After my unfortunate experience with the program through work, I thought that I could handle it on my own. I did alright for the first few months. Then, I started my masters degree. I was working a full time job followed by three hours of class up to four nights a week. I regained all the weight I’d lost and then some over the next 18 months. I still continued doing BeachBody workouts on & off but not as regularly as I had before. And my meals certainly weren’t as healthy as they could have been.
By the time I’d finished my degree, I’d decided I needed to get the weight back off. I reconnected with my friend from high school who had been my BeachBody coach when I first signed up. She had since decided that coaching wasn’t for her and I’d been transferred to another coach who I’d never met & who’d never tried to contact me. I didn’t bother to try contacting them.
I didn’t have any support so I decided I could do do it myself. I have a bad habit of thinking that. Too frequently.
It’s not as though things got significantly worse (other than my frustration). I didn’t continue to gain weight, but it certainly didn’t come off either. I just stagnated.
I realized the lonely, stubborn approach wasn’t going to work and remembered I still had my BeachBody account. So, I started paying attention to who was working out at the same time I was according to the BeachBody online gym. I kept hoping I’d find someone’s profile who seemed like their circumstances & goals were similar to mine. I eventually found someone I settled on. We weren’t exceptionally similar, but she at least lived in my area of the country. We exchanged a few messages and then I submitted a request to have her listed as my coach.
Things went well enough for awhile. My coach added me to a private accountability group on Facebook. There was a flurry of activity for a few weeks and then nothing. No one was really posting anymore. My progress stagnated again and then I found myself talking with some friends about my goals and the three of us made a pact to check in with each other everyday to start making progress again. It went very well and I lost ten pounds fairly quickly and then the others stopped checking in and I started to struggle again.
Around that time, Shakeology started to gain some ground. I had purchased samples from my coach a year prior. They had just come out with a change in the Greenberry flavor and I wanted to try it again so I sent her a request for a new sample & sent my payment. Then I waited. For weeks. And I checked in and she apologized for not sending the samples yet. Then I waited a few more weeks. And nothing. So I checked in again. And she apologized again for not mailing them. A few more weeks went by and still nothing. I was so frustrated. Finally I threatened to turn in my Paypal money transfer to request my money back. And then the samples showed up a few days later.
After that, I struggled trusting my coach. I doubted it was malice, but I also had some deep-seated personal values about not making commitments you can’t fulfill. Which is actually part of the reason why I didn’t sign up to be a coach until recently. After receiving the samples & trying them out, I decided to order a challenge pack because I wanted the new workout & a bag of Shakeology. And that’s when I heart from my coach about how excited she was to “get me on Shakeology” and she really wanted to get me signed up as a coach.
I really wanted to believe she meant it all like this:
But it really came across like this & this:
And after learning about how the commission works on Shakeology, I still struggle with believing that the bulk of her intention was based on getting me results & not based on making her money. Which really isn’t a place you want to be with someone who’s supposed to be your coach.
So, I was back to the drawing board again. I didn’t do a “big break-up” with my other coach or anything. I just stopped responding to her & I started looking for another coach. And boy did I find coaches. LOTS of them all over the internet with all sorts of stories & sleazy sales pitches and seemingly empty promises of wealth. The problem was that I didn’t want to be a coach. All I wanted was a connection and some genuine, well-intentioned, consistent support.
Eventually I found a coach’s blog that I felt was more similar to me. I contacted her and exchanged some fairly lengthy messages, including much of the information I shared in my post about “How NOT to do weight loss.” Finally, when I asked about the details of the challenge group, I learned that in order to participate in the Challenge group, I would be required to drink Shakeology every single day. And that didn’t sit well with me. Don’t get me wrong, I had the money and I probably had enough Shakeology on hand too. But I didn’t know if I could make peace with drinking one meal a day everyday. And I didn’t know if I was OK with the idea of essentially going in to a 30 day challenge with the intention of making my life revolve around a $100 bag of powder that was supposedly going to “be my best source of nutrition.” I wanted real, solid food most days. I told her that I didn’t feel comfortable with the requirements so I didn’t think we could work together.
At this point I was just so disappointed. I really didn’t think I would find a coach who would provide me with support & accountability without requiring me to buy a bunch of stuff or getting really pushy about “making me a coach.” And then I started to worry that maybe I was just way too needy. Maybe my want / expectation for regular (daily if possible) accountability was just unreasonable.
Just a couple weeks after I decided not to join the other coach’s challenge group, I got a random message on BeachBody from another coach who had “friended” me at some point. It was an invitation to join a weight loss support group that was supposedly completely free. No requirements to buy anything. Community. And support. It’s like the thing I was looking for just popped in and said “hello.”
We exchanged a couple messages so I could confirm that it really & truly was 100% free with no expectations of purchases or joining as a coach. And then I officially sent a message to BeachBody asking them to make Larry my coach so I could join Team EnduraFit, part of TD Nation.
And here I am today. I’ve learned a lot since then about meal planning, my own personal motivation, consistency, and community. My hope is that I can share what I’ve learned and someone will benefit from my story.
Wishing you an All+SUM LIFE,