Tag Archives: #beachbody

RBF…I rock them.

I’m not just talking about the Resting Bitch Face I have mastered….I’m talking about my Resting Beach Face, too!

And I rocked that during the last week in Punta Cana!

My trip to Punta Cana was one I desperately needed….and my excitement over the past few weeks was off the charts! I couldn’t wait to get to The Hard Rock and meet up with all of my people!!!!

In case you aren’t connected to me on Instagram (@sparklefitnessbabe) or on my main Facebook page (Sparkle Fitness Babe), I earned an all expenses paid trip to Punta Cana for rocking the heck out of my business last year. These trips are something we coaches absolutely love….Beachbody spoils us like crazy and really goes all out to make sure we are treated like royalty. Last year they chartered The Oasis of the Seas for 3000+ of us, and this year they took over The Hard Rock!

My trip to PC started very early Saturday morning…..3am to be exact, after only a few hours of sleep.  We all know I am very much a night owl, so forcing myself to go to bed super early and wake up at the time I normally go to bed….that was a challenge. Everyone kept telling me to sleep on the plane, but contrary to belief, I really hate naps. With contacts, I always wake up with such a headache and red eyes….it’s easier to just avoid that.

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After a quick layover in Newark (one where I had to spend $7 on a damn pen because I lost mine), I was off to Punta Cana, arriving a little after 1pm. I knew traveling to another country, especially by myself, would be interesting, and I was right. The Punta Cana airport was a little different…lots of flash mobs were going on, and it was hot as hell. I was happy to find my friend Nicole and her husband Stephen as I waited for my bags because I was nervous to find my pre-arranged transportation by myself. We found out that my success partner and roomie, Nichole, and her coach Corey were coming into a completely different terminal, meaning I wouldn’t meet up with them until we got to the hotel. One thing that was for certain…I wish some of the Spanish I had learned over 5 years of classes had stuck with me.

We took our shuttle to the hotel and met up with Nichole and Corey right away….however, we were about to have a fun little afternoon figuring out where we were staying. Since we flew in a day earlier than the trip was scheduled to start, we thought we would be able to stay with Nicole and Stephen until our room was ready Sunday morning. Wrong. Since it was an all inclusive, we couldn’t get past the main lobby, which was a little bit of an issue. The hotel also had told us they were at maximum occupancy and we couldn’t book for the night; this led us to booking a room on Orbitz, as rooms were available.

Oh, if only it was that easy. The reservation with Orbitz was incredibly misleading, and the $400 reservation was only good for ME. After some back and forth, we finally got a room, and it ended up being only a mere $1000 (insert eye roll). I was worried our whole trip would be one cluster after another.

Fortunately our evening was great. We hit up one of the many restaurants on the resort…Mexican because tacooossssss……and I even got to take some photos with a monkey!

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This little babe is 15 years old!

The next morning we were supposed to have a beach photo shoot, which I was really pumped about. However, one of the girls backed out at the last minute, which was extremely disappointing, as we ended up canceling the shoot. I told myself that I would not let the selfishness of others ruin the rest of my trip and made it my choice from that moment on to spend time with amazing people who I genuinely was happy to be around. After all, photo shoots can always be rescheduled.

Lucky for us, the rest of the trip was incredible. I mean, look at this view! I love the beach, but I really loved this one because I was able to hide out under the tiki huts (I don’t like getting tan even though I love the sun) as my friends were able to bask in the sun.

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This trip allowed me to hang with some of my faves, like Autumn Calabrese (creator of 21 Day Fix), Danielle Natoni (Live instructors and Max 30 lovers, you recognize her), and Tania Baron, aka The Machine, who I relied on for my first 5 weeks of T25. I also was able to celebrate my local friend from the 330 and Beachbody’s newest super trainer, Chris Downing, as he debuted his Shift Shop workout. The workout was killer….make sure I have you on my Shift Shop VIP list so I can keep you updated on all the details!

Each day there were workouts with the trainers, a Shakeology bar, and the opportunity for fun excursions. My crew and I spent time at the spa (honestly, the best spa experience I’ve ever been to) and decided to skip the excursions since we didn’t want to have to go off the resort and spend time waiting around when we could be relaxing at the beach/pool. We all wanted to relax and spend time with each other, and as much as I wanted to swim with some dolphins, I was totally okay with hanging with my crew.

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Guys, the community that Beachbody has brought into my life….I can’t even put into words how thankful I am for them. These ladies challenge me, support me, laugh with me, and believe in me, and I can only hope I do the same for them. There are so many misconceptions out there about women…like how all we do is tear each other down and compete with each other. I’m thankful that our community of coaches truly has the mentality that there is enough success for everyone out there. Girl compete. Women empower.

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My Success Partner Nichole and I before Opening Ceremonies

The Hard Rock was an amazing resort…I recommend it to anyone going to Punta Cana. So many pools….so many restaurants…and the people there were all so friendly. I took complete advantage of all of the food options and also enjoyed a doughnut a day (so many delicious doughnuts there for me to try). I did gain 5 pounds over the course of the trip, but I’m okay with that. Vacations are about fun splurges, right?

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I love you, doughnut!

Next year Beachbody is sending us to Riviera Maya….I’m already looking forward to it! I’d love for you to be with me on the trip! If you want to learn more about coaching, shoot me a message at Katie@sparklefitnessbabe.com. I love what I do, and I want to share opportunities like this with everyone.

Here’s a look at the rest of my trip!

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Top Secret Mission: Success!

Earlier last week I was made privy to a super big secret….a secret that, other than our team at corporate, only one other person knew about. I was told to not tell anyone…not even the other Market Council members, and I have to be honest….it was so hard!!!

I hate secrets….and I’ve always been a terrible liar. How was I going to avoid my friends and team and the other coaches in the area and not spill the beans?!?!?!

Somehow I did it.

The secret? At our quarterly event, one where corporate announces new products and fun things, a brand new program would be announced, and the super trainer for that program was going to be the special guest at OUR event.

Guys, this was HUUGGEEE!!!!

With over 500,000 coaches out there and thousands and thousands of Super Saturdays across the country, the Cleveland/Akron area was going to be able to provide an event NO OTHER event could duplicate…….our coaches would get to meet this brand new trainer after the new programs were released and would be able to have an exclusive meet and greet!

Want to see the minute I announced what was going on and the crowd went bananas? Here it is:

So who is this new super trainer????

Chris Downing!!!!! His new program, Shift Shop, will launch at our Coach Summit in July! I cannot waittttttttttttttt! July, get here soon!

And the best part? He is from the Canton, Ohio area, so he is local to me! I always love being able to support local talent! Chris has been in the fitness arena for years, training and running his own successful gym. Getting to meet him and hear a little bit of his story….incredible! Everyone was blown away by his passion and positivity, and I know this guy is going to have a tremendous future! Our market council is definitely looking forward to partnering up with him for future events.

These events mean so much to me….it allows me to connect with other people who share the same fire and passion as I do…it allows us to learn from some of the best in the business and grow…they are such a huge part of our business. I’m thankful every day for the community I found when I became a coach. It has changed my life, and it continues to change it for the better one day and one event at a time.

Here’s a look at some of the fun at Super Saturday!

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We are already planning out our next big event…..I hope you will join me for it! You never know what surprises will be in store!

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Rock the Reset Day 1!

If you follow me over on The Sparkle Fitness Babe, you know today was a big day for me! It was Day 1 of The Ultimate Reset and 3 Week Yoga Retreat! I’m going to be sharing my journey on the blog so those of you who are thinking about it have lots of information and know how the experience went for me.

Day 1 Recap:

Where to begin…..

I will say this….when my Reset kit arrived I was very pleased with how organized it was…the book itself was over a hundred pages long! For a planner like me, that is something that is important. All too often people say they can’t make healthier choices because they don’t know what to eat, recipes, yadda yadda…..this program has EVERYTHING laid out for you, including grocery lists.

Making my meal plan for the week was a little longer than usual….and it ended up being over two pages for the week….there’s a lot that goes on here!

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Here’s a look at my meal plan for Day 1:

-Optimize and Mineralized Water
-Breakfast: 2 Eggs, Steamed Spinach, 1 piece whole wheat toast

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Breakfast! My favorite meal of the day!

-Optimize and Mineralized Water
-Lunch: Zucchini Cashew Soup and MicroGreen Salad
-Power Greens and Water
-Snack: Shakeology
-Optimize, Soothe, and Mineralized Water
-Dinner: Salmon, Asparagus, Boiled Potatoes

Looking at that seems like I’m eating a lot, right? One trick that I learned that helped me a lot was setting an alarm on my phone to help me stay on track.

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I can say this….I wasn’t hungry today…that was a big worry of mine.

I’ll also say this….I was a major raging BITCH.

The one thing I was really worried about was the fact that I had to kick my bff coffee to the curb for 3 weeks. Hello…I’m a coffee addict and proud! Today I kept saying that I felt like a drug addict going through withdrawal…that’s how crazy I felt. Somehow though I still avoided coffee all day long.

I was also worried about the daily supplements (optimize and soothe) because I really struggle with pills. In fact, I typically hide pills in pudding or applesauce to get them down…unfortunately for me, The Ultimate Reset doesn’t allow for that option. I managed to get them down….not sure how, but I did.

As far as the meals go, I didn’t feel like today’s were too far off from my normal eating. I usually eat eggs, I love salads, and I eat a lot of salmon. We will see as the days go on though….I’ve never gone this long without red meat!  I will be having eggs one more day this week, then they are hitting the road to join coffee. Some may ask why I am eating eggs in the first place….this plan is designed to wean you off of animal fats.

The worst part of today: THE POWER GREENS!!!! I was warned about this drink tasting awful, yet somehow I told myself I would be fine with it. WRONG! I almost puked it up. It tasted like straight up seaweed puke….let’s hope I can make it the rest of the week with it. Not sure how I can change up its taste tomorrow, but I’m going to try.

Today also started the 3 Week Yoga Retreat….I didn’t hate the workout, but I definitely missed my high intensity workouts….moving at such a slow pace was definitely a challenge. I’m hoping this programs helps my muscles and strengthens them. I’m also hoping that my little dogs allow me to complete my yoga workout each day because today they were very hands on….and in my face.

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Do yoga with dogs, they said. It will be fun, they said. YEAH RIGHT!

Overall, it was an interesting day. I felt weak, but strong at the same time. I was able to stick to my meal plan…..however, toward the evening I had a huge headache (I’m guessing more coffee withdrawal…evenings is when I drink the most coffee) so I went to some message boards and consulted some of my Reset alum and ended up having a small banana. I encountered that with the Refresh when I did that before…it all comes back to sugar intake. I’m ok with that….I felt better shortly after.

Excited to see if tomorrow is easier…or more difficult. Regardless, I’ll share with you all 🙂

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Beast Up Cleveland!

This weekend you guys….what a wicked awesome time!!!!

If you follow me on Snapchat, Facebook, or Instagram, you knew this weekend wasn’t just any old Saturday and Sunday combo….it was the weekend we brought Sagi Kalev aka The Beast to Cleveland! I’ve been waiting for this weekend for months!

I was very lucky to have been asked earlier last year to join the Cleveland Market Council, a group of amazing women who head up all of the Beachbody community events for Northeastern Ohio, and I was excited when we decided to try to bring a Beachbody super trainer to the area. Since most of us are relatively new to the council, we really wanted to start the year with a bang and impact as many people as we possibly could. During our discussion it was a no brainer that we absolutely had to bring Sagi to town…..so we got to work!

After securing Sagi we locked down the most historical venue in all of Cleveland, The Agora, known for hosting the best of the best, including Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, and Peter Frampton, but also features many local acts. Those who haven’t been to The Agora before…it’s hard to describe. It has an industrial feel to it….a little grunge…a little rock and roll….a whole bunch of character. I’ve seen many shows there throughout the years and always thought it was a cool place, and we all agreed it would be a great way to show off the historic side of Cleveland.

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In every group of friends, there is a tall tree. Somehow it is always me. 

So what all went on during the weekend?

FRIDAY

The council and I had a private dinner with Sagi and Barbie, a Superstar Diamond Beachbody coach who just happens to be Sagi’s wife. We had a private dining room at Adega, an incredible restaurant located in the best hotel in Cleveland, Metropolitan on the 9. You may remember me mentioning this spot before…we had our wedding photos taken throughout it because we loved the vibe (our best’s man Aunt and Uncle own it, so they hooked us up), and both Kyle and I had our bachelor/bachelorette parties there. If you travel to Cleveland, that’s where you have to stay….it’s the best hotel in the city.

Dinner was great…we had the chance to really get to know this man who most only knew to be a tough meathead from the workout programs Body Beast and Master’s Hammer and Chisel. It was amazing to hear him talk about various nutritional things…he actually is a clinical nutritionist…and just to see how real and down to Earth he was. I had the Shrimp and Chorizo Flatbread…try it…it’s so good! (For those of you who wondered…Sagi had a steak.) As far as attire goes, I rocked a black lace back jumpsuit that I am obsessed with….it can be glammed up or down…and paired it with red suede heels, a red clutch, and red lips!


SATURDAY

I was driving the struggle bus HARD Saturday morning, but there wasn’t a chance in hell that I was going to miss a moment of the day’s events. I left my house a little after 6am after only catching about 2 hours of sleep, hunted down the biggest coffee I could find, and started to search The Agora for a coffee IV drip I never found. The staff at The Agora was fantastic, which meant that the initial set up went very smoothly.

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A few of my amazing coaches! I love this team!

The day was jam packed! Here’s how the day broke down!

9am: Fifty people were able to be a part of a VIP experience with Sagi where he interacted with them all and discussed personal development. Personal Development is huge in our business, and Sagi is such a motivating person that I think everyone walked away feeling enlightened. At the end of the session everyone got a photo with Sagi.

10:30am: Barbie came out and addressed the audience. Those who don’t know about the ranks in Beachbody, a Superstar Diamond is the highest rank you can achieve, and this is what Barbie is. Her knowledge…her passion….I had no idea how strong of a coach she is. I feel so honored to have met her and to have learned from her.

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Barbie and I backstage

11-12:15pm: Sagi took the stage to address the crowd. He has such a great story and so much valuable content to share….he could’ve talked for hours and hours! I wrote down so many notes!

12:45pm-1:30pm: Sagi led a workout for all attendees. I personally didnt participate and spent the workout running around capturing pics and video, but I do know my team mentioned how brutal it was…their legs were on fire!

1:30-2:15pm: Prize giveaway! Sagi and Barbie were so generous and gave away so many great prizes! Attendees won hats, water bottles, watches, autographed posters…and a handful won his book.

Overall the event was a huge success. Our only glitch was that The Agora had some issues with the boilers, so it was a little chilly in the venue. That was eliminated once the workout began though!

Here’s a little recap of the event from my perspective:

Look like fun? The Market Council hosts events every quarter. This has been the biggest to date, but we have big plans to bring other celebrity trainers to the area as well as top coaches full of valuable info. These events aren’t just for coaches….anyone who loves fitness and health can benefit! I’d love for you to join us next time!

Make your mark on this world…..maybe it’s on a wall. Maybe it’s by inspiring someone. Maybe it’s doing a good deed. Regardless, make it.

Have a week full of sparkle, friends!

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The famous graffiti wall! My name is now on it not far from Elvis!

 

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Time to Fly.

Back in July our company announced the release of a brand new program, Core de Force, that would be launching the beginning of November. Of course, I was over the moon excited.

I always love the release of a new program because it is a new challenge for me, and since I want to educate my clients properly I always do them so I can offer advice and support. This one, being an MMA inspired program, was definitely something I had little experience with but loved the concept of. All I knew was that it would be 30 days in length with workouts ranging in length from 16 minutes to 47, and that it required no equipment.

I was even more excited about the release date, which fell at the very beginning of November. November, by far, is the hardest month for me, and I knew this year in particular would be extremely difficult. The middle of the month brought my grandmother’s birthday, and it would be the first time in my entire 35 years on this planet that we did not get to celebrate with her. A few short days later would mark the one year anniversary of the passing of my father.

I miss my dad and grandma every single day, but just knowing these particular dates were approaching meant that I had to find a way to attack this difficult time. The old me would’ve eaten my feelings…..like wheels of brie cheese and stuffed crust pizzas and ice cream out the ying yang….and I didn’t want that to happen. For some reason these past couple of months I have been a lot angrier at the fact that my dad was taken from our family so young, and to me, a program that allowed me to get out my aggression would be just the perfect solution.

Enter Core de Force.I was determined to make this workout my saving grace as emotionally I was falling apart.

For 30 days I channeled my inner bad ass. I completed workouts that involved Muay Thai, Capoeira, and Jiu Jitsu, and I documented everything on The Sparkle Fitness Babe. Each day I shared with my followers a snippet of the workout I had just done as well as pow punch picture with the day. I NEEDED to document this program this way….I needed my followers to keep me accountable if it was getting late and my video wasn’t up yet. People often give us coaches crap for posting our selfies or our workouts or our meals on social media, but you know what? We use social media as our workout diary….this is what keeps US on track. It might not be your bag, but to me I need to know someone will call me out if they don’t see me post about a workout….and I like to track my progress this way. Don’t be afraid to share when you get your sweat on…or eat something fabulous…if people hate on you for holding yourself accountable then they have no business being in your life.

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30 Days of Accountability, one punch at a time.

When I started this program I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I hoped deep down I would. I love any workout with high intensity, which I knew this program had, but I worried some of the moves wouldn’t be up my alley.

I was wrong.

Every day I felt challenged by this program. Every day I felt stronger. Every day my technique got better. I looked forward to my workouts with this program every single day, which is a rarity for me. I found that I am actually pretty good at these moves and love MMA workouts. I am now considering joining an MMA gym to further explore my new love.

My favorite workout: MMA Plyo. My least favorite: Dynamic Strength. The one workout I still throw in every so often: 5 Minute Core of the Floor….Wowsers does that burn!

Who is this program good for? Any man or woman who likes a challenging, high intensity program. I do not recommend this for beginners, though if you really wanted to challenge yourself you could do it….I just personally think this is a program you should build up to. Some of the moves were incredibly difficult for me at first, and at times I got a little discouraged, even though I knew eventually I would get the move. I’d hate for someone to start with this, get down on themselves, and quit. I personally think this is a great program to toss in for some cross training if you are a runner or if you need to add cardio to your weight lifting routine but hate cardio like running.

How did I do with the program? Overall, I am very pleased!

I always take my Before and After photos first thing in the morning, so I always look like a hot mess, but that’s okay….I didn’t even care that I have the most ridiculous derp face in my after photo.

Overall I lost 5 pounds, which was fine…I’m not really interested in losing any weight…my focus is just to tone up and get stronger so I can kick American Ninja Warrior tryouts’ ass. I lost 2 and a half inches from my waist (it has CORE in the title for a reason), plus a half inch from each thigh and one inch from my hip.

Was I perfect during this program? Hell to the NO. I did kind of eat my feelings a little bit on the anniversary of my dad’s passing….i did indulge in lots of delicious things at Thanksgiving…I did celebrate a baby shower for a friend with a cupcake or two. I’m ok with that. This journey I’m on and this coaching thing I do….it is not about perfection. It’s about balance and has its ups and downs. I had loosened up on my nutrition the few months prior, so I was glad to get my abs back after this 30 days program.

And you know what? It proved to be the best outlet for my grief and emotions during the month of November. Ever hear that saying the exercise is the best form of therapy? It’s true.

I already can’t wait to do another round of this program, which I will be starting February 7th. After completing the first round of Core, I debated if I should do back to back rounds, but I opted to jump back to one of my other favorite programs, 22 Minute Hardcorps, which is a 60 day program for some variety. Once I finish it up I will be back for another 30 days of roundhouses!

If you are someone who has been wanting to make a healthier change, but don’t know how…just know I am here to help. You don’t have to round house or throw punches like I did in this program…I literally have a solution for everyone depending on your fitness level and interests. Not only can I hook you up with a great workout program and structured meal plan, but I can plug you into one of our online groups that help you stay on track and hold you accountable.

Register for my January Challenge Group HERE!

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Remember guys…. we all have the power to get healthier and stronger. You just have to be willing to get over the excuses and make the decision to start. Starting is the hardest part…I remember how scared I was when I got my challenge bundle in the mail….how afraid I was to fail.

What if you fail?

Oh, but what if you fly??????

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Woohoo!! Program graduate!

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Things your Beachbody Coach Wants You to Know

When I began my journey with online fitness and wellness coaching a little over three years ago , I had no clue what I was doing. I did know I was starting something incredible…but I had so many questions that I kept to myself. With so many people reaching out inquiring about programs and solutions….especially with New Year’s and resolutions looming….I wanted to take a minute to share a few things that I, as your coach (or future coach) want you to know.

1. I want to help you….and will continue to help you….long past your initial purchase. My role as your coach is to help you for as long as you need it….whether that be for a month, a program, a year, or forever. My customers always have access to one on one support and all of my challenge groups, as my goal is to help you reach whatever goals you have set for yourself. I don’t mindread though(unfortunately)….so please don’t hesitate to tell me if you need more help!

2. I want to see those sweaty selfies and pictures of your food! I read somewhere recently that one of the top reasons why people are defriended on Facebook is because they post pictures of their food. Are you serious???!!!! I am proud of my clients when they share healthy changes they are making, and it makes me sad that some people are afraid they will be the butt of other people’s jokes when they share something healthy they are doing. Let me be real: I post my sweaty selfies because I need the accountability, and I know there are people who will shoot me a message if I don’t share something about a workout to make sure things are ok. When it comes to sharing what I am eating….I hope it encourages someone to try a new recipe or get past the idea that eating healthy is difficult or bland. When you share what you are eating for dinner, my wheels are turning and I am looking at a new addition for my next meal plan.

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3. I get you free stuff! When you purchase a bundle from a coach, you get a special thank you gift….a FREE workout! Having the ability to be in my challenge groups allows you to win lots of fun prizes, and once you finish a program I help you get your free completion t-shirt! Free stuff is lovely. Don’t pretend like it isn’t. Purchasing from a coach is different from getting programs from a random site….here’s a little more about that……

4. I struggle with workouts and eating healthy, too. I think a lot of people are intimidated by working with a coach because they think they have to be perfect and never mess up a meal plan or skip a workout. WRONG! Guys, I mess up all the time! I practice a life of balance, so I eat clean 80% of the time, but sometimes I overindulge more than I want. Some mornings I don’t want to workout and press the snooze button. Some days my workouts straight up suck and I don’t give it my all. The joy of working with a coach is having accountability and someone who has solutions when these things come up. Fitness is a journey with ups and downs…we all have them….but it sure is nice to have someone in your corner when you are having a down day to help power you through it.

5. I will take you back regardless of how many times you break up with me. Life happens. You may not finish a program. You may disappear in a challenge group. You might ignore my emails checking in on your progress for a month straight. It’s ok….when you are ready to get back on track, I will take you back, no worries.I just want to help you reach whatever goal you have!

6. Yes, I really do love Shakeology. Giving this product a chance was the best thing I ever did for my health. I realized very early on that it played a HUGE part in the weight loss success I had and it is the saving grace every night when my chocolate cravings fire up.  If you are starting a program and not seeing the results you want, your nutrition needs to be looked at, and, as your coach, I am most definitely going to recommend this bad boy. Don’t compare this item to another shake…there isn’t one out there that can compare. Comparing this shake to those is like comparing the rides at DisneyWorld to the horsey ride in the food court at the mall. I don’t just talk the talk with the products Beachbody offers; I genuinely love them and value what they do for my health and longevity.

7. No, I don’t love every program Beachbody has, and I will be honest with you when it comes to them. I’m not some robot….and I am very opinionated. I’ve tried pretty much every single program we have to offer because I think it is important to know first hand what is great or not so great about a program, and I want to be able to answer any question a client has. I’ve fallen in love with many and hated some as well. My goal is to help connect you to the right program, so I will always share with you what recommendations I think would be best based on what your goals are and what you like.

8. I love what I do, and I truly want everyone to find something they love like this. I’d love everyone to be a coach, but I know it isn’t for everyone. I’m sad when people write off what I do, but I have learned that if someone feels that way they don’t really know me and what makes me tick. I live for helping others and sharing my sparkle with everyone I meet. I want to make the lives of everyone I know better in whatever way I can. It look me 32 years to find this opportunity. If you haven’t found something that lights a fire in your soul yet, maybe you are overlooking it. I’d love for you to see what I see in coaching.

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Enjoying the view from our balcony on last year’s All Expenses Paid Cruise to the Bahamas and Jamaica.

My team and I are hosting an online open house that is sharing a behind the scenes look at coaching this Sunday, the 27th. We will be answering lots more questions and sharing more of our hearts with you about why we love this business. Join us! You have nothing to lose and can see if it is something you want to learn more about! Fill out this quick form so I know to add you, and connect with me on Facebook by searching for The Sparkle Fitness Babe!

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Pretty little fridge.

(I envision the scene from Dumb and Dumber with the bird when I say that).

Sundays are one of my favorite days for so many reasons, especially this time of year with football (Go Steelers) and lots of fun Fall events. I love the chill vibe of the day and knowing that my actions are setting me up for a week of success.

I know a lot of people find it strange, but I feel so much better when I am taking steps to make sure I am having a successful week. What does this involve? It involves things like grocery shopping, meal prepping for the week, establishing when I am going to do my workouts each day, and what goals I have for the week.

Goal setting is something I have always done, even as a young girl. I love making lists and crossing things off as I complete the tasks. As I have gotten older I have realized more and more how important it is to be organized, not just because I like crossing off completed tasks each day, but because having a sense of organization keeps me sane!

Sunday mornings involve a lot of reflection for me. I think about how the previous week went, I think about how I want the upcoming week to go, and I think about what I want to accomplish. I listen to personal development in my office while sipping coffee and listening to my dogs (and husband) snore. It’s my favorite “Me” time.

I think it is easy to say that meal prepping is one of my favorite parts about Sunday. Yes, i actually ENJOY it! Food is the one area that if I don’t plan it out I end up making lotsssss of bad decisions. LOTS. I’ve talked about my process before….I’ve run free informational groups on how I prep and prepare….but it is always worth a little revisiting in my book!

My usual routine goes like this:

FRIDAY: Plan out what meals I want for the upcoming week/check out grocery store sales/draft meal plan. This involves checking my social calendar so I know if I will be at meetings, out to eat, etc.

SATURDAY: Grocery Shop or hit farmer’s markets.

SUNDAY: Prepare everything for the week.

This week I was a little bit ahead of schedule and got everything prepped and ready last night so I could focus completely on my team and some upcoming trainings/groups today. We have a lot going on over here at Sparkle HQ, and it is exciting!

Here is a look at my meal plan for the week:

Since I started my No Crumb Left Behind 21 Day Fix informational group today I have the meal plan color coded to show them how to look at their meals and meal plans. Look confusing to you? Hopefully not! The colors each represent a different food group. (Let me know if you need help with your own meal plan…I can help you make sense of it)! It doesn’t matter what workout program I am doing….I utilize the Fix meal plan for everything!

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from readers about how it helps to see my meal plan each week, so my goal is to post it for you every Sunday to help give you some ideas for your own meal plan. Eating healthy does not have to be boring or bland….I always love the meals I make and never feel like I am depriving myself. That’s important when you love food!

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Here is a look at how my fridge looks after prep. Lots of containers in there…the only thing NOT mine is the takeout container on the top shelf…that’s Kyle’s leftover sandwich from Melt Bar and Grill. Having things portioned and ready to grab saves me so much time, energy, and money, plus it keeps me on track.

Have a plan, work a plan, my peeps.

Now go get working on your plan so you can have a successful week, too!
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Sea-duced in a major way.

WHO: About 6000 Beachbody coaches and their guests

WHAT: 2016 Success Club Trip

WHEN: March 12th-17th

WHERE: Aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas

WHY: To celebrate the lives we have impacted throughout the past year

I have been WAITING for this trip for what seems like forever. We had registered back in January of 2015, and at that time this trip seemed like a lifetime away…..that’s a long time to wait! Since Kyle and I canceled our honeymoon (thanks Hurricane Joaquin), we were more than ready for some tropical fun.

I had scheduled an early Saturday morning flight so we could go right from the airport to the port in Fort Lauderdale, which meant we had to be at the airport around 3:30 Saturday morning. Most people who know me know that I am very much a nocturnal person….I usually go to bed around 4am and get up about 11am, so I wasn’t really worried about the early departure time. However, I failed to think about the lack of sleep I would have the day prior. We live very close to the Cleveland airport but had found much cheaper flights out of Pittsburgh, which is pretty close to my mother’s, so we had driven down to her house Friday so she and my aunt could drop us off. I tried to get a few hours of sleep by lying down at 9pm, but thanks to my weird schedule it was impossible, so no sleep for me!

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Wide awake for an early morning departure!

Day 1

We arrived in Fort Lauderdale and to the port with no issues…or so we thought. After checking in and getting our Sea Passes, we were escorted to a strange holding cell area on the second floor of the port. Being new to cruises, Kyle and I had no idea what was going on and thought this was just a temporary thing. After about an hour of waiting we found out that the hold up for boarding was actually a disgruntled crew member who was trying to commit suicide by jumping from the boat (you can read all about that here). Eventually police officials were able to get the man down safely and we were able to board…..when it was all said and done we had been waiting in the holding cell area for about three hours.

The boat Beachbody chartered for us was through Royal Caribbean and was called The Oasis of the Seas, one of the largest boats out there. I had no clue what to expect when I walked on board but quickly realized that everything I thought was wrong. There was a Michael Kors store right in front of me(yes, I did some damage there), a Starbucks in eyesight, a pizza parlor cranking out pizzas for all of the hungry people coming aboard, and a bar that actually moved up and down in the middle of the ship…..and that was only on the one floor!

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First stop….a Starbucks Cafe Americano!

Our room was a Superior Ocean View Stateroom with a balcony, and I have to admit….it was much more spacious than I had imagined. We had a comfortable Queen Size bed, sofa, vanity area (my makeup and I were happy), large closet, and a decent sized bathroom. My biggest concern about the room prior to arriving was that my 6’6″ husband would be very uncomfortable in it. Fortunately, he had plenty of space, especially in the shower, and had no complaints. Having a balcony was great, too….I loved being able to see the water…and I think a porthole room may have made me feel a bit claustrophobic.

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Our boat left the port about 5pm that Saturday, but we missed the Sail Away party….we had already met up with some of our friends and were busy exploring the ship! At this point I was pretty much driving the struggle bus….I still hadn’t slept at all, so I had been up since 11am Friday morning. Thank heavens for coffee…..as usual. We didn’t stay up too late that night….I had gotten really sick from some food at the one buffet and was feeling awful. Since we were arriving in the Bahamas early the next morning I wanted to make sure that I was feeling better and well rested.

Day 2

Waking up in the Bahamas was such a beautiful sight. We had ordered room service for breakfast and enjoyed a great meal on the balcony overlooking Nassau before getting ready to explore. We had the option for some excursions but had opted out of doing any because we weren’t sure a) what we wanted to do (so many options) and b) how the whole process worked. After breakfast we showered and decided to walk around the port and the city a bit.

After some shopping we hit up the pool to catch a little sun before formal night and the glow party. Our ship had 5 pools on it and so many hot tubs I lost count, and since most of the ship was out doing an excursion or two, it wasn’t crowded.

Formal night was so much fun! I love getting dressed up, and it was fun seeing everyone else all dolled up! I got lots of messages about the dress I wore….it was an adorable find from the clearance rack at David’s Bridal and very Kate-tastic!

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We spent most nights having dinner with my success squad and their husbands and trying different things. I love that we could order whatever and however much we wanted, so we found ourselves ordering way more than we typically would. For a big eater like Kyle, this worked out well for us…..he eats so much!

Here’s a look at my meal for formal night:

Appetizers: Cheesy garlic scallops and Banana Rum Soup
Entrees: Manhatten Filet and Spinach Shrimp Ravioli
Dessert: Banana Angel Food Cake

Something I fell in love with over the trip: cold soup. This banana soup was Ah-Mazzzzzz-ing! I felt like I could eat it, drink it, pour it over ice cream, mix it with Shakeo, etc. I am determined to remake it here at home. In addition to the banana soup I had mango soup, peach soup, and pineapple lychee soup over the course of the trip.

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We clean up well 🙂

After a very filling meal we all changed to head to the Glow party where we were encouraged to come wearing white. Apparently there would be glowsticks and who knows what else. After changing we found out that the party was changed to later in the trip and instead there would be a dance party at the front of the boat. Five minutes at the party, and I tapped out. It reminded me 100% of a sweaty rave that I would’ve loved during my drinking days. No thanks.

Day 3

Our next stop was Falmouth, Jamaica, so we spent Day 3 at sea. We opted for breakfast in our room once again before heading to the pool with our pals. I was stoked to get a non alcoholic pina colada in a pineapple….it was so good! We spent most of the day on the top deck catching rays before catching a nap and a run. The ship had a running track wrapped around the entire 5th floor deck which hooked me up with beautiful views and a peaceful breeze as I ran. I’m proud to say that I ran a 5k in the middle of the ocean!

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Later in the evening all of the Dynasty United coaches on the ship met in our leader Brittany’s suite to chat. After all, our business was the reason every one of us was on this cruise. For those of you who don’t know much about coaching, it’s all about helping people. Helping them make smarter nutrition choices, helping them find the right fitness programs to reach their goals, helping them find confidence and purpose…..it is a business that has changed my entire life, and I am so proud every day to be a part of it. Being on a cruise that Beachbody completely paid for because I did my job was great and all, but getting to spend quality time with others who believe in the same vision and goals as me: priceless.

Our team is made up of the most amazing men and women, so getting to hang with a few of them was so much fun. We laughed, we cried, and we just talked, mostly about how much this business has changed our lives and our family’s lives. It has allowed so many of us to retire from boring soul-sucking corporate jobs, it has allowed us to pay off debts, it’s given us confidence and the ability to overcome things like depression, post partum issues, and body issues, replacing those things with hope, purpose, and happiness.

We all come from different backgrounds. Some of us are in college, others are grandparents. Some have Doctorate degrees while others have GEDs. We have lots of parents who dreamed of being at home with their children and being present for all of the big moments in their lives, and we have people who just wanted a career that allowed them to work when they want and how they want. We have extreme introverts and extreme extroverts. Some of us went through major health transformations while others have always been physically fit. It doesn’t matter the background; the one thing we all have in common is simple. We just want to help as many people as possible and work to end the trend of obesity. I love that there isn’t a coaching stereotype, and I love surrounding myself with people who build each other up and share in the success instead of competing or tearing each other down. Iron sharpens Iron.

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After our Dynasty United hangout we hit up the Disco party. Some people really took advantage of the opportunity to dress up, and part of me wished we had a little more. Truth is, I knew I would be super close to the weight limit on my luggage and felt that eliminating a wig and a huge 70’s costume was probably smart. Kyle and I went as early 70’s hippies, so we were comfortable and rocking the tie dye.

 

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This hippie chugs water #likeaboss.

Day 4

I fell head over heels in love on Day 4…..and I’m angry it took me a few days to discover the objection of my affection. Look at this french toast! I don’t know what it was made of….angel wings, cherubs, rainbows…..and I didn’t care. It was incredible. I continued this relationship the rest of the trip and am sad it came to an end.

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It reminded me of Disney World’s Tonga Toast! So good!

After I had my date with the French, it was time for Jamaica, Mon! I absolutely could not wait to get to Jamaica, but as excited as I was, I had trepidation as well. I knew that tourists were the livelihood of Jamaica and that locals were known to approach them, sometimes getting really aggressive. Since I was with Kyle and two other couples, I felt safe enough to venture out. We hit the market and then had one of the local (who I called a Stage Five Clinger because he truthfully was) walk us to a little place in an alley right next to Usain Bolt’s church. He claimed it had the best Jamaican Jerk Chicken in the country, and he did not disappoint. It was so delicious! I was happy we trusted his recommendation.

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After we got back on the boat the guys decided they wanted to do the zipline on the 15th floor. I really really really wanted to try it, but my fear of heights got the best of me. Everyone else did it but me, and that’s okay. Instead I gave the rock wall a try. It was super high and overlooking the Boardwalk, so again, the heights terrified me, but I tried. My goal was to get higher than three stones, which I did…..and I actually liked it!

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The face of a scaredy cat.

That evening was all you can eat lobster night, and our table took full advantage. Seventeen lobsters were owned by us……on top of prime rib and a whole gaggle of other foods……which led to our gang going to switch into comfier elastic waist clothing. Kyle was very happy about it….it was his second night with lobster. The night before he had gotten one and was very satisfied…I think he loved that it matched his lobster shirt. After dinner we went to a show on the boat that was great, eventually ending up with coffee on the top deck. It was a fantastic night.

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Day 5

Our final day on the water. About 99.9% of people on the boat hit the pool, but not I. Kyle got caught up on some sleep while I enjoyed the company of friends (and coffee) and got caught up on some reading. I very much believe in the power of personal development, so being able to read on our balcony listening to the ocean ways was good for my soul. We also made the decision to book our next cruise….next year we will visit Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, and the Cayman Islands. I guess you can say we were sea-duced?!?!?!

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After yet another delicious dinner with friends, I met up with a new friend who I had been waiting to see all week. My man Tony Horton. I’m starting his new program, 22 Minute Hardcorps Monday, so this was the boost of excitement I needed. It as a great way to end the trip.

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Day 6

Our plane left early from Fort Lauderdale, so we took advantage of the early departure to get off the boat and through customs quickly. I was impressed how easy and well organized the process was. After a few hours and a short flight we were back at my mom’s for the night, and we both were exhausted. Early to bed for us!

 


I can’t begin to express what this trip meant to me and did for me.

Did I have an absolute blast with my husband and my friends? Absolutely. I am so glad I got to spend time with them and combine business with pleasure.

Did it refuel my passion for the business? Absolutely. I want every single person I know to be able to have this lifestyle, these friendships, and this feeling of complete purpose.

But this trip did so much more for me than what I’ve mentioned. It really helped me get my mind in a better place. Prior to going on the trip I had reservations, mostly because I felt guilty. One thing I have struggled with so much since I lost my dad is finding joy in things or looking forward to things….I think it is common. It’s just hard to find happiness when you feel like you have a little rain cloud following you around reminding you that something is missing from your life.

This trip allowed me to laugh,it allowed me to feel alive again, and it helped me to surround myself my lots of people who love and support me. I had so many good talks with my friends about the situation, and it was nice to talk about how I was doing openly with them. I hadn’t seen many of them since everything happened….their hugs and kind words were very comforting. Lisa, Julie, Payton, Jess….you all especially….thank you for taking time to remind me that this business is more like a sisterhood and that you always have my back.

I’m already looking forward to our next trip to Nashville in July and Punta Cana next year. Who wouldn’t want to go on all of these fun trips with their families and closest pals???!!!! I just need to figure out a way to bring Murphy with me….

If you want to know more about this business or these trips, or if you are someone who is reading this and just needs some support and encouragement to get healthier, lose weight, or build confidence, let’s talk. I have a three day sneak peek going on next week on Facebook, and I’d love to have you be a part of it. I also have upcoming support groups for my challengers and can create a one on one support system for you if that’s more your thing. Just cruise over to The Sparkle Fitness Babe, like the page, and shoot me a message! You can also contact me through this blog!

Going to bed tonight with a very grateful heart.

Grateful for finding a career that combines my passion with my purpose.
Grateful for the opportunity to travel the world.
Grateful for my husband, family, and friends for being the rocks in my life.
Grateful for the guardian angel who I know is with me every second every day.
Grateful for the experiences that have helped me grow.
Grateful to be living a life that I know makes my dad proud.

I hope you are going to bed grateful, too.

sparkleon

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Coming for you, Beast!

Time for a little Hammer and Chisel Update for Week two and three!

So……things haven’t gone exactly as I had hoped with this program. You probably remember me sharing in my last post that I had a little back issue that had me restart Hammer.

Well…..that bitch came back.

Before we get into that, let’s chat about Week Two!

I approached Week Two with the same Badass attitude I ended Week One with…..I mean, I was slowly gaining a new obsession for weight lifting and loving the changes I was seeing in the first week.

Here’s a look at the meal plan I rocked for Week Two! I changed up a few things this week but stuck to some of the same items, mostly because if I love a recipe I tend to make it over and over. I was a huge fan of the egg salmon sandwich I had made for breakfast the week prior, however, the store was out of smoked salmon so I opted for prosciutto as the meat on the breakfast sandwich.

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How does your fridge look at the beginning of the week? I pride myself in the organization of my food….I’ve found it helps me stay on track when meals are organized together in similar containers. Don’t you agree?

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If you haven’t given meal planning and prepping a chance by now, I strongly suggest you do. It saves time, money, and keeps you on track. I can’t stress that enough!

So let’s talk workouts. The first week I was challenged and felt like a sweaty beast each day. I loved it! I knew coming into week two that workouts were going to get a little more demanding, but I was ready. Here’s the thing about Hammer and Chisel….you don’t exactly repeat workouts in the same manner as other programs. As someone who loves variety, this is probably my favorite aspect…..I never know what to expect, I never feel bored, and I am excited for my workout every single day.

Monday: Chisel Cardio Day. Anytime I see the word “cardio” in a workout I get a little bit more excited than normal! This workout was killer, and I found a new favorite move in sword pulls.

Tuesday: Max Hammer Strength. I really enjoyed this workout. It focused on tiring yourself with one move, then going heavier with the weight for an additional 8 reps. This was a mix of all the basics…..lunges, presses, sumo squats, calf raises…..a great all over workout that left my muscles tired.

Wednesday: Chisel Agility. Agility meant one thing…..lots of jumping, planking, and high knees. For some reason, this workout and I did not jive. It consisted of two rounds, and at the end of the first one I was really struggling with finishing it. Some workouts I connect more with than others….maybe I’m just not an agility girl.

Thursday: Rest Day. Much needed. My muscles were still screaming from Hammer Strength.

Friday: Hammer Power. I was just starting this workout when my back said HELL TO THE NO to me. I had messed it up earlier in the morning and didn’t realize how serious it was until I attempted to do a clean. Immediately I felt awful spams in my lower left back and knew I had to stop.

The following two workouts, Chisel Balance and Hammer Conditioning did not happen. Instead, I focused on my nutrition and resting on the couch. I figured a couple of days rest and I would be back to the program. When it came to my nutrition, I knew that even though I couldn’t work out, it was incredibly important for me to stay on track. Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!

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For the following couple of days I rotated the heating pad and ice method until I could get into my sports chiropractor. It didn’t hurt to walk, and I was even able to have a quick three mile run early in the week. However, when I sat down or attempted to sleep the pain was unbearable.

Thank heavens for my sports chiropractor. Having one on my speed dial is one of the most important numbers I have. If you are an athlete or you teach fitness classes, I recommend doing the same. The thing with back issues is that all too often we think we can just heal them ourselves with time or some at home remedies. If I have learned anything with this injury it is that I should’ve gone to the chiropractor a few weeks ago when I first had the issue.

During my appointment I found out that it wasn’t actually a back muscle that was the problem, but my sacroiliac joint. Yeah, I know what you are thinking…..I didn’t know what that was either until I saw a diagram. Here’s where it is located:

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Photo courtesy of sportsinjuryclinic.net

The good news is that after some stretching, a little stim treatment, and work with my chiropractor I felt like brand new. Best part? I was cleared to start some light exercise and could resume to normal activity within a week with a few follow up appointments with my chiropractor to make sure my joint was okay.

The rough thing about having an injured back is not just having to skip workouts, but having to cancel my live classes, too. I love teaching in front of people and helping them get into shape. Taking a few days off meant I wasn’t able to help as many people as I could’ve. Fortunately I will be able to return to my Insanity Live and CIZE live formats in the upcoming week!

Since I can’t do anything with weights until the end of the week, I will be doing a week of PIYO before diving back into Hammer and Chisel next Monday.

When life hands you lemons, find a way to turn them into chocolate cake. Find a way to make it work…think outside of the box. I hate delaying a week of H & C, but subbing in a week of PIYO will help me stay on track when it comes to exercise and endurance and allow me to ease back into the weights next week.

I’m ready for you, Beast. I may not conquer you on my original timetable, but trust me.

I will conquer you.

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My New Normal

I remember a couple of years ago when my mother was all hot to trot about a show called “The New Normal.” It was a show I somehow never got into, which is surprising because my girl Nene Leakes was in it, but I got to thinking the other day about the concept behind it. The show was based on the family dynamic of a wealthy gay couple who want to have a child, so they move the surrogate mother and her daughter into the home. Thus, a new “normal” regarding a family lifestyle is born.

Last week was the first week of what I like to refer to as my new normal. No, I didn’t do anything like the characters on the show did, but I did make a lifestyle change that once seemed impossible. I left the career that I dedicated fifteen years of my life to. It still is crazy to think that I was able to make it happen.

Let’s talk about my “old” normal. I started working in the higher education field when I was eighteen years old, starting at the bottom of the totem pool in my college’s admissions office. After graduation I fell into an opportunity that made me a department director at the age of twenty-one. I was young, clueless, but eager to learn and make a positive impact. After about a year I made the decision to take a great opportunity in an Admissions department at a college in Pittsburgh, which led to me an even better opportunity, and then another, including providing me with the opportunity to open a brand new campus and obtain various management roles. To say I loved my job was an understatement; I greatly enjoyed meeting with individuals who needed a change in their life and had goals of doing more.

However, as much as I loved the ability I had to help people gain a new career, there were things that I absolutely had grown to hate. I hated that over the years people were seen as dollar signs instead of people. I hated that I worked alongside people and under managers who threw integrity in the trash and lied to pad their bottom dollar. Most importantly, I had grown to hate the hours and expectations. I have always been a hard worker, but working 50+ hours a week was not something I liked. Being forced to work on holidays instead of spending those moments with my family was not something I liked. Getting the third degree if I was sick and had to take some time off was not something I liked. So I made the decision to take a huge pay cut and return to the department where it all started: Career Services.

I remember a conversation with the Campus President soon after I started my new role in Career Services where we discussed my career goals with the company.  During the conversation I had told her that this would be the final school I would work for. I would either choose to remain working for the college and move up within it, or I would leave it and pursue something else. She laughed and said, “that’s what everyone says. This is a great company. You won’t leave.”

Two years after that conversation I came to a crossroads in my life. Not only had my personal life fallen apart, but I had met a new level of frustration with my career. I hated driving to work every single day to feel under appreciated. I hated that my performance was based on things that were beyond my control. I hated that I felt I was one of only a select handful of individuals who cared about the students and their success. And I hated that the combination of a miserable job and a hot mess personal life had led to me gaining 60 pounds. Sunday nights I had such extreme anxiety about driving to a place that I felt was literally sucking the life out of me that I often could not sleep or had anxiety attacks.

So my “old” normal life went a little something like this:

Get up. Go to work. Grab some kind of fast food on the way. Put on a brave face and take on the day. Grab fast food for lunch. Leave work. Grab fast food for dinner. Stop and grab liquor. Go home. Eat fast food. Make White Russian after White Russian. Watch reality tv. Eventually pass out. Get up and start the cycle again.

It was awful.

Around this time was when I made the decision to get started with Beachbody. I’ve talked about it numerous times before, I truly believe that buying that little challenge pack and joining an online challenge group saved my life. I started the end of August and completed the challenge November 1st, losing 47.5 pounds during that 10 week program, while modifying my eating and giving up drinking completely. More importantly, I learned about this little thing called “coaching”, and I fell in love with it.

Shortly after I completed my challenge group, I attended my first online team call led by some chick named Brittany who I had never heard of in my life. I remember her talking about how she had retired from nursing thanks to her income from coaching and the freedom it had brought to her life. Something about that call lit a fire inside me that made me want the same thing. I heard Brittany talk about the same things that I was struggling with……working long hours, being away from family, feeling under appreciated…..I knew deep down I could make this work for me, too. After all, the one thing I knew was that I was incredibly passionate about coaching the products and opportunities through Beachbody. I had seen first hand how they could transform someone’s life because MY LIFE had been transformed, and I wanted to help as many people as possible feel the satisfaction and triumph like I had felt when I realized I had taken control of not only my health, but my life.

I knew going full time with Beachbody would not happen overnight. I knew it would take hard work, consistency, and patience. I knew that there would be ups and downs, but I knew that it would be worth it.

For almost two years I worked my higher ed job in misery, anxious every day to come home to work on my business and growth. My doctor had me take anxiety medication so I could handle my job and the ridiculous management there. After 8 or 9 hours at the daytime job, I would come home and get to cracking at my to do list. Some nights I wouldn’t have much time to dedicate to my business, other nights I would put in some long hours. I never complained. I never felt like I was doing “work”. I had fallen in love with this opportunity and wanted to spend more time doing it.

There were times when I sacrificed activities or events because I knew I needed to get work done for my challenge groups. There were days I did not want to workout but did it because I needed to hold myself accountable and be an example to my challengers. There were days people I “thought” were my friends badmouthed me and made fun of this “stupid Beachbody thing” on Facebook posts and in messages. There were days I got defriended. No one ever said being an entrepreneur would be easy, especially not when so many people have misconceptions about multi level marketing companies. I knew that eventually it would be worth it, and all of the hard work would pay off.

On September 18th, I packed the last of my cubicle up and officially said goodbye to higher education.

Goodbye, Cube life!

I had done it.

I had fired my boss and officially become my own one. That thought I had two years prior….the one that Brittany, now a dear friend and mentor, had gotten me to think about…..it had left the dream category and had become a reality.

Last Monday was Day 1 of my “New Normal.” Look at how different my daily routine is from that “Old Normal.”

Sleep In. Wake Up Rested and Refreshed. Make a healthy breakfast. Work for a few hours (depending on what else I have going on). Workout. Make breakfast for Kyle. Walk the dogs. Take some selfies. Clean. Spend time with Kyle. Work a few more hours. Chat with my team. Give away prizes. Brainstorm fun and creative groups and concepts.Go to bed when I want. Wake up and repeat.

Just another day at the office with my assistant.

With the wedding only a few days away, my days have had a lot more packed into them like running errands, making phone calls, and organizing events. It’s been so nice to not have to worry about whether or not I can get everything done on a lunch break. Yesterday I woke up with a nasty headache; I didn’t have to think twice about whether or not I should call off work…..I just slept a little later, woke up and felt better.

My driving force this entire time has been my family, not just Kyle, but my parents and immediate family, too. I didn’t want to have to structure my visits around one day on a weekend here and there. I wanted to be more present in their lives and be able to be there when they need me. With Kyle working a nontraditional schedule, I wanted to be home when he was home so we could have meals together and do the things we love. Life is so short….I wanted to spend my time with those I love while also doing something I love….and I wanted to truly live life.

I never in a million years thought this is where I would be at the age of 34. The possibilities that lay in front of me are endless. It is amazing how you see life when a passion and career come together. I still get to help people, just in a different capacity, only now I get to say whether or not I want to wear pants to work, if I want to wear makeup, and what time I want to work.

The greatest lesson I have learned through all of this: Life is too short to spend 40 hours of your week doing something that is harming you more than hurting you. Unhappy with where you are? Do some soul searching. Find something that will make you happy. Then come up with a plan to get you there. Be realistic: Most times this change is not something that can happen overnight. Actually, if something can transform your life overnight you might want to be a little skeptical about it. Good things take time, energy, and an investment in your self and belief in yourself. For me, it took almost two years. I kept my eye on the goal and was determined to make it happen. You can, too.

Maybe you want to do what I do. Maybe you want to own a pet rescue. Maybe you just want to write. MAKE IT HAPPEN!  Trust the dots will connect. Follow your heart. Do Great Work. And never, ever give up on your dream.

Now go watch this and get some goosebumps…..

 

 

 

 

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