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A before and after photo of Sabrina Osland.

Throughout adulthood, Sabrina Osland often experienced fluctuations in her weight. She noticed the pounds accumulating again seven years ago after her wedding. Now 41, Osland realizes she had been neglecting her own health. She didn’t always include healthy options in her meals, focus on exercise, or put herself first.

The catalyst for change occurred when the Chanhassen, Minn. mom took her son on a cruise to Alaska. They were set to go on a helicopter excursion only to discover that Osland would have to pay an extra charge because she was overweight. “It was one of the most devastating things,” she recalls.

Her inspiring response was recently featured on the TODAY show:

When she returned home from her cruise, Osland decided to exercise at least 30 minutes every day. To make sure she moved, she set reminders on her phone and wrote a checklist of tasks to do every day. Her to-do list included small changes, such as drinking enough water, exercising, and taking vitamins.

She started by walking once a day for 30 minutes. As her endurance improved, she’d extend her walk to an hour or walk twice a day for 30 minutes. Then she added some strength training. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Osland incorporated these new habits into her work-from-home life — without a gym. But that also presented her with an opportunity.

“All the excuses that I had before where my schedule just didn’t allow it (were gone). I was like, ‘I don’t have an excuse,’” she said. “It really was about taking those small steps.”

Osland also changed her diet, switching her focus from “convenient” to “healthy options.” Rather than snacking on chips and settling for something like pizza for dinner, she now prepares fresh veggies for snacks or adds salads to her dinner.

“It’s no more work than actually [making] a pizza,” Osland said. “So, it is just changing [my diet] with protein and veggies and trying to take out as much of the carbs.”

But she also transformed how she thought about food.

“I would eat because I was either thirsty or bored and not necessarily to fuel my body,” she explained. “I had a mindset shift that I had to stop and go back to the basics of what my body was really telling me.”

When COVID-19 restrictions lifted, Osland joined her local Life Time health club. She added strength training to her cardio exercises. She started working out with a group called Alpha Strong, which helps her bolster her strength-training regimen while also adding accountability.

“The strength training is a whole other beast,” she said. “The community in and of itself has just been amazing.”

In a little more than a year, Osland went from 266 to 135 pounds. She likes that she can now enjoy more activities.

“There is so much more that comes with leading a healthy lifestyle,” she said. “It’s not just about what you physically look like but how much it impacts everything as a whole.” 

You can read Osland’s full story — including her advice for others aiming to establish healthy habits — here: “How This Woman Lost More Than 130 Pounds by ‘Habit Stacking.’

Life Time Editorial Team

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