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."
View this post on Instagram
Transformation Tuesday! Swipe right to see more of my progress photos using the BBG program in the @sweat app!! I never would have thought in a million years that I would feel more confident in a swimsuit being a mom of two than I did in high school and college. It has been so empowering to set a goal, put HARD work, patience and consistency into it and see the rewards both mentally and physically. Being a mama is incredible, but so hard at the same time. Waking up each morning and pushing myself gave me something to kick start my day, connect with my other mama friends and has become my therapy session. Yesterday @katherineheigl shared her transformation photo after she discovered BBG through one of my posts (she looks incredible). It’s a real program that provides real results and I love connecting with other women who try it and end up loving it as much as I do. It really is life changing, more so mentally because it’s so empowering and made me feel in control of my body and mind and how far I could push myself in 28 minuets. 💕 #bbg #bbgtransformation #bbgprogress
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!"
View this post on Instagram
It’s been almost 14 months since Joshua Jr was born and it has taken me about that long to really get back in shape. The first pic was taken one month after he was born. The second pic was taken almost a full year later and the last pic was taken this weekend. 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! Anyway, I have a beach vacation coming up, a new job I start filming in April and my deep desire to feel fit, strong and sexy propelling me forward the last two months to finally loose the last of my baby weight and do a deep dive search for the ab muscles I knew were buried under that belly somewhere! I was wholly and totally inspired by Miss @rachparcell and the before and after pics she shared after taking the #bbg challenge. I had never heard of it but she looked so damn great (she had her baby just a few months before me) that I had to check it out. I found a fantastic app called #sweat that features several different #bbg programs you can choose from and makes it incredibly easy to do anywhere, which for me means in my bedroom at home! I won’t lie, the workouts are real ass kickers but the progress I’ve made in only 5 short weeks has kept me motivated and inspired to keep going! 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!
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!"