What is Your “WHY?”

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

Most people want to lose weight or tone up.  We live in a country (well, I live in this country maybe you don’t) where we are surrounded by processed foods and over-sized portions and artificial sweeteners and as a result, most of us are overweight. That excess weight leads to a poor body image and depression and results in more weight.  It’s a vicious cycle and it’s hard as hell to break.

We all want to lose weight fast.  If something doesn’t provide instant gratification, it’s easy to lose hope and just give up.  We yo-yo with dieting.  We get bored of our workouts.  Our friends, family, coworkers, society in general sabotage us by lack of support for our efforts.  So we get stuck.  Stuck being fat and stuck being miserable.

I work for a company called Beachbody.  I coach for them and help people learn how to eat healthier without dieting and also help them get through Beachbody’s exercise programs.  I don’t do this to make money, although it is a perk.  In fact, most of the time I do this for people for free.  I do this because Beachbody saved my life.  Seriously.  Beachbody gave me something that Atkins, Slim Fast, Jillian Michaels, Self, Crunch, 24 Fitness, Jenny Craig and countless other things I tried couldn’t.  Support.  Through Beachbody, I found people who were there for me.  Who were on similar journeys or who had been.  With the support I found, learning how to eat healthily and learning to love working out, I lowered my blood pressure from 170/100 to 110/60.  I reversed my prediabetic status.  I reversed my non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.  And I earned a body and state of mind that is healthy and confident.  

With coaching, I pay this forward. I work with people in a way that is different than other weight loss groups I’ve participated in.  See, what I believe is that being overweight is a symptom of something deep inside. When you’re hurting inside, you wear it outside.  When you start learning to love yourself, you reflect that by taking better care of yourself and the weight starts to come off.  

The first step is to do some soul-searching to find within yourself why you put on the extra pounds in the first place.  The next step is to focus on really why you want to lose them.  For some people, they want to finally be able to sport a bikini or look good in a dress for a wedding.  But for a lot of people, their reasons are deeper than that.  They’re tired of feeling sick all the time.  Their health is declining.  They’re tired of being miserable, ashamed and depressed.  Keeping focus of your WHY is a great source of motivation.  That’s what keeps you driving forward and sticking with your goal.  And having a group to push with, well, that’s the icing on the cake. When we feel supported and we feel like people truly care about whether or not we reach our goals… when we know people are paying attention, we work harder.  So I run challenge groups.  We all do a program together.  We all stick to healthy eating together.  Most importantly, we all check-in with each other EVERY DAY.  We keep each other accountable and on track.  I work with my challengers in the group and one on one to make sure everyone reaches their goals.  

If you think that you could benefit from working with me in one of my challenge groups, send me an email at turborachelfitness@gmail.com.  I’ll tell you how to join Team Athena and I will hold a place for you in one of my upcoming groups. Please note that to participate in one of my challenge groups, I must be your assigned Beachbody coach. All programs and challenge packs can be purchased through my site, www.beachbodycoach.com/turborachel. You can just buy the program, (you don’t have to buy the whole challenge pack) to participate in a challenge group.  Here is a schedule of what is coming:

Brazil Butt Lift Challenge (starting April 9th – there is still time to get in on this):  

Victoria’s Secret models use Leandro Carvalho’s Brazil Butt Lift program to get in shape for shoots and fashion shows.  This workout is low impact, but boy does it work and in just 2 weeks, you’ll really start to see your “bum-bum” lift.  All participants who purchase a challenge pack will be sent a free pair of ankle weights on me.

Turbo Fire Challenge Group (Starting May 7th)
This is the program that took about 120 lb off my body.  90 days of Turbo Fire can change your body, your attitude and your life. With new Turbo Fire classes coming out on April 4th, anyone can get in on this no matter what your fitness level is.  

Les Mills Pump Challenge Group (starting May 7th – filling up now)
Les Mills Pump helped me drop down 2 dress sizes in 90 days.  6 weeks in, I had the beginnings of a 6 pack.  This program is awesome and uses something called the “rep-effect,” using lighter weights with a higher rate of repetition so you don’t bulk up.  Instead, you tone up, torch up to 1,000 calories a workout and your metabolism just sky-rockets.  Best part?  You only have to “Pump” 3 times a week.  There’s a reason this workout is taking over the 24 Hour Fitness classes.  Need extra motivation?  Here are my Les Mills Pump before and after photos:
P90X2 Challenge (Starting June 4th)
I have not completed P90X2 yet, however I am a P90X grad and I am also P90X Qualified, see?
P90X2 is a program that I am very excited to try and would love to have a group to do it with.  This is a challenging program and is not for those who are brand new to fitness.  So, if you are ready to work hard and push and want a great source of motivation to keep you going, get in on this and do this with me!!!

Insanity Challenge (July 2nd)
Want to torch some serious calories fast?  This is a great program to do it with and it only takes 60 days.  You’ve gotta be willing to dig deep on this one but by the time 60 days are up, you’ll be a machine.

Climb out of your comfort zone and try something new.  It’s the only way we grow.  When you stay with what’s safe, nothing changes.  I will be there for you every step of the way to make sure you succeed in reaching your goals.  You’re not alone and I will make damned sure you know it.  

Also, do you like the idea of coaching?  Want to help others reach their health and fitness goals?  Send me an email at turborachelfitness@gmail.com and I’ll tell you how to join my team.  We’re awesome and we all have a whole lot of love to give!

Jack in the Box, Pop Tarts and Carrot Cake – oh my!

I’m forcing myself to write about this openly.  I’m telling myself, that’s the point of this blog – keeping me accountable to clean nutrition and exercise and also proving to the world that you can have a fit body and still be real… and things don’t stop being hard.  

So, last week I really screwed up the grocery list.  I’m trying to find a good balance between healthy foods and cost efficiency which isn’t always so easy.  Last week, I tried to cut down the amount of snack foods on the grocery list to help keep the cost of groceries low and also limit my snack-availability.  With my son starting to walk and become increasingly clingy in the process, I have had less and less time to prepare real meals for myself and have found myself snacking a bit too much.  So, this week our groceries limited the amount of protein bars and trail mix we normally have around and by Wednesday, all we had in the house were eggs, spinach, frozen broccoli, leftover pot roast, Shakeology and plain yogurt.  We also had foods I use to teach my son how to hold and break part like Pop Tarts (the organic variety made with whole grains of course) and cereal bars.

Well, come Friday, I was hurting for carbs.  I ended up breaking down on Friday night and consuming 2 Pop Tarts and a huge hunk of a slice of carrot cake.  I didn’t let myself feel guilty.  I acknowledged that this was the result of poor planning on my part, made up for it with Turbo Fire’s HIIT 20 and Insanity’s Pure Cardio and that was that.  I was moving on.  The rest of the day on Saturday was a little tricky, due to a revved up metabolism, but I managed to keep my diet within the lines of what’s considered clean.  Okay, there was some teriyaki chicken in there but the rice was brown and the chicken was chicken breast and I only ate half of it to keep each food group to a single serving and I still feel like that was a pretty harmless food choice.

And then came yesterday, Sunday.  Oy.  My food intake of the day consisted of:  1 cup of Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers.  2 maple brown sugar Pop Tarts.  A handful of wasabi soy almonds.  A coconut almond Kind Raw bar.  And then.. a Jack in the Box Jumbo Jack.  Curly fries.  An oreo cookie milk shake.  And later.. another Pop Tart.  There was an apple and a banana in there somewhere but still… 

The first thing I noticed yesterday was a rush of heavy fatigue. My body felt like it was moving through jello.  My limbs felt heavy and I felt like I hadn’t slept in a week.  I also bloated – really badly.  This morning I wake up and my seborrheic dermatitis (also known as Cradle Cap) is in full force on my cheek – grains, flour and sugar especially bring this out and it really isn’t pretty.  My skin turns bright red and angry on my nose and cheek and all in my scalp and the skin starts to flake off.  So sexy.  

I went downstairs to workout and popped in Pump & Burn, a 30 minute Les Mills Pump workout since I wasn’t sure how long my kid would tolerate mommy lifting.  I kept my weights at 50 lb throughout the entire workout and even though I got through it, it was just barely.  I felt terrible.  My back was killing me from the bar through the squat track.  I was shaking like a leaf through chest presses and dead lifts/rows/clean&presses.  By the time the abs track was over, I could barely roll over to stretch.  

Well, my little indoor terrorist tolerated that workout well so I went upstairs, downed half a scoop of P90X Peak Results and Recovery (seriously good stuff to use as post-workout fuel) and made my way downstairs to fit in Turbo Fire’s Fire 30 – gotta keep burning off all the crap I ate yesterday.  Well, for the first time in almost a year, halfway through the workout I puked.  I wasn’t even working that hard but it happened.  I finished working out, didn’t even pause – just ran to the bathroom did my business and ran back… and that was that.  

I’m not thrilled with myself for yesterday’s food shenanigans.  Normally, I make a point to try and forgive myself and move on and I am trying… but it’s hard when these last 2 weeks have been full of binges and poor food choices.  This weekend, my Beachbody team, Team Athena is doing a Shakeology cleanse together and I am really hoping that going through this will help get the need for sugar out of my system once and for all.  I am being mindful of myself today already that I am NOT going to touch my son’s food other than to feed it to him.  I am going to drink my Shakeology, possibly for lunch as well as breakfast and eat a ton of veggies and clean house.  And then I need to sit with my feelings for a while and find the root of what is driving me to eat poorly.  Because obviously something is going on… I just don’t know what.

"That Sh** is BANANAS, Yo!"

Well said, Shaun-T, well said.

This week I did some bad planning with the grocery list.  I’m trying to find the right balance of cost efficiency, whole organic foods and limiting snack foods that lead to over-eating.  I under-estimated the snack food side of the equation and subsequently, by Wednesday we were down to plain yogurt, Shakeology, meat, eggs and veggies.  Not a lot of selection there, though probably great if you were on Atkin’s in induction phase (and homicidal, most likely).  Anyway, the need for carbs caught up to me last night and due to lack of availability of quality guilt-free carbs… that blank was filled in with Pop Tarts and carrot cake.  And the carrot cake wasn’t really even that good but I ate the whole damn thing because, well, you know.  It’s cake.

Anyway to insure lack of stickage to my hips and tummy, I have a little ritual.  When I eat uncleanly, I beat the crap out of those calories the next day and kick them the hell out of my body through some back-breaking come to Jesus cardio.  I’m not kidding, there have been workouts in the past like these where afterwards I feel like I am drifting in and out of my body and seeing heavenly planes.  And to think how much money people waste on crystal meth and ecstasy when all they had to do was try some HIIT.

If you aren’t familiar with HIIT, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  Basically, you do short intervals – say 30 to 60 seconds – where you work your body as hard as you possibly can whether it’s with heismans, jumping jacks, high knees, sprints or a combination of exercises followed by a small period of rest where your body burns a ton of calories trying to catch up on oxygen.  If you want to know about EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) check out this wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excess_post-exercise_oxygen_consumption

Anyway, today’s attempt at damage control workout choices were Turbo Fire’s Greatest HIIT’s and Insanity’s Pure Cardio.  Greatest HIIT’s weren’t so bad.  Turbo Fire is generally fun for me period plus the music makes it more survivable and Chalene pretty much knows just what to say and when to say it to keep me happily pushing through.  And any woman who tops off a workout telling me to go shoe shopping well, bless her bouncy little blonde heart.

Insanity.  Ugh.  Shaun-T, your kind of a jerk.  It really doesn’t help that A.  You keep telling people to take breaks.  B.  The screen keeps flashing “Know your Limits!” and C. There is Tanya making her “O-face” through entire workout.  What is UP with that girl!?  Seriously, you could take her out of Insanity and plop her in a porno and she’d probably stay in context to either just doing what she does.  It’s her facial expressions and lamaze/orgasm breathing coupled with the fact that all she says throughout is “wooo! yeah!”  I tell, you, Saving Ryan’s Privates Part 2 has their leading female role.

Anyway, by the time I was done, I was trashed.  I am still trashed.  In fact, typing is about all I can do right now and I’m not even sure what I’m talking about anymore because looking for a picture of Tanya was distracting and now I’m thinking about tanning.  Oh yeah… I was thinking about something while I was downstairs going through the last Insanity stretch trying to distract myself from wanting to punch Tanya in the face.

There are all these websites… BabyFit, BabyCenter… some others that crowd my Facebook newsfeed that are giving some really horrible messages to mothers.  This is the message:

If you’ve had children, this is the best you can hope your abs will ever look:

Images found on Pregnancyforum.co.uk – still to wiped out from my workout to comb my Facebook history to find the original post that inspired this rant but I still want to make this point!

This is horrifying to me.  Women have to do something that requires such incredible strength and power:  carry and birth a human.  You can do P90X until the cows come home but deliver a child?  That takes a warrior’s kind of power.  So who the hell are these people to tell women that they don’t have any power over their bodies?  As soon as you get that thought in your head, you get stuck there and you know what ladies?  It’s bull shit.  
I had a baby.  Afterward I had abdominal surgery and have all kinds of scars on my tummy and you know what?  This is my tummy. Sorry about the crummy cell shot but… well, I gotta work with what I got while the little monster sleeps!

I still have a little loose skin below my belly button and yup,  have stretch marks all around my lower abs but I earned those.  I’m a tiger who earned her fucking stripes.  Giving birth requires power so I’ll wear my loose skin like a medal.  But don’t let ANY stupid website tell you that you can’t shape up your postpartum tummy.  That’s crap.  You can do and be whatever the heck you put your mind to.  You’re an Amazon warrior woman and you eat website authors like that for breakfast.  UMCHAKA!!!!!!