My WHY - A Story About Me & Beachbody
I'll start with a little back story and lead up to what I want to say: My story started years ago, let's just say since I was a teenager I was insecure about who I was, I had no self-confidence and many people including some of my peers would tell me I was lazy, stupid, and a 'loser'. So I grew up believing I was too lazy, too stupid, not good enough. I made some pretty poor choices that lead me down a very traumatic path all the way through my 20's.
Noone knew how miserable or hurt I was because I put on a good, brave front. I hid my feelings and shame pretty well. No one cared enough to see past the fake smiles and sarcastic attitude. So I kept it to myself - the pain, the hurt, the humiliation, the belief that I was a failure of epic proportions. FOOD kept me company and always made me feel better.
I had a baby at the age of 18, married a guy I didn't really love before I was even graduated from high school. Separated and headed for divorce barely a year later. Single motherhood and a job as a waitress led me to make other choices I ended up regretting. Then, I met the man I know I was meant to meet and fall in love with, Jorie Leever. But before our happiness was found, we had some major issues to overcome first; his meth addiction, my dead marriage to a man who literally disappeared and couldn't be found for four years. I had another child, with Jorie. Trying to build a life together while also dealing with lies, deceit and addiction. Call me a glutton for punishment I guess, but we were meant to go through all that together, I believe that. I finally got my divorce and we moved on. Jorie, and I got married and had one more child before we decided it was time for a clean slate. We packed up all our stuff and headed west to Oregon. I am a Michigander at heart, He's an Oregonian at heart. I was ready for a brand new start, so I cut ties with my family and we moved 3400 miles away, headed for a brand new life.
Life began to change and get better for us. He got clean and has been sober ever since. However; for me I was left a cynical, sarcastic, insecure, jealous, depressed and anxiety ridden person. Again, I hid it well. No one, not my new family, the friends I was making or even Jorie's friends from high school that he was able to hang out with again, knew what I was feeling inside or how I was using food to comfort myself. All they saw was Jorie's wife getting fat, then lose weight, then get fat again - I put on a great show for everyone. I had a really scary car accident with all 3 of my children in the vehicle with me. I drove a mini-van at the time, and it was my mistake of course, that sent us spinning and on our side. Thank God, all of us were ok physically. No serious injuries, both my van and the other car were totaled. I gave up driving after that. Too afraid I'd cause another accident. I totally blamed myself. So I made excuses not to drive. The fear was just too much!
All things considered, life was going so well for us with our new life that Jorie got a huge promotion at work that moved us all the way to Tampa, Florida. It was amazing. I fell in love with Florida, and at the same time that is where my life began to unravel, ironically. I couldn't hide it any more. The jealousy, the insecurity, the shame, the depression, the anxiety...it all started to come out. Over flow, I couldn't control it or hide it any longer. It was taking over my life. I became a hermit. I wouldn't leave the house alone. I didn't want the neighbors to see me or talk to me. I wouldn't walk 50 ft to my mailbox to get the mail.
My weight ballooned. I could see it in the mirror every time I'd look at myself. I began avoiding mirrors, windows ... anything with a reflection. I hated having my picture taken, but I'd put on a fake smile because living in Florida...we wanted pictures of family outings to the beach and things like that. I was so embarrassed to have to see those photos afterwards. I hated myself. I hated what I was doing to myself. But I had no idea how to stop it or where to go or who to talk to. I didn't trust any one or any thing, so I just kept eating and hiding.
I did try to step out of my comfort zone and I found a couple ladies in the area we lived in. We began walking. And that helped. I wouldn't walk by myself, but I found I could trust and relate well to these ladies, so I'd walk with them. And I could tell I was losing some weight. But things and schedules got in the way, and walking became less & less. But at least I was beginning to figure out what I needed to do.
The economy went bust, so did Jorie's job. We tightened our budget, he took odd jobs. The anxiety and depression almost killed me at that point. Knowing we were going to lose our home, having to scrape every penny, nickle and dime we could to at least eat - I couldn't handle it. But I did what I needed to do and clawed to as much reality as I could. I had to hold it together for the kids. So we did what we could, sold off everything we could or gave away the rest. Kept only what was truly irreplaceable and moved back west to Oregon. During all this, things were starting to change for me. I'd been looking around online for weightloss help. Without telling anyone what I was doing. I found this site called SparkPeople.com. I signed up for a free account. But it never went further - because of the move and all the upheaval surrounding the loss of Jorie's job.
When we got to our new destination, Jorie was unemployed for over a year. I was battling my demons, and having people tell me I needed to find a job. If Jorie couldn't work, then I needed to. I couldn't work! Not when I was too afraid of my own shadow...and I couldn't explain it, they wouldn't understand...how could they when I didn't understand!? So I hid, I made excuses, I continued to eat.
One late summer afternoon, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. The girl was so gorgeous and skinny. There I was a fat & miserable - pasting on a fake smile. When all I really wanted to do was die. Everything became crystal clear at that very second.
I NEEDED to change and ONLY I could do it! No one could do it for me. No one could fix it for me. If I wanted to change my life, it was up to me! My starting weight: 220 pounds. That was in August of 2009.
I went home and I logged on to SparkPeople. I figured out what I needed to do. My husband and children didn't believe me when I told them I was changing the way I ate, what I ate, how I ate and fixing my problems with depression & anxiety. They really didn't know what to do when the next thing I did was clean out all the cupboards, the refrigerator & freezer and tossed out all the nasty, crappy, processed foods. I made a list of all the healthy stuff I needed, made a menu plan and I went head first into my new life. I began exercising by walking on a treadmill we'd picked up for $50. I bought some hand weights, and a few other at home fitness equipment, along with some dvd's I could use to workout. And I began my fitness journey.
I didn't let anything stand in my way. Once I began getting stronger, I started taking my walks outside. At first it was only up & down the driveway (almost a 1/4 mile), then I'd walk our road. Eventually I started jogging - tried the C25K program and even Jorie was doing that with me. I began shedding weight. I felt better, I was looking better. I began looking for ways to fix my anxiety and depression. No health insurance and no money; I couldn't seek professional help, so if I was going to fix myself, I was going to need to find a way to do it free.
My first step: I talked about it! I finally opened up to my husband about everything! His old drug abuse, my insecurities, my jealousy - everything! We began working out all that old stuff and I could finally see, that I was my own worst enemy. I let everything that had happened to me over the years control me, when what I should have done was find a way to react to it better. I made the choice to let it fester all those years. I made a choice to let the words of peers and family hurt me and make me feel unworthy. Instead, I should have ignored it and stayed positive. But I didn't know any of that back then. Learning it and applying it is what changed everything for me.
I began reaching out to more people who were on the same path as me. Trying to lose weight, learn how to eat right, exercise and get past mental blocks. I never realized until then that there were so many people just like me! People who needed love, support and understanding. Once I found that foundation, I became a whole new ME.
So I started stepping farther outside my comfort zone, looking for ways to make money. I realized I loved being a stay at home mom, but I also needed/wanted to help my husband make ends meet. So I began researching ways to do both: Stay home and still bring in money.
I developed my own brand. The Fit-Nut. It came to me one day, I was thinking about fitness and nutrition. That's what I wanted to do. That's how I was going to be able to stay home and earn money too. Fitness (Fit) and Nutrition (Nut) The Fit-Nut. Around the same time I was making new social media friends on Facebook. A lady named Carolyn Wilhelm sent me a message talking about Beachbody. I was leery at first. Figured it was some scam, so I held her off. I toyed with the idea, looked up her website. Talked to her quite a bit about it. Asked a lot of questions.
My Beachbody story was just beginning to form though I hadn't joined yet. The weight was still coming off and I was getting leaner, stronger, healthier. People were saying things to me, I'd never heard before. They were proud of me, They were amazed how good I was looking, telling me to stay strong and keep up the hard work. For the first time I felt like I had support and I was enjoying the freedom from the depression. Many things were still holding me back, but I was slowly learning to overcome my fears and learning how to fight back. The better I ate, the more I exercised, the better I felt both physically and mentally. I'd lost 50 pounds. That was in July of 2010.
The aches & pains were gone. And I was healing mentally from all the past hurt & mistakes. I got another message from Carolyn about Beachbody. This time I took it a bit more seriously. I began researching the company. I began getting to know the people who are Beachbody coaches. After 6 months of debating and thinking, I finally dug up the courage and took a leap of faith. August of 2011.
Building a business is hard! I'm not a business woman. I'm not a salesperson. But it's FUN! I love what I do. I'm able to stay home and be a homemaker. My dream! Yet, I'm making money too. I'm getting paid to workout, eat healthy and share that with others. It's the best job in the world!
In July of 2012, Jorie and I made a commitment to do the program Power90 together. We've stuck through it and I'm seeing results, even if they are subtle. But, while I workout every day, I still found that I was slipping back into old habits and gained 10 pounds. I'm back on track again, but You see, I'm far from perfect. I've learned that I'll have setbacks and that's OK. It's how I chose to handle it that makes the difference. For me to 'coach' and help others, I need to be honest about that. It's not about being perfect, it's about making progress. It's about making healthy choices every day and NEVER giving up even when things get a little out of control.
My doubts about all this come from my past. Actually they come from my parents. Let me explain: My mother has been obese since my early teens. When I was very young she was trim and healthy, but something happened to her and she gave up on herself. I watched her turn to food and thus, that's where my love affair with food began. She is now in her mid 60's, she has diabetes, she has osteo-arthritis - all the cartilage in her hips and knees has been eaten away, she has heart disease & has had that all her life, she's in a wheel chair to get around, pretty much bed-ridden the rest of the time, on oxygen, has had numerous mini-strokes and basically she's very sick, miserable and refuses to do anything about it to change. Nothing I say gets through. She tells her doctors to mind their own business and leave her alone.
My father has COPD and is a retired trucker. He used to be a very thin man but over the years he's gotten lazy in the 'fit' department and eats like crap too. Can hardly breathe, but he refuses to do anything about it. Says he's just too old.
Obesity runs in my family. Very serious, morbid obesity, Heart disease, diabetes, cancers, strokes -- Yet, I can not make my family healthy! Therefore doubt sets in. If I can't get my own parents healthy, how am I suppose to 'coach' others? Isn't it my responsibility, as a coach, to get my parents to drink Shakeology, and get them on a fitness program that will save their lives? The answer is NO! I can't make their choices for them. I can only do my best, and try to keep talking to them in hopes they'll make the healthy choice soon before it's too late.
My job as a coach is to share, recommend, support, inspire and be accountable for MY choices. Set an example for others to follow. I can only control me.
I think that makes me a good coach because knowing I can't make my parents choose to get healthy, makes me determined to help others who DO want to get healthy. I will fight even harder to find the ones who WANT my help.
This is my Why:
Freedom! I now have freedom from my past. Freedom from depression, anxiety & obesity. Freedom to be a Homemaker and build a business that I can be proud of. Freedom to pay it forward and help others. Freedom to be myself. Freedom from hardship. My freedom is limitless!
Becoming a coach has given so much more than a weekly pay check. It's given me a purpose.