Friends, I have some exciting news to share. And I'm nervous to share it, just like I was SO nervous to share Cocoa and Cotton for the first time. What will people think?! What will they say?! It's funny to think about that now, because I love C&C and I don't spend any time worrying about what other people think of it anymore. But putting yourself out there in new ways is scary, and that's what I'm doing today. I've found that the things that give you butterflies in your stomach, and make you feel a little nervous but a lot excited, are the things you've just gotta jump into with both feet. So, I'll stop dragging those feet and tell you the news: I've decided to become a Beachbody Coach. In this post, I want to tell you what that means and why I've decided it's a good fit for me.
So, what is a Beachbody coach? I wrote about Beachbody in this post recently, but to recap, Beachbody is a company that puts out high quality home workout programs like P90X, Insanity, 21 Day Fix, and others, along with some complementary supplements, nutrition plans, and workout equipment. Beachbody coaches are people who use and love the programs, and they facilitate communities of people who want to try the Beachbody programs and products, to help acquaint people with the fitness programs, answer questions, provide tips and insight, and above all provide accountability to people who are looking to improve their fitness. Coaches run accountability groups where their clients check in with workouts and nutrition to stay motivated and work together toward their goals. So, why would I want to do this? Glad you asked. There are four answers to that question.
1) I want to benefit from a community of like-minded, health-focused folks
Part of this is totally selfish--coaching is going to hold me accountable and keep me working toward my fitness goals, and I want that. I've encountered so many confident, happy, inspiring women that are BB coaches and this gives me an excuse to hang out with them. Guys, let me sit at your table. I love you all.
2) I want to bring other people into that community and share everything I've learned (much like I do on this blog)
The scary part about deciding to coach is that people might think I'm trying to sell them things or push programs on them. That makes me nervous, because I don't ever want my friends, family, or readers to think that I want to pressure them to buy BB products or join my groups. I'm not getting into this business to make money off of my friends, or because I want to quit my job (I don't want to quit my job. I'm going to keep doing my job, for many, many years.) But the other side of that coin is that this gives people who might be interested in the health and fitness stuff I love to talk about an opening--it's an easy chance to reach out and say, "Hey, I might want to try that." And that makes me giddy with excitement. So let me just lay this down right now: if you aren't interested in trying Beachbody programs or joining my challenge groups, we're still cool. Pinky swear. And if you ARE interested, I'm psyched out of my mind because that means we get to talk about goals, and cheer each other on when we keep up with our workouts even though life is so busy, and learn more about getting stronger and healthier and happier together. How cool is that??
3) The positivity, energy, and excitement that I've found in the BB fam is unmatched and makes me want to run towards them at full speed
You guys, I can't even tell you how many awesome new girlbosses I've connected with through my very short time with Beachbody. Before I tried a challenge group, I was looking around thinking, "I need to find a Lean In circle." I was looking for young women who are out there slaying and taking names. And I found them! What's awesome about Beachbody is you have coaches who have other full time jobs, coaches who make coaching their full time job, and everyone in between, but all of them are super committed to becoming better leaders, better businesswomen, and leading fuller, happier, healthier lives. Personal development is a huge focus in the BB coaching program, so everybody is out there listening to podcasts and reading books about how to hone their leadership skills, and improve their mindset, and focus their energy on reaching their goals. Everybody's goals are different, and the community supports its members in reaching their own milestones. If I never work with a single client or make a single dollar off Beachbody coaching, it will still be worth it just to have plugged into this awesome group. Not kidding.
4) I love their products
My biggest hang up with Beachbody was definitely Shakeology--I've never tried a protein shake that didn't upset my stomach, and I was really hung up on drinking powdered shakes instead of eating real food. Ten days in to drinking the shakes, I'm totally converted. First of all, Shakeology hasn't upset my stomach once. That's miraculous in itself, given that I struggle with getting enough protein in my diet to build significant muscle (a long-time goal of mine). Also, Shakeology has probiotics in it, and it's the only type of probiotic I've been able to tolerate in the last few years without my system completely overreacting. I used to eat yogurt all the time, but since I cut dairy I've tried probiotics in pill form and in non-dairy yogurts, and all of them have hyper-stimulated my digestive system. Not so with Shakeology--no nausea, no digestive upset. Honestly, I'm shocked.
Second of all, it's delicious. I drink the café latte flavor and blend it with almond milk, peanut butter, a banana, and ice, and it's like drinking a milkshake (except without the stomachache I would get if I drank an actual milkshake). Third of all, it's made from high-quality, real food. The ingredients list is stellar--it's protein and plants. There's spinach, and kale, and spirulina in there, along with all sorts of other fruits and vegetables and fungi and nothing weird or artificial. Ok, fungi is maybe a little weird but very natural. It's obviously still a processed food, there's no avoiding that (let's be real here, it's a powder). But it has lots of vitamins and minerals that I need (I finally don't feel guilty about forgetting to take my multivitamin most days) and it's getting me protein and probiotics that don't make me sick, so I can live with the fact that it's more processed than the raw spinach I put in my other morning smoothie. (Yes, that's right, I'm now drinking a green smoothie for breakfast and Shakeology as a morning or afternoon snack, which gets me one step closer to my goal of only drinking my foods. I'm kidding, eating food is important and good, but I LOVE smoothies. So this is working real well for me.) Finally, I'm still eating my normal real food diet, Shakeology is just a great supplement for me. I've been drinking it to replace a morning or afternoon snack, or on days when I eat a salad from the cafeteria at work, I'll skip adding chicken to my salad (WIN, I hate salad bar chicken but without it my salad just won't keep me full on its own) and will have a vegetarian salad with Shakeology instead. Honestly, this makes me want to do a happy dance. Delicious shake, happy tummy, fresh veggies with no gross salad bar chicken.
On top of Shakeology, Beachbody's workout programs are awesome--which is why I tried a BB challenge group in the first place. There's a huge variety of programs available, so I can plug into something lower-impact (like PiYo, the pilates/yoga combo that still makes my muscles shake) or something that makes me sweat buckets (anything 21 Day Fix, because the creator Autumn Calabrese is an evil genius) or something a little more upbeat and fun (like Cize or Country Heat, the dancing workouts that I'm going to try next!) or something really hardcore and badass (Insanity, P90X). I can do the workouts at home, in half an hour, any time I feel like it.
An Important Note
There's one thing that makes me a little uncomfortable about getting into this business, and it's really important to me to be clear about my position on this from the outset. I don't believe that chiseled, toned, cover-of-a-fitness-magazine bodies are better or more valuable than any other bodies. When a group of people focus on improving fitness for a living, it can be really easy to slip into the habit of putting toned, chiseled bodies on a pedestal and assuming that a "before and after" picture can tell you something about someone's health or worth. This makes me uncomfortable. I don't want to help my clients build a body they can be proud of--I want them to know that the body they have RIGHT NOW is one they can and should be proud of, and I also want to help them to become stronger and feel better and continue working toward their goals. This doesn't mean I don't believe in progress, or that I have a problem with taking photos of physical changes in your body--I find my own progress pictures to be motivating and I love seeing other people share their journeys through photos, too. There's room for improvement in all of our health and fitness, and I have no qualms with helping people get fitter (whatever that means to them) and be healthier and happier. If your goals are aesthetic (I want to be able to fit into this pair of jeans), great. If they're functional (I want to be able to go hiking with my friends or chase my kids around), great. But I won't get on board with the idea that there's anything wrong with you the way you are right now. You are fine as you are, and there is room to improve from where you are today. That is true for absolutely every human on the planet, and it's a key starting point for me as a coach (and a person). I don't think this is counter to the Beachbody platform, or I wouldn't be getting on board with them, I just think Beachbody suffers from the same influences that the rest of our society suffers from--we're told that thin, muscular bodies are better than other bodies. And I want you to know that I don't believe that. I think all bodies are good bodies, and I also know that being active and fit and healthy and strong will improve your quality of life. It can be hard to hold both of those beliefs together, because we get some messed up messages from society. But we can do hard things.