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I’m a mom. And this is what I strive for:

Writing this blog has been a bit of a challenge—and not for the lack of content—but because of the abundance of information that Jason and I want to share.  We feel that though we both went through this together, we do have some different views and tips.  We both have really been trying to hold back on our information—and to space out what we have to share.  But this one just can’t wait.

Again, if you watched our show, you met our two wonderful children, Sam and Sabrina.  But you didn’t get to see as much of them as we liked.  And it bummed us out kind of, because they are just simply awesome kids.  Sabrina is full of questions and curiosity.  She is ALWAYS listening.  Sam has a sweet soul and THE. BEST. LAUGH. that you may ever hear.  They are both full of spirit and happiness.  And I’m not just saying this because they are our kids.

Okay maybe I am.  But I’m their mom and that is what moms do.

And long before Chris Powell ever came into our lives, Jason and I had decided long ago we did not want to pass on our “unhealthy” behaviors.  We decided, pretty much from birth on that we didn’t want Sam and Sabrina to ever really love food in an unhealthy way.  Part of that was to lead by example.  Part of that was to provide them with better choices than we sometimes chose.  Really, I feel, it came down to balance.

You see, for a long time, I strived for perfection.  I wanted my diet and exercise to be perfect.  I never wanted to sway from my plan.  It was all or nothing.

And that kind of thinking, led me to 290 pounds.  Not just that—there is more where that came from, but a lot of it.  I didn’t want my kids to ever think they had to be perfect.  Life isn’t about being perfect.  Perfect is not realistic, it’s just not.  So instead, I strived for BALANCE.

It really started with my children long before I practiced it myself.  Jason and I wanted them to eat healthy and to have a wide variety of food choices.  But we also knew that we couldn’t always control their environment if they weren’t with us.  So, we simply gave them the best choices that we knew how.  And we hoped that because of those healthy choices and options they would learn to make the better choices.  Balance, not perfection.

For example, something that was missed that the TV camera’s filmed was “The Healthy Game”.  The Healthy Game is a quick game played in the car or when making dinner…really, wherever.  I would simply ask, “Apple.  Healthy or unhealthy?”  And Sam and Sabrina would answer accordingly and it opened up a discussion about different kinds of foods.  With some foods it really is more than just a simple yes or no so it was fun to sometimes take apart the food and see what we could come up with.  Eventually they would start the game off and play with each other or with Jason and me.

Today, Sabrina eats a huge variety of food and favors almost any kind of fruit.  She could demolish a cantaloupe in one sitting.  But you know what?  She also loves ice cream and has it, on occasion.  Not every day or night, but on occasion, when we stop and get ice cream as a family.  BALANCE, not perfection.

Sam, my son who I raised in the exact same fashion, cannot stand cantaloupe and prefers no skin on his apples.  His palette has been a little tougher, even with all of our hard work.  But he also enjoys asparagus with sea salt and loves grilled chicken and shrimp.  If you were to offer him soda (okay, I really say pop here in Michigan) of any kind he would turn you down flat.  But he loves birthday cake.  And you know what?  He has it, on occasion.  BALANCE, not perfection.

I have so much more to share about being a mom and raising children in this crazy busy world where convenient foods ARE easier for our busy lifestyle, but not always necessary.  There are quick and healthy recipes for a TON of things out there.  The same goes for snack ideas.  I went through this year trying to find time to take care of our children and our house, exercise, do laundry, take the kids to their activities, attend family parties and functions, and just LIVE life, all the while things were crazy and busy.  Many times I didn’t think I could do it.

But I did and I want to share how.  To inspire others.  To motivate.

And if you are a mom, trust me when I say that I get it.  I know you are tired and busy and life is overwhelming and hard.  But you can do it.  Really.

BALANCE.

Stay tuned.

 

waffle

(homemade whole wheat waffles–recipe to come soon)

Drumroll Please!

Jason and I both feel that this past year was stressful and rewarding, all at the same time.  But when our year actually finished we knew that part of our journey was only just beginning.  We took a lot of “risks” in that year.  The risk of writing Chris a letter, the risk of us not getting picked, then the risk of actually doing the show, the risk of getting surgery and the list goes on.  Part of the lesson that we learned is that some risks truly do pay off.  Sometimes you have to be a little scared at first and it can turn into the most successful thing.  It’s partly because of this last year that finally decided to pursue something that we had wanted to for quite some time.  Today this doesn’t necessarily have to do with “weight loss”, but stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something new.   Something we want to share with all of our readers!

We are excited to announce that we are bringing something “new” to South Eastern Michigan that will help benefit moms and families with their shopping experience.

Many of you may know that Jason and I lived in Northwest Arkansas for a period of time for Jason’s work.  When Sam and Sabrina were born in 2007, I left my full time job as a special education teacher to stay home full time with our children.  Because of this, I was always looking for a great deal on children’s clothing.  Yes, I liked to dress the kids cute, but I also had to stay within a budget.

While living in NW Arkansas, I had the opportunity to participate in several Rhea Lana’s sales , an upscale children’s consignment event business.  I LOVED IT and I had never participated in anything but a Mom-To-Mom sale before.  I thought it was SO much better!  Instead of having to run my booth at a Mom-To-Mom sale and haggle with people over prices, I was simply able to drop off my items and return when the sale ended.  To me, it was a much better experience.  I was able to price my items the way I wanted and I was able to freely shop other items.  At the end of the sale, I just picked up my check and left over items—and I usually didn’t have much left!

When we returned home to Michigan, I kept thinking what a shame it was that we didn’t have a sale like that here.  You can find so many awesome items at Rhea Lana’s sales—and not just clothing.  There are children’s books, games, and toys.  Infant items such as bedding, cribs, high chairs, and pack n’ plays.  Maternity items are available as well!  I was bummed that we didn’t have one here.  Jason and I kept talking about the possibility of opening a franchise here, but then, as you all know, the last year has been beyond hectic with us transforming our lives on Extreme Weight Loss.

Now that our year journey is complete, we are looking toward the future with new health and new goals.  Jason and I both want to help others with their weight loss journey, while still continuing to work on our own.  But I am also passionate about being a mom and helping other moms–this opportunity was a perfect fit!!!  And so, this October, Jason and I are bringing the first ever Rhea Lana’s event here to Michigan!  We will have our dates and location available soon, plus a FAQ to help you moms through your first sale.

This is something I truly believe in.  Raising children is expensive enough and I feel like Rhea Lana’s allows an opportunity for moms to help other moms.  There are even volunteer opportunities available so that you can shop even earlier.  I will share more information about the company and sale, but until then you can read all about Rhea Lana’s at their website:  www.rhealana.com.

Please, stay tuned to our blog and Facebook pages, we will have a link to our own personal Rhea Lana’s website very soon.  And moms, starting cleaning out your closets!

Some of you (like me, in the beginning) have no idea what a children’s consignment sale is.  Here are some FAQ’s to hopefully clear up some questions:

What is a children’s consignment sale? 

An event held bi-annually that allows moms to both sell and purchase HIGH QUALITY children’s clothing on consignment.  Specifically, Rhea Lana’s (the name of our sale) gives consignors a very generous 70% of the sale price (which they choose).  We also GUARANTEE no lost items!  Consignors checks and reports are available on the Pick Up Day after the sale.

Isn’t this the same as a Mom-to-Mom sale?

Here in Michigan, Mom-to-Mom sales are very popular—as they should be—moms are looking for great deals on clothing and children’s items.  But, at most Mom-to-Mom sales you not only have to price and display your items, but run the sale yourself AND haggle with shoppers over prices. At our Rhea Lana’s event you can price and prep your items and simply DROP OFF your items before the sale.  You may then shop our sale or just relax and wait for your items to sell.  After the sale is finished, you can pick up your check and any left over items!  It’s that easy!

Why is this better than a consignment store?

Most consignment stores give 50-50%, while Rhea Lana’s will give you 70% (of the price you select).  Also, you are essentially buying and selling directly from other mothers and families that understand the need to find QUALITY clothing at a reasonable price.

Do you only carry children’s clothing?

No, not at all!  At our event we carry high quality toys, children’s books, and video games.  We also carry children’s furniture, nursery furniture and bedding, maternity clothing, infant equipment (such as car seats, high chairs, strollers, pack n’ plays, etc.)  If you are wondering about a certain item, please ask!

How often is the sale?

The sale is held bi-annually, once in the fall and once in the spring.

Coming soon: from Rachel

Whew.

You know what that is?  A sigh of relief, from me.

This year, without a doubt, has been one of the most difficult years of both mine and Jason’s life.  Yes, it ended on a high note.  Yes, we got our lives and health back.  And yes, I would even do it all over again—though I might change some things. ;)

But I am still glad it is over.

There is a reason that people can only do a program like this for so long.  It IS extreme.  It IS supposed to produce rapid results.  But it IS super stressful.

So, having said all that, there is much I want to share with our readers.  I couldn’t contain everything in this one blog post even if wanted to.  There is simply too much to say.

But I hope you have stumbled upon this blog and will come back more to read more entries.  Some topics that you can expect from me (Rachel) are:

  • Diet
  • Fitness
  • Motivation, what happens when you lose it, and how to get it back
  • Tips for cravings
  • What the show did not tell you—oh trust me, there is A LOT
  • Our plans for the future and “real life”
  • The aftermath of “the show”
  • Reasons for doing this that the show did not share
  • Emotional eating
  • How we survived the year with family functions, holidays, fun outings, etc. without turning to food
  • Why YOU can do this if you are struggling
  • Finding the BALANCE with your life and family, especially if you have children

I hope you stay tuned!  I have much to share! :)