Friday, November 6, 2015

How To Stay Motivated

I get asked quite often how to stay motivated. Before I start this blog, I want to say- you need to be motivated from within. If you are constantly making excuses for yourself, you will NEVER get to where you want to be. If you are TRULY motivated, nothing will ever stand in your way

1. Do Not Crash Diet
Crash dieting may result in quick weight loss at first, but as soon as you stop starving yourself or doing a diet that isn't conducive for the long haul, you will gain all (if not more) of the weight right back. If you are interested, I am fitness nutrition certified and have meal plans available on sarahbowmar.com/packages

2. Never Limit Foods
Limiting foods and telling yourself you CAN'T have something is a sure fire way to make your brain only crave the food that you "can't" have. Instead, have planned treat meals in your plan (talk with me or your coach about this). If you need more information on the importance on treat meals, I have an entire post about those! Limiting food won't result in a lifestyle change. On that note- avoiding foods like dairy and alcohol, in my opinion, should be a lifelong decision.

3. Find Alternatives To Cope With Emotion
A lot of people stress eat. If this is you, you need to keep all of your binge food out of the house. You also need to find a new way to deal with stress. For me, it's lifting. For others, it may be running or listening to music or yoga or meditating. Whatever yours is- find that.

4. Ask For Support
There are fewer things more powerful than accomplishing a goal with a friend or spouse. A support system is definitely needed during a weight loss (or weight gaining) journey! Ask for support, take friends to the gym, involve the ones you care about the most!

5. Make A Fit and Fat Basket
Make 2 baskets and label 1 your fit basket and label 1 your fat basket.
Make a bunch of notecards, color coordinate them. For example:
Blue- meal plan
Purple- water
Green- supplements
Yellow- lifting
Orange- rest
(etc)
Label notecards with every single positive aspect of your new fitness lifestyle. Make 30 of each color for each day of the month. So you will have 30 meal plan cards, 30 water cards, etc

At the end of each day, place your daily cards into either your fit and fat basket. So if you stayed on your meal plan the whole day, the meal plan card goes into the fit basket. If you didn't drink the water you should, the water card goes in the fat basket, etc. At the end of the month- you will see really quick where your weak points are and you will know what you need to fix



I hope this helps!!! If you need a coach, I would love to help, my rates are on sarahbowmar.com/packages

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Uh Oh- Your Friends and Family Don't Understand...

We have all been there, rest assured. When I started my fitness journey, it was like my friends and family didn't want me to succeed. Or they didn't understand. Or both. Either way, constantly hearing "you're so thin why are you working out" or "too much water will kill you" or "one cookie won't make a difference". Believe me when I say,  I have heard it all. Most of the time, many people just don't understand. And that's ok. But that doesn't make it hurt any less when people bash your new lifestyle.

There's a few things that I have learned that work over the years...

Many of you know that I don't drink alcohol. If someone asks us to go out, we simply order water on the rocks! If someone gives you a hard time- tell them you are allergic to alcohol. Or tell them you aren't interested in driving drunk. Or tell them that you are such a BA sober that you don't need to alcohol to make you have a good time.

Going out with friends? Don't make it a daily occurrence but you don't have to avoid it either. Just order anything that has a mother, comes from the ground, and can be washed. Drink water. Avoid the bread. Get your salad dressing on the side. It's not difficult to construct a healthy meal at a restaurant.

Friends, family, coworkers giving you a hard time? Simply look them in the eyes and tell them that you are doing this for you and they need to love you enough to support you. Only listen to people who have what you want. If your poor friend is telling you how to be a millionaire- why would you listen to them? No different than an unhealthy person giving you advice on how to be healthy or how to live your life.

Include your family and friends on your fitness journey. Take them to the gym with you. Take them to a workout class. Meal prep together. My family has completely converted the way that they eat and make healthier choices now simply because I included them in what I was doing!

And sometimes.. you have to cut ties with people. If your friends want to go out and party all the time- make new friends with a similar lifestyle. Trust me, your mental and physical health will improve!

Dairy Free For Me

Recently, a lot of people have asked why I gave up dairy a few years ago. There's many, many reasons and I wanted to write a blog post to discuss the most important ones that led me to give up the D...airy

Let me preface, you can drink milk and eat dairy and still lose weight. But I could write you a diet of only twinkies and if you are eating less than you burn, you will lose weight. We all know that wouldn't be the best diet- it's not about what food you can eat and still lose weight. It's about your overall health.


So, let's get started 

1. Humans are the only species to drink milk from another species. We stop drinking milk from our mothers because we no longer need it. So why drink it as humans... especially from another animal. Are you willing to drink chimpanzee milk? Or giraffe milk? Even cows don't drink milk once they've grown up- they wean themselves naturally. 

2. Cows milk is designed to turn a calf into a 400 pound cow. Clearly that milk is making us fat. Cow's milk is made for babies, and all we ask from babies is to get nice and fat. Frozen yogurt is high in protein and fat and low in carbs and fiber- froyo is specifically designed to turn you into a fat, slow, docile cow. 

3. Dairy milk is pumped with chemicals when the cow is alive and when the milk is pasteurized. Milking cows are pumped with extra estrogen to make them lactate. In a study comparing the cancer rates of 42 countries, milk and cheese consumption were strongly linked to the incidence of testicular cancer. The cancer rates are highest in Sweden and Denmark, where cheese is a national food, and lowest in Algeria and other countries with lower dairy consumption (Debra Wood, RN)


4. Milk DOES NOT PREVENT Osteoporosis. Does cow's milk contain calcium? Yes- which is vital for strong bones... but there's more to the picture. Although milk offers calcium, it cause the body to release even more of it. It's like someone giving you $1,000 but driving away in your car. No matter how much you're getting, you're actually losing. There are so many more ways to get calcium... Butter has 20mg of calcium per 100g serving, milk at 118, and almonds at 234. 

5. The way dairy cows are treated is disgusting. And if you don't believe me- watch the free YouTube documentary: Earthlings. If you don't want to watch it, here's the skinny: cows don't produce milk all the time- no different than humans- they only produce milk to feed their calves. Cows are kept pregnant constantly in order to keep them lactating constantly. Male calves are sent away for veal after 6 months. And once baby is gone, mom is injected with hormones to produce up to 20 times more milk than she naturally would. This puts tremendous strain on her udders which causes the need for more antibiotics. Normal cows should live 20-25 years. Dairy cows live on average, 2-7. And once she has been used up, she is sent to slaughter- not a retirement home. 

If you give up dairy, even for 3 weeks, I promise you- you will feel different. Bloating should decrease, your skin will clear up, and you should have more energy. Just try it! There are dairy free alternatives for EVERYTHING now! 

Simply put, milk is horrid for you. You can get more than enough calcium through veggies. Almond milk and dairy free ice cream tastes so much better too :) 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Couples Challenge Results

Josh and I recently conducted an 8 week Couples Challenge that included a customized diet, training program, cardio program, and supplement recommendations! In addition, the couples checked in with us every 2 weeks with pictures and measurements as well as having infinite access to us throughout the entire 8 weeks. We could not pick one winner, so we picked four couples. Below, please find all before and afters of various contestants as well as the winners

We will also be holding another contest, sign ups will begin October 1 and the contest will start October 5th

Winner 1: Kianna and Curtis








Kianna

I cant believe its been 8 weeks already!!
I have been going to the gym consistently for 4 years now, and have gained quiet a bit of muscle over that time but I always struggled with my diet. I was basically in the gym so I could eat. I started counting my macros in March of 2015 hoping to shred body fat and maintain my muscle, you know, get ready for beach season. I lost a few pounds but I wasn't where I wanted to be and I wasn't making any progress i was stuck....for months. So I went into this challenge thinking that I would shed fat but probably would lose a lot of my muscle that I worked so hard to get over the last 4 years....Man was i wrong!!! I have maintained pretty much all my muscle and have shredded so much more body fat then I was even expecting! I am absolutely amazed with my results.
This was definitely challenging, I had my ups and downs and I craved a lot of ice cream. The first 2 weeks were the worst, I wasn't hungry but i just didn't want to eat what was on my meal plan. i stuck with it though. after our first cheat meal, which was a hamburg and sweet potato fries,i had never felt so sick, i actually puked. I never wanted to feel that way again. The next 6 weeks were so much easier! I stuck right with my meal plan, starting taking natural strength (witch I swear is a miracle pill) and loved all the workouts you gave us!  It was so nice to switch up my gym routine, I tried new things, I sweat way more and I felt way better after the end of every workout.

I have had to listen to people judge and tell me that i don't need to even be working out, i've shut that all out and it only encourages me to go even harder. And actually its funny cause now they are all asking me what i've been doing and for some tips for themselves...so annoying. lol oh well. There will always be haters.


Throughout this Challenge i have learned what it means to really push myself,  to work towards my goals and it feels so good to actually be able to see a difference. I have been reading my personal trainer book throughout this challenge and it is SO cool to see our bodies change, to understand the science behind it all, to know how different foods will affects different things. Sarah you have inspired me so much more then I can thank you for, you have shown me what I am capable of and have pushed me towards my goals. I will continue with this plan until I have reached my goal.  And I would absolutely love competing one day, with your help of course :p 

Thank you for all your encouragement, time and effort you have put into me reaching my goals. And thank you for actually caring and listening!  You and Josh truly are amazing and 2 great people to look up too. 





Curtis

July 22nd start
Weight 224
Neck 17
Shoulders 50
Chest 44, flex 46.5
Stomach 37.5
Waist 35.5
Hips 43
Right arm 15.5, flex 16.5
Left arm 15.5, flex 16
Right quad 26.5
Left quad 25.5
Calves 15.5

September 21st Finish
Weight 196!!!
Neck 15.5
Shoulders 49
Chest 42, flex 45
Stomach 33
Waist 33
Hips 40
Right arm 15 flex 15.5
Left arm 15 flex 15.5
Right quad 25
Left quad 24.5
Calves 15.3

I just want to thank you guys so much!! In no way did I think I could completely transform my body this quickly in 8 weeks. I feel better, look better, work harder, sleep better, and obviously am eating better!! I have been lifting for about 10 years and have just recently got into the nutrition part of it by macro dieting.

My wife and I love this lifestyle and want to make it a career eventually just like you and Sarah. All of your insight, tips, and tricks have helped me understand so much especially while I started my CPT course and this couples challenge the same week! We had about 3 cheat meals total. We have been completely dedicated and committed to this for 8 weeks and we do not want to stop.

We are motivated and our biggest goal is to make money by being an influence and providing fitness to people that need help. We have both talked about competing as well. I think we deserve to win this challenge because I am so proud of my wife and how this challenge has actually improved our marriage. We didn't have time to go out and hang out with other people. I've been on a crazy work schedule. 13 hr shifts almost every day for over a month. We would then come home meal prep, go to the gym, and then sleep. We became absolute best friends and are so much closer than we were. This is our perfect hobby.



Winner 2: Sarah and Nick


Sarah


Can't believe the couple's challenge is over already, I wish it kept going! I'm super excited to share my final results with you, but before that I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me to learn the right way to go about diet and exercise, and teaching me how to finally start working towards the lofty goals I've set for myself.  I've wanted to work with you for a while, ever since I saw your first posts about when you were in college, and the unhealthy habits you held back then.  I knew that you would be the right trainer because you could understand where I came from.  During my senior year of college and into my first year post-grad I battled anorexia and bulimia.  It gets a bad rep, and a lot of people don't understand the mental struggles of it, and that it truly wasn't just a "choice" I made, it went deeper than that.  By the time I decided to get help I was 5'8" and only 104 lbs and 4% body fat, and in danger of developing health issues.  In the year following that, it was a major struggle for me to put on weight again and especially for me to put on weight and be okay with it, as well as difficult to convince my friends and family that I was really trying, and that after time, I would be able to recover.  After about a year my weight ballooned back above where I was before I became sick in the first place, my metabolism was molasses-slow, and I was struggling.  This was when I met my boyfriend (and partner in the challenge) Nick.  He was so encouraging and supportive and non-judgmental, and over time, my weight steadied out.  I wasn't happy though because I wanted to be better than just average, and prove to everyone that I meant what I said, and that I could become so healthy and strong, and they were all going to regret ever doubting me.  I wanted them to look up to a strong woman, who they looked down on when I was at my lowest.  I began educating myself as much as I could at that point and trying to eat healthier, incorporate weight lifting in my workouts, but a year later I still wanted so badly to take it to the next level.  So, for my 24th birthday I told Nick I wanted my gift from him to be his partnership with me in a 2-month ass-kicking from Sarah and Josh Bowmar (I'm still shocked he agreed).  Now that it's over I'm amazed at how far Nick and I have come, and I'm so proud.  You and Josh were so responsive and dedicated to us and I'm sure all your other clients, so I thank you so much for that! We feel better than we ever have, and personally, I feel stronger, more confident, and more sure of myself and my abilities than I ever did when I counted calories and made myself a slave to the elliptical.  My only regret is that I didn't do this with you sooner.  Nick and I have already decided that we want to continue with the diet, and start back at day 1 with the couple's plan.  I couldn't imagine NOT doing it every day now.  And while I've wanted to do a fitness competition for over 2 years now, I actually feel like I could do it...and even Nick suggested he and I go in on it together haha!  Of course, I hope we win and we get that opportunity to work with you and Josh for another 6 months, but even if we don't, I'm endlessly grateful for the path you've put me on.  


Sorry for my ramble, I know how busy you are, but I wanted you to know how much this has meant to me :) without further delay, Here are my final stats:

          Start                             8/10/15                         8/24/15                         9/8/15                9/21/15
Weight           137.5                             134.4                           132.6                 130.4                  128
Shoulders       39.5"                             39.5"                            41"                     40"                    40.5"
Hips               38.5"                             37.25"                          37"                     35"                    37"
Chest             33"                                33"                              32.5"                   33"                    33.5"
Waist             26.5"                              27"                             25.5"                   25.5"                  25.5"
Quads            21"                                19"                             19"                      21"                     20"
Calves           13.75"                            13.5"                           13"                      12.5"                  13"
Body Fat        17.7%                            Unknown                     Unknown            Unknown               14.5% 


Winner 3: Vinny and Allison






Allison

Seriously Sarah, I can't even begin to describe how happy I am. Thank you for being amazing, and thank you for knowing exactly what you're doing unlike most coaches. These results are amazing, and I cannot believe it at all. I've lost 3 inches on my waist, and I've lost 3 inches on my legs. You turned my problem area, my legs, into my new favorite part about myself. I can't even begin to explain how much knowledge that you and Josh have given Vinny and I. We find ourselves constantly learning every step of the way through Periscrope and Instagram. I'm so grateful I found your page, and I know for a fact that I will continue to use all of your videos and programs in the future. Just thank you, so so so so much. I have so many people asking me how I did it, and I will be directing them exactly to you. I literally started tearing up when I saw the picture, you're officially my hero. Thank you.


Vinny

Here are my 8 week results for the couples challenger! I honestly can't believe how much my body and habits have changed over this time frame. I honestly have never been able to stick to this diet and have a consistent workout plan I was satisfied with. You have been very helpful with everything and always reachable no matter what. I want to continue this lifestyle and continue to sculpt the body I want. I am very happy with here I am but want to be better. I've noticed growth in my chest and shoulder which has always been difficult for me. When you have a chance I want to discuss what types of plans you have!

Winner 4: Max and Paris


Paris:

Chest: 34 3/4 to 34
Waist: 28 to 25
Thigh
Left: 19 to 18
Right: 20 1/2 to 19 1/2
Calf: 13 1/2 to 13 1/2
Hips: 31 1/2 to 29 1/2
Weight: 125 to 127

Sarah,

First off I just want to let you know how much of an inspiration you are to me. You are so real and down to earth and inspire thousands of people! I am kind of obsessed with your Instagram and periscope. It makes my day watching new videos and learning new things. I am so glad you have offered this couples challenge because you have no idea how much this has changed me. Before starting the couples challenge I was obsessed with my body weight. I am not even exaggerating I would weigh myself hourly and would not eat if I did not like the number on the scale. It consumed my life. I didn't eat much or drink much because I was afraid of gaining weight. I wasn't eating and was still not happy with my body. I decided to try something new and try to get over my fears of the scale and eating enough food. 8 weeks later after making the best decision to do this, I no longer weigh myself besides the 2 week updates and the number on the scale means nothing to me anymore. I weigh more after these 8 weeks, but I looked so much better which proves the scale means nothing! I realized progress pictures are all that matters. The number on the scale means nothing. I now eat 6 meals a day and drink a gallon of water. Thank you for saving me from my mind and fears. You have shown me so much through your Instagram and I am beyond thankful for your help! Cannot wait to continue getting stronger and healthy thanks to you! Xoxo

Max: 

My girlfriend Paris and I are very happy we devoted our time to the bowmar program!  It was nice to have a workout partner to do the same intense workouts day in and day out. It was a lot easier to stay consistent with my diet when I was doing it with her everyday.   It was hard to see my daily improvements, but the 2 week progress pictures were very satisfying. I felt I had more energy and was skeptical about the high amount of carbs, but have realized it was very helpful. My outlook has grown and I have changed my perspective to the mindset that "fitness has no destination, it is simply a lifestyle which I plan to continue everyday!


Couple: Monica and Mario






Monica


This Couples Challenge has been a phenomenal experience for me on many different levels and has changed my life in many different aspects.


This challenge has strengthened my relationship with my husband more than ever. The countless hours in the kitchen cooking, washing dishes, grocery shopping, watching you tube videos and doing homework together for the next day’s training…..were endless, but were always fun because we were doing it together. The heightened emotions we shared of being hangry, frustration we felt from the process and wondering if were doing things right or wrong. The passion and love we both gained from our successes and interest in the fitness world has become our new way of life. To say I couldn’t have done this without my husband and vice versa probably would be unrealistic because I think we both could have done the challenge on our own and been successful. Although, the gratification of sharing gains with your best friend, husband, and companion is so much more meaningful on a deeper level and will always be remembered, especially because this journey has not ended for the both of us.

Seeing this was our first challenge and attempt to be on a cut, as if we were prepping to compete, made me learn some seriousdiscipline. I’m so much stronger than I thought, both physically and mentally. The saying “mind over matter,” makes so much more sense to me. I’ve become much stronger and mindful of having self- control and making the right decision of what goes into my body, not to mention the effect it will have on my body.

This competition has made me learn patience, and to learn how to trust the process. While at the same time, there are about 1 million different theories and strategies to doing cuts and bulks. Although, the most important is to learn what your body needs. It’s all trial and error and determine what you respond to.

Most of all this challenge has heightened my enthusiasm for my future endeavors in the world of fitness. Seeing I’m a couple years away from the big 40, I am still contemplating competing, also possibly becoming a trainer for the older fit generation, and preparing for what I enjoy most during my retirement years. Most importantly stay a role model for our 19 year old son who is slowly and steady becoming more interested in our routine and diet due to our gains…..


Mario 




I really have a passions for working out, keeping my body and mind healthy and really taking care of my overall wellbeing. The challenge helped me pursue this passion even harder, it challenged my mind more than my body.  Countless times I had to keep my focus, keep my will power in check. Not get emotionally defeated, not get mentally exhausted with the whole process.  Not getting depressed or discouraged when I didn’t get the results I was expecting.  Absolutely controlling those feelings was a challenge in its self.
My wife and I learned to be our own support systems. Being there for each other during the struggles. This challenge has certainly challenged my marriage in a favorable way. It has brought us so much closer and revealed so much more of ourselves, especially in our bad moments for sure! Patience and understanding was unquestionably key!
Not just in myself, my marriage but in my family this has been a great experience.  This challenge has brought a lot of influence, and a lot of inspiration.  Family support was super important, being around them is what my wife and I needed at times. Just having that support from them help tremendously. Also seeing what kind of progress my wife and I made, inclined them to do the same with their health.  It’s gratifying to see that we can help other people! 


Couple: Ryan and Jordan


Jordan: 
Start: 110.4 lbs
Finish: 113.4 lbs

Coming into this challenge, I honestly thought after 8 weeks I would be ripped. I obviously wasn't being realistic. I've learned that this is an ongoing process, not a quick fix. Sarah, you have instilled in me an abundance of knowledge that I will carry with me throughout my entire journey. It's not one or the other; it's both fitness AND nutrition working together that create changes. I have come to realize that I am my own competition and I am stronger than I ever thought I was, mentally as well as physically. I'm also very pleased with where I am at and knowing that it will only keep getting better from here on out. I always just thought I would just be that skinny girl who couldn't build muscle no matter how hard I tried. You have completely changed my outlook. Thank you and Josh so much for creating this challenge and being so supportive through it all. My husband and I have sincerely enjoyed doing this together with you two as our coaches and we can't wait to see where we're at in another 8 weeks!



Couple: Bridget and Erik


Couple: Matt and Jessica



Couple: Ross and Shannon


Couple: Slade and Kori





Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Dark Side of Fitness and Marketing

I open myself up to be available for my followers/fans/supporters/friends/anyone and it allows me to get a really good understanding of how MESSED up the fitness industry is when it comes to marketing. I truly and honestly feel bad for people because of how much contradicting information is thrown at them each day. I'm sure you all can agree. How many times have you seen "Top 10 Exercises To Lose Fat" or "Eat This To Lose Weight" or "Drink This Protein Powder To Lose 5 Pounds"

News flash: there is no magic workout, there is no magic food, and there is no magic powder.

Here are some VERY common questions I get asked and my honest/non sugar coated answers:

1: Will this exercise help me lose fat?
In short- no. In long- yes. Ok, YOU DON'T GET TO PICK WHERE THE FAT GOES ON AND YOU DON'T GET TO PICK WHERE IT COMES OFF. If you want to lose fat in an area on your body, you can't spot reduce with diet. LET ME REPEAT THAT- YOU CANT SPOT REDUCE WITH DIET. If you want to lose weight on your arms, there's not an exercise in the world that will help you with that. Side note- having more muscle will help you burn more calories per day but that doesn't mean having larger biceps will burn fat on your arms.

2: What foods should I avoid if I want to lose weight?
There are healthy and non healthy foods. Ok, we all understand that. But it's not WHAT should you eat, it's HOW MUCH should you eat. I could write you a plan right now to lose weight on twinkies. Not the healthiest thing in the world but it's all about calories in versus calories out. Don't fall victim to thinking that eating 3 tablespoons of peanut butter at midnight will help you lose weight because you saw that on an instagram ad. If you are under your calories and you eat the peanut butter and you're still under your calories, then you will lose weight- make sense?

3: What protein powder should I drink to lose weight?
My initial reaction to this is: WTF?
My second reaction to this is: Oh my god I hate marketing and supplements and social media and print media. I HATE IT. Why? Because it's confusing and overwhelming to the average consumer- AND I HAD MY MBA IN MARKETING AND OWN A SUPPLEMENT COMPANY!!! Believe me when I say, I KNOW what these companies do to reel you in. So don't fall victim to it. Protein powder is nothing more than a way to supplement more protein in to your diet. That's it. Stick to whole foods if you can. There is not a protein powder on this earth that will help you lose weight if you are already eating too many calories as it is- see question 2.

4: When should I eat what foods and what should I eat pre/post/intra workout?
Ok... Unless you are an olympian- eating pre and post workout meals isn't complicated. If you are on a meal plan, eat 1 hour before you workout and eat 30 min after working out. Just follow your plan and eat the next thing on the list. Protein post workout (powder or whole foods) is always ideal. There is not a science behind certain % of carbs, fats, and proteins to eat pre and post workout for the average person- trust me- eat 1 hour beforehand and 30 min after and you will be fine.

5: How do you control cravings?
To be honest, if you give in to cravings- you're weak minded. And you lack discipline. And your goal isn't strong enough. I told you these answers weren't going to be pretty. If someone put donuts in front of me right now (my favorite food), I would not touch one- why? Because I HAVE GOALS THAT ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE FIFTEEN SECONDS OF DONUT. Get it? We are creatures of habit. So if you know you crave something, don't keep it in the house. Don't buy what you crave. Out of sight, out of mind. Does that mean I don't get cravings? OF COURSE I GET CRAVINGS- I just don't give in to them. Taking shots of apple cider vinegar with mother helps with curbing cravings too.

Ok, so in short...
1- if you want to lose weight, eat less than you burn
2- if you want to gain weight, eat more than you burn
3- if you want to stay the same weight, eat what you burn
4- there's no exercise or diet that will spot reduce fat
5- there's no food that will make you gain or lose weight- only QUANTITIES of that food can dictate that
6- protein powders are just a way to get more protein in your diet
7- eat 1 hour pre workout and 30 min post workout
8- don't give in to cravings. don't keep what you crave in the house.


I hope this helped- if you have more questions, comment below and I can write a follow up to this blog

Friday, September 18, 2015

Utah Trip

Utah Trip

As many of you may know, I am fortunate enough to be an athlete on the Under Armour womens hunt team! A few months ago, I was invited to go on an all girls hunting trip to Northern Utah. How could anyone say no?! Once I found out about the trip, the training began! 

Please note: I was a vegetarian up until about 2 years ago when I met my husband josh, you can read the blog here: http://sarahbowmar.blogspot.com/2015/06/from-dairy-and-egg-free-vegetarian-to.html?q=vegetarian+to+bow+hunter
I completely understand if you are not a hunter. But please, don’t be anti-hunters. We do a lot of amazing things- from conservation to proper wildlife management to donating meat to eating the most organic meat possible ourselves. Not to mention, the time spent in the woods and the outdoors with friends, family, or even by yourself- will create lifelong memories. Through all of the deer donation programs, over 33 million meals are donated to the less fortunate. Millions and millions of acres of public land has been purchased and protected through the dollars that are spent on hunting licenses and tags. Not to mention, hunted and non-hunted animals are studied, monitored, and managed through the millions of annual dollars that hunters contribute to conservation (through the purchase of licenses, tags, excise tax on hunting gear, etc). 

Please keep an open mind when reading this, as it truly was the trip of a lifetime. 


Preparation
In March, Josh and I traveled to New Zealand for a red stag hunt- which included miles and miles and more miles of hiking straight up and down mountain sides with a ton of gear plus a camera man plus trying to be stealthy in order to allude the animals. I completely under estimated the terrain and the intensity and was absolutely under conditioned. For my Utah trip, I vowed to not let that happen again. About eight weeks before the trip, I really kicked my cardio into high gear- AKA 300 flights of stairs on the stair master in 50 minutes 6 times per week AFTER I lifted weights. That’s just shy of 15,000 flights of stairs that I climbed to prepare for this trip (also, if you don’t know, I periscope the entire time that I do cardio- if you want to add me there: sarahbowmar). I also wrote myself a cutting nutrition program to lean down before I left to ensure I was in the best physical shape that I possibly could be- the animal doesn’t care if you get tired (Cameron Hanes’s motto). 

On top of the cardio, I was also target practicing with my bow daily. A lot of people had warned me how difficult it was to hunt antelope with a bow but I did not want to change my mind. Before this trip, I was comfortable shooting around 30 yards. Each day that I practiced, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, sometimes shooting 20 - 30 arrows multiple times per day. This allowed me to become comfortable shooting at 55 yards with my bow. In addition to my target practicing, we also tested my arrows, spines, and paper tuned my bow several times at our local pro shop several times before I left to ensure that my bow was completely in tune. 

The Trip
I arrived at the Columbus airport on Sunday in the afternoon around 2pm and Taylor Drury and I had a connecting flight together from Dallas into Salt Lake City. The entire flight we could barely contain our excitement to get to camp and to see the rest of the ladies. Once we landed in Salt Lake City at around 8pm, we met up with Kristi Stevens, Katie Muth, and Jessica Pilgrim. Two of our guides picked us up and we made the several hour trip to Northern Utah. It was completely dark when we were coming into camp so we did not know what to expect in terms of terrain. 

That night, we made the game plan for the morning- breakfast was at 5:30am each morning and we would usually leave around 6:15-6:30am, depending on how far you had to drive. Lunch was around 11:30am and dinner was at 9pm. We were off to our rooms in the 20 room lodge to unpack, get ready for the morning hunt, and get some much needed sleep (mind you, it’s already almost 1am at this point).

A 5:00am wake up call comes quick when you have been traveling the day prior and went to bed around 1:30 in the morning. But for some reason, the smell of eggs, homemade bread, and meat plus the sound of everyone excited about the hunt, wakes you up pretty quickly. We were introduced to our guides (mine was Scott), and off we went. Scott and I traveled about an hour into the mountains (and it’s still dark at this point). On our trip our to our spot, we spotted a huge array of animals- from mule deer to badgers to prarie dogs to elk. The first morning hunt, we spotted numerous mature antelope that were old enough for me to harvest.

As a side note- the ranch that we were at is extremely well versed in proper animal management- it’s about harvesting the most mature animal that you can in order for proper conservation. I had a ton of opportunities to take younger antelope (that were much easier to stalk), however, that was not the purpose of the trip- conservation is extremely important in order to ensure that the animals and herds have the proper doe:buck ratio and proper carrying capacity.

Once Scott or I spotted an antelope that was mature/old enough for me, we hopped out of the truck and tried to get within bow range. If you can imagine, the fields that we were in only had sage brush as cover. I’m short but I’m not sage brush short- barely a foot off of the ground. Antelope have eyesight comparable to humans looking through binoculars and can run up to 40 miles per hour- if they stretched beforehand. I’m trying to give a proper perspective on just how difficult these animals are to 1- spot 2- stalk within half a mile 3- hide from them and 4- get within bow range without being detected. Bow range for me, as mentioned above, is 55 yards or closer .

Here’s how a typical antelope stalk goes: you need to spot a male antelope that is either by himself or with a few other younger bucks. A herd too large means you have more eye balls watching you- which creates an even larger challenge. Once you have an antelope spotted, you have to assess your game plan on how you are going to stalk it- if it’s on a mountain, do you go above it or below it. If it’s on the flat lands, do you circle behind it or stalk it from the front with a decoy. If the antelope see or smell you before you are close enough in bow range, they may run for 10 miles before stopping. They may run 150 yards over a ridge and stop if they don’t see you behind them. Just because they may run away, doesn’t mean the stalk is over. You can stalk for half a mile or greater on each stalk if necessary before hopping back in the truck to locate a different antelope. 

The first morning, in five hours, we put on 10+ stalks on different antelope. The closest we got the first morning was 100 yards , which simply wasn’t going to cut it. In for lunch we went to get some food in is and regroup for the afternoon. That morning, Katie went out with a rifle on her first hunt ever and harvested a huge doe with a 617 yard shot- that’s like playing in the super bowl for your first football game- we were all so excited and happy for her, and we got to hear all about it at lunch!

The afternoon hunt was primarily the same as the morning, we went to different parts of the ranch and put on about 10 stalks with no luck. We hopped back in the truck and headed back in. On the way, Scott and I were just talking about our weddings (he was just married five weeks ago), when all of a sudden- he slams on his breaks. There 40 yards from the truck was a huge antelope- and he had no idea we were there! We quietly got out of the truck and hid behind the decoy. He was grazing quickly and moving away from us. We stalked him about 300 yards before he finally stopped moving. We were huddled behind the decoy and he was 65 yards away from us. I unfortunately missed him at 65 yards, my arrow dropped about 5 inches before him in between his legs and he ran off- but not too far. Slightly defeated, we found my arrow and stalked him for another 500 yards. He ended up running off but it made me realize that I may have to extend my bow range and get out of my comfort zone yet again. 

Dinners at hunting camps are such an amazing experience- everyone is in from the cold, hanging out in the lodge, and sharing stories of past hunting trips and talking about the day that they just had. While all of the girls were sharing some stories, the door opened up and in walks Eva Shockey! She came in from the Yukon to surprise us all and hunt with us! I was fortunate enough to meet Eva earlier this year at the ATA show and I even shoot her signature series bow from Bowtech. What an awesome time to have her in camp and get to know her even better! 

The next day, I practiced at 70 and 80 yards in between the morning and afternoon hunt. Our morning hunt had little success as the temperature dropped to around 30 degrees and not many antelope were out moving. We did spot a few about 80 yards on one of the ridges, but I just was not comfortable taking the shot. Once we were back for lunch, I went outside the lodge with my bow and began practicing to extend my range. 

During the afternoon hunt, it began raining and hailing and we spotted a few antelope that we stalked with very little success. Hunting is the highest of highs and lowest of lows sometimes. The most important thing, in life and in hunting- is to never give up. Each stalk we had, I could have taken an antelope with a rifle. There is no shame in gun hunting but I had trained for accomplishing this with my bow and I was going to do just that- despite what anyone else wanted me to do. I had dozens of people tell me I wouldn’t be able to get one with my bow before I left for the trip and I was determined to prove them wrong. And to prove myself right. I had put the time and the work in between target practicing, cardio, my diet, and everything else. I knew I had done my homework and it was only a matter of time before it all came together.

On day 3 (Wednesday), I woke up again at 5:00am, got ready, had breakfast, and left the lodge around 6:15am. We went to a new spot that was between several ponds, and it was the most gorgeous terrain I had ever seen. I was so blown away with the beauty of where we were that I almost forget to keep looking for antelope. Luckily I had an awesome guide and despite me having missed several times, he wasn’t giving up on me. In between one of the ponds and the mountain, he spotted an antelope by himself. We quietly got out of the truck, behind the decoy, and started walking. We got within 75 yards of him, blistering winds, and I took the shot. The wind took my arrow and kicked it about 4 feet behind the animal. He took off running at a full on sprint. And talk about upsetting. I just couldn’t seem to get this right. 

We got back in the truck and Scott mentioned that we should go back to where we were the first night because there were tons of huge antelope everywhere. On our way over there, I spotted an antelope out of the corner of my eye. The cloud were rolling in with heavy rain and the sky was nearly black. I knew we didn’t have a lot of time before the rain and hail started pelting us, so it was a race against time if were going to stalk this antelope. We got behind the decoy (who we had nicknamed Andy- get it, Andy the antelope), and starting walking towards him. It was a semi hilly terrain so each time the antelope walked over a ridge and on to the other side, it was a full on sprint for us to catch up to him. Each ridge we crossed, we got closer and closer. Eventually we were within 100 yards. And then 90. And he still hadn’t smelled, seen, or heard us. He was grazing and seemed to be distracted by the rain coming in and eating to even look around. We slowly crawled up to about 70 yards. And still, nothing. He was still in the same spot. The rain was starting to fall. I had my arrow nocked on my bow and asked Scott if we could move closer. We got to 53 yards. I was on my knees behind the decoy. Scott ranged the antelope. With my heart beating out of my chest, I crawled out to the right of the decoy. The antelope had turned perfectly broadside. With the black sky above, my heart beating in my throat, I pulled my bow back quietly. At 53 yards, I settled my pin and released my arrow. 

I shoot with a lighted nock that will illuminate when fired. It’s red. And I didn’t see it hit the antelope. I was convinced it was hit under him again and I had shot the grass between his legs. I was so mad at myself that I couldn’t even take it. I knew this was my shot and I had messed it up again. I turned to Scott and he is freaking out! He had watched the whole thing through his range finder and he told me I hit the antelope perfectly! I couldn’t believe it. As soon as the animal turned to run (about .5 seconds from when I released the arrow- yes, all those thoughts and emotions went through my head that fast that I had missed), he turned and I could see my arrow had hit him. And perfectly. He went down no more than 50 yards away from where I shot him and was dead within 2 seconds. I could not believe it. The emotions that ran through me are something words can’t hardly explain. I was elated. Scott was beyond excited. After the high fives and fist bumps, we went to look at my buck!

I was an emotional wreck when we walked up to the animal. He was beautiful. And very old. And I took him with my bow. The rain started coming down heavier and Scott ran to get the truck- a few hundred yards away. Before he got back, as I always do, I knelt down to the animal, touched his face and neck, held on to his fur, and thanked the Lord for letting me harvest one of His beautiful creatures. I pray every single day but I talk to God even more when on hunting trips. The last thing I ever want to do is wound an animal and I always ask God that if I am supposed to take the animal- to let me arrow fly straight and true. I have had many tips, including one to New Zealand, where I left empty handed. I would rather than than wound one. I thanked the animal for giving his life for me. I told him that his body and meat would be used to repair mine, and for that, he would always be with me. I always shed several tears while doing this because of how much respect I have to the animal and to the land that he came from. 

I eat what I kill. And that animal will be with me forever. There is nothing more euphoric than harvesting your own meat. Especially when you can make memories like the one you just read. I can’t began to recall a trip to the grocery store that made me cry. Or that I trained 8 weeks in advance for. There are no greater memories than being outside in the woods. 

Many people ask why we take pictures with the animal that we harvest. I do it to embody the memory forever. Why do hunters smile behind the animal? Because you are on an incredible high that can’t be explained- only other hunters can understand. Animals have amazing defenses and skills- way more impressive than a human. And to be able to outsmart an animal that has better sight, hearing, smelling, speed, agility, awareness, etc than I do- is quite challenging. Hunting is not “sit in the woods in camouflage and animals will come right up to you”. Animals are meant to survive, they are bred to have better senses than any human ever will. This hunt was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I am the second person in 20 years to take an antelope with my bow off the ranch that we were at. The second person in 20 years. THE SECOND PERSON IN 20 YEARS. This stuff is hard work. And to me, taking a picture with the animal will commemorate the memory forever. 

Scott and I caped the skull and half of the coat (as I am getting a shoulder mount of the animal) and began quartering him in the hail and snow. Yes, it’s the middle of September. After about an hour, we had him quartered and in the meat bag. I called Josh once we hit a spot on the mountain with service and he couldn’t believe it. He was a proud husband for sure. Once we arrived back at camp, every single person was there and was congratulating me and wanting to hear the story- I think I told it about 15 times and I would tell it 15 million more times if I could. 

That day, Taylor got an antelope with a rifle in the morning and Jessica and Kristi both got their antelope in the afternoon with their rifles. Eva was hunting elk with her bow and hadn’t had any luck finding an old enough one to take. When everyone was out for their hunts Wednesday night, a few of us traveled up the mountains to watch the elk in the snow. We were above the canyons and their bugles were echoing for hours. 

Thursday morning, Katie and Jessica and I woke up at 5:30am to go on a 2 1/2 mile hike into elk country, we had one within 80 yards of us bugling his head off. We also went fly fishing that afternoon while everyone was still hunting to fill their tags. When we were done fishing, we went on a trip with Taylor and her guide to site see through the mountains and to spot mule deer for Kristi to help with her hunt. That night at dinner, Eva and Kristi were still out and we were hoping that no news was good news. Eva unfortunately didn’t have luck that day but Kristi came back with a huge mule deer that she took with her rifle! We were all so happy for her- she never gave up and put in the work to get her deer. As it was our last night, we all made a bonfire outside and made smores, played cards, listened to music, and enjoyed each others company for the last time on the trip. 

We left on Friday morning and on our way, we found out that Eva had shot an elk with her rifle on their morning hunt- she had a later flight than the rest of us so it worked out perfectly! 

Saying goodbye to the girls was one of the hardest things ever- in just a few short days I had really gotten close to each and every one of them and we made some unforgettable memories together. We already have some more trip ideas in the works and I can’t wait to see them all again. 

I apologize that this blog is as long as a short novel but I wanted to fully log my trip, my hunt, and the amazing time I had. 



Genesis 27:3

Sunday, August 30, 2015

SB's Daily Supplements

Before you read any further, I would like to preface this blog post. Supplements ARE NOT magic pills. Supplements ARE NOT a quick fix. Supplements WILL NOT work if you aren't working. 

Josh and I own TWO supplement companies and I am sitting here telling you to NOT waste your money if you aren't willing to diet and exercise. 

That being said... I get asked DOZENS of times a day what supplements I use. And don't think of supplements has bad- many people do. Supplements aren't meant to give results to those unwilling to work. No one's diet is perfect, even if you are eating your 7 recommended servings of vegetables a day- do you know how any chemicals are on those plants + the fact that they were probably picked prematurely to get to the grocery store on time? 

Buying local produce and hunting your own meat (if you choose to eat meat) are two great ways to ensure that you are getting as little chemicals in your food as possible but even then- your diet could always improve. Supplements are meat to bridge the gap between what your body needs and what your diet is feeding it. Are there ridiculously unnecessary supplements out there? Absolutely! Do you need to be taking 35 pills a day? NO WAY! 

Supplements aren't just protein powders and pre workouts. There are a lot of really beneficial supplements out there, so I really hope this helps shed some light on what we use, why we use it, and if you need to use it as well.

With anything, always ask your doctor before starting any sort of supplement program especially if you are on prescriptions, nursing/pregnant, or under the age of 18. 

Supplement 1: Natural Strength

This is #1 because it is my favorite supplement of all time. Natural Strength Platinum is the world's first and only non- hormonal, non-stimulant, body recomposition supplement. Significantly reduce external body fat, increase lean, dry muscle tissue – all without any hormonal or stimulant side effects. The secret is Natural Strength's patent pending formula. It's natural, safe for men and women, and packed with benefits for any type of training.
• Improved Energy and Improved Strength
• Increased Muscle Mass and Density
• Decreased Body Fat
• Fast-Acting
• Aids in Rapid Muscle Recovery
• Non-Hormonal Formula


Link to Order: http://www.naturalsciencecreation.com/product/natural-strength-platinum/
Code: bowmar33 for 33% off

Supplement 2: C.U.T.S.

C.U.T.S. provides potent natural energy without any nervousness, increased heart rate or other side-effects of the typical weight loss or pre workout supplements. All energy is provided through improved cellular function with no un-wanted side effects! The special formula also provides improved ability to digest and process large amounts of food and carbohydrates!

Link to Order: http://www.naturalsciencecreation.com/product/natural-strength-platinum/
Code: bowmar33 for 33% off

Supplement 3: LifePak Nano

This multivitamin is the cream of the crop. There are millions of dollars in research, development, and testing behind these products. NuSkin has an extremely high standard of excellence. Not to mention, it includes the most potent fish oil on the market. Here are some benefits: 

  • Nourishes and protects cells, tissues, and organs in the body with the specific purpose to guard against the ravages of aging each day of your lifespan*
  • Superior bioavailability with CR-6 LipoNutrients™ enhances uptake from the gut into the bloodstream and body for maximum anti-aging benefits*
  • Advanced anti-aging formula helps protect the body with key nutrients such as NanoCoQ10™ and nano carotenoids*
  • Helps maintain normal inflammatory responses in the body*
  • Feeds and helps protect the brain with DHA and EPA (two CR-6 LipoNutrient™ softgels contain the same amount of EPA and DHA as two MarineOmega softgels)*
  • Offers superior DNA protection against damaging free radical attacks by providing the body with important antioxidants and phytonutrients such as alpha-lipoic acid and catechins*
  • Protects cell health with an antioxidant defense network*
  • Helps protect cardiovascular health with a comprehensive blend of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients
  • Provides comprehensive bone nutrition support*
  • Promotes healthy immune function*
  • Supports normal blood sugar metabolism*
  • Corrects nutritional deficiencies*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

Link to Order + More Videos on the Product:  http://bit.ly/bowmar_lifePaknano
No code needed on these, these links will take you to the price that we pay- which is wholesale! 

Supplement 4: Vitality

If you need coffee or if you are sluggish or need a nap throughout the day- regardless of how much sleep you get, then this product is for you. 

As we age, our bodies’ ability to effectively generate and utilize energy can decline, robbing us of youthful vitality. ageLOC Vitality improves the three dimensions of vitality—physical vigor, mental acuity, and sexual health—by promoting healthy YGC activity associated with youthful vitality.Through targeting the sources of age-related vitality loss, ageLOC Vitality helps you feel more like you did when you were young.

Link to Order + More Videos on the Product: 
No code needed on these, these links will take you to the price that we pay- which is wholesale

Supplement 5: Digestive Health

If you struggle with feeling bloated after you eat or bloated after you drink protein shakes, then you need this product! Simple as that. 

Link to Order + More Videos on the Product: 
No code needed on these, these links will take you to the price that we pay- which is wholesale

Supplement 6: G3 Juice

If you are sick often, your antioxidant levels may be very low and your immune system may be compromised. If that is the case, you need to add in the juice- it's only a few ounces per day and it tastes AMAZING

Link to Order + More Videos on the Product:  http://bit.ly/bowmar_g3
No code needed on these, these links will take you to the price that we pay- which is wholesale

Supplement 7: ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar w/ Mother)

I think it's the OG of super foods. Apple Cider Vinegar will help balance the pH levels in your body, aid in digestion, help clear your skin, reduce bloating, help with acid reflux and heartburn, and so much more. You can find it at most grocery stores but make sure it has the mother with it!