Alpha Female Friday – Rachel Fackoury

Every Friday I am going to feature a woman that I adore. They exude all the qualities of an Alpha Female and I want to dig into their lives to get some nuggets of knowledge to help us all live happier, healthier lives balancing life & work. For other episodes go here!

Definition of an Alpha Female

An Alpha Female is a powerful and assertive woman. Her confidence is due to being an intelligent and intellectual problem-solver. Being an Alpha Female is a State of Mind based on choosing ambition and being proud of it. She strives for a happy and healthy work/life harmony.

She is the brightest star in her constellation.  When an Alpha Female stays true to their authentic selves and their missions they shine.  An Alpha Female puts herself first because she deserves self-care and love. She knows that work/life harmony is found by staying true to your priorities and what makes you happy. She is never complacent about striving for better and nurtures relationships with all the people in her life.

Meet Rachel Fackoury!

Rachel Fackoury

Rachel Fackoury is a vibrant and energetic trainer, whose vision is to lead women on a path of self-discovery through fitness. Her passion for personal fitness, health and wellness is rooted in a love of field hockey, which ultimately led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology.

In the past five years, Rachel has pursued her passions by teaching group fitness classes, and serving as a personal fitness instructor in local communities throughout Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo.

From a young age, Rachel was involved in a variety of sports. Dance, gymnastics, cross country and track, soccer, volleyball and field hockey – you name it, she played it. When it came time to select a field of study, kinesiology was an obvious choice.  Originally having her sights set on becoming a dentist, fitness instructing and personal training began only as a summer job.

As Rachel developed and grew her own fitness classes, she quickly realized that she not only saw remarkable improvements in people’s physical strength, but their mental health and well-being too! Having a career that allowed her to be involved in igniting positive change in another person’s life is something she never knew could have existed. From then on, Rachel has been devoted to helping people lead their best lives and become their best self.

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What do you think of the definition and how are you an Alpha Female?

It is SO me! Haha. I think I am an Alpha Female because I wake up each and every day and only strive to be my best self. I have always loved being a leader – hence why I chose the path of working for myself and running my own fitness and wellness business. I do have to laugh when you say powerful and assertive though – I LOVE this part. It reminds me of my dating thus far as a 25 year old. The amount of times I have been told to bring it down or that I am intimidating is far too high. But I pride myself on this part of your Alpha Female definition. I know what I want and what I deserve whether it be in my career or in the relationships and friendships I have with others. I think it is an amazing quality – to never settle for less than you deserve.

What does work/life harmony look like for you?

I think it still looks like chaos in my life! However, it is the way the chaos is managed that makes it all run in harmony. Especially being in the fitness industry, you can have days that seem like you are all over the place but it always comes together. Like most people though, I am definitely still a work in progress. I do a whole lot of working and not always a whole lot of lifing! My goal for the month of October is to actually focus on that. I want to continue to nurture and care for the special relationships I have with my family and friends this month. But a new approach I am taking, one that I was reading about online, is focusing on work-life rhythm instead. Striving for balance can stress us out and make us work failingly towards unrealistic expectations. Instead I am constantly reminding myself that not all things have to be operating at 100% every day and week and they won’t. Sometimes work gets the focus, which is where I am at a lot of the time right now, but on other days it can be about self care, spending time with friends and family, or whatever else I have got going on. Working for rhythm and harmony over balance!

Share with us a time when you believed in work/life balance and it felt out of whack? What was your aha moment that taught you it was ok to take care of yourself first?

There isn’t a specific time because it used to happen more often than I would like to admit but I used to strive for perfection. It only caused me extreme anxiety and zero progress in what it was I was actually trying to achieve. When I wasn’t moving forward in anything and only getting delayed with this barrier of perfection I knew I had to change my standards. It wasn’t that I was giving in or decided not to try but it was more of a mindset shift that not all of it can be operating fully at all times and there has to be some give and take to give your best effort.

What are you most passionate about?

Helping women to discover the potential they have within themselves to be whoever they want to be and feel their best self. My brand Discover You, has the tag line “leading women on a path of self discovery through fitness” which speaks volumes to the life I try to live personally. Movement was the place that I went to when I needed to reset my brain and body and I hope to teach others the same. That movement can allow you to conquer anything with a clear mind and that it is a powerful tool for physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being. I am also passionate of teaching women how all facets of life intermingle and that it is important to take a holistic approach to life – fitness, nutrition, stress, sleep, etc. When I see women not only walk into class with more confidence but into life with their chest proud, I know that I have been able to play a small part in showing them how to discover that for themselves and I couldn’t be happier about it.

How do you nourish yourself?

Every day is different. As a fitness coach I am constantly asked what I eat and it always surprises people that I am not a vegan, paleo, gluten-free, no junk food eating girl. I always remind people to find what works for them. If it is an approach I mentioned above great, but if not we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it. All of our bodies respond differently and need to be nourished for our needs. I eat anything – mostly a home-cooked and whole foods approach but if I am feeling like pizza or a poutine I don’t deny it. Food is more than just fuel for our bodies – it can serve as food for our soul.

What is your weekly fitness routine like?

My class schedule is a little nuts as I teach between 15-20 classes a week. Although not all require full out effort on my end it is still a challenge physically and mentally. My personal fitness routine has taken a turn over the last two years as I deal with an injury but I am excited to say that I am finally have the confidence in my body and healing process to reset my body now. I schedule 2-3 times a week of my own movement time. It usually consists of combination strength training and Pilates.

What are your daily habits for reducing stress?

As mentioned before, I struggled with severe anxiety as a young child and teen. Once attended university I slowly began to find what works for me. Breathing has been key for me! Deep breathing helps me to clear my mind and tackle my problems or worries with a clear head instead of a chaotic mind only worrying about what could go wrong. Movement is medicine for me! I learned through my career that exercise helped me manage my personal struggles with stress and anxiety and I love sharing that message with others. I have also in the past few years gone to sensory deprivation tanks and love that to help rest my body and brain at the same time!

NEW QUESTION FOR 2018: What piece of advice would you tell your 20-year-old emerging Alpha Female self?

I only recently turned 25 a few weeks ago but somehow I have learned so much about my wants and needs since being 20! Never settle for anything less than you deserve. I have been in relationships or jobs where I wasn’t feeling 100% valued or celebrated. Since finishing university and entering full time into the working world I have realized that it is a nonnegotiable and I cannot sacrifice it for anything. Whether it be a relationship, a friendship, or a work relationship, I know what I deserve and will let you know when I am not feeling I am getting it. My circle of friends has gotten a little smaller over the years but I know that each person I cross paths with respects and supports me in all the ways I need them to.

What are some pain points of being an Alpha Female that you have to problem solve for?

As mentioned earlier, the assertiveness and powerful woman statement has posed to be challenging. Some women have read it the wrong way, seeing me as a threat and less of a collaborator and men have felt threatened and less than. However, as I just mentioned I now choose not to settle for that. I simply eliminate or reduce those interactions. On the self care side of things, because I am ambitious, I have a tendency to want to do it all and have to learn to get better at saying no when I know my body and mind would benefit from self care instead of burnout.

What is your definition of happiness?

Being able to see the bright side or the learning moment in every situation. Not everything that happens to us will be positive or without hurt but it is how we choose to interpret those situations that makes us happy, strong people, and better able to enjoy the positive, amazing, happy moments.

Favourite Quote: “I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself”. – Emma Stone

I love this quote because I think it captures me well. I have always been one to stand up for myself, my beliefs, and opinions, even when it most often wasn’t the popular choice. Reconnecting with people who I knew growing up, I realize this is something that they always bring up with me. I feel confident in myself to not fear what others will think. If people mind, they probably aren’t in my corner, and those who support me usually don’t mind.

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