Hey there, I'm Sabrina!
FOOD FREEDOM HOLISTIC HEALTH COACH
Founder of the Food Freedom Academy
As a nearly professional ex-dieter, I know how exciting the first few weeks of a diet can feel - the praise and dopamine boost you get from people noticing your progress. And your jeans finally fitting!
But I also know the heartbreak that comes from trying to relax just a little bit - having a cheat day turn into a cheat week, eventually falling right back into the old habits that got me dieting in the first place.
(actually... being worse off than when I started, with an extra layer of shame, guilty and misery that comes with the failure of yet another diet.)
I graduated from the Institute For Functional Health Coaching, where I learned the ins and outs of helping my clients at the very root: addressing the underlying reasons WHY we struggle , instead of throwing a band-aid on the problem and calling it a day
I got board-certified with the American Associated of Natural Wellness Coaches (a fancy title to demonstrate professional competence & validate qualifications as a wellness professional)
I serve a community of over 2500 members, filled with high-achieving, driven and ambitious women ready to say "heck no" to dieting and finally ready for a lasting transformation
I now have a thriving Coaching Program helping clients from all over the world pursue true, optimal health and create lasting changes in their life through an evidence-based framework - finding freedom and joy in their healthy habits!
I'm a pretty huge geek. I LOVE math and have a University degree in Financial Mathematics and Economics. I also love geeking out about American politics (even though I'm not even American) and psychology - which is why mindset & the psychology of behavioural change is such a huge part of my coaching.
I'm the youngest of 5 kids, in an extremely stubborn, opinionated and loud family. Safe to say....I'm a loud-talker. In my family, if you don't speak UP, you don't speak at all.
My favourite movie/book is and will always be the Harry Potter series. I've read the books more than 10 times over, I have a full movie marathon every year and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando for my 16th birthday.
If you want the key to my heart, give me pizza. That's all you need.
I can quote every single line in F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
I have scoliosis (when I was born, my spine decided to replicate the S in my name) and I had to wear a back brace when I was a teenager. Imagine a math-loving, Harry Potter obsessed, back-brace-wearing awkward 14 year old....
I was an elite synchronized swimmer for 10 years of my life. For those of you not familiar with the sport...I don't blame you. It's pretty niche. And no, it's not just dancing in the water. It also strongly contributed to my yo-yo dieting and fixation on body image. I guess you could say it had it's pros and cons in my life by leading me to where I am now.
There is one and only one food I hate : cilantro. Get that stuff away from me.
Okay, I'll try to keep it short because I know you have a busy life, people to see, things to do.
I do what I do because I've been where you are. People think that health professionals were just born that way. That I naturally crave healthy food & love exercise. HA. Not the case.
I grew up eating Nutella on white bread for breakfast every. single. morning. My family constantly teased me because of my eating habits. I learned that eating sugar was "bad" , which of course led me to crave it more. I actually used to hide bags of chocolate chips under my bed and would hide a lot of my eating habits from other people because I was so embarrassed. I didn't have weight problem because I was training 20+ hours/week as a synchronized swimmer, but I definitely was not the smallest in the crowd, which I was constantly self-conscious about.
That's when the food & body obsession really took off. I had always internalized that big body = bad body. I absorbed diet culture so fiercely, thinking that I had to take up as little space as possible in order to be considered "worthy" in our society.
So, as you might imagine, I knew what was coming when I stopped training 4 hours a day, 6 days a week. The dreaded weight gain. Which did happen. I gained 30 pounds, which may not seem like THAT much, but that accounted for about 20% of my body weight at the time.
What do you think I did next?!
DIETS, OF COURSE! I tried all the quick-fix, "lifestyle change"diets you can think of.
I always thought "once I hit my goal weight...then I'll be happy. Then maintenance will just be...easy?" . It wasn't.
It never got "easier". The second life got in the way, the second I'd be emotional or stressed, I'd let the Ben and Jerry's tub have it. And the family-sized Miss Doritos bag. And the box of Oreos. And everything else I had been depriving myself on whatever diet I was on at that time. It was what I call my "screw it" mentality. "If I'm going to have one "bad food", might as well have ALL the foods and start again on Monday". As you might imagine, I went through the same cycle of losing & gaining the same 20 pounds for years of my life.
Calorie counting and tracking my "steps" on my Fitbit became my obsession. I developed orthorexia, an eating disorder which involves such an extreme fixation on "healthy eating" that it tarts damaging your well-being. I followed the classic "eat less, exercise more" mantra, exercising 2hours/day, 7 days a week and eating under 1500 calories. You can imagine that this way of living led to weight loss, but at a pretty heavy cost.
I was at constant war with food ; counting calories, feeling guilty for eating cake, getting anxious if I didn't "burn it off". I was moody, hungry, exhausted, isolated, lonely and more unhappy than I had ever been.
I looked lean and fit on the outside, but I was also at the unhealthiest I had ever been.
I finally realized I needed to rethink my whole approach to health when I almost refused an invitation to go live in Italy for a summer (my dream opportunity) out of fear of being tempted by all the carbs and delicious food there and gaining weight. Sounds crazy, I know, but that was my reality.
I realized that what I thought was "healthy was actually extremely unhealthy , wrecking havoc on my metabolism and sending me into a hormonal tailspin manifesting itself as food cravings, loss of menstruation, brain fog, poor sleep, anxiety and mood swings.
If the conventional "eat less, move more" or "cut the carbs & sugar" strategy wasn't working, then what could I do to get to my goal which was ultimately, just to feel healthy, physically AND mentally.
I went back to school and gathered all the latest scientifically proven research from the different fields of nutriton, fitness, positive psychology and cognitive-behaviour therapy. I developed a new roadmap to long-term, sustainable health, focusing on balanced habits that would create and sustain the healthiest and happiest version of me, inside and out, now and forever.
I can happily say that I no longer count calories or have any of the food anxieties that I used to battle with. I can eat without guilt, without being so afraid of losing control and regretting it afterwards. I make healthy choices often, while also allowing myself to have treats when I crave them. I eat when my body is hungry, move my body daily but listen to it when its full or needing a rest day. I can also happily report that I love myself again and feel healthier than I ever have. I really, truly do. I'm my own cheerleader. I 'm proud of what I accomplish in my health, in my personal life and in my business. And most importantly, I know without a doubt that this is a lifestyle I can, and WANT to sustain for the long haul.
Overcome your biggest food challenges- bingeing , emotional eating, food guilt - by rediscovering a peaceful way of eating.
I'm ready to heal my relationship with food and would like to schedule a free call
I'd like to join a group of like-minded women
benefitting from Sabrina's health motivation and free live trainings every week to help support me in my health goals.