Interview 14 of 52: “Anything worth doing takes time!”

I love this experience because I have met so many wonderful women so far.  I have met women on Weight Watchers, marathoners, vegan yogis, nutritionists, and many more!  Today I want you to meet Rachel.  Rachel has done 4 rounds of The Whole 30 and it has changed her life.  

Rachel lives in Waltham, MA with her boyfriend Aaron.  They’ve been together since college and are a perfect pair!  She works as an event planner for a non-profit.  She specifically organizes events and fundraisers for a school for autism. She’s been doing this for over 4 years and feels giddy about this opportunity.  “My work drives me in life” says Rachel as she talks about how fulfilling and lucky she feels to have a job that simply helps other people.  

Along with the fulfillment of her job, she finds tremendous joy being with her family and friends.  “I am very defined by the relationships around me” she says.  Rachel lost her father over 4 years ago and since her sisters and mother have become inseparable.  “They are my everything” she says.  The support and encouragement Rachel has received from her family and Aaron has been constant through her journey.  Through their support she found a new confidence and strength to reach her goals.  Rachel is an incredible woman and I am excited to share her story!

Back in high school Rachel played competitive basketball.  She was involved in a few other sports as well and was always moving and active.  Practice was a mainstay in Rachel’s life so she never had to worry about weight.  In college things slowed down.  She was living away from home and eating differently.  Compound that with being out of sports and things started to change.  After college she got a job right away and when she would get home there was little if any motivation to workout.  “I vividly remember it [the scale] saying 185. Even though I’m 5’10” that is the most I’ve ever weighed in my life” she shared openly.  It was that visual that got her thinking about changing her lifestyle.  But it stopped at “thinking.”  

“I always said, ‘if I could just lose 25 pounds…’ and then I’d say to myself ‘there’s no way you can get there.’”   Her thought process was extremely detrimental to her.  All of her thoughts stopped her cold in her tracks. It prevented her from taking any action.  How many of you have been there? I know I have!  We sabotage our success by limiting what we think we are capable of.  These become mantras and “truths” that we live by.  As time goes by we simply live by our philosophy no matter how frustrated we are by it.  Sometimes it takes an even bigger wake up call to shake us loose.  

That is what happened for Rachel the summer of 2014.  She was celebrating the 4th of July and couldn’t figure out what to wear.  “I remember trying on a million clothes and not being comfortable. I was crawling in my own skin.” Rachel ended up throwing on an ugly gray t-shirt and the biggest white shorts she owned (pictured left).  “This isn’t me” she thought to herself.  The next day she saw some photos from the BBQ and it struck her.  She felt so sad for the girl in the photo.  The person looking back at her wasn’t Rachel.  “Im very confident, I know who I am” said Rachel.  So to see those photos was really scary for her.  It was the lightbulb she needed to start taking care of herself.  

Rachel began doing her homework.  She read everything she could about The Whole 30.  She came to Aaron and asked if he would do it with her.  Initially he was resistant but she knew doing it together would give her the strength.  In just 30 days she started to feel more in control.  She had lost 10 pounds and was feeling great!  Now it was time to add in exercise!  Rachel knew she wouldn’t stick to both at the exact same time so once she had her food in line she could add the workouts.  

They started going to the gym and she was mortified in the weight room.  “The first day I was lifting 5 pounds and was so embarrassed” she said.  “I kept thinking ‘what am I doing here?’” It was the support and drive from Aaron that kept her going back.  He helped her see that if she kept going she would get stronger. And for the record, WHO CARES about what others might think of her in the weight room!  Rachel kept saying “I can’t” and Aaron kept saying “keep going!” “I had never stuck with eating health AND working out long enough to see results” she shared.  She would always think “What’s the point” if nothing happened after a month.  But Aaron never gave up on her.  After a while she started seeing results and it became addictive!

Rachel had struggled with believing her past “truths” or mantras.

What’s the point?

I can’t.

There’s no way!

I’ve tried and failed in the past.

Phrases like this had defined her past.  And it took a while to click.  But once it did there was nothing stopping Rachel!  “Like anything it takes practice and time” she said.  

Rachel now has struck a balance.  Now she can have pizza and not feel like she’s thrown off her entire week.  She now has the tools to balance it out again.  “I hate saying ‘get back on track’ because I just want to live my life and not obsess over it” she shares.  She doesn’t punish herself if she has nachos one night.  The next day she makes a conscious effort to stock up on the healthy stuff!  Making a total lifestyle shift is definitely hard and with it comes continued struggles.  It’s easy to slip back into the mindset of “I don’t have to do that today” but Rachel is now aware of how that makes her feel.  Both physically and emotionally it makes her feel like garbage.  “A lot of times I have to remind myself I don’t like to feel like that” she says.  I think we all need to set up those reminders.  We need to be our own biggest supporter as well and set ourselves up for success!

I asked Rachel to share her top tips with you.  I really loved what she said:

  1. Be patient!  Anything worth doing takes a lot of time!  This was the biggest thing for me.  I didn’t think it was possible because I didn’t think I could do it in a week [referring to her goal of losing 25 pounds].  But when I trusted the process and understood it was going to be a slow game it worked out well.
  2. Don’t sell yourself short. There are a lot of things you can do.  I tried and failed at running in the past.  I could have said “I’m not trying this again” but I am so proud I did and that I crossed the finish line of a half-marathon.
  3. Do what works for you.  Don’t ever feel you have to do something just because someone else did it.
  4. Ask for help. Get it from your family or from strangers from the internet. I started my Instagram page because I wanted support from others.  I tapped into that support system. There are so many people out there who can help you!  Don’t ever not try something just because you’re confused. There is so much info out there, you just have to access it!  Allow yourself to be motivated!

I absolutely LOVE that!  Allow yourself to be motivated!  Motivated by others, by something you’ve learned and even by your own successes!  Rachel has allowed herself to be motivated and as a result she is motivating so many people on their journey!  Congratulations girl.  You are truly an inspiration. 

xo

Becky

Thank you for taking the time to engage in my 14th 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 Rachel on Instagram @BeyondThe30