Gabrielle Sagesse has been a staple member in the sweat sisterhood since she founded a PGS chapter at Binghamton University in 2015. Her commitment to fitness and encouraging young women on her campus to take control of their health has always been personal as she has struggled with her weight since adolescence. Sagesse, who has since graduated from Binghamton University, has gotten candid on social media in recent months about her fitness and nutrition journey through sharing inspiring transformation posts that chronicle her over 50-pound weight loss.
We recently talked to Sagesse about her body transformation, the healthy eating habits that have worked for her, and much more. Read on to learn more about this incredible sweat sister.
1. You opened up about struggling with your weight since childhood. Can you briefly share your story with us?
At the age of 11, I was morbidly obese, weighing 230 lbs yet standing only 5’4 inches. My childhood was plagued by embarrassment, constant teasing, and self-loathing. One day, I went to a cardiologist with my mom and the advice and information I received about my health changed my life for the better. This ultimately led me to pursue a career in medicine as well as serve as a fitness influencer raising awareness about childhood obesity.
2. Your transformation photos have inspired so many other women! What has been the most gratifying part about sharing your healthy lifestyle on social media?
The possibility of being able to touch so many lives, many of which I know, and many of which I do not. Social media grants me the ability to inspire young women across the world to increase their self-confidence and healthy living.
3. What does your current workout routine consist of?
Currently, I am trying to lose a little bit more weight and tone up. So my current workout routine and much of which I used during my weight loss journey includes High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Cardio and strength training.
I usually workout for an hour to an hour in the half. But I can also get a great workout in 45 minutes, it depends on my mood. I do a lot of sprints, burpees, jumping squats, and box jumps- anything that will get my heart rate up, I am down for.
4. You mentioned that you are vegan. What nutrition guidelines do you follow now? What foods/snacks are a regular part of your diet?
I am still vegan and it will be a year this July 2018! I like the feeling of not being bloated all the time, so I do stay away from dairy. I don’t miss meat and honestly, over time it has been easier to adjust to this lifestyle. I’ve always loved grains (rice and bread), but too much of those, as with anything, is not good for you.
I say eat what your body needs and not what you want. Your body does not need as much as we think. Fuel yourself with smart choices and be more mindful of how much you’re eating of any one thing. Through my journey as a vegan, I realized it’s not necessarily about what you’re eating, but how much of it you’re eating.
Breakfast: Vegan protein powder + 1/2 cup of strawberries + 1 banana + 1 cup of vanilla unsweetened almond breeze almond milk
Lunch: 1/2 cup of chickpeas + 1 cup of brown rice + lots of veggies
Dinner: Groundless beef + veggies
Snacks: homemade trail mix (almonds, protein dark chocolate granola + craisins), an apple or pretzels.
5. When you’ve hit obstacles along your fitness journey, what has kept you motivated to continue?
My passion for inspiring others to not give up and recognizing my calling by God to be a leader in the fitness world.
6. You are the founder of the PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT Binghamton chapter. How has becoming a part of the sweat sisterhood changed your life?
PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT has served as an integral part in my fitness journey during my last two years of college. I had the weight of my executive board as well as the Binghamton University campus looking to me to lead by example and serve as a resource. I thank PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT for the opportunity to found and lead such a wonderful mission. PGS has changed my life for the better, knowing that I have a network of young women all passionate about the same thing.
7. What’s been the best piece of fitness/nutrition advice you’ve received since joining the sweat sisterhood?
“Everyone has their own journey.” Embrace your own and trust the process.
8. Are there any tips you would like share with other sweat sisters seeking to start a team on their campus?
Stay motivated. PGS is all about fun and getting girls on campus active. If you have the passion for it, do it!
Be a team player. No one person alone can carry out the mission of PGS. We are a sweat sisterhood for a reason. Reach out to others if you ever need help.
Get organized. There’s a lot to be done. Getting a planner and making a plan/ outline/ calendar of events will help you to place PGS in the right direction on your campus.
9. You’ve since graduated from Binghamton and are currently in medical school. How do you balance your professional responsibilities with your commitment to living a healthy and active life?
God. My purpose in life is multifaceted and I thank God for the ability to keep me sane. I pray every day and read my bible every day. I am grounded in the word and in God and I execute accordingly. God balances me out.
10. What are your top three goals you hope to accomplish in life?
- Become a doctor (hoping to go into Emergency Medicine)
- Inspire others through my fitness journey
- Travel. A lot.
11. What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?
PGS means sisterhood. It means laughs. It means happiness. It means family. It means a lifelong journey of fun + fitness.