Every one of us has a unique story that has molded us into the people we are. I am truly honored to share mine with you. I am going to start with what I would call the typical story that many of us have faced before. I gained weight when I was pregnant! Yup.. that was me! My reasons for it I honestly couldn’t tell you.. Except clearly I over ate.
Growing up I was a competitive figure skater and volleyball player all throughout high school never once was I concerned with my weight (I actually could not even tell you what I weighed!). I wasn’t concerned with what I ate or what the scale said. After I got married and had my first son, Keaton, my weight crept up a bit, but I wasn’t concerned, I was happy with it, I had a healthy baby boy, I was hitting the gym and it was my “Mommy time”. I love to exercise and I was content with the way I looked.
Two and a half years later we had another baby boy, Carter, and with that pregnancy… it happened. I gained 40lbs. I actually didn’t realize how much I had gained until I decided to join Weight Watchers. I will never forget that day… it was my “Lightbulb” my “Breakthrough” I had to step on the scale in front of someone I didn’t know. I was 191 lbs and I remember My mom, who joined with me at the time looked over at me when we sat down for the meeting and said “Don’t you dare cry! You are amazing and there are many people here who would love to look like you do right now!” That hit home hard. I left that meeting, I joined the gym again, within 3 months I was down 40 lbs and I was “me” again.
Later that year I started teaching group classes at “Fitness on the Go” in my hometown at the time and the gym became another part of my family. When our family decided to leave our hometown and relocate to Edmonton, it was no longer feasible for me to work as a dental assistant and pay for child care, that is when I decided it was time to pursue my passion further and I took my Personal Training through Canfit Pro. Then we had an opportunity to relocate again to Fort McMurray, where we are today and with that I was able to open my own training studio in our home ~ Body Unique Fitness. This allowed me to fulfill my passion to motivate, inspire and educate others while still being available for my boys!
I am truly grateful for every client that has walked through my door! Everyone of us has our own story and to be part of improving someone’s life is such an honor. Competing! I Love the stage! In April 2010 after a snowboarding trip to Jasper with our family, I looked at my husband and said “Doug I am going to do a figure competition!” I will admit his response was “Sure you are” I knew nothing about the world of fitness competitions. I had never seen one, but I was obsessed
with the fit women I saw in all the fitness magazines and I wanted to know how far I could push my body NATURALLY. I googled trainers for competition prep and hired the first one that came up (probably not the wisest thing to do) I competed in my first figure competition in November 2010, ABBA Muscle Beach. Placed 2nd! Then I was over the moon, but knowing what I know now, after a few different trainers and my own experiences that 2nd place was not me.
I was thin, barely had any muscle, I was severely dehydrated, I was a zombie. I continued to compete with ABBA at the provincial level for a few years until I discovered INBF Canada. I loved the fact that is was 100% natural, drug and polygraph tested. Being natural is so important to me, we were given our bodies for a reason so why would I try to change that with something that doesn’t belong in our bodies? In November 2013, I competed with the INBF Canada and earned my WNBF Figure pro card.
Although I am honored to have that pro card that is not why I keep competing. If I can inspire just 1 person each time I prep for a show, or 1 person in that audience at the show, then I have accomplished something. Every one of us backstage looks amazing but that look is temporary, the tan, the makeup, the bling, once it comes off we gain weight, depending on your body and future goals it could be anywhere from 5 lbs up, you see your body change in the mirror daily, some of us get depressed, feel fat, overwhelmed, like a failure. We become obsessed with the scale, letting it determine our moods for that day, and why?
Because we have given society the false impression that all of us can be totally cut year round. It has taken me 5 years of competing to finally get it and understand it, we need to love our bodies, fluffy or ripped. Fitness and weight loss is a marathon not a sprint. If you don’t enjoy the process then will we stick with it?
I am lucky enough to be surrounded by positive, amazing people daily and they are my reason for continuing to compete. One of the biggest challenges is finding balance, this is something I still struggle with. Our days are booked solid between school, sports, work, and just life. What I have found helps is having a schedule, I get up one hour before I get the boys up for school, meals are planned most of the days, I book classes, clients, my training in my studio while the boys are in school, take a break so we can do homework and if afterschool sports allow us to eat a meal together if not, we make time to catch up before they go to bed.
I am fortunate that my husband is home in the evenings so that I can take on clients and offer more classes in the evening while he “parents”. Our family accepts that we may not spend every minute together and that those minutes we do spend together are cherished. We book weekends away or holidays in the summer so we do get “family time “ without mom or dad working, but for us it is important that our boys see what hard work, dedication and drive can do for you mentally, physically and to be successful at whatever your passion may be.
“Dream your dreams with your eyes wide open and make them come true” Training…. my training is pretty consistent both on and off season. I love to lift heavy and challenge my body. I lift 4 to 5 days per week depending on my schedule with clients and family. I enjoy breaking my weights up into an upper/lower body split. I also teach spin 3 times a week and Bootcamp once a week. Nothing is more rewarding than motivating those around you with a great group fitness class!
At Body Unique Fitness our main purpose is to laugh and have fun while we sweat! Now the question everyone wants to know about.. Nutrition. I have tried many different “diets” and what I find fits with my lifestyle best is IIFYM. If it fits your macros. I love variety and l believe everyone should allow themselves occasional treats. No food should be forbidden or else that just makes us crave it more. I choose to live the 80/20 rule during my off season and then during competition prep nutrition becomes 100% of the equation.. but I do still fit in the odd treat! As you read this article I hope you can see that you can achieve whatever you put your mind too, no goal is too big or too small. As a weight loss expert and survivor we can learn from our experiences as they are all unique and come up with the right way to reach all of our goals. It takes time, commitment, dedication, and perseverance BUT you will get there, that is my promise to you.
My passion and expertise lies in helping women achieve their weight loss goals both pre and post childbirth. As a mom of 2 active boys, I agree it can be overwhelming and seem next to impossible to make time for yourself. I can help you! Together we can create the right program for your lifestyle without the stress! Will it be easy? No.. But it will be it be worth it? YES! As wives and moms or just women in general it is so very important to make time for ourselves If we feel good about ourselves both mentally and physically then the sky’s the limit to what we are capable of accomplishing! Let’s get started today! Go to www.buniquefitness.com to sign up and get further information! I’m looking forward in helping you achieve your goals!
Rachel Spirig, Elite Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, Competition Prep Specialist, Sponsored Athlete, WNBF Pro Figure Competitor, Fit Mom of 2!