Several years ago my sister and brother-in-law got up off the coach, ordered the world-famous P90X workout and became ridiculously fit. When I found out that the “secret” to their success was they simply stopped eating junk and did a 90-day P90X challenge, I got turned on to the workout, too. Thus began my relationship with P90X and the beginning of a journey that would lead me into fitness and nutrition coaching and much, much more.
Getting Back in Shape
I did my first round of P90X and had good results with the workout, especially considering I didn’t really change my eating habits at all (something I later learned is a must). Still for the first time in decades, since I played competitive sports in college, I started to lose the love handles and rediscover my abs. I also slept better than I had in years and best of all, I felt incredible.
This is not to say that my transformation story was outwardly radical, like something you’d see in a magazine or on in an infomercial. No, prior to P90X I was not obese, addicted to food or even really that “overweight.” However, to me I had really let myself go and the changes post-P90X were significant. I knew that over the years I had become rather undisciplined. Back when I played college basketball I always had physical challenges, or at least set goals. In fact, growing up, I had been conditioned to push myself toward excellence, physical and otherwise. From childhood I was involved in sports year-round, and once I hit college I had the great privilege of playing competitive collegiate ball, something I never thought possible. Pushing myself farther and harder was a lifestyle and a huge value.
Growing Old, Getting Fat?
But life happened in the years after college. Sure I worked out sometimes, mostly jags of cardio such as running or recreational hiking, but I was nowhere near peak fitness. I had grown weak in the cardio department and soft in all the wrong places! I supposed I had sort of given up, thinking that being in so-so shape was an inevitability, something that simply happens as we grow older.
Then in 2007 my dad, who had fought heart disease for decades, passed. It was not sudden; we saw it coming. I had even moved across the country to be nearer to family, to live with my parents in the final couple of years. But the jolt of it felt sudden, or at least shocking. My health spiraled down. In one year I was on 5 rounds of antibiotics in a row for upper respirator infections. Yeast overgrowth was running rampant in my body. I was tired. I ate too much, drank too much and gained almost 20 lbs. I don’t have a picture to show from this time because I wasn’t much on getting in front of the camera. Normally a strong, muscled-type person (I’ve never been ‘willowy’) I had become overweight. I felt old and tired.
When P90X came along I knew I had to do it. But it was intense and I still had not let go of grief (and burgers and beer), so my results were not that fantastic (I didn’t even take ‘before and after’ photos). But the seed had been planted. A better way to live–again–was on the horizon. P90X called up in me some of the competitiveness from before. I remembered how GOOD it felt to work my body, to sweat and to feel truly hungry after a workout.
I did P90X on and off until 2010 when I decided to move to Hawaii to teach school on one of the small outer islands (I knew I had changes to make in other areas of my life too). In preparing to move, I decided to put one workout series into the shipping container. I didn’t know what my exercise situation would be (I knew I couldn’t body surf EVERY day!), but I did know I needed to take with me a an all-around, effective workout that didn’t require a lot of gear or gadgets. There was only one workout I could think of that fit that bill; I threw P90X in and away I went.
I never could have imagined what was in store for me in Hawaii, or that a workout would change my financial outlook and career path, but this is exactly what happened. Early on, one of my fellow teachers came to a meeting wearing a P90X hat. We got to chatting and he asked me if I knew about the coaching opportunity with Beachbody. I immediately perked up. No, I had NOT heard of the coaching opportunity. But what he described sounded amazing: simply work on my own fitness, help others do the same and get paid to do it. Even though I didn’t have designs on making money from coaching, the idea of becoming a Beachbody coach was appealing. I instantly knew that if I were ‘coaching’ others I would be accountable to working on my own health and fitness. I pounced on the opportunity.
Passion for Fitness
It worked and then some! Today I am a Beachbody coach and my passion to work on my own fitness, nutrition and overall health has only grown. I return to P90X as a faithful (and effective) stand-by. But I have learned that Beachbody has all sorts of workouts; in fact something for every taste and level. I have tried the killer Shaun T all-around sports fitness program, Insanity: The Asylum, and from that workout hit another plane with my fitness (I also rediscovered my abs doing this workout!). I have enjoyed Capoiera-based RevAbs, recommend it to everyone I know no matter their fitness level, and use it in my local Fit Club workouts. I’ve recently tried the blockbuster 21-Day Fix, Shaun T’s Insanity Max: 30 and my all-time Tony Horton favorite P90X3 (see my results photo below for this one!). Whatever your interests are, there is some new and interesting workout on the horizon from Beachbody for you. And if you like to mix it up, coming March 2, there will be whatever workout/s you want in the form of Beachbody On-Demand (do your workouts from your device wherever you are!).
Fit After 40
As for now at post-40 years of age, I am happy to say that I am as fit as I was back in my competitive sports days–and I am having way more fun! I love that my mom and sister are not only working out with me but fitness coaching too! Who would have thought that two 40-something girls and their 60-something mom could feel healthy and happy, as well as do extreme workouts that most 20-somethings could never do? I don’t say this out of pride, but out of amazement! We are fit and healthy and we are resolved to live as long and as well as we can–for God but also for the younger members of the family. If we can help it we won’t repeat my dad’s pattern. In fact, my mom who is now two years older than my dad when he passed away, just finished her first (and probably only!) marathon and is now training for a physique competition in July!
In fact, in some ways I am more fit than I was back then: less prone to injury and sickness and more freed-up to do other things in life. In college I did two-a-day practices, plus two hours of weight training–every day. Now, I workout 30-60 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week and have lots of time for other interests. It’s truly amazing.
Passion for People and Food
As a life-long educator (I have taught elementary-college students), I have always had the passion to coach others. I love coming alongside people, helping them identify—and then reach—their goals. I find that this desire has only increased since becoming a Beachbody coach. Now I coach people in fitness and (some) in business who really want to learn, grow and change (not always a combination you find in middle school OR college students!). It is highly rewarding.
Another one of my passions has always been food. I grew up in a home where healthy, fresh, local and home-cooked food was grown, cooked and served. My mom was a natural cook and passed that on to my sister and me. We loved cooking–and cooking together–so not surprisingly we have all worked together as personal chefs. It’s such a hoot to bring joy to people by feeding them, and feeding them WELL. It’s also a big hoot to make foods that are healthy and yet taste fantastic One of my goals is to eat like a queen everyday–both in terms of nutrition and taste.
Recently I expanded my food knowledge by becoming a NESTA-certified Fitness Nutrition Coach. I love discovering how the human body works and how nutrition plays a role in proper function and physical fitness. As a result, I blog about food, sharing recipes that promote wellness, enhance my workouts and are delicious. I enjoy counseling clients in how to maximize their training results and food enjoyment through preparing healthy, easy recipes for themselves and their families.
About a year ago I started a journey into Paleo or Primal eating by cutting out most grains (especially wheat), dairy and non-fermented soy. I felt great on this plan and found that I lost inches off my waist simply by being on it. You’ll see Paleo recipes on my blog here that I have found particularly tasty.
For those who may want to focus on nutrition but are not sure about the fitness stuff yet, check this out. May of 2012 I did the Ultimate Reset Challenge. It was life-changing. Not only did I lose over three inches off my waist in the first two weeks of the Reset, but I got off caffeine, got rid of nagging aches and pains, and cured my 6-year struggle with fibroid tumors (from which I was facing impending surgery). Head over to my blog pages to read more about my journey and the incredible program.
Since the Reset I have been experimenting with bringing the best of the Primal/grain free nutrition plan together with the principles of the Reset: whole-food, alkaline, vegan/pescatarian, low-grain, and plant based. It’s been fun to see how I can utilize what I’ve learned from my formal training as well as experimentation to create a plan that works for me. I’m on a journey, though. I don’t advocate ONE way of eating for everyone–except for the simple ideas that no matter if we’re vegan, vegetarian or uber-carnivorous, we should eat as much fresh, local veggies, fruits, seeds, nuts and other whole foods as we can.
A couple of years ago I started a body building program called Body Beast. It’s been interesting trying to incorporate the principles I learned in the Ultimate Reset with Body Beast’s meal plan that has me eating in the program’s first phase a lot more carbs than I am used to. But true to Beachbody programs: if you follow the program IT works. Here are my 30-day results photos from Body Beast, a program I love and believe I will return to again and again!
Make a Difference
Throughout my Beachbody journey so far, I have returned again and again to the simple idea that one person CAN make a difference–in their own life and the lives of others. I adhere to this simple idea as I work with clients and as I continue to build my own fitness and my team of Beachbody coaches. This is what motivates me. As a result, I am always looking for like-minded people to join my team. I’d love to hear from you if you think you might be interesting in becoming a Beachbody coach.