I'm frequently asked what my favorite __________ is. Be it a movie, book, author or so on—people ask, and I love talking and sharing about the things that fire me and have had some kind of impact on my life. So I decided to make a a little hub where all of my favorites live. I'm going to keep this post as updated as possible.
So that's why this story of being rejected by a guy stems from what I've gotten out of my fitness journey. Don't get your panties in a bunch, my courage and confidence that I've gained from this journey go way further than just being used to talk to a man. But, It blows my mind how the one decision to pick me, choose me and commit to myself, has resulted in a confident woman who is learning to love herself more and more everyday.
I was also packing my bags, leaving my ex-husband.
I was also starving.
I was also weighing every green bean and grape that entered my mouth.
I also thought I was fat & hated myself. Yes, in this picture I truly thought I needed to be smaller. My heart hurts as I type this, but what I saw--is not what I know you see when you look at that.
I was starving. I was unhappy. I was starving. I was miserable.
A year ago I stumbled upon my new gym home The Human Form. It was by accident, literally. I came here with a friend because she was going to meet a guy who worked there (who I later ended up dating), I was terrified for her that she was going alone so I came with her--what do you mean you're going to an empty gym alone to meet a man from the internet? I ended up landing the internship of a lifetime there and that's now where I do all of my personal training.
My first week there I watched the owners, Stephen and Michelle make smoothies pretty much everyday. I remember it like it was yesterday that they put 1/2 and avocado, 1 whole banana and some other fruit in there. There was also protein and veggies but all I could think about was how in one smoothie, they just consumed almost all of my fat intake for the day and about 3/4 of my carbs.
I was counting my macros and eating 25g of fat + 100g of carbs a day.
It was then, as the people I admired so much--and my boyfriend at the time, drank their smoothies--that I knew something was wrong with me.
Counting my macros was not healthy for me. I saw food in numbers and not for fuel. I was fearful of 5 extra grams of fat per day. Simultaneously I was binging like crazy because I was eating such a limited amount of food. Even with counting my macros, I was going crazy and living an extremely unhealthy life.
I vowed to myself that I would stop counting and start focusing on eating whole foods mindfully.
Having not done that though for 2 years, and just entering a new relationship, I ate. My now ex-boyfriend loved cooking for me, and I loved that he wanted to. It was all insanely healthy but I had been use to eating practically nothing and being hungry 24/7, so when I began to eat meals with him I was not only eating good stuff--I was eating his size portions of good stuff. I knew I was probably eating too much for my body, but for so long all I could think about was my next meal and a this point I no longer knew what enough (truly enough) looked like for my body.
I ate out at restaurants, for the first time in so long. I ate food I loved, I tried new things and eventually I stopped being so afraid of food.
It took me almost a year to come to a place where I know I'm okay without counting.
Last July I weighed a low of 120lbs. In December of this year I tipped the scale at my highest of 158.
That crushed my soul because I knew that while I finally felt truly strong for the first time ever, a lot of that weight came from not honoring my body through food. Which was really hard to swallow for me.
But something else happened.
Part of me wanted to hide because I knew how lean I could be, I knew where I had once been. But as I reflected on that, I realized that I was starting to love my body where it was. Even at 158. In the picture below I was 158, but I had never felt more sexy and confident in my life. That's what most women and competitors say though. "I love my curvy body". Most say it because they know what is happening and they are ashamed. And I was, I fought myself daily to love this body. But when I allowed myself to start letting that love be okay--what happened was magical.
In the beginning I felt that I could only love myself at 120 because 120 meant abs. I thought that 158 equaled that I was fat, not worthy of love. I based my love with myself on my gravitational pull with the universe.
Something clicked though, I started to be able to grab my butt. I had legs that didn't look like you could break them in half.
I finally, FINALLY realized that beauty, confidence and feeling sexy had nothing to do with abs. That it is OKAY to love your body without it looking like the cover of Oxygen Magazine.
So this year I gained 40lbs. I was recovering from an eating disorder that consumed every part of my being. The weight I gained wasn't all healthy, a lot of my old habits came up many times. This 40lbs is made up of learning how to eat for my body, honoring it through eating intuitively, and sometimes it was made up of ED mindset setbacks.
40lbs is a lot, I don't say that with rainbows and butterflies shooting out of my ass. But speaking of ass, I have one now. I have many things now that I choose to break society's version of beautiful and decide I was beautiful on my own.
Now, out of curiosity, I weighed myself and am chillin at 143. I love myself more at 143 than I ever did at 120. Because a number doesn't decide you're confident or beautiful--you decide that.
143 is good. My ED mindset isn't there, I can wake up and eat the foods I love that simultaneously fuel me and leave me feeling good. I can look in the mirror with a deep acceptance and love for my body. I'm actually strong. I can lift heavy shit well. I don't have dark circles under my eyes, I don't run out of energy in my workouts, I'm happy.
Strong Curves + radical self love VS. weak, extreme hate for my body.
I am beautiful because I decided I was. The freedom and confidence that came with that is earth shatteringly beautiful.
There are still days I feel my self love tank is dipping low, but I know now that self love is a choice and most importantly a journey, not an end goal.
So if you feel like you're struggling with self love because you don't look like a model, I challenge you to be okay with being a bit of a rebel and allowing yourself to decide what your version of beautiful is.
With a whole lot of love, shaky fingers and vulnerability,
"Love yourself" "It doesn't matter what you look like, you should love yourself"
I understand the logic of this advice, but telling someone to simply love themselves is not enough. While it's so easy to spew out of your mouth, it's not easy to apply to your life. Society tells you to love yourself while simultaneously telling you to be smaller, be skinny, be confident but not to much. So in the middle of this message telling you to love where you're at, they're also telling you that you aren't good enough where you're at.
Loving yourself requires you to step out of a victim mentality. No one wants to hear that, but it is so true. It is easier to throw ourselves a pity party, complain, pick ourselves, and stay in our bubble of sadness and comfort that we've created from feeling inadequate, not worthy and not lovable. Maybe you haven't felt all of those things, or any of them. Regardless, stepping into the power and magic of loving yourself is somehow scarier and harder than staying choosing to be unhappy and in a place with little to no self-love.
Maybe you don't realize that happiness is a choice, that self-love is something you can cultivate on your own without anyone deciding it for you. Maybe you don't realize that you've stayed in a place of comfort, that isn't healthy for you physically or emotionally.
So here is how you can begin to step into your power of radical self-love.
1.) Become Whole On Your Own: When your joy, self-worth, confidence and every other way you define yourself is rooted in the opinion, thoughts and validation of someone else, your self-love will be completely dependent on whoever that person is that you're allowing to control so much of you. Step into being true to YOU and less of what you think your boyfriend, best friend, mom, dad etc want you to be. Then you begin to love YOU for all that you are, and not all that you're pretending to be. How can you do this? You can start dressing the way you want to, saying what you want to say, doing what you want to do, chop your hair, color it pink, do you, babe.
2.) Fill Your Cup First: So this is your cup. In this cup is your joy, happiness, kindness, and love. But to me, this cup looks empty.. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong? So If this is what your cup looks like, and you're trying to love others and show them kindness, love, happiness and joy... it's not going to work really well. You can't pour into other and into life, if this is your cup. So how do you fix this? Fill your cup first. What makes you happy? What gives you joy? Do those things. Doing things that take care of YOU and make you happy will in turn leave your cup full to pour into other people. For me, I know that If I'm constantly running on empty I will crash and burn. So every morning I wake up 15 min earlier than I have to and I make my coffee + have enough to spend to drink it slowly before I begin my busy day. I carve out time on Mondays to make sure I can always go to the grocery store with enough time to not rush because I LOVE it there. No joke. I go to yoga and meditation classes frequently. All of these things fill ME up. I need time alone, and sometimes it's as simple as telling my friends I can't hang out and binge watching the new season of Orange Is The New Black while eating kale chips and drinking kombucha. That's what I need to be full. It's not a lot. But taking that "me time", allows me to pour into others from a full cup and not giving everyone the shitty part of me. What can you do that fills you up?
3.) Drop Your Victim Mentality: That's a really intense sentence to read and If I thought I could get my point across with saying it differently I would but I feel this is such a raw and real thing to understand. Check this conversation (that I made up but hear every time I see a friend or anyone with a vagina):
Girl 1: Your hair looks so pretty!
Girl 2: Oh my gosh no it's so ugly, I was on pinterest for hours and told my stylist I wanted white blond and now it's like this orange ish color and ohmygoshicantrightnow. It's so gross.
*new girl walks in*
New Girl: Girl 1, I'm so sorry DickBoyFriend broke up with you.
Girl 1: It's okay, his new girlfriend is like super into working out and I don't do that. She's got much prettier skin than mine because mine is always breaking out and he would get so embarrassed of it so it's like whatever. They are obviously better together.
I could share 500 scenarios with you, at the end of them all would be the same result. Choosing the victim mentality. For whatever reason, deciding that you aren't worthy enough and complaining about it is better than choosing a way out. A way out of hate and into radical self love. How can you fix this? Tell yourself that you have all of the power. Then fucking act like it. Instead of DickBoyFriend breaking up with you and you sitting there picking yourself apart, dissecting all of the make-believe reasons you feel he left you, allowing yourself to stay in shame, hate and pity. Step into the power of changing the story. Okay he left, now you decide that you're beautiful and because he left you doesn't make you any less beautiful.
You are not the gosh damn victim, I know that the safety of picking yourself apart is easier to stay in than clamming power and turning into a woman who fiercely loves herself. Trust me, I get it. But the only way to move out of self hate and into self-love is to decide that this is YOUR story, and you get to actively choose how you want to live it out.
Self love is an intense thing, but if you begin by applying these lifestyle changes
today, right now. Not tomorrow, I promise you will begin to see changes in your life. This wasn't a fluffy list of things that sound nice. This is a list of ways you can change your life starting RIGHT NOW.
Become whole on your own.
Fill up your gosh damn cup.
Let go of being the victim.
You can do this, I know you can. I know you can because I did. It was not rainbows and butterflies, but I was sick and tired of seeing happy women rock their life. I decided I wanted that for me, and I wanted to stop hating them for what I could have if I simply tried.
So, do you think you can try?
Are you ready to go on a journey of radical self-love?
All my love and light being sent to you as you get ready to rock the fuck out of life.
Oh Emily, where do I even begin? I am so proud of you and your year with Strong Chicks Rock. Friends, here is Emily's journey with SCR. Excuse me while I go grab some tissues and ugly cry.
Emily, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this journey.
In her own words....
"I was scrolling through Instagram one day, looking at all the fitness accounts I’d started following. I was very slowly recovering from a hip surgery at the time. I was frequently in pain, and frustrated with not being able to work out the way I wanted to. So I took to Instagram, following all of these strong, thin, beautiful women who I wanted to look like, who I thought had it all figured out. It made me feel worse sometimes, caused me push my body in way sit wasn’t ready for, and caused me to think less of myself because I didn’t look like those women. Then I found Rachel’s account. I’m sure I looked through the last 6 months of her posts that afternoon, and at the end of each one she gave her email. Something about her message stuck with me, and I decided to send her an email thinking, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
As Rachel asked me about my goals, my life, and why I reached out to her, I bombarded her with questions. I was so nervous about jumping into something with someone I didn’t know, trusting her with personal stories about how I was feeling and how I wanted to feel. Rachel was extremely patient with me, thorough with her answers, and incredibly kind. I finally committed after about a week of this question game (thanks for not getting sick of me, Rach!) I was so excited. I knew Rachel was going to help me lose the weight I needed to and then I could finally feel good about my body.
Fast forward a year, and I don’t even know what I weigh. I don’t own a scale, and I walk past them at the gym without caring about what they might say if I were to step on one. My year with Rachel hasn’t looked anything like I thought it would and I’m honestly so grateful for that. It’s been filled with so much learning, self love, and hard work.
I’ve learned what it looks like to honor my body through food. I’ve realized that it looks different for everyone, and that’s okay. I’ve gained physical and mental strength. I’ve become a part of a community of women from all over the country who are kind and empowering. They lift me up on bad days and challenge me to always be my best.
Most importantly I’ve learned something that makes all of those other things possible. I didn’t need to lose the weight in order to love myself. I didn’t need to be lifting hundreds of pounds to be good enough. I could like myself right now, exactly the way I was. It seems silly, but I honestly had NO idea that was possible before meeting Rachel. Self love is a radical thing for women in this world, and that’s what makes Strong Chicks Rock so amazing. Working out isn’t a punishment, food is not something you earn, you can’t hate yourself healthy. You start with loving yourself. Unconditionally.
SCR is spreading a message that goes against so much of what women are told these days. It is okay to love your body. It is okay to feel good about yourself. It is not your weight that defines health. The choices you make should make YOU feel good, and nobody else’s opinion matters. I am unbelievably grateful for the past year I’ve spent with SCR and can’t imagine my life without Rachel and her support."
Strong Chicks Rock may not be for everyone, and that's okay. Because I know that the women it is for will find me, and will have radical transformations like Emily did. Transformations of the mind and heart, of falling deeply in love with yourself. That is all I need, that Is all I ever wanted to do for women.
I love this tribe. I am abundantly grateful for you every day.
When your heart hurts, when it physically feels broken, how are you suppose to be happy? When has your heart ever hurt?
Did someone break your heart? Was someone mean to you? Did you have to break someone else's heart? Did someone leave you?
I think it's safe to say that at some point in your life, you may have experienced heart-break. I know I have.
Being the emotional woman I am, I feel things so deeply. In my gut, to my core. So when my heart hurts, my body hurts. I don't want to eat, I feel like I can't workout, my head hurts and I feel sick to my stomach.
Where Things Get Tricky
Everyday I wake up and I coach women through their health and fitness journeys. I teach them how to be confident, how to rock their body, but I also teach them how to rock life. Showing them that they are in control of their happiness.
I do, 100% believe, that you can choose joy everyday.
That's really easy to say though when you feel happy already. When life is seemingly going really well for you.
I know people have read my posts and thought "okay yeah, bitch, you're happy, we get it. I'm not and there is no way I can be." I know people have thought that, because I use to feel that way when I saw people saying what I do now.
Recently life has been teaching me a lesson I don't like. Because its hard. Maybe I'm feeling the way I do because Mercury is in Retrograde (pardon my crazy). More and more I'm being put in situations where I have to cultivate my own happiness in the midst of a shit storm. My heart is hurting and I feel vulnerable.
I had to break someones heart
I miss my son
These two things have ripped my insides apart and tossed them into the street to be driven over my a semi truck, not once, but twice.
Life is happening and I've been put in situations where I'm not "just always happy". I have to create it. I have to choose joy instead of my hurt.
You Have A Choice
You were not born to simply get hit and take it. To wallow in your sadness for the rest of your life. That is not the life you are here to live. Sad things, heartbreaking things, earth shattering and devastating things are going to happen to you and your heart will hurt so bad (though I don't wish this upon anyone).
We think we don't have a choice, that when we feel the sadness--we must stay there. That isn't the case though. Please, don't fight me on this one. We always have a choice, I think it's easier for us though, to choose sadness. Because it's familiar. It's not scary to stay in sadness. It's comforting.
The other choice though? To choose joy and gratitude. That takes stepping outside of your comfort zone, which no one really likes. We must do it though.
Because maybe through your sadness and heartbreak, the one choice you make to choose joy, will be the single moment that you grow and get stronger through whatever situation you are in. Because now you are no longer the victim, you are the mother fucking goddess who is in control and always has been--you're just not realizing it though.
We get lost, we feel sad and we give life to the story of sadness in our heads. We stay there. We just stay. We feel helpless to our pain.
When you feel heartbreak, you don't have to ignore those feelings. From a beautiful friend and a woman I look up to so highly, Stephanie Estice, she taught me that these feelings sometimes just want to be acknowledged. They don't need a new home in your heart, they don't need to stay. You can simply acknowledge where you feel this hurt in your body.
On Choosing Joy
So how do you choose joy? Once you acknowledge those feelings of hurt, and realize that you can write a different story.
Here is how I do it:
- Step one, like we talked about, acknowledge those feelings of hurt. Where are they on your body? Seriously. When I'm hurt, I feel sadness all over my body. Sometimes in my gut, sometimes a lump in my throat, sometimes my heart. Where is your hurt? Shut your eyes, acknowledge it, take 3-5 big deep breaths into that area. In through the nose, out through the mouth.
- Cry it out, dance it out, work it out, paint it out, love it out. Physically doing something that isn't focusing on the hurt is so important. When I'm hurt I don't want to workout, but what I do love is to dance. Sometimes feelings of hurt and sadness need a way out of the body, so in a way that honors your body, get that shit out.
- Meditate. Now listen, I'm not magnificent mediator. I do it because I feel more like me after. I feel centered, I feel like I can breathe without hurt again. 1 min, 3 min, 5 min, 10 min or as long as you want. Meditation isn't about how long you can sit still. There is no judgement here. I love this guided mediation from Gabrielle Bernstein. Click HERE to listen to this 5 min guided meditation.
- Attitude of gratitude. When hurt fills your heart, it's easy to focus on all the crappy things happening to you. Instead, you can make the small mindset shift to gratitude. I pick three things that I'm grateful for. Sometimes they are big things. Sometimes they are things like "I'm grateful for internet to watch Greys Anatomy". Again, there is no judgement here.
- Have a list of things that make you happy, so when you feel anything but happy, you know what to do and where to go. Write a physical list of the things that bring you joy. For me? I like going to eat alone, getting a new book, getting my nails done, going for a hike alone. All of these things bring my peace, I love them. So when I'm working to be happy again, I'll pick one of the things I know make me happy.
There are many more ways to choose joy, to become happy again when your heart hurts. I hope these few that I've shared with you help you in every way you need.
What I hope the most though, is that you realize happiness is always a choice. You don't have to be stuck in your broken heart. While there is nothing wrong with feeling sadness, sadness is not your home.
I talk about this subject so frequently because it's what drove me to want to create SCR. It's what helps me connect to my clients, it helps me understand them better. Because I get it. Each time I talk about my history with binge eating I open up just a little bit more. This time though, I think I'm ready to share it all.
I hope if you're reading this, that these words help you in every way that you need right now. If you find yourself needing help, or someone to talk to--I AM HERE. I don't say that in a fake or insincere way. I truly, to my core, mean it.
The hold that food had over my life was scary. I think it started at a young age when I would go over to a friend's house and shovel white bread and butter down my throat. When I'd get home and my dad would ask what I ate, I'd say something like "salad with chicken."
My dad wasn't stupid, I think he knew that I wasn't always eating salad. Nor did he want me to eat salad all the time. He wanted me to value my health at a young age. I didn't though. I wanted to be "normal" like everyone else. I wanted to buy super sack lunch at school on Wednesday. I couldn't though. Or at least I wasn't allowed, so I'd dig up or even steal money from my dad so I could indulge with my friends.
This lead through high school, but I didn't realize it was a problem until I got married.
After I had my son I was in shock over what my body looked like. I wanted my lean body back. Why was I left with this skin, these deep, deep stretch marks and all this unwanted weight? I wanted it gone. Yesterday.
I thought I finally found my way and started getting in shape.
I had a slight problem though. I never left my house, I only went to the store once a week and sometimes to see family. So my vision for what I "should" look like became 100% locked on what the girls on Instagram looked like.
I NEVER aspired to look like them. But with these women being the only women I looked at, I just thought that finally reaching my "goal" meant attaining abs.
So I got there. I had abs, and I still hated myself. I thought I was fat at 125 lbs. I don't say that lightly, and I realize now that in no way shape or form was I fat. But that's not what I saw in the mirror.
I would get so upset that I wasn't at my goal that I would tell my husband "Let's just go out to eat. It's my cheat meal". He would agree and I'd stuff my face. Then I'd be so upset that I did that, I'd continue to eat poorly. Make sense right?
I'd begin to eat my sons cereal to the point of feeling like I was going to throw up, crying because it hurt so bad but I felt like I couldn't stop.
I'd binge on protein bars, fruit, chips. Anything, even seemingly "healthy" foods.
I'd do this for 1-4 weeks and then commit to some insane goal. Like competing. Meaning I'd restrict or count my food like a crazy person. Replacing one addiction with another.
Then a few weeks or months after *thinking* I had my shit together I'd binge again. Every time the binges would get worse.
It finally got to a point that I told my husband. I told him not to give me the keys to the car so I couldn't go and buy food. I told him not to give me money to buy it.
The moment I had it in my head I "needed" food, I'd ask for the keys and money. He would say no, just like I asked him to.
Then? I would cry. I would literally sob. I yelled at him for not letting me do what I want with my body. I did this until he caved and gave me the keys, so I could go feed my addiction.
It makes me sick just writing this.
My mother is an addict and alcoholic. Comparing the way I treated food, with looking at the way she treats drugs and alcohol. I don't see any difference.
I was literally ruining my body and my mind and I truly felt like there was nothing I could do about it. I didn't feel like I was in control.
OF COURSE there was something I could do. I WAS IN CONTROL. I didn't realize it though.
I could have sought help but I felt like as a personal trainer whose mission is to help women break free from food, and LOVE their bodies--how could I ask for help?
I didn't tell my dad because I didn't want him to think less of me. I didn't tell my sister because I thought she looked up to me. I didn't tell my best friend because I wanted it to look like I was better. Like I didn't struggle too. I did.
I did tell my husband. It was never his fault. I was bat shit crazy. He didn't know that me eating 5 protein bars was bad. I lied to him, I used him. All for food.
One day I sat on the couch after I had convinced my husband to take me to the store to buy food fo "us". I suggested that we "needed" a platter of cheese and crackers because to him he thought it was healthy so it was okay. Him and my son fell asleep and I ate the whole thing. Then I ate a whole box of cereal. My husband woke up to me crying with a bowl of cereal in my hands, I sat there saying " I can't stop, I need help." Over and over again,
I sat there deciding whether or not I wanted to give up my business and stop Strong Chicks Rock. How dare I help women when I can't even help myself? Who the fuck am I to help anyone?
So I cried, and I sat. I cried more. As I sat there and held my stomach I thought "I will get better for my clients." If I could get myself better, I could help women everywhere. I could help women dig out from what feels like the depths of hell. But I have to do it first.
So I did. Through the hate I felt, through the challenges I faced and the anger I felt. I did it.
I started by making small goals. Like "three days binge free". I would make a mark on my dry erase board every night ONLY if I made it through the day honoring my body through food. I had to switch my mindset from eating for a body, to eating to fuel my body and love it.
I'd have one good day. Yay! One mark up on the board and I was so proud! Day two, I binged and would have to physically erase my day one check and then begin again the next day with mark 1.
Eventually I got 3 marks, 7, 14, 30 and so on.
I did it.
This is where my passion stems from. This is what made me want to help women, hell, save women.
Some people may say I'm sharing too much. Why would I open myself up and expose my deepest and darkest secrets?
Because I want you to know that I get it. I know how to help women become free from the chains food has you wrapped in.
Now, I make it my mission to help women love themselves and create healthy relationships with food.
I don't pretend to know it all. And there are still days that I feel struggle. There are still things I'm learning as I create a healthier relationship with food daily. But I'm doing it. And I want to help you do it too.
Cheers to honesty, to healthier relationships with your body and food & most importantly, cheers to self-love. May your heart be open to loving YOU more and more every day.
If you need help getting a hold of your fitness and nutrition, please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No pressure, we can simply talk.
I tell my clients that motivation isn't always there, and it's in those moments, when the motivation is nonexistent but they choose to workout or eat food that honors their body anyway, that they gain more strength and more power. They continue to propel themselves forward, to be the best versions of themselves possible. They fought through it. The funk that is. Well here I sit, at a loss for what to write about. Sometimes the words flow beautifully from my brain through my fingers. Those times when I'm inspired. Wonderful pieces of work comes from those times. For weeks I haven't wanted to write. Not because I didn't have things to say, but my heart wasn't full and beaming with just the right thing to say. I didn't feel inspired or motivated.
I wanted to write about being 18 married, I wanted to write a letter to the girl on the treadmill, but I didn't. I sat and avoided my laptop. As I sat there scrolling IG, wasting time. I came across a video that said you don't always need to be inspired to write--sometimes you just need to open the computer and lay your fingers across the keyboard and write.
So that's what I'm doing. I'm writing.
Instead of talking about my engaged and underage-divorced before 23 marriage, I want to talk about doing.
Be it your fitness journey, or simply life--sometimes the motivation isn't there. You don't want to workout, you don't want to prep your food. You don't fucking want any of it.
While opting for a glass of wine and stepping up your Netflix game to watch every episode of One Tree Hill very well could be an option. It's not the only option.
Sometimes honoring your body means that you rest, and that means a skipped workout or meal not planned. But just because motivation is lacking, doesn't mean that you give up.
Sometimes, you gotta suck it up.
Put your big girl panties on and show the fuck up.
I don't live by some do or die mentality. I don't believe in going to the gym everyday and grinding till you die. Sleep is for pansies . No, I actually like my sleep--thank you very much.
All we need sometimes is to show up. Just like I showed up to my computer. In all honesty, I came home from being with clients to write this post. First though, I went to the store (didn't need to go), made a large lunch and watched the Bachelor. Then I scrolled my phone 7888899 times avoiding this. I didn't want to do this. I want my words to touch people and fill their soul with happiness, truth, motivation and I want these words to fucking inspire someone!
As I sat and became pissed at myself for not writing, I realized my writing shouldn't solely be done for everyone else. But that this outlet is for me, my words need a home instead of stirring and dancing in my brain all day. If I wanted to feel better, I had to show up. Even if I didn't know what the hell I was going to say.
Here I am though, almost done with this post. That I hope does inspire you, but more so it inspired me to keep going. It helped me realize that I can do hard things (not that writing about my life is the equivalent of building homes in Africa). However, it relighted that fire in me that I know is always going. Sometimes just not as intense as other times.
Pushing through a funk is not fun. Showing up is way easier said than done. But you can do it. You can show the fuck up even when it feels like you can't. Even when you want to say screw it all and give up on everything. Life, fitness, the perfect ponytail. Show up.
You'll amaze yourself. Doing it once, simply showing up one time when you think you can't and you don't want to--will help you the next time you feel that way, and the next time, and the next time. Until when it happens again and you finally realize that you are more powerful than you understand and you can do anything. You simply have to believe it.
Cheers to showing up.
How will you show up today?
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)!
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: email@example.com
Isn't that what we all want? To truly love life, enjoying every moment + feeling our best? See how I didn't say, "we all want abs"? Because that's not what healthy is.
Healthy isn't a six-pack. A six-pack may be YOUR goal, or maybe you just want to move without getting winded. Maybe you want to feel confident in a new pair of jeans, maybe you simply want to love your body, or maybe you just want to feel healthier.
All of which are okay.
When people approach their fitness journey they handle it in an all or nothing" type of way. So that means if you eat pizza, well shit, now you have to start over.
That's not creating a healthy relationship with your body or food.
So how can you live life, while creating a healthy relationship with food and your body?
Create your journey on the foundation of health--not aesthetics.
Hear me out, I'm not saying it's a bad thing if you'd like to change your body composition. When you focus 100% on "getting abs" though or losing those last 5lbs...you are narrowing your mindset on short-term goals. Which perpetuates the diet cycle.
Can you imagine a life where you eat food you like, feel good in clothes, feel confident AND being able to enjoy beer and pizza on a Tuesday night just because? YOU CAN.
-Have preemptive "cheats" throughout the week. UGH, I loathe the word cheat but bear with me for this one. Have a cookie after dinner one day, put chocolate chips in your oatmeal, don't weigh out every bite of food that enters your mouth. Having little things throughout the week that aren't necessarily "bad" but may not be considered the "perfect" foods to reach your goals will take away your desire to binge on the weekends or holidays. Holidays shouldn't be hard, you shouldn't need tips or tricks to get through them. You should be able to have one cookie and that's it. The thing is most people can't do that. By simply eating food normally though the week and not living in "only good or only bad" food mindset, you'll learn how to eat manfully through life.
-Eat to fuel your body. I use to weigh EVERY drop of food that went in my mouth. If I was a gram over on GREEN BEANS I would take some off the scale and eat less...100% so my body would look a certain way. You guys, that obviously wasn't healthy. When I switched my mindset from eating to get abs to eating to FEEL GOOD and perform well through my workouts my whole world changed. I lost my attachment to food because instead of literally crying being upset I couldn't enjoy holidays or fearing outings, I learned the most important thing is my health. When the focus is there, the weight loss (if desired) happens organically and as a bonus to fueling my body well.
Do you want to know how I balance life?
I eat whole foods through the week, I aim to have veggies with each meal, I make sure to have healthy fat with each meal as well so I stay satiated through the day, I also try to have a protein source with each meal. I drink water. I'm mindful of my portions. When I go out to eat I typically get a salad or a protein source + veggies because I'd rather indulge a little bit more on other things like Jennis ice cream. I don't do cheat meals. I prefer to go through my week and if my friend and I decide to get eclairs on a Saturday afternoon, I'm going to say yes if it's some thing I really want. So when I say yes, I'll eat the eclair and LOVE IT. Then the rest of the day I'll eat like I normally would, getting my veggies in, being mindful. That night, I wouldn't have ice cream because I had treat mid day. I may have a protein bar that isn't deemed "100% clean" but that's okay, because sometimes you're in a pinch and need a quick option. I won't stress about Christmas because I know it's one day. I won't skip my meals that day, but rather focus on creating memories. If I TRULY want a cookie, I'll eat it. I aim to workout 3-5x a week..and you know what, if that doesn't happen. I let it go, because EVERY day I focus on honoring my body in some way.
At the end of the day, or more so at the end of my life--I don't want to look back and be sad because every action I made was for how my stomach looked. Which, by the way is covered with clothes 99.4% of the year. I'll have looked back and been proud because everyday I made the conscious choice to honor my body. That is how you balance life, while also reaching your goals.
Do you have balance in your fitness journey and life?
If you don't, do you need help creating it? If so, I would love to help you create your version of healthy. And help you build a lifestyle that you can maintain--now, next month, 5 years from now and 50 years after that. Email me: strongchicksrock.rachel@gmail so I can learn more about YOU & your goals. OR fill out the application on the "WORK WITH ME" page!
Oh Columbus ladies do I have an amazing surprise for you. Over the past four years I've worked with hundreds of women doing online personal training--many of those clients have been Columbus natives but only had the option of online coaching with me because I hadn't opened up more one on one availability. Now though, as SCR continues to grow and I'm able to open up more in person sessions I wanted to be able to offer those local to me not only the ability for in person coaching , but a mesh of online too. It doesn't stop there, SCR's foundation for all clients is to help them rock their life. We help you find and build your confidence, we help you become healthy from the inside out.
My girls make amazing transformations, and that's all on them--not me. I give them the tools to take control of their life, and the rest is in their hands. They do the workouts, they eat each meal mindfully--fueling their body well.
So when it came time to create this new structure, I wanted to add a little new bonus. While you're rocking out at life, learning to love your body and becoming the best version of you--we wanted to bring you outside resources to help you display your new found confidence and self love in a way that I can't.
Because SCR focuses on healthy from the inside out---our new program: The Ultimate You, is now giving you access to 2 major business to help you take your transformation to a whole new level.
Bring in Tawny Turner, our official Master Stylist and Colorist:
You're making huge changes from the inside out, your body is becoming healthier and stronger. your clothes may be getting looser, you are blossoming into a newer, and more confident version of yourself, with that may come the desire to take your transformation to a new level. Brighten up your look? Cut it all off? It's up to YOU! Tawny has been my stylist for the past year and has helped me in my own personal journey feel more confident. My fitness journey has been one of deep internal self discovery, with that came the desire to chop off all my hair, something that I let define me for so long. She played a huge role and helping me become more free.
So, that's why hair. Not because we are superficial and I think you need to change the way you are, but because this journey inspires change in so many areas of your life. With this new program, you are able to unlock a 25% discount on any of Tawny's services.
The W Nail Bar, our official nail salon.
When you're learning how to pick up heavy things and put them back down (properly), your hands take a pretty beating. Nothing makes me feel more classy and put together than rocking out some kettlebell swings with a fresh coat of paint on my nails.
The owners & nail techs both are so full of passion for what they do and love making YOU feel pampered and beautiful. This all natural salon is my absolute favorite in Columbus and I'm so happy we are able to offer you another way to bring out your personality and confidence with a little pop of color (or black, I dig it) in your life.
The Ultimate You Program:
-Initial assessment and review -Customized 90 day training protocol based off current fitness level, goals and availability to equipment (none required). Delivered via email. -Nutrition analysis (menu revamp, meal coaching, learn how to eat for YOUR body, hand outs, food lists, grocery list) -Weekly Check in’s -Lifestyle coaching -Open communication with your coach ( Rachel Turner) 7 days a week. -Exclusive access to SCR accountability group (rad group of women all working towards being the best versions of themselves possible, all sharing ideas/recipes, motivation, asking questions ect) -NEW: 25% off with Master Stylist and Colorist Tawny Turner NEW: 20% off at The W Nail Bar -NEW: 3 in person sessions (60min) -NEW: 1 FREE entry to Sunday Brunch)
Not only does this program offer you rad discounts to people we love in Columbus, who all want to help you bring out the most confident version of yourself. This program also offers you an insane discount, giving you THREE free in person sessions with me (valued at $75 a session), that's in addition to your 90 days of online coaching as well. I created this program to help you completely rock your life!
With that said, if this program sounds like what you need in your life to help you reach your health and fitness goals, learn how to love your body, learn how to eat for your body and simply rock life--well, I would love to work with you.
Please head here, and fill out an application. All applications are responded to within 24 hours!
I can't wait to help you fall in love with YOU and rock life.
Sometimes titles for my posts come to me quickly and other times, like now, I have so much to say that I want to pull you in with but I can't fit it all..#thestruggle
While I wish I could've learned the things I'm going to talk about below in school. I won't blame school for not teaching them to me. I won't blame anyone. Because now,
I I'm learning through incredible life experiences, both good and not so good--what I've always wanted to learn. Now, I can do something about it. I can work every day through Strong Chicks Rock to teach women what I wanted to know. know
1.) Women empowerment is rad as fuck. High school Rachel didn't understand this. See, my friends lived off gossip and tearing others apart. While it never felt right to me, while I'm not proud of many of my actions in middle/high school--I let myself live in a reality I deemed normal, where if I wasn't dressed right I was looked down upon, where if we didn't gossip we didn't fit in, where the thought of supporting another girl wasn't heard of. How sad is that?
What is cooler than women joining together and supporting each other? Nothing. To let go of the need to compete, to support each others dreams and goals. To STOP bullying. To stand together and live in the awesomeness that is being a woman. Ladies let me tell you something, life isn't a competition between us all. So if I could talk to myself in high school right now, I'd say this: Support one another, be kind, encourage and support each other, don't let someone sit alone at lunch, compliment someone, speak nothing but goodness, be fucking good.
2.) LOVE AND ACCEPT YOURSELF. I spent hundreds of dollars that I saved from working in high school to buy extensions because I thought pretty meant long hair. I thought accepted meant Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch, fancy VS underwear, highlights in my hair, eyeliner. Never did I look in the mirror and say: "Hey you beautiful girl, you are perfect just the way you are". I was so caught up in doing my hair (2 hours before school started) that I had ZERO idea of what self love even was.
Think back on your high school experience. Can you imagine the kind of life you would have lived if you had learned to love and accept yourself. Not feeling the need to change for every.single.person who made a comment about you. Not even that. Changing for what you thought people would want. Can you imagine the chain reaction that would have happened from starting to love yourself, then exuding confidence, happiness and peace? If I could talk to myself in high school right now, I'd say this: It is okay to be different, it is okay to not conform to what society says you should wear, how to act, what color to make your hair. Practice self love daily. You are allowed to love yourself.
3.) Healthy and strong aren't a joke. Though I knew better, and I have to apologize to my dad...because growing up with a strength and conditioning coach as a dad, I know what healthy is. In high school though, I went to a "normal" gym for the first time because I wanted my ex-boyfriend to see me working out. I literally would run with my bestfriend past the lacrosse field only so he could see me (yup, I was that girl). Though I knew better, I opened up Seventeen Magazine and searched for workouts, but because I had 0 self confidence and was too embarrassed to ask my brilliant dad(because in my heart--I wasn't doing this journey for me)--I went to the treadmill every time. I'm sure you know how this story continues, following the treadmill I did a few core exercise and called it a day. I didn't understand the gym, but who was I kidding. I wasn't there for me or my health.
The extent of learning about what "healthy" is, stopped in middle school after I learned what the food pyramid was--well fuck that(7-8 servings of grains a day my asshole). If you didn't play a sport you didn't learn how to workout, or what it means to be strong. Not in the sense of simply picking up a weight and putting it down, but strength in all aspects of your life. Because of fitness, because of knowing how to honor my body through food that fuels me well and through movement--I'm able to walk through life with confidence. I would have killed to feel the way I do now back in high school. I wish that someone would have talked about learning to eat healthy, not dieting, but how to honor your body with nutrient dense food. If I could talk to myself in high school right now, I'd say this: Don't be embarrassed to make healthy choices. Make this journey about YOU and no one else. Try not to fall into fads and what Seventeen says. Start moving to feel good, eat to feel good. Do those things out of an act of self love and respect
I don't share these things to diss my school, more so to speak to the women who and girls who have ever ONCE felt like I did.
I went through a lot of my life never feeling like I was enough. Like I had to change for everyone. Its not a new story. It's been told 100x over. Instead of letting it continue though, and letting the story repeat for girls for the rest of time. I want to do something about it, I want young girls, women my age and women everywhere to be able to take my stories and my past life experiences and learn from it. I want them to take the things I wish I would have learned and start making moves to change those things. How?
If you're a woman who wants to make a change in society, in how women see themselves, in how we act, do one of the following(or all--you don't need my permission):
- Be kind to women
- Let go of the need to compete with other women
- Compliment another woman
- Speak words of kindness. Gossiping needs to stop!
- Lift other women up who you admire
- Stand up for yourself
- Don't change to fit into labels you think you need to
- Practice self love (AND SHARE IT)
- Share your journey of loving yourself. It INSPIRES other women to do the same.
- Advocate for your health.
- Start to honor your body through movement and food that fuels you well
If you've ever wondered why I started SCR, what you just read about my own personal experiences with life is why.
It's not enough to go through something shitty and change then be done. To go through something shitty, change and then advocate for women to do the same--that's it. To be the change, that's why this started. Strong Chicks Rock was designed to be a community for women to grow and learn through their fitness journeys HOW to love yourself, HOW to be kind, HOW to rock your life, and HOW to create your own version of healthy. So we produce women who come out knowing their worth, loving who are they, knowing who they are and then those women inspire others to make the same change.
Will you be the change today? Will you take the reigns on your life and do something about the things you want to change?
In Light and Love,
I can't even begin to tell you how passionate I am about my job. I absolutely adore it. I get super jazzed when people ask me what I do and I get to tell them..but, the moment I do, they get this look on their face like I suddenly have x-ray vision and can see into their stomachs, viewing the pizza they ate for dinner last night. P.S- I can't. OR
I get the look of "oh great, she thinks shes better than me. Her and her damn celery sticks." P.S- I don't like celery.
Here's The Deal..
I don't need people to love health and fitness the way I do, so you'll never find me shoving my views or opinions down your throat. There are some things I'd like to confess though, and let you know. So next time you see me you don't run the other direction in fear I'm judging you.
Nope--none of that happening here. Also, I really just dig sharing my heart, mind and life with you guys.
Without further ado, here are my confessions.
- I don't care if you ate pizza last night. That doesn't change your heart, your drive or who you are as a person. What I care about is how you feel, how you're rocking life, and how you feel about you. Don't feel like you need to hide any aspect of your life from me--zero judgement here.
- I want you to feel strong and healthy and in order to get you there in a healthy and safe way, we may do things that aren't the fitness norm. So no, you're not going to run on the treadmill with me, you're not going to do 100 sit ups and your definitely not going to spend 2 hours in the gym (unless you dig that kinda thing--then by all means go ahead.). We will do things that you may think "what in the flying fuck?"..for example: crawling. My clients crawl, a lot. Yeah, it may look and feel weird at first. Talk about a full body movement though, stabilizing the shoulders, bracing your core (uh, hello burn) and focusing on breathing patterns just to name a few of the benefits. Bottom line: I'm different, I like it this way--and I hope you can welcome the differences that create SCR.
- I like taking pictures of my food and life. Better yet, I love sharing it. I started sharing "clean recipes" on my instagram almost four years ago. I did it out of pure joy because I loved what I was eating and I wanted to inspire others to rock a healthy life too. So yes, I share a lot. I hashtag a lot. I share my personal and professional life because this business is lead by roots of strength and authenticity. Strength doesn't just happen in the gym. It happens in my family life, through my relationship, my friendships. EVERYTHING. So I'm going to keep sharing, because the story of my life is what made SCR happen and I have loved every minute of it.
- I'm not a food nazi. Yo, I love food. I feel like memories are created over food, passion is shared and love is expressed through the act of eating it and creating it. So lets be clear, I love Mama Mimi's Amore pizza (YESSS), I also love donuts. And when the mood strikes me, when I feel like those things will add to what I'm doing, or I simply want one--I may have one. What I love more though is feeling good before, after and during my meals. While I choose to eat primarily whole, real foods, I do it because that's what leaves me physically and mentally feeling good. Will I have a piece of pie on Thanksgiving? I mean maybe. I know I'm not the kind of person who wants one piece though. I want it all. So instead, I'll come prepared with my "healthier" version that leaves me feeling good and I don't have to have the mental battle of "is it worth it?", and if I do decide it's worth it..I'll eat it. I don't cut foods into "good" or "bad" categories, I eat what makes me feel damn good.
So that's all she wrote, friends. I'm "real", whatever that means--and I really love what I do.
This morning I was listening to an awesome podcast from John Berardi. He said some really cool things, the biggest takeaway I got from his message though was that I don't want you, to be like me. He made an awesome point about this huge gap between clients and trainers, and well, how it could be fixed. You see, as a trainer and all out health enthusiast...I freak out when I can buy my eggs straight from the chickens ass (let's be clear--I mean fresh from the farmers market). That excites me. I get pumped when I learn about how your body digests food. Swinging a 35lb bell over my head multiple times until i'm dripping sweat is fun, for me.
But you, my client, or you over there sitting and reading this at work before you make the decision between cake + pizza or salmon, who just wants to feel a little better everyday...that kind of stuff may not jazz you up like it does for me. That's okay.
I don't want you to be me. I want you to be 100% you, and find your own version of healthy.
There are some trainers that try and bridge the gap between client and coach through making the client jump through hoops and ladders to reach the trainers version of healthy. The trainer says: 1,200 calories, no dairy, 100 burpees ..do it now to be healthy. The client: oh shit, this is what I have to do to be healthy? Okay, I guess I'll do it.
You may not want a six pack, you may not want to swing a kettlebell, you may not want to give up your coffee creamer--you know what? That's okay.
As a coach, it's my job to meet you where you're at. To teach you how to create your version of healthy.
If healthy is in fact a lifestyle, it's not my job to tell you how you should live your life--for the rest of your life.
"So Rachel, what is your job then?"
My job fucking rocks. Oh boy. My job looks like this:
- I help women learn how to listen to their body. In doing this, they are able to start eating for life, while maintaining results that leave them feeling healthy and strong. In essence, I help you find your version of healthy. Not mine. Yours.
- I teach women how to move their body. We dance, we crawl, we pick things up. Through it all, I help women feel good in the skin they're in.
- I help women find strength. Both physical and mental. Because this journey is more than than the 30 min you spend moving or what you've eaten, it's a journey of self discovery.
- I educate women on ways to move and eat that make your like simple. That keep you happy.
- I encourage and teach self love and mindfulness.
My goal is to spread a message of health and strength and to individually help women find that. I help women find a shade of healthy that looks and feels good on them, not me.
So let's walk in your shoes together (may be a tight fit..but you know what I mean). I'm not going to make you conform, I won't beat you in the ground or make you burpee until your hands turn black and blue. I want to walk this journey with you, meet you where you're at so we can create the kind of healthy you're looking for.
Strong Chicks Rock has opened up our VIP online coaching program for those women who are ready to discover what healthy looks like on them. I would love to have you join us, as we venture through this journey as a team.
Let's chat, I want to talk to with you about your goals, where you're at and where you would like to go with this.
Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the "work with me" page and click "apply now".
Being a single mom has taught me so many things. Most importantly, or at least what I'll focus on right now is how it's shaped my heart and mind. Being a single mom has taught me and given me unshakeable strength.
Here's what happens, you are faced with two options. Crack, fall apart and crumble under pressure, or...choose strength. You choose strength. While It's always a choice, and while you could choose the first option-- it doesn't leave for a happy kid or a sane mom.
Although, when you're a stay a home you kinda feel like a single mom anyway. Not to discredit those who play the real, full time, every diaper, every late night role 100% on their own. When my ex husband and I separated, I packed my bags, came home and cried on my dads shoulder for days. Complaining about how unfair the world was. Then I had a harsh reality hit me in the face, suck it the fuck up or let my son watch me fall apart more and more everyday. So I sucked it up. When you realize being strong is your only sane option you have, it is then you realize the amount of strength you truly posses.
Strong: able to withstand great force or pressure.
Single mom life IS strength. In damn way possible.
All at once you become stronger than you ever knew possible. No amount of kettlebell swings or push ups could prepare me for the kind of strength that is needed to be on, 24/7. Let me be clear. I'm NOT complaining. It kills me when people say "oh just wait till they are two..it gets worse." For me personally, I love every stage. I enjoy it all. Truly. That doesn't go without saying there arent times where I do in fact get in my bed, pull the covers over my face and cry. But I move on. You have to.
Strength as a single mom is giving every ounce of love you've got. Enough to fill those little hearts and then some.
Strength as a single mom is teaching a little boy how to pee in the toilet when you have 0 experience with peeing standing up.
Strength as a single mom is being a role model of kindness and compassion even when your mind feels otherwise.
Strength as a single mom is choosing joy, even when you don't want to--because there is a human who is watching your every move and learning every habit, and way of life FROM YOU.
Being a mom in general changes your heart. One moment you're living life solely for you, and the next you are molding the life of another human. Teaching them how to be kind, how to navigate life, how to play and love. Being a single mom though, it pushes you, it breaks you in the best way possible and remolds you into the super-human-bad-ass-mom-beast you are.
You are now both mom and dad. You are now the full time ass wiper. You are now kisser of all boo-boos. You are full time night tucker in-er. You are everything. You GET to be everything.
You are your little persons everything.
You are not just strong for you, you are strong beyond belief for two hearts, two minds and two bodies.
You are a bad ass. So when life feels like it's knocking you fifty shades of crazy, remember that you posses a kind of strength that only single moms have. Not determined by the amount of weight you can pick up and set back down, but by the fierceness of your heart and mind.
Friday, hello Friday. I adore you. Not because the weekend is here, I equally love every day. I feel like people are nicer on Friday's though, which in turn means strangers are less likely to stare at the ground as they pass me on the street and I get a few more smiles. I dig that. This week was lots of things. Fun, new, crazy, intense. So shall we begin? Here's how I did (and didn't) honor my body this week. How I physically honored my body: I surprised myself this week--you guys, I did pull ups. Let me be clear, these were band assisted pull ups, but I did them and I left my workout feeling strong and beaming with happiness. I had written pull ups off for so long because of some shoulder problems, this week in a class I took with our members, our coach suggested I try...and I DID IT. Obviously I still have a great deal of work to do, and strength to gain before I'm rocking them out on my own but I'm pumped. I completed 3 workouts this week (will be four by the end of Friday night). I did a barefoot workout outside on Thursday, I loved it. I mean, being outside on October 1st + cool fall breeze + a kettlebell makes me one happy woman. I only had 20 min so I did a quick (but efficient and well preformed) KB circuit. 10 swings, 20ft foot hand crawl, 10 goblet squats. All of my workouts recently have left me feeling beyond happy and strong, that's what I'm going for! Oh, can't forget..MH and I hit up a local park last Saturday and it was amazing. We walked for over an hour, maybe more. Friends, don't write off walks. The weather was perfect, I was happy and even though it took me a good 5 min to walk over a fallen tree because I was scared--I was still moving and using my body in a way that encouraged a different kind of strength and mindfulness.
How I spiritually honored my body: This week I feel I was tested in multiple different ways. In my patience, in motherhood, in my career, through friendships ect. So what did I do? I could have been pissed at what was happening out of my control this week, and I'd be lying if I said that for a few brief moments I didn't let my emotions get the best of me. However, instead of breathing more life into those emotions than needed--I just breathed. I chose happiness. I chose to be present. Old me, the me that required validation from others, that made conversation based off of drama and negative talk--that me would have allowed the bumps in this week make me cave and turn into a grumpy bitch face. This week though, I rocked it out as best I could. Because being a piss ant is no way to honor your body and show it love. To choose joy in the midst of craziness, to be a role model for my son, my clients and to remain happy Rachel--I will always choose joy and choose to honor my body through kind and positive thoughts.
How I honored by body through nourishment: I know I said I wasn't a fan of this (personal opinion)...I did some meal prep this week and I'm so thankful I did. Now that I'm working both online and at a gym: The Human Form (Grandview,OH), I'm finding myself with less time to devote to cooking. While I'm still rockin out some healthy and simple meals, I wasn't happy. I love tuna, but because I haven't been coking as much, my go to meal was tuna, pepper, avocado + another veggie and I was getting burnt out.
MH and I prepped:
- Sweet potato/chicken sausage/apple bake (recipe here on instagram)
- Roasted Brussels sprout/beet/walnut/goat cheese
- Spaghetti squash pasta with meat sauce
- Chicken salad
- Smoothie makings
- Venison stew
My body was oh so happy with all the creations from this week. I paired the roasted beet mix with two eggs and it was to die for. I really feel the most satisfied with food I have in the past few months. We spent two hours this Sunday and rocked out these simple meals that lasted us all week! I feel well nourished and pleased with all of our choices.
P.S- I'm super freaking happy at how Cooper (my son) honored his body this week. He choose some super healthy options for breakfast Thursday morning without being prompted by me. Bacon and eggs with some blueberries...THATS MY DUDE.
How I didn't honor my body this week:
I don't share this in a "woe is me" type way, only so you guys can see examples of what honoring your body does and doesn't look like.
- MH(see: obviously placed hands to your left) and I went to The Hills Market on Saturday night--the place itself is pretty cool. We both got some pretty basic salads and I loved mine. After we finished we decided to grab a treat, they carry some awesome locally made desserts. Because it's so rare that I grab a dessert not made by myself, I was excited but pretty overwhelmed with the decisions. Honestly, I don't know what kind of desserts I truly love. We both saw this apple bacon pie thing and it looked fucking awesome. We buy it, sit down, open it....it totally let us down. I took a few bites to figure out the flavor and texture because it was a lot different than anything I've tried. I should have stopped after I realized I didn't like it...however, I pretty much finished my part of it (minus the last few bites). Guys, this is how you don't honor your body. Honoring it would have looked like this: taste it, realize it tastes like the back end of a yack, don't eat anymore. Did this ruin my day? No. I would have much rather not wasted money, and saved a special meal like that for something I know I love.
What about you, how did you honor your body this week?
Did you find that by actively being present during the week in how you honor your body is helping you along your health and fitness journey?
Hi beautiful friends, happy hump day! If you've been following me on snapchat..more recently IG and FB, you may have seen some mystery hands pop into my pictures. While it started off as more of an accident, it's now just a wee bit fun ;) While I do keep my personal life, well..personal. I do realize I put my life out on social media and I do it happily. So mystery hands will continue to make an appearance in my pictures. We adventure, explore, try new places...oh, and he cooks. Happy. I am so happy.
Anywho, of the many things MH (mystery hands) makes, his smoothies are on another level. I don't know what it is, but they rock. I'll be sharing one of his recipes each week!
Today: Beet Smoothie
In a blender: PRE-workout: + 8oz goats milk Kiefer (Greek yogurt would work) + 1 cup almond milk OR water + 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (we use sun warrior) +1-2 whole beets OR 1 cup frozen beets + 1/2 cup blueberries +1 cup ice +1/2 an avocado + 1-2 cups spinach or greens of choice
+ 8oz goats milk Kiefer (Greek yogurt would work) + 1 cup almond milk OR water + 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (we use sun warrior) +1-2 whole beets OR 1 cup frozen beets + 1/2 cup blueberries +1 cup ice + 1-2 cups spinach or greens of choice
With post workout we took out the fat, and if needed you could add 1/2 cup rolled oats or a banana to the post workout to get a little more carb action if needed.
This week has absolutely flown by--how the heck did that happen? I'll attribute this to my favorite tattoo: "Here and now". Anything I've done, everywhere I've been this week--I've been focusing on being all there. Being present, in every situation, the good and the shit storms---has brought calmness to my life in a weird way. It''s brought joy, its allowed me to truly experience everything going on to it's fullest capacity and I fucking love it. I'm not sure yet how I can fully explain the true impact that such a simple mindset shift has had on my life. It is grand, and it is wonderful. Let's get into how I honored my body this week, shall we?
How I Physically Honored My Body: This week rocked in terms of my movement. I had 4 awesome workouts and will hit another one during my lunch break today. I typically train alone, but for the past few weeks I've chosen to take part in some small group personal training classes at the gym I coach at, The Human Form. I fucking love doing this. At first, I wanted to get a feel of just interacting with the clients, then I realized how much I love being coached myself. As a trainer, you really don't have anyone watching your own form and helping you make tweaks when needed. You don't see yourself move so to have someone watch you and find things that you can't always feel and see is really a cool experience. I'm focusing on becoming stronger and doing some corrective work to fix my shoulders and back. Man, let me tell you--I feel strong. I'm not flipping tires or swinging 100lbs, but I am learning how to stabilize my body better, how to breathe better, and building core strength among other things. Through all of that, I'm moving more efficiently and feel like a completely different person in my lifts and movement. My favorite form of movement this week was one of the finishers in the workout we did: sled pushes. I love that damn sled. I also loved that I worked out with 3 freaking strong women while doing it which just made the challenge of pushing a heavy sled 10x better. Seeing women empower and encourage each other--that's the shit I like.
How I Spiritually Honored My Body: Another week of practicing being present in every moment. While this week emotionally threw some curve balls, I feel as though my practice of being present allowed me to acknowledge the rush of emotions as they came to me, but then let them go and not give life to them. Instead, focus on the good and keep an attitude of gratitude. I'm building a stronger sense of community along with new friendships/relationships and through those I'm growing and experiencing life in a whole new way. Having friends who "get it"--"it" being a healthy life, both physically and mentally, are hard to come by. So I'm cherishing the conversations,time and growth that comes from our time together.
How I Honored My Body Through Nourishment: This week was filled with some amazing meals. Coming out of competition prep mindset has been easier than I thought it would be, but still a little prep thought will arise here and there. When I was planning to compete I was eating solely for a physique (hence why I decided against it), so instead of seeing food as love, something I'm passionate about and most importantly: fuel. I began to see it in numbers and "good" and "bad". Now, I eat for life. Like I have all my life. I'll go into specific detail of how I eat later on this week. But the goal each week is to continue to not overthink, to enjoy, eat when hungry, eat to preform well, eat what my body responds well to and what aligns to my goals. I'm totally digging my breakfast smoothies. Adding 1/2 an avocado + protein powder + veggies and a fruit is keeping me full for 5+ hours each day. Seeing that greek yogurt is leaving my life again (it should have never come back, unless I like acne--I don't.). Did I talk enough yet? Geez, Rachel--How did I honor my body through nourishment this week? I simply didn't overthink my meals and ate what made me feel good and happy. I ate out, Bibipop to be exact, I made some awesome meals at home with my boyfriend and I feel great--though I did discover that ghee is no longer my friend. Which a great example of how you can honor your body--if you're getting signals you're body doesn't respond well to something, take that bitch out!
Your turn, gorgeous. How did you honor your body this week? Spend some time reflecting each way you did. If you didn't or missed a few aspects, think about how you can change that going into next week.
It's Friday--WOOHO. How was your week, friends? How were you able to honor your body and goals? When I ask people that question, sometimes they just don't know how to answer. "What does honoring my body look like?", they say. This got me thinking--I'd like to do this weekly. Share how I personally honored my body and help carry the message into your life so you can focus on being aware of the choices you make, the way you think, how you move ect.
How I physically honored my body: I had 3 great workouts this week that I LOVED. I've been working out at the office in between clients, I typically have an hour break and devote 20min to movement. I pick 3 movements that I enjoy and give me everything I need in a short time. This week I set my timer for 20 min and did this for one of my workouts: 10 push ups, 10 goblet squats, 10 RDLs. I also spent some time yesterday walking around Grandview. Guys, don't brush off walking. I plugged in my headphones and jammed out to Alanis Moresette as I spent time in the sun adventuring around. Most importantly, I moved in my favorite way possible. Dancing. A shit ton of it.I'm not good and I truly don't care, I am simply IN LOVE with the way my body moves when music is on. Thats how I physically honored my body through movement this week.
How I spiritually honored my body: It bums me out to say this, but I'm seriously lacking here right now. This week I didn't wake up and meditate like I'd like to. Instead what I focused on most was being present. You'd think with the fact that I have a tattoo that says "here and now"..my visual reminder to stay present and in the now, that this would be an easy practice for me. Generally speaking, I do stay present and in the now. Recently I've been aware that I haven't, so as I refocused my mind this week, I fucking loved being fully in the now where my heart and mind like it most. I'm experiencing A LOT of awesome and new things in my life right now and with those things comes new emotions and feelings (all good, just different). Anytime I felt my mind starting to get caught up in a certain feeling or emotion--beginning to take my focus out of the now and giving life to anything that wasn't current; I quickly would stop those thoughts and truly just breathe into what was happening and instead just experience it. Not focused on what will happen next or what had just happened.
How I honored my body through nourishment: I debated putting this with how I physically honored my body because the food you eat is a direct representation of how you respect and honor your body through physical movement. However, I felt as if this topic needed a home of it's own--it's important..one of the most important ways you can honor your own body. This week I honored my body through the food I eat by truly thinking of my food as medicine. I spoke to a woman who works with females with eating disorders this week(because I do as well and enjoy picking the minds of other professionals)--she told me one tool she uses with her girls is to teach them to see food as medicine.
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."-Hippocrates
She opened a new prescriptive for me. It changed things for me, and really narrowed my focus this week--not in the sense of being a crazy food nazi, but truly looking at food as medicine and not with loving googly eyes. Though I have a deep passion and love for all food, sometimes I get so caught up in my creations and cooking that I forget to take a step back and not just see food as a creative outlet but truly as medicine. So, this week I honored my body through nourishment by creating a mindset shift.
P.S- I've been really digging green smoothies again. I had so many this, even one with beets (yes--it was fucking good.) Here's my simple base recipe:
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2-1 cup water
- 1 cup ice
- 2-3 cups green of choice (I use spinach)
- Fruit of choice (I like bananas/blueberries)
- Fat of choice (if I'm doing banana I'll ad PB or if I'm doing berries I'll add coconut oil OR 1/2 an avocado!)
That's all she wrote friends. Now it's your turn, how can you honor your body this week? It looks different for everyone so you do you 100%. Enjoy every moment of living life creating your best YOU.
When I first started really getting back into my health and fitness routine after my son was born 3 years ago I was BIG into healthy baking/cooking. I was always trying to whip up a new creation. I find so much joy in taking an unhealthy recipe and recreating it into something healthy. I like knowing that I can still reach my goals and not feel crappy after eating a treat. With that said, not all "unhealthy" treats make me feel gross, I think it's more so the fact I don't want ONE cookie. I want 57. We all know though that there is no way for me to feel good, and reach my goals eating 57 cookies. Bring in healthier baking, this allows you to enjoy a treat (more than one) while still staying on track! I always have these staples in my kitchen no matter what! These items last for SO long. So you don't have to worry about buying these all the time.
1. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is one of my favorite baking flours. This is the brand I typically use because it can be found at most stores! Coconut flour is extremely absorbent. I love this about it. You'll be using more liquid than flour so the flour lasts for a long time. You CAN'T use this in place of wheat/white or any other flour. Because of the absorbency of this you'll need to scale the ratios down.
My favorite things to make with it: Cookie dough, pancakes, mug cakes, cookies.
2. Oat Flour
Oat flour ROCKS. I freaking love this stuff. This is a more universal healthy baking flour and you can use it to replace most basic flours. DON'T buy oat flour at the store as it is a huge waste of money. You can buy normal oatmeal from any store, bring it home, and blend it until it resembles flour. It literally takes under 5 seconds and it will save you SO much money!
Things I make with it: Pancakes/waffles, muffins, cookies, breading for meat, added to meatloaf, mug cakes, brownies.
Stevia is a plant based sweetener and it's amazing. This is the only thing I use to sweeten my food. It's actually the only sweetener out there that doesn't raise your insulin levels, which when you're trying to lose weight is a good thing. It's all natural because it's plant based and it can go in anything. I actually just made a protein cheesecake using this in place of normal sugar and you would never know..yes, that's how good it is.
Things I make with it: Add to coffee, cookies, brownies, oatmeal, salad dressings, mug cakes,add to greek yogurt....ANYTHING that needs to be sweet.
Extracts are the bomb dot com. Eating healthy can be mistaken as eating bland...we never want that to happen. You just have to know how to spice up your food. When I'm making I LOVE using extracts to give my food a more exciting flavor. My favorites to use are maple, vanilla and butter. Adding vanilla and butter to greek yogurt with some stevia makes it taste more like cookie dough (add some chocolate chips in there and you're in for a real treat!). Or I add maple to my healthy donuts for a maple bacon donut. The possibilities are endless!
Things I make with it: Add to anything you're baking (cookies, cakes, brownies, ect), add to protein shakes to change up the flavor, greek yogurt (this is awesome because it saves you a TON of sugar by doing this instead of buying flavored yogurts!).
It's not that regular oil isn't okay (depending on the oil), it's that I can literally shave my legs or add this oil to my brownies. It's a multi purpose oil and I love it haha. it has so many benefits and so many uses that it would be crazy NOT to have this on hand. If a recipe calls for oil I definitely don't use applesauce because I don't like the consistency it makes. I 100% of the time use this! No ones the difference at all.
Things I make with it: Chocolate sauce, granola, anything that calls for oil.