Progress Photos are Scary!

**This post actually came from my Facebook page.  I can’t freaking believe I put this photo on there, on here, heck, I even sent it to an ex-boyfriend.  Why?  Because I’m not hiding.  I’m DOING this.  I’m a normal person and I’ve got normal person feelings.  So someone else who is a normal person with normal person feelings needs to know he is not alone.**

The first time I joined a challenge group here on Facebook, my coach Jamie wanted me to send her before photos. I immediately got a lump in my throat. I didn’t want to take photos and I certainly didn’t want to share them with someone I’ve never met.

I mean, let’s get real, we only post the best of the best photos of ourselves when it means other people can see it. We know the angles, we know the lighting, we know the filters. And when you’re struggling with your weight and you finally decide to take a risk and try something new, there’s just so much “new” you can take.

But I took my before photos and I sent them to her. And I’ve sent her photos since then. And I’ve taken some for myself and kept them on folders in my computer I never visit.

I revisited them today at her suggestion. She provided me with a 2014 photo – not even the start of my Beachbody story. The other photo is last week. I still have a long way to go but I’m so grateful for the road it has taken to get here so far.

January 2014 - September 2015

January 2014 – September 2015

So take your before photos. Get your significant other or best friend to take photos of you in workout clothes. You don’t have to obsess over them, tuck them away in a folder, send them to your coach. (I’d love to be your coach!) And when you’re ready to see how far you’ve come, bring them back out into the light.

Oh yeah – and if you turn in your before and after photos, along with a Beachbody program completion, you get a t-shirt and can win $1000.

Haters Gonna Hate

Isn’t it a little ridiculous to be a healthy and fitness coach when you obviously don’t have it all figured out?

You know what, that’s true. I am mid transformation. I do have bad days. In fact I did sample lots of donuts this weekend with my friends.

I can’t tell you that I have it all figured out – I certainly don’t.  But I’m getting there.  Every day I’m closer to my goal that I was the day before.

The thing is, I have the audacity to not hide.

I’m not going to say nothing and emerge like a butterfly.  You get to see the good, the bad, and the annoying along the way.  Some people probably won’t enjoy all my posts.  I know I’ve lost “friends” on Facebook.  I don’t care.  Someone else needed to see that I was out there trying my best on that day.  It made a difference for that person.

I’ve been trying to lose weight since I was 11 years old.  Nothing has “stuck” with me like Beachbody coaching.  I’m constantly uplifted by other coaches, my customers, trainers, and even the executives of the company.  (My CEO tweets at me, what?!?!)  And I know that by having people watching me, you ALL are making me accountable.

A kid can be 5 years old and be a baseball player when she hits the t-ball set up.  She doesn’t have to wait to be in the MLB to be a baseball player.  So why can’t I be a health and fitness coach right now?

Enough said.

Enough said.

Immunologist to Coach

Six years ago, today, was a REALLY bad day.  (ETA – This post was written on 9/11/15)

I know it doesn’t compare to 14 years ago today, but indulge me a little. This is the first time I’ve really talked about this publically.

On 9/11/2009 I was fired/let go/laid off/dismissed from my last professional science job. It was sudden but not entirely a surprise. My 2 friends in the lab had seen my job description up on Craigslist the day before so I had a bit of a heads up. I had just come back to work from getting married over the weekend. I had spent the summer leading up to my wedding working weekends, committing time card fraud at the request of my management, all the while being told I wasn’t doing enough. My work wasn’t good enough. If I worked harder, spent more time, did more, maybe the powers that be would be appeased.

They were not.

I had wanted to be a scientist – no joke – since I was 9 years old. I pursued it with single minded determination. Science fairs, after school activities, my choice in high school, taking EVERY SINGLE science class my HS offered – these were my preparation steps. I finished my BS in 4 years. I started working at the premier genetics institution in the country out of college. I loved that job. I killed myself for that job, having a miserable personal life, getting ill for that job. All to be… guess what? Fired.

So although I’m very good at what I do, I was fired from my first professional science position and my last professional science position. It wasn’t a difficult take away to think “I must suck!” (Despite excellent job experiences, and graduate school in between.) That pretty much colored the next 3 years on unsuccessfully trying to land another science job. My confidence was broken.

I started to think – what is it I love about science? Of course I find Biology fascinating. The body is AMAZING. Our systems are gorgeous and perfect in how they work. I get a thrill problem solving. The basic reason I had my passion for science was I wanted to help people and make the world a better place. Maybe it wasn’t that I’m a terrible scientist. Maybe it’s that a typical scientific atmosphere doesn’t not suit who I actually am.

I will always be a scientist. It’s a part of how I approach the day. But now I’m a coach. My lab is my body. The people around me are my professional interest.

I love human beings and I thrive connecting with people in real ways. I am an extrovert. I want to make their lives better. I want to make a difference. And I can’t do that by working myself into an early grave. I can only do that by taking care of myself and showing other people how to make their time better as well.

Fitness and health are now my passion. It’s still science! THIS is how I’m making the world a better place. It’s not just figuring out the gene behind something, it’s impacting individuals in whatever way I can. I’m not sure where this is going to take me, but being a Beachbody coach has been the catalyst for changing my life, making peace with my past failures, and realizing that they weren’t failures, they were just trips I had to take to get to where I’m meant to be.

 

Shakeologist

Shakeologist

Born to Wander.

I’m a born traveler. I used to annoy my parents to no end when I was a kid because I never wanted to stay home. I’m very fortunate to have had more opportunities than most young people. And as an adult I’ve tried to take advantage of any chances I’ve had to go anywhere new.

I don’t mind flying. Buses are fine. Trains are kinda cool. I’m down for a cross county road trip *whenever.* Boats? You *know* I love life on the high sea!

This was a busy summer for travel and me. I went to Nashville for Beachbody Summit, which is a new state and city for me! I went back to SF to see dear friends get married. And I spent 3 whole weeks back in Maine, with family, friends, new friends and lots of cats.

I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to do this travel, I don’t take it for granted for a second. My manager at Starbucks let me fly the coop for an extended period of time, and my job as a Team Beachbody Coach let’s me do the good work that I’m passionate about anywhere. I imagine a time when I can do even more travel, even more connecting in person, even more sweating with the people I care most about.

Wifi is my best friend. The world is a small place because we can keep in touch about the fun things we do and stay on track with our health and fitness goals. The world is also a BIG place. Flying over looking down below makes me want to see it all.

If I get the window seat, I'm happy!

If I get the window seat, I’m happy!

Speed bumps happen to the best of us.

I’m at home in Maine for awhile.  All in all, this trip is lasting 3 weeks.  It’s been really hard at times to live across the country from friends, family, and where I grew up.  I’m more and more of a Californian every day, but I am still a Maine girl.  Definitely one of the biggest reasons that I am a Beachbody Coach is so that I can have the flexibility to be somewhere other than home in San Diego and still do my job.  My parents are getting older.  My friends have kids I want to know.  Social media lets us maintain relationships with people we knew in our pasts that we want to keep building.

Heading up for a walk.

Heading up for a walk.

I thought I prepared so well for this trip.  I packed plenty of clothes (probably too many).  I brought stuff to work out in. I brought a bunch of Beachbody program DVDs.  I brought tons of Shakeology.  I brought the new Beachbody Performance sample pack.  I fully intended to do my business from wherever I was.

Guess what?  $hit happens. I haven’t been on the ball.  I’ve managed some great walks and I’ve been to spin classes, but I haven’t been able to work my program remotely.  If it’s not a DVD player that isn’t hooked up, it’s a TV that’s in constant use for crime dramas.  These speed bumps don’t add up to much more than excuses and yet here they are.

Without getting in to much detail, there’s been some pretty heavy stuff going on with my family.  I’m dealing with it as best I can, but I have found myself sliding back into some dark places and some bad habits.  My disordered eating has been scratching at my brain.  It’s a comforting way to deal with stressors.  Only, it’s not that comforting. I see the patterns starting to form and this has been the first day I’ve been able to successfully pull the brakes on it.  No doubt, by telling 2 people close to me about it, separately, it made it real and it made my brain wake up a little.

I can only change what’s happening now and I can only try my best and set myself up for good things down the road.  I think that it means, I need to leave my time with my parents and get to a more neutral space where I can map out my own plan for the rest of my time here.  I need to not fall apart.

I accept, whole heartedly, than I am not perfect.  This isn’t any more than most people handle.  I can do this. I just have to remind myself of it and get on the right track.

My number one priority in life is my health.  MY HEALTH. I need to serve that priority in everything I do.

Officially a PiYo LIVE Instructor

It feels like I’ve meant to write this blog entry forever! At Beachbody Summit in Nashville I became a PiYo LIVE instructor.  I can lead classes now!  This is really exciting and actually fulfills a dream of mine that I never thought I’d reach.

I’m going to put this out there – yes, I have the audacity to be a group fitness instructor as well as a health and wellness coach.  Sure, I’m not a finished product – but will anyone ever be? Maybe I can start giving back NOW instead of waiting until a period of time in the sometime future where I feel I deserve this.

That’s crap.  I work hard.  I don’t deserve anything.  I’ve earned this and I intend to keep earning it every day.

Back in 1998 when I started going to Gold’s Gym in Bangor, ME I took Step Aerobics from a woman named Gina Toman.  She quickly became a mentor to me, whether she knew it or not.  The other group exercise instructors there as well totally inspired me.  But Gina was one of a kind.  I knew that leading a group class someday was something that I needed to do.

So why PiYo?  First of all – I love it.  Yoga is a passion of mine and Pilates is something I wish to improve at, so I had the interest when I started.  But PiYo is so much more than Yogalates. It really makes you FEEL like an athlete.  Emphasizing strength and flexibility, but sweating up a storm to good music – incorporating elements of dance and (believe it or not) gymnastics – it’s the whole package.

All official

All official

Serving people who do not feel that they can handle an intense group class is something I am excited about.  I’m still struggling with the moves, I modify. I literally have body parts in the way from doing some kick throughs.  The greatest part of PiYo is that it’s accessible to everyone.  There’s modifications YOU can do.  There are ways to push yourself, get a good workout, and be safe.  The best part is, at the end you are accomplished.

I am interested in making people feel like they can do more than they thought they could.  There is bliss to totally nailing Warrior 2.  There is a high you get from knowing you did more today than yesterday.  I want people to believe they can do something scary and outside their comfort zone.  I’m sure stretching outside of my own comfort zone with being an instructor!

Now if only I could get the musicality and cueing down.  🙂  I plan on making friends practice with me a lot in the coming weeks.  You’ve been warned.