I think by now most of you that either have met me or read my articles know that, as much as I aspire to be Wonder Woman (and really, I’m pretty sure I am her some days), I am sadly enough just a mere human….and a perfectly imperfect one at that.

I know sometimes people view personal trainers as these “super strict, super healthy walk the walk 100% of the time, Gurus”, I know I have at times in the past, looked up to my own trainer, Taylor Selig in that manner.

If you know me, you know nothing is further from the truth. I strive daily and reset my mind daily to work towards owning the balance beam but often end up on the bar instead twirling around up and then down and then up again and almost slipping off at times. I’m no different than anyone else in that. I’m also not special in that. Finding that middle ground within what you want is a hard road to start at times, but it DOES get easier to follow with repeated consistency.

But even then sometimes, after walking down that road so long that it becomes habit and you don’t stop to even question, you still take that side glance every now and then at the wrong time and act on impulse without thinking.

I want to share something I did the other day that was just that. For several reasons:

  1. I’m human
  2. I get hangry too (and haven’t planned the way I should and get caught off)
  3. “Healthy” isn’t necessarily HEALTHY
  4. WTF is a “Survival Snack Pack” for what?!
  5. As much as I say “here’s what to do, it’s easy” I don’t always follow through on my own advice (My advice however, is always correct, haha)
  6. A small package isn’t necessarily a “small package” ……or 1 serving
  7. Bottom line, the importance of reading labels- and if you don’t know how or what you are looking for in a label, find me, I will gladly walk you through it.


Anyway back to where I was going with this.  I had just finished teaching my 9 am Box-core class and had just enough time to run to the store to grab some items I needed for later that day AND I was starving!

I told myself repeatedly before, during and after walking in “Rachel, wait ‘til you get back and grab a protein shake, it’s only 10 more minutes”.

I grabbed what I needed and happened to walk by the packages by the produce of dried fruits, nuts, trail mixes, yogurt covered dried fruits etc… now for me personally; I usually walk right past that stuff without a thought, glance or longing. I do quite a bit of nutritional studying and that part of health and fitness is my passion.  There are much better options than those. I will talk about that later.

When I have clients that come to me and say hey, I eat healthy and then they list of that they eat several handfuls of trail mix a day for snacks on the go or in between or to get their “protein, I sit down and break it down with them on exactly how “healthy” that really isn’t. Each ingredient in it, in and of itself might be healthy or a great snack, but that mixture of fats and fast acting, high sugar carbs and the caloric content when paired and over several “handfuls” a day? Let’s just say WOW, it’s an eye opener sometimes.

So, I was walking past and glanced over and at that moment, just grabbed and didn’t even think twice about what I was grabbing, if there was a better option, if I was starving or merely craving or what my needs were macronutrient wise, at that time as I was headed back to teach another class. I just grabbed and ran towards that checkout before I could think about it.

I got to my car and thought: 1. this bag is quite small and half empty (I love how they package air). 2. I will just have a little “handful” now to tide me over and save the rest for a day I need a pick me up.

I looked at the package and it had some golden raisins, cashews, pistachios, craisins and almonds, I thought in my head  “even if I eat more than just a small handful, the package isn’t big and probably around 400 calories”…not too bad for a snack turned meal replacement, other than the fact that there was little to no protein, I really didn’t think it’d be that bad. I calculate macros all the time and I could eyeball and have a ball park number that would be close, right?

So I dug in and before I even put the pack down once, had finished the whole thing. I know if you are being honest, most of you can relate to me and that moment of hunger/taste of sugar adrenaline rush. I don’t eat a lot of sugar so the minute those dried fruits hit my taste buds, it was all bets off…eat all the mix! My favorite DMX song “Don’t Stop, Get it Get it” I don’t think pertained to eating a whole package of trail mix. Haha

Even after finishing it at first, I didn’t feel too bad about it, after all remember “it was small”, and “it was healthy” and also at the most 400 calories that I could fit into my macros. (I log my food, that’s another article). Until about 5 minutes later when it finally started to hit my system and I was over full and had a sugar high to boot.

That was when; I finally let reality back in and thought I’d take a look down to my lap to what I really had just eaten. I turned the empty bag over and read the label. Holy Shikes!!!!  That tiny bag wasn’t one serving, it wasn’t even 2 servings, no it wasn’t even 4…….it was 8. Yep 8.  I don’t have guilt too often with food, I most of the time, have learned to view it in a much healthier way, regardless of what it is I eat. But let me be honest, I felt guilty. I also didn’t feel too good about what I had done mainly because of the way I had done it.

But here’s the kicker….that small bag I ate, just that 1 “snack” I had, 1 out of 5-6 meals I typically have in a day, it was a whopping 1760 calories, I had just eaten in about 8 minutes total.

It’s crazy to think how fast that adds up without thinking. How often we do things like that, I know I’m not unique in that and also most importantly just how important it is to read the labels on what you are eating if you have goals. I never would have thought that was 8 servings. If you are looking for weight loss and thinking you are on the right track, you still might be sabotaging your diet without even realizing it.

So yes, I am not Wonder Woman and I do not always make the best choices even when I have the knowledge to do so and last, that package I ate? It was labeled “survival snack pack”.  A message to me subliminally maybe, that unless I am in survival mode, I have absolutely no need for that many calories in one meal!!

Just wanted to share a little of a day in the life of a trainer with you all.


Have a great day!

- Rachel Plumage NASM CPT

Coach Team TNT

Trainer Box-Core Ridge Fitness Missoula


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