My name is Rachel. I'm a goal getter.
I literally THRIVE on goals.
They also stress me out. But, I keep doing it.
When I first began coaching, I just wanted to lose the extra pant size I had gained over an injury period in my running career. I started with 21-Day Fix and loved the results so much that I stuck with it for three rounds! Once I added in ab work each day, I saw a SERIOUS difference. I was hooked.
Since then, I have completed PiYo, The Master's Hammer & Chisel, 22-Minute Hard Corps, Insanity:Max30, Country Heat, and now Core De Force. I also dabbled in CIZE and 21-Day Fix Extreme.
Let me tell you, when I was at the 2016 Coach Summit in Nashville, and Core De Force was announced....I was STOKED. I knew right then and there that THIS was going to be my JAM. See, ever since 21-Day Fix, I have wanted to tighten my core and get some noticeable abs. Maybe that sounds vain, but as a runner, a strong core is a MUST, and being able to SEE the results of hard work makes it even more satisfying. I saw the results of the test groups, and so I waited until the release day (very impatiently), and bought it that day.
All season long, my running goal was a sub-2 hour half marathon. I trained really hard and knew that I needed to finish that training before beginning a hard "core" program, so the day after my goal race at Marshall University, on November 7, 2016, I began Day 1 of Core De Force.
While I don't have a scale, I did take all my photos and made sure to document each workout.
The Core De Force program is an MMA-style workout you can do anywhere. No weights, and you don't even need a lot of space. I worked out in my living room most days, which is a narrow space, but I made it work. I loved that I could do this workout barefoot if I wanted to, and the alternating MMA workouts and strength-training workouts challenged my body like never before.
Wanna know my favorite part? My hubby decided to commit to all 30 days WITH me, and even my daughter worked out with me from time to time! I love when my family gets involved!
The workouts range between 25-47 minutes, and there are a couple of extra workouts that are 5 and 15 minutes that get added onto the calendar as the weeks progress. While I was used to 30-minute workouts, I loved this program SO much, that I just allowed myself an hour each day, and if the workout(s) for the day were less than that, bonus! Besides, if I was training in a gym, the time to drive there and back and get anything done would be at least two hours, anyway, so I felt I could set aside 4% of my day for some abs.
The nutrition plan is similar to the 21-Day Fix, in that it utilizes those awesome color-coded portion control containers. I LOVE this system. No counting calories, macros, or carbs. Plus, I can pack up snacks in those little containers and eat on the go with no problem! I basically learned the system when I started with 21-Day Fix, and after two solid weeks of meal planning and tracking containers, I had it down to where I could keep track in my head. Now, there is a great 21-Day Fix Tracker app to take all the guess work out! I have been eating this way for a year and a half and have maintained my weight loss with no problem. I think that is WINNING!
The best part of the Core De Force nutrition plan is that you can ADD on more food in Weeks 2 and 3. Week 2 you can add in an extra fruit, and in Week 3 you get the extra fruit AND a healthy fat like almonds, cheese, or avocado! YUM!
The key ingredient to staying on track, especially with three kids running around, is Shakeology. I have been drinking it daily for 17 months to keep my cravings at bay, give me energy in the afternoon, and help me recover from workouts. I love that I can literally "grab and go" any time I want, and KNOW that I am feeding my body whole foods, giving it the nutrients it needs. I have NEVER felt better than I have with Shakeology. My hair and nails are healthier and grow like crazy. When I am on the road and there aren't great options for "fast" food, I can grab my little packet and be filled for hours. With Core De Force, I drank Shakeology for breakfast, after my workout, and sometimes even as an afternoon snack, if I had enough red containers left. When I first heard about this shake, I wasn't so sure, but I can tell you, it has changed my life!
Along with Shakeology, I have been an advocate for the Beachbody Performance Line products, specifically Energize and Recover. I used to drink coffee around the clock, and claim it gave me energy for workouts. The problem was, it was literally DEhydrating me. So, I decided to give Energize the test against these high-powered workouts. I got into a routine of waking up early, drinking my Energize on the couch while I did my devotions and personal development. Then, I was ready to rock and roll. I love that this formula is light, has no aftertaste, and woke me up without the jitters.
After the workouts, I would shake up some Recover formula with ice and water and drink it while I iced my knees and cooled down. I fell in love with this product during my training season a year ago. My calves would get super tight after a long run and nothing but a LONG salt water bath would cure it. Well, I didn't have time for an hour-long bath after runs most days, so I tried Recover. BAM! The leg cramps were GONE in minutes! I was a believer. Recover has a ton of protein and phytonutrients to help muscles recover faster and increase strength, and when you drink it within 30 minutes of your workout, you don't even have to count it as a container in your nutrition plan! BOOM! I honestly love the orange flavor best, but my husband prefers chocolate, so our latest batch was the chocolate. I'm still not complaining!
Let's get to the results.
After Week 1, I HONESTLY felt like I had made some progress. I know that sounds crazy, but just the fact that I FELT amazing was enough to get me to keep pushing at my maximum effort.
After Week 2, I KNEW there was progress. Only 15 days and I was starting to see abs trying to come through. Baby ones, but again, enough for me to keep pushing and sticking to my meal plan. I KNOW that abs are made in the kitchen.
After Week 3, I had SUCH good results that I HAD to share them on social media. 22 days and I felt like a NEW person! I couldn't believe it. To be completely honest, this was my hardest week to push through workouts. Many of the days were double workouts with either 5-Minute Core on the Floor or Core Kinetics (15 minute workout). I was tired and a bit sore, and still trying to add in running days...oh, and did I mention Thanksgiving? Yeah...that happened. And yet...results.
After Week 4, I was ready to get to Day 30. Day 25 was the last day of strength workouts and then I just had the last 5 days with MMA training. That would have been awesome, but I decided to run a personal best at my last half marathon of the year, so I combined workouts on Sunday, instead of an entire Active Recovery day, thus, not giving myself a real rest day for the last 9 days. I wouldn't recommend this, but I was determined to cross off EVERY SINGLE WORKOUT of the program calendar.
So, here are my final 30-Day results:
There is part of me that was feeling a little bit of a letdown that there wasn't more progress between weeks 3 and 4, as far as physical appearance, but then, I had to do a literal "gut check." On the last day of the program, I FINALLY fought through ALL of Core Kinetics. The only move I had to take a break on was the repeating single-leg push kicks. This was MASSIVE progress from the first time I attempted that workout. I also gained quite a bit of upper body strength and definition in my arms, which was always a closet goal of mine, too. This was confirmed by the push-up quality as the program progressed. My last bit of non-scale victory was surprising, though with the nature of CDF, I should not have been surprised...the waistline of my pants got bigger, and based on the pictures, my bottom even shaped up! Oh, and that sub-2-hour half marathon goal? I crushed it on Day 27 of this program. Think core strength doesn't matter?
So, what now?
Since I have decided this is my soulmate workout program, I am committing to another 30 days for sure. I can't wait to see 60-day results and even more non-scale victories, like higher kicks, less modifying, and more strength! Plus, while there is definite progress, I'm even MORE motivated to stay the course and get those abs!
I told you, I'm a goal-getter.
What about YOU?
Are you ready to #FightForIt? I'm going to be honest. I got the results that I did only because I was 100% committed to this program. I completed every workout, even on holidays. I followed the nutrition plan 85-90% of the time (though I definitely think 80/20 will get you there). And I drank Shakeology every single day without fail. My Core De Force VIP Test Group is the bomb.com, and I am SO glad that we have been able to encourage one another every single day as we sweat, punch, and kick our way to healthier lives.
Talk to me about joining my next health and fitness accountability group. I want to help YOU succeed and find not only new strength, but new confidence in what you CAN do and what you can ACHIEVE. It may take 30 days, it may take 90 or 180...but we will get there together! You just have to START!
Thank you for your interest in my next group! I will contact you within 24 hours to help get you started!
I had run long-distance in high school track because I was never "fast." I ran off and on through college to keep from gaining the "freshman fifteen." I was a yo-yo runner. I didn't run consistently, but only when I felt I needed to get my weight back down or try to improve my health. Then the brownies and ice cream would come calling my name.
After my Dad passed away, I used running as an outlet. I ran 3 miles, 3 times a week in hopes of dropping some baby weight after my second pregnancy. I still ate tons of sweets and processed foods and never lost any weight. However, my endurance increased, so I changed my goals to longer distance, rather than weight loss. I ran my first half marathon in May 2013, 30lbs heavier than I am now.
So what changed?
I looked back at my pictures and I was disappointed. I knew I HAD to change the way I ate, or I would never truly change. Beginning in August 2013, I made one small substitution at a time towards clean eating. Sweet potatoes for white, wheat bread versus white, honey instead of sugar, etc. Very slowly, over time, I lost over 30lbs by Christmas and kept running. It was a very difficult journey, as I was making these changes alone. I had very little support and very few people understood why I wasn't eating the same and would make the remarks about being careful not to lose too much weight. I knew what I was doing was best for my body. Over time, I was able to maintain that weight loss and haven't looked back.
The biggest problem was that I did not have the tools to help other people do the same. No one seemed to have the patience to learn about clean eating on their own, though everyone around me wanted to know the "secret." Well, the secret is making those hard choices day after day. The hard decision to eat whole foods when everyone around you is not. It's not easy, but it is worth it.
So, marathon training...
In 2014, I felt called to run the Walt Disney World Marathon as a Show Hope Advocate to help raise money for a family to adopt their child. Our family had always wanted to adopt, but it wasn't our time, so I ran for someone else, someone I didn't even know, and raised over $3,800.00 through my training. I had never run a full marathon before and I honestly didn't know much about what I was doing.
I had learned to run half marathons with intervals, like the Jeff Galloway method. Since he is a huge partner with Disney races, I looked up his training plans and felt that it would ease me into the process and allow me to start and finish the 26.2 miles without killing my body in the process. The beginning plan is about six months long, with three runs per week. I began training in June 2014 for a January 2015 race.
As the training went on, I found myself pushing the plan. I ran more miles when I felt well, and I ended up having several 100+ mile months. When I wasn't running, I was hitting the gym and going on the elliptical or messing around with upper body strength machines. I thought I knew what I was doing and felt confident that the cross-training was beneficial.
After my 22-miler in November, I started having serious knee issues, eventually developing into tendonitis in BOTH knees. I was also experiencing some stomach issues with the Honey Stinger gels (seemed to be a "cleaner" version of fuel than GU). I ended up in physical therapy for the last six weeks of my marathon training. I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon injured from Mile 1. It was painful. It was hard. By Mile 18, my stomach gave out and I was taking baby steps to keep moving forward. I walked a lot. Because this race meant so much to me, I knew I was never giving up. If I had to walk the whole way, I would finish. By Mile 24, I was able to "speed walk" and that would be it. I finished in 6:36:40.
And THIS is where the story changes...
After feeling completely burned out and stressed out, I found something new to me: Beachbody. Go ahead, roll your eyes...because that's what I did, too! I knew nothing about this company except I had heard of Insanity and P90X from infomercials. I connected with a girl who was a coach and explained that I was already a runner, already a clean eater, and I wasn't sure how Beachbody was going to make me healthier than I already was.
This is what I learned: While my nutrition was better because I was eating whole foods, I was not eating the correct portion sizes or types of whole foods. I was still living with too many carbs and not enough veggies. I excused this behavior by claiming my runner status. Shakeology sounded like the protein shake I was already making, but the more I researched, the more I found that it was filling in those gaps in my nutrition and giving me the energy I was lacking. The programs that they offer can all be done from home, eliminating my need to leave my kids and go to the gym. I was a skeptic. I was unsure. BUT--I was burned out, tired, and needing something new.
After joining as a coach, I also participated in several challenge groups and then began hosting my own groups to share what I had learned. The groups provided daily accountability and camaraderie with others who were also just trying to live a healthier lifestyle. It was encouraging, supportive, and I felt like I was making friends with people who really understood the struggles of meal planning, getting kids to eat healthier snacks, and staying motivated every single day. We were in it together.
I started with 21-Day Fix and completed 3 rounds. I kept very strict to the program so that I could see the best results. Sticking with portions did not make me starve, in fact, I found that I was eating more than I anticipated and still lost a pant size! I kept running through this program, as well as getting stronger through the workouts. I ran less, about 1-2 days/week, but I ran for me...and I started to enjoy it again.
In the fall, I started training again for the Marshall University Half Marathon, with my sights set on a personal record, and going for a sub-2-hour half. (My previous Half PR was 2:05). I ran about 2 days a week and completed the 8-week PiYo program and stuck to my clean eating and Shakeology. No more stomach problems. No injuries. My body felt better than ever and I set a PR at 2:02. I realized that THIS STUFF WORKS! I was loving my routine and loving running for ME.
When registration opened for the Pittsburgh Full Marathon, I decided to sign up. Pittsburgh is my hometown, and since I had done the half twice, I wanted to complete the full at least once as a bucket list item. I had about 6 months to train, but I decided to hold off. I didn't want to over-train like I had for Disney.
After the Marshall University Half in November 2015, I set a personal record in my 5K race as well. My previous 5K was 25:34, and after my training with PiYo and the half marathon, I was able to finish with a 24:54. I was convinced that less running, proper cross-training, and great nutrition were the key to my success.
I spent the next two months training with The Master's Hammer & Chisel program right from my home. I modified and did not have a weight bench or pull-up bar, but I used what I had and resistance bands and door attachment. My strength was increasing daily and I LOVED this program. I had never done so many squats in my life. It was like having a personal strength trainer right in my living room! Because this program was more intense than some of the others, I ran 1-2 days a week, and kept a 10-mile base run on the weekends. I wanted to keep that endurance up through the "off season."
In January, I started training again for the full. As our adoption process moved forward, I realized that the Pittsburgh full would likely fall at the same time that we would be out of the country. So, I made some adjustments, and switched my Xenia, Ohio Half Marathon registration to the Full Marathon so that I could use my training for something. At that point, I had already trained to about 18 miles.
Along with the clean eating, portion control, and Shakeology, I started to use the Beachbody Performance Line products with my long runs and harder workouts. I had used the Energize and Recover, but I have to admit, Recover is my favorite. It is like drinking chocolate milk, but has the nutrients to help your muscles recover better than anything else. I started experiencing leg cramps around Mile 7-9 of every training run. I had no idea why, but within 5 minutes of drinking Recover, the tightness was completely eliminated, which is something that used to take an Epsom salt bath to cure. After realizing the effectiveness of that formula, I kept it with me for every long run so I could drink it immediately after a run and keep my muscles feeling good.
As race day approached, I knew that my training runs were proving that I could get around my 4:45 goal time. I had only been able to train up to 20 miles, and knowing my previous marathon experience, I was a bit nervous about my stomach holding out or my legs giving me trouble after 18 miles. But--I KNEW this training season was different. Less miles, less training time, better nutrition, more strength, and zero burn out.
While the weather was cold, windy, and a bit challenging, the Xenia course is fairly flat and honestly felt like a training run. And mentally, that is what I told myself it was. Just a training run. The water stops and volunteers were great, but it was certainly a no-frills race. Just a training run, right? In my head, I challenged myself to see how close I could get to 4:30 (just because I always want to push), but the later miles were passing more slowly than I had hoped. I KNEW 4:45 would be beat, so I just gave it my all and decided to go for it and be happy with my result. My body was tired and sore, like any body is when it is torn down for 26.2 miles, but it was NOTHING like Disney. I was not crawling at Mile 18. I wasn't crying at Mile 20, and I was still running at Mile 26.
I crossed the finish line and saw 4:35. I did it. I beat my first marathon by OVER 2 HOURS! Who does that? My official time was 4:35:24 and I am very pleased with that. I would like to say that it was hard work that paid off, but honestly, I feel like I worked SMARTER this time around, not harder.
Here is the thing. We runners are a weird bunch. We run, we justify eating poorly, and we burn a ton of calories. Runners will run because they don't have time or don't want to cross-train. Runners believe that hitting the road is good enough. Runners don't think about portions or food groups, but indulge in carbo-loading and celebrating with friends. I know this because I am a runner.
But, take a lesson from me. Nutrition matters. Cross-training matters. Portions matter. And eating the right food groups matters. Running can be adjusted. You don't HAVE to run 5-7 days a week to see improvement.
I learned all this through Challenge Groups. And now, I am a coach who teaches these things on a daily basis. It keeps ME accountable. It keeps ME on the right track. This fall will mark my 3-year anniversary of eating clean, and I have maintained my 30lb+ weight loss and never felt better.
Contact me today about getting on the right track. I want to help you achieve those goals that you have set for yourself. I will help you get set up with the right program for YOU and nutrition to stay on track. Be stubborn about your goals. Be flexible about your methods. Start where you are.
So I started 21-Day Fix as a way to detox my body after vacation, and to learn more about it so that I could help my customers and coaches on their journeys.
I wasn't sure that the little 30-minute workouts would actually do much for me, since I am used to long-distance running and weight training. I started the program on July 13, and ran only 26 miles during that month, as opposed to my normal 70-100 miles per month. I really wasn't sure that I would be able to handle a long run in the same way, since I wasn't putting in the amount of running that I had done in previous months.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that after doing the program for 20 days, I ran a 10-mile run for the first time since June 13. My pace was much better than expected and recovery was better than usual, too. I think the 21-Day Fix program really worked my whole body in new ways, and I didn't even realize that it was working!
I am excited to see how beachbody products will help me reach my time goal for my fall half marathon.
Wife. Mother. Runner. Coach. Adoption Advocate. I strive to share HOPE through my journey and help others reach their goals.