Hi again! It’s been a while, but I have big, exciting news to share with my IDOPT family today! Remember a few posts back when I alluded to my goals for 2016? I predicted that 2016 was going to be ridiculously amazing, and well, that’s exactly what it’s turned out to be! To catch you up, two of my main goals were to read more books (goal of 12) and to prioritize my health (aka coming up with a sustainable nutrition and fitness regimen) to bring balance back to my life. As of today, I’m happy to report that I am on track and meeting my goals for both of those resolutions. I’ve read three books and am starting to read some amazing daily devotionals and personal development books. <–Stay tuned for a future post on my favorite reads. I’ve also made some MAJOR progress in my health and wellness journey, and that’s really what I’m going to share more about with you today.
Anyhow, you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as much this month and I guess it’s for good reason. January 1, 2016 was really the start of a new life for me. I had many things weighing heavily on my heart and I kept praying to God and asking Him to send me some direction. This praying led me here:
Get your life together.
Prioritize your health. Everything you are capable of doing is largely influenced by your health and wellness.
Being healthy and well opens the doors to more and more opportunities, possibilities and the ability to come up with solutions to problems you may be experiencing.
So do it. Be vulnerable. Dig deep. Get off your duff.
Make a plan and try something new.
Pray some more!
Cliff’s Notes Version: This is pretty much what I did. I joined an online Team Beachbody challenge group under the mentorship of my amazing friend and Kappa sister, Audrey, AKA “Coach Audrey.” I remained faithful to the 21 Day Fix nutrition program, drank my Shakeology daily, and did my CIZE dance routine every day. I was inspired. I was truly transforming. I decided I wanted to pay it forward so I became a coach!
The Light and the Heavy Days…
Now I’m going to do something that is not easy for me. I’m going to share a little visual journey of me at my physical best and worst over the years. For every photo that brings me pain and embarrassment, another photo brings me joy and happiness. Of course my happiness and self-worth should not be calculated solely on my physical appearance, but I am a true believer that the better I feel, the better I look and vice versa. So why is it necessary to share these photos with you? Why are my fingers hesitating? It’s hard to be vulnerable. It’s hard to share the ugly or sad parts of your life on social media. I’m sharing because I’m on my journey to better health and part of that journey is knowing and acknowledging the reasons why I even started in the first place. I started because I can’t do the back and forth and I can’t use my weight as an excuse or deterrent from pursuing things I’m meant to do.
What Actually Happened:
The Cliff’s notes version at the top of my post succinctly described what I did. Here are the deets.
- Joined a 30 Day Facebook Challenge Group run by really amazing Independent Team Beachbody Coaches on January 4.
What is a challenge group? A Beachbody Challenge Group is a group of people who have committed to getting healthy by participating in a Beachbody workout program. Through fitness, nutrition, and peer support and accountability, a Beachbody Challenge Group plays a key role in helping both coaches and customers achieve their goals. (Source: Beachbody Challenge)
My fitness program of choice: CIZE.
What is Cize? CIZE is a dance program for everyone and makes exercize something to look forward to! Professional choreographer and trainer Shaun T breaks down dance courses step-by-step, move-by-move, so that anyone can dance their way to fit in just 30 days. (Source: Team Beachbody). Cize was the perfect starting point for me because it is low impact, all routines are less than one hour, the choreography is fun and challenging, and all dances are set to popular songs. I got a great workout, but it didn’t feel cumbersome or boring. I looked forward to pressing play each day and advancing through the routines. Joseph Gordon Levitt, watch out! I’m coming for ya! (Start video at 2:08.) 🙂
P.S. The official CIZE preview video will #giveyoulife.
“Yo, this ain’t no cha cha cha.” -Shaun T
My nutrition program of choice: 21 Day Fix
What is the 21 Day Fix? The 21 Day Fix workout program by Autumn Calabrese was created to help you lose up to 15 lbs in 21 days through simple fitness and simple eating. Its Portion Control eating system and seven, 30-minute workouts each week are designed to burn fat and get you looking better than ever in just 21 days. (Source: Team Beachbody) I was so nervous to try the 21 Day Fix. I knew my portion sizes were way off, but I wasn’t really thrilled with the idea of drastically reducing them all at once. My body took about two weeks to fully adjust to these new and healthy portion sizes and I was surprised at how much food actually fit in those colorful containers. There were nights of rumbling tummies, but after a few days, I realized that life would go on if I didn’t reach for that post-dinner snack. It’s amazing how quickly your body adjusts and performs when you are fueling it properly!
My drink of choice: Chocolate Shakeology
What is Shakeology? Shakeology is your Daily Dose of Dense Nutrition®. It’s simply the most delicious, superfood-packed protein supplement shake on the planet. (Source: Shakeology.com) I’ve been enjoying my chocolate Shakeology for months, but I hadn’t been pairing it with consistent exercise and proper nutrition across the board. This stuff is liquid gold and, the cost comes to only $4 and change per day (for the 30-day supply bags). I can’t say enough good things about this supplement shake. Team Beachbody provides you with lots of recipes to ensure variety and novelty to this daily part of your routine.
Really Cool Things That Have Happened Since January 4, 2016:
So for all of you numbers people, I lost 11 pounds in 30 days. Since the challenge, I have lost over 15 pounds. That’s pretty cool, but not the coolest part in my opinion. Here are some of the other AMAZING things that have happened since January 4.
Better Digestive Health-No more tummy trouble. No upset stomach. No acid reflux. No “I’m so full I could burst” moments. Can I get an AMEN? Before the 21 Day Fix, I never thought that I would EVER be able to eat foods regularly that weren’t processed or laden with my favorite food…CHEESE. Now, when I eat, I don’t feel sick afterwards, bloated or uncomfortable.
WAY more energy– For someone who really doesn’t drink coffee or anything really with caffeine, it’s no surprise that I have some dips of energy throughout the day. I tried to embrace coffee recently, but I just can’t get past the taste. Blech. Add that with crappy nutrition and it was no surprise that I wasn’t getting that “get up and go” feeling I needed. During the challenge, I had some really early wake-up calls and a literal upheaval of what I was putting in my body. Even still, I felt more energized and accomplished a LOT each day.
- Less sugar cravings- I’m going to keep it 100 with y’all. My cravings for sweets didn’t disappear entirely and I’m not quite sure if they ever will. However, they greatly diminished during my first challenge group and managing them has been easier than I thought. I got my dose of dessert-like yums with my daily chocolate/almond butter Shakeology. It’s so delicious and it’s chock full of healthy superfoods and ingredients.
Went down one pant size- I’m only human and so, of course, there’s a vanity aspect of my weight loss journey. I have a closet full of clothes that I haven’t been able to wear in over a year and this is depressing! I was not expecting my jeans to be loose and saggy at the end of 30 days, but that’s exactly what happened. I was so excited to whip out my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans! I still have some pounds to lose before they fit perfectly, but it’s really nice wearing pants that I’m not constantly tugging at every few minutes.
Accountability- Going into the challenge, I really didn’t have any expectations. I was scared about being hungry, getting bored with the food and not being able to do the CIZE choreography. I wasn’t sure if being in a Facebook group with 100+ other people was really going to be inspiring or if I was just going to get annoyed at all of the notifications popping up. Really and truly, I loved being in a challenge group. The daily check-ins were motivating for me and I didn’t miss a workout or cheat nutritionally. It was such a great feeling cheering on others as they made good decisions and found success in their programs. I found so many new recipes to try, I made “new friends” and I was prompted to think about my goals, my plan and built the confidence to take on new challenges, like this one-becoming a new independent Team Beachbody Coach!
Waste Not Want Not- Raise your hand if you’re guilty of buying tons of produce and other ingredients at the grocery store only to throw them away partially uneaten or rotten at the end of the week. Oof. That hurts and I am guilty, guilty, guilty! When you don’t have a general meal plan for the week, this is what happens. All of that delicious and, many times, expensive food is literally wasted. With the 21 Day Fix, I had an empty refrigerator at the end of the week and very minimal waste! My grocery list was exact and organized and it made grocery shopping more efficient. This is an amazing feeling! I feel so accomplished to no longer be so wasteful.
Warm and Fuzzies- There were many times that my daughter, Jillian, “joined” in on my fun exercise routines. It would melt my heart when I saw her jumping up and down to the music or, best yet, clapping for me when I did the moves. It makes me feel good knowing that she is seeing me be active each and every day.
- Personal Investment- I don’t know if any other stay-at-home-mamas feel this way, but I’ve found that it can be easy to lose yourself in the daily chaos of taking care of a little person’s needs. If you don’t step back and consciously ask yourself “Did I talk to another adult today?” “Did I shower?” “Did I do something for me?” you can really burn out and put your needs and priorities on the highest shelf. I love that the “me” time that I’m getting is really investing and benefiting me both now and in the future. I’m getting the endorphins, I’m getting the social aspect, I’m involving my family, and I’m putting myself in the best place to do the next big thing.
Doors are Opening- Being exposed to a world of fitness, positivity, great role models, dance, and delicious food opened a door for me. Coach Audrey believed in me enough to ask me to consider becoming a coach. I prayed, I discussed with Brent, and then I took a good look in the mirror. Why not? There’s really no downside. Someone helped me help myself and now I get the privilege of paying it forward to someone else. So, I’m officially adding “Coach” to my name! I’m excited to see where my coaching experience leads me and I will forever be thankful for this answered prayer.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about my health and wellness journey and my failures and my successes. This is definitely one of the most personal posts I’ll probably ever share, and I wrote it knowing that maybe it would help someone else who might be going through something similar. If something spoke to you and you’d like to discuss it further, if you found a Team Beachbody product that you’d like to try, or you’d like to become a coach, please visit my personal coach web page and click on the “contact me” button. Alternatively, you are always welcome to e-mail me at idreamofprettythings(at)gmail(dot)com.
It would be such an honor to be a part of your tribe and support system and to discuss your nutrition and fitness goals further with you. Be well!
Coach Helen <– First time I’m writing this “out loud.” (And it’s a really great feeling.)