Super Single Mom Squadie of the Month!
When Richelle joined the squad back in May, she was not in the greatest place. Like most, her life plans had to be changed and modified because of the pandemic and on top of that, had just lost her father AND still had the responsibilities of being a single mom. Her body, eating, and exercise habits were definitely not a priority at this time and the feelings of lethargy, disappointment, and unconfidence were becoming the norm. Needless to say, Richelle had a decision to make: Either she continues down her current path, feeling BAD, every day without an end in sight OR she decides to make a change.
From the outside looking in, making a change seems like the best decision to make, right?! The truth is, change can be scary, especially when you are ALREADY in a bad place. What can happen? Will things get better? Or will this change make things worse?
Richelle was courageous enough to decide that she NEEDED this change in her life, and as someone who had been following @leansquad on instagram for a while, she had decided to put her trust in Phil, and put all the motivation she had left into the 30-Day Lean Challenge.
6 months later, Richelle is feeling leanmazing, both physically and mentally. Of course, these changes did not happen overnight. The changes were small at first, but she kept at it, using Phil’s encouragement and slack group messages from other squadies on the challenge to keep pushing her. She thought of her son, how she wanted to be the best version of herself for HIM.
Next thing she knew, this single mom was not only feeling her best, but using her experience and challenges along the way to motivate others along their lean journeys.
We want to thank Richelle for being such an amazing advocate for LEANSQUAD and being the perfect example that you can really do anything you put your mind to.
She overcame SO MUCH in such a short time, and we are SO SO proud of everything she has accomplished thus far. We know she will continue to crush through the challenges, grow, and ALWAYS strive to be the best version of herself.
Learn more about her and her journey:
Q1-4: NAME, AGE, HOMETOWN & OCCUPATION:
Names: Richelle Herman
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Full-time student double majoring in Honors in English and Gender and Women’s Studies / part-time Supplemental Instruction Leader for Freshman composition / FULL-TIME single mom to the most amazing squaddie in training (and my biggest fan).
Q5: WHEN DID YOU JOIN LEANSQUAD?
I joined LeanSquad in May of 2020.
I was in such a horrible place when I joined. The pandemic had postponed my dreams of applying to grad school programs and I was stuck in the hopelessness of it all. My father passed in April and I was devastated. I have always struggled with extremely restrictive eating patterns followed with binges. This binging stage had been going on for two months straight when I joined (I had ballooned up 21 lbs. in three months). I was so lethargic, apathetic, disappointed in myself, ashamed of my body, and not the mother I wanted to be for my son. My unhealthy thought patterns and eating habits were affecting every aspect of my life. I was hardly getting any sleep and so unenthused with my studies.
I knew I needed to make a change because I couldn’t keep going on like I was but I had absolutely no motivation or desire to take those first steps. I would start the day with good intentions and by the end of the day I would end my night by finishing half a box of Oreos and bags of chips. Every day this pattern continued and it left me further discouraged and disappointed in myself. Years of restrictive disordered eating coupled with uncontrollable binges had left me feeling as if I would never be able to eat like a normal person. I had lost all respect for my body. I had been following LeanSqad on Instagram for over a year at that point, and for whatever reason, call it coincidence or the right timing, I happened to watch one of LeanSquad’s stories highlighting an upcoming challenge. I took the plunge.
Fast forward 6 months later and I am a changed woman. The changes were slow and small at first but Phil is so encouraging. He kept reminding me that those were the changes I needed to celebrate. I knew I needed help with my eating so I ordered a custom meal plan. I stuck to the workouts and the meal program with blind trust. His philosophy of healthy living and leading a leanlife was completely new to me. I slowly learned to trust the process and ditched the scale those first few months. Never before had I seen such change in my mental state from a fitness program. I wouldn’t call LeanSquad a fitness program anymore, it is so much more than that! I became more confident and energized. I was sleeping better and feeling more positive about life.
My relationship with food and my body is much more harmonious now than it has ever been. Phil’s concept of “whoopsies” has been transformational. I can enjoy food and feel no guilt or shame because I know tomorrow will keep me right on track. Yes, I have witnessed such amazing physical changes with my body but that is not the real treasure. I enjoy eating with my family now, I am not bound by macros or calories. I can eat intuitively and trust that my process will continue. I was able to swim with my son at the beach over the summer and not once did I feel ashamed of my body because I was putting in the work every day to be healthy and feel leanmazing. It didn’t matter what shape my body was because I had made such a practice of working out for the simple goal of improving my overall health; somewhere along the line my focus had shifted from how my body looked to how my body felt. My son witnesses my commitment to health every day. He watches me workout and love my body. He has begun referring to me as being “stronger than the Hulk” and proudly announces this to complete strangers.
It means so much to me to be able to lead by example for my son. He is no longer witnessing my unhealthy obsessive relationship with food, compulsively counting my macros and calories. He has a happier mother. A mother who is positive and smiles more easily. My body has morphed into one I have never seen before, which motivates me more to continue making healthy sustainable choices for myself and my family. Phil is so positive and encourages a healthy balance in life and the LeanSquad community is so supportive!
Q6: WHAT PHASE ARE YOU CURRENTLY ON?
5 challenges. Four 30-day challenges and one 6-week challenge. I am currently in my 6th challenge!
Q7: WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS AS A PART OF LEANSQUAD:
Learning to genuinely love my body and repairing my relationship with food.
Q8: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE LEAN MEAL?
Phil’s cauliflower leanza (pizza) recipe
Q9: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE WHOOPSIE?
A cheeseburger, some fried zucchini and a boatload of ranch!
Q10: AS THE SQUADIE OF THE MONTH, WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER 1 LEANSQUAD TIP TO SHARE?
Phil taught me this: Don’t wait for motivation. Every day is going to look different but actions are what counts. Your best effort for that day (whatever it looks like) is enough because “one rep is better than none”.
Q11: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE STARTING THEIR LEAN JOURNEY
Don’t be hard on yourself and ditch the scale! Trust the process and remember that small victories are the most important of all. If you feel like you can’t do it remember that even the tiniest of actions can add up to the biggest changes. Not every day needs to be a stellar performance. Some days I am exhausted from studying all night and “momming” all day. Some days my best looks like a flailing octopus stumbling through my workout and that is 100% okay! I always feel more levelheaded and confident after I work out and I look forward to that now! Just make the commitment to get yourself to the mat and the rest will come. Learn to laugh and smile because your best effort is what counts. If I can find hope and joy through the process so can you! Our bodies are amazing, and we only have one body to live in so treat it right and give yourself the chance to make some really great choices. I promise you won’t regret it. On the days you feel like you can’t do it, turn to the squaddie channel and remember you are on this journey with hundreds of other squaddies. They will lift you up when you feel like you can’t do it on your own.
Q12: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE LEAN RESTAURANT TO EAT OUT AT?
Chipotle is one of my favorite places to grab a quick and easy meal from. I can customize what kind of nutrition I want for that meal.
Q13: IF YOU HAVE ONE, PLEASE SUBMIT A LEANSQUAD APPROVED RECIPE!
If I am craving something, I just google healthy recipes! Phil’s meals are a great go-to for someone like me who is just now learning how to cook!
LEARN MORE ABOUT RICHELLE AND HER JOURNEY VIA YOUTUBE!