how to lose weight

How Counting My Macros Made Me Fear Grapes

This post is something I've wanted to write for YEARS. Today, I'm talking about an approach to dieting that I did on and off for three years. Before I get too into it, I want it to be clear that I am NOT dissing this approach to nutrition. This simply didn't work for my life. There isn't a whole lot of information on this way of eating out there and I hope my honest feedback can help people see a little deeper than the surface before they decide to dive straight into this. Here we go....

Three years ago I saw people on instgram eating Eddys ice cream EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and waking up with abs. WTF? How in the world could they do that? Not only ice cream, poptarts, bagels, bread, cookies..all the things I wasn't eating. I came to learn that what they were doing was called IIFYM (if it fits your macros) or counting your macros. AKA: Eating the specific amount of protein, carbs and fat for your specific body based loosely off a variety of calculations.

 

Here's how it works:

  • A calculation based off your age, height, weight and goals will determine the amount of macronutrients you need for the day to just survive. From there you can adjust those numbers to either stay at the weight you currently are (maintain), lose weight, or gain weight.
  • You weigh out all of your food on a scale making sure to hit your numbers daily.
  • Grains, sugar, dairy ect..nothing is off limits. If it fits within YOUR specific numbers for the day, you can eat it.
  • You track your food in an app to make sure you don't go over your numbers and to make sure you're eating enough of each macronutrient.

 

I mean how cool does that sound? You can have anything you want if it fits in your numbers?

Important things to note:

  • If you want to stay full throughout the day, you NEED to eat more nutrient dense foods. While it may look fun to eat poptarts for breakfast, those fun foods will pretty much take up all of your intake for the day!
  • People who count their macros still need and eat veggies just like everyone else (or at least they should)!

My story

Okay, so now that you know how it works. Here we go! I first started to count my macros three years ago. I got my calculations off of an online source because I didn't want to hire a coach at the time, I downloaded MyFitnessPal and started to track my food daily. I ate ice cream with graham crackers every night for 7 days and after 14 days I was LEAN. I was hooked. About 2 months in though, I hated life because I felt like shit. Well I wonder why Rachel? You're eating grilled cheese for lunch, ice cream for dessert and making a bunch of shit fit into your macros--leaving very little room for nutrient dense food. Without diving in deeper, or making some simple adjustments, I decided to quit and go back to simply eating food that made me feel good. Because being lean didn't mask the fact that I looked sick, and it didn't mask the fact that eating grapes at a BBQ caused me so much anxiety I wanted to leave because I couldn't just eat freely without weighing.

 

 

Quickly I became terrified of food. Because now I didn't see a banana as a banana, I saw 27g of carbs. I didn't see green beans as a veggie, I saw the amount of carbs they would take away from my daily total. Would I rather have green beans or a Ezekiel bread? Well of course I knew I should have the green beans but instead I would choose the more fun option.

Even after I deleted the app off of my phone, I had gotten use to what portions looked like. In reality that was a good thing, I could know how much protein I needed with each meal which so many people don't know! That's not how it worked for me though. Now the weekly "relaxed" or cheat meal wasn't just some pizza and ice cream. I'd secretly be tallying the amount of fat and carbs in my head. 300+g of carbs + 200g of fat for my relaxed meal. No thank you! I would then go on to think about how long I'd have to work to get that off because I had then become aware of the amount of calories I was eating. Side note: counting macros is NOT the same as counting calories.

Because I had become a counting monster and basically feared all foods, I went back to what I knew worked. Counting, again. This would continue for 2 years. Counting became the only place I felt safe. Not because I could eat foods I wanted, I could do that eating clean--but because this was structure and I was scared out of my mind if I didn't have it. I needed to know the numbers. I felt as if this was the only way I could stay lean.

I counted my macros for three years to maintain a certain physique.

One final time I said fuck this and really committed to stop counting. But if you've read prior posts, you know that I mixed binge eating into the mix and it was bad. I had stopped counting and lost it for a few months because I was too scared to ask for help and let someone know that what I was doing to my body was unhealthy. So there I was, post three binge spree feeling disgusting and so upset with my body.  I decided to count again, and this time I went full force and bought a nice scale, a coach, the whole nine yards. I even decided to compete in a bikini competition.

This time was different, I felt that by having a coach who understood me that I was on top of the world. Love her BTW! She helped me in so many ways but something was still off. I lived for my food because I was always hungry. I knew that by deciding to compete that I was choosing to diet, that I was choosing to eat less. But hungry became me. I was hungry all the time. I began to get so intense about it that I would cut grapes into small pieces in order to hit the number to the T, that way I wouldn't go over my carb intake.

Listen, I don't blame my coach or ANYONE for the matter for how I acted and the behaviors I created. That was on me. But what happened when I decided to count is that from that point on, food was no longer nutrients for me. It was only numbers.

I finally stopped. One day I was working out with a friend and afterwards he ate a smoothie. It was huge! PACKED with spinach, avocado, a banana, chia seeds, and protein powder. He drank it all and my first thought was OH MY GOSH--ALL THOSE CARBS! A 1/2 of an avocado, does he know how much fat that is for one meal? (no, I don't fear fat or carbs--for me, it would have exceeded my numbers though). I then excused myself to the bathroom and I cried.

I was raised in the fitness industry, with a dad who taught me that I was strong and beautiful. We didn't own a scale of any sorts. We ate healthy food that made us feel good and that was it. No stress, no dieting. Nothing. I knew better. I use to wake up daily and make a big green smoothie--and I loved my body then. That day I went into the bathroom and cried because I knew, I had known all along that this relationship and though pattern that I had created with food and seeing it as numbers was horrible. On the inside all I wanted was to eat healthy again and not over think it. So that's what I did.

I deleted the app for the last time. I began to have my smoothies again, not freaking out over the fruit content. I cooked with fat again, because I wasn't restricting myself to 25g a day anymore.

I would be lying if I said there where times were I didn't want to count. It has become a place I know I can go and get lean. But my goal in life is not simply to become lean. It's to be healthy. From the inside out--that starts with a healthy mindset.

So, did counting my macros work for me? No. When I'm 85, I want to be doing the same exact thing I'm doing now to be healthy and fit. Honestly, who wants to count and track things at 85? Not me. Does this work for some people? Yes, of course! It worked for me, I lost weight and looked insanely lean. But I also lost myself. And NEVER will I risk loosing that again.

 

If you have any questions at all please don't hesitate to email me and ask: strongchicksrock.rachel@gmail.com

Weekend Warriors Unite + FREE Workout

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Hello you beautiful, strong, bad ass woman (or man). Can you do me a favor? Can you believe in YOU this weekend, please?

If you're someone who gets lost in the rush of the weekend, or in Nextflix a la pint of ice cream and by Sunday night you find yourself 2 pints deep and full of guilt, you just can't get out of this weekend slump..but M-F you are on point? Girl, I get your struggle.

It doesn't have to be this way though, you CAN enjoy the weekend and still come out strong on Monday feeling confident, happy and guilt free. #balance

 

Here's how....

The SCR Weekend Warrior:

  • She honors her body. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a slice of pizza, it means you won't trash your body with binge eating. You won't eat until you can't breathe, you will make choices that make you feel good physically and mentally.

 

  • She is intentional. Not just with your food and the choices you make, but it movement and life. If your weekend is jam packed find a 15 min junk and do a quick HIIT session. Be intentional with those 15 min so your time is used to get the most bang out of your buck. If you know that you feel more alive and happy when you make time for yourself, whether it meditation, a manicure ect--make sure you do that. Nothing brings you off "the path" more than losing yourself and not making time for me time.

 

  • She plans. You don't need to be a crazy planner and plan out every single moment that is going to happen. If you know you're going to want to go out to eat and don't want to end up in a "No you pick" situation and then they pick somewhere that has deep-fried everything and at that point you say f*uck it and eat as many fried Oreos as possible. Instead, it helps to have an idea of 3-4 places you enjoy that you know you feel comfortable eating at! If you're going to a party and you know you like to binge at the snack table, plan to eat a little before you go so you don't show up ravenous.

 

  • She is confident. Not in the sense of "hey look at me", but confident in your choices. I know it's easy to go with the flow of friends because you don't want to feel left out. Own the commitment you've made to honor your body though. If you know you can't go to such and such restaurant because there is too much temptation but your friends want to go--be confident in your decision to say no. Your goals aren't weird, I promise.

The SCR Weekend Warrior Workout:

This quick HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout is just want you need to keep you focused on your goals, murder some fat and keep you active this weekend. The point of this workout is to give the 20 seconds of movement your 100% effort (max intensity) and then rest for 10 seconds before moving to the next exercise. Form is KEY. If you feel your form start to break, slow your pace so you are still moving but with proper form. P.S- If you don't have a kettlebell you can use a dumbbell or gallon jug of water. You DO want a challenging weight. One that makes you sweat, but still allows good form!

Let me see you crush it this weekend. Sweat selfie? Food? Post your pictures to social media using #SCRweekendwarrior so our team can motivate and encourage you!

 

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Truth Bomb Tuesday

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  I like to talk about the things other people won't talk about.

Have you noticed in the health and fitness industry that you see the same things being repeated all the time, just by different people? Yeah, me too.

SCR has a strict no bs policy. So, without further ado...Todays truth: A "fit" person eating something 'unhealthy' doesn't give you permission to as well.

TRUTH BOMB

Here's the deal, have you ever seen a really ripped chick on instagram down a burger + fries + milkshake and a whole row of oreos in one sitting then post a picture of her abs in the morning and you're like:

What the heck?

Are you real?

Then you go mosey into town and your friends want to grab dinner and you're first like "Oh salad please" then, Sally Sue Ripped To Shreds from IG pops in your head and you remember that she ate a burger and woke up lean, so now you'll do the same.

Hey, I'm not pointing fingers here. I think at some point this thought has graced us all.

If you ever see me eat something like ice cream *gasp*, just because I have a title of "Personal Trainer" doesn't mean my body does something magical with it and turn that straight into glorious muscle..sadly. So, don't fool yourself. Don't let what someone in the fitness industry does dictate how you eat, or "grant permission" for you to indulge.

The choice to indulge is up to you, on what you want, and when you want. It's so important to always remember to keep the focus on your own journey though. The people you see eating crazy food and waking up seemingly unaffected, well--who knows. Maybe it was a reefed day for this person, maybe they are someone who can eat a ton and not physically be affected (on the outside--insides are going crazy). Whatever the reason they have, it doesn't pertain to you.

As you decide what meals you're about to consume, eat for your body, what works for you, and what makes you feel good. No one else's choices give you permission for anything--only you do.

 

xoxo

Rachel

 

 

3 Tips To Reach Weight Loss Goals Faster

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It's safe to say everyone wants quick results. I mean who wouldn't want to reach their goals sooner than later? I've narrowed down 3 tips that will help you punch your excuses in the face and reach your goals quicker than normal. Ready? WEIGHTLOSS

 

Tip #1: Pick One Plan

While this may seem obvious to some, a lot of women get distracted and unintentionally self sabotage their progress by jumping from program to program. A few things happen here. One, you see a friend doing something different from you and maybe they are getting killer results. Now you second guess the plan you've chosen and start theirs. Two, you don't give your program enough time. Yes, progress can happen fast. However, if you don't see progress within a week or two it doesn't mean your program isn't working the way it should. This issue stems from our desire of instant gratification. You expect that because you've started a new plan the weight will fall off like melting butter. The truth is you have to give it time.

Bottom Line: If you keep changing programs or starting and stopping you're never fully giving your body the chance to adapt and get going with progress. Sticking  to one thing for at least four weeks will allow you to see the kind of results that you're fully capable of getting by staying consistent.

 

Tip #2: Show Up

Following along with tip #1, it's not enough to simply purchase a program or buy a gym membership. If you have a goal of losing 10lbs and you bought a program and let it sit on your desk, nothing is going to happen. Sadly there hasn't been a way to get a rockin bod through osmosis yet (one can only dream). Simply having good intentions won't do you any good. You must show up everyday to your meals and your workouts. If you're unhappy with your results ask yourself if you've shown up and given 100% to whatever program it is that you're following.

Bottom Line: Results come from consistently showing up and being 100% with your fitness and nutrition. 1/7 days a week won't cut it if you're serious about reaching your goals. By showing up, and staying committed you are guaranteed to get results and maintain them!

 

Tip #3: Love What You Do

I LOVE the way I train!!!! Do you? If you're training in a way that makes you dread your workouts, something needs to change. Don't get me wrong, my workouts kick my butt but I enjoy the movements. I don't enjoy typical bodybuilding workouts, hence why I started and stopped training for my bikini competition FIVE times. Five. That's ridiculous. It's not because I couldn't do the workouts, it's because I got 0 enjoyment out of the way I was training. I hated it. I felt silly because it wasn't natural for me. When you love your workouts or style of training you are so much more likely to show up to your workouts and give them 100% because they aren't seen as chore, resulting in better physical results :)

Bottom Line: When you train in a way you enjoy, you are 100% more likely to stay committed and show up to each workout and give 100% effort which will lead to better and quicker results.

 

Now, go get some killer results!

In Light & Love,

Rachel

Don't Let THIS Stop You

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Girl, I'm about to be real. That's how I am. I don't see any good coming from sugar coating the truth or dancing around it. Here's my truth for you: You are in your own way.

In life, in health and fitness, in pretty much everything that we do.

Do any of these sound like you:

  • I fell off eating healthy again
  • I saw a cute guy and didn't talk to him
  • I wanted to speak up but didn't

Do you notice what all of those things have in common? No outside force stopped you from doing those things. YOU did. That doesn't mean you suck, it just means that you gave into the voice in your head that wanted to win. The one that made you feel inadequate, nervous, scared.

Do you know how many times a day I hear  "I fell off eating healthy again today"?  I'm not upset, mad or judging this person AT ALL. I want success for not just my clients but ALL women on their health and fitness journeys because I know how hard this can be--if we allow it.

Here's The Deal

We have to stop looking at these areas in our life as a choice. YO--you have goals, you want to feel good and be the best version of  YOU possible so why is it that we make our health a choice? Like WHAT????? Let's think on this for a hot second---maybe you want lose 10lbs, but you keep "falling off". First, yes--this IS a choice, to eat healthy or not. BUT..our health should be a non negotiable. Just like wiping out ass, it's really not an option to forget that if you don't want to smell and feel weird all day. That's the attitude we should have with out fitness. When that mentality is taken and put into place I truly believe you won't keep "falling off", because when the opportunity arises to fall off, you'll know it's not even a question as to what you're about to do next. You'll do the thing that makes you feel good.

I'm not saying you have to be a food Nazi AT ALL. I don't want that. I'm saying that you're not a person who "just can't stick with anything", I'm saying that there are non negotiables in life. You don't simply fall off, not speak up or not talk to that cute guy because you're a certain type of person. Those things happened because you got in your own way. Putting things like your health, speaking up for what you believe in, and wiping your ass should all be things that you just do. No matter what.

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As you go through each day, know that you are in control.

If you like that boy, talk to him.

If you want to lose 10lbs, do it.

If you want to feel your best, eat right.

If you want to be confident, do it.

Create a list of your non negotiable things, that no matter what you won't falter in. Knowing those, there's no way you could fail.

 

I hope you rock the hell out of life today.

In Light & Love,

Rachel