Tag Archives: #beachbody

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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Coaches Gone Wild!

I have sat down to write this post about 5 different times. Every single time, my mind diverts to something I think about from the past week, and I lose focus on this blog entry.

I CAN’T HELP IT!

My brain is so overloaded with amazing information and my heart is just bursting at the seams from our trip to Nashville for Coach Summit, that I think it is only natural to be a little A.D.D. with things…at least that’s what I tell myself.

I know there are a few of you who may not know exactly what Coach Summit is, so let me take a quick moment to share with you a little bit about it. Each year, Beachbody holds a HUGE event that combines celebration, recognition, and mastermind trainings with the release of incredible new products and programs. This event is known as Summit, and this year it took place in Nashville for the first time ever. Recent years held the event in Las Vegas, so needless to say, I was happy with the change of venue because 1) I love Nashville and 2) Kyle and I could drive there easily.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook, Periscope, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter were exposed to glimpses of the experience….especially those of you on Periscope! I hope you felt like you were right there in the action with me! Those of you who don’t follow me on any of those social forums but follow me on here (Hi, Papa), here is a breakdown of the trip!

Wednesday, July 15th: Day 1

Kyle and I got a later start on the day due to the fact he didn’t get off work until 8:30am that day. After he got a little sleep, we were off! Nashville from our house is about an 8 hour drive, so by the time you factor in stops for coffee, gas, the one hour time difference, and one random stop at a Waffle House, we didn’t hit the Nash until about 11pm our time/10am Nashville time. Throughout the trip I found quite a bit of enjoyment in the stupid city markers on Snapchat. I am convinced they need to hire me for artwork.

I was THRILLED with the location of the hotel, thrilled with our suite, and beyond thrilled with the jacuzzi whirlpool tub in our bathroom. Much needed. We literally chilled for about 10 minutes then decided to grab Kyle a drink on Broadway so he could scope the city.

The stache also joined us.

The stache also joined us.

It was mass chaos……as expected when 25, 000 Beachbody coaches roll into town….but we found a little bar that we frequented the rest of the trip called The Second Fiddle. I was stoked to see walking by one of my favorite pals, Julie! After Kyle had a quick drink, we were off to sleep.

Still rocking the sweet car ride outfit #noshame

Still rocking the sweet car ride outfit #noshame

Thursday, July 16th: Day 2

Officially the first day of Summit! Woohooooooooooo. Lots of fun things going on!

Our morning officially kicked off with a team breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, don’t skip….even at Summit!

Fit Buzz Squad Breakfast

Fit Buzz Squad Breakfast

After breakfast, Kyle and I had to officially sign in to get our medals and lanyards, workout bands, and the rest of our exclusive bracelets to rock thoughout Summit (you’ll see them throughout the pics). I was amazed how organized Beachbody was with this….I mean, they pretty much shut down the town for us. I like that.

Next up was our big Dynasty United Photo. Our team is so amazing…not only are we led by the number #7 coach in the company (Love you Brit), but we seriously have such a close knit and supportive group. There were about 150 of us in attendance….that’s a lot of orange. Can’t wait to see the final group pic, but here are two women super important to me!

My coach Laura and I!

My coach Laura and I!

Love this girl....so proud of her accomplishments!

Love this girl….so proud of her accomplishments!

After the group photo, Kyle and I had a very important date: a workout with Shaun T! Not just a Beachbody on Demand workout, a legit live workout with the man himself. I was so excited. I think everyone knows (or should by now) how I feel about T25 and this trainer, so to do one live with him….awesome.  I also got to meet up with a friend through Facebook I had never met, Amy, and she joined Kyle and I for our workout.

Just as inspirational during a live workout as he is in the DVDs.

Just as inspirational during a live workout as he is in the DVDs.

I think my favorite thing about the workout with Shaun T was what came after…..Kyle told me he liked the workout and wanted to start doing it. I was ecstatic. His first workout with the program will be Wednesday, and yes, we will be doing before and after photos and all that jazz!

Thursday night was the opening ceremony, and Beachbody made sure we had plenty of space…..they were held at LP Field, as in the stadium where the Titans play! Those of you on periscope know I got to walk out of the tunnel where the players come out, parade across the stage, then cruise up on the stage facing all 25,000 people in attendance. I actually did a broadcast live as I did it so you all could see how neat it was. It was awesome……and I think that now I want to be a rock star so I can be on a stage more often.

On the field before the ceremony!

On the field before the ceremony!

I cannot even begin to describe how hot and sweaty this tunnel was....we were housed back here for the first 30 minutes of the ceremony!

I cannot even begin to describe how hot and sweaty this tunnel was….we were housed back here for the first 30 minutes of the ceremony!

Leave it to me to dance like an idiot.

Leave it to me to dance like an idiot.

That's me in the aqua dress!

That’s me in the aqua dress right in the center!

My chickadees and I!

My chickadees and I!

The ceremony also let us coaches in on some new products coming out….The Master’s Hammer and Chisel (a hybrid program with Sagi and Autumn)…..a sneak peek of this will be released in October on Beachbody on Demand. Plus the brand new Boost line for Shakeology! This company never ceases to amaze me…..always on the cutting edge with new programs and products, plus cool techy things for us as coaches to run a more effective business.

After the ceremony, I was like SSSLLLLLEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP. So that’s what happened.

Friday, July 17th: Day 3

Whoops…..

Kyle and I slept through our workout with Sagi, and I missed one of the general sessions. No sweat though…..at least I wasn’t rushed to get ready for my photo opps! Since I was one of the top performers in May, I was awarded a photo opportunity with Sagi, Chalean Johnson, and SHAUN T! I was so excited to meet him and get a chance to personally thank him, and that’s just what I did.

There’s something about that moment that will always give me goosebumps. After getting a big bear hug from Shaun, he told me how great I looked, and I told him what I did with T25. I honestly think he was more excited than me at that moment. I guess when it comes to this industry, having the ability to influence someone and inspire them to do more and become healthier and hearing about it never gets old. I was able to tell him how much he changed my life and saved my life (No, I didn’t cry..surprisingly), and I was able to tell him about the commercial, too! Those of you who watch his channel on periscope saw him give me some massive high fives and give me the one piece of advice that I wish everyone would listen to : “Always be yourself because you are amazing.” Thanks, Shaun!

An amazing birthday present!

An amazing birthday present!

Meeting Chalean was pretty cool, too! She complimented me on my style and was so sweet. She also was…..so tiny. I wore flats on purpose, and even with her in heels, I tower over her. Here’s a proof from that meeting!

Hi, Im a Giant.

Hi, Im a Giant.

Finally, I got to meet Sagi aka the Beast! I love Body Beast, so I was excited to meet him. I DID NOT tell him I slept through his workout, instead, just chose to flex with him!

Ive got some work to do to catch up.

Ive got some work to do to catch up.

While it may seem like a lot of fun was being had (trust me, it was), the training that went on was priceless. I took notes furiously and had a fire lit under me like I have never had before. As I listened to some of the workshops led by some incredible leaders, I cried, I laughed, I related, and I saw a vision that I cannot wait to come true. Oh, and guess who I got to sit next to and chat with? Just some of my ladies from the T25 DVDs, Tania and Susan. No Big Deal.

It was cool to thank these ladies, too!

It was cool to thank these ladies, too!

I also got to spend lots of quality time with my pal, Heather, who I had never met in real life prior to this trip!

Berry!

Berry!

Thursday evening was the Exclusive Invite Only Stars, Stripes, and Success Party for coaches hitting a certain benchmark  in the months of May and June. I was excited to wear my fabulous Red Nha dress and hang with my friends. Beachbody shut down a certain park in Nashville near the hotels, hired some fun bands, catered food, and let us rock out. It was a blast.

Don't let the smiles fool ya....it was so hot!

Don’t let the smiles fool ya….it was so hot!

After the party, a huge group of us gathered at the second fiddle to hang out. Being the nondrinker it the group, I worried I wouldn’t have any fun, but that wasn’t the case. Our group is such a crazy, eccentric, unique group, and I honestly know I am better because of their presence in my life. Im thankful that I no longer have to rely on alcohol to help me have a good time…..my pals are enough.

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Saturday, July 18th: Day 4

Friday was exhausting. Sleep was minimal. That’s okay, Saturday brought the Superworkout, which was INSANE! The workout started at 6am and was led by Autumn Calabrese, Chalean Johnson, Sagi, Tony Horton, and Shaun T. Beachbody, again, got crazy and shut down all of Broadway. This occasion made me break out the selfie stick.

Please note: third cup of coffee right here. Not even 6am yet.

Please note: third cup of coffee right here. Not even 6am yet.

My Selfie Stick is like a go go gadget arm.

My Selfie Stick is like a go go gadget arm.

My success partner and dear friend, Payton!

My success partner and dear friend, Payton!

Oh yeah, and I was part of the Guinness Book of World Records New Record for largest workout ever that day. Pretty neat!

Confession…..I skipped out of the workout early. I know, i know!

I was on a mission to get to The Core aka the Beachbody Mall when there wasn’t a line. Lines had been nuts…like 3 hours long nuts. No thanks, I have the patience of a two year old. Since everyone was at the super workout, I snuck out and got right in at 7am. It was perfect! Not only did I score the brand new workout CIZE early (it is now available for purchase on my site!), but I loaded up on Autumn Calabrese’s new 21 day fix cookbook, Fixate!

These recipes.......yes!

These recipes…….yes!

Saturday afternoon brought more trainings…more tears…more feelings of pride for what I do. I don’t care what anyone says. You can think that this is a Pyramid Scheme all you want, but I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that this role I have….the ability to be a coach and make a difference….and the ability to work for a company who believes that everyone matters…..nothing has made me prouder or feel such a sense of self fulfillment and accomplishment. NOTHING.

Sadly, Saturday night was the closing ceremony. It’s hard to sum of the awesomeness of the evening. When one of your VPs zip lines into the stadium with fireworks to open the show, you know it is going to be bananas. I was proud to see the Beachbody challenge winners share their stories, I was proud of my friends who walked the stage, and I was exceptionally proud of my friend Brittany Legette Shumard for being in the Top 10. The theme of the event was country chic, but for me, i also made it whirlpool chic, as I hit that tub up in our room as soon as we left the ceremony.

Mirror Selfie for the Win.

Mirror Selfie for the Win.

Coming home was difficult…..I love the time I got to spend with my team and friends. Good news…..we are already registered to head back to Summit in Nashville next year, the rooms are secured, and my team in rolling in with sooooo many people. Already looking forward to it!

We got home late last night, and I spent about 12 hours at home before taking off to New York City, where I am now. Im up bright and early to start shooting for the T25 commercial, so Im going to get to bed so I can avoid looking like a puffalump in the shoot. Cant wait to blog about that experience soon, too!

Night, Y’all!

Someone was excited to see me last night.

Someone was excited to see me last night.

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Shaun T and I are like peas and carrots.

Ok, maybe I just have been eating a lot of peas and carrots and have them on my brain. Regardless, you get the idea. We are like virtual BFFs….he just doesn’t know it yet.

However, in 41 days I will be in Nashville getting to work out right next to my man Shaun T and getting to talk with him, and you better believe I am going to tell him how much he has changed my life. And then I will cry. Yep, that’s a guarantee.

I. Can’t. Wait. In fact, I have an app on my phone with Shaun T’s face and a countdown. It is going to be great. Oh yeah, it’s also going to hit during my birthday week, and I think we all know how I like to celebrate my birthday………

Screenshot_2015-06-02-22-14-25-1

This week started Week 3 of Round 3 of my T25 journey with one of my clients. After the  last post I wrote on our joint T25 experience, I realized that I needed to give this client, who has asked to be anonymous, a name for blog purposes. I understand her desire to keep things on the DL, but referring to her over and over as “The Client” makes me feel like Im hanging out with Brad Renfro, and I don’t really dig that. Moving forward, I am going to simply refer to her as Tania the Machine.

Now, if you have rocked out T25, you know EXACTLY who Tania the Machine is…..she is Shaun T’s right hand lady and also the modifier in the T25 workouts (Beachbody lingo…the modifier is someone who does the same movements, just at a lesser impact. She is a great resource for beginners!). Check out these pics….Tania’s before and afters. She had a baby and used T25 to get those abs of steel back. I like to think of Tania as a quiet riot….when I first saw her, I had no clue what a bad ass she is. Now I know.

This photo courtesy of Tania's FB page.

This photo courtesy of Tania’s FB page.

Back to my Tania the machine, the lovely lady who challenged me to complete T25 alongside her. How is she doing?

FANTASTIC!

Every day Tania and I have communication. She texts me after her workouts, tells me how they went, tells me what she was most proud of completing, and shares where she needs to improve. You see, my job as a coach is so much more than posting cute selfies on FB ( No shame in my selfie game….just saying). It’s about holding those who choose to work with me accountable and helping them stay on track. It’s about helping them meal plan and find a way to LIKE healthier options. It’s about being that one person that serves as a cheerleader when you think the whole world is against you. Every Sunday, as I do with all of my challengers, I have Tania send me her meal plan for the week. The meal plan is always a beginner’s nemesis. You don’t know why you have to plan all these meals out and you certainly don’t want to spend time on Sunday portioning out ground beef when you could be indulging in a Sex and the City marathon. In time, you get it. You do it, and in time, it becomes a part of your weekly routine. Meal planning and prep is the single most underestimated tool in the war against obesity. Just plan, people! And if you are local to me, I will even come help you do it.

Being in Week 3 means one thing: We are almost done with the Alpha workout block, which lasts a month. Once this is complete, we move onto Beta, which is another 4 weeks. The time flies when you are doing pike ups, I tell ya.

On the first day of this challenge, I made something very clear. NO SCALE. We weigh ourselves the first day, and we weigh ourselves on Day 60. The scale is the other nemesis my challengers face. I was once a scale addict, too….stepping on that thing constantly and beating myself up when I wasn’t losing weight.

Here’s a newsflash: you need to focus on the NSVs. What does that mean?

THE NON SCALE VICTORIES!

This is exactly how Tania and I have been measuring our success these past three weeks. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite NSVs………

Tania’s NSVs

– Started the program using the modifier 100% of the time; now using modifier about 20% of the time

-Completed 2 real pushups with perfect form

-Stopped taking the elevator at work

-Has not had a Diet Coke in 3 weeks

-Pants feel looser and her once favorite dress is now too big

-Feels more confident in groups because she feels good about herself

-Has not missed a single workout

My NSVs

-Have not missed a single workout

-Completed every single oblique knee pushup in every Total Body Cardio workout (I used to not even be able to do one)

-Pants and skirts feel looser

-Said NO to my mother’s delicious home made Strawberry Shortcake because I had not planned for a cheat that day

-Finally can do a Pike Up without looking like a complete moron

-Have eliminated gluten from my meal plan and feel healthier, cleaner, less bloated, and not as sluggish

Feeling like Wonder Woman 3 weeks in!

Feeling like Wonder Woman 3 weeks in!

This T25 game clearly isn’t new to me. I know I’ve lost weight. BBBUUUUTTTTTTTTTTT the one lesson that I have learned and that is the most important thing I can share with all of you is:

The Non Scale Victories are where it’s at……it’s not about the number on the scale, but how you feel. 

The thing with T25 that I constantly think about is how hard it was for me the first time. I’m not saying it is easy now…nothing with Shaun T IS EVER EASY……but I downright struggled every day with the workouts that now I am killing. I could’ve given up every day. I could’ve told myself being fat and feeling like garbage was ok. I could’ve talked myself into skipping workouts every day and watched television instead. I could’ve settled for a life of elastic waist pants that grew with me as I shoved disgusting fast food down my throat.

I didn’t. Because I didn’t, I am now stronger and able to do things I couldn’t do the first time I did this program. I shared this with Tania after the first week when she was convinced she would never be able to do some of the moves without modification. Every day you do something, you are making progress. You are one day closer to meeting whatever goal it is that you have. Giving up won’t get you there. Believing in yourself and doing it…..even if that means doing a Pike Up looking like a complete mess like I did for a looooonnnnngggggg time…..will eventually get you to the point where you can say, “I did it.

I am so proud of Tania for sticking with a program that will completely change her life. In fact, I know it already has.

And for those of you who wonder why I love Shaun T so much, here’s a little video from Beachbody’s Summit in 2013. His passion, his love for what he does…..that is what inspires me every day to give everything I have to my clients and challengers.

This guy helped me get my life back. 41 days from now I will get to tell him this in person.

I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

Inspiring someone is the greatest thing you can ever do. Don’t waste that gift.

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