Three years ago today, I unknowingly set out to change my life.
I really didn’t think that would be the result. I mean, I hoped it would, but I’d failed time and time and time again, but I was still willing to try something — anything — to see if I could finally lose weight and get in shape and just feel better.
Because lemme tell you. Three years ago, I felt miserable. Not only was I uncomfortable in my body, I was just uncomfortable with who I was. My confidence was severely depleted, I had no emotional or physical energy, and I just felt stuck. I was stumbling through, grasping at whatever could be construed as a mostly-happy moment, but overall, I wanted to crawl away and just hide.
So, when my coach reached out to me for what seemed like the one millionth time, I finally said okay. I’d get a challenge page and give the whole Beachbody thing a try. There was a new program being released – CIZE – and I had loved dancing in high school, so I thought why not go with something that promised to “not feel like exercise.”
IMPORTANT NOTE BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER: I realize this is starting to sound dangerously like “I was overweight and unhappy, but I got skinny and now I’m happy” and THAT IS NOT THE CASE. I want to make sure I make that very, very clear. Because while, yes, weight loss is a part of my journey and my story, that’s not how or why I got to where I am today, or to where I am going.
Okay, so back to 2015, and the lesson I wasn’t quite ready to learn about myself, but that I did once I found my Beachbody team…
Oh, Australian Battered Potatoes. How I love you so. Crispy, rich, decadent. Were I to go to the fair today (or, well, next summer when they’re back in town…), I would 100% go and buy a plate of Australian Battered Potatoes and I would eat a couple of them and I would enjoy every single bite and not feel a single ounce of guilt.
That wasn’t the case in 2015.
In 2015, food was a shield. It was a wall I could build around myself and all of the emotions I didn’t want to process or put a name to. Food was a way to hide from shame and sadness and frustration. Bad day at work? Nachos. Friend hurt my feelings? Ice cream. Memories of adolescent pain rearing its ugly head? Why, look, another drive-thru! Feeling shitty about turning 32 and not having a solid direction in life? GIANT PLATE OF AUSTRALIAN BATTERED POTATOES!
This is why other diets and programs only worked temporarily for me. Because they showed me the “right way” to eat and the pounds came off, but I never addressed what was happening inside. None of that started until I joined Beachbody.
I don’t even remember how my coach pitched the whole idea of a “challenge group” to me, but I was willing to give it a go. And after introducing myself to strangers across the country and willingly posting check-ins when my workout was complete and my Shakeology was consumed for the day, there came a day where there was a post asking this:
What is your WHY?
I’m pretty sure mine started with something like “I want to lose 50 pounds.” And my coach came back to me and said “I want to lose 50 pounds isn’t enough to get you out of bed at 5:30 in the morning. Dig deeper. Why do you want to lose 50 pounds?”
I realized I couldn’t get away with some sort of snarky bullshit response like “Because it’s what society expects of me,” though I won’t deny that’s where a lot of it began. I wanted to lose 50 pounds because the world is nicer to you if you’re thin. It’s stupid, but it’s what I believed.
So I actually forced myself to really think about why I wanted to lose weight and get in shape. And I realized I did have bigger reasons — reasons that would get me out of bed at 5:30AM. Reasons that would keep me going for three years (and beyond).
- HEALTH. I didn’t want to be afraid of going to the doctor anymore. I didn’t want to feel ashamed. I had a vitamin deficiency and was pre-diabetic at my last check-up before joining Beachbody, and I wanted to go back and show her that I was strong enough and committed enough to tackle those things on my own. (It worked – vitamin levels are now all normal and there are no other concerns based on my blood work ever since I got started.)
- ENERGY. At the time I started Beachbody, I was also sitting in a desk chair 50+ hours per week (something that continued until just this past April). And sitting all day was making me feel exhausted. So exhausted that all I wanted to do was sleep on the weekends or lie on the couch in the evenings. I felt like I was missing out on so many parts of life – including creating art and writing – because my body was just. so. tired.
- TRAVEL. Too often when I traveled, I missed out on things because it seemed too strenuous to accomplish. I wanted strong legs that would carry me around a city for a full day. I wanted strong arms and back that could lug a backpack or, heck, shopping bags of souvenirs. I wanted a body that didn’t desperately need to sit and lose three hours of possible ride/show time at Disneyland because it needed to collapse on a bench in the middle of the afternoon.
- CONFIDENCE. Again, this wasn’t about “get skinny to feel good.” I was never the type to stick to a “diet” or “program” for more than six months. If I could really do this home workout + shake + team building thing, and if I could do it for just a year, then I really believed I could take on any number of challenges. The fact that I’m on year three just increases that confidence day by day.
One of the most important aspects, though, ended up being the support I found from joining a team.
If it weren’t for coaching, I doubt I would’ve ever gotten over my issues with reading Personal Development books (which have been a HUGE factor in getting my confidence up and my life on track). I probably still would’ve have been to Nashville or New Orleans, two cities I’ve always wanted to visit, and finally had a good “excuse” pushing me to go. I might not have rekindled a long dormant journaling habit, or taken up meditation.
Could I have done any or all of these things without Beachbody? Sure, maybe. But I’d tried before, and they hadn’t stuck. Beachbody gave me a community, and that’s what helped it stick. Because this is not just “did you do your workout and eat your vegetables” support. This is “are you really living your best life and how can I be a positive light within it” support. It’s rare and raw and a beautiful thing.
And, sure, as far as being an MLM marketer, I still suck at it. Probably always will. But that’s because while I friggin’ love this stuff and would be totally happy if you wanted to try it and wanted to try it with me, I’m not gonna lie and say being a health and fitness professional is a lifelong dream or goal of mine, or that I see myself as someone who wants/needs to “sell” anyone on this lifestyle. I want to keep going for me. And if you want to come alongside me, that’s awesome too.
And now, because I’ve learned to #NeverMissAMonday (and because it’s my anniversary!), I’ve got to go get my sweat on. Maybe I’ll do CIZE for old times sake…
OH YEAH AND ALSO… I’ll have my three-year transformation photos to share in about a week. Check back for those.