Discover How CBS News Anchor Sarah Carlson Lost 6 Inches Off Her Waist

Today’s transformation is a very special one for me.  For many of you living in WI, you know Sarah Carlson as the news anchor for CBS.  I have been fortunate enough to know her also as a good friend.  Sarah is responsible for hundreds if not thousands of you reading this blog, and taking my classes.  Sarah was the first person to give me a chance on TV, and I am so grateful for that.  Sarah has gone through hell the past couple years, but has overcome and endured.  Not only has she lost close to 25 lbs, she has lost about 6 inches off her waist!  She came to me about 3 years ago frustrated that after 9 months post partum, the weight and the belly fat was just not going anywhere.  I started training her and we focused more attention on the weight training and less on the cardio.  I will admit though, Sarah still loves to run 5-10 miles 3-4 times per week, but she has been extremely consistent with her weight training, and at 113 lbs is one of my stronger clients.  She also has a pretty impressive stomach, especially from what is was like just a couple years ago.

Here is her story in her words:


Sarah Before

I could bore people to death explaining the list of “things to do” on my desk at home today. Short term disability, health insurance, doctor’s appointments, school registration… it never ends! One thing I refuse to take off my list, though, is exercise. It’s true I would get more done if I didn’t take an hour or so out of every day to work out. But it’s one of the reasons I’m surviving the stress of a soap opera life and health problems.

I was always a runner, assuming some kind of cardio would keep me fit. And it did, until kids. After my daughter was born (now 5) I lost most of my pregnancy weight. But I got pregnant with my son (now 3), unplanned, when she was only 12 months old. After he was born in June of 2007, I was looking at about 20 pounds of extra weight. The scale read 138 and I’m 5 foot 3. I was also terribly overwhelmed by two kids under two years old, a demanding career and shift, and other personal problems.

I started Mamatone in January of 2008, when my son was 6 months old, and I haven’t stopped since. The weight came off quickly when I started going twice a week. By January of 2009 I was down to 120 and a few months later 115. This was also around the time I started dealing with a very traumatic separation and divorce. Continuing at Mamatone was and is a huge part of my survival.

I am 113 pounds today and I go to Mamatone religiously, plus I still run (stress relief!) 3-4 times a week. I eat healthy but I also eat what I want a lot because I work out so much. I’ve learned it’s about how much a person consumes as much as it is what they consume. So I join my kids for their daily treat but I’m careful.

Sarah Lifting 96 lbs Over Her Head!

Dustin’s classes are perfect because they’re different every week and a lot of fun! It’s great to be in a room full of women with the same goal. The fitness level varies widely but he can still make the class easy enough for a new face, but tough enough for someone like me who’s been coming for years.

I have a very public job, as a tv news anchor, which comes with a lot of sincere, caring inquiries about where I’ve been the past few months. I’m on medical leave from work because I have epilepsy. The seizures were worsening, we didn’t know why, and medication didn’t stop them. I am now scheduled for surgery toward the end of September. The recovery period of anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. My health is my biggest concern of course. Of course I hate the thought of missing out on my kid’s lives and not being able to reciprocate the love and commitment from my boyfriend, parents, other family and friends. I must admit, though, I think a lot about how much I’ll miss Mamatone during the weeks I have to stay home. The exercise, the friends, and knowing that I can do more push ups and pull ups than most guys out there!

-Sarah Carlson

Here is a sample eating plan.  Sarah is vegetarian.  There are definitely many things in here I would change, but it is working for Sarah, and it is good to see eating plans that aren’t perfect.


7am: Cheerios & coffee

8am: Yogurt (Yoplait “regular” not “light” because aspartame bad for my health problems) & water

*run 9am

11:30am: Tomato & mozarrella salad (basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar)

2:30pm: Goldfish crackers, grapes, small handful of M&M’s (snack with toddlers:)

5:30pm: spaghetti (whole wheat) with red sauce, VEGETARIAN Italian sausage mixed in, side of brocolli with olive oil and fresh parm cheese

8:30pm: popcorn


Sarah and I after filming a playground workout video


7am: 1 piece cinnamon toast (the real deal, including butter) & coffee

8am: Yogurt & water (same as above)

*mamatone 8:30am

11:30: hummus & tomato sandwich, baked Lays, blueberries

2:30pm: string cheese, plumb

5:30pm: frozen peas, salad with balsamic vinegar dressing, frozen vegetarian chicken with ketchup


7am: Cheerios & coffee

8am: yogurt & water

*run 9am

11:30: mac & cheese, salad with lowfat dressing

2:30pm: plumb, grapes, 3 crackers

5:30pm: Amy’s spinach organic frozen pizza (kids love!) & frozen corn

8:30pm: 1 more piece pizza 🙂


7am: 1 Eggo blueberry waffle w/ syrup & coffee

8am: yogurt & water

*mamatone 8:30am

11:30am: Noodles & Company small bowl of Japanese Pan Noodles with tofu and extra brocolli

2:30pm: apple slices with peanut butter

5:30pm: Vegetable stir fry with brown rice and lowfat sauce, frozen vegetarian chicken added

8:30pm: popcorn


7am: Cheerios & coffee

8am: yogurt & water

*no exercise day

11:30am: peanut butter & jelly sandwich, apple slices

3pm: McDonald’s cheeseburger NO MEAT plus side salad (on way out of town)

6pm: baked potato with cottage cheese, brocolli, chocolate ice cream 🙂


7am: coffee

8:30am: scrambled eggs with green peppers, toast with butter, orange juice

*10am run

12:30: grilled cheese sandwich

3pm: grapes & chips

7pm: pasta dish with lots of veggies, brocolli soup,glass of wine


7am: coffee

8:30am: cinammon toast (my 3-year-old’s new obsession)

*no exercise day

noon: tomato & mozzarella salad with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and basil

5pm: 2 pieces veggie pizza

Do you have questions for Sarah?  She would love to answer them.  Also if you have any well wishes to send her way as she goes in for brain surgery next week please post in the comment box below.


  1. My daughter, Jensen, just said, “Wow. Dustin must be a super hero if he can get her stomach to look like that!” 🙂

    Ohmygoodness Sarah….I’m at a loss for words. Incredible. Inspirational. Determination. Non-slacker. I think you pretty much sum up every possible positive word out there!

    Thank you for sharing your story…those personal one aren’t always the easiest (or most fun) to share. By allowing us to read a little bit into your world, reminds us to put our cookies down and get our butts in gear. I always thought I was doing pretty well at 120 (I’m also 5’3″)…113 here I come! 🙂

    See you at MamaTone!

  2. What an inspiration! My kids are the same distance apart, I am also 5’3″ and came to Dustin at 136 pounds. I’m down to 120 and seem to have stalled out. I cannot imagine lifting that 96 pound barbell over my head…amazing! Does she lift other than at Mamatone? Sarah’s “before” pic is missing from my screen above, but WOW are her “after” pics inspiring!

    Sarah, you’ve got a lot of people sending good juju that your surgery goes well and that you recover quickly! Be strong…

  3. I have been in Mama Tone with Sarah several times and I can attest that she is strong! She works hard in class, no doubt. Sarah, best of luck to you as you head in to surgery. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family for a safe & successful surgery and a quick recovery. You’ll be back at Mama Tone before you know it!

  4. Sarah – I went through a very difficult surgery when my kids were 1 and 5. It sounds as if you have the support system and I bet amazing doctors and nurses to get you through this part of your life. Your support system will mean everything in the next weeks…accept their offers to help you!!! 🙂

    You are certainly an inspiration to me to get moving again. This last week wasn’t a very productive week. I totally get the idea of exercise being on your list to do. That’s a great way of thinking about it. Maybe I need to make a list for each day vs. an ongoing list of things to get done.

    I wish you the best and I hope Dustin updates us on the success of your surgery. Take care!!!

    P.S. You LOOK AMAZING!!! WOW!!!

  5. Sarah, you look great! I have been going to MammTone with you for 2 years now and it has been so fun getting to know you. I had never seen your “before” pic and seeing you in the “after” pic is very inspirational! I mean, I already knew you looked great in our work out clothes, but OMG you look hot lady! 🙂 Way to go! My thoughts and prayers are with you and I hope the surgery goes well. Please keep us posted on things, or I will ask Dustin at class to keep up all updated.

    See you at class this week? Hope so!!

  6. Sarah—It doesn’t even look like you in the before photo. WOW! You have worked HARD and you deserve the body you have now–girl, look at those abs!!!!! Be proud–your surgery will go great and you will be back in the gym in no time!!!!! CONGRATS to you both!

  7. Sarah, your story is both touching and inspirational! Thanks for touching so many people’s lives in a positive way with your job and with your health and fitness! I’d love to meet you sometime!


  8. Wow, Sarah, AMAZING!!! On so many fronts, your story and fortitude in the face of mountains is truly inspiring….and I’ve said it before, but thanks for working so hard and making Dustin look like, as Jensen said, a super hero! ha! And also for all the air time that you have put Dustin out there for Madison to meet.
    You will have the prayers of thousands of your fans, trusting for 100% recovery of perfect health!
    (Cheerios have been a favorite of mine too, since a kid–my organic ones only have 1 gm. of sugar–‘course I always added a bit of honey from my Dad’s bees :). I really do agree with your bit about the quantity of a treat being your secret-plus your discipline! Your kids are blessed with your putting a good example before them of balance.

  9. Sarah, wow!!!!! I enjoyed your inspirational story so much. I did see you in mamatone and did not realize it was you and I watched you alot on the news! I can’t believe anyone could have those abs after kids! Crazy!!!! All this work you have done to get in shape can only help you get through this next hurdle. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  10. Amazingly inspirational! Good luck with surgery you will be in our thoughts!

  11. Sara, best wishes for a successful surgery. We’ve never met other than through the TV and I’ve always been amazed at your upbeat personality. Now, after hearing some of what you’ve been going through — I’m doubly amazed!

  12. I am so impressed that you have always been so open about your epilepsy. It is so important for others who have epilepsy to see you living a normal life with a very public job. You are an amazing person who really inspires me to be better and kinder. Prayers for your surgery!

  13. Sarah is one amazing lady and we all know Dustin isn’t so bad himself. 🙂

  14. WOW! What an inspiration you are. Thanks for sharing your story and food journal with us. From watching you on TV I would have never known you have so much going on in your personal life. Your transformation is amazing. You are a very strong women in every sense of the word. Best of luck with your surgery!!! I will keep you in my prayers.

    Jody’s daughter is right – Dustin is a super hero to a lot of us!

  15. Sarah –

    You go girl – I’m a cardio junkie and met Dustin on the morning show – still a cardio junkie but purchased the video’s last winter – what an inspiration – I’ve doubled my weights and see improvement – need to become more devoted to the indoor thing. Miss you on the Morning Show – best of luck with surgery – this too you shall overcome – BE STRONG!!!

  16. Sarah, You are a very positive presence on the news and tv. I admire your positivity and your abs look GREAT too! Way to go! You have worked hard and it shows!!
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you as you go through your surgery and recovery. Your body and soul are very strong and going through what you must, for your health, will make you even stronger. Take good care 🙂

  17. Sarah, I’ve always enjoyed the news cast with you. Thanks so much for sharing your story and for your courage as you battle so much. Will be saying prayers for you as you go into surgery. God Bless!

  18. Sarah,
    You look fab – awesome job.

    I wish you nothing but the best on your surgery – I will keep you in my thoughts.
    Take Care 🙂

  19. I was searching for hour status update and found this article. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Thanks for inspiring me to get up at 4:50 am to exercise.

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