A couple of weeks ago, I announced that I had officially become an Independent Beachbody Coach. I want to share my story as to what led up to this decision and what my intentions are. (You can also read more about my weight loss journey).
My Beachbody Story:
Over the last few months & even longer, I really started to find my passion in health and fitness & living a healthy lifestyle. Blogging my workouts each week helped me keep myself accountable, and even though I’m not perfect & still have a lot of work to do, I have finally started to see progress in my weight loss.
From July 2012 (when I was at my heaviest weight) until these last few months, I was maintaining my weight around the 170 mark (which is about a 9 pound weight loss). I was happy that the changes I had started making we’re working and that I wasn’t gaining weight, but for all intensive purposes I had plateaued. Yes, I started making positive changes that I will maintain for the rest of my life, but I still had more to do. I needed to continue working on my nutrition – especially portion sizes (yes, you can over eat healthy food too!). I also knew I wasn’t working out nearly enough.
The new year came & as cliche as it is, I wanted this year to be the year I reached my goals. I had gotten complacent and I wanted no more of that. The holidays were rough, and I wasn’t focusing on my nutrition at all… I splurged a lot! I knew it was time to refocus and this time it had to be for good.
Back in 2013, I registered for the 2014 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 10K but hadn’t started any kind of training yet. I ended up getting selected to guest blog for the Cleveland Marathon which was such an awesome accomplishment. I put together a training plan – which has been great for helping me stick to my workouts (mostly). Even though I’ve had some struggles already, I feel accomplished for how far I’ve come and am continuing to go. I am officially 15 pounds down & that number continues to grow. I’ve tried new foods and new exercises, and the health & fitness part of my blog grew!
Which brings me to today, here with this new blog all about health & fitness and finally finding a true passion of mine that I’m so glad I didn’t give up on. As I mentioned before, since July 2012 there’s been many off & on’s with my journey, but this time it feels different. That’s cheesy, sure, but it’s true. I don’t know how or why it’s changed, but I feel like I’ve finally committed to the lifestyle change. Yes I’m still human & I still make bad choices but they happen so much less & I’m more aware of that behavior so I can stop myself. Mike has even told me that this time feels different and that’s saying a lot coming from him! I’m still a work in progress but I feel so much happier with the direction I’m going.
So where does Beachbody fit into all of this? Well, to be honest it started simply as a desire to try the products. I had been following Shannon from LifeAficionada for some time & at one point I tried a sample of the chocolate Shakeology. (Side note: check out Shannon’s blog post about why she joined Beachbody because it’s very similar and awesome!) So anyways… I ended up participating in one of her free challenges (the 5-Day Free Water Challenge) and really liked it & how it made me feel (crazy what water can do for your body!). I had been looking for something nutritious but easy for breakfasts on hectic weekday mornings, and I experimented with making my own shakes and I even tried a couple products from another similar company. For weeks I researched the company & the products and compared it to other similar companies and products. I especially wanted to know more about the ingredients of all the options, and I read about soy vs whey protein and GMOs and all kinds of interesting things! Now, I’m not going to be negative or anything because everyone is different and everyone wants different things, but FOR ME, I really like what Shakeology has to offer, especially that it uses whey instead of soy (90% of processed soy made in the US is genetically modified). I also like how many other nutritional ingredients are packed into Shakeology – I haven’t seen anything else that compares. I had also heard about the 21-Day Fix program and was very intrigued by it because one of my biggest issues is snacking and portion control (more on the 21-Day Fix in a later post).
However, even after all that research, I was still very skeptical. There was this little voice inside my head that kept bugging me to just try it, though. So what did I do? MORE RESEARCH!!! Not even joking. I researched the business aspect of Beachbody because if I was going to invest money into a challenge pack, I thought I might as well sign up to be a coach since they waive the sign up fee. I have nothing to lose, at the very least I get the discount on the products and best-case scenario I make a little extra cash to maybe cover the cost of my Shakeology. I talked to a lot of current coaches and watched videos of people’s stories and experiences. Yes, there is a lot of criticism out there about this industry and sure, some people didn’t have good experiences. That can happen with any job though. This business is definitely not for everybody and you get out of it what you put into it. It’s not a “get rich quick” scheme. If you are only in it for the money, it’s probably not going to work for you. One common theme I saw with the people who I talked to was passion. Passion for health and fitness, passion for helping others, and genuinely loving the Beachbody products.
That’s when it hit me. I’ve always loved helping people, and it’s always brought me joy. In college, I did a lot of volunteering with non-profit organizations and even started my own student group of To Write Love On Her Arms at Kent state University. Nothing compares to that feeling of helping others & making an impact. No matter how big or small, it makes you feel like you matter and that you were meant to do something important. I’ve struggled with finding that feeling of purpose since I graduated college because let’s face it, no matter how much I love my job, I don’t really feel like I actually have an impact. But when someone tells me that I inspire them or that they look up to me – that feeling comes right back! See, the point of all of this is that we as humans like to feel connected to others. That’s what social media & blogging do: allow us to share our stories and our lives and connect with others. We can interact with people all over the world, with people who are similar to us, or people who are completely different. We’re curious creatures, we love to know about other people. Especially from the comfort of our own homes. This can sometimes lead to negativity, but it can also create amazing friendships & even relationships.
So back to my story… I felt so humbled and lifted up when I got that positive feedback, to know that the things I was doing were inspiring others. However, I’m not a certified health or fitness professional, so I never felt like I was qualified to truly help people. Boy was I wrong! I’m not saying being a professional is bad, it’s an amazing thing (that I want to look into doing at some point), but I also think that people value the opinions of those they feel they can relate to and that it is possible to make a difference even if you aren’t certified. Fitness and nutrition can be overwhelming or intimidating and some people might not think have what it takes to do what a professional is doing. The bottom line is… I feel like I have a story that’s worth sharing. I’m a real person with real struggles and I’m still working to overcome them. I’m not at my goal weight yet, but I’m determined to get there. And I’m determined to help others get there too! So that’s why I signed up. I did a lot of research (nerd alert) and decided it was something I wanted to try. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a great way for me to use my passion to help others in addition to just being on social media and blogging.
Thanks so much for reading this post and I hope it was insightful as to why I made the decision I did. I promise my blog isn’t going to turn into one big advertisement (haha!) but you may see a post now and then 🙂 I’m so excited and passionate about health and fitness and I feel like I’m just starting to sink my teeth into all of it. I have SO much to learn – I won’t lie – but I absolutely love this industry and the community and all that comes with it. I want to continue to learn and grow and inspire!