Health & Fitness

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**Disclosure: I am an independent Beachbody coach, and I receive commission on anything purchased through the links on this page. The opinions expressed below are solely my own, and are not representative of the Beachbody company, nor are they influenced by my affiliation with the company. Futhermore, I am not a doctor, and the opinions within are not intended to in any way diagnose or provide medical advice. Please check with your physician before beginning any new diet or exercise regime.

If you know me, you know that one of the biggest things in my life over the past couple of years has been health and fitness. I have struggled with my health since I was in high school. As a child, I was always the skinny kid, sometimes even getting teased for being so little. I was also very picky about food. The pediatrician literally told my parents to “feed them whatever they will eat”. Which meant A LOT of fried chicken TV dinners. You know, the ones with the corn, mashed potatoes, and brownie in them. My mom used to sneak fruit into my diet by mixing plain yogurt with baby peach puree. It was that bad. On the rare occasion that we would go out to eat, I would ALWAYS order chicken fingers. That was the only thing I would eat off of the menu. I didn’t even like burgers. This went on for several years. I remember, even in high school, the only things I would order at restaurants were chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, and loaded potato skins. Sooooo healthy!

As I got older, these bad eating habits wreaked more and more havoc on my physical health, and I’m sure my mental health as well. This meant gaining weight when I went to college, because I survived on waffles, grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, mac & cheese, and ramen. Seriously, I can’t remember eating anything else from the cafeteria or in my room. That was it. And when I moved into an apartment, that was right around the time when those pasta bakes came out, and I was obsessed. Pasta + sauce + TONS of cheese. And all you had to do was dump and bake. What more could a girl want? I never really learned how to cook, and certainly not healthy food, so I stuck to what I knew was safe and easy. Unfortunately I had stopped playing soccer by this time, so the lack of exercise just added to the problem. I also was put on the Depo shot, which is known for its association with weight gain. I ended up gaining 30 lbs. in a matter of months.

I can remember, so clearly, the day that I really realized what had become of my body. I was bending over to get something out of my car, when a couple of guys drove by yelling mean things at me. And my boyfriend hardly even comforted me, like he thought they were true. That, combined with the fact that I had started to notice how the fat rolls squished and rolled over each other when I would sit in my car was enough to wake me up. I joined Weight Watchers and lost the 30 lbs. in 10 months. I hadn’t been that skinny since high school! I felt pretty again, and felt proud of my hard work.

But here’s the thing. I FELT good about myself, but my insides were still hurting. I lost the weight by living off of kids’ fast food meals. And not exercising. I hated exercising, and still didn’t know how to cook, nor did I really care to learn. I had a few easy recipes, but for the most part, my weight loss was all about the portion control. My stomach shrunk and I got used to eating less. But I still had high cholesterol and low energy. I was 21 at the time, so my metabolism was still pretty good, and it was pretty easy to lose the weight as long as I stayed within my allotted points each day/week.

Fast forward 10 years, and one child, later and I was struggling with my weight again. My weight had fluctuated a bit in those 10 years, but I managed to get to my goal weight for my wedding. Then a year later I had gained 10 lbs. when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I still didn’t know how to eat right, and had severe food aversions. I survived on a lot of pizza, bread, and cheese. And fruit. I gained quite a bit of weight during my pregnancy, but managed to lose it all after 11 months of breastfeeding. Almost as soon as I got to my pre-pregnancy weight, I started to bounce back and gain again, despite the fact that I continued breastfeeding long after his first birthday.

A year later, I watched a friend and coworker begin losing weight. Her meals seemed simple, and tasty enough, and she lost 30 lbs. in 3 months. It had taken me 10 months to lose that much, and that was back when my metabolism was better! I was intrigued. After seeing her journey over those three month, I got up the nerve to ask her for more information. She sent me an email with a whole bunch of info, and put me in contact with her coach, Mandy.

***Now before I go on, I want you to know that I am in NO WAY trying to sell you on this. Yes, I am a coach. Yes, I would be honored if you felt comfortable enough to share your struggles and desire for a healthier life with me. But I am a coach, a supporter, a cheerleader of sorts. I am NOT a sales person, nor would I ever want anyone to think of me as such. I am merely sharing my story, in hopes of encouraging you. And 21 Day Fix, Shakeology, and Beachbody are a big part of that story, so it would be impossible to share my journey without talking about it.
So I got in touch with Mandy, and asked her about a billion questions. She told me all about 21 Day Fix and Shakeology. She gave me the option of getting just 21 Day Fix, or adding Shakeology to my order to speed up my results and improve my health more too. She told me about the coaching discount, and how even after the monthly coaching fee, you still come out better if you plan on drinking Shakeology regularly. Since I knew it would take me at least a few months, and I knew I wanted quick results, I chose to become a coach and include Shakeology.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when my order came, but boy was I surprised. While the program is super simple, I was in for a serious reality check with the types of food I was eating, and with my lack of protein and veggies. I knew veggies would be an issue, but had no idea how much less protein I was getting than I should be. I also *knew* processed carbs like white rice and white pasta were bad, but I didn’t know I would have to cut them out completely. That was honestly one of the biggest, and most effective, changes I made. It took me an entire month of boycotting wheat pasta (you see, I knew I didn’t like it), before I broke down and started eating it. And let me tell you, after a month of no pasta at all, the transition from white to wheat pasta is SO MUCH easier! *Side note: Over the past year, I’ve had periods of time where I was more relaxed with the food I eat, and started eating those processed carbs again. And every time, I have seen my weight increase within a matter of just a few days. This seems to have the biggest effect on my weight out of everything. Everyone is different, but if you struggle with your weight, this might be a good place to start.

The other thing that was very different for me was exercising. I had begun running, using the C25K program a few months earlier, and while my physical fitness had definitely started to improve, the scale didn’t budge. I knew it was more than my eating habits though. While those were a huge factor, I knew that walking/jogging for 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week, wasn’t going to cut it. I had never lifted weights before. Ok, I might’ve lifted in P.E. class in high school, after we got our new, super exciting (sarcasm) weight room, but that was very minor. Within weeks I noticed a difference in my strength and endurance. And the best thing was that the weight started to melt away. All in all, I ended up losing 20 lbs. in just 6 weeks, before switching it up with different programs. I’m certainly not perfect, and I have gone up and down some over the past year and a half, but even if my weight isn’t always where I want it to be, I can tell you without a doubt that I am healthier overall because of the changes I have made.

To follow the newest part of my journey, including my 21 Day Fix reboot, start here.

If you would like more information, or would like to sign up for one of my free monthly Facebook support groups, please email me at fitnatalier@gmail.com, or contact me on Facebook.

***Disclaimer: Beachbody does not guarantee any level of success or income from the Team Beachbody Coach Opportunity. Each Coach’s income depends on his or her own efforts, diligence, and skill.