Being a wife and a mom is already a challenge, but Rachel Harvey pushes these boundaries like no other. Harvey is a runner, a coach and a clean-eater, but her story still doesn’t stop there. Harvey isn’t just a mom of one or even two children, she’s a mom of three kids: two boys and one girl. And the girl is a little bit different than the rest.
Her youngest child and only daughter, Mia, adds extra “flavor” to the family. Harvey and her husband adopted Mia a year and a half ago from China.
Harvey’s story starts in 2011 after the birth of her second child. Harvey said she has never been “fat” and she was never the “skinny girl,” but she hasn’t always loved her body. After baby number two, she wanted to get rid of the stubborn “baby-weight.” But come the summer of 2012, she lost her best friend, her dad, to stage four pancreatic cancer. At that point, Harvey had lost both of her parents before the age of 30.
In trying to lose the baby weight, she ran three miles, three times a week, with little results. After losing her father, she stepped up her game. In May of 2013, Harvey ran her first half-marathon and the rest is history.
“It’s been almost five years since my first half-marathon, so I’ve been steadily running for about five years,” Harvey said.
Harvey said she began running to “beat her genetics.”
“I ran for my health. I ran to combat my genetics. I ran to set an example for my children,” Harvey said.
After a four-month trial of ridding unhealthy food from her house along with her continuous running, Harvey lost over 30 pounds. At this point, Harvey discovered a regimen that was right for her, and the Beachbody company matched “perfectly.”
In 2015, she joined the Beachbody team as a coach. Her team is “Hope Nation,” in spirit of what her running and her life means to her.
As a Beachbody coach, Harvey helps people find a workout pace and meal plan that works for their health and fitness goals, as well as their day-to-day life. Harvey said her specialty is “busy moms.” After all, Harvey began her own at home healthy lifestyle so she could be healthy, and stay home with her children.
To start, Harvey sits down with clients, one-on-one, to talk about what their goals are and what their daily life is like. She then finds or even creates a plan that will work for them.
“I help people find what works, keep them motivated to keep making it work and cheer them on,” Harvey said.
As a Beachbody coach, Harvey gets to do challenge groups.
“A challenge group is a place where people come together to cheer each other and work to meet their health and fitness goals together,” Harvey said.
These challenge groups are done by users buying a challenge package from Harvey that helps in meal prep and workouts that can be done at home. Harvey and other challengers push each along through the four to five weeks of keeping on a healthy lifestyle track. Challenge groups are done through an exclusive app.
Even when Mia’s adoption began, Harvey didn’t stop her workouts. She found a way to continue working out and running between travels to China. She also used Shakeology to keep her nutrients in check.
Harvey said Shakeology is a “nutrient-dense meal replacement” drink, but it differs from typical protein shakes. On top of eating healthy, Harvey claims Shakeology is what keeps her body full of the right nutrients.
Since she was 12 years old, Harvey always dreamed of adopting. In May 2016, that dream came true. Harvey and her husband brought home a bubbly, Chinese girl they named Mia, meaning “wished-for child.”
Mia was a toddler at the time of adoption, so there was a language barrier. Harvey said love and persistence broke that.
“She [Mia] affected our life before she even came into it,” Harvey said. “We loved her before we knew her. It’s hard to explain, but it’s pretty cool.”
During the journey of adoption, the Harvey’s became sponsors for a group called “Show Hope.” The organization focuses on faith in God in adoption, and they are working towards finding homes for every child all over the world.
In the beginning of their adoption journey, the Harvey’s struggled with being able to adopt. Show Hope is an agency that gives grants to families who want to adopt, just like the Harvey’s. That was the first foot in the door for Harvey and her growing family.
Since adopting Mia, Harvey hasn’t stopped running. She said God is the one who gives her the strength to lead such busy life.
Harvey’s story is an abundance of ups and downs and many, many miles, but it’s unique. For many hopeful parents, it’s hard to get into the adoption progress. For people trying to change their health for the better, it’s difficult to exercise daily and eat healthy. For most, it’s even tougher to do both. Harvey attributes all her strength and capabilities to God.
In one word, Harvey said she describes her life as “crazy,” but she wouldn’t want it any other way.
For more information about Rachel Harvey, Beachbody and Show Hope, visit her blog rachelharvey.org.
Buffy Six can be contacted at s[email protected]marshall.edu.