rachel rae //▲\\ @rachelraebarnette

image + fitness coach MA in process: clinical mental health counseling focus: trauma body image researcher MA communication: messaging

rachel rae //▲\\ photos and videos

Yesterday

“If the only reason you don’t date me is because I’m taller than you, then that’s really fucked up.” ⁣ ⁣ I remember when I said that to Luke. I had recently told him that I had feelings for him and we were talking about what to do with said feelings. He was unsure of how he wanted to move forward. And then the above quote came out of my mouth. We both sat there, silent. Resonating on what I had just said.⁣ ⁣ I weigh more. ⁣ I’m taller.⁣ ⁣ I have a lot more masculine energy than your average girl (shout out to the enneagram for helping me navigate that ). ⁣ And I’m older. ⁣ ⁣ Culture made us both believe that this wasn’t what we wanted in a partner. And it all came down to: Security. Femininity. Masculinity. Power. ⁣ ⁣ I have no shame in saying that I had a mental list of aesthetic qualities I thought I wanted in a man. And he had a mental list of the girl he thought he’d end up with (short and petite were on that list… that’s me for sure ).⁣ ⁣ But in reality, none of that mattered. We’ve only ever seen each other eye to eye. We both find security, masculinity, femininity, and power in the other, in a continuous ebb and flow with the other. It’s a both and. Not either or. ⁣ ⁣ Spoiler alert: he got over the height difference after I called him out and then asked me out on a date. ⁣ ⁣ One month exactly until I say ‘I do’ in a forest, drink an old fashioned while making s’mores by an open fire, and dance the night away under the stars with my closest friends. Oh, and become MRS. GARMON.

5790
4 days ago

My face when someone tells me they’re trying to be ‘healthy’ from a place of self-hate, self-rejection, self-disgust, or self-loathing.⁣ And it absolutely breaks my heart. ⁣ ⁣⁣ You see, that defeats the purpose. Because none of that is health. ⁣Now hear me out, I 100% empathize with people who struggle with feeling so uncomfortable in their body. And I know that this is a serious issue. So please know that I am not dismissing your feelings. These are real problems. And it’s a serious problem. See, I’ve been to the gates of hell when it comes to my relationship with my body. I’ve fought with it. I’ve treated it like garbage. And my body and my head were in an abusive relationship for many many years. All for the sake of ‘being healthy’. Which really had nothing to do with being healthy when I got to the root of it all. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ You’ll never find health or body acceptance that way. It starts with your perception. Your identity. Your worth. And knowing all of them. Only then can you begin the process toward healing your relationship with your body. I’ve tagged a few accounts that I freaking love. They fight for women to find acceptance in their bodies from a wholesome place, not from a place of hate. Give them a follow if you need more encouraging women in your feed!

2350
2 weeks ago

Language can be a virus; how you talk about something influences how you see it.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ So how do you talk about your body? ⁣⁣ How do you talk about it with others? ⁣ When no one is around?⁣⁣ How’s your interpersonal communication?⁣⁣ Your intrapersonal communication?⁣⁣ The messages you take in from culture?⁣⁣ What you read on social media?⁣⁣ How do you speak to your body? ⁣⁣ How do you talk to yourself while you eat? ⁣⁣ When you look in the mirror?⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ The good news is, language can also be LIFE GIVING. It’s all dependent on what messages you’re sending out and what messages you’re taking in. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Changing the way we speak isn’t easy. So where do we start? One good place is doing a messaging audit. You have to actively pay attention to all of the messages you’re taking in and sending out. What are you saying? What are others saying? Start paying attention to those and see how they’re shaping your perception of things. And then from there, start actively changing those messages. One message at a time.

1770
2 weeks ago

I used to let the lies I believed about my body and myself steal my joy. I felt like every message I was taking in was telling me that my body was my worth, and I was always falling short. ⁣ ⁣ But here’s the truth: ⁣ Real women don’t have to have curves. ⁣ Strong isn’t the new skinny.⁣ Skinny doesn’t mean you need a sandwich. ⁣ Food does taste better than skinny feels. ⁣ Thick thighs don’t save lives. ⁣ Real women might not lift. ⁣ You don’t need to ‘get your body back.’⁣ And your beach body is your current body. ⁣ ⁣ We are enough as we are right now, but that does not mean you can’t continue to grow. Our joy is in who we are, not what our body looks like. Our body is not subject to manipulation from others. Marketing won’t convince us that we need to look one specific way. And the false idealization that our culture is obsessed with won’t make us think any less of ourselves anymore. ⁣ ⁣ Sure, it takes time. But listen to the messages you’re taking in. Do an audit on the current messages that you believe. And then start to replace them with new messages.⁣ ⁣ Health and longevity are what I base my decisions on. And that’s mental and physical health. I can change my body if I want, but it will be from a place of love and respect. Not hate or shame.

5070
2 weeks ago

I had spine surgery some odd years ago. Almost 9 to be exact. 9 years ago this October. ⁣ ⁣ I was in constant pain. I had lost feeling down my left leg. My left leg didn’t fire properly. And at the time, that was all very problematic for a high level collegiate athlete. Let alone my mental health.⁣ ⁣ I remember sitting with my surgeon in that uninviting office: ⁣ “Will I be able to lift weights and train hard again?”⁣ “Will I be able to get pregnant one day and not be on bed rest the entire time?”⁣ “Will I have to have surgery in the future?”⁣ ⁣ All serious questions that we’re running through my mind before the procedure.⁣ ⁣ I’ll never forget his response: “You’ll never be the same. You won’t be the athlete you’ve always known yourself to be. You’ll have a full recovery, but you’ll have hardware in your spine. You’ll have to be careful after surgery - everything will have a higher risk.”⁣ ⁣ So my scheduled 1.5 hour surgery lasted close to 6 hours. Shocker: there was more damage than they realized. This meant more hardware + a longer recovery. But I was determined. Being an athlete was in my blood. If there was a possibility to still train hard, I was going to find it.⁣ ⁣ When I awoke, I thought they had done a fusion (they didn’t ), but in that moment, I decided that I wasn’t going to let someone’s words hold me back. The ‘facts’ were that it would be hard and different. But that shouldn’t hold us back from things that really matter to us.⁣ ⁣ Learning to walk again was painful at first. I cried the day I ran outside on the ground. Training looked different. It was hard, but my programming was smart. Smart enough to put me in a position to be stronger than before. In a position to do what I wanted in the future. Because we prioritized the long haul and what I needed, not what I wanted.⁣ ⁣ And through this process, I learned that the point wasn’t to avoid anything hard, it was to prepare myself to handle the hard. To work hard and smart. Together.⁣ ⁣ So remember, whatever it is you’re faced against today: it’s going to be hard. But we weren’t made to avoid the hard. Find what you need to help you handle the hard and go after it.

2820
2 weeks ago

I had a client send me a screenshot today from a Facebook group she’s in where a woman shared:⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ “I’m postponing my wedding because I’m not the size I want to be.”⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ My heart instantly ached for that woman. It reminded me just how complex body image dissatisfaction really can be for people. How multifaceted it is. And just how much it’s holding people back from truly embracing what life has to offer. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ And it brought me to this question:⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ What all in your life are you postponing/avoiding/missing out on/not moving forward with because you’re not the size you want to be?⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Let that question sink in. Really be honest with yourself. Journal about it. And then, make a plan to overcome it. Because it would be a real tragedy to miss out on most of your life just because you were never the size you wanted to be.

2770
3 weeks ago

I read a post the other day that said, “counting calories is a waste of time”, while proceeding to talk about the time she wasted while counting calories. True? For her, yes. But it’s subjective based off of her experience and beliefs. ⁣Objectively, it can be very unhealthy for some, depending on background, relationship with food, lifestyle, etc. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ The problem? We have to stop being black or white. We have to stop pushing our beliefs as the only way.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Just because tracking calories was unhealthy for you does’t mean it’s a waste of time for everyone.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ People are wired differently, with different personalities and different backgrounds. Which means different methods are going to work for different people.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Just because it’s not best for some, does not mean it’s bad for everyone. I can only imagine if @musclenerds_health told me to consume ~3,500+ calories but not track. I needed to track to consistently eat that much.⁣⁣⁣ And while tracking food and metrics, I was educated and learned about a healthy intake for me. And with apps, it can take less than 10 minutes to track an entire day. So for me, it wasn’t a waste of time, because I got so much of my life back.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ I have other clients who’ve healed their relationship with food while tracking, got their BG down, regained their periods, etc. ⁣And other clients who did all of that without tracking. It’s dependent upon the person and their background. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Tracking is not the answer for everyone. But that doesn’t mean that we need to write it off completely. Because no one tool is the best for everyone.⁣⁣ All tools require lifestyle + mental change.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ What we need is education on all of the tools and using what’s best for the person while properly educating them and helping them reach their goals. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ So if counting calories isn’t your thing, that’s great! But don’t tell everyone it’s a waste of time. It’s a great tool for some to learn how to fuel their body if they’re educated properly. Is it the only tool? No. It just depends on the person.

4200
4 weeks ago

Hey ladies, I want to hear your story! ⁣⁣ And I need women. ⁣⁣ Of all ages. ⁣⁣ All ethnicities.⁣⁣ All sizes.⁣ And all backgrounds. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ If you’ve struggled with body image dissatisfaction, I want to hear your story. I want to take your portrait. And I want to include it in the workbook that I’ve written for women you struggle with body image dissatisfaction.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ What I’ve learned after interviewing hundreds of women + experiencing this on my own, is that we need to share our own stories + hear more stories. Sharing our story is not only powerful for ourselves, but for others as well. We need to be able to better understand others. To relate to others. And to know that we’re not alone. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ This workbook is for anyone who self identifies as having body image dissatisfaction but doesn’t want to continue living at war with their body. This workbook is for those who are ready to dig a little deeper and uncover years and years of destructive thought patterns. This workbook is for those who want to better understand messaging and how it impacts our realities. And most importantly, this workbooks is for those who are ready to change their narrative. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ If you’re interested in coming to Atlanta to share your story and be photographed, please DM me. I’m making a massive spreadsheet and will contact everyone regarding 2 potential days. 1 in September & 1 in October. We’ll pick the day that the most women can come. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Lastly, you must be able to block off 6 hours of your day. This is more than a quick photo. This is women coming together to share, to encourage, and to learn. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Myself and a licensed counselor will be there facilitating a free workshop. As well as @tessauroraweaver taking your amazing portraits. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ So comment below or DM me. Thank you 🙏🏻✨ And stay tuned for the Kickstarter for this project coming soon!

1730
4 weeks ago

I was in school + worked 15 hours yesterday. I slept 10 hours and woke up with a headache. Therefore, a slow morning with coffee and my dog was what I chose over hitting the gym first thing. Instead of being mad, I just checked in with my body and gave it what it needed before hitting the gym, school work, and work work. ⁣ Am I privileged that I can do that? Absolutely. But being an entrepreneur, while also being in grad school full time, isn’t as glamorous as people think it is. And self-care is all about how I show up daily so I don’t hit burnout. ⁣ ⁣ I’m in a class this Friday from 8:00 am - 8:00 pm. I can forget any kind of movement, workout, or eating like my normal. That’s just not going to happen. And that’s OKAY. ⁣ ⁣ So I’m just here to remind you that I don’t train 6 days a week for 2 hours each session. I don’t hit 10k steps every day because some days I just can’t. I don’t eat enough veggies some days because it’s more stress to than not to from time to time. I eat processed foods sometimes because convenience is real. I don’t hit all the basic goals that everyone tells you to do because some days I just can’t. But you know what? I don’t get mad at myself because of this and I do my best with the season that I’m currently in, and that’s what matters. ⁣ ⁣ Health isn’t black or white. It isn’t all or nothing. It isn’t a hard schedule where you have to do everything every day. Do what YOU can for this season. Embrace it. And learn how to listen to your body. It’ll be so thankful for that. ⁣

3790
4 weeks ago

Friendly reminder that you can be taller than your man and still be enough. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ And you can weigh more than your man and still be sexy, valued, wanted, or whatever insecurity presents itself because you’re taller or weigh more than your partner. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Societal norms that have been pushed on to our generation that tell us we have to be smaller to be wanted can f^€k off. And I’m so glad I didn’t let them get in the way of me finding my best friend, the love of my life, and my partner. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Hey @lukegarmon - you wanna get married in 53 days? Because I sure do. ⁣ ⁣ (Photo from our engagement back in whatever month we got engaged in, 2019 ).

6970
4 weeks ago

Did you know that #bodygoals has 7.7 millions posts. Over 7+ million photos focused on an ‘ideal body’. ⁣ ⁣ I was in the sauna the other week with a bunch of other women. There were 2 college aged girls talking and one of them had their phone out. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ “Look at this girl. She’s body goals for sure. We need to look at her before we workout so we know what we’re after. Imagine what would be better if we looked like that!”⁣ ⁣ ⁣ I’m sorry, what?⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ And then I have clients who send me images of other women on social media and tell me, “body goals!” ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ No. No. No. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Can you look at another woman and appreciate her while still liking yourself? Yes. ⁣Is that the common case? No. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ What’s the problem here? Many.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ In having body goals, you’re sending the following messaging:⁣⁣ 1. You’re telling yourself that your body is not enough, that _____ is wrong with it, and that it needs to change. ⁣⁣ 2. You’re telling everyone you send your #bodygoals photo to that their body is not enough. ⁣ 3. You’re idolizing a certain aesthetic, which by the way, is idolatry. ⁣⁣ 4. You’re convincing yourself that a certain aesthetic will bring you _______.⁣⁣ 5. You’re never there. You’re always striving and telling yourself that, “I’m not there yet.” Growth and wanting to better yourself is awesome, but constant self-criticism over self-compassion is harmful. ⁣⁣ ⁣ And a freebie: research shows a strong, positive association between body comparison and body image dissatisfaction.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Your body changes and will continue to change throughout your life. Learn to accept it, as it is, right now. Let your goals be strength and conditioning based, health centered, character focused, etc. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ You are more than your body. ⁣⁣ And you are enough, as you are, right now.

5960
5 weeks ago

What if the first thing you did when you saw a photo of yourself was to immediately say something positive. ⁣ ⁣ I hear it all the time from clients, “I hate photos of myself. All I do is pick them apart.”⁣ ⁣ It’s the same thing when they look in the mirror. They stomach check. They flex. They inspect. Or they avoid completely. ⁣ ⁣ I get it. I used to that as well. Body checking is real. ⁣ ⁣ But your body WILL change over time. And if you don’t learn to be nice to it now, you won’t magically be nice to it ____ lbs, inches, or body fat % from now. ⁣ ⁣ There’s ample research supporting that our thoughts form our reality. They impact our social constructs, our mental health, and our physical health. ⁣ ⁣ Aka they’re pretty damn powerful.⁣ ⁣ So I want to challenge you today to pick one positive thing to speak over yourself before a negative thought when you see a photo of yourself or look at yourself in the mirror. It won’t be easy. And it’ll take time. ⁣ ⁣ But you aren’t being humble by constantly tearing yourself down. And you aren’t doing any good to yourself, your family, or your friends. ⁣ ⁣ So find something positive to say this week. And over time, you’ll find more than one thing. And over even more time, those negative thoughts will start to disappear completely.

2800
5 weeks ago

It’s pretty typical: someone finds out what I do for a living and I’m immediately asked for advice on how to change their body. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Yesterday I heard: “I need to lose this extra belly fat” from a complete stranger. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ And then this morning a client asked me, “how do I get rid of the cellulite on my thighs?”⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Do I believe that you can want to change aesthetics and it not be from a place of hate or shame? Yes. But that’s typically not the case today. So I’m going to keep this real simple and ask you to ask yourself: ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 1. What messages have you and are you taking in that make you believe that?⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 2. Who has told you that you need to look like ______?⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 3. What problem in your life do you believe will be better by changing _____?⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ I want to encourage you to start challenging why you believe your body needs to look a certain way. Because I promise you that losing a little bit of belly fat or getting rid of some cellulite on your thighs won’t solve your problems like you think they will. ⁣⁣⁣⁣You won’t wake up loving yourself. You won’t wake up confident. You won’t wake up healed. That takes internal work, not just external. They both have to happen. And if you want to change to move better and be healthier, great! But focus on those goals, not strictly aesthetic goals. ⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ So before you ask how to change, ask yourself why you want to change.

5890
5 weeks ago

Let’s talk about Fat Talk and why it needs to stop. When was the last time you said or heard:⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ “OMG, I can’t believe I just ate that entire burger. That was so fattening.”⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ “Ugh, I’m just not going to eat much tomorrow to make up for the damage that meal did.”⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ “Screw it! I’m getting dessert. I’m gonna be bad today.”⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ “My jeans are extra tight today, so I’m just going to order a salad.”⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Have you heard these before? The list can go on and on. It’s called Fat Talk. It’s become so problematic, that it’s seen as a social ritual today among women. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ So what is Fat Talk? It’s a conversation that highlights a fear of not looking a certain way. More specifically, a fear of being perceived as “fat”. Which that alone does not mean obese today. Research is showing a strong correlation between a fear of being rejected for one’s body + one’s worth today. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ It’s alarming and unhealthy on multiple levels. For example: in that one statement, you’ve sent the following messaging: ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 1. By calling yourself fat while eating a meal, you’ve told everyone else at the table that they’re fat for eating the same thing or being bigger than you. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 2. You’ve convinced yourself that that meal is ‘bad’. Which, FYI, food is neither good nor bad. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 3. You idealize a specific aesthetic and push it on everyone who can hear you.⁣⁣⁣⁣ So now you’ve implied that they should find something wrong with themselves.⁣⁣⁣⁣ 4. You’re correlating your body with your worth.⁣⁣ 5. Your feeding the societal belief that overweight people are of less value. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 6. And a physiological freebie: perceiving food as bad can impact how your body responds to said food. So telling yourself you’re bad and fat for eating certain things is not only abuse, but it can alter your physiological response to food. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ I would go more in depth, but I’m out of space. So the next time you notice yourself doing this, please stop. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Science links: ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ https://academic.oup.com/bja/article/113/6/945/250025⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21574706/

5990
last month

First day of school. Second master’s degree. This time in clinical mental health counseling.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Another year of being thankful for my access to higher education. Another year of stretching myself. Another year of spending hours upon hours reading and conducting research. Another year of digging deeper into mental health. Another year of conducting interviews with women to understand their narrative surrounding body image dissatisfaction. Another year of analyzing the messages that women take in to create their current narrative. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ But most importantly, another year digging deeper into finding applicable solutions for women struggling with body image dissatisfaction. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Healing our relationship with food is important. But it’s not enough. Because body image dissatisfaction runs so much deeper than a healthy relationship with food. So I’m on a mission to develop lasting protocols for women to find freedom in their bodies from a mental and physical health perspective. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ All the messages today are this or that. It’s one end of the pendulum or the other. But I’m going to bridge them. I’m going to produce content for women to find healing and freedom. I’m going to help create a world that I want my future (far future ) daughters to grow up in. A world where they never once think something is wrong with them because of their body. Where they know they’re more than a body. Where the feel at HOME in their body. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ So here’s to my 20th year in school. And all the first day photos to follow as I continue this journey 🤣

6740
last month

I’ve done Keto. Paleo. AIP. Whole 30. Veganism. Vegetarianism. Gluten free. Dairy free. Fun free. ⁣and so on. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ And you know what’s been the best way of eating for me over the last few years? Eating everything. And in doing so, finding what works best for my body. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ It’s so interesting to me that there are so many privileged humans that don’t know how to build a meal. ⁣⁣⁣Not a stab if that’s you - I was one of them many years ago. It’s no wonder with all the misleading information being forced on us today.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ A lot of people have fallen to the high stress lifestyle and grab overly processed, quick foods for some calories on the go. Works for some, not for most. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ And then when they try to start eating more micronutrient dense foods, they’re confused AF and have no idea how to make a meal.⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ Or maybe you follow 100 food bloggers and they make these immaculate meals with 20 different ingredients. And you’re left thinking that you need to eat every superfood in the world in one meal. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ Here’s what really helped me + a lot of other humans: making meals doesn’t have to be complicated. Stick to the basics, eat from the earth, and pay attention to what’s on your plate. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ Below is the meal template I’ve found to be the least complicated and work for many humans:⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ 1 meat + 1 veg + 1 carb + 1 fat⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ Pictured: Chicken thighs + green beans + potatoes + butter⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ And then add in some snacks that work best for you if you want some. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ So if you’re looking for a place to start: don’t look to a specific diet that writes complete food groups out. Start with the basics and then add stuff in.

4310
last month

Saw this while in the grocery line and it angered me. I studied this stuff in graduate school. I learned how to build messages like these, messages that sell. However, most people don’t realize the messages coming at them. So let’s break down what this cover says:⁣ ⁣ Problem 1: “Women’s World”: this messaging is directly targeting women to lose weight. Is weight loss bad? No. But constantly being bombarded with messaging that you need to lose weight is. It tells women that their weight is of significant value. PS: it’s not.⁣ ⁣ Problem 2: “The easy, effective way to lose weight for good”: This is a lie: weight loss isn’t that easy. Can it be? Yup. But it typically requires some change of behavior and denying oneself of some things that upped weight in the first place, which isn’t bad, but also isn’t easy.⁣ ⁣ Problem 3: “2-day super diet”: YOOOOO, ‘2 day’ and ‘diet’ should never go in the same line together. This is telling you that QUICK changes are your answer! And it’s conveniently located below ‘lose weight for good’. A 2 day super diet + losing weight for good simply do not coexist. If you want to lose weight for good, you need a sustainable, long-term plan.⁣ ⁣ Problem 4: “Drop lbs, boost energy, feel great”: sneaky ninja’s are connecting losing weight to feeling great. Can that be a byproduct of losing weight? Yup. But you don’t need to lose weight to feel great.⁣ ⁣ Problem 5: “Intermittent Fasting 101:” Well, this is just reminding you that a specific diet is an answer to all of your problems. Keto? Paleo? Whole 30? Veganism? None of those worked? Intermittent fasting is your answer then! Barf. These are all tools that can help, but that’s it.⁣ ⁣ Problem 6: You need a juicer. It doesn’t say that, but the seemingly healthy, vibrant, smiling woman on the cover drinking a “sunny orange & carrot juice” is telling you that. Ah shit Linda, you need to buy a juicer to be healthy. WRONG.⁣ ⁣ I could go on, but there’s 6 messages from this cover that I took in after looking at it for just a few minutes while in line. The diet industry is currently making like $73 billion a year, targeting our weight and worth. And it isn’t okay. We deserve better.

2040
last month

I shared in my stories the other day how I had a client who was told by a coworker, “you eat so much food! I don’t know where you put it. You’re a twig!” ⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ And then a lot of you messaged me with your own stories. How people comment on your food choices and your body. No matter your size. And you all shared how you’re over it.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ REMINDER: someone else’s body is not open for you to comment on as you please. Yes, you have a right to your own thoughts, but please, stop pushing your insecurities or beliefs onto other people. Messages carry meaning. And different people interpret different messages based on many things: cultural norms and their past experiences being two of those things. Whether you know it or not, you’re subconsciously pushing your insecurities or beliefs onto the other person. The problem? You don’t know where someone else is in their journey toward a healthy relationship with food and their body. From a cultural standpoint, it doesn’t help bring healing to all the damage diet culture has brought our society. And we, as humans, owe ourselves more than constantly being consumed with our bodies.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ So what do you do? Keep your thought to yourself. Comment on a character trait. Or maybe, just ask them how’re they’re doing? Build relationships with humans that doesn’t start with a passive judgement. Because Tess doesn’t need to be told to eat a burger. Sarah doesn’t need to be told she’s eating a ton of food. Megan doesn’t need to be told she’s too muscular or thick. And Jo doesn’t need to be told she could lose some lbs. How are we ever going to find healing if we’re constantly passively poking at ourselves, our friends, and strangers? ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Can we please stop commenting on others bodies and food choices? If it’s a serious concern, have a genuine conversation with that person, in a safe environment. Otherwise, let’s stop making comments on how Betty looks and eats. Because it’s none of our damn business. You have your own goal, Nancy has hers. Let’s start supporting people for who they are and not hyper-focusing on body image and food. And if they want help, refer them to seek out a professional. #rachelraerants

4690
July 2019

It breaks my heart when I hear some of the things people say to themselves about their body. Or to think about the things I used tell myself day in and day out. It felt like a constant battle I could never win. But healing and freedom are real, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. How do we change this? First step: changing our narrative by starting to speak affirmations over ourselves. So here’s a little reminder for all of you beautiful humans. You’re enough as you are right now. But a little more kindness and some extra squats never hurt, either 🖤

4310
July 2019

If you’re giving life, what’s giving you life? I spend a lot of time thinking about nutrition and fitness. Between working with my clients, myself, and all the research + continuing education I do: it consumes a large part of my thought life. ⁣ ⁣ As someone with a past eating disorder, I’m really damn lucky to be one of the small percentage that find full healing. When you have an addiction that centers on food and exercise, you can’t just walk away from food. ⁣ ⁣ And now. Now to spend so much time in food and exercise and have zero issues with it - I’m so damn fortunate. In fact, I love it. Which is a huge blessing. But I also know the importance of hobbies and spending time in other areas to engage my brain and feed my soul. ⁣ ⁣ I have my body image research, but I’ve been craving something to learn that involves my hands. And something that isn’t nutrition or fitness related. Because let’s be real, that still feels like work to me, no matter how much I love it. It can’t be a hobby for me. ⁣ ⁣ Insert plants. I’m a newbie in this area, but my house is quickly growing with these little guys as I learn more and more about them. I’m able to focus on something that has nothing to do with my career, and it’s been more needed than I realized. ⁣ ⁣ Plant people! What’s your favorite houseplant? Thanks in advance 🌱✨

3280
July 2019

How we speak, not only to ourselves, but in front of others is so important. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ A recent message from a client read this:⁣⁣ “If you have ever wondered where I get my body image issues from, I figured it out. My grandma looked at me when we sat down for dinner and said, ‘well, I went to the doctor this morning and they made me get on the scale. I haven’t gained too much weight, so I can eat dinner tonight.’ - She’s 91.”⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ A 91 year old woman said this, as if it were normal talk, to her mid 20 year old granddaughter. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ You want to know where body image issues stem from? Family, friends, and culture. Media. Words that have been spoken over you. Words that you have heard in passing. Actions you watched other engage in. Comparison. Social Media. Any of it can cause body image issues. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ This issue is becoming more and more prevalent today and I believe many people are walking around with disordered body perception. It’s becoming its own disease. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a mental health disorder characterized by a continued obsession with one or more parts of the body, causing severe distress that interferes with daily functioning. People can dwell on a specific dissatisfaction with their body that consumes hours of their day. People will avoid social situations out of fear of judgement. And on and on.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ But what we’re seeing today is not full blown body dysmorphia, but a level lower. Something that I believe to be similar to the relationship between disordered eating and eating disorders. You can have disordered eating without having a full blown eating disorder. Just like you can have severe body image issues without having full blown body dysmorphia. But we’re starting to see more of a common ground of women talking negatively about their bodies. Women talking about their diets. And women spending far too much time focusing on how their body looks, talking about how they feel fat, and on and on. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ The solution? A lot of work: internally and culturally. But for starters, we need to start paying attention to everything we say and what messages we’re taking in. Because words carry so much damn power. And something has to change.

4190
July 2019

Happy 4th of July from me in my new home in Georgia. With half a watermelon in my lap and stranger things on TV. I’ve hardly tracked a macro or moved a weight this summer, but it’s what had to happen for this season. Now that we’re settled, we can get back into a good rhythm and put more focus on things like our health, while also producing content in this new space. But for today, today I’ll stay on this couch and replace this watermelon with tacos later. It’s a great day indeed.

3130
June 2019

Happy 26th birthday, babe. A little less than 9 months ago you found your way into my Instagram DM’s and wanted to meet up to discuss trading personal training for video content. ⁣ ⁣ I remember stalking your Facebook videos to figure out who the heck this kid was the day before grabbing coffee with you. ⁣ ⁣ Little did I know that on that first coffee date, we would talk for hours on end about many different things. Little did I know that you’d make your way past all of the walls I had built up around my heart. Little did I know that you would shatter some of my autonomy and call it out for what it was: fear of being betrayed again. And little did I know that l would fall hard for you over the next few months. ⁣ ⁣ @lukegarmon , thank you for being my best friend. For being the man that stops and prays for us first, no matter the situation. For always wanting to talk everything out and making sure we communicate clear and effectively. For being the man that serves me so well. For being the man that makes me laugh more than I ever have before. And most importantly, thank you for being the man that’s brought redemption to so much of my story. You push me more than anyone I know and I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my time here on earth with anyone but you. You are my forever. ⁣ ⁣ Drop a comment or send him a message to help me wish this stud a happy birthday! It’s going to be his best year yet ❤️

4380
May 2019

I’m not a fan of dressing up. Heels make me walk funny. Makeup is weird to me and it takes forever to get off. Hair stuff is a foreign language. But the way you look at me when I figure out how to clean up real nice and get extra dolled up is unforgettable. Thanks for making me dance all night with you, barefoot of course, because who needs shoes? You’re my favorite forever plus one.

3260
May 2019

Making a new journal this morning. The current container is ‘The Secret Garden’, a book I grew up reading. ⁣ ⁣ With moving to Atlanta in July, starting school in August, and getting married in October, I knew it was time for a new journal. One that spoke deeply into this new season that I’m walking into. One that would help guide me with all of the transition and change that’s going to happen. One that would minister to the new life that is coming. ⁣ ⁣ Journaling is so important to our overall health. As a coach, I always recommend that my clients journal. To get quiet and really put some thoughts and feelings on paper. To dig deeper into what’s going on with them and to work through stuff.⁣ ⁣ When @lukegarmon and I first met, he taught me this practice. This journaling practice is actually the beginning of our story. We sat on my floor the second day of knowing each other and he taught me this practice. ⁣ ⁣ This practice is more than taking pen to paper. It’s creating beautiful containers that allow your mind and heart to come together. It’s allowing words to speak to you. It’s inviting stillness into your body so that you can listen more closely to your heart. It invites you to use your hands and create, with no boundaries. ⁣ ⁣ I’m beyond thankful for this practice. This practice brought @lukegarmon and I together at first. And the coolest part? His mom taught him how to be in this practice. ⁣ ⁣ For more information on this beautiful practice, check out my future mother in law @betsy garmon - her page is filled with good stuff and she has an online course to help people understand the entire process 🖤

1740
April 2019

Currently living off of tacos. Maybe a side of gin. And I definitely haven’t been in the gym or tracked macros recently. ⁣ ⁣ I talked about this in my stories today and received a ton of messages from people who needed to hear it, so I thought I’d share it here for others who need to hear it to: ⁣ ⁣ The last 4 weeks of my life haven’t been the easiest. It’s kinda been like living in a tornado with a decent amount of traveling thrown in there. I think I’ve lifted a total of 4 days and did maybe 4 days of conditioning. I’ve definitely had more days of not tracking food than tracking food lately. And you know what? I’m OKAY. ⁣ ⁣ As a coach, I get it. Food and fitness is a lifestyle. But it’s not LIFE. Life happens and gets heavy for periods and you have to choose what’s the most important. Where you spend the majority of your time and energy is really what you care the most about. And while I care about my physical health, supporting my fiancé and our relationship is my number one. ⁣ ⁣ Don’t let Instagram fool you that everything is always great. Because it’s not, for anyone. There will be hard times and you’ll have to choose what’s the most important and you’ll spend your time and energy there. The gym will still be there. Tracking will still be there. But there are times when that just has to be put to the side, and that’s okay. You won’t go on a binger. You won’t spiral out of control. And your body will surprise you with how much it’ll be there for you if you’ve been good to it and continue to take care of it through the hard times.

3720
April 2019

When Luke and I met, I weighed 40lbs more than him. And at first, this made me really question certain beliefs about myself and ‘the man I’d end up with’. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ My entire life, I believed that I had to be smaller. That the man I ended up with needed to weigh more than me. That I wouldn’t feel safe and secure unless he was ‘bigger’ than me. ⁣Marketing did a real good job at making me subconsciously believe that a man had to be taller than me and weigh more than me. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ And boy was I wrong. I recently had a friend tell me that she didn’t want to go into a massing phase or put on some weight because she was afraid that no man would be attracted to her. Y’all, this is real. It’s also a SHITTY belief system. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ Our beauty and worth as women has NOTHING to do with our weight and size. Luke fell for me when I was thiiiick. He fell for me when I weighed 40lbs more than him. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ And guess what? He low key freaked out when I first started to drop weight. But once we talked through it, he was okay with it. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ Now there’s only an ~20lb weight difference (I’ve lost some and he’s gained some ) and nothing has changed. We still love each other just as much, even more. But that depth comes from communication and our connection, not a change in weight. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ So remember ladies, your weight does not determine your worth. And if a guy only likes you for your body, he’s not worth your time. Physical attraction is an absolute real thing, but it’s not the only thing. And it also runs deeper than the number on the scale or abs. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 📷: @the dwyers

7120
April 2019

Crushed tacos and cookies all weekend after getting engaged. It was awesome. I also didn’t track a damn thing. ⁣ ⁣ I’ve been carb cycling for a few weeks now coming out of my deficit to help the thyroid, get more calories in, and to also keep aesthetics tight while doing so. Carb cycling isn’t magic - it’s just a tool that can be very beneficial when applied in the right context. But going off my plan for 2 days didn’t cause any harm. I actually feel leaner than I have in weeks lately, all while eating tacos and cookies. The secret: I follow the plan 95% of the time. The other 5% that I go off the plan, I enjoy without shame or guilt. ⁣ ⁣ Because the truth is, no food will ever hurt you as much as an unhealthy mind will. The negative emotions you have attached to food will hurt you far more than the cookie or the taco will. And while yes, calories in and out matter, so does health. And that includes mental health. ⁣ ⁣ So cheers to eating tacos and cookies while enjoying every moment of it. Oh, and that ring that @lukegarmon put on my finger over the weekend 😍😍😍

5380
April 2019

I haven’t been active on here for the last month. I’ve been working a lot, focusing on relationships, making some important decisions that will bring a lot of change, and traveling a lot. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Recently my body started to give me signs that things weren’t ‘right’. But I ignored them, until I couldn’t anymore. So I went to my doctor. I had a sheeeeeet ton of blood work done. We found some gut issues. But we also found out that my thyroid was a little tanked, aka a snail stuck in molasses was functioning better than my FT3.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ I’ve been on thyroid meds before. I’ve also successfully been off them before. I once believed that meds were an absolute last case scenario. I’ve also felt shame for needing medication before. Now? Now I believe medication is a tool that should be used when needed, without shame. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Here’s the deal: actions have consequences. I spent 10+ years of my life abusing my body and that takes time to heal. And while I’ve found a lot of healing, there’s still more for me to go through. So I can either keep muscling my way through my days, or I can take a pill that will help me feel drastically better, while also taking care of some gut issues and changing some other areas in my life. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ I get it. I used to believe that taking medication wasn’t for me. That medication was just a bandaid and didn’t fix the root issue. But life happens. And medication is a tool that can be utilized while working on other stuff. And if you’re taking supplements daily, then how is taking medication that can help you any different? “But supplements are natural.” Sorry Sally, they’re both manufactured in a lab. And they both can serve a purpose.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ So for everyone that’s ever felt shame for taking medication: there’s no shame on you and your healing isn’t any less significant. Take the medication while working on the root issue and then eventually you can work on lowering your medication dosage or maybe even coming off of it! Because the body is real cool and it likes to heal itself if you give it the right environment. But also know that medicine isn’t evil and it has its place.

3490
March 2019

“You’ve had thyroid and autoimmune issues in the past and you eat dairy today?”⁣ ⁣ Uhmmm, yup, and almost daily. ⁣ ⁣ Yes, there’s research claiming some things anti dairy. And then there’s also research proving how beneficial some dairy can be for the body. ⁣ ⁣ Once I stopped mentally telling myself that dairy was making sick, I seemed to handle it just fine. I do only stick to grass fed and then raw cheese for the most part, but it’s still part of my daily and I don’t have any issues with it. ⁣ ⁣ So just remember, there’s always claims for and against everything. Find what works for you and stop fearing certain foods just because you read a few studies claiming one thing. Science and nutrition is so complex, but so simple at the same time. We’ve got to stop over thinking it.⁣ ⁣ Also, shout out to @organicvalley for hooking me up with some raw cheddar cheese. I made up this quick scramble with it and it’s 🔥⁣ ⁣ Recipe: ⁣ Put butter in pan.⁣ Sauté onions + garlic + squash in said butter.⁣ In another pot, steam broccoli.⁣ Add steamed broccoli to pan.⁣ Pour 6 beaten eggs to that pan.⁣ Add chopped cheese. ⁣ Top with jalapeños + hot sauce, or whatever you want. ⁣ ⁣ Video: @lukegarmon

2170
March 2019

I used to think I had to be lighter and smaller to do pull ups. ⁣ ⁣ And then I started cranking them out months ago when I was crushing food, getting stronger, and was a little bit heavier than I am today. ⁣ ⁣ Fast forward to now: I’m in a steep caloric deficit and my performance is starting to take a hit. I was supposed to do 5 sets of 10 pull ups. I did 3 sets and then couldn’t do set 4 or 5 without assistance. ⁣ ⁣ I’m leaner now, I feel great, and health markers are solid. But strength is starting to take a hit because food is so important for performance. So for those of you that are ticking all the fitness boxes and not seeing gains in your strength, check out your nutrition and make sure you’re eating enough, and enough of the right stuff. ⁣Because food is fuel. And you don’t have to be lighter, you just need to be smarter.

2600
March 2019

I’ve been using the sauna A LOT on this deficit and I don’t know why I don’t use it more regularly. ⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ There’s research supporting that using the sauna 2-3 times per week was associated with 24% lower all-cause mortality and 4-7 times per week decreased all-cause mortality by 40%. There’s also brain benefits, mitochondrial biogenesis, and you’re sweating out a shit ton of nastyness that finds its way in our bodies (find more research on @foundmyfitness website ). ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Most importantly, it helps me chill the fuck out. No phone. No movement. Just sitting in a hot room, breathing, and being still. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ So cheers to putting a sauna in my house one day and traps bigger than my boyfriends, even after a week at only 50C. #deflatedAF ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Traps brought you by @shaneolearyfitness

2700
March 2019

Day 5 on my deficit and I’m still alive. And my espresso intake hasn’t increased yet to decrease my hunger signals, so that’s a win. ⁣ ⁣ Also showed up late for a meeting this morning and said, “sorry, I managed my time poorly and was late because I spent too long doing downward dog in the sauna.” So at least I’m honest. ⁣ ⁣ Cheers to Friday. Drop a question about my deficit if you have one! 👇🏻🖤

2460
March 2019

I’m dropping into a 12 day deficit tomorrow at 1,600 calories when my norm is 3,000 and I got a lot of messages asking if that was healthy. It’s interesting to me how much deficits are villianized today. From people fighting for the message that everyone should eat intuitively and just accept their body as it is, to people promoting insane, unsustainable diets. There’s no middle ground.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ Where self-love is advertised as ‘come as you are and stay as you are’, even if that means staying at a weight that sets you up for health issues now or down the line. ⁣⁣⁣Where those of us in the health and fitness industry are ridiculed for helping others lose weight. And for caring about our bodies. So much that hunger has become a ‘bad thing’ in all situations. ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ “Hunger is bad for you.” “Don’t tell yourself no.”⁣ “Just listen to your body and eat intuitively!”⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ Here’s the thing: I’m all for the anti-diet movement in some aspects. But I’m also for using tools that are useful when applied in the proper context. ⁣⁣⁣Most humans don’t know how to eat intuitively anymore because they’ve tried every diet out there, have dieted too long, or have overfed themselves while living in a sympathetic state.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Want you lose some weight to take care of your body? Cool, you’ll need to go into a deficit to lose some weight. However, instead of starving yourself for months or years on end with no plan, work with someone who knows what they’re doing to set yourself up to handle a deficit, who also has a plan to pull you out of one so you don’t spiral after so.⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ For most, a small 10-20% deficit is enough. This plan takes longer, but it’s also more enjoyable and usually more successful because it’s realistic for most lifestyles. For others, a hard ~40% deficit for a short period of time works if you can handle one. However, I wouldn’t recommend most people doing this. You need to be in a very sound psychological state and have a healthy relationship with your food and body image.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ Hunger isn’t unhealthy. Deficits aren’t always unhealthy. But your heart posture toward why you want to lose weight can determine if it’s coming from a healthy or unhealthy place.

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