Sarah Velilla

Name: Sarah Velilla
Birth Date: 04/01/1990
Birth Place: Rhode Island
Current Residence: Rhode Island
Height & Weight: 5’0 108 pounds

1. What made you want to compete?
I made a resolution to myself at the beginning of 2013 that I would get into better shape. I didn’t think I would make it this far, but I’m glad I did. At that time I was working three jobs (one being an internship) and two industry jobs just to remain stable. My health was being neglected and it took some indirect comments from others to get me to realize it as well. I keyed into myself and decided to get a nationwide membership at two gyms so no excuses could be made. I began paying for personal training sessions and I started meal prepping and taking food with me wherever I went. Three months into the sessions and diet change, I saw a noticeable improvement in my physique. People kept asking me if I was going to eventually compete because of how committed I became. I was skeptical as to whether or not I could commit myself further. At the time I was living in Boston. Once my internship finished in July I moved back to Rhode Island and decided to find someone who would help me with my diet and training on a whole new level. I was ready to devote myself to my health in a whole new fashion. I turned to the WBFF and told myself I was going to do this for the learning experience and for the all-around personal growth I would attain from the journey.

2. What do you do to stay inspired?
When I am feeling low on inspiration, I go through pictures of myself from the past couple of years. I reflect on all the paths I went down trying to “get in shape” – most of them being unhealthy (i.e., fad diets, diet pills, and not eating enough). Then I look at pictures of me throughout prep and I see how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned. That’s my inspiration. The fact that – at 23 years old – I have made significant change in my outlook and lifestyle in the realm of health and nutrition is motivating in itself. Granted I have found inspiration in the stories of others, that is no doubt. However, it is my own personal journey that keeps me motivated at the hardest of times.

3. What shows have you already been in or plan to be in in the future?
This will be my first competition ever. I hope to compete again next year with the WBFF.

4. Who got you started?
After witnessing a local girl win her class this past June at the Boston show, I contacted her and asked if she could put me in contact with her coach. Not only did I branch out to her but I also connected with other sponsors and affiliates for the event, took some posing lessons, and learned about proper hair and makeup – which is absolutely crucial.

5. Who do you look to for help now?
I still look to the same people for help, as they haven’t steered me wrong and are always available to talk.

6. Where do you usually workout?
Where ever I can. I have a nationwide membership to Workout World and Planet Fitness. I also train several times a week with my coach at his gym in Bristol.

7. Do you use any suppliments? If so, what ones (brands, names, etc)
For most of this year I have been taking Shredz Alpha Female Stack. I am pleased with the product. In terms of daily supplements, I take a daily multivitamin (GNC); a calcium/magnesium blend, lysine, and L-carnitine before my workout; fish oils; amino acids (Swanson IBCAA); a probiotic, b12, and vitamin C blend (Hot Beverage Nutrition).

8. What are your most noticeable results?
My most noticeable results are how proportionate I remained during a nearly 20 pound weight loss in my 13 week prep. Sometimes when people lose weight, it doesn’t even out properly – whether it be due to genetics or imbalanced training. So either I’m genetically blessed in that aspect or I worked really, really hard, or both. I’m not complaining though. But I am certainly grateful.

9. Has fitness changed your life? If so, how?
Absolutely. Without a doubt, fitness has been a life-changer. Fitness has taught me a great deal about discipline, priorities, and – without a doubt – time management. It has become part of my daily life. The choices I make today are not the same choices I made 3 years ago, that I can say with certainty. Today I am stronger, happier, and more energetic than ever. This is the new and improvement me, and I can only see myself progressing in those attributes.

10. What personal fitness goals have you set for yourself?
There is a saying “it doesn’t get easier, you only get stronger.” To me, this saying is true in many regards. In the various struggles of life, you can chose to give up when it is hard, or keep pushing until you get stronger. I have set a personal fitness goal to get physically and mentally stronger; to keep making gains and to always stay committed to fitness regardless of what life changes I encounter.

11. Describe your diet.
At the beginning of prep my diet held more variety. I was placed on a low-carb, high protein, high fat diet as I am carb-sensitive. I steered clear of peanuts, soy, gluten, wheat, and dairy. I relied mostly on fish, eggs, and chicken for proteins and almonds, egg yolks, and olive oil for fats. As prep progressed, the diet became more and more restricted. Eventually I could no longer have protein shakes and had to rely solely on food. Then carbs were cut lower and so were my fats. Eventually gum and artificial sweeteners were cut too.

12. What does your workout schedule look like?
Everyday I would workout from 3-430. The last 3 weeks were double-sessions most days, where I split my weight training and cardio in order to get a meal in between.

13. What do you do for a living?
I recently completed my undergraduate degree with the University of Rhode Island. I graduated with a major in Psychology and a double minor, one in Writing & Rhetoric and the other in Criminology. I’ve since held two unpaid internships, one at the District Court of Providence and the other at a prestigious law firm in the heart of Boston. The downside to unpaid internships is that one usually needs to work at least two other jobs in order to make ends meet. After the completion of my most recent internship back in July, I decided to keep my two industry jobs (bartending) while completing prep. I figured I’d devote that “extra time” to my fitness. I just wasn’t ready for a real job yet. After completion of prep, I promised my parents I would find a real job but it had to be something I enjoyed!

14. What are your personal non-fitness goals?
I applied to law school last year but I didn’t get in my first time. I decided to complete an internship instead and later focus in on learning what I could about fitness and health. It has brought me to where I am today and I am grateful. I do plan on going back to school in the next year or so.

15. Have you participated in any other sports?
I was a cheerleader for 8 years before I went to college. I absolutely loved it and the adrenaline rush it gave me – much like the pump I get in the gym.

16. Here you can mention your family/thank you’s.
First I would like to thank God, because Lord knows I used his name often! I would like to thank my coach, Steve Reeves, for his expertise and knowledge, for always being available and understanding, and for pushing me farther than I would’ve pushed myself. I’d like to thank Madalena Dos Santos for teaching me how to bring out my inner diva in every aspect of the word. And last but not least, my family. Although they didn’t fully understand why I decided to do this, they still remained supportive and put up with my many mood-swings and break downs. Because hey, that’s what family is for. Much love to all of you.

17. Do you have any hobbies?
Baking. Baking. Oh, and baking. I love to create new health-conscious recipes for my favorite foods so that I (and others) can enjoy them guilt free. I enjoy baking sweet treats for others and gaining kudos. It’s a great feeling. But, I guess you can say cooking is my hobby since I spend so much time – willingly – in the kitchen.

18. What are challenges that you face that may keep you from reaching your fitness goals?
The only challenge I can think of would be time-management. I am starting to realize that as I get older, time feels shorter and you find your time being spent doing less of what you want and more on what “needs to get done.” I am hoping that I can maintain the positive mindset I have about my fitness, especially as I get older and new priorities emerge.

19. What obstacles have you overcome to be where you are?
I have overcome the obstacle where I swore to myself I could never “eat clean” because if anything it has gotten easier with time. I swore I couldn’t go more than a week without an alcoholic beverage. Well, I went 13 weeks and I’m very proud of that! I overcame the often out-of-context use of the word “moderation” and learned what it truly means. I overcame years and years of being unhappy with my body. I’ve learned the meaning of hard work and I am happy to say I’ve put in just that.

20. Is there anything else you would like to add that you think we’ve missed?
Why did I choose the WBFF would’ve been a great question 😉

I chose the WBFF because it mirrors me in every aspect. I didn’t want to just get on a stage and throw down a couple of poses. I wanted to look my best and feel my best too! I adore the theme wear and gown wear. It is exclusive to the WBFF and it is what made the organization stand out to me in the first place. I want to get on stage and feel beautiful while at the same time be admired for all my hard work. I wanted to compete in an organization where everyone is a winner 🙂