Saturday, August 23, 2014

Beachbody: Why I Stopped Being a Coach but Am Still #TeamBeachbody

Last year around the end of May I discovered I could sign up and become a Beachbody coach. This was great for a couple reasons:

1) I was working out using Insanity already.
2) I was super into fitness.
3) I was Instagram obsessed.

So sign up I did! I was all about Team Beachbody. It was giving me drive and motivation. I was really seeing results in my body. I lost over 20lbs from March (when I started Insanity) to August 2013 and many inches. Around the end of August something shifted. I'm still not 100% sure what happened but I started slacking. I overate. I wasn't working out as much. I was slipping overall. After giving it another month and a bit to try and get my butt back on track, I decided to call it quits.

I don't look back on my time with Beachbody negatively at all. I still believe strongly in the products and people. But if I couldn't be my own testimony, I didn't feel right trying to coach others. The spark just wasn't there and it's been incredibly difficult to get it back.

My whole life I've struggled with depression and anxiety. And my whole life I've heard that exercise and eating right fights depression "naturally". This does not and has never worked for me. So, here I am a year or so after I stopped being a coach with all the weight gained back. Am I disappointed? Absolutely. But it has nothing to do with the support from Team Beachbody (and specifically Team Next Level) or the products Beachbody offers. This was all me and my personal issues.

All this time later I'm still struggling to get back on track and get back into a better, happier mindset. I have found my "soulmate" program, PiYo with Chalene Johnson, and I adore it. But there is something stopping me from being truly successful. Some key piece I'm missing to unlock the long term success I really want and had for years. That's on me to find. I will keep working on it even with the huge roadblocks I keep running into.

Beachbody may be lumped in with a lot of other MLM companies but that does NOT make them all equal. Beachbody is one I supported before I even knew it was an MLM and one I continue to support long after leaving the coaching side.

If you're thinking of ordering one of their products or signing up as a coach, I say do it. Their programs and trainers are awesome (T25 and PiYo being my favourites). They do have great support both for people looking for coaches and people who are coaches.

Keep fighting the good fight. Our bodies and minds are worth it.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Directions

I can't believe it's been over a year since I wrote something.

But in this year break I realized that I cannot try and write for others to see. I need to write if I feel like it. For the past year I haven't heard the call. Today I felt pulled back to this blog. I doubt anyone is really checking it but that's okay. As happy as I'd be for people to read my posts, this isn't about anyone else.

A few quick things which I plan on addressing more thoroughly soon: I am no longer a Beachbody coach. Absolutely nothing against the company or people, I just couldn't be my own testimony. If I couldn't find my own motivation, there was no way I wanted to try and fake it for others. Being genuine is very important to me. Probably why I didn't write for so long. I didn't want to force it.

Second, my daughter is now two and a half! It's crazy and we're hitting this awesome stage where her whole "big kid" personality is shining through. She keeps me smiling and cracking up every day even though things have been up and down this year.

Third, I'm obsessed, OBSESSED, with subscription boxes. I plan on doing some reviews as my August boxes roll in. Our Skoshbox has already been devoured so I guess that will have to wait until September. But reviews to come are Ipsy, Birchbox, Splendies, LipMonthly, and a Memebox. I'm still a BzzAgent and now an Influenster as well. Mail is so exciting when you have subscriptions and surprises coming!

Okay, there you have it. I'm back. Maybe.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Got My First BzzKit!

Last month I mentioned that I had signed up for BzzAgent, the great site that allows you to try out products and review them for free. Well, I finally got my first BzzKit just over a week ago and would like to give my thoughts on the whole process.

I signed up in early May after a friend got her first campaign for BedHead hair products. I was so jealous because I am always in search of new hair products to try to tame my frizzy hair! I filled out all the surveys and waited. And waited. There were probably 5 or more campaigns that came and went before I got my first one. Of course, I don't have a Kroger (or as it is here, Fred Meyer's) nearby which limits all the campaigns I can get to non-food related ones since BzzAgent works with the Kroger chains only. After accepting the campaign offer I started waiting again, this time for my package to be shipped. Now, I'm not complaining because this is all 100% free. All I have to say is that my anticipation was high. After two weeks my BzzKit arrived in the mail. This campaign is for Dr Scholl's For Her High Heel Insoles and although I don't wear heels often I put them in my 3" heel cowboy boots and started walking. Unfortunately for me, I have wide feet and these little dainty insoles were not made for wide feet, at least not mine. They do look perfect in strappy heels, you wouldn't be able to tell you had them on if you didn't know.

That face means I'm awesome.

So, I returned to BzzAgent to report my experience. Even though I didn't have a great view with the product it's not a big deal. Each time I participated in my campaign I would get a personal reply from BzzAgent thanking me and actually commenting on the things I was saying. I told them that my feet were too wide and they said that they were sorry it didn't work for me. When I shared that I had mentioned them to my mother-in-law, they responded that they hoped she uses the coupon I gave her! It's very personalized so no, you cannot "cheat the system", not that there's really a system to cheat. I've also been earning "achievements" for my participation which is kind of cool since I love feeling accomplished for mundane tasks. It's just a cute little add on to the whole site.

Last but not least, when I first started this campaign I had a BzzScore of 3.5. Scores range from 0-10, the higher your score, the more active you are in your campaigns and the more likely you will get picked again. My score has now risen to 6.1 which is actually pretty good and gets me into the top tier. Hopefully I will start seeing a few more campaigns and start sharing a few more reviews on this site as well.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Belated Fathers Day Post

I wrote about my mom recently and since Fathers Day was yesterday I guess it's only apt to talk about my dad too.

My dad is a great man. He grew up in one of the older parts of Toronto in Cabbagetown and Regent Park. It's over 50 years later and he's still close friends with the majority of his childhood buddies. They do toy drives every year for Christmas. They enjoy Labour Day boat trips. It must be nice to have that sort of camaraderie with people you've known your whole life.

He never finished high school but that didn't stop him from finding work or continuing to expand his mind and learn about the world. He traveled Europe with a friend's band. He lived with a handful of friends in a party house. He enjoyed life. When my parents met, I'm not sure that he settled down right away.

I was born when my dad was 38. He was definitely on the older end of the spectrum to start having kids but I never really thought much about it growing up. He still played baseball with us, went bike riding with us, stayed active, and kept much of his youth. Even now at 63, he goes to lawn bowling weekly or indoor bowling during the winters. That is what I hope to achieve when I'm his age, the ability to stay fit and active.

Just like I did with my mom, my dad and I had our share of struggles. The biggest thing for me is that he tries to understand both my brother and I. He's gone to family therapy for me. My father's been completely accepting and supportive of my brother since he came out at 13. He supported my mom through her continued education, job changes, trips to Africa, and even after they got divorced he's stayed friendly with her.

Sometimes it makes me feel incredibly selfish for moving so far and leaving him behind. We used to do dinner every other week or so while I was in university in another city. He helped me move. He never told me not to go but I know he wanted to and didn't approve. When I told him I was pregnant I don't think he was really ready to hear it but since seeing Emma and meeting her in person I know he'd never change a thing. He's a great grandpa and it breaks my heart every time we Skype because I can see how much he wants to be here and play with her.

There are probably a million more things I could say about my dad, all genuinely good things. If you asked anyone they would tell you that he is a good man. I am so thankful to have him as my father and a good example of the kind of person you should be, man or woman.

I doubt he'll ever see this but I just have to say: I love you, Dad.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Woman Who Raised Me

I think it's time to give some credit where credit's due. Let's talk about my mom.

First off, we have not always had the best relationship. I have had my bratty periods and my troubled periods... However, my mother has never given up on me and always met those parenting challenges with love and compassion. When I struggled through school due to severe anxiety and depression, she never left me out in the cold, she always tried to find ways to get me through things. I was not always good to her, we had our problems, but I can honestly say that we have a strong relationship now. Maybe not as strong as the Gilmore Girls but it's close.

I was born when my mom was 29. She went back to work after I was born but when my brother came 2 years later she decided to be a stay-at-home-mom for a while. After a period of about a year she went back to work, and school, eventually juggling both. She did what she felt was right for her as a person, not just as a mom, and by doing so she showed me that I can do that too.

At 50, my mother earned her PhD. My grandmother had earned hers at 60. If the pattern continues I should be on track to earn mine at 40 (which is unlikely to happen but that's 15 years away, who knows?). She always stressed how important education is and pushed both myself and my brother to continue on to post-secondary schools. While I am now a university drop-out, I continue to learn and grow. I try new things, I'm interested in various areas of study, I keep up with world news. This was definitely her influence and for that I will always be grateful.

She is generous. She is kind. She is personable and if you walk down our street she will greet you with a friendly smile and "Hello!". That constantly bothered me as a kid. I am a quiet, shy person. I hated when she would talk to strangers. But I get it now. Now I know the value of politeness and showing kindness to all around you. I am no longer a self-absorbed kid and will happily greet my neighbours as I'm walking Emma in our neighbourhood.

The biggest thing I have to say about my mother is that she loves me above all else. She has sacrificed more than I will ever know in order to support her sometimes unstable, helpless daughter. I can't know everything she has done for me in any great amount of detail, I know there's way too much to go through, but now that I am a mother I know where all of this unconditional support and love comes from. Emma is so fortunate to have my mother as her grandma. And I am still so lucky to have her as my mom.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Teensy,Tiny Rant

We bought Emma a little cheap kiddie pool this week since summer has finally hit us here. She was so excited to see it being brought into the house and we were so excited to have her try it out! However, for me personally, I'm not comfortable taking pictures of her naked when I plan on sharing them with family and friends. So, as soon as I realized that she needed a new suit from last year we went and got one.

Can I just say to all the baby clothing companies out there: uniform your sizes!

My chunky, adorable girl wears about 24m or 2T clothes most of the time now. However, I had to go way up to 4T for a bathing suit that would fit without being a 10 minute struggle to get on and off. I've heard from other moms that this is a common thing. If you're buying a bathing suit, go a size bigger than their every day clothing.

Why is this? What purpose does it serve? Learning about the differences in sizing between tops, bottoms, diapers, shoes, swim suits, socks, etc. is a pain in the butt. Please guys, can we just get the same sizes for the same measurements across the board? Thanks.
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