WEEK ONE: Straight up confused. . .
WEEK TWO: Okay, I think I’ve Got This!
WEEK THREE: I’ve finally got this! But oh shit, we have friends in town!
WEEK FOUR: Alright, back to it. Found my groove!
WEEK FIVE: I don’t want to speak to soon, but I think I’m totally getting this! I don’t suck.
WEEK SIX: Yep, I understand! THIS IS AWESOME.
Read more about the six week program that took me from Confused To Empowered by Fortitude Fitness!
About 7 years ago, I watched a film called Food Inc. This show, and the many food documentaries I’ve watched since, made an incredible impact on my life (I definitely suggest looking into credible food documentaries if you haven’t watched any). When I was growing up, I was so far removed from the source of my food and had no idea or care. The thought of food elicited a image of a grocery store in my mind, not a farm. I ate frozen food warmed up in a microwave more often than I care to admit. We ate amazing home cooked meals too, but without a thought of where the ingredients came from or what was in them. Food blindness.
Fast forward to sitting in a classroom, seeing the words FOOD INC. glowing on the projector, as the documentary came to a close. The floodgates of my mind were slammed open. I was a bit horrified and I left that room, committed to start educating myself more; to become more aware of what I was putting into my body. This is when I made a switch to organic + local produce, started caring about what was inside of my foods, limited my processed food intake, etc. Over the two years of that transition, I dropped about twenty pounds without any strict, limiting diet or without any crazy workout plan. Just naturally shed that excess body fat that came along with eating processed, chemical, carbohydrate filled foods I had been eating my whole life.
Now, fast forward again to 2016 – I felt good, I am proud of the way I eat. BUT I know I could be stronger, have more muscle, be more active. So during the summer, I started training with my sister-in-love Raechelle while we were living in Maine. She was in the process of building her business. She was (and is still) killing it! While we were working together, she started testing out carb-cycling. Carb-cycling is a plan of zigzagging your carbohydrate intake in order to prevent a fat loss plateau and boost metabolism along with workout performance. She was really pumped about targeting + shredding fat, while building muscle!
I thought isn’t that what every diet promises? But was still slightly intrigued because Raechelle is a no-bullshit, no-gimmick type of gal. By the end of the summer, she looked PHENOMENAL. Like, ‘Elana get your shit together’, good.
So I came back to Hawai’i with the exercises and techniques she had taught me all summer long, but wasn’t feeling as motivated, empowered or focused. I missed having our workout dates + having the accountability. I really wanted to get a grasp on my eating + my workout regime.
In November, after months of focused training with her clients, she made a BIG leap + decided to start her own carb-cycling online program. This program enables her to empower + educate women all over the world. She still does nutritional strategy, personal training + fitness classes in her local area but this way she can connect with anyone, ANYWHERE!
And as you know, I’m all about this global community!
She wanted to know if I would be willing to try her program and talk honestly about my experience on my blog.
After our time together this summer, my answer was quickly: YES!
Week one rolled around, I’m feeling pretty good, thinking: I’ve talked to her about this when she was doing it. I’ve got a pretty good grasp on food and how to eat well.
HAH! Elana, you so wrong girlllll.
First week was a major reality check! She had us track our foods for the entire program + I definitely recommend this to everyone. It’s wild to see what makes up the food we consume, how many people UNDER eat, why we feel tired and why our bodies stay stagnant. I didn’t know if my food was fat based, carbohydrate based or protein based.
Even if I was like, “this has got to be all protein” . . . I would check using the food tracking app and BOOM! There’s fat in there too. Or actually, that protein bar is mostly carbs.
Each week was something new. She gave us all of her knowledge, so many tools and was willing to answer every question.
She gave us workouts each week to pair with our food + was able to virtually kick my ass from across the country!
Going through the program was eye-opening, mind-boggling, frustrating, exciting + in the end, EMPOWERING.
As you saw in my weekly notes above, each week had it’s own challenge but also it’s own triumph!
In those weeks, I learned so much about food but also about myself. I learned that I needed to put myself higher on the priority list and that I needed to take fueling my body more seriously.
I believe that being educated brings you power. The films I have watched, the books I have read, the homeopathic specialists I have consulted with in the past – it all lead me to here. I am educated about my food and dedicated to only consuming quality, whole ingredients that serve my body.
But now, with Raechelle’s program, I understand how to use food as fuel.
How to power my workouts with PLANT-BASED, WHOLE-FOOD sources.
How to not fear carbs but to understand how to utilize them!
How to build muscle and burn fat.
How to meal prep and spice up our weekly eating with purpose.
This has brought my prior knowledge + findings FULL CIRCLE.
I know know how to source my foods, but also how it affects my body + when is best to eat them.
I wrapped my last week of the program when she happened to be here in Hawai’i which was so fun! She was very proud of my results and said she could instantly see a change in my body. I don’t own a scale, nor do I hyper focus on weight, so that was interesting to hear! I knew I felt better. I could lift heavier, swim longer + hike faster.
She did my final measurements + turns out I lost 15″ off my entire body. Whaaaaat?
This was crazy to me! I felt like I could have been much more focused and that my leg + back injuries had held me back from really pushing myself with my workouts. * Lesson here: don’t be so hard on yourself! *
She was ecstatic + I was proud that my dedication to myself in those past weeks had paid off!
We did a Facebook live that was really fun to wrap up + talk about my success.
Carb cycling is an aggressive, high level nutritional strategy that helps you burn fat + build muscle.
But for me, it has also been a mindset and an understanding of how to pair food with exercise to see results.
Raechelle has an 80/20 rule that I absolutely adore. She’s a real human that understands no one should deprive themselves of anything. She says that if we can maintain a balance of 80% diligent focus, 20% ‘life’ – we can maintain optimal health. I love that! It scrubs away the idea of perfectionism yet still challenges us to do our best.
Raechelle is extremely knowledgable and I highly recommend you joining her community on Instagram or on Facebook!
She gives away such valuable tips, recipe ideas, food/fitness hacks and is a genuine, amazing soul.
To read more about how her carb cycling course works, to see if it aligns with your life and to support a fellow female entrepreneur:
Pop on over to fortitudefitnessmaine.com to get the details on all of her current programs!