Firefighter spouse, mother, attorney, First In Family: Rachael Packard
There will be a point that you hit, where enough is enough, you are tired of how you look/feel/act. For me, it was four months after having a baby. For my Husband, it was four years of watching his best friend transform. Everyone has that point and when you hit it you owe it to yourself and to your family to do something about it.”
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I’m Thirty-something from Florida.
I’m a licensed attorney working as a Compliance Professional for a large Hospitality Company.
I’m married with 1 furless child who is 2 years old and 1 furry, four-legged child who is 9 years old.
Majority of my time is spent trying to manage some sort of Work/Life balance (12-hour workdays, 1 hr commute each way, spending time with my 2-year-old and connecting with my husband)
What brought you to the First In Family initially?
Tell us a little bit about your background and history with food.
I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food. I was a picky eater growing up, junk food and limited veggies.
The only thing that kept me remotely in shape was the fact that I was an athlete and ended up going to college on an athletic scholarship.
After college, I no longer maintained the same activity level and began to really struggle with weight – queue fad diets and fat burners. These worked in the short term, but I would always end up worse off than when I started.
What was the turning point in your life when you realized you needed to make a change?
Shortly thereafter, I became pregnant with my now 2-year old, but without the structure I had through Jonathan, I gained 70 lbs in my pregnancy.
After I gave birth, I realized I didn’t have a 70lb baby and I was still holding onto 45lbs of excess weight, I decided to go back to the only program that’s given me long term sustainability, which is First In.
What was the journey like and what changes did you make?
I was used to a complete lifestyle change as soon as I decided to take on a new diet. But that’s not how First In is.
I was able to show them my current food intake and how my body was responding to it. From there, they slowly implemented achievable goals from there.
Initially, I was not working out and I lost all my “baby weight” and got down to below my pre-pregnancy weight by following the nutritional goals alone. I’ve kept off the weight for 1 year now.
I am back to working out on a consistent basis, and even though my activity level isn’t the same as what it was in college, I’m the same weight as I was back then, and can even fit into my old college clothes.
How do you feel after making those changes?
So, when I was still wearing maternity clothes months after giving birth, I realized they were wrong, it would take a conscious effort to lose the weight. The excess weight was also causing hip and knee pain.
Though I still struggle with body image, especially post-baby, I am so thankful to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight.
Every once and a while, I look around and realize that I don’t look too shabby for a thirty-something-year-old mom. Plus, my hips and knees don’t hurt like they did while I was carrying the extra weight.
What did your friends/family think of your transformation?
We tend to get questions from our family about the program, but nothing negative.
Were you active or did you workout during your journey?
It’s funny how losing weight makes you want to be more active.
What does being First In mean to you?
Everyone in First In is looking to be a better version of their selves.
We’re looking to improve and are able to do it in our unique ways through structure.
What was the biggest challenge or change when you started with First In and how did you overcome it?
The temptation is always there to just go back to not tracking. It seems so freeing when I think about it. But I’ve already been there, done that (TWICE) and I always regret it.
What’s next for you and where do you see this journey taking you in the future?
What are your top 5 "secrets" for success?
2- Don’t be your own enemy. Don’t succumb to the different rationalizations you’ll make to stray off plan (“it’s just one cookie, one “cheat meal”, “one day of not tracking”).
3- It’s ok to get frustrated. Progress will not happen overnight. There may be some setbacks, but as long as you stick with it, you’ll continue to get better and better.
4- Communicate. Communicate with your family, friends, whoever, about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and what you need from them in this journey.
A lot of times, what we perceive as negativity is just others not understanding.
5- Surround yourself with support. If people don’t support you after communicating (tip no. 4), then re-evaluate your circle.
any advice for someone thinking about getting started?
For me, it was four months after having a baby.
For my Husband, it was four years of watching his best friend transform.
Everyone has that point and when you hit it you owe it to yourself and to your family to do something about it.
READY TO PUT YOURSELF First?
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Testimonials were given freely and service members did not receive any preferential treatment, discount, or other benefit due to the nature of their service, rank, or position and in no way are the views or beliefs of any branch of the armed forces or uniformed services.