I'm Sara Heilman
I’m a small-town Maryland nutrition coach, fitness trainer, online culinarian, and health guru with big goals.
Hooked on: salty homemade popcorn, self-help books, hikes with a view, Motown music and yoga pants. I’ve been working hard on me since 1989.
I didn’t always have this life: the flawlessly-flawed body, the freedom from food, the positive perspective, the weekly sweat sessions, the self-care routines…
In complete transparency, a little over 10 years ago you could find me curled up in bed with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, binge watching The Biggest Loser and imagining myself as the next contestant on the show. I thought those were the extremes I needed to whip myself into shape. But those drastic measures turned into a never-ending, self-sabotaging nightmare.
At the age of 22, I made a phone call to confess my secrets. Little did I know, that cry for help would be my one-way ticket out of a mind and body consumed by what I should or shouldn’t eat… over or under exercising… and the all or nothing attempts to take control of my health. Today you can find me cooking-up a mean batch of pasta Alfredo for the fam or jet-setting to white sandy beaches across the world with my Haitian stud.
LOOKING BACK, WHO KNEW THAT THE GIRL WHO BROKE DOWN IN TEARS ON THE TREADMILL, HID IN THE CLOSET TO EAT, WORE BAGGY HOODIES TO COVER HER BODY, AND SAID "YES" TO EVERYONE BUT HERSELF, WOULD BECOME A PERSONAL TRAINER, AND NUTRITION AND HEALTH COACH SOMEDAY...
I'm most likely sipping on coffee (or a lemon drop martini if I'm out with the girls), fantasizing about all the ways I can empower women to honor their hunger, move more, love their body - plus their health journey - and take back their life.
Wanna know what fires me up? Making women feel like the best version of themselves and feel like they're not alone... because this health journey thing can feel so lonely at times. And on those days, I bet you can hear a whole row of Oreos calling your name. If I can be that traffic coordinator who gives you the green light to drive confidently in the direction of your boldest, healthiest self... then I'll know my work is complete.
WE'RE SOOOO DOING 'THIS OR THAT'
1999 - 2021
Becoming my "After" picture took over a decade of failure (or learning lessons?) and consistent hard work. Here's how it all played out!
1999 - 2008
WENT ON MY FIRST DIET AT 10-YEARS-OLD
EATING DISORDER BEHAVIOR – RESTRICTING, BINGEING, PURGING – BECAME PREVELANT BY 14-YEARS OLD
HIT 204 POUNDS IN COLLEGE & WALKING TO CLASSES BECAME DIFFICULT
ENROLLED IN A WELLNESS WALKING CLASS
LOST 40 POUNDS
BINGE EATING WAS STILL A STRUGGLE SOMETIMES
TRANSFERRED TO UNIVERSITY
MOVED AWAY FROM HOME & MY FAMILY
NEW CHANGES AND ADDED STRESS-TRIGGERED BULIMIA
ON MY DARKEST DAY, I FINALLY ASKED FOR HELP
PRESSED PAUSE ON SCHOOL FOR 9 MONTHS TO FOCUS ON ME
ENTERED OUT-PATIENT TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION, ANXIETY & DISORDERED EATING
LEARNED METHODS AND TECHNIQUES TO OVERCOME MY ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND DISORDERED EATING
RAN MY FIRST 10K RACE IN 1 HOUR AND 15 MINUTES
HIRED A PERSONAL TRAINER FOR 3 MONTHS
RAN MY SECOND 10K RACE IN 53 MINUTES
WORE A BIKINI IN PUBLIC FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER (BOY, WAS IT SCARY – BUT I DID IT!)
Graduated from out-patient treatment
MET THE MAN OF MY DREAMS
LEARNED TO EAT INTUITIVELY (MY WEIGHT LEVELED OUT AROUND 140 POUNDS)
RAN MY FIRST HALF MARATHON
BECAME A CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER
LEFT MY 9-5 TO BECOME A FULL-TIME PERSONAL TRAINER AT REPKE FITNESS IN MILLERSVILLE, MD
HIKED OVER 30 MILES OF NATIONAL PARKS IN A WEEK (THINK ZION AND THE GRAND CANYON)
Became a certified nutrition & health coach
STARTED MY HEALTH JOURNEY BLOG ON INSTAGRAM
Discovered plant-forward eating (AND FELL IN LOVE WITH HOW IT MADE ME FEEL)
CREATED OVER 68 AT-HOME WORKOUT VIDEOS (THAT YOU CAN GET FOR FREE!)
DID MY FIRST FITNESS PHOTOSHOOT (HECK, WAS I NERVOUS!)
STARTED STRONG.BOLD.HEALTHY AS A SIDE BIZ
HIT PUBLISH ON THE PLANT-BASED MEAL PLAN AND GUIDED HUNDREDS ON THEIR PB JOURNEY
KICKED-OFF THE SBH 21-DAY CHALLENGE
HOSTED MY FIRST MEAL PREP WORKSHOP
LAUNCHED THE SBH RECIPE AND FITNESS BLOG
HIKED 17 MILES OF THE GRAND CANYON (IN ONE DAY)
Felt strong – mentally and physically – to give skiing a try (I FELL EVERY TIME BUT ONCE, HA!)
LED OVER 30 WOMEN IN THE FIRST EVER SBH ATHLETA BOOTCAMP
MET AN INSTA-FOLLOWER RANDOMLY AT A VEGAN RESTAURANT IN DETROIT
BROKE MY FOOT AND HAD TO TEACH MYSELF TO EXERCISE WITHOUT IT (YES, I SHOWED UP AT THE GYM ON AN I-WALK)
LAUNCHED MY HEALTH FOR LIFE COACHING PROGRAM
LAUNCHED THE MASTER CLASS PROGRAM
LED OVER 144 MASTER CLASS SESSIONS AND EMPOWERED OVER 40 WOMEN TO CONQUER THEIR WELLNESS GOALS
STARTED MY SBH BODY VIRTUAL TRAINING PROGRAM (THANKS, COVID)
CONDUCTED OVER 200 HEALTH FOR LIFE COACHING SESSIONS
HOSTED MY FIRST SBH ONLINE COOKING CLASS FOR THE HEMOPHILIA ASSOCIATION OF WASHINGTON, DC
VOTED BEST NUTRITIONIST OF ANNAPOLIS 2020 BY WHAT’S UP? MEDIA MAGAZINE
FEATURED ON THE LEADING LADY PODCAST (THE #1 DOWNLOADED EPISODE OF 2020 – EPISODE 39)
FEATURED ON THE MUST.LOVE.SELF PODCAST
LED MY FIRST COOKING CLASS FOR TEENS
CO-HOSTED MY FIRST EVER YOGA & FOOD EVENT – SO MUCH FUN!
And in case you missed it, I’m on a non-stop mission to guide and empower you to make sustainable, healthy changes… without food, negative self talk or body image holding you back from living your best life!