Health and Fitness

Incredible Woman Rachel Guy On The Mindset Of Fat Loss And Living The Dream

Today I have the absolute pleasure of introducing my Poliquin colleague Rachel Guy. We first met at a Poliquin PICP course last November, but I’d already heard of Rach through mutual friends on Facebook. Truth be told I was kinda intimidated about meeting her (just look at the girl!) I’m used to being one of the strongest girls I know, so the fact that I was clearly going to be up for a challenge when training together in our course was a bit of a concern challenge.*

Still, I’m not one to mess around when I meet someone inspiring, and so I grabbed a few minutes of Rach’s time to find out what makes her tick as an incredible woman and an incredible strength coach.

Be inspired – especially by her very unique and very powerful view on successful fat loss and her somewhat unusual – but certainly smart – view on cheat meals! There are also some great tips on taking the pressure off yourself in order to achieve more.

Kat: Give it to me straight – who would you say you are, in a nutshell?

Rach: I’m a strength coach/physical therapist and also an A.R.T practitioner. I love what I do – waking up every morning knowing I have the best job in the world. I never have that Monday morning feeling – whilst there are in daily life aspects that are stressful, I can honestly say I’m generally living my dream.

Kat: Very cool. So how would you sum up your business or what you do?

Rach: Basically as a strength coach I take on a range of clients from athletes to ex athletes, weekend warriors, corporates, and young mums. I like to teach my non-athletes that it’s not really about fat loss but about being strong – I emphasise strength and health as the keys to fat loss. My idea is that when you lose something you always go looking for it, right?! So therefore if you’re of the mindset to lose fat your body will always go looking for it. Try changing your thought processes to creating something new and leaving old behind. The type of training I do is mainly strength-weight training, and also conditioning with sleds and kettlebells. If injuries occur along the way and I use my skills as an ART practitioner and physio to sort those out. If its out of my scope, I always refer out for a second opinion.

Kat: I love the concept of changing your thought processes to creating something new. So what would you say your motto is, if you have one?

Rach: I’m pretty much known for my passion and absolute no BS approach to training. It’s simple – there’s no easy way or quick fix and there’s just no bullshit, it is what it is. For some its hard work, others crave it!

Kat: Actually I think you said something quite similar to that when you gave your top tip for the launch post of this blog. Your tip** was actually the favourite out of all 29! Onto a new topic – do you have a guilty pleasure?

Rach: I’m very partial to red wine and a quality ice-cream like Haagen Daaz, Ben and Jerrys, love home-cooked roast dinners. Chocolate. Every woman likes chocolates!

Kat: Haha, can’t argue with you there! My next question is a bit more soul-searching. Could you share with us some of the harsh stuff you might say to yourself; or the things you see as weaknesses.

Rach:Procrastination! I know exactly why I have procrastinated over the past few months. I have had no specific goals since October! A lot of things have changed for me personally and professionally this year. I feel like I’m “clock watching” and just waiting for the New Year to happen. I’m a perfectionist, and I like to be busy all the time. But if I stand back from it I can say that’s okay right now to have some down time. It’s a good phase to go through. I am genuinely really happy, I currently have zero stress, but I am just used to being busy all the time so I feel like something is missing!

The message to woman I’d like to get out you don’t always have to live 120 miles an hour to be successful and it’s okay to have down time and I have to listen to that myself!

Kat: So when you are going 120 miles an hour, what do you do to get out of it?

Rach: I’ve already started writing my goals for next year; I usually do it in last week of Dec or first week of Jan but just started today (Nov 21), certain things are coming up in my head that I am so excited about!

Kat: Isn’t it funny how once your relax and stop pressure on yourself things start happening naturally?

Rach: There’s definitely room for new ideas and huge creativity, even though I feel like I’ve procrastinated, if I reflect, I’ve created so much and developed personally.

Kat: I don’t know if you’ve thought of this, but I believe it’s really important for woman to stop sometimes and write a list of their achievements …

Rach: That’s exactly what I’ll be doing this year and a great tip! Thanks Kat. We should all reflect on the positive things rather than being critical of ourselves. While I believe it is important to know your weaknesses, you must also know your strengths. This has been an epic year. This has been a big growth year, getting to know myself again, my purpose and re-aligning myself with my purpose.

Kat: And you can’t do that if you keep go-go-going …

Rach: Right; you don’t realise how much living on “fast forward” affects you until you stop!

Kat: So what would you say drives you; what do you care about most?

Rach: Living by my values. My family. My drive, want, need to have my own family. To help people. To be the best that I can be and push my physical limits. If I I’m going to apply myself to something I give it my everything.

Kat: Is this where you thought you’d end up? Did you have a plan to get here?

Rach: I fell into physio school because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do other than something to do with sport and bodies!  I never saw myself working as a physio in a clinic or hospital. Fast forward 6 years and I am here in Sydney working as a strength coach and physical therapist combined. This is where I wanted to be so many years ago! Although I could never have imagined myself back then; living a million miles away from home, from my security back in the UK. I came here not knowing anyone but this is now my second home. You never know what the future holds!

As far as where I will end up –  my purpose for being here in this world is to be a mum and a wife! Never judge a book by its cover hey!? Honestly, that is all I’ve ever wanted. However, I need to “make it on my own” first before that time occurs. Feel like I have achieved something unique on my own; kinda like make my stamp on the world! I am a firm believer that but when the time is right the opportunity will present itself and it just hasn’t been the right time yet. When the time occurs over the next 5 or so years, I am prepared to drop everything that I have done so far; but, like I said, there are certain things I have to do before I get there and doing what I’m doing now is one of them. 🙂

I feel like I’ve really achieved a lot and met some amazing people who inspire me (Kat your one of them!) and had so many incredible experiences that if I look back on them they just give me warm fuzzies and bring the biggest smile to my face. However, I’ve really had some tough experiences as well that have made me grow up and made me realise I’m supposed to live in the real world. “Wake up and smell the roses” as my Dad used to say when I was young.

Kat: So with all that you do, how do you think others see you?

Rach: I would say they see me as very open and friendly, and a bit of a perfectionist. I’m very loyal to my friends. I like to invest my time in people who appreciate it; I don’t like time wasters and I don’t like bullshitters energy-vampires; so those who I’m close to I’m very close to.

Kat: Fair enough. My next question is one I know a lot of people will be curious about. What is your typical day of food/exercise?

Rach: Breakfast would be 3 eggs poached with yolk with veggies or a meat of some description and vegetables and a few nuts. I usually cook meat in small amount of coconut oil, butter or ghee. Meal 2 has a form of protein and a small handful nuts or nut butter. Lunch is pretty much the same; meat or fish and veg or salad. I eat lots of fish. An afternoon snack would exactly the same as lunch – fish and veg – I like lots of colour; I vary my veg every single meal and rotate meats every meal. Dinner if it’s a training day steak or red meat with vegetables. Unless I am dieting for a show, my daily meals vary so much it is hard to tell you what my “meal plan” is like. Throughout the day I’ll eat apples, pears, berries, usually 2 pieces of fruit. I love coffee! Long black with cream 2-3 times a day. Glass of red wine every night.

I also have dark chocolate once a week. I never ever plan cheat meals, if I’m feeling depleted it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is I’ll go and eat my cheat meal; would be something very filling but nutrient dense like an organic massaman thai lamb curry .. there is a fabulous restaurant in Sydney (Rach is originally from the UK and now lives in Sydney) that does that … I keep a gluten free diet so all my cheat meals tend to be like that, plus ice cream or chocolate macadamia nuts! SO GOOD!! Planning a cheat meal always leads to a binge for me, sometimes I will have one every 10 days to 14 days sometimes 2 in a week; it depends on how I feel, the volume of my training and overall energy levels. I listen to my body. I try to have the meal as late in the day as possible, doing it for breakfast would set me up mentally for a bad day.

Training: MMA as my primary sport, which trains every energy system and it’s tough training!! I get a lot of aerobic and anaerobic conditioning from that – Weights just the main lifts but it really depends on my training phase – I train heavy – max 5-6 reps as I don’t want to build size at the moment. Typically I lift 3 days a week, 3 is all I really need for MMA during this current training phase, all sessions are 50 minutes max after warm-up – Lifts include deadlifts, squats, overhead press, close grip bench press, chin ups etc … lots of unilateral training because I’m hyper mobile. I struggle to very lift heavy in a squat. On the bright side, I don’t have to spend much time doing flexibility work!

If I am preparing for a show (IFBB Bikini/Fitness Model) I spend more time in the weights room at 4 days a week, do more isolation work and tie in my diet.

I don’t do any the only long duration cardio (note: have you seen those abs? Told ya’ cardio isn’t the answer!). All I do is a run on Sunday morn for MAXIMUM of 40 minutes always outdoors and because I really really enjoy it. Probably as it is “quiet time” for me! I would never do it more than once a week. I actually like it better if it’s raining, I feel like that sounds cheesy but you feel alive when you do that and you have rain pouring down your face and it’s just a cruisy jog and it’s really nice. My general rule is that long distance cardio is not the key to getting lean! However, since we are in an obesity epidemic I would prefer to see people out jogging than on the couch. Resistance training and harder conditioning using strongman training for example is FAR superior in terms of body composition, longevity of training and overall health.

Kat: Wow … that’s quite a lot to live up to! So, tell me: what do you want more of in your life (assuming you have time?!)

Rach: I’d like to be able to have more downtime and be able to switch off my mind. I’ve got a monkey mind. I’d also like more time with my family back in the UK and I’d like to have some more really fun experiences – this year has been quite serious.

Kat: And what do you want less of?

Rach: Less red tape. Trying to register as a physio over here has been epic, so much paperwork, so many specific things done a specific way. Lets get real –  we’re dealing with human bodies here, nothing should be set in stone. I hate being told how I can practice! Everything is else is good. 🙂

Kat: What was the enough is enough moment for you?

Rach: Certainly this year trying to registration exams with the Australian Physio Council. The bullshit that I had to endure and re-revise everything I learned in Uni to do with neurological and cardio respiratory physio stuff ….I ended up pulling out with 3 exams left, it was just so much stuff I hated doing, it detracted from my business and my passion, I was having to do clinical placements and it was taking time out of my business. I was becoming more and more miserable, stopped sleeping, started putting on weight. I hated doing it and was becoming one of those people who would just moan all the time; that’s so not me, I love doing what I do and I’m generally very positive. I pulled the pin 3 clinical exams short of my registration and oh my God did it feel good .. people thought I was crazy after 18 months of solid work, but you know what it’s great because now I don’t have a governing body telling me what I can and can’t do …

Kat: Sounds like you definitely did the right thing. Now this next question is actually a positive question about letting go. What have you failed at?

Rach: In a previous relationship that I just had to walk away from despite the fact that I thought that he was the one; initially I felt like I’d failed but I had to walk away because my gut feeling told me to.

Kat: I think that’s really important knowing that you don’t have to follow through on things.

Rach: I do too … it was totally gut feeling to call it a day.

Kat: What’s something nobody knows about you?

Rach: Probably that I drop all my walls… and I cry during chick flicks … I don’t have a tough girl attitude all the time! I even have been known to cry during Neighbours! lol

Kat: Oh, funny 🙂 Final question: what is your number one success tip.

Rach: Live by your values and smile every day.

17 responses to “Incredible Woman Rachel Guy On The Mindset Of Fat Loss And Living The Dream”

  1. Meri says:

    A superduper post, again, thanks Kat for introducing yet another fabulous female! And thanks for Rachel being so honest and real. Loving it.

  2. Tanya says:

    Awesome post!!!
    So many excellent points to take away. I loved the part about looking for things we lose! And the cheat meals part too, I like that concept of not planning them.
    ” )
    PS -I cry during neighbours too!! (Glad to know I’m not the only one).

    • Kat says:

      Haha, I think there are probably a whole gang of women out there who cry during soaps!! I love the ‘listen to your body’ style on cheating as well 🙂

      • Rachel Guy says:

        lol – do you think i may have opened the flood gates to “chicks who cry during Home and Away or Neighbours?” I cant believe i actually admitted that! 😉

        Tanya, as far as planning cheat meals go, i think it is down to personally what works best for you. In my experience, planning cheat meals for myself has been disastrous! lol. The only time i will plan something like that is if i know i have a social event to attend. But lets get real here, our whole lives can’t be ruled around the number of cheat meals we can have a week unless you have a “specific” body composition goal to achieve. Being healthy, living and loving life is FAR more important in the big scheme of things.
        As women, our weight will fluctuate slightly (slightly being the key word!) during festive periods and also during the winter time. I think it is important for us to accept this but make sure that gain is no more than 3kg. As soon as the festive period is over, its time to nail down and get back to your “normal” weight.
        I am not encouraging yo-yo dieting or obsessive weighing, quite the opposite. Like Kat, i suggest making sensible food choices.
        But the fact is, it happens! We just need a plan to deal with “falling off the rails”.
        – Sorry, a little off topic from cheat meals! 🙂

      • Tanya says:

        You definitely have! We could almost start a support group : )

        Thanks for the extra thoughts on cheat days! I think I liked your concept because (up until speaking to Kat yesterday about cheat days) I had assumed that cheat days were there so that you didn’t go nuts from never allowing yourself a treat – i know personally that i would have a bit of a melt down if i thought i was never allowed to eat a piece of toast again (chocolate i could live without but toast never!). But Kat explained why our bodies actually NEED it and how you should be able to get to the point where you can feel/sense (don’t know if i used the right words there) that you need a cheat meal, so when you mentioned it in today’s blog it really stood out to me. I like the idea of listening to your body as opposed to dictating when it gets a treat meal.
        Thanks again.

      • Rachel Guy says:

        Tanya, your welcome. I also agree, i love toast with butter too!! However, its all about balance at the end of the day! 🙂

  3. Whoa, what an inspirational post! Interesting to hear about Rachel’s life 🙂 I’m glad to see a fellow paleo chick eating generous amounts of food! I’m even thinking… darn… I need to learn MMA if that’s the body you get 😉 Lifting heavy and eating paleo aren’t doing it for me right alone, but that’s another story. Body remembers stress for a far longer time than the mind does :/

    Anyhow, thanks for posting this, enjoyed it a lot 🙂 I know where I’ll visit & book a torture glute training session when I travel to Australia & New Zealand…

    • Rachel Guy says:

      Kaisa, good point! I never thought of that before – the body remembering stress far longer than the mind does!
      I feel a bit sluggish if i just lift weights and eat paleo, hence why i like Muay Thai and MMA. You have to be strong but also very fit. There is nothing better than a hard training session on the bags and lying on the mats after feeling sick! 😉
      Would love to see you for a session in Australia! 🙂

    • Kat says:

      Kaisa I love that line … so true 🙂

  4. Kelly says:

    Great read Kat and Rach. Went down good with my morning coffee 🙂

  5. Rachel Guy says:

    oh yeah!! group glute training sess!! 🙂 we could be onto something here Kat! Revolutionise “legs bums and tums!”