For the first time in her life, Moulton found herself in a new city with new friends, when she moved to Chicago for the summer to play for her new team. That is also when she realized she needed to make some changes. “After my college career at Minnesota ended I moved to Chicago to play in the pro league. It was my first time being in a completely new environment with new people and I found I had a lot of free time. So what did I do? I slept and ate most of the time I wasn’t at the ball field at first. Then I just woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to feel tired and lethargic anymore. It was time for a change and since I had a lot of free time I decided to channel my focus on my health and nutrition” said Moulton.
The topic of weight can be a sensitive one, especially for young women. Moulton had to build the courage to discuss the topic. Sara shared “I’m going to be honest, I still cry sometimes when I look at my before and after pictures because it is an extremely sensitive subject. It took me a while to get the courage to post my progress on social media for everyone to see. I finally decided to share my story because I told myself if people are able to learn from my experience, maybe it will motivate them to make a healthy change as well. I want to help others make a positive lifestyle change too.”
She now embraces the topic.
Because her story is so inspiring we asked Sara what she would say to young players if given the chance. To which she said “I would tell them that having good nutrition is important and not only makes an impact on your physical health, but on your mental health as well. If we want our body to perform to the best of it’s ability, we need to take care of it by giving it the fuel and proper rest it needs.”
For those who have been involved in female sports you may have observed that nutrition and training (non-sport related) are sometimes overlooked. Moulton agrees “I definitely feel as though both nutrition and proper training are overlooked by coaches at the younger levels. Looking back on my careers in both high school and college, we hardly ever conditioned or weight lifted in high school. In college we did much more weight training and conditioning, however the nutrition piece was missing. I always told myself that since I lifted, ran, and practiced every day, I could eat whatever I wanted. This was a big mistake because the food I was taking in was mostly fast food pizza, burgers, and burritos. These things are fine to eat in moderation but it’s not something I should have been eating every day. I packed on about 50 pounds in college, granted some of that was muscle but a lot of it was fat and extra weight I could have avoided by eating better.”
This is an area young players could improve upon. It can be hard especially when you are at long tournaments etc… If a young athlete really wants to take their future in the game serious, meaning they have aspirations to play at a high level, nutrition is something they need to be aware of. Moulton says “I would just stress the importance of taking care of your body and your mind! Get enough sleep at night, fuel your body with the proper fuel and nutrients it needs, and don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it if you have questions or concerns. If I could go back to my travel ball days I would avoid drinking soda because it dehydrates you, and I would have brought food to the ball park instead of eating hot dogs, walking tacos, nachos, and candy in between games. I get it, you’re only young once, but by getting in the habit of eating healthier early on, it will make it much easier to make healthier eating choices in the future.”
For Moulton the changes have had a positive impact on her “I honestly feel amazing. As I mentioned before I don’t only feel great physically, but I do mentally as well! I have been able to challenge my body in ways I never thought imaginable! I went on an 8 mile run last week and it felt amazing. My energy levels during the day are always high and I sleep great at night! I feel like a completely new person and I couldn’t be happier!”
The question most people will ask is did losing 50 plus pounds affect her pitching? “Several people were concerned that my weight loss would effect my velocity when pitching, and I’ll be honest I had questioned it too because losing 52 pounds is a lot. But after pitching all winter to my dad, continuing to lift weights, and doing cardio workouts, I found my velocity stayed the same and maybe even increased. I feel so much stronger and I definitely have more endurance than I ever have before. I look forward to getting back on the field with The Chicago Bandits in the NPF this summer!”
Thank you to Sara for sharing her experience with us. She has already served as a great role model to many young players and this is another chapter in her story. One we are glad she shared.