Friday, April 11, 2014

Pure Barre & my health/fitness journey

Hi everyone my name is Rachel and I am a Pure Barre addict.

Like I said in my previous post I am in the process of becoming a Pure Barre instructor which has been an amazing journey for the past two months. I am almost there!

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I am sure you have at least heard of Pure Barre, and if not just briefly it is a full body workout class that consists of a combination of ballet, yoga, pilates and isometric movements sometimes using a ballet barre. You can find out all you want about the history, techniques, etc. on their website. But that’s not what this post is about. It is about my health & fitness journey and how I can say that I am in the healthiest and best shape of my life. It’s about all the crazy diets, cleanses, fasts, workouts I have tried.

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Growing up I was able to stay skinny as a rail and eat whatever I wanted. However I was always extremely active in high school. I ran track and was always conditioned. I was in great shape!

BUT then in college I became totally lazy as most college students do. I ate and drank like crap  and was rarely active. I got sick a lot and had horrible skin. Somewhere in my college years I watched a video about the production of animal products in America and decided to become vegan. Which I did not do responsibly or in a healthful way. I basically ate nothing but bread and bunch of fake cheese and meat products. YUCK. Once I realized how horrible it was for my body I finally decided on just being a vegetarian to bring back proteins from yogurt, etc.

Then after college my metabolism that allowed me to always stay thin slowed down. I now cannot eat whatever I want and stay thin, my body holds the weight in my thighs and butt. And if I eat any unhealthy fat…that exactly where it goes.

I decided to start competing in beauty pageants and set out to get into great shape. I started running again, walking my dogs and working out. I even ran Warrior Dash. I was combining cardio, ballet and the Brazilian But workout. And I thought I was in good shape. Now looking back I can admit I was “skinny fat”. I had no muscle definition, no strength, I was just thin.

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Shortly after I was diagnosed with breast cancer which just proved to show how unhealthy I was actually living. It does run in my family but the more research I have done there are so many things I was consuming, and putting on and into my body that contributed to the cancer.

I came out of the battle, cancer free and determined to become and live as healthy as possible. Organic, clean, not processed. Did a bunch of cleanses and even attempted to go on a raw diet. But that only lasted so long and I was back to a semi healthy lifestyle.

Over the years I have became what I guess you could call a pescatarian, however the lines are blurry. I eat only CLEAN fish such as salmon or tuna, that is wild caught, never farm raised. I do not eat eggs or any dairy besides Greek yogurt. Healthy grains, never processed. So there really is no title to my eating style.

Last year I became Miss Michigan US International and went on a crazy diet and committed to working out 6 days a week with a personal trainer for almost a year. I woke up and did cardio on an empty stomach, then would train for over an hour with weights and lunges. I ate small meals 6x a day. Cut out sugar, carbs COMPLETELY, I basically lived off proteins and vegetables. I went to a sauna 3x a week in a sweat suit to shed excess water weight. And I finally was in really great shape. I had little body fat, great abs and arm definition.

My hard work paid off! I placed in Top 5 at Miss US International.

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However the crazy amount of strength training really built up the muscles in my thighs instead of slimming them. I am in no way saying in the above photo that I am not in great shape however my body proportions are off. My abs are toned and sculpted along with my arms however they are still thin. In comparison my thighs are muscular and large compared to my upper body.

Disclaimer! I am in no way cutting down weight training. Nor am I saying there is ANYTHING wrong with women who like large muscular thighs. When I look at the photo of myself I am extremely proud of all the work I put in to get there.

However my point is this:

For one being that I in fact model for a living I simply cannot have large muscular thighs.

And two, the lifestyle that it took to get to the way I looked in the above photo is not reasonable nor sustainable in the long run. Your body needs a well balanced diet including HEALTHY carbs, sugars and sodium. No one enjoys doing cardio at 7am on an empty stomach and then only eating 1/4 cup of plain oatmeal.

Which is exactly why shortly after I gained just over 5lbs as soon as I went back to a ‘normal’ life. Then I went to China for over a month and packed on some more weight due to the food and not being active. You can see in the below photo how I always carry my weight in my thighs.

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I returned from China, 10lbs heavier, feeling wonderful about the experience but unhealthy and my skin started to freak out. My agency told me I needed to drop weight and clear my skin or I wasn’t going to be able to work for swim season. The stress did not help.

Then the game changed.

It all changed when I found Pure Barre.

Just over two months ago I accepted a studio management and instructor position in South Florida with Pure Barre. I had been wanting to commit to living in FL since my agency home is in Miami but without a job outside of modeling I wasn’t willing. It all happened on a whirl wind and now here I am in FL.

Upon moving I made a commitment to myself to start fresh, living a healthy, clean and balanced lifestyle. No diets, no fasts, nothing crazy. Just simple and natural.

I still am a vegetarian that doesn’t eat dairy or eggs, with the exception of very high protein & low sugar Greek yogurt. I also eat wild caught tuna & salmon for protein. Lots of fruits, nuts, vegetables and legumes. Nothing processed, bleached or packaged. I try to be gluten free whenever possible. The only bread I will eat is the live sprouted kind.

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The photo on the left was taken just under two months ago when I first arrived to FL. The photo on the right was taken last week. In just under two months that’s how Pure Barre has completely changed my body. My abs definition are back including my obliques, my arms are toned, my thighs are becoming sculpted but thinner! 

And here's the craziest part. I love the workout. It is my favorite part of my day. I have never liked going to a gym or doing cardio because I had to. There were times I wanted to strangle my personal trainer during dead lifts.

Pure Barre is different. I enjoy it, which makes me want to go MORE!

I am committed. I am committed to living a healthy life, that involves eating clean and natural, being conscious of what I put in and on my body (lots more coming on this!) and staying active with something that I love and works!

All those years of diets, cardio, weights and money on a trainer have never changed me like Pure Barre has. And I couldn’t be happier to share it with everyone!

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-with the other instructors during training-

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Moving & Changes

It is so funny how so much can change in the blink of an eye. I feel like it has been an eternity since I wrote on here. My little space of comfort and joy for so long. I would really like to get back to blogging. I miss it.

So what’s going on over here?

This little turtle had an amazing time in China. I plan to do a full recap post ASAP.

And now…I have moved to Florida. After all the back and forth I am finally down here for good and it’s a WAY BIGGER adjustment than I thought it would be. I miss my family, I miss my friends. I miss home.

BUT I am happy and I’ve wanted to move forever so I am proud of myself for taking the plunge.

The finally plunge that was forced due to taking on a job with Pure Barre. I am in the process of becoming an instructor and couldn’t be more thrilled about it. More on that to come soon :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Time

Hi everyone...if anyone is still out there. I know it has been way too long since I've posted. But time has slipped me and gone by too fast.

Here's a quick recap. I have been back and forth from Miami. I finally just signed with BMG Models. Which is so exciting. I've been working so hard for years to get an agency so it feels good to have one.

My year came and is now almost gone as Miss Michigan US International. I am proud to say that I came in 4th place at Miss US International. Which was truly remarkable. 

And now I leave in 3 days for China! I will be there for the entire month of November representing the USA in the Miss Model of the World competition. I still can't believe it myself. I am feeling so anxious and overwhelmed. Crazy right?

As I am going to take my laptop along I'm hoping to do some blogging while in China along my journey in the competition. Try is the key word here...don't hold me to it ;) 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Miss Worst Blogger USA

Hi everyone. It’s been a long time I know. I can’t apologize enough that I haven’t been around and active in the blog world. I miss it so much.

I have been beyond busy with my new job which requires me to constantly travel to the auto shows. I also have been busy being Miss Michigan US International. My national competition is in June so I have been training and preparing like crazy.

And to add to my busyness I am more than likely moving to Miami.

Whew…can you say exhaustion.

However I am going to try and blog along the way.

I am so sorry.

xoxo Miss Worst Blogger

Monday, December 10, 2012

a beauty queen

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Sorry I have been so busy lately. But I wanted to pop in and share with you all my new title I received last weekend. I am the new Miss Michigan U.S International!!!

More photos to come soon :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cost of Beauty

 

I found these statistics on a website recently and I thought I would share.

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I just thought it was so interesting!

 

Source: http://womenspersonalfinance.net/

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday/Party dress shopping

I know with the holidays coming up I have all sorts of parties to attend so I thought I would do a little wrap up on choosing an outfit for the best occasion. Whether it is a night out with the girls, high school reunion party, office party or just a holiday dinner party…I’ve got you covered. And as usual I am going to be honest and say the things I know us girls are all thinking but never say aloud.

When shopping for a party dress there are a number of important considerations to keep in mind. Knowing who you want to dress for is a key place to start. Whether a killer outfit is desired so you are the one that everyone is looking at or to make all of the other girls jealous or a sexy dress to attract a particular guy, the requirements for each will be very different. Or maybe you just want to feel good for the night!

Even more parties are social occasions that bring together old friends as well as offer the change to make new connections. Making the right impression and maintaining expectations are therefore equally important. Some might try and make the biggest impact possible when they show up to a party, wearing bold shapes and cuts or, in some cases, not really wearing that much at all. Just make sure you feel comfortable with what you're wearing; always dress to impress but don’t go out of your way to shock if you're just going to worry about how you look all night.

Worrying is the last thing you want to associate with a party. That’s why its worth remembering that shopping for a party can be lots of fun. It’s a opportunity to indulge yourself, spend a little extra cash and treat yourself to the type of purchase you wouldn’t normally dream of buying in any other circumstance. Hook up with some friends who might also be looking for a party dress and make a day of it. After all, the more opinions you get, the more sure you'll feel on the night that you’ve picked the perfect choice.

Here are some of my favorite options!

 

Go  for short, sassy and sexy to make a lasting impression. All of these are male approved ;)

short and sexy

short and sexy

1, 2, 3, 4

Bold numbers will turn heads and make people jealous!

bold and stunning

bold and stunning

1, 2, 3, 4

Simple, easy classic are always a perfect way to go!

simple and easy

simple and easy

1 , 2 , 3 , 4

Or classy and clean for more sophisticated or reserved parties.

classy and clean

classy and clean

1, 2, 3, 4

I certainly love them all :)

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It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you get a credit card from American Express, you can take advantage of a number of reward and cashback schemes as you purchase, meaning you not only get your hands on a fabulous new look but plenty of other rewards as well. Visit American Express online for more details about the various cards and redeemable points initiatives on offer, so you can start shopping for the ideal party dress today.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

blog feature

Hi guys! Rachel over at Life Unsweetened has a super cute post up today all about Rachel bloggers and yours truly is featured. I highly suggest you jump on over and check it out!

rachel

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Hi kitties! Hope you have a very happy halloween!!

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photo 3From Highball Halloween :)    

Monday, October 29, 2012

Autumn Fashion Update

Hi everyone! Happy Monday! As the cold fall days have set in here in Michigan, I thought it would be the perfect time to share the fall trends I am most excited about. Even though I don’t look forward to the cold…the fashion part makes me excited.
Yet another summer has come and gone, and with it went all of our favorite playsuits, gladiator sandals and floral flocks. The best of the summer festival fashion might be gone but not all hope is lost. This seasons styles include chic knits, elegant footwear and fabulous faux furs.
If you're looking for a season style update then I give you a look at the top trends that will dominate the high street and designer stores this season. Most are a simple and easy way to update your wardrobe for the season.
1. Fabulous faux fur
If there's one fabric that stage a huge revival at the 2012 Fashion Week runways it was the oh so controversial fur. Now, in its real form this stuff is the worst of all evils, so steer clear. But it it’s a good looking fake and you’re prepared to explain yourself to the odd PETA campaigner, then faux fur is the way to go. I also highly recommend vintage fur.
Nothing says old Hollywood glamour and style quite like a fabulous fur coat, not to mention the fact that they make incredibly warm and practical garments for the cooler months.
2. Killer boots
The boot has made a drastic change in the fashion world. No longer is it the footwear of Volvo driving soccer moms, the boot has been reborn and revamped for a younger crowd. Of course, they still keep your feet warm and dry – the staple concern of the traditional boot wearer – but this new hybrid also incorporates urban chic and edgy street style.
Some brands have nailed the look better than others but the latest line of ted baker shoes have been particularly good. The western inspired brown leather boots are ideal for wearing with skinny jeans and include a zip and tassel detail on the back. I simply love them.
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3. Leather
Things are heating up a bit and it’s certainly not from the sunshine! Leather has made a huge comeback and has been spotted everywhere. Luxurious leather leggings create a popular, wet look design which is commonly paired with an oversized knit or cardigan.
Leather minis in a tight or pleated style have also been spotted in all of the high street stores. And of course, the ever-popular leather jacket is back – in both the grungy oversized biker style or as a chic and fitted jacket classic. Steer clear of pleather (plastic-leather) jackets however, as it’s one item that always leans towards cheap and tacky. Save up and spend the money on a good quality one, you won’t be disappointed and it will last forever.
4. Heritage and country chic
There is certainly a lot of old world glamour inspired pieces floating around this season. Think everything from understated tweed skirts, 1920s inspired headdresses and leather ankle boots.
Any of those items are sure to take your wardrobe right into the fall/winter season!