Sara Southern - Figure Athlete

Well I've always been athletic. I grew up a gymnast since age 3, won Indiana state when I was 12 and then stopped competing at age 14 because I decided being a teenage was more important. I fell in love with weight lifting when I was 15 in high school. My husband (boyfriend at the time) took me to the Arnold Classic and I was in awe of everyone! The only downfall is I didn't know what I was doing at the time. In 2011 I became pregnant with my daughter and became really ill in the year after I had her, that is when I decided to make a strict change in my life. I started training for my first figure competition February 2013. I hired Pro Figure Nicole Wilkins as my coach for my first 2 competitions in 2014 and 2015 and Shelby Starnes for my 3rd in 2015.

My diet has stayed around the same “type,” of diet the past 3.5 years of training. I eat a lower fat diet, very high carb and moderate protein diet. Normally carb cycling but still low carb days are relatively high for the average person. I've tried high fat diets with moderate carbs and also the Keto diet (low/no carb) and they didn't work well with my body. Off season I add more foods and allow breads and dairy and more cheats. Prep is pretty strict and I typically don't follow the “IIFYM” approach at that time. I stay on a fairly low fat, high carb diet, mod protein, works well for me. My body doesn't do well with high fat diets and I get a lot of health issues if I try to boost it up there.

My training is always different. I changed it up every few months, through prep it's always the same but I definitely work on my weakness to try and pull them up to par. My shoulders have always been weaker, also my growing my width in my back. I try to keep my legs leaner since it's where I accumulate the majority of my fat storage also. Balancing training with diet is easy to me, I'm a creature of habit so I will eat what I'm told and eat the same things everyday. I like to fuel my body with healthy food so it performs well.

After my first competition I felt so much stronger mentally; very proud of myself. I wanted to show everyone my hard work! I've never been a shy person though!

Every part of each show I love, the women, the stage, the judges, it's all amazing memories, my most favorite is my very first competition when I only placed 5th, but I was so excited, ran off stage, ran to the side hallway (it was at school), and straight to my husband with excitement. It was the best feeling ever… He's definitely been my number one supporter, other than my daughter ;).

I have retired from the stage actually. My whole life since I started fitness, I've dreamt of doing fitness modeling and I've held off during my competition seasons and improvement seasons. It's been really weighing on my heart the past couple months though, it's my true aspiration. I also have been coaching other competitors and women for the last year and will continue to do that and just being a mom in general, staying fit and healthy and sticking to my regular training routine. Hoping to get another part to my website up with videos and how to’s!

My website is
Email is

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