Recently I went on a spending spree. Well, for me. I am pretty notoriously TIGHT when it comes to spending money on clothes. I generally always shop clearance and RARELY pay full price for clothes. I use store credit cards, sales, coupons, whatever. It’s kind of silly because I have no problem spending money on experiences (travel, sports, events), food or beer. But $30 for a shirt? Never!
I have worn about 8 different sizes in women’s clothes throughout my weight transformation. I got rid of all the biggest clothes. Due to this mini spending spree (which in all actuality, is probably just a normal shopping trip for most women – and yes, I did get sales) I went through my clothes to get rid of some of the clothes that are a few sizes too big for me. I don’t need any reason to go back to those sizes – so let’s trash them. It is kind of hard for me though? I have a pair of jeans in particular I remember being so proud of fitting into and wearing them to an event with my girlfriend. They were such an accomplishment for me at the time and I felt so damn good in them. It’s crazy how emotional clothes can be. I also came across a few t-shirts I forgot about (I’m sure I’m not the only one that has a few favorite t’s they wear over and over?), including this T25 t-shirt I got after I completed the Beachbody T25 program.
OK – start rant.
There are many people out there who use Beachbody and love it and on the flip, there are so many who bash it. I honestly don’t think I’d still be maintaining my weight without doing the Beachbody programs I did. So here is where I profess my love of the programs and try to justify to others why you need to do what is best for you. You don’t have to listen to others who say it is trash, the shakes are junk, overpriced, whatever. I can agree on a few things: I do NOT think you need the shakes to succeed with weight loss or to become healthy. I also do not like pushy sales type people shoving the products down your throat or clogging up your Facebook page. Finally, I also really don’t agree with the term Beachbody coach. Anyone can become a coach just by signing up. There is fine print explaining this in the programs but for a person new to fitness, it might be confusing.
Here is what I like about the programs. I am specifically talking about Shaun T and the programs of his I have done: T25, Insanity and Insanity Max30.
- Comfort. You can exercise in the comfort of your own home. As a formerly obese person, I found it difficult to go to the gym. Most people are open and welcoming, but that doesn’t mean I felt I belonged there. You feel flabby, out of shape and tire faster than everyone. You don’t know what you are doing. You don’t fit into the cute spandex outfits and are wearing a t-shirt 2 sizes too large to hide your body. I’ve been there. I get it. Doing this at home eases all those fears. If you listen to Shaun T and follow his cues, he does provide terrific instruction, form, etc.
- You can build your confidence. As with most exercises, if you can commit and follow through with a program, you will see improvements. You will feel better and you will feel stronger. I wish I would have kept some of the first workouts I ever did in my basement that I printed out. I was certain these were the hardest moves ever. I bet now, I could probably do them as a warm up. It’s amazing what our bodies can achieve. His programs require a few free weights if anything at all so you don’t need a huge investment. Sure, the DVD’s are kind of pricey but I followed many of them for at least 2-4 months and a gym membership would have been a higher cost.
- Nutrition advice. The programs I used came with eating guides. I had lost quite a bit of weight by changing my eating habits and doing a few exercises. I need something to jump start my weight loss and get me going again. The guides provided great nutritional advice and meal ideas. He focuses on eating whole foods. And even if you don’t agree with the shakes – they are an excellent way to start incorporating fruit into your diet. This is coming from a person who didn’t even eat bananas and now I eat fruit on the daily. It astonished me how rude some people can be when they say – just eat healthy and move more. Well duh. But it isn’t that easy. So many people don’t have a clue what “healthy” is or even what proper portion size is. A plate full of pasta isn’t healthy but pasta with veggies and protein can be a great meal. It isn’t about starving yourself but about fueling yourself. I have been doing this for over 3 years and I am learning more and more. It isn’t reasonable to go from eating out every meal to eating only whole foods, low fat, etc. It is a process. There is no one cure all/fix all.
- Support. The positive thing about a Beachbody coach is the online support they give. You get a feeling of a team. That said, again, this is a sticky area. You don’t want to get wrapped up in someone pushing you too far, too fast, too much, trying to sell you unnecessary products, etc. I think if you have a friend or someone you can trust to be your coach, this would be best. Better yet? You could always buy the programs used and not have to have a “coach” but you would miss out on the group encouragement.
- Modifications. The programs show modifications for the most part. Starting out you aren’t going to be able to do all the moves. I still modify. If you can do the moves – go for it!
- Stepping stone. The biggest benefit to me from doing Shaun T workouts is it has been a stepping stone. I started following him on social media, listened to some of his podcasts and read up on his life story. He is inspirational to me. Through completing his programs and seeing progress, I have been able to have more confidence in running, cycling, swimming and even now with lifting weights. I haven’t done a program of his in a few months but I keep the DVD’s on my shelf and I think I’ll go back to them. Fitness and health are a tricky combo of being active and eating properly. Without what I have learned from Shaun T, I might have fallen back into being overweight, I don’t know? This opened doors to me doing more research on health and fitness options.
What I would like to express is to not let anyone tell you Beachbody is bullshit. Or Bodypump is a waste. Or running is too hard on your joints. Or you don’t really need to workout that much. Only YOU know what is best for you. That is why you see people successful at running, at biking, at pilates, at yoga, at whatever. If you find a passion and can stay committed to a fitness program go with it. Do what works for you.
This isn’t a commercial for Beachbody. I don’t sell it. I do recommend it if you are interested in it though. It has led me to explore more on foods I fuel with and things I am capable of doing. No doubt that being fit and healthy is a lifestyle. I imagine my workout routine will be totally different a year from now that it is today. I am constantly exploring and learning more about myself. I don’t have a plan to stop that. So you should feel free to do what makes you feel good no matter what others say. Find your path.
I love to workout, I love beer, I eat fried food, I drink pop sometimes, I love to bake and eat cookie dough, I love vegetables, lean protein and dairy. I actually really like protein powder. I know many people that look down on all of these things I just listed. But guess what? I am happy. I am healthy according to my blood work panels. I feel great. It’s a balancing act and sometimes I like fried food too much and I snowball into feeling like crap from eating crap food. I’m working on a healthy lifestyle and am constantly learning and changing. I encourage you to do the same. If you are feeling down and unhappy, you know who can change that? You. Only you. I KNOW IT IS HARD. OMG, do I know. But it can be done. Find what works for you and print out a crap load of positive quotes and live your life out loud – not from the sidelines. If I can do this, I know anyone can. I felt I was destined to be overweight, lethargic and feel shitty about myself every day. It’s not true. Believe in you – you are worth it.
And I can tell you – it felt really good to fit into all those clothes that I ordered online!