Sport Bra and Booty shorts demean women and children.

So, I read this article a few days ago, actually a few of them, regarding the sexualization of the fitness industry and the impact it has on young girls self-esteem. The article talked about women, and the clothing they wear while working out, how they expose more of themselves then they should, how they are teaching young girls to sexualize themselves during a workout in order to get attention. hmmmm? Not one single word in their about how almost every gym or CrossFit box you walk into, men strut around with no shirts, tight shorts, grunting and moaning as they attempt heavy weights. Is that not sexualization? Why do female athletes only fall into this category?

After thinking about it, I wasn’t sure which side of the table I’m on. Until the other day. My love for fitness is not a secret. I have a business page, I work as a Personal Trainer, my personal Fb page is basically a shrine to all things I do, fitness! Sorry, not sorry. However, the other day, my 4yr old and my 9 yr old are watching the Crossfit Regionals with me. We probably watched about 2 hours of it. Not one single time, did either girl ask or even mention what any of the female athletes were wearing, or why they didn’t have a shirt on or why they didn’t have long pants on! Not one single time. I don’t know if that’s because for the last 3 years both girls have spent a ton of time in a Crossfit box, where it’s fairly normal to see the short shorts and the sports bras on the ladies, or if because, the entire time both girls were completely enthralled with the things these ladies were doing. I kept hearing them say things like, “I’m gonna be strong like her”, “I’m gonna be fast like her”, ” I wanna do what she’s doing”. The obsession was with their abilities, not with what they were wearing.

I sincerely believe, while children do emulate the people they hold in the highest regard, I also believe that as parents, we have the ability to mold the situation into what best fits our beliefs. My husband does  want my young girls dressed modestly when they are in public, so they wear tank tops or t-shirts over their sports bras, as do I. My oldest has asked why she can’t take her shirt off, and my response to her is, your too young. When you are older and you feel comfortable enough to do so, that’s fine, but your still a kid, and its appropriate for you to have a shirt on!

Now, let me make one thing clear. I wont stop going to CrossFit! What I will do, is be firm in my stance that they will be covered up, and they will be modest in public places. I totally understand that children are impressionable. However, in reality, I spend more time with them than anyone at any of these places. So, I have more of an impression on them then anyone else. I just have to be willing  to stand up and be louder and more impactful.

As for how these ladies dress, I mean  can you blame them? Look at them! They are strong and beautiful. They have conditioned their bodies to be capable of more than any other woman could ever dream of doing! They are simply amazing. Are we not being a bully on the playground, when we ridicule and demean them for what they are wearing while they workout. If they are comfortable, if their significant other has no issue, then why do the rest of us?   I have the privilege of being friends with some awesome ladies who workout in short shorts and sports bra, and frankly, I don’t think twice about it. Except when I attempt to wear some little shorts while cleaning my house and I’m constantly having to pull them down and I wonder….how do these ladies jump around and kill a metcon and not have to adjust every 2 minutes? lol!

The point I’m making, while yes, my girls are exposed to women who workout without shirts on, they are also exposed to women who are strong, strong in all aspects. They have all the traits I want my girls to have…confidence, strong bodies, strong personalities, a love for fitness, a love for other women, a love for my girls. Can I really ask for anything else? Why would I take away the exposure to such wonderful women from my girls, because 3x a week, my girls watch these women take off their t-shirts, exposing their sports bra, they watch these women smash heavy weights over and over and over again. They have experienced these women, shed blood and tears for each other, scream and yell, jump up and down cheering on other ladies, as they push themselves through an excoriating workout. How is removing them from such a positive and uplifting experience going to fix anything? We are told to teach our girls to be uplifting towards each other, however, in reality, society demeans and rips apart women for the dumbest things. If you don’t like the CrossFit girls in their short shorts and sports bras, strutting those rock hard glutes and strong thighs that can crush watermelons, then you can find somewhere else, but don’t try to break them down for being who they are…STRONG CONFIDENT WOMEN!

 

Macro’ing and Moving

Amongst the boxes, hauling away stuff to donate, filling my trash bin past its breaking point, arguing with children about why I’m throwing away broken toys..”NO, I will not buy you a new one!”,  tripping over boxes, and doing other mom stuff, wife stuff, work stuff, I find myself wondering about food! Shocking, I know! Hard to believe I’m thinking about food, as I’m stuffing my face with my third meal of the day! hehe.  As I’m packig up nonessential kitchen items, I got to thinking about what exactly my plan is going to be for the next 30-45 days we are here. The husband will be gone to his new job, so it will be the kiddos and I left to feed. Kids are easy.  Well, at least mine are. Bascially, they live off of ramen noodles (gross), peanut butter and jelly, or fluff for my four year old, frozen pizza, or they  are held against their will and tortured into eating what I cook. The latter for them is equivalent to being forced into child slavery. Bunch of drama queens! Chicken is good for you. If ya ask my nine year old, she would disagree as she refuses to swallow that piece of chicken shes been  chewing for 30 minutes…super gross. Anyways,  doing the macro counting, my meals are for the most part, faily simple. Most days, I’m eating almost the exact same thing. Its just easier that way. Howver, Iim trying to make this even easier, minimual supplies, very few dishes to wash, dry and put away, little clean up. Basically, I want to pack my entire kitchen, and still be able to feed my kids and be on the mark with my macros! So, how am I going to do that??? WELL, since you asked…..

I have already been doing it, just in a messier, less frugal way. So, to minimize my effort, I will stick to the basics. Choose 1 meat to eat for 2-3 meals a day for 6 days, 1 type of veggie and 1 complex carb. The next week, Ill change up what I eat. Breakfast is usually the same thing, some form of eggs, some form of other protein and toast. Sometimes I switch it up and make breakfast pizza or breakfast sandwhich. I don’t worry about prepping breakfast, because I’m home for it. Lunch and dinner are usually the more hectic, I’m home from work logn enough to eat, get some cleaning done and then I go back. I don’t want to spend the little time I have, cooking and cleaning my mess. Dinner is the worst. I’m getting home from work, girls need showers, I wanna just sit down and not expend any energy, but kids have to eat. So, I want simple!!!

So, step 1: Cook chicken.! Seems easy enough. I went easier, 2.5lbs of frozen chicken, taken out of its packaging, placed in crockpot, seasoned as desired, lid on, turn on high, let cook 4 hours…BAM!!! Chicken done.  I shred it, add a bit more seasoning, transfer from crockpot to  Tupperware, and place in refridgerator. The chicken I made Sunday, has lasted me at least 2 meals a day and will be gone Friday night! Super easy. Very little effort.

Step 2: What to make with it? Veggies, of course. I actually bought the 3lb bag of birds eye stirfry mix. I throw away the season packet, and just use the frozen veggies. So, lunch and dinner vegetables are done. I don’t separate and weigh out for all week, because I eat different amounts everyday, so I leave it in the original bag, and just weigh out what I need, when I need it. No extra mess.

Step 3:  So, do I make sweet potatoes or rice? While I really love rice, I am not a fan of day old, let alone week old rice, especially when its been cold. So, sweet potatos it is. For these I just bought a 5 lb bag from Walmart. I don’t pre-cook them, cause  I don’t like how soggy they get. However, its really no trouble to prepare, I weigh the one I want, stick it in the microwave for 6 mins, and DONE!

All things considered, what will I need unpacked in my kitchen? Crockpot, fork, knife, spoon, Spatula, cast Iron skillet, cookie sheet, microwave, 3 plates, 3 bowels, dish soap and sponge. Now THAT is frugal!!!

I feel pretty good about this. I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over again, especially since I do switch it up, week to week. My kids are easy, if I decide they are eating what I have, then my chicken may not last as ong1 That’s ok, its nothing to throw more chicken in the crockpot before I go to bed, let it cook all night, and put it in the refridgerator before I leave for work in the morning.

 

 

 

Getting to the Core of it!

The Truth about Abs

        I have been trying to figure out what exactly my next blog post was going to be about. Bouncing ideas around the last few days, however none of them really stood out. Until yesterday. When the reality of the egotistical industry I work in hit me like a ton of bricks. I was taken back a bit, until I realized I was staring myself in the face.

        So, as we all know, school is about to end; for some of us, beach vacations are upon us, short shorts, crop tops, the choice between two piece or a one piece, sun kissed skin and sun bleached hair. There is one thing, that is seemingly on every one’s mind, and social media doesn’t let you forget…. ABS! Every morning as I sip my coffee and scroll through Facebook, my feed is flooded with 10 min AB challenge, or that magic pill or smoothie that will have your abs popping by dinner. Nonsense. Let me just start out by saying, there is no such pill, no such shake, no wraps, no specific workout that will produce AB’s in a short period of time. What will produce those results, are low body fat, good nutrition, and good genetics. The reason I decided to blog about this topic is due to the discussion I had with two brand new female clients the last two days. It literally blew my mind that both women… BOTH, literally said the exact same thing to me. They both said “I WILL DO ANYTHING FOR VISIBLE ABS!” WHAT?? 

          My first initial reaction was, is it that serious? Really? Anything? As I listened to both of these women talk about this goal they have of visible abs, I reazlied, this idea was coming from social media and not just  Facebook, twitter, etc. Just media in general. Fitness, has been sexualized, and women want to be desired. As mothers and wives, as we enter our 30s, 40s, we realize our youth is behind us, gravity has begun to take control of all things that once stood up right without the help of wonder bras, and double sided tape! We want to be tight and flawless. The media is quick to share photos and videos of fitness models and athletes who have 12 pack core, very little body fat, glimmering with sweat as they promote different supplements that will help the everyday joe schmoe get that desired chiseled look. What the media fails to show, and what most people fail to realize, those athletes spend, years of their lives, hours and hours of their days training, and training hard. They are meticulous about what they put in their bodies, supplement wise and nutrition wise. They are on strict nutrition programs, to make sure they are fueled properly for the energy they are expelling and the type of sport they are training for. They didn’t wake up one day and miraculously have that chiseled core and amazing athletic ability. They trained hard, they gave up things, they sacrificed.

                As I explained to these ladies, the work it was going to take to produce the results they wanted, I could tell that wasn’t what they wanted to hear. Based on the conversation, they thought they could keep up with their moderate 2x a week cardio sessions, neglect of the weight room, and lack of proper nutrition and basically just add some crunches and planks and achieve the desired look, by the end of the week. When I explained that while it was a good idea to train their core, for strength and in time, aesthetics, until their body fat came down, they wouldn’t have visible abdominal muscles. Their response… “So, the ab challenge on Facebook won’t give me abs?” Unless your body fat is already low, the answer is no!

                Thinking about this throughout the last few days, I realized…. that was me! At one point in my fitness journey, I was always doing those ab challenges, always wondering when they were going to pop through. It wasn’t until I got serious about my nutrition, that I realized, I really don’t care if I ever have a 6 pack. Having them meant I was going to have to be meticulous about my nutrition, almost all the time, to maintain.  This means, carefully choosing where I go out to eat, making sure what I eat fits into my daily macros, maintaining my workouts, skipping delicious foods at family functions, because there is literally no way to track those foods. It’s just not worth it to me. Would I like ABs? Sure, are they my priority? No. Will I celebrate the day I see one show through? MOST DEFINATLY! The celebration may possibly be with a cupcake…kidding…. not kidding. The point is, that look takes sacrifice, unless your one of those people who won the genetic lottery and have that carved, sculpted look without even trying, Abs take work and they take sacrifice. Continue reading Getting to the Core of it!

I’M BACK! *UPDATE*

 

Phew!!!!  it’s been a while since I have blogged anything. It’s been a crazy crazy year. Where to begin? Let’s see, I stopped CrossFit and began strictly training for an Olympic Lifting meet. During this time, I was interning at our Barbell Club as an OLY coach. The hardest part wasnt the heavy lifting or all the food I had to consume…that was the fun part…the hard part was giving up cardio. I’m not going to lie, it was nice not having to run, or be out of breath, but it was difficult to exit that state of mind. During this time, my husband put in for a promotion, and was offered the job….in Louisiana, 9 hours away!!! So, ten days after accepting the position, we drove to La, found a home, drove back to TN, packed up all our stuff, drove back to La, moved into our new home, 3 days later, DROVE BACK to TN, competed in our Oly Meet, and then finally DROVE back to La, for good. There was so much driving, it was exhausting, physically and mentally. Despite all the chaos, the husband and I managed to place first place in our weight classes for our OLY meet. That was exciting and rewarding, I wasn’t optimistic going into the meet, so it was nice to reap the rewards of my hard work.

 

                Once we settled into our new home and new routine, my middle child started the new school year and I found a job. The local Wellness Center offered me a Part Time Personal Training position. In the beginning, it was just a way to meet new people and enjoy my love of fitness. However, its turned into so much more. I love love love the job and all my clients. I’ve made great friends and a handful of my clients who have been consistent have made tremendous progress. I really didn’t think things could get much better. Until my boss asked me if I was interested in becoming trained in house to become a regular Spin Instructor. WHAT?? I must admit, I was hesitant and nervous. It was hard in the beginning, now, 4 months later, I’m teaching 2 classes a week! Wasn’t sure it could get any better! I really need to stop saying that. Two months ago, I was asked if I would become the Heavy Bag Instructor for our Center. I said yes, I spent a few weeks training and I started teaching. I am currently the only class instructor and its booming.  I have most defiantly been blessed this last year.

 

I made two large commitments to myself at the start of the new year. I decided that I was going to take my health serious, get the extra weight off, get my Body fat to where it needs to be and get serious about my training. If I’m going to be a Personal Trainer, and teach people about living a healthy lifestyle, I need to practice what I preach. Another promise I made to myself, was to let go. Stop trying to micro manage and let things happen. With that, I had to give my life over to Jesus.  That meant, knowing, and trusting that it’s in his hands, and that he will take care of my family and myself. That was hard for me. Giving up all control to God, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. However, once finally doing so, the rewards have been nonstop. His love has been insurmountable and with that I am eternally grateful.

 

                With all I’m glad to be back, be more consistent and to share my love and passion for fitness with everyone that I can reach.

 

Rachel

 

MAN….Im Starving!!

Today is Wednesday! I have had 4 workouts since Monday, I still have one waiting for me when my husband gets home from work (our date). I have been going along with my day, cleaning, laundry, wrangling the toddler, took a 2 mile walk at the local walking trails, pushing a 30 lb toddler in a 30 lb jogging stroller, while I strutted my 16lb weighted vest. The hills are a killer. Going down, my shins and calves felt every single step. Going up, my arms, hamstrings, and quads were on fire. My lungs at the top of the hill, were on fire. My toddler, however, was enjoying the ride. Looking back at me wondering what all the noises were about. After that torture was finished, I had some errands to run. While running these errands, which included a stop at the mall to return somethings, I had to pep talk myself. NO PRETZEL!!! YOU WILL NOT GET A PRETZEL. Auntie Ann’s pretezel’s are so delicious. I am fully aware of my lack of will power when it comes to these delicious, salt, carb-loaded, buttery goodness. I ended up being strong…YAY GO ME!. My toddler got some. I have some how managed to  not eat any of it. Even as I type this, the left over pretzel nuggets are sitting on the table, within fingers reach of me, and I haven’t grabbed one!! That’s dedication. LOL. So, I get home, and I’m starved. Everything is frozen, because I failed to plan ahead. Lets see, what do I have in my cabinets? Albacore tuna, seasonings, I have some sweet potato’s, in the fridge I have parsley, eggs, cilantro. Lets see what happens.

I drain the tuna, remove it from the can and place it into a plastic bowl. I place the average size sweet potato in the microwave and cook until tender. While that’s cooking, I chop some cilantro, parsley and add it to the tuna. Crack open an egg, add that to the tuna. Melt some kerry gold butter, add 2 tbsp of that to the mixture. Stir together evenly. Now that the sweet potato is finished, I cut it in half, scoop the insides out, add to the mixture, and mash it all together. Once evenly mixed, I set the oven for 350 degrees, grease a muffin tin, and begin placing small balls in to the muffin tins. Then I press them down flat, and place them in to the over for 20-25min. Once done, take them out, let them cool and enjoy! They are actually really good. I expected it to taste fishy, but the sweet potato, I think softened the fish taste a bit. The original recipe calls for jalapenos, I didn’t have any, so went without. Which I don’t mind, Im not in the mood for heartburn later. I recommend trying these. If you store them correctly, they can be a great on the go snack, or even a quick lunch, pop them into the microwave and BAM, lunch is served. Carbs, protein and some fat. Paleo for those of you who follow that trend. You can find the entire recipe  at:

http:www.shemusclefitness.trainerize.com

Snack Proof

imageIf your human, then you have suffered from the snack attack. The moment in time, when the hunger pain strikes, you have wondered aimlessly around your kitchen, opening cabinets, drawers, scouring the pantry and fridge for that perfect snack. Your not sure what it is that you want, and everything you have, has no appeal to this insatiable desire for that unknown food. Three things happen in this moment, you finally decide on the snack, it may not be exactly what you wanted, but its cured that nagging hunger pain, you have snacked on almost everything you have in the house, nothing hit the spot, or you have chosen to not eat anything, and will walk around HANGRY, until you figure out what it is exactly that you are needing. Does this sound like you? I know I have many days, sometimes a few times a day when I feel famished. The snack attack is even worse, if your trying to change your nutrition habits. The need to eat and curb that craving can make you angry, irritable, tired, frustrated, etc etc. You don’t want to destroy all the good you have done that day, week(s). So what do you do? How do you feed the craving without destroying all you have worked for. EASY. Prepare. First off, take a good hard look at these cravings. When do they hit? What are you doing in that moment? How long has it been since you last ate or drank something? What did you last eat or drink? These are important questions, and you need to be honest with yourself. Are you really hungry, or are you bored, thirsty?  Personally, I noticed that my cravings hit, when my children napped. Its was quiet, first time I have had a second to think, to sit down. That’s when the cravings hit. HMMMMM…..I’M HUNGRY!!! What do I want? EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING!!! In most cases, I try to take a hard look at the situation and determine if I’m really hungry or not. Some times I discover, this moment of craving, is actually the first time I have thought about food all day. I haven’t eaten breakfast, had a snack, nothing. Ive consumed water and coffee, usually numerous cups. So in this case, I’M FAMISHED and I need to eat. On the other hand, on days when I have eaten breakfast, had a snack and eaten lunch, the moment of craving, is pure and utter boredom. So, what do I do. Well, in the case of boredom, I decide if I really wanna push my next meal time up. Do I have another workout planned? If not, I move my snack time up, and have whats on the menu. If I have a workout later, then the snack time needs to stay put, so I can be fueled for the torture I will be enduring later that day. So, if I’m starving and I cant eat, I get up and do something. I chug some water, fold some laundry, vacuum, do some reading, take the dogs out, yoga, stretch, write programming for clients, etc. You get the idea. Get moving. Nine times outta ten, that boredom craving will subside, because you are busy and have forgotten about it. If you get busy and you cant seem to shake the craving, then you need to take a look at what your eating. That’s a different post.

PREPARE! I try to keep all my trigger foods out the house, Oreo’s, fruit snacks, chips. You know what I’m talking about. I purchase things that are light, but have good nutritional value. I keep measuring cups and spoons handy. Its important to understand how to read the nutritional information on packaging as well. Keep to your serving sizes, watch your portions. Pack your snacks if your going to be out and about for the day. Doing so, you will avoid drive thru and convenience store junk.

So today, I had a desire to eat. I have Class tonight, Olympic Lifting to be exact. 1 hour of high volume, heavy weight, self induced torture. Its what I love. Its important that I fuel myself for that. So, I eat. Today, it was 1/2 cup of 2% cottage cheese, and a 1/4 cup of Real Medley Super Grain Granola (apple cinnamon). I get my carbs, fat, protein, and some sweetness all in one. It holds me until I eat again before class. If your not a cottage cheese kinda person, switch it up for some Vanilla Greek yogurt.