Monday, May 8, 2017

The Magic Sauce

A few days ago I reached out to my Beachbody team because I knew I was getting off track and I was having trouble reeling it in on my own. I set up a 6 week challenge that starts today. This challenge has an added component of reporting out to the group (in a safe way) each week if we gained, lost or stayed the same. I knew that I needed this kind of accountability, but I didn’t know how badly I did.
Today, day one of the challenge, I weighed and measured, and oh sh!t, it wasn’t pretty. I am up in my weight and measurements. And while this wasn’t a surprise to me (I knew that I was), it still hurt. I am up more than I thought. I am up more than I’d like to be. It’s pretty discouraging. I’m genuinely disappointed and rather disgusted with myself. It doesn’t feel good to go backwards, especially when I’ve had such a public and transparent wellness journey. I’m working hard to keep my head in a positive space today. I know that self-berating does nothing. It’s not productive. I acknowledge those feelings and I’m moving on.

The best revenge is taking action. Over the weekend I went to a Beachbody event in Philly. It was training on how to be a better coach. One of the core messages was consistency. That to be a great coach you don’t have to be super flashy or be overly talented in one area or another. To be successful you have to show up and put up. You have to do the work. Now some of you may be reading this thinking “wow Tara, brilliant” <insert sarcasm here>. But let’s get real. Showing up, putting up, doing the work, it’s not easy. We can come up with a million excuses as to why something is not working, but the reality is that we are not putting in the work and we need to own that. I need to own that.

During this training they also talked about that success can be found in our systems. I have a system that works and I know this. It’s called Beachbody. Portion fix works. The combination of built in portion control and whole foods is extremely effective and I know this. So I am back to using my containers, writing down my foods, paying closer attention to the food list. Planning my day, planning my meals. I am back to basics. My eating is where I’ve been falling down and I know it. Big-time! The structured workout programs work. And while I have to tweak the program a bit because of my knee, I have mapped out 6 weeks of activity. I will be pushing play every day. My workout program is printed and on my refrigerator. This non-morning gal rolled her butt out of bed early today and I already completed my workout- Sculpt B is done. I’m proud to say that I’ve been consistent with my workouts. I know how important daily movement is to my state of mind. Shakeology works. I am consistent with my shakes. They are a huge carb craving crusher for me. The support system works. We are better together. I am currently in a challenge group and am kicking off a new group today. I need the support. I need the accountability. I know that if I go this alone, I will begin to isolate. I’ll also lie to myself about how I’m doing and what I’m eating and before I know it, I will be back to where I started. And I REFUSE to let that happen. Five years ago I reached my weight loss goal and I have been maintaining that 40 pound loss ever since. Has the scale fluctuated? Yes, I am human. I love food, especially sweets. Gimme all the chocolate!

This is not a sprint, it’s a distance run with an ever changing finish line. I am not finished. Neither are you. I am a work in progress. I will accept where I am and commit to getting back to where I want to be.

Beachbody works. I believe in this program. I believe in me. I believe that I can and I will turn this around. I am willing to show up. I am willing to put in the work. I will not quit on myself. The people who get results, no matter what they are pursing, no matter the obstacle, are the ones who are willing to grind. That’s the magic sauce right there. Be consistent. Be persistent and never EVER give up.


Decide. Commit. Succeed.
Hugs and friendship,

Tara

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Not that Girl

Last night Nate (my husband) and I were sitting in the living room chatting while I was doing some social media stuff. I started to laugh and said “who the hell am I? I just posted on Facebook about healthy muffins that I made from scratch using whole foods?” We had a good chuckle about that. And while I was posting, my profile pic caught my eye. It’s me wearing fitness gear holding weights- how absurd! I’m not that girl…am I?

If you know me you know that I hate to cook. I find it to be laborious and exhausting, stressful. Yet I’ve found that since I started Beachbody (BB), there is something satisfying that comes with knowing that I am preparing something that is healthy for my body. It almost makes me see cooking in a different way (almost but not quite). It almost feels good. To take that control into my hands. I’ve gotta be honest (and please don’t be offended), I used to call people who ate whole foods “food freaks”, yes it’s true. Because I really couldn’t be bothered and it seemed like a lot of work. A few years back I went to a personal trainer in my town to see what their program was all about. After listening patiently, I politely declined, came home, thrust the food lists at my husband and said “this is not doable, who eats this stuff!?!” Funny enough, those same foods are on my BB food list now. They are ones that I embrace and enjoy because I know that I am fueling my body. But I’m not that girl…am I?

Today, I decided to go live on Facebook (FB) to share the progress I’ve been making on PIYO. If you know me you know that FB live terrifies me. I’m a perfectionist and when you go live there is no way you can edit- meep! What if something goes wrong? What if I screw up? Yikes! But I went ahead with sharing because I’m so pumped about my progress! And I wanted to share that progress is about more than weight and inches- it’s about strength, stamina, endurance; being willing to try something new, to take risks. I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to do PIYO, but week by week I got stronger. I modified less, I held the poses longer. I finished my 30 days feeling empowered, longer and leaner. So I made a video of me doing a few of the PIYO moves and it was so scary! My heart was beating out of my chest when I was done. But I did it! I shared a video of me doing workout moves on FB! Yet I’m not that girl…am I?

I’m not the girl who is running her own fitness business. Who loves to exercise. Who considers it a gift to be able to move her body. I’m not the girl who wants to shout from the rooftops how healthy and energized she feels, who enjoys eating to fuel her body. I’m not the girl who has begun to put herself out there, to stop being so hard on herself, who embraces failure as growth. Am I?


Aren’t I still this girl on the left? I remember this girl. She was invisible. She was sad and depressed. She smiled on the outside and was fading away on the inside. Back in her early 20’s she decided to get a Y membership. Before she went into the gym, she sat in the car for a while, too afraid to go in. When she finally decided to go in, she had no idea where to start. She was so self-conscious, she felt like everyone was judging her. So after a short time she left and on her way home she stopped to get a pack of Entenmann’s chocolate crumb donuts. And she ate them alone, filled with feelings of shame and self-doubt.

She was lonely. She self-isolated. Instead of going out, she stayed at home. Embarrassed about her weight and too tired and too scared to do anything about it. She went shopping for this dress for her college roommates wedding. Shopping was torture. She had maxed out at a size 16 and the dresses in the plus size section seemed like they were made for a much older woman. And so she settled, bought a dress and got the heck out of the store. She will never forget that feeling, wondering how she had even gotten to that point.

Throughout my 20’s and 30’s, I have plenty of stories like this. Maybe you do too? Maybe you’re living them right now. Maybe you’ve hit your rock bottom, you are lost and losing hope. I am here to tell you that YOU WILL NEVER KNOW IF YOU CAN BE THAT GIRL, the one that is healthy, the one that is energized, the one that feels better than she ever has…IF YOU DON’T TRY. So what you’ve tried before, TRY AGAIN.

WHAT IF THIS IS YOUR TIME? What if this is YOUR moment? YOUR year? What if you could be on your way to living your best life? YOU WILL NEVER KNOW IF YOU DON’T TRY. I don’t care if you have tried before and quit. TRY AGAIN. Dig deep. If I can do this, if I can be that girl. The one who went into a dressing room yesterday and tried on a dress that made her feel amazing, and it was in a single digit dress size! The one who wakes up happy to be alive. You can be that girl (or guy) too! It starts with a belief in yourself. 

Decide. Commit. Succeed.
Hugs and friendship,

Tara

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Who I Want To Be

I was a classic cartoon junkie growing up- Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, Casper the Friendly Ghost, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Mighty Mouse and of course Popeye. There was something so simple about Popeye, it seemed like he was cool with himself and he made no apologies when he said “I am what I am.” Yet when I re-read that statement it seems limiting to me, somewhat deflated and a little sad. No disrespect Popeye, you’re still da man in my book. My Pop-Pop used to tell me that if I ate spinach I would grow hair on my chest. Maybe that’s why I just started eating spinach, I was afraid…ha!

It’s really amazing how we carry past misconceptions about ourselves (and others) into our present life. I was watching Tony Robbin’s documentary I Am Not Your Guru on Netflix (if you haven’t watched it- do it) and Tony was talking about the fact that our earliest childhood memories can form who we are as adults. So I started to think about some of my earliest childhood memories. If you’ve read any of my posts, especially when I write for Grace and Such, you know that my childhood was and youth messed up. Yet all in all when I look back at growing up on R.D. (rural delivery) #4 Brandywine Drive I see a generally happy kid. Anyway…back to those memories. One of my earliest memories is my parents fighting in their first apartment- like yelling, screaming, throwing stuff fighting. I can’t pinpoint my age, I know that I was less than five because by that time my parents had divorced and I was living with my grandparents. It’s a little fuzzy to me what they were fighting about but I know that it centered around me. And I can say that from a very young age I became a good girl. Not to not make waves. To work hard. To get good grades. To be a rule follower. To not be a burden. To take care of myself. Because I felt like there was this underlying message that I was an inconvenience, so I needed to lay low.

I can see how I carried this into my adulthood and how in many ways it served me well. I developed a fabulous work ethic. I did well in school. I stayed out of trouble. I’ve worked my way up in a few workplaces. Yet I can also see how I let that mentality hold me back.

I need to admit to one of my current guilty viewing pleasures- Chloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body. Hey now, don’t judge. I have NEVER watching anything Kardashian. But I love how they go beyond the weight loss and into the psyche of the person they are training to see why they gained the weight in the first place. I remember one of the psychologists talking about the fact that people who were sexually abused tend to be overweight because of their lack of self-worth. I was sexually abused by a family member who is now in jail. I’ve been doing a lot of heart and soul work around my self-worth these past few years. If I go deep, I mean really, really deep I’d have to say that one of the reasons that I gained weight, especially in my 20’s was a defense mechanism so that men might not find me attractive. I was afraid of what the attention might lead to.  

Fast forward to today. I am 45 and in the best shape of my life (physically, emotionally and spiritually) in part because I have surrounded myself with a group of people who remind me that I’m worthy. I’m worthy of the work and of the discipline it takes to make consistent healthy choices to take the best care of me- mind, body and spirit. I also surround myself with people who remind me that I am a child of God. I am His beloved. He loves me for me. I don’t have to earn God’s love, He just loves me. Do you know how much that knowledge heals the broken child within me who always felt she had to earn love and that she was never quite good enough?


I could write page upon page about the tension that exists between accepting who you are yet having the ability to move beyond who you were. While we do carry many childhood behaviors, self-beliefs and misconceptions into our adulthood- we have the power within us to be someone different. We have the power to choose. When we believe what others think or say about us, we give the power to them. When we believe that the past has defined us and that it’s not possible to change, we are handcuffing ourselves to our limits. I have come to learn that while there are times that I cannot control the outcome, I can control my attitude and my actions. And instead of Popeye’s saying of “I am what I am” my mantra is “I am who I want to be” and I accept who God made me to be. With the help of my faith, friends and family I will continue down this path of growth. Here are some resources I’ve used on my journey:
  • Sometimes you need professional help. It’s not a weakness it’s a strength to ask for it. A few years back I went to Life Counseling Services in Paoli, it released me from some very heavy burdens that I carried my whole life. I still use the coping mechanisms that they taught me. Those sessions were forever valuable and are ingrained in my heart and mind.  
http://www.lifecounseling.org/office-locations/
  • Podcasts and audio books. I love to listen to them in my car or while I’m working out. To be lifted up, we have to surround ourselves with uplifting words and images. These are just a few:
The Chalene Show- Podcast, The Best You (Josh Coats)- Podcast, Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope- Podcast, Joyce Meyers Ministries TV-Podcast, Love Does- Audiobook, Rising Strong- Audiobook, The Universe Has Your Back- Audiobook, 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life- Audiobook.
  • Get your physical health in gear. Find a Team Beachbody Coach. If you follow my blog at all you know how much Beachbody has changed my life. Put good fuel in your body and get it moving- you will be rewarded with a sense of clarity, energy and empowerment that might be missing from your life. And if Beachbody’s not the right plan for you, find one that works. We only get one body. Are you doing what you need to do to take care of it?
http://www.beachbodycoach.com/TeamIgnite/

Lastly, find your tribe. Those who will lift you up and carry you when you just can’t. Those who believe in you when you don’t. Beyond my friends and family, and Team Beachbody I am blessed by my church community. 


The first step to becoming who you want to be is believing that you are worth it.

Commit to the choice. Ask for help. Continue with courage.  
Hugs and friendship,

Tara

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Rabbit Hole

I have been a real pisser over the past few days. To my husband who I know is reading this, thanks for loving me anyway. It started earlier in the week. We have contractors here finishing the basement and I’m so excited to see the finished product! What I didn’t realized is how much the noise from the tools would trigger my trigeminal neuralgia- this week has brought pain and pain and more pain. I started to get angry and have a little pity party for myself. What kind of life is this? I can’t even be in my own home because noise equals pain. But I can’t go outside and work somewhere else either because cold equals pain. And so it went, my negative thoughts took me deeper and deeper down a mental funk rabbit hole until the light seemed so far away.


Yet this time around the rabbit hole looked and felt different to me. It wasn’t as closed in because I left room in there for people to find me. It wasn’t as deep because I could still see the light. So why was it different this time? 

My Beachbody Family. This week I struggled to make good choices because I wasn’t feeling well and I usually soothe with food. However my Beachbody family kept me going. The love and support that I receive from my coach and my challengers and people that I’m just meeting in challenge groups, it makes me want to be a better me. On those days when I didn’t want to push through, I did. I kept my body moving and pushed play because I know, I KNOW how good exercise is for me physically and mentally. And while I wasn’t perfect with my eating I know, I KNOW how good it feels to remain in control of my choices event when I don’t feel well.

Personal Development. Last night was the low point to my week. My neuralgia got really bad and I had to rest and take prescription meds. Because the outside temperatures were going to be brutal cold today (Saturday) I had to move my daughter’s wedding dress fitting and cancel dinner with my daughter and her fiancĂ©. So besides the physical pain, that left me feeling glum. That glum feeling led to my overeating but at one point in the evening I stopped myself and asked- what can I do to self soothe besides eat? I remembered one of my fellow coaches posting about the Tony Robbins documentary on Netflix- I am not your guru. If you have not watched this. Do it. This weekend. The healing energy from that documentary went deep down into my soul. I’ll be doing a blog post about it, stay tuned.

It is crazy how God (or the universe or whatever you believe in) strings moments of hope and encouragement together just when we need it most.

My Beachbody Family. This morning I woke up to some really encouraging messages from my Beachbody challengers. One challenger posted that she’s gone from loose fitting size 18 work pants to a comfortable size 14; she’s in the middle of her second round of the 21 Day Fix. Seeing other people light up, that lights me up too. I received a phone call from one of my challengers just to say that she appreciated my welcome card/gift that I sent her in the mail. A phone call, I mean who calls anyone anymore? How wonderful is that? I get so much joy from helpings other succeed. So.much.joy.

My family. I could write paragraph upon paragraph about my husband of 22 years and how amazing and understanding he is about my illness. He cares for me and our kids beyond measure. He is one of the most giving and selfless men I know. He gives and he never complains, ever. My love for him grows every single day.

This morning I woke up to a text message from my daughter. It was her singing and playing guitar to Made New by the Jordan Howerton band. She could have been agitated that I had to cancel on her today, instead she blessed me with a song. 

All the pour in spirit, mourning weary ones.
There is a savior who has come.
So rest and know the promise of his love.
Take heart and know you’re not alone.
Through his death and resurrection we are not who we’ve been.
We are made new again.

Here’s a link to her singing: https://youtu.be/WMc_7xe8vrU

My God. Man oh man did I need those song lyrics this morning. God’s unconditional love is like a healing balm to my soul. He’s the light at the end of my rabbit hole, guiding me back by putting people and events in my life that show me that everything is going to be OK.

It’s not the big leaps that get you out of the rabbit hole, it’s recognizing hope in the everyday moments of your life. It’s knowing that you are loved just the way you are. It’s accepting help when you don’t want to ask for it. It’s having the faith that one day things be better. It’s resting when you are weary and working your a$$ of when you’re not.

Commit to the choice. Ask for help. Continue with courage.  
Hugs and friendship,

Tara

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Difference Is In The Doing

This is it. You’ve decided that 2017 is going to be YOUR year. The year that you finally do it, you shed the mental and physical pounds you’ve been carry around for longer than you’d like to admit.

For a brief moment you are fired up! You are unstoppable! You are a fierce force! And then *insert melodramatic music here*…fear.

Yep, I’ve been there. Heck, I’m still there whenever I decide to try something new. I can talk myself out of something quicker than Lady Gaga’s wardrobe changes at the Super Bowl. Because…fear.

Fear of the same. What if you decide to lose the weight and the same sh!t happens again? You go hard for a few days and then…quit. You lose a few pounds and then gain them all back.

Fear of the new, different and unknown. What if you succeed and your life changes? Just the thought of that can be paralyzing. What if you lose friends? What if you start to become a different person and you have no idea how to navigate that reality?

I struggled in this cycle for years. I wanted so badly to make a change but I kept getting in my own way, every single freaking time. 2007- start…stop. 2008- try…fail. 2009- lose…gain. 2010- commit…quit.

It’s always interesting to watch someone on their wellness journey, when they have their a-ha moment, when it finally clicks and change starts to happen. Everyone has a different reason as to why it finally clicked and they were able to reach their goals. Yet there’s one common denominator that they all have that’s as simple as the Nike slogan- © Just Do It.


The difference is in the doing.

Beachbody’s slogan is Decide. Commit. Succeed. Simple right? Maybe not so simple when you’re eyeing up that birthday cake or those nachos or that craft beer. The deciding may seem easy, but it’s not. Because we flounder. One day we’re all in and the next day we don’t even remember making the decision. Because…life.

The magic is in the commitment.

The message that I hear over and over again through Beachbody is that results come from showing up and doing the work, every single day, even on the days when we don’t wanna. Eeeek! This is even harder than making the decision, you mean we actually have to do the work? That’s a bunch of malarkey! We made the choice to change and now we have to do the work to see results? Crazy talk!
OK, I know that we KNOW this. So how do we do this?

- We find a program that works for us, that doesn’t make us feel deprived, that is maintainable for life.

- We tell our family and friends what we’re doing and we rally their support. Note- I know that you don’t want to do this because you’re afraid of failing and you want to do this alone until you start to see success but that is counter-productive. We are better together, we do better together. Ignore the haters, they have their own issues to contend with. Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed.

- We establish short and long term goals and then we put them out there. We keep those goals in focus and in front of us. We share them with a coach or accountability partner who will help us stick to them.
- We write down our why. This why becomes our anchor when we start to drift. We will drift.

- We tackle only the day ahead of us, otherwise it can be so overwhelming. We commit to making one healthy decision and we build on it. One healthy decision will lead to the next and with that kind of momentum, we are unstoppable.

- We examine our mindset every single day. We begin our day with the intention to be well. We have to get our minds right so our bodies can follow.

- We let go of all or nothing thinking. Ten minutes of exercise is better than none. Some days that’s all the time you’ll have. Set a goal to move a little bit more than you did before.

- We own the space around us. We own our good and bad choices. We own our actions and consequences. And if we don’t like the results we’re seeing, we make a change.

We show up. Every day. We do the work. We sweat. We cry. We get frustrated. We rejoice. We celebrate.

We are consistent. We are persistent and we never give up. 

Commit to the choice. Ask for help. Continue with courage.  
Hugs and friendship,
Tara

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Going for the Good

I’m often asked how I’m able to stay motivated on my wellness journey. How I’ve managed to maintain my weight loss since 2012. The answer is simple. I live for the good days. You may have come to this link hoping for a wellness related post and while my post has nothing to say specifically about weight loss, it’s about patient endurance. We need patient endurance and faith to reach our goals.

When I think about all that could go wrong throughout any given day, it amazes me that we even get out of bed. There’s so much to worry about. Worry can be defined as “to allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” (Encyclopedia.com) Even though we have no idea what the day might bring, if we’re blessed enough to open our eyes on a new day, we wake up and we carry on.

So that’s what I did yesterday. I had a productive work day and was doing great with my self care. I ate well and tried a new workout that I loved PIYO. Things were humming along. I was feeling energized and grateful. As I started to get dinner ready, I had some pain in my right ear that stopped me in my tracks. I’ve had trigeminal neuralgia/atypical facial pain since 2001 and the illness presents itself in less and more severe ways. I know by now that ear pain means it could possibly be a doozy, so I took some meds right away. I tried to continue on with my dinner prep but the pains kept coming. And while I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this post about what trigeminal neuralgia is- let’s just say that it’s called the Suicide Disease for a reason. The pain can be relentless and excruciating- like having child birth labor pains in your head, like continuous lightning bolt strikes that don’t stop. Nothing grabs your attention like that kind of pain.

I didn’t want to take my heavier meds because they make me sick, sleepy and in general they slow me down but I ended up taking them because I wasn’t getting any relief. By this time I’ve now stopped everything I’m doing and I have the lights off praying that it’s not a serious attack. Usually my heavier meds kick in within 30-60 minutes but this time, the pain went on for almost 4 hours until I got relief. When you’re in that kind of pain all you can do is pray and rest and pray some more. I finally got to sleep and when I woke up I knew it was a bad pain attack because my face was sore, my eye was sore and blurry so I had to call off of work to rest. I also had to cancel my part in a Beachbody Sneak Peek my team was holding this evening. I hate how much this illness takes from me. How it can turn my life, my plans and other peoples plans upside down in an instant. How unpredictable it is. How having a positive attitude is not enough. How praying for mercy is not enough to heal (there is no cure). It can make a girl downright bitter.

Many with this illness, they just stop living. Because the fear and worry takes them over. I’ve read about people who become so afraid of their triggers they become house bound. Our pain triggers are both predictable and unpredictable- extreme cold, extreme heat, wind, damp weather, noise, bright lights, talking too much, heck even the hair dryer can be a trigger. So what’s a girl to do? This is the lot I’ve been given.


Last night I was listening to Joyce Meyer. She equated faith with sitting on a chair. When we get ready to sit on a chair we don’t wonder if it’s going to hold our weight, we simply sit. We believe that the chair is going to hold us. We take the action of sitting. That’s what living in faith is for me. Every day that I wake up, no matter how many times my body has been beaten down, I believe that I’m going to be well, and that’s it’s going to be a good day. It may end up being the crappiest day ever, but what if it doesn’t? What if I’ve wasted another day that God has given me because I’m afraid? Because I’m consumed by worry. Because I don’t believe in myself enough to try something new. What if I’ve wasted another day because I don’t have faith? Because my chair got a little wobbly and now I’m not sure if it will hold me so I just keep standing on my own, even though I’m about to fall over in exhaustion. Joyce talks about living life in the middle. The middle, it’s the hard part and it can also be the good part. Maybe you’re in the middle of something right now? You’re in the middle of finishing up a certification or a degree. You’re in the middle of raising a family. You’re in the middle of cancer treatments. You’re in the middle of a divorce. You’re in the middle of a weight loss or wellness journey. You’re in the middle of changing careers. The middle is hard, because there are days when we just can’t see that there’s an end in sight and even worse we don’t know how things are going to turn out. This is when we have to believe that God is faithful. That He is working in advance for our good. We have to believe that just like a cream filled donut, there is good stuff in the middle. (Yes I love me some donuts).

Joyce went on to say that “a lot of people never reach their goals, they never get to their destination, they never see their dreams fulfilled, they never experience the fulfillment of the promises of God in their life because they don’t know what to do in the middle. God has provided wonderful things for you but you have to decide that you are going to have them and that you are not going to let any person on earth or any devil in hell take them away from you.”  

That good stuff, you have to decide that you are going to have it and then you need set the wheels in motion to go after it. You have to do the work. You have to pursue it with all the fire you have within you. And when you grow weary, when you feel like you’re stuck, lean on that chair a while. What if you quit and the goal is closer than it seemed? What if you’re almost there? The only thing worse than giving up is starting over. Keep going for the good.

Continue with courage.  
Hugs and friendship,
Tara


Monday, December 12, 2016

Goat in Sheep's Clothing

So, you signed up for a Beachbody Challenge Group and man OH man you were excited (but nervous) to get started! You were all in! This was the time that you were really going to make a change and it was going to stick! So here’s what happened. Some of you started out strong, fell apart in the middle and finished strong. Some of you paid for the program and didn’t really start at all. Some of you were freaking rock stars. Some of you did your best given the unexpected life circumstances you got thrown at you. And you know what, there is no right answer here. Because only you know you and only you know your life.

It’s really interesting watching people go through the Challenge Groups from a coaches perspective. I’m glad that I was a Weight Watchers leader before I started Beachbody. Because I experienced firsthand the stopping and starting turmoil that comes with a weight loss program. People came and people went in the Weight Watchers meeting rooms. Some people came back and some people I never saw again. I always wondered what happened to them and did they continue their wellness journeys.

A few months back I was listening to Beachbody’s CEO speak and he talked about the mission of a coach. That as coaches we need to stick with our Challengers to get them to their goal and beyond. That Beachbody is not just about selling products or signing someone up for a challenge, it’s about helping people get healthy, even when they don’t believe in themselves.

As a Beachbody coach, my husband likens me to a shepherd. I really do love my flock and I want them all to be their own definitions of success. And I want to guide them toward their goals. As a person who has tried and failed, and tried and succeeded to lose weight over the last 21 years- sometimes we are sheep and sometimes we are goats.

Have you ever been around a goat? Growing up we had goats. Goats can be so darned cute but so darned stubborn. Goats can be a menace to themselves. They’ll eat anything even if it’s bad for them. They’ll run through an electric fence even though it hurts, heck they’ll gnaw through a barbed wire fence. Our goat Buttonwood, she’d climb on the top of our cars and do a little prance when she got to the top like “heh-heh you can’t stop me.” And we do that sometimes as Challengers. We begin to self-destruct. We experience success and then fear. And that fear sometimes has us running in the opposite direction of our goals. I KNOW this. I have stopped and started “diets” and wellness programs a gazillion times. Every year for Christmas or my birthday I buy a new exercise program or piece of equipment. I’m enamored with it for a while and then it begins to gather dust.

So here’s the real deal. As Beachbody coaches, we can only get you so far. You have to want to get there and to have a vision for where you want to go. The challenge is yours, the choice to change is yours. We can’t make that choice for you. It’s up to you to figure out what you want, to get your mind right and to let us know what you need. And if you’re not sure what you need, tell us that and we can work together to come up with some strategies to help you succeed. Chalene Johnson has a great podcast on motivation. She talks about the fact that motivation doesn’t last forever but habits and discipline do. That is IT right there! Heck my motivation comes and goes depending on my day. But the habits that I’ve created, they will help to get me through the days when I just don’t feel like it. One of my favorite sayings is “when motivation wanes, let perseverance and consistency reign.”

Beachbody has helped me to develop consistent behaviors even when I’m being a goat in sheep’s clothing. And for me, those behaviors are reinforced through Challenge Groups. If a Challenge Group is not for you (I get it, they’re not for everyone) or if you’re burned out, and you’re a sheep that’s lost its way- please reach out to your coach to develop a plan to get you to your goals.


While I can’t speak for your Beachbody coach, I can say that most coaches I’ve met have the best of intentions. But we’re just people, who are also struggling with our own behaviors. Sometimes we’re on it and sometimes we’re not. We have our demons, our insecurities, our good and bad days. It might appear that we have our shit together, but there are times that we don’t. Sometimes we’re shepherds, sometimes we’re sheep and sometimes we’re goats. This is why it’s so important to keep it real and to stay in community with each other.

We fall and we rise together.

Commit to the choice. Ask for help. Continue with courage.  

Hugs and friendship,

Tara