results. Any advice to other women looking to get into weights?
Weight training completely changed my fitness routine as well as my results for the better! Once I got back into working out during college, I started off with the simple stuff (thanks Pinterest lol). Then a friend told me about another downloadable fitness program, I won’t name any names ;), that was focused mainly on bodyweight workouts. I followed this program for a long time and saw some minor results, but after joining a new gym and getting a free training session, the trainer recommended I try weight training instead. I always knew the myth that women who lift weights look like bodybuilders was not true, but the weight section of the gym always intimidated me! After being taught some basics, I decided that I liked weight training better than bodyweight workouts. I needed more ideas for workouts, and after a quick internet search I found Lauren’s programs. I loved the way they looked simple and practical, but I could also tell Lauren knew what she was talking about, so I gave it a try! I’ve been following the gym weight training program for about 9 months now, but I could tell a noticeable difference after about a month! I was actually sore after these workouts compared to what I was doing before, which told me my body was changing. Compared to my results from bodyweight workouts alone, weight training really helped define my muscles and get me looking toned. If you’re thinking about getting into weight training I would 100% recommend it! First of all, it’s not as hard as it looks. I used to be so nervous to go into the weight section of the gym with all the huge buff guys grunting and acting like they run the place, but going in with a plan makes it so much easier and less scary. You’re also able to easily control the difficulty of your workout by decreasing or increasing your weights. Another plus is if you have any limitations like joint issues for example, weight training is much more comfortable than bodyweight training. When I’m at home I always make my mom go to the gym with me, and she has some knee and wrist issues from an old car accident. Back when we used to do my old workouts together, she would always complain how it hurts her joints and she couldn’t do them properly. When we did Lauren’s program together she told me she really liked it and it was much easier on her joints compared to all the weird positions and moves involved with bodyweight exercises. Most importantly though are the results! I can tell you I don’t ever feel too muscly or boyish at all! Thanks to this program I’m actually the most happy with my body I’ve probably ever been!
4. Favorite LG workout challenge or plan?
Before I actually bought the weight training guide, I tried out some of Lauren’s circuit workouts on the website. I loved these so I ended up buying the gym weight training guide. The plan in the guide is so great! I really like the way it’s organized and how it shows pictures of every exercise. I think it’s important to realize that your muscles need recovery to grow, so focusing on one or two muscle groups a day rather than doing full body workouts is the best way to do it in my opinion! Having the guide on my phone makes it SO easy to follow at the gym, and I always know what I’m doing. It’s great going into a workout with a set plan. The introduction sections of the guide are also really insightful. Lauren does a great job explaining all the aspects of fitness in a way anyone can understand.
5. When did you first change your eating habits? How were you able to turn healthy eating into a habit?
My eating habits actually changed for a pretty unfortunate reason. When I was little, I grew up eating pretty healthy thanks to my parents, so good eating habits have always been a part of my life. I’d say I’ve always had a pretty balanced diet my whole life, which is something I’m thankful for! My diet started to change at the beginning of my senior year of college. After dealing with a pretty bad lack of motivation thanks to depression, my doctor prescribed me Vyvanse. This was great for my grades but not so much for my diet. Vyvanse makes you have zero appetite, and you don’t even really realize it at first. Obviously I still ate, but sometimes I had to literally force myself to eat something just because I knew I needed food even though the thought of putting it in my mouth sounded so gross. Eventually I learned how to deal with the lack of appetite, which is where my eating habits really improved. I started thinking of food as fuel for my body to produce energy, rather than a yummy thing to stuff into my face when I’m hungry or bored, for lack of better words. As a biology major, I have a pretty solid understanding of how your body uses certain substances for energy and sustaining itself, so I used what I’ve learned to my advantage. Here’s a little summary of what I realized… Not to get too sciencey, but the main “building blocks of life” as my professors like to call them are proteins, carbohydrates, lipids (or fats) and nucleic acids. All of these building blocks play their own special role in basically every single process that goes on in our bodies, and we can get all of them from food! Throughout the day, I would think to myself, “okay which building block could my body use right now?”. From that I’d pick something to eat. Since I was eating less during the day, it was important to be eating foods that would actually benefit my body. If you’re interested, I’d recommend a quick google search on those building blocks to get familiar with what each one does.
That doesn’t mean that I’m just eating boring old plain chicken breast and vegetables for every meal though! It’s so easy to find good and creative recipes online (check out Lauren’s website, her pumpkin muffin recipe is my fave). I’ve also gotten really into smoothies! They’re so easy and quick, and you can put all kinds of good stuff in them. Even though I’ve trained myself to crave these foods, I still can’t resist some bad stuff every once in a while. Since I eat healthy on average, I have no shame (like really, none) giving into my cravings and heading to McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, or the wine section in the grocery store!!! I am not one bit a supporter of torturing yourself by completely avoiding junk food, because as long as you balance it out with healthy foods I would say it’s okay!
6. How has the LG Accountability Community played a role in your success?
I hate to admit it, but before now the only involvement I’ve had in the LG Accountability community was following Lauren on Instagram and a brief glance at the community section on the website. I’ve never been one to post anything fitness related on social media, but that’s why I made a separate account for it (I literally just made one like an hour ago, so that’s the reason for the lack of posts. And the lack of people I follow lol)! I had been thinking about sending Lauren an email explaining how her program has helped me, and it took me a while to actually do it. Honestly, I was pretty surprised that she replied so enthusiastically! It made me realize that people really do care about how you’re changing your life for the better, and how you’re doing it. That genuine caring and support is what makes me excited to become an active part of the community!!! I can’t wait to be a part of everyone else’s journey!
Besides the community itself, part of the reason I love this program so much compared to other ones like it is the positivity! Some trainers with other programs can seem almost intimidating and give off a skinny is better vibe, especially on their Instagrams. I think it’s great that Lauren promotes being supportive and loving of other girls going through the process rather than it being a competition of who can have the most Instagram worthy body. Lauren, you’re truly a great inspiration and role model!
7. How has this lifestyle helped improve your overall wellbeing and happiness?
My favorite question!! During my sophomore year of college I was diagnosed with depression and general anxiety with panic attacks. This really took a toll on me, to the point where I actually had to withdraw from my classes and spend the rest of the semester at home. One of the main reasons I decided to withdraw was because I was seriously struggling to keep my grades up. I love what I study, but it honestly seemed physically impossible to do assignments or study most of the time. I didn’t only have that feeling about studying, but I also felt that way about pretty much everything else. While I was at home, I got bored pretty fast. I started a part time job, but filled the rest of my time with going to the gym since I had nothing better to do. Just the action of finishing a workout made me feel so good, because it gave me the assurance that I was actually capable of doing something besides sitting on the couch. After that little break, I went back to school and I’ve been much better. Besides the lack of motivation, the other biggest issue I had from anxiety specifically was stomach problems. Bloating, bubbling, pains, and other issues no one wants to hear about were CONSTANT. Eventually it got the the point where I had to see a specialist to get all sorts of tests done. After a long time and all negative test results, I finally realized it was all because of anxiety! It’s really crazy what it can do to your body. Everyone always says that exercise is good for mental health, and that could not be more true. Working out regularly has really improved my ability to feel like I am capable of doing any task that depression says I can’t do. It has also really helped my stomach problems! I still get some bloating and gurgling when I’m feeling stressed, but nowhere near as much as I used to. I can’t explain why, but it really does help, you can really tell in my before and after pictures the difference in bloating! It’s great to not feel like a balloon that’s about to pop all the time!!
An improvement in mental health is the most special change this lifestyle has given me, but I can’t forget body image self confidence! I’ve always been pretty small and never worried about my weight, but seeing the difference in my body now compared to a year ago makes me feel really good about myself! It’s great not to have the feeling of, oh I don’t want to go to the pool or I shouldn’t wear a crop top tonight because I feel chubby today. I think just knowing that there’s been a change in your body would make anyone feel better about themselves, even if they didn’t have many negative thoughts in the first place.
Favorite Quote: “For what it’s worth: it’s never too late, or in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Favorite Book: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Favorite TV Show: Oh geez this is a hard one. Probably Narcos or Planet Earth
Favorite Movie: The Conjuring or The Babadook. Scary movies are my favorite!!
Favorite Vacation Spot: Grayton Beach, FL
Favorite Healthy Food: Turkey burgers or a really good protein smoothie
Favorite Treat: McDonalds cheeseburger and fries. Or donuts. Or Oreos. Or a 6 pack of beer.
Favorite Weekend Activity: A music festival! I went to Okeechobee over spring break, and am heading home to Atlanta this weekend for Sweetwater 420!