Hey there! I am Sarah Radcliff; a new grad school graduate and registered dietitian. I wanted to take this opportunity to share my own fitness journey with you!
I have been an athlete since I can remember. After going through the typical cycle of sport trial and errors that parents sign their kids up for as soon as the kid is strong enough to pick up a baseball bat or kick a soccer ball, my sport became volleyball. From the time I learned how to properly position my hands to “bump” the volleyball, I did not put it down until I was 18. I played varsity volleyball for 3 years, and when it came time for senior year tryouts, I decided my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. Although I had quit volleyball, I knew I still wanted to stay active, so I decided to hire a personal trainer. I loved the thought of lifting weights to become strong and while I would go mess around in the gym sometimes and pretend I knew what I was doing, I wanted to really learn. After a few months working with a trainer twice a week, I felt like I was ready to go out and start creating my workouts on my own. I followed every “fitspo” on Instagram and pinned motivational quotes on Pinterest. Into college, I stuck with the gym and continued to put on as much muscle as I could. Working out, specifically, lifting, became my thing. At that point I decided I would go into college as an exercise science major.
Throughout my freshman year, I worked out constantly, however, I struggled to see the changes I wanted to. I was strong, but I was gaining weight and did not have the aesthetic body I desired. I knew I was lacking when it came to nutrition. Nutrition was very fascinating to me, but I did not understand all the information that was available. My desire to learn more led me to switch my major to nutrition, and it was the best decision I ever made.
During my sophomore year of college, I decided I wanted to push myself to a new level. I signed up for my first bodybuilding competition before I even had a coach. I had no idea what this journey was going to entail. For 16 weeks I followed a strict meal plan, worked out twice a day, and basically lived a life that included eating, sleeping, and working out.
This experience was extremely rewarding, however, I sacrificed a lot to get there. I sacrificed my relationship with food, my body image, and my time with friends and family. I had followed such a strict diet for 16 weeks, that I forgot what it was like to be normal. I told myself “life is so much more than eating ground turkey and green beans out of a Tupperware container.” After struggling for some time, I decided to stop working towards a physique anymore, and started mending my unhealthy relationship with food and my own body image. I have learned so much over the course of my undergraduate not only about nutrition, but about how dieting can affect a person physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. I empathize with people who struggle to reach their goals, as well as people who go to extremes to do so. I am in a very good place currently. I am healthy, I am happy, I have a great relationship with food, and I feel beautiful, strong, and confident in the woman I have become.
I am currently 24 years old with a bachelor’s and master’s in nutrition/dietetics and as of July 2019 I am officially a registered dietitian!