The problem with Paleo (Part 1)

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Are you on the Paleo Diet? If I sign up with you, are you putting me
on the Paleo Diet? Are your clients on the Paleo Diet? 

No. No. No. No. NOOOOOO.

If I wanted you to go on the “Paleo Diet” – I would send you to the
“Whole30” website or some shit. I wouldn’t ask you to invest in 
my training if I was just going to shove some standard cookie cutter
program in your face and tell you to get on with it! If you don’t
know what the Paleo Diet is – just go here –http://thepaleodiet.com/

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have a problem with paleolithic eating. 
Who could argue with eating only fresh, grass-fed, open range meat,
poultry and fish along with plentiful fruit, vegetables and good
oils like coconut oil and olive oil? I get it. It works. I’ve been
there, done that, got the T-Shirt – and IT WORKS! Hell, if we all
ate like this – then our country wouldn’t be in the epidemic of obesity
that we’re in, putting a massive strain on our health service and
economy! 

61.9% of people in Scotland are overweight or obese. 65% of men and 
58% of women in England are overweight or obese. 
ONE IN SIX CHILDREN IN SCOTLAND ARE AT RISK OF OBESITY!

I’ll just let those statistics sink in for one minute…

Let me put this into perspective for you. 
In 1995 – 52.4% of us in Scotland were overweight or obese. That’s
a 9.5% increase in the past 17 years. Imagine if this was to increase
at this rate??? I don’t need to say anymore. 

So, what is the problem with Paleo? Yes – it works. You lose weight,
you get healthier and then what happens? You plateau. The fat loss
stalls, and you’re sitting there with your head in your hands
wondering what the fuck to do next. You don’t have a coach or a 
trainer to ask what on earth is happening so you just revert back
to the way you were eating before. Right? RIGHT. I know this – because
I’ve done it! Nowhere does it mention portion sizes or macronutrient
breakdowns depending on YOUR GOALS and YOUR BODY. It just gives you
a list of foods to enjoy and says go eat them. In abundance. Yes,
the fat loss DOES happen – mostly because in the first few weeks
you’re sitting going “what the fuck can I eat” instead of actually
eating! 

If you want some cool recipe ideas – head over here and buy my new
cookbook – you’ll also be supporting my future editions so go now!

>> http://www.walkthetalkfitness.co.uk/#!no-bullshit-cookery/c1xmf <<

The Paleo Diet is MASSIVELY successful. If it is executed with the
correct guidance – and is tailored, by a professional, to YOUR 
requirements. Eating a paleolithic based diet will have you lose
weight, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes,
metabolic syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome to name just a few! 
So what is the problem with Paleo? In my opinion, it creates 
disordered eating. It eliminates ice cream, chocolate, pasta – the
things we love to eat and that make us social creatures – making us
less likely to stick to it, get a case of the “fuck its” and binge. 
I know this because I’VE BEEN THERE! And I know you have too – 
because now you’re laughing at the “fuck its” – let’s face it, we’ve
all done it! I’ll tell you more about my experience with Paleo another
day.

So, if you are truly serious about losing weight, and not becoming
an obesity statistic – what can you do about it? Firstly, stop
pissing around with the likes of Slimming World and Weight Watchers.
Giving them £30 a month to weigh you in a room full of other people
really is complete nonsense. Not to mention the amount of money
you spend on their branded bullshittery products that are full of
chemicals with names longer than I can pronounce. STOP following
diets that your colleagues have told you about. This is YOUR journey,
not theirs. STOP reading propaganda online about how you can lose 6lbs
in 5 days by only eating eggs and grapefruit (no really, this is
actually a thing!). 

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL who will motivate you, plan for you and most
importantly KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE for your actions. You can apply
for one of my fat loss programs by e-mailing me back –

>> rachael@walkthetalkfitness.co.uk <<

I only work with driven, motivated, hard-working people who will
literally do WHATEVER IT TAKES to achieve their goals. That’s why
I now have an application process for my programs. I don’t just 
work with anyone. So if you’re READY TO CHANGE YOUR BODY right now, 
feel better about yourself, more confident and wake up loving your
body again instead of dreading finding something to wear – get in 
touch today and apply for a training place. Bookings now being 
taken for week beginning 9th June. 

Have a SUPER SEXY SUNDAY. 

Rachael (I eat what I want when I want) Watson

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Meal Prep & Eating on a Budget

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I have been touching on the subject of meal prep and food prep this week on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/walkthetalkfitness) and posting photos of food I’ve been creating, how I’ve made it and sometimes posting the recipe. I get asked a LOT of questions on food/meal prep as well as how I manage to eat so well on a budget. So I’ve put it into this blog for you guys!

This is a blog designed for people who don’t have time to cook. Yes, you read that right. It is also a blog designed not only for the athletes among us, but for those who are just starting their journey to optimal health through nutrition.

A lot of people are surprised when they find out that I spend the majority of the first two weeks training someone sorting out their diet. You are starting a journey that is going to one of the must fun and challenging journeys you’ve ever been on – and we must always strive to be better than we were yesterday. If you look around your gym – you will see that most people are following some sort of structured program. Most of the time they will plan this program meticulously ahead of time so that when the day comes – and you walk into that gym – you know EXACTLY what exercises you’re going to be doing and on which body parts. Why then, do we fail to prepare our nutrition in advance?

Fear of failure? No idea where to even start? I won’t lie to you – to be successful at meal / food prep – you’re going to have to be committed, work hard and be dedicated to what you’re doing. Day in, day out. Week in, week out. That is, of course, if you’re serious about getting the best results from your workout program (which is already planned, right??!).

WHY BUST YOUR ASS IN THE GYM EVERY DAY IF YOU’RE SPOILING ALL YOUR HARD WORK BY UNDER RECOVERING? By under recovering I mean not providing your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and grow muscle tissue that has been broken down in the gym. Failing to replenish muscle and liver energy stores properly thus feeling tired, sluggish and prone to injury and illness. It’s time you got your diet sorted. Stop pissing around pretending that you know what you’re doing and ask for help! Or read the rest of this blog, and it might become a bit clearer.

Planning your meal prep –

I’m going to tell you how I prep. You can take from it what you will. The way you prepare your meals will completely depend on your schedule. Let me give you a typical day for me:

06:00 – Wake Up
07:00 – Lifting in the gym (1.5 hours)
09:00 – PT Clients (3-4 hours)
13:00 – Work from home – admin/writing
16:00 – PT Clients
17:00 – Group Fitness Classes
21:00 – Home
…and everything else in between.

I meal prep 3 days in advance. A Sunday is my meal prep day and I spend around 3-4 hours doing this each week. However, I live alone and do not have any dependents so, if you have a family – I would recommend that you plan your meals for the entire week. It’s actually a lot easier than it may initially seem.

1. Write it down. Get a notebook, or make a chart on the computer if you’re in geek mode (I always use the old fashioned method because I love writing on paper). Headings should be days of the week – split into 3-6 meals (again depending on your situation). Write down what you’re going to have for each meal. It sounds simple because it is. If you have kids, it might be an idea to make a separate list for them to include packed lunch ingredients and snacks, if different to yours. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t meal prep for the kids too. Stop making excuses. 

2. Once you determine the number of meals you’re going to have in the week (or days depending on how many days you’re prepping for) – you can start to write your shopping list for the supermarket. Ultimately you want to walk into the supermarket with your list, like a Boss, and know exact quantities of what you need and where to get it. This is going to save you time AND MONEY. So make your list ACCURATE and SPECIFIC. For example, if you’re making a big bolognese to feed the family, write down 1kg steak mince. Don’t just write steak mince.

3. Save money where possible. We all have this misconception that eating healthily needs to be ridiculously expensive and I’m here to tell you that this is complete and utter bullshit. You can hit a quick Google search for “in season fruit and vegetables” and you can sure as hell bet that these will be the cheapest in the store at this given moment. For example, asparagus is about to come into season here in the UK – it’s going to be dirt cheap. So eat asparagus. Don’t spend a bloody fortune on some shit that’s not in season and has been genetically this, genetically that and flown from the other side of the planet for £10 a kilo! It’s always a good idea to source your meat from local producers – and in bulk. Often your butcher will sell you 5kg of chicken breast for example for almost half what it would cost to buy say 5 lots of 1kg. Buy in bulk and freeze – this is the best way to save money. Also, check out websites like http://www.paleowales.co.uk which always have great offers on meat, game and poultry. Cupboard essentials like rice, quinoa, bulgar, wholemeal pasta, tins of chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, tinned beans like kidney, butterbeans – they’re all pennies and keep forever! They can be added to any meal to enhance the nutrient density. I will touch on this in more detail later. 

Invest in Tupperware (or similar)

It seems like a given, but it’s really critical to your meal prep success that you invest in some really good tupperware. If you’re like me and you love kitchen shopping, then this should be fun! (I love this stuff: http://www.black-blum.com/homepage/). Make sure your meal containers are dishwasher and microwave proof. You don’t have the spend a fortune, just get some bloody tubs!

Keeping your food –

Bro-Tip: I like to slightly undercook my veg, so that when I go to heat it up again – it cooks through. There’s nothing worse than soggy broccoli. Most food will keep for between 4-6 days in the fridge, but if you freak out leaving something in the fridge for just one day, freeze and take out the night before! 

Which leads me to…. – freeze some. Make double what you need for one week, freeze the rest and BOOM suddenly you have two weeks worth of food prep!

Microwave your food when the time comes to eat it. If you’re as busy as me, you will know that the last thing you want to do when you come home from work at night is start cooking a full meal. Then you’re sitting down to eat at 10pm and lying in bed feeling horribly full. So now that your meals are all prepared and in the fridge – just microwave them (make sure they are piping hot before you serve). Believe it or not, and despite any other bullshit you have heard – microwaving food DOES NOT KILL THE NUTRIENTS!

(http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Microwave-cooking-and-nutrition.shtml)

Now I’m going to go into some depth on how your kitchen should look. You can’t meal prep without some decent equipment. Don’t fuck around making things difficult for yourself by not having the correct tools. That’s like giving a gardener a spoon and asking him to dig a hole. Fuck that. Here’s a list of things that I think are critical to food prep success:

Set of frying pans (different sizes)
Set of good pans (different sizes)
A wok
Sharp chopping knives
Tupperware (discussed above)
Food processor
Hand blender

Store Cupboard ingredients that I always have and that you should always have:

Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Dried spices & herbs (A-Z!! Always good to pimp the taste of a meal)
Sea salt & flavoured sea salts
Chilli powder (I add this to just about everything!)
Nut butters (almond, cashew, peanut)
Tinned tomatoes
Tinned chick peas
Tinned kidney beans
Quinoa
Wholegrain Rice
Bulgar wheat
Mustard
Tinned Tuna (lasts forever & a quick snack)
Eggs
Honey

Meat, Fish & Poultry

I touched on this above in regards to sourcing this stuff from local producers. I truly believe that we should be supporting our local farmers by buying produce locally. Try to obtain free range and grass fed where possible financially and logistically. You will often find that if you take your prepared list to your butcher and give it to him/her – he will cut you a deal. If they don’t, ask them to! Don’t be afraid to haggle prices. Don’t be afraid to ask for the origin of the meat. If you are on a more restricted budget – try places like Costco who do a lot of bulk buy meat. Please, try to stay away from frozen food shops who sell bags of frozen chicken for super cheap. They’re dirt cheap for a reason – the chicken is pumped full of saline (salty water) to make it bigger. It’s just not good for you. Stay away.

My favourite fish that is dirt cheap – trout. A really good alternative to salmon for those on a budget like me (plus I hate salmon so that works out well). Right now, trout will cost you approximately £2 for about 150g fillet. That’s really not bad at all. Canned fish is also a really good option and it keeps for ages in the cupboard.

Fruit & Veg

There are a couple of fruit and veg companies who delivery locally in my area. One of whom is Orchard Produce run by Ken Reid:(https://www.facebook.com/orchard.produce). You can actually make a list (from your meal prep list of course) that matches your weekly requirements and give this to Ken – he will supply you with everything you need directly from the Glasgow Fruit Market straight to your door, weekly. Alternatively, take your list to the supermarket and fulfill your requirements that way. Remember – find out what’s in season and eat it in abundance!

Tracking your Macros –

If you are a client of mine, or are thinking of joining me for some training, or even if you’re just going to have a right good crack all this nutrition stuff yourself – I suggest you download and use an app on your smart phone called “MyFitnessPal”. I use this religiously to track my nutrition AND plan my entire week in advance. Yes, I could tell you what I’m going to eat on Wednesday. Why? Because I plan meticulously. For example, at the moment I am on a cut – which means that I am eating less calories than my body requires. This is in order to drop body fat. But don’t get all caught up with numbers because that isn’t your job. If you would like me to help you with fat loss and nutrition please just get in touch with me (rachael@walkthetalkfitness.co.uk) because everybody is individual and I cannot give out generic recommendations. I use MFP to create all my recipes for my clients – so they know exactly what is in them nutrition wise, and they can adapt them to suit their goals. Easy peasy and lightening fast.

On the go…

So one of the main questions I get asked is – how do I stay on track when I’m out and about? At work all day, out shopping all day etc etc etc… My answer is plain and simple every single time.

If you know you’re going to be working on Tuesday from 7am until 10pm – then you really have no excuse to get caught out. Plan your snacks in advance and have them ready the night before to take with you. That way, you will not get to that horrible stage of hunger along with feelings of “oh I’ll just grab something from the vending machine – just this one time” or ” I’ll just wait until I get home otherwise I’ll wind up eating shite”. NO. Just NO! If you have prepared in advance – this will never happen.

EATING OUT

Eating out is a difficult one for me to write about, because I rarely eat out at the moment. However, I always advise my clients that most restaurants now have their menu ONLINE. So do your research before you go, decide what you’re having depending on your goals and calculations – and go out and enjoy yourself. Food needs to be enjoyable and flexible – otherwise life would be pretty fucking boring. Research the menu, plan what you’re having, have it. Simple right?

So finally, and I hope you’re still with me at this point, I would like to share some really basic tips that I use every single day in order to stay successful.

1. Prepare the night before. So, you’ve got all your meals prepped for the next few days right? I like to organise what I’m eating the following day, the night before. So I’ll literally put all my food into a bag and into the fridge for that specific day – so that it’s just grab and go in the morning. I even go right down to measuring my almond milk for my protein shake and putting it in the shaker along with the portion of protein I need (Smart Shake is awesome for this as it has compartments). Wake up, coffee down the hatch, grab stuff and get to the gym.

2. Car snacks. Have small tubs of snacks in your car for emergencies. A great idea is to keep a box of mixed nuts, dried fruit and seeds in your glove compartment for emergencies. This has saved my life a few times.

3. Bottled water. I always ALWAYS have a multipack of mineral water in the boot of my car. That way, there is no excuse not to be hydrated at all times. Hydration is seriously important, especially with summer coming in. Get it sorted.

I hope this blog has been of some use to you. If you need any other help with planning your meals according to your goals and you would like to get specific – please just shoot me an e-mail – rachael@walkthetalkfitness.co.uk. 

Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to have dinner…. 

 

It’s all in your head

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Since I wrote my previous blog “Fuck You Anxiety” – I had a massssssive surge of e-mails / following and questions related to it as well as some praise for sharing part of my story. That’s not really the reason I shared it – I just wanted to let other people who feel the same, know that they’re not alone.

A few years ago, when I was completing my university degree, I went on a bus from Hamilton to Glasgow and whilst on this bus, for absolutely NO REASON WHATSOEVER, I had my first every bout of anxiety. I suddenly wanted to get off the bus, and couldn’t, because we were hurtling along the motorway. That’s when it all started. No joke. A bus & a bit of a sore stomach. That’s it. I went through a period of a few months where I could barely leave the house. Fast forward to 2014 and I can honestly say that although anxiety still affect me daily, it doesn’t control my life as much as it used to. I constantly challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone – but I also know when to take a rest from the battle as well. And I’m okay with that.

I’m not going to go into any more detail about what triggered my anxiety in the beginning – but I will say that it is related to my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in which I have the irrational fear of being ill whilst I am not at home. Being in a situation which I can’t get out of quickly. Which is a bit fucked up because I actually get a huge buzz from being out of my comfort zone, and I challenge myself constantly. I’m sure others with IBS will know exactly what I’m talking about here.

So I’m going to write a little bit more on the subject today – because anxiety affects more people than you realise, and I really hope that by sharing this, in some way, I can help you realise that 1. You are not alone, and 2. There are a lot of things you can do about it.

What exactly is anxiety? Well, for someone who doesn’t know about it as a medically diagnosed disorder, they assume that someone with anxiety simply gets nervous about something. Being anxious is that fluttery feeling in your stomach that you get before your driving test, before your final exams, after that first date when your phone beeps with a text from her.. And yes, that is anxiety. But for me, anxiety is an overwhelming surge of self doubt that is so strong that it will not only cause me to feel physically unwell, but it completely and utterly rules every single thought that ever goes through my mind. For me – anxiety is being surrounded with HUNDREDS of positive comments from people, having amazing friends & family but then getting hit with one or two negative people and focusing on only the negative. It eats away at me for days, weeks and it’s so powerful that it’s difficult to get back out of it again!

For me, anxiety is the constant analysing of what other people are saying about me and thinking about me. It’s the “what if’s”. It’s the constant war that goes through my mind DAY IN, DAY OUT – every single day that passes without fail. If you could see into the mind of someone who has anxiety – you would see quite a few different “personas”. It’s like looking into a room filled with people all arguing with one another. One person says do this you fucking idiot and stop being so stupid – X,Y & Z will never happen. The the other person says – “but what if….” I’m not saying that someone with anxiety has multiple personalities because that is an entirely different ball game – but what I am saying is that it is a constant war of the mind – and it is never ending.

Most people make unconscious decisions every single day about what they are going to do. The sun’s out – let’s go to the beach. Friday night, at a loose end, let’s go to a restaurant for dinner. A drive. Out with friends. But for someone with anxiety, and I am mostly relating to my own situation here – everything is a military operation, planned in advance in order to satisfy my mind that I am going to be okay. This in itself is absolutely shit – because I am one of the most spontaneous people you could ever meet. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to do things on a whim. I love to travel. I love to eat out. I love being random – because that’s who I am. Having anxiety does not really allow me to be that person very often anymore. I often find myself getting SUPER excited about something, planning it all, talking 100mph about it and then suddenly “BUT WHAT IFFFFFFFFF…..and what will people thinkkkkk” starts. You guys might have seen that I went to see Rihanna last year at Sunderland Stadium of Light right? 55,000 people and me – standing at the very front – in my absolute element. You might think how on earth did I do that if I have anxiety?? On the outside you saw photos of me having the absolute time of my life (and I was, it was one of the best days of my life!), but what you didn’t see what the WEEKS and MONTHS of mental preparation that I had to go through in order to do that. Meticulous planning of driving routes, parking places, walking distances to and from (the list is endless). It was mentally EXHAUSTING but holy shit balls on fire, it was one of the best feelings ever to have achieved that with relatively no blips whatsoever. FUCK YOU ANXIETY! That’s 1-0 to me!

I haven’t had an “anxiety attack” for about 6 months now, because I have learned the signals and can now stop them from blowing out of proportion before they actually happen. But I have had a few belters in the past. It starts with nausea, finishes with sweats, shaking and irrational fears of stuff that realistically will never even happen. Some people have likened an anxiety attack to a heart attack – but personally I have never experienced this, thankfully! You know the weird thing though? They happen for absolutely no fucking reason whatsoever. You can be asleep and wake up having one. You can be sitting watching TV and BOOM. You don’t have to be anxious, to be anxious.

I am constantly concerned about causing people disappointment. What if I suddenly at the last minute have to cancel a class because I can’t get out the bathroom? What if I can’t go out in town with my friends as planned because my head is hosting World War 3? I can’t really plan too far in advance anymore (which is good for my spontaneity I suppose) when it comes to social situations, because I’m unsure about how I’m going to feel on a particular day. I do however, plan meticulously for big events. Sometimes (and this is rare now but still happens occasionally) I have to cancel plans at the last minute. The thought of letting people down eats away at me quite a bit, even though on the outside I radiate an “I don’t give a fuck what you think” aura. I often say yes to plans with people or friends when deep down I know my head won’t actually let it happen. I just want to come across as normal. So I say things I don’t mean sometimes. 

I have to think of the consequences of every single thing that I eat for fear of what it’s going to do to my IBS. If I even get one thing wrong when it comes to my nutrition – it can make me ill for a full week. I just had to get that in there somewhere, because I know a lot of people often ask me how I manage to be so meticulous with my food, and where my willpower comes from. Well, there you have it. If I eat crap, I feel crap. And I don’t want to feel crap because it makes me anxious. End of. 

Perfectionism. I am a perfectionist and I have OCD tendencies when it comes to things being done correctly the first time. I am VERY hard on myself. If I can’t get something absolutely perfect, I would rather just not do it at all. The positive thing about this is that every single task that I undertake, after a huge amount of procrastination for fear of not doing it perfectly, it will get done to 100% of my ability. First time. I hope that made sense. Although I appear confident on the outside as a group fitness instructor – that first night of a new release absolutely TERRIFIES me. For fear of fucking it up and not getting it perfect. “But we won’t know you did it wrong.” True. But I will know. Perfectionism comes hand in hand with being a virgo, and being an anxious virgo. But I quite like it.

So. What can be done about anxiety? This is 100% from my heart. Anxiety to me is all about the perceived threat of something which most probably will never happen. Over the past 10 years, I have been on beta blockers, Prozac (fluoxetine), some other shit with a big long name; I’ve had NLP, cognitive behavioural therapy blaaaah blah blah. None of it helped. Exercise helps, and I have made it into my career and passion because it allows me the flexibility to say no when I need to. It allows me an escape when I need to. The hormonal response of exercise lifts my mood and I can honestly say it has changed my life. My job is such that I focus on other people for the vast majority of my week and I absolutely LOVE my job. I am NOT lucky. I have created this for myself through hard work and determination; and with anxiety, this has been even more of a struggle. So – headphones in, world out – for 1 hour every day – is what keeps my anxiety at bay. Surround yourself with POSITIVE people – who radiate energy no matter how far away from you they are. Surround yourself with like minded people who share interests with you. Surround yourself with polar opposites so that you can LEARN from them. Stay away from drains. Don’t let ANYBODY drain your buzz. 

I would like to create awareness of anxiety by writing this blog. I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me because I don’t feel sorry for myself whatsoever. It’s part of who I am and I’ve wholly accepted this. This needs to be addressed NOW so that more and more people know that they are NOT ALONE with it and that you CAN CAN CAN CAN dull the effects of it with a wee bit of help. If you know someone with anxiety – please don’t patronise them with statements like, “just think positive and come out with us – you’ll be fine, nothing will happen” or “it’s all in your head, nothing bad will happen”. Yes – you might be right – but to us, the fear is very real, no matter how fucked up it might sound to you. If you want to support someone with anxiety, just show them that you’re there for them when they need you. If they cancel plans at the last minute, don’t make a big fuss about it. Shit happens.

You’re not going crazy. You are NOT alone. Anxiety is VERY COMMON and although I believe it cannot be 100% cured, the effects of it can be massively reduced through lifestyle choices. I would urge ANYBODY who is suffering from anxiety that needs help to talk to someone about it. Someone who understands. Get rid of the negative people from your life who don’t understand or refuse to understand. You don’t need that in your life.

So – in September this year I am going on the vacation of a LIFETIME. For 10 years, I have suppressed my true love for spontaneity and travel because of anxiety – but this year I am saying FUCK IT. In September myself and a friend have booked a 3 week holiday to California. LA, Hollywood, Vegas and Huntington Beach. I have DREAMED about going to these places for as long as I can remember but the war in my head kept saying… what if…? I know it’s not going to be easy, and I know there will be times where my head might win – but I am going to give my fuck it attitude it’s very best shot. How am I planning to prepare myself for this? I’ve considered hypnotherapy & NLP and may try it out before I go but mostly, I am going to not give a flying fuckery what anybody thinks about me. We are going to go out there, and absolutely rock it!

If anybody has any questions, or just relates to this and wants to talk to me about it – just check out my social links on this blog.

The anxiety isn’t gone – but I’ve learned how to live with it 🙂

Rachael

 

20 things…

Hey! This blog is going to be a bit different. You may have read my previous blogs, or you may not. Either way – I thought I would write a short blog this week to tell you a little bit about me. Inside info – some related to the business – some not! Just for fun – as I don’t like to take life too seriously! So here’s 20 things you might not know about me…

1. I know it’s hard to believe but I’m 29 years old (I still get ID’d for buying a lotto ticket – this amuses / impresses me). I’m a Virgo – a typical one at that. I was born at 00:07 on Wednesday 29th August 1984. I’ll be 30 this year!

2. I grew up living with my mum & dad in a small country village in a lovely bungalow in a quiet residential street which reminds me of Ramsay Street!I have one sister who is 3 and a half years younger than me – although I have always been the least mature of us both.

3. As long as I can remember I have been a bit weird, strange, different to everyone else. From a very early age I recognised that I was different from all my friends because I never wanted to settle. I am a leader not a follower.

4. I’m gay. I’ve known I was into girls for as long as I can remember. At least from high school anyways. I’m completely transparent about it – I don’t find it difficult to talk about. I haven’t found the person I want to spend my life with yet – I have very high standards and I don’t want to settle for flings or stupid one night stands.

5. If I like you, you will know about it. If I don’t like you – you will know about it. I distance myself from people I dislike and I do it quickly. If things aren’t working out for me – I am very good at letting them go – and this includes people! I’m very direct and straight to the point and you will always know where you stand with me.

6. I’m a perfectionist. Which means that I sometimes find it very difficult to get things done. I get really frustrated when things are not done perfectly the first time. I have grammar OCD and I’ll probably read this over a million times before publishing it even though I know it’s correct.

7. If I like someone (romantically or otherwise) – I will dive in head first and give them 100% of my attention. I will drop everything for them and open up completely. I don’t like this trait in me as it has opened me up to abuse and hurt in the past. I find it hard to trust people nowadays.

8. I spend the majority of my time working, thinking about work or studying. The rest of the time I’m listening to music and writing (usually simultaneously as I am now). I’m can be very anti-social and can easily spend hours, days and weeks by myself if I want to. I have diaries written going back to 1996 – I write a LOT. Most of it doesn’t make sense to me anymore. I listen to all sorts of music and take inspiration from people I follow on Spotify, Instagram & Facebook. Music is a huge part of my life and always has been since I was a kid. I can read music and I can sing pretty well. I just don’t.

9. My favourite colours are purple and luminous pink

10. I am materialistic. I like things.

11. I believe that you should burst your arse for what you want and never settle for less. I believe that you should ignore what other people say when it gets in the way of your dreams. If you believe it can happen – it will. It may take months, years, decades to manifest – but it will.

12. I have lived in London and Sydney.

13. In my late teens and early twenties I travelled a lot – I loved backpacking. I have travelled all over Europe, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, all through Southern France, Czech Republic, Sweden,Greece. I’ve also travelled to Thailand 3 times, and Australia twice. The second time I went to Australia I settled there for a year or just over a year. If there is one thing I could change about my life so far it would be coming back from Sydney. But one cannot think in hindsight. This year I will travel to America for the first time to LA / Hollywood / Las Vegas and Huntington Beach / Long Beach Orange County.

14. I have anxiety. Not the kind where you get butterflies in your stomach because you’re nervous but true diagnosed anxiety. It’s a constant battle every day inside your head fighting irrational fears and only those who have it, will ever really understand. I have achieved a lot in the last decade despite my GAD. Not everybody understands but those who do, stick around, and those who don’t – can fuck off.

15. I don’t trust easily but I will open up to you and give you a chance. I can be quick to judge. My gut feeling has never been wrong before. I am attracted to girls who are similar to me but polar opposite. I will not be interested in you unless you like being in a gym often. 😉 

16. I have done a sky dive in Australia but I’m too scared to do a bunjee jump. I don’t like rollercoasters but I do like spinny things like waltzers – but I WILL be sick.

17. I have 8 tattoos. I’m having my left arm half sleeve completed next week. It represents some deep stuff from inside my head.

18. As I write this I’m listening to Frightened Rabbit – an indie rock back from Scotland. It makes me instantly smile inside and out.

19. My favourite food is pizza but I don’t eat it often. Infact I haven’t had any this year. I should probably sort that soon.

20. My favourite place in the world is the lighthouse at Turnberry, Scotland. Especially on sunny days, to just climb over the fence, sit on the rocks and listen to music and write (funnily enough). I have a lot of really good memories here.

Welcome people into your life who accept you for who you are and what you believe. Don’t settle for less. 

Rachael x

 

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How to Choose a Personal Trainer

If you’re thinking of getting a personal trainer to help you achieve your goals there are a few things that you need to take into consideration. You are about to make an investment in your health, lifestyle and fitness and it is vital that you find the right personal trainer to help YOU achieve YOUR goals. Here are a few things that you should take into consideration:

> Ask Questions: when you are looking for a personal trainer, chances are you’ve Googled it, or gone by a recommendation from a friend, family member or colleague. When contacting a personal trainer, or personal training company for the first time you should ask for a free consultation so that you can interview the trainer and ask questions. If they do not offer this service, find someone else. All trainers should be willing to meet with you, free of charge in the first instance. Here are some questions you could ask:

  • What kind of experience and qualifications do you have?
  • What sort of motivational techniques do you use? How will you keep me accountable?
  • What sort of workout plan would you devise for me based on ….. goals?
  • How often will my workout plan change?
  • Do you have current clients I could speak to regarding your training?

> Reputation – You’ve most probably been given a few recommendations from friends as to who or what company you should go to for personal training. It’s really important that you check these out by looking at their website for testimonials from their current or previous clients. If your goal is fat loss for example, and you see positive testimonials from previous clients who have had success in this area then the next step would be to give this trainer, or company a phone call. Don’t be afraid to ask for contact details of some of their clients so that you can speak to them, ask them questions and get real LIVE testimonials. Any reputable personal trainer will be more than happy to do this. 

>  Experience & Qualifications – Make sure your personal trainer is fully qualified and EXPERIENCED in their chosen field (relating to your goals of course, be that fat loss, strength and conditioning, weight gain, body building etc). Ask to see their qualifications if you are unsure. It would also be a good idea to ask to see examples of their previous successes with clients. Be aware that anybody can become a “qualified personal trainer” in around 6 weeks nowadays with fast-track courses. This does not mean that they are qualified to be giving you advice on your goals. Experience is priceless. If you are looking for advice with your diet or nutrition – make sure the personal trainer you choose is QUALIFIED to give you this advice as this does not come as standard with a personal training qualification. The job title “Personal Trainer” is not regulated and your next door neighbour could call themselves this without any qualifications. 

> What sort of training packages do they offer? 

  • What kind of packages do they offer? Normally, the more sessions to buy in advance, the cheaper it becomes per session. Also ask for payment options – do you need to pay the full amount up front or can you pay in installments?
  • Can you buy individual sessions? 
  • What is the refund policy? 
  • Do they offer group training sessions? If you can find a couple of friends to train with that have similar goals, it is going to cost you less per person if you train as a group. Most Personal trainers offer this option. 
  • If you buy a package, make sure you ask if it has an expiry date on it. Make sure you are able to use all the sessions you book before the block expires. Most personal trainers have an expiry date on block bookings so make sure you check. 
  • Make sure your personal trainer can commit to training you at times that suit you. If they can’t commit – find someone who can.
  • What sort of fitness assessments will you be required to undertake? Your personal trainer should keep you accountable for your results but taking measurements or asking you to take measurements and record these. How will you be kept accountable for them?
  • What is their cancellation policy? Most personal trainers will have a 24-48 hour cancellation policy whereby if you cancel a session at late notice, you will be required to forfeit that session.

> Do You “Click”? – So you’ve had your free consultation, you’ve asked the questions you need to ask and got some answers. How do you feel about the person sat across from you? Do they interact well with you, are they chatty, do they seem interested in your goals? What is your gut feeling saying about them? Would you trust them? If the answer is yes, then it might be time to check out their testimonials, speak to current clients and find out a bit more. If your gut feeling says no, walk away and start the process again. There are lots of different types of personal trainers out there, and you need to find one that you connect with otherwise you will be wasting yours and their time.

Warning Signs to Look Out For

The first warning sign to look out for is a personal trainer who tries to sell you supplements of any kind. Many trainers earn commission for the products they sell, which could be a conflict of interest. For the vast majority (excluding body building), supplements including protein powders, fat burners including but not limited to raspberry ketones, CLA, T5s and others should never be necessary to achieve your goals. These are not regulated nor have any valid scientific backing to prove they do what they say on the packet. Your trainer should focus on you getting all your nutritional needs from a healthy and balanced diet. Find a trainer who isn’t going to push these kinds of products in order for you to achieve your goals. 

 

I hope this has helped you in your search for your personal trainer… and if all else fails – pop to http://www.walkthetalkfitness.co.uk. You can trust us to change your world.