Beauty Fitness Health

My 100 + Pound Transformation

Written by Sara Theesen

I remember always being different than everyone else when I was growing up.  It wasn’t until I was 8 years old that I knew what that difference was.

The first time they made fun of me for my weight – came in 3rd grade.  My mom had just given birth to my brother, David and my parents made my older brother and me shirts to wear to school. I proudly wore it the next day but remember wanting to rip it off and never be seen in it again. The shirt said “I’m a big Sister!” Something to be happy about right? Not when kids make fun of you for truly being a BIG sister. That’s when my self confidence first crashed and was quickly on a downward spiral for several years. 

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Growing up people around me always told me to lose weight; told me I needed to take care of things before it got out of control. I never listened. I always knew my weight was a problem but I tried to pretend it wasn’t as issue and convinced myself I was who I was and things were never going to change. This has been a struggle I thought I would never  be able to overcome.


I started middle school, a weird transition for all kids, I think. I hated school and spent way too much time by myself because I was insecure and didn’t have very many friends. It was a tough time emotionally and spiritually. I felt like my whole life had been turned upside down after my parents separated and turned to the only thing I knew I could control – my food.

I ate ALL the time.

I hid food in my room, I stopped for donuts on my walk to school, I stopped at the food cart in the grocery store parking lot on my walk home from school. I was constantly eating whenever possible to cope with my emotions. I was addicted to food. 

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In high school, I  tried weight watchers several times. I would lose 20-30 pounds but gain 40-50 back. I was never successful which spilled over into me feeling like I would never be successful in anything.  I never had major plans for my life, I was just barely surviving.

I didn’t want to be alive.

I didn’t want to be struggling but I didn’t know how to ask for help. I was embarrassed with myself and I was embarrassed with all of my families issues/parents divorce that I just continued to drown myself with food. This carried over into my freshman year of college. Most kids gain the freshman 15, I gained 50, in just one semester! I only attended one semester of college at UNK because I was too embarrassed with myself.  Plus when you are so overweight walking to and from class is no easy task. I remember at the beginning of school I would walk in trying to catch my breath and would be sweaty from just walking across campus! Every day activities wore me out. 

January 13th, 2012 I went to the doctor for an ear infection.  They had me step on the scale and it read 285 pounds.

I instantly panicked as the thought of 300 scared me. I had also gone to to the mall that day, I needed to buy jeans because I was quickly outgrowing my size 26’s. I went to the mall and shopped at my favorite store that carries plus sizes.  I’m pretty sure I tried on every size 26 in the store and not one pair fit. I couldn’t even get anyone to help me because there were no other options left. I once again was ashamed of myself and what I had done.

The next day I went back to what I knew worked, for a while. I joined weight watchers for the 100th time. I posted on my Facebook that it was time for a change and that I needed support and prayers. Each week I posted my weigh in for accountability. The weight was coming off!  I had the support which I lacked before.  I was surprising myself (and others I’m sure!) each week with continued weight loss! I started joining my aunt at the gym 4-5 days a week just walking on the treadmill. I stuck with weight watchers for 6 months and lost 50 pounds through the program.

It was then that I knew something was different about this time, I had the support and I had finally believed in  myself. I knew I could do this on my own.

I stopped going to weight watchers in July and switched over to clean eating.  I also started going to Crossfit those two combinations have transformed my body in ways I could have never imagined! It hasn’t always been easy and I have wanted to quit more times than I count.  This has been the craziest journey of my life but I am so thankful for each thing that has led me down this road.

Since January 13th, 2012 I have lost over 100 pounds, dropped 10 pant sizes and 5 shirt sizes. Most importantly I have self confidence for the first time, I love who I am and who I am becoming. I have hope for the future and and am excited to live again! I feel like God pulled me out of the dark patches in my life to help others; those that know they need a change but don’t know what steps to take; parents who know they  need need to make a change for their kids but aren’t sure how to! I feel very passionate about fighting childhood obesity in some way. Being an overweight child, I want to help other kids so they don’t have to go through what I did. I am currently back in school working on getting my personal training certification and am getting Crossfit Certified in a couple weeks to eventually start up Kids Crossfit here in Kearney.

It’s no longer about the weight I have lost but the life I have gained. 

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About the author

Sara Theesen

Sara has struggled with her weight her entire life. After losing over 100 pounds at 20 years old, she is on a quest to help others overcome their battles with weight. Sara is currently a student at UNK studying Health and PE K-12 with a minor in nutrition. She also is a certified CrossFit L1 CrossFit kids trainer at CrossFit Archway. You can follow her blog at and follow her on Facebook at Fat to Freedom.


  • Congrats!
    I’m so sorry our society is so terrible to people. I feel the same way. My weight came on after babies. I’m working at it – but not hard enough. I need to believe in myself – like you do.
    Thanks for sharing your story!!

  • What an inspirational story! I too am working at my weight loss, have struggled with it my entire life. I have figured out that there is no magic fix, there are just the day to day efforts to make each one better. You encourage me. 🙂

  • You are amazing and I am so thankful to call you friend. Thank you for sharing your heart each time you write. These days are simply the beginning as you are faithful to what He has called you to do. Proverbs 22:29 states that “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings;” This is you. You have excelled in your work and I know that He will consistently provide you with the opportunities that far exceed your expectations. I am so proud of you!!

  • What a story you have to tell and share with others that have the same struggle. You will be a great example to kids and can see how you love kids too!

  • You have been and continue to be an inspiration to so many people. I am so proud of you for what you have accomplished and the way you have used your journey to help others. I can’t wait so see how you inspire others (especially kids) to take care of themselves and live healthy. Love you much and always!

  • Your story is honest and inspiring!! It’s going to encourage and help so many others. I love how you said it’s now about the life you’ve gained not the weight you’ve lost! True transformation always comes from the inside ♡