It took Sara Frenza, 43, nearly three years of hard work to get into her best shape ever.
A professional fitness photo shoot. That’s how Sara Frenza celebrated her fitness journey. “This really helped me stay focused to get into the best shape that I can be in for the photoshoot,” she says.
Smart reward, and well deserved. From her heaviest at 185 pounds when she was 36 to 38, Frenza’s now down to 130 pounds. While she tried other programs at the beginning, she personally didn’t find them a sustainable option. “I was losing weight but I did not like my body composition as I lost a lot of muscle.” What did work? She started working with body transformation a coach, who gave her a customized nutrition plan and a training program to help her transform her body composition. From the biweekly check-ins to the tweaks her coach would make along the way, Frenza eventually got into fitness-model shape for the shoot.
And it wasn’t a story of overnight success, of course. “Learning to change my habits and live a new lifestyle was not easy. What I did to help overcome the feelings of being overwhelmed was to focus on the things that I needed to get done that day. I focused on just getting that one workout done, or eating according to my plan, drinking my water and getting enough rest.” says Frenza. By focusing on winning in these four areas daily, she wouldn’t win every day, but she did not give up until she had created new habits, which in turn became her lifestyle.
Of course, fitness wasn’t the only factor in her journey. Nutrition played a key role in her physical transformation, along with her mental health. “At the beginning of my journey my self-esteem was very low and I did not like what I saw in the mirror. I would engage in a lot of negative self-talk. I hated shopping for clothes because nothing fit me well. I would often hide so that my husband would not see me get changed,” confesses Frenza. “My confidence was completely gone and I felt like I was not worthy of anything great.”
But nowadays? She loves what she sees in the mirror, and she’s also learned how to love herself.
“My confidence levels are high, which has allowed me to level up in all other areas of my life. I am more confident as an employee, mom, wife and friend and I feel that I am living my best life every day,” says Frenza. That change in self-esteem is one of the biggest benefits through all of this for her. “I am able to deal with things so much better because I have become more confident to do so. My change in mindset has allowed me to always go after goals and continue to personally develop myself,” she says.
And she realized that she’d reached this amazing life-changing point when she lost that first 40 pounds. Buying new clothes was a fresh experience as she felt great in them. Plus, her energy levels skyrocketed and the back and foot pains she’d suffered from when she was heavier? Gone.
With her experience of this journey stretching over a three-year period, what Frenza wants anyone who wants to make a similar transformation to know is that you have to take it one day at a time. Focusing only on the end result can be overwhelming. “Focus on achieving the daily actions that will help create the new habits that will get you to reach our fitness goals,” she says. Try to enjoy the journey and celebrate the wins along the way. And you may want to consider an online fitness coach. “I didn’t know about them until a year after I started my journey and if I had known about them earlier, I would have invested in one sooner.
And while it took her close to three years to get to where she is, by no means is her journey over. She’s always setting new goals for herself. “At the moment I am in maintenance but I am working on building more lean muscle in my glutes and back,” she says. And remember how that photo shoot motivated her initially? Frenza now plans to book at least one photoshoot a year so that she has a goal to push her to lean out to see all the new muscle that she’s been able to build during this phase.
D’FYNE can’t wait to follow along, and Frenza can’t wait to continue helping others. “I have become so passionate about fitness and the positive way that it has changed my life, both physically and mentally, has inspired me to want to help other women to also reach their full potential.”
6 Facts about Sarah Frenza’s
- Favourite high protein snack is 1 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp. of Chocolate Fatso peanut butter and a few drops of stevia to taste.
- Favourite splurge food: Pizza.
- Best form of cardio IMO: HIIT.
- Fitness idols: Stephanie Sanzo, Jennifer Van Barneveld-Pe, and Janet Layug.
- Mantra: Things don’t happen to you, they happen because of you!
- What I eat in a day:
1st meal at 6:45 am: Post-workout meal (protein shake and a bowl of cereal).
2nd meal – breakfast: Protein muffin.
3rd meal – lunch: a stir-fry or a big mac salad.
4th meal – snack: Greek yogurt with fruit.
5th meal – dinner: Stuffed peppers or eggplant with a side of vegetables, for example.
Photos by Snappy Goode and Sharon Lewis