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Dissident Spotlight: Sarah Mcfelin

July 23, 2017

Dissident Spotlight: Sarah Mcfelin

What made you first get into fitness?

In 2014 I had been asked to attend an award ceremony for work. I knew I had gained some weight, but trying to find a dress became stressful very quickly. No tummy-tucker or different style of dress hid the fact that I was so self-conscious and unhappy. I decided I had had enough and joined up to the gym. I stuck at it for a year doing cardio and the little amount of other exercises I knew how to do until a great friend of mine introduced me to weight lifting. Never did I realize I'd find a passion in it — let alone still be going two years later.



What motivates you to show up every day?

Me. Sounds weird, but I go because I told myself I would and I don't want to let myself down. I could quite easily sit on my phone all day or watch t.v. and say I don't have the time — BUT how would that help me achieve my goals? I also remind myself of how I felt before and look back at my old photos. I ask myself, “Do you want to be like that again?” The answer is always NO because I love the confidence and happiness I've found in myself. Weight training/working out comes down to the routine you put in place because every day is not always going to be a good day. Having a routine means you will go anyway and it stops you from making excuses.

What are your health and fitness goals for the future?

I am currently training to compete in NABBA Shape on the 9th of September. It's my first show and I want to give it everything I've got, so that's my main focus at the moment. As for the future ... No doubt there will be more shows I will want to enter, but until then I will be working on gaining more muscle and taking a bit of time out to travel.

What is your favorite exercise?

Lat pulldowns! Why? Because this was one area I could never engage. It took a lot of patience and time to realize I needed to work on my mind-body connection to really use each muscle and get the most out of my workouts. It was also the thing that taught me that it may be hard, but if you keep trying you will get there. There's nothing you actually can't do, it just depends on how bad you want to work to get it.

What made you choose Dissident Gym Wear and how do you relate to the DISSIDENT brand's message?

I choose Dissident because their message is all about believing in yourself and doing what you want to do — not what you think is expected of you. Not everyone was happy about my new lifestyle changes and I had to learn to stop listening to what others thought and start working on what I needed. Not everyone was supportive or understood, but it never stopped me from meeting my goals. Now I get messages saying I'm the reason someone decided they could do it too, or because of me, they went to the gym. The feeling of helping others achieve their goals has got to be one of the best feelings in the world!

What is your favorite Dissident piece?

I love all of our gear, but an all-time favorite has to be the contour leggings. These were my first ever pair of leggings from Dissident and they still look brand new. They haven’t stretched or lost their shape. They fit perfectly, they don't sag at the crotch or ride up during my workouts. Most importantly, they are squat-proof, which is something I was conscious of with other tights. Also, having the handy side pocket means I no longer have to put my phone down my top during workouts.

What is your proudest fitness achievement?

Making it to the gym for the past three years. Why? Because I've always wanted to fit in and be liked. In the past, I was told I didn’t need that. I would listen to criticism and give up instantly. But this time it was different. I felt the effects it was having on my body and I noticed the change in my attitude and in my confidence. I didn't want to go back to the old ways. I started to believe in myself and became proud of every small achievement — and it kept me motivated to try harder.

What is your advice to anyone seeking to improve their health and fitness lifestyle?

Take it one step at a time. Don't think you have to change everything over night and do not compare yourself to what you see on social media. It can all be so overwhelming don’t put unneeded stress on yourself. Once your comfortable with your first goal create a new one and keep adding them slowly. I found if I expected to much of myself I would feel like I was failing but this way I completed a goal and it made me look forward to a new challenge.

What is your favorite quote?

Back when I was 16 I got "one life one chance" tattooed on my back. It has always been a favorite quote of mine and it reminds me to make the most of my life and all the opportunities I get.

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