Strong, Fit & So Bad Ass
After persevering through hip surgery, recovery and a lengthy illness, Dr. Sarah Hnath came out the other side with a renewed desire to feel amazing, both inside and out. With hard work, she has made incredible changes and attained a positive outlook and body image! Find out how this strong, fit, badass woman is inspiring those around her everyday!
Stratford, CT (Hometown), Westport, CT (Current City)
I have been in the fitness industry for over a decade and a physical therapist for the past 4+ years. Throughout this time, being “healthy” and “fit” were always very important to me. It wasn’t until the past couple years after having put my metabolic system through the ringer, dealt with what illness and lots of medication can do to the body, and having had to go through hip surgery and a long recovery process that I finally realized what being “healthy” and “fit” really means. This new outlook has gotten me to a point where I am the happiest, leanest, and healthiest I have ever been both inside and out and it feels AMAZING! The even greater part is that I am able to use my positive outlook on overall wellness and body image to help motivate and encourage my clients, friends and family to make healthy choices too!
I’d have to say my greatest fitness accomplishment has been my transformation this past year. I am the leanest I’ve ever been with this much muscle and I’ve been able to achieve this in a steady, healthy manner and have been able to enjoy the process! In addition to that, taking the stage for the first time has always been a goal of mine and to finally commit to training and having the nerve to put myself out there was a huge accomplishment for me.
Over the past 6 months I have lost 10% body fat along with several inches and clothing sizes. I’ve put on several pounds of muscle in the process!
I think the biggest change was working with Julie Lohre to find the right macronutrient profile for my body and my goals, increasing frequency of eating and variety in my diet.
What motivates you to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
I would have to say a number of factors, the first is having seen first hand both in my family and in my patients how not living a healthy lifestyle can negatively impact your quality of life. Another major motivator for me is knowing and having experienced how good I feel both inside and out when I live a healthy lifestyle, especially after having experienced the alternative. I’m also a huge believer in practicing what you preach, I work with and educate people about healthy living on a daily basis, I am able to be much more impactful and motivating when I abide by the same principles I preach.
What role does fitness play in your life?
Fitness is a HUGE part of my everyday life on both a personal and professional level. As a physical therapist I perform a lot of intense manual therapy making my job very physically demanding. I am able to have the strength, energy and stamina to perform my job to my highest potential by fueling myself with the right nutrition and having a well-rounded fitness program that targets strength, endurance and mobility. On a personal level, I am able to enjoy the activities I love from SUP to Spartan Races to playing with my puppy, Duff!
What unique challenges have you faced in reaching your fitness goals?
For a long time I have wanted to compete however there have been a number of issues in the way from the intensity of a rigorous doctoral program, to dealing with a persistent MRSA infection and the toll that it and the medication took on my body, and then going through a major hip surgery and a long recovery process. It took me a very long time to get my body “back on track” after this 7+ year period of time. In addition to these external factors I also have a hormonal imbalance called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) that makes it very easy to put on weight/fat and difficult for me to lose it. Despite these hurdles I was determined to make the changes and have the focus and discipline needed to eat clean, train hard and prepare myself to meet my fitness goals.
Favorite Nutrition Tips & Tricks
Having a cheat meal once a week has been helpful by having something to look forward to and still allowing me to participate in social engagements, celebrations, etc and not be a hermit. I’ve also found by trying out different recipes, having variety, and playing with different food ingredients that I enjoy I am able to not only stay on diet but enjoy each and every meal! Having an on the go business and lifestyle I’ve found having a pocket-sized food scale (easily purchased on amazon for less than $15) in my purse to be very helpful. I can always pop in a whole foods and or a restaurant that cooks to order and know exactly how much of each item I’m actually putting in my stomach.
So tough to choose just one but I really enjoy working my back. I love how bad-ass it feels to jump up and bang out some pull-ups…even better with added weight!
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical workout for me starts with a warm up consisting of a series of body weight and natural movements such as forward and backward crawling, jumping, balancing, etc. followed by mobility to prepare my body to lift using foam rollers, lacrosse balls, yoga poses and dynamic stretches. For my workout I usually will perform a combination of compound movements, traditional “body builder exercises”, calisthenics and plyometric movements. I finish off with an intense, sweaty 15-30 min HIIT circuit or a tough spin class or get my sweat on later in the day.
Best part of working with Julie Lohre
There are so many things to love about having Julie Lohre as my online personal trainer but I’d say the best part is that she totally gets it and her priorities are completely in sync with mine. She has helped me meet my goals while still being able to enjoy delicious yet nutritious food, fun and varied workouts and most importantly without screwing up my metabolic system like many other “diet coaches” will do.
Worst part of working with Julie Lohre
It’s been great working with Julie Lohre as my online personal trainer! The only thing I can think of that would be a “worst part” is that I just wish I were closer because she’s so awesome! That said, she has done an amazing job at communicating, motivating, and monitoring my progress entirely online, which is not an easy feat!
Favorite clean eating food or recipe
I don’t even know where to begin! I love Julie’s steak fajitas, chicken fried rice, french toast, protein pancakes and ANYTHING with Beverly International Ultimate Muscle Protein! To keep it simple I’ll share one of my favorite, quick, perfect post workout concoctions…UMP Chunky Monkey Ice Cream! Here it goes…
UMP Chunky Monkey Protein Ice Cream:
In a VitaMix (or some other powerful blender) add the following:
2 scoops chocolate UMP (vanilla can work here too)
1 frozen banana,
1 TBSP natural peanut butter (can use P2B powdered PB if need to limit calories)
1 cup ice cubes
½-1 cup almond milk (or water if need to limit calories)
Optional – 1 TBSP unsweetened 100% cocoa powder, stevia to taste
Grab a spoon and enjoy!
“For me, the goal of competing has nothing to do with placements, trophies, pro cards or ego. It is not a reflection of my worth as a woman. It is a bi-product of living a healthy lifestyle. It is an expression of health, strength, beauty and bad-assery! I’m grateful to have a coach who has been a huge inspiration, support and encouragement as I’ve taken on these new challenges in my life and as I continue to strive to have a healthy lifestyle.”Dr. Sarah Hnath
Julie Lohre Online Personal Trainer with client Sarah Hnath
For me, the goal of competing has nothing to do with placements, trophies, pro cards or ego. It is not a reflection of my worth as a woman. It is a bi-product of living a healthy lifestyle. It is an expression of health, strength, beauty and bad-assery!Dr. Sarah Hnath