This was quite possibly the most surreal interview I’ve done yet. As I was talking to Raquelle it was as if I was talking to my “early-20’s-self.” She was saying things I said, sharing feelings I felt and dreams I had in my early 20's. To say I’m excited for her would be an understatement. She has a path and a mission and she is going for it! It warms my heart to know what she’s going to do in her life and the joy she is going to bring to the world. So without further ado, here is Raquelle’s story.
Raquelle has lived in sunny Southern California for over 7 years now and is a Yogi Entrepreneur [a term I might have just made up but fully encompasses Raquelle]! She is bringing yoga into corporate offices and has massive dreams for how her practice can impact the world. She is a foodie, photographer, creator, and visionary. Her life today is extremely grounded, holistic and vibrant. The Raquelle that I met just oozed excitement and life. I mean if you just look at her Instagram it is vibrant and joyful. But her story wasn’t always like this. She decided a few years ago that enough was enough and it was time to get off the roller coaster of living a life she thought she wanted so she could truly live her dreams.
Before Raquelle got into yoga she went to school to be in the entertainment industry. She wanted to work for E! News as a reporter. She graduated with a degree in communications from USC and began climbing the entertainment ladder. Within 2 years she just knew it wasn’t for her. Her life wasn’t what she thought it was going to be. She left the industry (and country) and shipped off to Bali where she got her Yoga certification. That kicked off her journey of self improvement and self discovery.
Raquelle knew deep down that in order for her business to thrive the way she envisioned that she needed to heal herself. She had a rocky past with her body. “I had always been obsessive about body image” she shared. And it was something she wasn’t even fully aware of until she started trying to get healthy. “I was always dieting. I had my party phase with drugs and alcohol and gained a lot of weight. I dieted like crazy then. I was always yo-yo-ing and it just didn’t work. I decided I needed to just do this. There was this voice in me that said ‘do it now or it would never work.’”
She began to listen to that voice that told her NOW was the time. But even though she knew it was now or never, she was slow to start this process and pushed back on herself a lot. I think we can all relate to this! We WANT so desperately to change but we only know the habits we’ve formed so it feels all clunky and awkward moving into a new lifestyle. We fall down, blame the diet, try again, eat a cupcake, feel discouraged, go to bed angry, or hungry, or far too full....we’ve all been there. It takes TIME to create new habits. We all want to magically be on our new path right when we decide we’re taking action. But just like Raquelle discovered it takes a lot of patience. “I am a very impatient person, or I guess I had been” she shared. Which is one reason she was a yo-yo dieter. “I had to know ahead of time I was going to plateau. I just knew I had to stick with it and then I could wake up 6 months and be like ‘Woah!’ I stopped obsessing over the scale. I couldn't compare day to day or week to week. It was really really hard to look at the long road. But in doing so I was finally was able to address my issue of impatience.”
Her journey started in the fall of 2013 when she started easing herself her new lifestyle. The hardest part was the beginning and it took several weeks to get into any sort of flow. “I knew it was going to happen if I made it a habit” she shared. When she gave herself the space to grow, experiment, removed the immense pressure of perfection with a few days, it became less of a chore and more of a passion.
As she eased her way into her new healthy lifestyle she ran into some pit falls and experienced some tremendous self realizations. “One things I realized is I would think I was unworthy...Unworthy of say having a fit body or having a great relationship or having great friends. Whenever I would feel unworthy or overwhelmed with any task I would end up turning to one of my disorders (binging or not eating). My self limiting beliefs led me to my bad habits.” As I was listening to Raquelle share this so openly it made me realize I used to do the same things. What an incredible self discovery! Overwhelm leads you to your bad habits. To be so open and honest about how doubt, worth, fear or discomfort send us running straight back into the arms of our bad habits was truly inspiring. It inspired me to reflect and review how I act when I am in those situations. Do I run to wine, food or act in anger? Or do I stop, meditate, go for a walk or say something nice? When we don’t know how to control the situation we allow it all to fall apart. Then we start the vicious cycle all over again without taking ownership and without taking the steps necessary to become better in this area.
These are our triggers. And most of us have MANY triggers. Raquelle’s journey has opened her eyes to seeing these for what they are...just triggers. Not something that will send her into a tailspin or ruin any progress, but just something to be aware of so she can make a decision for the good now. She’s overcome these triggers by doing something in response that will benefit her not harm her! She uses meditation, yoga, journaling, healthy foods, and being creative to overcome her triggers. She knows every time she does something good it effects her so much more positivity in the long run!
While Raquelle is still growing and experimenting with what works for her, she looks back and is proud of what she’s done since she really kicked her health journey into gear this past winter. She shared a very recent example of how she’s learned to trust herself and truly embrace “healthy living.” Not for any other reason but to BE healthy. “Our bodies are always changing. We’re scientists with our bodies.” she shared. During her time in Bali she became vegan and was strictly eating vegetables and fruits...lots of them but that was it. “I went down to 97 pounds at 5’ 5.5” tall. I definitely had body dysmorphia and orthorexia.” She admitted that it didn't dawn on her that she was that skinny until enough people asked her if she was ok. She knew that wasn't her and that wasn't "health." Being vegan didn't work for her body and since she's figured it out. She's found the balance that is just right for her and is loving it. It’s been 7 months since she returned from Bali and she is happy to report she’s put on 20 pounds “the healthy way!”
Raquelle is using her experiences and renewed passion for health to help others on their journey. She has a beautiful outlook on her body and how she treats it with care and compassion now. Her mission is to share that love with the world.
I asked her to share some of her top tips and lessons she’s learned along the way. Here is what she said:
- If you’re looking to get healthy, recognize what your bad habits are (and you know what they are). ;) WRITE IT DOWN and think of a new habit you can replace it with. Do that new habit for 21-30 days. I made a tally calendar and every day I did that new habit I got excited to check it off.
- So simple - we know whats good and whats bad to eat. So make the decision to eat the good stuff. The more you eat it the more you’ll want it. The more you say no to the bad stuff the more you’re going to succeed! Get used to saying no!
- Don’t ever limit any macro nutrients (like the no carb diet).
- Accept that it’s going to be a slow and long process. Eliminate 1-2 things that you’re willing to get rid of first. Don’t just dive into the whole thing all at once. Do it really slowly.
- If you hate exercise try to find something you enjoy. Find what you love. You have to test the waters with a bunch of things.
- Momentum builds on momentum so keep going!
Raquelle is truly a beautiful soul. I am so excited to know her and call her a friend. Shehas been through a lot but come out a beaming ray of sunshine on the other end. Her light touches everyone she meets and even through the phone I felt her energy. I cannot wait for our lunch date soon! Raquelle, you are someone very special my friend!
Thank you for taking the time to engage in my 19th interview of 52 inspiring women! Please feel free to share your comments, feelings and send this to a friend you think would benefit from reading this! If you want me to interview someone you find incredibly inspiring, I would be truly honored to meet them! This is a journey that has no parameters or rules! Let’s have fun with it and continue to spread the message of empowerment, love and kindness - to ourselves and others!
You can follow Raquelle on Instagram @holisticblogger