Jan 2, 2019
In today’s Balance365 member spotlight, Annie sits down with Balance365 member Rachelle Cowan to discuss the difference the program made in her life and in the life of her family. Healthy habits, mindset shits and learning to navigate the messy middle is discussed as well as the value of community in building healthy habits. Tune in for a powerful personal story, laughter and the joy of a life lived with moderation!
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Annie: Hey, Annie here, thanks for joining us for another episode of Balance365 Life radio. I am super excited about this episode because today you’re going to meet one Balance365 member who first joined the community during one of our free challenges. She says she came for the awesome free workouts but decided to stick around in hopes of finally cultivating the self-love she had been looking for her whole life. Rachelle is a ridiculously energetic working mother of two young girls who shares that this program has transformed not only her life but her daughters as well. I had so much fun talking to Rachelle and I know you’re going to love learning from the insights she shares on today’s episode as well. Enjoy!
Rachelle, thank you so much for joining us for our member spotlight. How are you?
Rachelle: I’m great, thanks. How are you doing?
Annie: I am just golden. Are you sitting in your car right now?
Rachelle: I am. I’m actually on a break from work.
Annie: Bless your heart. You are the second interview I’ve done where women have had to take a moment out of their work day to do that so I really, really, am I going to get you in trouble by sharing that you’re at work?
Rachelle: No. I got it all cleared through management.
Annie: Well, thank you for your time. I appreciate it. Let’s just jump right in because I don’t want to take away from your work day but I do want to talk to you. Can you tell our listeners a little bit, just quickly, how you found Healthy Habits Happy Moms or Balance365 or both even.
Rachelle: Sure. HHHM, which I usually call it HHHM because it’s like an idea, right? It sinks in. You guys were doing the, I think it was Screw the Resolutions. I can’t remember exactly what it’s called but I saw it posted and I was like, you know what, I want to see what this is about. My feed was filled with lots and lots of like sales people that are trying to sell me the perfect drink, the perfect diet, you guys just kind of stood out.
Annie: Yeah, because it was New Year’s. It was, yeah, New Year’s time we did that Screw Your Resolutions challenge and it was like, here’s the alternative to sustainable resolutions, like instead of like making these enormous goals that eventually everyone always fails on, like why don’t we try something a little bit more moderate.
Rachelle: Exactly, and you got me hook, line and sinker.
Annie: Yes! Mission Accomplished. So you joined and what happened?
Rachelle: I got to see all the posts. The posts are what got me first, not just from you and Lauren and-
Rachelle: Jen. Thank you. Long day. But I got to see the the posts from the members too and then we started seeing things from B365 and it took about a year before I swapped over to B365 with the other one on top but it was nice seeing all of these women that were just like me, all at different stages of life and actually making it work for them.
Annie: Yeah, so what were your goals when joining? What did you hope to get?
Rachelle: At first I was skeptical. I think that that’s normal for anyone, you know, you join a group in it about healthy habits then you’re sitting there going “OK, but how healthy?” Like are you going to tell me I can never have french toast again? We’re just not going to be friends. But my goal was to find something that made me love me for how I look and who I am and having your moments you still had to find some way to be able to like yourself.
Rachelle: So that was my goal.
Annie: Yeah, what a great goal because I don’t know if you had tried anything else prior to Balance365 but in my experience so many women are looking for a diet or an exercise program to give them just that. Like, if I reach my perfect body then I’ll feel like my life is perfect and I won’t have any more of this like self-deprecating junk that comes along with my body image right now and that would be really great if it worked that way-
Rachelle: If it was sustainable.
Annie: Yeah, but often that, like, emotional labor is in fact a labor of all of it’s own and that’s what I think really sets us apart from other programs out there is that we address the whole person and that is our goal is that like we don’t really don’t care if you lose weight, gain weight, maintain your weight, like, ultimately, if you feel good about what you’re doing and where you’re at and your relationship with your body is a place where you feel good about then, like, that’s all that really matters to us.
Rachelle: And that’s why I fell in love with you guys is that it literally was, you know, yes, you have these amazing workouts which, by the way, are amazing and they’re really time efficient, so I can do it in the morning before I come to work and I don’t look like such a hot, sweaty mess. But it wasn’t just about the workouts and you guys add the modifications where anywhere else they don’t do that, they don’t add in the modifications, they want you to be able to do these things, right off the start.
Annie: Yes. You’re just making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But really, the point of this podcast is to be about you and if you don’t mind, I want to share a win that I pulled not not too long ago from our private Balance365 group and you said “A year I have been working on my habits but since the start of the Supermom Strong Challenge I have added better habits and this has been my journey. It’s not about the 16 pounds lost or about the 9 inches lost, it’s what I’ve gained in this process of adding healthy habits, working on Goldilocks, which for people listening is our satiety habit. It’s our habit where we talk about, we call it Goldilocks because we want you to feel not too full, not like you’re still hungry but just that, like, right middle in between so Goldilocks is the perfect name for that habit and learning the “all or something mindset.” I’ve gained strength. I’ve gained knowledge and I’ve gained an understanding that size means I advocate this group Balance365 and Healthy Habits Happy Moms to anyone who will listen because for 31 years I fought against my body and hating watching others do the same. I love each and every member in these groups because without you I wouldn’t be the woman I am today so thank you.” Like, wow, that sounds like a total transformation is what it sounds like. It that how you feel?
Rachelle: It is. It is huge. I mean, I’ve always been a heavier person. I graduated grade 8 and I was already in a size 20 pant. Like I went to high school and I was that big girl that you see in all those funny movies but you know, they don’t really have a shine on and you feel like you’re in the back, right? You feel like you’re not important. These groups and this program and all the work that you guys do that makes us think about ourselves, that makes us get into our heads and figure out what our real goals are, it has made me look at not just my body differently but my whole life. I’m done playing the supportive character because I am a star, so why not shine?
Annie: Yeah, oh my gosh, can we just, like, get a clap for that? Like, yeah, like if I could fist bump you or high five you or, like, chest bump you or something, like, yes, you know, that really resonates with me and in fact, I was just thinking about that the other day about how I can identify with a lot of that, like, I was the same, I was always, I don’t know, I just, my body was just one of the bigger bodies really fast in elementary school and I was always like the funny girl, like the funny chunky, like and that’s what you see in the movies today too, you’re so right that’s, like, so it’s so refreshing to see you know people like Amy Schumer and like, the Ghostbusters movie, the female Ghostbusters movie where it wasn’t like this one ideal body type and these people are playing the stereotypical roles and she’s the, you know, the stepsister that’s chunky or overweight or whatever, it’s like yeah, like, you deserve a center stage in your own damn life, like.
So tell me, tell me about how you got from point A to Point B because it sounds like you didn’t maybe always feel like that, that’s why you wanted to join the program. You wanted to cultivate more self love. So what were you doing before that and how did you get to where you are today?
Rachelle: Really unhealthy habits is where I started, like, very unhealthy. Skipping lunch and breakfast and only eating a small dinner and then leading to the weekend where you’re home so you can sit there and eat an entire pizza and perhaps box of Oreos. And pushing myself to do movement that I wasn’t enjoying, like, I love yoga but I’m not very good at it. I have no balance and I have no coordination so some of the moves, you know, you push yourself to do them and you end up hurting yourself. That was my mindset – pain was what you needed to do to get perfection.
After joining Healthy Habits and then joining B365, you know, it kind of kicked into the “I’m supporting all of these people and I’m saying these things and I mean it when I’m saying it to them but it was time to start looking inward and saying the same thing myself.”
So following your videos and joining a gym and eating healthy, balanced meals, like, it’s not easy all the time, there’s still, like today I forgot my lunch in the fridge because I’m forgetful and it’s really early when I leave the house. But it’s knowing that, OK, that would have been the best lunch but I’ll go for something better.
So I stopped in the cafeteria and I grabbed a fruit cup, that was probably not the best thing in the cafeteria, but it was quick, it was easy, it was delicious so it was learning those habits and trying to transform them into my life and make it so that it was OK with me and not just with me but my daughters too.
Annie: Yeah, for sure and what I hear you saying, Rachelle, is that you weren’t perfect in your time with us but you’ve still achieved so much, you’ve still seen a lot of progress towards your goals, not just physically but mentally as well and I think that something that is one of the biggest mindset shifts that women experience in our community is that that all are something, that like, I don’t have to be perfect, that the two options are not perfect or failing or right or wrong, on the wagon, off the wagon, I’m either all in or I’m all out, like you can, like, navigate that middle ground, that gray between area where, if you’re like us, you probably feel like “I could be doing more, I should be doing more” but if you stay in that middle ground long enough you’re still going to see results.
Annie: And those and it feels like your whole world opens up when you don’t have to be perfect all the time, like “Hey, I could just be good or I can be better, like, I don’t have to be the best.”
Rachelle: I think it was in the B365 group that I actually heard it the first time is “Progress not perfection” because none of us are going to be perfect 100% of the time, that’s unsustainable, it’s unattainable so it’s progress, so, OK, I had pizza last night but I paired it with salad. That’s just as good. That’s still progress compared to me sitting there and eating an entire Domino’s pizza myself.
Anne: Right, yeah, actually pizzas is a staple in our house. And I love pizza. I love to eat pizza and I was the same way. Every Friday night was our “cheat meal” – this was in my dieting days or cheat meal and I would eat a whole pizza myself and then some cinnamon bread sticks, like dessert things and I would just feel disgusting, and it wasn’t even had to do with the quantity or the calories, it was just like, “I don’t feel good physically. I feel sick” and now I’m happy to say that I’m in a place where, like, I can have a couple pieces of pizza and then just be done, like, but what so often what we see in women that are still really heavily dieting is they just say “No pizza ever, like at all,” but it’s like “OK, I can have some pizza, like you said, with a salad or I can have just a few slices” like, there’s ways to incorporate pizza. Because to me, a life without pizza is sad, like-
Rachelle: It’s the same with poutine. OK, I’m Canadian. I’m not giving up my poutine, it does not matter if I want my butt to bounce quarters off of it.That’s a staple, well, in my life, anyway, I don’t know about anybody else’s-
Annie: It’s a non-negotiable.
Rachelle: It’s a staple for me. It is. It’s a non-negotiable. And that’s what you guys teach us, right? It’s okay to have non-negotiables. It’s OK not to give up your favorite things in life. If you want that glass of wine, have the glass of wine, it’s not going to derail you for the rest of your life.
Annie: Yeah and giving up those things temporarily are likely only going to give you temporary results and that’s one thing, if you want to go into it eyes wide open and say “I’m going to give up this thing and I’m going to maybe see some temporary results for it” but knowing that as soon as I introduce that thing, whatever it is that I’ve removed from my diet back into my diet, I’m probably going to lose the results that I made” and it’s just like, we say that with absolutely no judgment whatsoever because we’re all about teaching you how to fish versus giving you a fish and if that’s a tool you want to use for summer time or a vacation or a wedding or a reunion of sorts, fine, do you, girlfriend but know that, like, those probably aren’t sustainable practices and again, you can do that, you can use those tools in the toolbox without judgment but back to the poutine, I only had poutine once, I mean, let’s talk about the really important stuff, food. And it was at McDonald’s and it was actually really good because, for the American listeners, it’s not really, it’s not a, it’s a French inspired cuisine, right? And it’s French fries with gravy, isn’t it? Am I remembering that correctly?
Rachelle: And cheese curds.
Annie: Yeah, that sounds great.
Rachelle: And they have to be the good cheese curds that actually squeak in your teeth when you bite into them.
Annie: Do you have, like, do you make this yourself or do you order it at restaurants?
Rachelle: I do make it. I do make it. You know, I order it, not McDonald’s.
Annie: Is McDonald’s not the best choice? Is that what you’re saying?
Rachelle: It’s not a bad choice, it’s a good choice.
Annie: For poutine quality it might not be the best poutine quality source.
Annie: Yeah like you could get better. Poutine from McDonald’s is better than no poutine at all.
Annie: Funny. OK, so back to Balance365, we digress. And oh, I do want to celebrate this win too, because this is also huge. You’ve been working with a trainer on your exercise habit outside of Balance365, which again, we totally support, it’s not like you’re with us or not at all. And you just celebrated doing your first assisted pull up, is that correct?
Rachelle: It is correct. It was terrifying. I don’t know-
Annie: Why was it terrifying?
Rachelle: I’m 5’2″ with shoes on so that bar is really high in the air and when you’re as short as I am and you’re terrified of heights, getting to that and trusting that this itty bitty little rubber band is going to hold you and you’re not just going to crash to the floor was really really tough to mentally get over but it was so much fun. I felt like such a super star, it’s like “I’m Supergirl! I’m doing this. This is so great.”
Annie: Yes. That’s amazing. That’s part of what I love about being a personal trainer is that so often I am put in that opportunity to present women with challenges they’re not really sure if they can do. I think they can do them or I know they can do them but they’re like, there’s just some mental hurdles or some blocks there, they’re like “Can I get up to that bar” and just last week I had a woman just hang from the pull-up bar, like unassisted, just hang and she was like on top of the world after that and it’s like-
Rachelle: I want to give her a high 5, honestly, because it’s like, “Yeah, you rock!” have you ever tried to do the monkey bars? Because when I first started working out I tried to do the monkey bars and I thought I ripped my armpits off. Like it was just pure pain, so to do the assisted pull-up or just hang from a bar, it’s that accomplishment that you’re just like”Wow, I’m a badass.”
Annie: Yes. Yes you are and you can do hard things and you can do things that maybe you didn’t think you could do or like, have the ability to do and you’re capable of doing them, like, what a moment, so snaps for you, girlfriend.
Rachelle: Thank you, thank you.
Annie: Yes. OK, so tell me, I know you already shared a little bit, or a lot, about how Balance365 has positively impacted your life but is there anything else, any other areas it’s impacted your life that maybe surprised you or?
Rachelle: My daughters. My daughters, you know, we used to, I used to get really embarrassed when they would point out people’s body shapes or use the word ‘fat’. For the longest time fat was a swear word in our house. It was one of the things like stupid or other bad names that you shouldn’t-
Annie: Don’t call people that. Yeah. Right.
Rachelle: It was just like, “No, that’s not OK” and then someone in a group, I don’t remember who it was, I wish I did but they posted that you’re not fat. You have fat. It was like, “You’re right. OK.” And then the podcast came out about dealing with your daughter’s body image and all of a sudden I just looked at my girls and I mean, my oldest is going to be 13 in a month and they’re at that age, they’re at that age where people are saying things about their body and they’re saying things about people’s bodies so it was refreshing to hear Jennifer say, “We do that at home. You can still comment at home but to be polite and not hurt people, we don’t say it out in the real world.” So we started instituting those with the girls and then explaining to the girls that movement is a great thing for your body but you have to enjoy it. So do things that are good for you. The amount of self-confidence I’ve seen in my kids since I started this journey is amazing because you don’t realize how much you rub off on them.
Annie: Yeah I hear that a lot from women and you know, also what we also hear from women is, and I just interviewed another member saying something similar is that the impact that our mothers have on us have been so instrumental in our behaviors and how we feel better bodies to think that we have any less power is just silly, you know, like we have so much influence on how our kids are growing up and feeling about their bodies to be a mom that’s like “Hey, I was really nervous to do this pull up and hang from this band and this bar but I did it” like like how, I just think my life would have been so different had I had those conversations with my mom and my mom was doing the best she can and she was a wonderful, wonderful woman, I love her with all my heart but she just didn’t know any better and now and now and now thanks to research, thanks to communities like ours, tooting our own horn, and women.
Yes and women in our communities that are contributing to these conversations, we have so much more resources available to know that like, “Hey, we can do better. We can have different conversations. We can change the narrative. We can create new stories that are ultimately going to impact our daughters’ lives,” like, yeah, that’s awesome. That’s got to feel really good.
Rachelle: I think so. It is. It’s different to see. I mean, I have girlfriends who have little girls as well and just the difference in, I’ve noticed the difference in my kids’ empathy levels versus their kids empathy levels, it’s just one of those “Hmm….” and the fact that my kids go around, you know, using our mantras from B365 and from HHHM, it’s kind of awesome, you know.
Annie: We should put them on the payroll.
Rachelle: When our kid’s teacher in our kids’ interview is actually talking to you and says like “You know, Summer said it was better to do all or something because that’s what’s important” and I’m like “Oh my god! You do listen to me. Oh. Whew. We might be OK.”
Annie: We’re going to make it. That’s awesome. OK, Rachelle, last question and then I’ll let you get back to work, if you knew that there was a listener or you had a girlfriend that was on the fence, a little bit cautious, a little bit unsure about joining the program, what would you tell her?
Rachelle: Remember your steps and remember your why. Your why is the most important thing that you can possibly have and if you’re looking to fulfill yourself in a way that is more realistic, more attainable and have the most amazing support behind you then give this a real try because this is going to change your life and it’s not just gimmicky, this is going to change your life, this is literally something that after, I’m going to be 34 in a month and this changed my entire world and it didn’t just change my world, it changed my relationship with my sisters and mother, it changed my relationship with my daughters, it’s given me more worth of who I am and it puts you in a much better place. Much happier place.
Annie: That is awesome. I cannot thank you enough. You were so fun to talk to.
Rachelle: I’m glad you think I’m fun. It’s like a celebrity moment over here for me. I’ve been blushing all day.
Annie: As I show up late with my Coke Zero and like “Hey, just let me put in my headphones real quick.” I probably have protein ball seeds in my teeth. Anyways, it was so much fun, thank you so much for your time. I hope we didn’t take too much time from your work but I’m certain that some of the stories and experiences you shared today are going to resonate with some of our listeners and that’s what makes this whole community work, that it’s not just about me, Jen and Lauren, it’s about our community and the women inside of it and an opportunity to learn from each other and grow with each other and I can’t thank you enough for that, so thank you.
Rachelle: Thank you.
Annie: Alright, thank you, we’ll talk soon, OK?
The post Episode 47: Balance365 Member Spotlight with Rachelle Cowan appeared first on Balance365.