Body Transformation: Body Fat Meets Brute Force!

Something had to give when Sarah quit drinking and discovered fitness. See how she eviscerated 17 percent body fat and reinvented her physique!

Name: Sarah Walraven
BodySpace: sarahwalraven2

Sarah Walraven Sarah Walraven
AGE 19
150 lbs
AGE 24
140 lbs

Why I Decided to Transform

I was overweight in high school and remember being called "fat." It struck me and I nearly stopped eating completely and lost 35 pounds. By my senior year of high school, I gained it back by drinking alcohol when I visited friends in college. I had a drinking problem from age 18-21, got tickets related to alcohol, and blacked out often. It wasn't a good lifestyle.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after high school, but went into exercise science and fell in love with my college courses. I completed my associate's degree from Delta College in 2009 in Bay City, Michigan, along with my NASM-CPT/AFPA certifications. I got pregnant (unplanned) at age 21 and it changed my life. I stopped drinking and lost lots of weight after having my beautiful baby girl.

Six months after having my daughter, I had four-pack abs and was in shock because I quit drinking. A year later, I had six-pack abs. I was the girl who looked in fitness magazines and obsessed about woman with amazing physiques and abs. I never thought I could achieve it, but proved myself wrong. It's truly about believing in yourself!

How I Accomplished My Goals

I started by cutting out alcohol and eating clean. After I began competing, I hired Brandan Fokken to help me prepare for the 2013 Arnold Classic in Ohio. I read Brandan's articles on and was inspired by his dedication and fitness education, so I joined Team Fokken. He's a coach and a good friend. I'm blessed to have his help so I can accomplish my goals.

Many women ask why I'm so motivated. I look in the mirror naked when that alarm goes off at 4-5 a.m. to go run. If you want something bad enough, you can and will make time. I believe Ashley Horner has the most amazing body and inspires me because she has kids too.

What Aspect Challenged Me the Most

Dieting for a show is the biggest challenge in my life. To overcome the hard times, I listen to motivational speeches by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

My Future Fitness Plans

I'm excited about my upcoming shows and hope to find sponsors. As a single mom, it does add up and is hard to maintain.

Suggestions for Aspiring Transformers

If you don't fail, you didn't try. Failure is part of success; success is born from failure.

Everyone is a beginner at first. That's why it's so important to help others and support as much as possible.

How Helped Me Reach My Goals is a great way to connect with the fitness industry with great articles, trainers, workouts, and journeys.

It's good to see you're not alone and everyone has obstacles too.

Sarah's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  2. "We Are Created To Be Individual" by Eric Thomas
  3. "A Universe Not Made For Us" by Carl Sagan
  4. "Sail" by AWOLNATION
  5. "Slow Down" by Showtek