Over the past year, fashion blogger and mama Rachel Parcell has been chronicling her post-baby body journey on her popular Instagram page after welcoming her second child in 2016. However, even the Utah native was surprised when Grey's Anatomy actress Katherine Heigl credited her and the Bikini Body Guide (BBG) program she follows as the inspiration for her own weight-loss transformation.
"When I saw Katherine's post I was floored and SO excited for several reasons," Rachel told Life & Style exclusively. "First, her transformation is so inspiring. It is not easy to put on a swimsuit after you have a baby, for mental and physical reasons. The program that Katherine and I both followed offers real results and Katherine achieved just that! I was so happy to hear that she discovered the program through me, sharing my story and transformation photos on my Instagram."
She went on to explain how she had no idea Katherine, who she has been a fan of since her teen years, even knew her name, let alone followed her on social media. (Seeing as Rachel has nearly one million followers on the social media platform, so we forgive her for the oversight).
"If my seventeen-year-old-self knew that the woman I planned my night around just to watch the storyline she played SO well, would one day know who I am... I would have NEVER believed it," she added. "I've seen all her movies and television series and I still can't believe she has followed my blog and Instagram. She actually lives in Utah as well and we are both working moms so it has been a fun connection to make since we are in a similar stage of life and have a lot in common (fitness included)."
Last month, Katherine showed off her impressive post-baby body before her big return to the small screen on Suits. "The first pic was taken one month after [son Joshua Jr.] was born. The second pic was taken almost a full year later and the last pic was taken this weekend," the actress captioned a split of her progress. "I wish I had a few from in between the first and second so you could really see how slow my progress was but alas…I was busy covering it all up those months, not posing in my unders!"
She continued, "I am so grateful I’ve had a full year to find those ab muscles and get my butt back up where it belongs and wasn’t forced by work to snap back into shape, but it is time to make the strength, fitness and overall health of my body a priority and I am so grateful that @rachparcell shared her story and got this mama motivated!" So cool!
As to the BBG workout program Rachel and Katherine followed, Rachel shared some tips new moms, or those just wanting to get in shape, can benefit from. "Establish a set time you workout each morning, find a group of moms to workout with each morning and hold you accountable, and start a program," she explained to Life & Style. "Programs are designed for results. If I'm going to wake up early to workout, I want it to be worth my while and the BBG program was definitely worth it. I didn't know the first thing about fitness when I started and I didn't need to because there was a program telling me exactly what to do."
And don't forget about your nutrition. "I tried a low carb, high-fat diet at first and I couldn't sustain it. Then I started a high carb, low-fat diet. I had no idea I could choose a turkey sandwich over a salad and still be able to lose the baby weight!," she said. "I wouldn't even call it a diet, it was a lifestyle change that is completely sustainable because I nourish the body with all the nutrients it needs. I used Fitness Carli's meal plan initially to learn how to nourish my body. I'm in the best shape of my life after having two babies back to back!"