Saturday, August 13, 2011

Athlete First Model Second

When you think of an athlete you think of someone who is strong and committed to a passion. They are driven to succeed to become the best in their performance. Whether they're a dancer, soccer player, football player etc. They strive to be the strongest, fastest or most coordinated person in their profession.

When you think of a model, you think of the glitz and glamour. You think, hair, makeup, gorgeous photos, beautiful clothes and runways.

When I first got into modeling, I felt as though I was in the second category; a model. I had photographers that wanted that "sexy" image. Pulling on my bikini in photos, trying to give that look that the photographer wanted. I realized after two years of working with photographers and getting emails about doing shots like Maxim Magazine and various other types of risque work, that I wasn't in my element. I felt out of place and that I was trying to portray someone I just wasn't. So I walked away and let my dream fade.

Two years later I was inspired by someone who was doing fitness modeling. She said sexy is a state of mind. She was athletic and had morals and standards I could relate to. I realized I was just as capable of doing fitness as she was. After all, I was a Montana girl. Being outdoors and sports oriented was second nature to me.

I took the first step I needed to find the right people to work with and attended FMI "Fitness Model International." For the first time in my life I felt like I was in the right place and the right time and I had surrounded myself with the right people. I was at a workshop and business event made for athletes. People who had worked hard for their physiques and were as ambitious as what I was, trying to turn their passion and love of fitness into a business opportunity.

Fitness has given me strength and has allowed me to grow as a person. Modeling gave me the opportunity to be comfortable in my skin, but fitness has given me an identity I didn't know I had or was capable of having.

No matter where this life is about to lead me, I know that I am an athlete first and will continue to stick to my Montana roots.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Products I Love: Lululemon

So I had the urge to do some retail therapy this past Sunday and wanted to check out Lululemon. I've heard their athletic gear was great from friends and I have visited their website many times. I liked the detail on their yoga tops, but I had never actually stepped foot in their store or tried on anything.

I went to their show room up in North Seattle. What I loved about the store is the employees were all very personable and willing to help and answer questions without trying to sell you anything. Now I'm not a big fan of trying anything on, but I thought it would be best to at least try on a few things before I left the store. I was immediately sold when I tried on one of their yoga tops. It was comfortable and the material lets your skin breathe even after a hard workout. The backs on their tops are open so instead of feeling "sticky" at the end of a workout, I felt almost refreshed in a way. The spandex material lets air move through the top and doesn't stick to your skin.

I'm definitely sold on their comfort and willing to continue to be a repeat customer. YES it's some what expensive, but the products will last you a LONG time. I encourage all women to at least purchase one item. I promise you won't regret it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A New Opportunity

For the last 2 months I have focused on a contest for Men's Health and Women's Health called "Fittest Friends." After starting late in the contest I made the top 5. In all honestly I was pleasantly surprised. The amount of support I received from friends, family and people around the world, I am truly in awe.

I heard that I had people voting in Norway, London, Australia and even our troops in Afghanistan were voting for me as well. Now THAT is an honor. For everything our troops are doing for us overseas, it touched my heart.

Now I'm waiting for the results from the judges, but win or lose, I feel like I've accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. This contest made me realize how many people care about me and how many people believe in me. For those of you who are close to me and know some of the losses I've endured over the last three years, you know I've struggled emotionally. My health, fitness, living an active lifestyle has continued to push me. I used the gym as a way to alleviate my stress and as a result changed my physical appearance in a way I didn't know I was capable of.

I want people to know that I will continue to strive to live an active lifestyle because I choose to and not because I feel I have to live up to anyone's expectations. It's important for me to be a positive role model and to be the best version of ME that I can. Where ever this opportunity takes me from here on out, I want to say Thank YOU for believing in me one more time.

"The rest is still unwritten." - Natasha Bedingfield.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Favorite Products: Propel Zero

Most of you have heard me in the past say how much I LOVE Vitamin Water Zero and I do, but I may have found a new favorite. Propel Zero has just come out and this has NO SUGAR. Vitamin Water Zero has 4 grams of sugar total.

Now both are good products, but having no sugar in a product is an added plus for me. Try Propel Zero, my favorite so far is Berry. YUM! It's a great new product to try with summer officially here and a new way to keep hydrated.

Sarah Laursen

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My favorite treats so I don't have to cheat

I've been asked how I stay healthy and keep on track with eating right. I've also been asked how I don't give in to temptation. I AM human and I do give in to temptation, but only once a week and in moderation.

I try to find alternatives to kill my sweet tooth when I'm in desperate need. Here's one of my favorites that's great for a snack especially during summer.

Try fresh rasberries with a packet of stevia or splenda (your choice) sprinkled over the top. It gives it that extra sweet taste and you can have a bit of an indulgence without feeling like you need to hit the gym for an extra 10 minutes.

Rasberries are one of my favorite fruits during the summer. Give it a go. :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

No is just one more chance for YES

There is so much rejection in this world on a daily basis. We don't always think about it because more often than not we can shrug it off and move on to something else.

Learning to be involved in an industry where there is constant rejection, I've come to understand how much rejection I've faced in the last two years, both in business and my personal life. I'll admit that I've gone through phases where I've gotten so frustrated I've wanted to quit and walk away. I wanted to slam the door shut and never look back, but no matter how many times I've wanted to forget about my dream I've never been able to fully shut the door.

I've had people in my life tell me to hold on a little longer. I needed to give my dream time to come together. I think the thing that has kept me going was sitting in college in my Entertainment Management class 2 years ago. One of the guest speakers said that if you really wanted something and to make your dreams in the entertainment business come true you can't take no for an answer. What stuck in my mind was when the speaker said "It only takes one yes to change your life."

Over this past week I have learned that hard work can pay off it just takes time. I have had people start to tell me "yes" for the first time since I started this journey 5 years ago and I'm looking forward to seeing what unfolds. So don't give up on your dreams. Keep fighting and don't take no for an answer.

"It only takes one yes to change your life."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Get Fit: Workout at HOME

Summer is just around the corner in a matter of weeks, are you ready?

If not no worries. Here are a couple of simple pieces of gym equipment that you can purchase for a total of around $50.

Most of the time I hate going to the gym. I don't always have the motivation to go to the gym after a long day at work or first thing in the morning. So my solution is bring the gym to me.

I use three pieces of equipment:
1) 2 10lb Weights
2) Stability Ball
3) Resistance Band

You can easily find workouts to do with these 3 pieces of equipment on youtube or researching workouts from Oxygen Magazine or Shape Magazine to name just two of my favorites.

I'll post some workouts that you can do with these later this week. Get ready for SUMMER! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Be Grateful

It's so easy to take to take the simplest of things for granted. Every day we get up, make breakfast, get dressed and WALK out the door. We take SIGHT for granted. Or the fact that we can READ road signs.

Take a moment to look at this photo, it will truly open your mind and give you a whole new prospective on your life:

I'm grateful for my health, my sight, the fact I can pay for food, put a roof over my head, have money to buy necessities, keep warm clothes on my back, buy gifts for family.....I could go on, but you get my point. So my question to you is, what are YOU grateful for?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lauren Lee: Strength and Beauty

Lauren and I at FMI 2009

I first met Lauren Lee back in 2009 when we were both signed up for FMI (Fitness Model International). Lauren and I had been corresponding prior to going to FMI getting to know each other before the eventful week and looking forward to being roommates. What I noticed about Lauren right away, even in her emails was how genuine and down to earth she was. Lauren has a way of speaking from the heart and telling it like it is. She's never afraid to speak her mind and is very upfront with people, which is something I admire.

Lauren and I quickly hit it off. I think she and I were able to relate to each other and confide in each other about things we had gone through and it was easy to see how good of a friend Lauren is. I remember how much I admired her confidence and willingness to give FMI her all by taking and learning as much as she could during the conference at FMI and jumping in front of the camera for the first time.

3 weeks ago, Lauren posted a blog on her Facebook page saying she had cancer at 28. Her story has inspired me and many others. Please click on the link below to read her story. Lauren has a beautiful message that needs to be heard. Her beauty and strength shine through.

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. it comes from an indomitable will." - Gandhi

Lauren Lee 2010 Photo by Mike Byerly

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Female Empowerment

A friend of mine and I were talking about role models and people we looked up to. We talked about school and history in particular. We talked about the different time eras that we learned about and what our favorite part of history was. Personally, I was never a big fan of history class, but what I did love learning about were people that had a voice. People that stood up for their rights or chose to make a statement such as Ghandi.

I told my friend that learning about Black History month was one of my favorite eras to learn about because "people of color" created a voice for themselves. There were several people during that time that made history by using their voice and the woman that always caught my attention the most was Rosa Parks.

She stood up for her rights and sat at the front of the bus. Not only did she make a statement for "people of color" at that time, but she also created opportunities for women. She showed the world that not only should everyone be treated equal, but that women are meant to be treated the same as men. She didn't take no for an answer. She changed history and made her mark without even realizing how much of an impact she made right then.

Where are these role models today? Who do younger generations have to look up to? It seems like finding positive role models is becoming harder and harder to find. Instead of hearing positive feedback in the media or what celebrities are helping create a voice and supporting charities, we hear constant negative headlines about which celebrity is in court this week. It seems like positive influences get overshadowed by the negative.

I will honestly say that I admire those in the media who have a voice and take the time to help others. I admire those who stand up for something they believe in and support a cause. I will say that a positive role model that I've come to admire is Selena Gomez. I truly think she is using her voice in a positive light and I look up to her as well.

My point to this blog is we need more positive influences. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to be a woman and live in the 21st century. I'm grateful to Rosa Parks for making an impact and changing history. Female empowerment is amazing.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Who Needs a Diet? Just Eat Clean!

We all want to “fit” better into our clothes. We make a goal to lose weight or tone up and the only thought in your mind is “I have to go on a diet.” The answer? FALSE! You just need to eat clean.

What is eating clean? Cutting out starches and sugar. Replacing that burger with fresh veggies, fruit and lean protein such as chicken and fish. Replacing that much needed energy drink for water or a healthy substitute like Vitamin Water Zero (this is one of my all time favorite products).

Your next thought, “I don’t have time.” Sure you do! Like everyone, I’m always on the go. Trying to get to work before rush hour traffic and too tired to try to create a big dinner when I get home from work. Here’s my personal solution that has served me well.

If you’re in a pinch and you don’t have a ton of time throughout the week head to the deli at your local grocery store. I pick up a fresh roasted chicken and when I get home I take all of the skin off and just put the meat in a container. It’s already to go and I can use it multiple times throughout the week for a quick chicken salad or use it as a main dish with some fresh veggies. This cuts a lot of my meal prep in half.

You can still have your must needed sweet tooth fix, but just make it a one day a week habit and remember as I’ve said before, everything in moderation. If you stick to eating clean you will definitely notice a change in how you look and feel in a few short weeks. Happy eating :)

Sarah Laursen