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Every now and then, I still feel like that out of shape, gangly, acne prone, lonely 15 year old girl who was void of self-confidence.  And oddly enough, at those times, I still see her in the mirror.  She didn’t feel any worth, no value.  She was never invited to the parties, and didn’t date.  She didn’t think she was pretty.  She felt invisible. She brought an empathetic ear and a sort of peace keeping to her circle of friends.  Looking back, I don’t know who that girl was.  Neither did she.

My sophomore year in high school we were introduced to the weight machines in the gym…and I fell in love.  I fell in love with feeling strong.  In the gym, I had a purpose, a drive.  But after that semester, we no longer had access to the gym.  So we parted ways.  I had a fling with Tae Bo when it came out and even got some friends together to do a “fit club” in the church basement for a summer.  I didn’t see the gym again until junior year in college.  Then we had another affair for the next two years.  I was in the best shape of my life up until that point, and started to feel confident in myself.  After graduation, I got a desk job working in Human Resources.  I know there are people out there that enjoy that line of work.  I wasn’t one of them.  I stuck it out though…for 8 years through various different positions in the industry, each one shorter than the one before.  With each of them, I felt less and less confident in myself and my abilities. Up until the time came where I would rather drive off the road, than go in to the job I hated.

Even finding my soul mate didn’t help bring the confidence back up.  Although he tried.  David is wonderful at telling me how beautiful I am and trying to build me up.  I just didn’t believe it myself.

Looking back to how great I felt mentally, emotionally and physically when I was working out in a gym…and after lots of prayer and a conversation with God…I took the leap and became a certified personal trainer in 2005.  A year later, a friend told me about a gym owner that was looking for a personal trainer.  I got up the courage to go audition.  And I got it.  What a boost!  As with any job, the first thing that inspires you to quit is your boss.  While I loved working out and helping others get fit & healthy, that wasn’t the place for me.  For the next couple years I struggled, between working in an office still and being part time in a couple different gyms.  God had a plan for me, if only I would listen and follow Him.

In April 2009 I quit both my jobs.  By June, we found out we were going to be parents.  I worked out throughout pregnancy, but had difficulties due to not being able to walk.  The elliptical became my best friend.  I was that crazy 8 month pregnant lady in the gym lifting weights.  It took a long time to get back to working out post-partum. I lost almost all the baby weight the wrong way, through improper nutrition.  I actually started training again when Will was about a year.  That was a disaster.

When he was 15 months old, I signed up for a marathon.  Say what?!  Yeah, the lady who couldn’t walk 2 years before committed to run 26.2 miles.  At the same time, I found Team Beachbody and Shakeology.  Beachbody coaches kept telling me how much it had changed their lives.  I didn’t believe them.  How could a workout program and a shake change someone’s life?  I researched the company and the products for two weeks.  I could find nothing but positive comments and reviews upholding their integrity.  Being one who doesn’t want to judge before I’ve tried it, I signed up as a coach to get a discount and try Shakeology.  By day 2 my sweet cravings were gone.  By day 30 I no longer wanted ice cream, which is all I craved during pregnancy.  By day 60, my taste buds had been reset and I could tell if I was eating something processed.  I was hooked.  I started up my own official Fit Club to help others and actually started working as a coach.  I finished the marathon with the help of Shakeology properly fueling my body.  Then I moved on to P90X and lost the last 5 pounds and 5% body fat, even having to break up the workouts during the day to get through them with a toddler underfoot.  I finally felt confident about the way I looked and felt.  I finally understood how a workout program and a shake could be life changing.

And yet, I still have those “fat” days.  I know I’m not.  There seems to be a mental block that sometimes occurs.  Where you look in the mirror and don’t REALLY see what’s there.  You see what your mind projects.  Or you’ve been around people from that part of your life, and revert back to the person you used to be.  It’s hard to get past that.  The images in the media don’t help.  What does help?  Getting back into the workout routine.  Feeling strong.  Knowing I’ve worked up a good sweat.  Knowing I can do it again tomorrow.  I wouldn’t have the drive to do it without the amazing programs and support Beachbody has developed.  For my one year anniversary as a coach, I went to the Coach Summit in Las Vegas.  An amazing experience I highly recommend to anyone who needs inspiration.  Before I left, I had started to feel frumpy and “bleh”.  By the time I got there, and looked in a mirror other than my own, I could see myself the way I am really am…a beautiful child of God in great shape and learning more about how to stay that way every day.  I don’t train others much anymore, if at all.  But I strive to be one heck of a fitness/nutrition coach.  My drive, my passion, my purpose, is to help others find theirs.  Thanks to the Lord, Team Beachbody, and Carl Daikler, for giving me that opportunity.