Healthier habits and supportive people help guide Amy Sabatka on weight loss journey
Sabatka has lost 40+ pounds in the last 13 months with the help of diet, exercise, and support of friends and family
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Four days a week, Amy Sabatka is out the door at 5:30 a.m. for a morning run. Sabatka is running around 25 miles a week, as she trains for the Chris Jarvis Marathon in October.
A little over a year ago, running 25 miles in a week is not something Sabatka would’ve done. She ran distance in high school, but three to four years ago tried to get back into running, and could not do it.
In June 2019, a friend invited Sabatka to run the NebraskaLand Days 5K.
“It was one of those, as long as I survived it, it was going to be more walking than anything. I think it took us almost an hour just to complete it,” Sabatka said about the 5K.
However, Sabatka continued running, completing more runs over the course of the summer and fall, including a five-mile run at the Omaha Zoo, and the “Trek Up the Tower” run, which is 40 floors in the First National Tower in Omaha.
Since June 2019, Sabatka has lost more than 40 pounds.
“I had tried before to lose weight. I tried diet, I tried exercise, I didn’t do very well. I failed a lot and I kept getting down on myself, and each time I’d get down, I just gained more and more weight,” Sabatka said.
However, this time, the work stuck. Sabatka has been able to maintain a consistent workout schedule, and eat healthier, and a big reason for the big change is the people she has surrounded herself with.
“When you have friends who are health focused, they help influence you, and then it just becomes a new habit,” Sabatka said. “I learned over this last year, who you’re around makes a huge difference. I have a really good group of friends, and I can’t even call them friends, they’re actually my family. They get up, they go to the races, they cheer us on, and they even try things that show me if they’re willing to try, that I can push myself too. It makes a big difference; you have to surround yourself with those people.”
One person who has been one of the biggest supporters of Sabatka on her weight loss journey is her husband Adam.
“He’s been very supportive on the longer runs, he’ll get out on the bicycle, and he’ll carry water for me. He’s always giving me words of encouragement, he’s my personal cheerleader. He’ll go to all the races, he gets up early in the morning for those, he’ll take pictures along the way, just to help show how much I’ve improved,” Sabatka said.
Sabatka sets goals for herself, which help keep her motivated on days she doesn’t want to go for a run.
“I want to run a Disney marathon,” Sabatka said. “Adam and I have gone to Disney World a couple times, but just to be able to run through the parks without as many people there, I think would be a lot of fun.”
But going for a run also helps her clear her mind. “It’s my stress reliever, so on those tough days, I can just get out and run. It’s just me, and a mile is still a mile no matter if you’re walking or running it,” she said.
Sabatka has noticed her weight loss most in her clothes not fitting. She recently purchased new clothes that are smaller sizes than she wore in high school.
“I would put on my skirts and I actually had to fold them over, and I was using binder clips to keep them up if I couldn’t use a belt. I’ve had to put three new holes in the belt so I can wear them. I bought two new shirts and those are mediums, and I didn’t even wear a medium in high school, so I’ve dropped about three sizes in a matter of a year,” Sabatka said.
However, Sabtaka’s transformation did not truly hit her until recently, when she posted pictures on Facebook, and received overwhelmingly positive responses.
“It really hit 4th of July weekend that I made a change. I didn’t realize it until I put pictures up of our adventures, and seeing pictures of myself, and people making comments about how good I looked, and how much I had changed. I didn’t realize how much I had changed, and it wasn’t just a physical change it was also mental,” Sabatka said.
Sabatka said her mile goal for the Chris Jarvis Marathon is 10:00-10:30, and on shorter runs she shoots for 9:00-9:30, which are similar times to what she ran in high school. She hopes her track coach, Mr. Heessel, would be proud to hear about her progress.
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