2017: It’s a New Year!

One of my goals last year was to really put some effort into my little baby blog. Umm yeah… didn’t happen. I was VERY busy and trying to start, much less maintain, a blog was definitely on the back burner.

But here we are, at the beginning of another new year, and I’m way less busy than I was at this time last year, so I’m making the same goal. Here’s why: throughout the last four years of personal training and teaching bootcamps, I’ve had TONS of people, clients and non-clients, ask me questions about training, working out, diet, etc. And while I definitely don’t have all the answers, I feel like I have a lot of experience to offer. I’ve edited my diet many times, tried different supplements, and have accomplished things in the gym that I never thought possible!

Am I perfect? Definitely not. Am I where I want to be? No! But, do I want to share my experiences with you all as you journey into the new year? Yes!

I want to redo my blog, but I don’t want to wait for that to find out what kinds of questions you have for me. So here goes! What do YOU want to know? What can I help you work through when it comes to your health and fitness? Let me know by commenting here or by emailing me at shapefitnessdurham@gmail.com. I hope to hear from you soon!

Rachel

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Sleep + Lower Body HIIT

Happy Saturday!

One thing I’ve been realizing about myself lately is how much good 8 hours of sleep does for me. I mean, seriously. I’ve spent my fair share of nights getting only 5-6 hours of sleep and I can barely function the next day. (And the functioning that I DO do isn’t pretty. I’m down right mean when I’m tired. But hey, at least I know that about myself!)

Sleep is so important though – whether you are someone who needs 6 hours a night or 9 hours a night. Sleep helps your body recover from your workouts. Sleep promotes weight loss. Sleep keeps your hormones and metabolism working as they should. Sleep helps prevent illness and promotes recovery from illness. Sleep recharges your brain and your body so you can function the next day. Bottom line – sleep is SO important for your overall well being and it should be a priority right up there with working out and eating healthy.

As hard as I’ve tried in the past to get away with 6 hours of sleep, it just doesn’t work for me. I have to have 8. Do you know how many hours of sleep YOU need? If not, and you find yourself tired a lot, try this: First, figure out how many hours of sleep you usually get. Are you still tired throughout the day with that amount of sleep? If so, go to bed 30 minutes earlier the next night and see how you feel the day after. Still tired? Keep adding on 3o minutes of sleep each night until you are able to get through an entire day without feeling like you’re going to bottom out. Then, make getting that much sleep a priority! Obviously you may not be able to get your ideal amount of sleep EVERY night, but try to as much as possible and I promise, you’ll be feeling great!

Just like sleep, exercise should also be a priority, and with that being said, here’s a brand new Lower Body HIIT workout! You will need a wall (for a wall sit), and a chair or step (for jumping or stepping up on). Try to get 2-3 rounds of this workout in and your legs will feel like jelly afterward!

Push Up/Row/Jump Rope Countdown Workout

 

Happy Thursday!

This workout was my first workout in 5 days. I hate it when that happens! But you take one day off, then two, then next thing you know, it’s 5 days later and you’re struggling to get back in your workout routine. It sucks trying to get back into it, but once you do, you remember how much better you feel when you exercise consistently. I tell you all of this to say that, if you find yourself out of your routine and struggling to get back in, that’s ok! And totally normal! It even happens to trainers every once in a while! (At least this trainer ;)) The most important thing is that you push through and do it anyway! You know you’ll be glad you did!

Side note…. I know my jump rope form is not the best. I never realized it until I watched myself. Your feet should stay straight forward the whole time and not flop around like mine! I need to work on that, obviously! But here’s a good word of advice – if you ever are unsure about your form (on any exercsie) and whether or not it’s correct, use a mirror or record yourself. Form is so important for getting the best results and preventing injury, that it’s worth taking the time to make sure you are doing things correctly.

If you have questions about the proper form on an exercise, let me know and I’ll make a video with the answer!

Have a great day ya’ll!

Rachel

 

Product Review: Hair, Skin & Nail Health

Happy Monday Everyone!

Today, I wanted to tell you about a recent experience that I had with a product I’ve been using for a while, but never actually realized what it was doing for me. But I’ve since realized and it’s AMAZING! Here you go:

Being a health and fitness professional, I always take my vitamins (in theory, that is – sometimes I forget!). And I take LOTS of them. I might look crazy when you see just how many I take, but I genuinely feel like it’s important to fuel your body with all the  vitamins and nutrients that it craves and unless you are able to eat a PERFECT diet (let’s be real), supplementing is the most efficient way to fill in the gaps.

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That being said, I take a hair, skin and nails because, well, I figured I should! Haha. But I had honestly no clue how much I was benefiting from it until I recently forgot to take my vitamins for 2 straight weeks (SO unlike me!). My nails were cracked, breaking, thin, and brittle. A few of them ripped off to the quick and it HURT. And they looked TERRIBLE. This is actually what made me realize I hadn’t been taking my vitamins and that the HSN might actually really be making a difference!

So I took a before pictur, got back on my vitamin routine, and 6 weeks later took an after picture. After 6 weeks, my nails are strong, healthy, even in color, and not broken AT ALL! I am actually kind of glad that I forgot to take my vitamins for a couple of weeks because now I know just how much they do for me!

That being said, I HIGHLY recommend Nutrilite’s Hair, Skin & Nail Health supplement!! Lucky for you, it’s inexpensive and easy to order! And since Nutrilite uses only the BEST and natural ingredients from their private, organic farms, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to what you are putting in your body. It can be ordered on it’s own, but it is also included in the Nutrilite Women’s Pack .

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If you have any questions about this product that I haven’t answered here, please feel free to let me know and I’ll be happy to help!

Rachel

 

*Bart and I are registered in Amway and do profit off of Nutrilite sales. However, we are not paid for endorsing the product and we do truly believe in the quality and effectiveness of the products that I review!

Are YOU letting YOU down?

So, I had a meeting with a client last week and ended up preaching to myself as I was talking to her. It started right as she showed up to weigh in and show me her recent food log and the first thing she said to me was: “This isn’t going to be good.” I know I gave her an annoyed look as I responded with “Why?” She proceeded to tell me that she knew she had been eating bad lately and not tracking her food, etc, etc.

Instead of my usual response of “Ok, well let’s talk about it”, I said “You know you’re only letting yourself down, right?” I actually get this type of “forewarning” from clients all the time when they come for a weigh in. And, admittedly, I almost help them justify their excuses of why they’ve been slacking so they don’t feel so bad. (Not only do I do this with clients, but I do it with myself as well.) But for some reason, this weigh in changed my own thought process and I responded completely different.

I think my response to her hit me just as hard as it hit her. Because it’s true: when you make goals, but don’t do what you know you need to do to reach them, you’re letting yourself down more than anyone else. I’m SO guilty of this!! And why do we do it? It’s easy to get caught up in a moment of motivation and excitement when you are mapping out some goals with your trainer (or even with just yourself). It’s easy to think that you’re going to be the most motivated person ever and you’re going to rock those goals! But quite frankly, if you’re like me, you move on with your day and eventually, you forget that excitement and determination when something comes up that sounds way more fun than your workout that afternoon. Or you go out to dinner with friends and they’re all eating cheese fries, so obviously you want some. Right?

Here’s kind of how I see it -is it wrong to skip your workout or eat some cheese fries? Not necessarily. But if you’ve made goals to lose weight and be healthier, and you’ve told yourself you want to accomplish them more than anything, then you have to remember that before you dig into the cheese fries. And just ignore your friends when they bug you about how healthy you are because you won’t eat cheese fries. They’ll probably wish they had restrained as well next time they see you and you’re in the best shape of your life.

So as I said earlier, this response to my client actually ended up being a sermon to myself more than anything. I make goals all the time and tell myself this is what I want! I’m doing this! I’m gonna be in the best shape of my life one month from now! But then I see a piece of cake and all of a sudden, I forget what I promised myself. Don’t be like that – not for anyone else’s sake, but for your own sake. You set those goals for YOU. Not for your trainer or your best friend. And while they care, they don’t care at the same time. You know what I mean? So show YOURSELF how much your goals mean to YOU and how badly YOU want to achieve great things for YOU. I promise I’m going to work harder at this, too!

Hope this helps someone who’s been struggling the same way I have been – until now!

P.S. Here’s a 5min Ab Workout to get you started on those goals! Get after it!

Baked Egg Cups

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day -really, it is! But yet, so many people struggle to find the time to make and eat breakfast. I’m all about planning ahead and making sure you have options available so when the week gets crazy, you don’t get off track.

These Baked Egg Cups are delicious and easy to make, and are a great option to have in the fridge, ready to go for when you’re in a hurry!

What you will need:

  • 12 eggs
  • Sliced ham (or turkey)
  • Your favorite veggies
  • Non-stick spray (I prefer coconut!)
  • Muffin pan

Begin by spraying your muffin pan with the non-stick spray. Then, place one slice of ham in each cup of the pan and shape the ham to the cup – so the ham will ultimately act as a cup for the egg. Next, crack one egg into each ham-lined muffin cup. (If you don’t care for sunny side up, you can also scramble your eggs and then pour in to each cup, instead). Then add your veggies. You can also add cheese if you like! Bake for 10-15 minutes on 350. Store in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave as needed. Super easy! Enjoy!

Thank you to Amy from Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins for collaborating with me on this one!

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Dieting 101: Don’t do it.

One thing that’s super important when trying to lose weight and burn fat is your diet, is it not? And like most people in this weight loss journey, you’ve probably said at one time or another: “I need to go on a diet.” Right? Wrong. The biggest mistake you could make is going on a diet. Here’s why and what to do instead.

First, let’s say you’re going to go on a diet that restricts calories because you read somewhere in a magazine that you can lose weight quickly that way. You may or may not even know how many calories you typically as it is, but you decide to eat 1000 calories a day until you lose the weight. So do you see what just happened? You decided to go ON a diet, but then go OFF the diet once you get to where you want to be. And what do you think is going to happen at THAT point? You’re going to go right back to what you were doing before, which means your weight will go right back to where it was before. Is this making sense? (Not to mention 1000 calorie diet is definitely not healthy, but just using it as an example to make my point :))

Here’s another example: Whole 30. I am definitely not knocking Whole 30. It’s probably exactly how we should all be eating all the time. But the time frame is even in the name – 30. You do it for 30 days and then you are done. So, you’re going to give your body 30 days of clean and healthy foods, it starts detoxing itself of all the bad stuff you used to put in it, and then just when it’s settling in to this new way of eating, your the 30 days is over and you go right back to doing what you were doing before.

So what SHOULD you do? Start with one simple goal. Like, do you drink too much soda? Or, do you go to Starbucks for a muffin every morning? Let’s just start there. Make it a goal for one week to cut back from 3 sodas per day to 1 soda per day. Or decide that you’re going to have a protein shake or an omelet for breakfast Monday-Thursday and only get your muffin on Friday. Basically, begin by identifying one or two things about your diet that you know you need to change and focus on those for now. Once you start to feel the benefits of cutting down on soda and it becomes a habit to have a water bottle with you instead of a can of Diet Coke, then move on and set a new goal to change something else.

Are you catching my drift? Because here’s the thing – if the changes you make don’t become a habit, but rather, you “can’t wait til this diet is over”, then you aren’t going to make lasting changes to your lifestyle to improve your health and lose the extra weight for good. But, if you can slowly adopt a new lifestyle of eating by changing one thing at a time and allowing it to stick, THAT’S when you’re going to see long term success in your weight loss and you’ll be able to keep it off for good!

Hopefully this helps those of you struggling with chronic yo-yo dieting who can’t seem to lose the weight and keep it off. And if you need extra help, support, and motivation, email me at shapefitnessdurham@gmail.com about getting started with my Online Personal Training program! I’d love to work with you and help you lose the weight and live the life you’ve been wanting to live!

Rachel

These are two of my awesome online clients who have not dieted at all, but made one change at a time to their lifestyle to get them the results they wanted and be able to maintain it!