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.

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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

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.

5 Reasons Why 21 Day Fix is Awesome

Last year Beachbody released the 21 Day Fix and all hell broke loose.  People, mostly women, all over the country were losing their minds over tupperware.  The backorder was CRAZY.  I admit that I didn’t jump on the 21 Day Fix train until I went to a live event and worked out with Autumn Calabrese, the trainer behind the 21 Day Fix.  I loved the workout and her energy was incredible.  I was a fan ever since.

I half assed did the meal plan for a couple of days, and concentrated on doing the entire workout program – which I finished.  It was fun!

Last month I committed to 21 days of eating by Autumn’s rules.  The eating plan was a success and I lost 6 lb in a month without doing anything crazy.  This is what I learned:

1. Whatever you thought of your “healthy” diet – you were wrong.

I thought I ate pretty healthy.  I mean, I knew there was room for improvement, but surely it wasn’t that bad, right?  Well, when you really get down to the nitty gritty, it’s surprising to see how many pitfalls you have.  My biggest lesson is I don’t eat enough vegetables.  Seriously, I had such a hard time getting them all in.  I was putting spinach in eggs and smoothies by the end of it.  Hiding zucchini in my meals was not inspired – it was necessary.  My old stand by of roasted cauliflower was good and all, but it wasn’t enough.

2. There’s a difference between eating less and eating right.

The “yellow” containers were more or less carbs.  My previous wins on the food frontier usually involved watching my carbohydrates.  It more or less works for me.  This isn’t a PSA about low carb.  Yellow containers can be anything from sweet potato, beans, grains, to bread.  There is definitely a difference in quality here.  I get way more satisfaction and benefit from eating the more nutritional yellows, but knowing the option for something else was helpful.

I ended up eating a whole lot, much more than I imagined, but because my portions of each food type were in check, I felt great.  I didn’t feel awful and starved all that much.  (I just have to admit that I had one night where I screamed for ice cream.) I didn’t feel like I had restricted myself terribly or that I was missing out.  It was just that I had to eat different stuff than I was used to.

3. A diet that lets you have wine?!?!

Oh yes.  That yellow container? A couple times a week you can swap it out for a glass of wine.  In my January round I had a wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon out with a friend and it felt awesome to know I was having a drink but I was also staying on track and in plan.  It wasn’t a cheat, it was just a treat.  And my other work had been so on-point that I knew this was something I could do for myself.  I enjoyed it SO MUCH, and savored every single drop.

4. There’s a workout called the Dirty 30.

The workouts are really fun.  The variety is awesome.  Maybe I am not the biggest fan on Pilates, but once a week, I can do the Pilates Fix and be okay with it.  I knew Autumn was my spirit-trainer when she kept yelling at the DJ to TURN IT UP when I attended the live event.  She brings that energy and care in to each of her workouts.

They are fun, and the build on each other.  And with only 30 minutes, she makes you bring your A game but gives you the precious seconds you need to recover after pushing yourself to the limit.  She organizes them in to rounds and this makes it easy to understand what’s coming next and what you have left to do in the workout for the day.

Cardio, flexibility, resistance, body weight – it’s all there and it’s all enjoyable.

5. You can do anything for 21 days.  And if that’s not enough, you can do another 21 days or go EXTREME!

My biggest obstacle with any eating plan or long term athletic goal is I know that life happens and it puts me in odds with my achiever inner self.  I want to do everything right.  But, there are bad days.  And there are events.  And it’s really easy for me to throw in the towel.  So when there is a long program or say, I imagine life without ice cream – I panic.  And if I actually do get started, I’ll sabotage myself along the way.

The reason the Whole30 and the 21 Day Fix worked for me is I know that I can pull it together and give a good effort for a fixed period of time.  And if there is a light at the end of that tunnel – even better.  In 21 days that pint of ice cream will be there.  I know that I might change in that 21 day period and I might not want the ice cream.  That’s okay.  But I’m not telling myself I can’t ever have it again, because that’s just going to send me right out to the store.  When I look back on what I’ve achieved in the time frame, I’m always amazed.  I thought I was the ultimate badass for completing a Whole30.  I’m so proud of my losses from the 21 Day Fix. That gives me the confidence to do it again.

Speaking of doing it again – that’s the best part.  You can turn around and do another 21 Day Fix after you finish one, or you can do what I did and give yourself a weekend off, and start again.

Now Autumn’s released the 21 Day Fix Extreme in case you want more of a challenge.  The eating plan is based on the same principles, but with less leeway for extra treats (wine) and more of a focus on fine tuning results.  The workouts are also dialed up.  Whereas 21 Day Fix was for beginners, 21 Day Fix Extreme is for people looking to blast through their expectations.  I have no doubt I’ll try it at some point, but I’m not sure I’m ready yet!

If anything I’ve said here interests YOU, please feel free to reach out to me through the blog, find me on Facebook, or let me be your FREE coach!

21days

 

Ever thought about Coaching?

Can you spot me?

Can you spot me?

I became a coach because I wanted the discount.

I decided to try COACHING because I needed a way to make a little extra money.

I continued to be a coach because I saw I impacted other people.

I thrived being a coach because it changed ME.

I celebrate being a coach because it’s opened up a whole different world for me and I’d love to see as many people in my life as possible take a look at it.

Now you can. My team is offering a SNEAK PEEK next week. It’s just 4 days long, you can review everything on your own time and see what it’s about. No obligation. If you’ve ever been curious about this thing I do, you need to send me a message and I’ll get you in.