SASCHA K: BECOMING A MONITOR

“I’LL BE HONEST. PUTTING MY BODY ON DISPLAY AND LOUDLY TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY GOES AGAINST EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING. BUT THAT’S WHY I HAVE TO SHARE IT.

If it wasn’t for Komina at RIZAP Hawaii, I would probably still have all of the issues that began around the same time as my weight gain during the pandemic. The issues included not fitting any of my jeans whatsoever, moodiness, insomnia, professional-level midnight snacking, and chronic skin concerns that I didn’t even connect to my weight gain.

Sascha as Miss Waikiki after Rizap Program

“Yes, I wanted change but sharing my journey with strangers? Scary. Being vulnerable and sharing something so personal made me want to run for the hills.”

— SASCHA

ONCE UPON A TIME…

I always considered myself athletic and healthy so it was a shock when not 1 but 2 pairs of jeans refused to go up past my thighs earlier this year. In a panic, I took up workouts and dance classes but that didn’t seem to do the trick.

Throughout the years, I’ve tried a lot of diet trends. Lemonade Detox, Juice Cleanses, Plant-based. Sure, I saw results but nothing seemed to stick long term. After running in a few pageants and being on a dance team where I was expected to stay in tip top shape, I thought I knew the drill—start moving, do a detox, see results.

I also thought I could do it on my own with the right tools—I’ve always been active, what can a professional offer me that I can’t figure out on my own, I’d think.

I’ll blame it on 2020, but this time around, I couldn’t stay motivated. I tried Noom and even downloaded MyFitnessPal (again). I tried following programs by fitness influencers on YouTube and Instagram, too. While those were decent tools, they didn’t give me the type of feedback I needed to actually get the results I wanted to see. Also, when I’d fall off the bandwagon, no one was there to help me get back on; there was no real accountability.

The other thing that I had going for me was that I had been “skinny” in 2019 because I was mainly plant based. So, having successfully avoided seeing people except on Zoom for about 18 months meant that people didn’t realized how big I’d gotten.

Sascha Progess Check in Selfie
Sascha in February 2021. Thank goodness for Zoom and FaceTime—no one was really on to me.

TIME FOR CHANGE.

I finally joined RIZAP when my grandpa asked if I was pregnant.

I was not.

That comment, though, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

If my grandpa—who hadn’t seen me in about 18 months—thinks I’m pregnant, it was time for some real change.

I couldn’t go on NOT wearing jeans, either.

It was around the same time that a real opportunity came to me by way of RIZAP. I was offered the chance to become a Monitor—someone who’s weight loss journey is meticulously tracked and shared with the public in exchange for getting in shape with one of the RIZAP trainers in Hawaii.

It took me a while to process. On one hand, I was all for a personal trainer working with me until I got into the shape I wanted to be in AND keep track of what I was eating. On the other hand, pictures. And stats. And comments. I’d gotten used to staying behind-the-scenes, not in front of the camera.

Yes, I wanted change but sharing my journey with strangers? Scary. Being vulnerable and sharing something so personal made me want to run for the hills.

Pregnant Sascha
Back when I was actually pregnant and proud of the belly.

“The ‘before’ pictures are great—you should be proud of your stomach and your body, it gave us two kids. Show women that there’s a way to get in shape in a sustainable way.”

— SASCHA'S HUSBAND ENCOURAGING HER TO BECOME A RIZAP MONITOR

DAILY TEXTS WITH KOMINA.

Looking back, I can see how this is where my relationship with Komina, my trainer, gets to be so important. In the beginning especially, if I were to try to figure out everything on my own and not ask her for help, I’d be drowning and tempted to give up right after day 2. On the flip side, if she were to only check in with me once a week or less, I’d also feel like I’m not getting anywhere.

However, because part of the RIZAP program requires that I text her my meals and my stats daily, Komina has realtime insight to my changes as she looks over everything and guides me in the right direction.

Her earlier texts to me included things like '“Try to hit all your macros” and “You will need to eat more.” She also sent me recipes and brand recommendations as she got used to my tastes and lifestyle.

A BIGGER PURPOSE

I discussed my fears with my husband who listened to my fears and my hopes on this.

I felt it was important to participate and show women—especially mothers—that there’s a way to getting back on track and learning how to care for yourself in a way that’s sustainable and healthy.

I was also very afraid of showing the world my before pictures. I’ve always wanted to look “perfect” aesthetics are a big deal to me, and—being a former dancer, I felt like this was something I should be able to handle on my own. It was frustrating that I couldn’t.

He said he was proud of me for wanting to better myself and in that area he’d always root for me. He also said that my belly wasn’t anything to be a shamed of and that I should keep that in mind as I went on this journey. “It gave us two kids,” he said. “Be proud of your body and take care of yourself.”

I was convinced. He said exactly the right thing by telling me that I needed to get out of my own head and do this for a bigger purpose.

Sascha weight loss update
May 2021. As a former fashion stylist, I knew how to dress for my shape so it was hard for friends to believe that I needed help.

THE BEFORE SHOOT

On July 2, I wore a sports bra and shorts that were both a little too small for me (because I’d gotten so big). I folded down the high-waist control top of my pants, and pushed up longer hem of the cropped halter neck top. We set up a studio shoot and 30 minutes later, we had a set of the most unflattering professionally shot photos of myself.

Almost immediately after the shoot, I walked over to RIZAP for my first appointment with Komina: an official consultation and body analysis.

Sascha pre Rizap program photoshoot
July 2021. Not pregnant, just bigger than usual.