“I Am The Happiest I’ve Ever Been!”

“I Am The Happiest I’ve Ever Been!”

Meet Julie T. She participated in The Beachbody Challenge and won the $500 Daily Prize for February 20th!

Tell us about your life before you started the program. How did you feel about yourself and your body?

I had my first baby in July 2013 via C-section, after a tough pregnancy where I spent the later months in pain with severe swelling. At my 6-week postpartum appointment, my OB shared with me that I would never have my pre-baby body back – one that I worked very hard for in regular Pilates classes and private sessions. She told me that I would always have a “pooch”, and as long as I continued to breastfeed, I would be flabby. I had just quit my very successful corporate career in medical sales to stay home with my daughter, because my husband and I did not feel comfortable with the child-care options where we live. I was experiencing a lot of change in my life as a new mom – staying home everyday, living on a budget, and not having any help. Pilates private sessions were not possible on this new budget, and I had no one to watch the baby even if I could afford to go. Then there was doubt that it would matter anyways, because this was my new body? I was depressed and I felt lost.

What inspired you to change your life and begin your transformation journey?
A good friend of mine of 20 years, Erin Strickland, had been running Beachbody Challenge Groups for about a year. In the early part of my pregnancy, I watched a video she posted of herself doing TurboFire. I also followed her progress pictures to see how her body changed, and leaned out, from the program. I purchased TurboFire thinking I would do it during my pregnancy to stay lean like Erin, but that never happened. About two and half months postpartum, Erin posted about a new group and tagged me and other new moms. I already had the program, I didn’t have the ability to go to pilates or pay for those private sessions any more, so I thought: “Why not? I have no other options right now anyways.” When I started the first few TurboFire classes, I wanted to quit. It was hard and I hadn’t done cardio in a decade. But I was determined to be fit for not only me, but also for my daughter. I wanted to be a fun mom, a happy wife, and a stronger version of me.

What is the greatest challenge you faced before beginning the program? How did the program and Beachbody® help you overcome that challenge?
Going into my Beachbody Challenge Group, I had a very specific goal – to be 112 pounds. I was 129.5 at the start of TurboFire. I knew that I looked very thin at 112 lbs, that my clothes were all waiting in my closet for a girl of this size, and that it would be hard to achieve because I was still breastfeeding. But I didn’t care because I wanted to be skinny. In the past, I would maintain this weight by skipping meals, and even taking medications that caused weight loss. It was unhealthy and irresponsible. During my time in this Challenge Group, I went through an extreme transformation. Funny enough, I didn’t lose much weight. But my body changed and so did my goals. I became stronger with TurboFire. I could carry my baby all morning without my back aching. I had a ton of energy and was in a great mood everyday. I was becoming a healthier person physically and mentally, and setting a positive example of the type of healthy woman my daughter could look up to.

What in particular did you like about the program you chose?
Two words: Chalene Johnson. I couldn’t have done it without her. I found myself even mimicking her facial expressions and bobbing my head the way she did just to stop myself (some days) from sitting back down on the couch to huff and puff! Her energy and motivating cues kept me in the game, kept me Pushing Play 6 out of 7 days a week! I was 100% committed to her schedule and to the clean eating plan; and the 30 and 60 day results kept me believing. I think the music and choreography are worth mentioning as well because it made TurboFire fun for me every single day that I Pushed Play. After TurboFire, I went on to do the 21 Day Fix because it was new and because I still wanted to tighten and tone my quads and glutes, and have more discipline in the kitchen. As a Coach myself, I knew that I could attract a group of friends to do the program with me because of its short duration.

Describe the results you achieved with your Beachbody program. Which achievements are you proud of?

I lost a total of 8 inches and 8.6 lbs with Turbo Fire, and an additional 3.5 inches and 4.9 lbs with the 21 Day Fix. I am currently below my pre-pregnancy weight now at 116. My bust measurement never budged because I was still breastfeeding and was very blessed that I had the ability to do so. I would describe my appearance as looking as though I never had a baby. My core is tight and strong again, with defined abdominal muscles (6-pack!). My jab-cross-hook-uppercut-punching arms are lean and muscular. My legs – that were once very swollen and cottage-cheesy looking in my pregnancy, look stronger than ever! Shakeology is an important part of my Beachbody program; my shake at lunch helps to keep my sweet cravings at bay, and keep my energy high to be able to enjoy my time home with my daughter. I am proud of all of these results!

How has your life changed since completing your Beachbody program?
Though my physical appearance is an obvious transformation, the most notable and definitely the most surprising life-change is my mind-set on what being “fit” really means. Before, “fit” meant rock-hard abs, muscular quads, defined arms, and a tight tush. But through my personal journey, being “fit” became so much more! It was about being mentally “fit” to find the balance in my life with a new baby, leaving my corporate job, and making time for myself. It was about being emotionally “fit” to be able to accept that my body grew a beautiful life, and that the ability to continue to breastfeed and nurture my thriving baby was a miracle and so much bigger and greater than looking like I did on my wedding day (a very thin bride!). So when my “fit” states came together, when there was a mind-blowing connection between my physical-emotional-mental ways of being fit, I became stronger. I’m a stronger mom, wife, daughter, sister, niece, and friend. I am the happiest I’ve ever been!

How did participating in a Challenge Group help you reach your goals? How did your group support you and keep you accountable?
The Challenge Group made me feel like I was reporting to work or checking in with friends – two things that fulfilled me and gave me purpose before I took on the role of a stay-at-home mom. So I felt like me again in this Group! Although I was working out by myself in my home, I never felt alone because I had my fellow challengers that I could connect with at any time through our Facebook page. I also took my Challenge Group commitments very seriously, so when I told Erin Strickland that I would “not over-train,” “drink Shakeology every day,” “check-in daily to our group,” etc…I was dedicated to keeping those promises. I also learned about other Beachbody programs through the group, which was fun for me to gain insight about. I don’t think I could have pushed through the full TurboFire program (especially in the first 30 days) without my Challenge Group keeping me in the game. After this group, I became a TBB Coach and leading a 21DF Challenge Group kept me accountable and committed!

How did your Team Beachbody® Coach support you on your journey?

Erin Strickland was an inspiration to me, as she is a product of the products that she promotes. She also gives 150% of herself to her challengers, so you can’t help but want to give 170% back to her! She made herself available and was timely in her communication, which made me feel important. She was knowledgeable in all of the information I asked questions about, which lent to her credibility as a Coach. Most importantly, she was motivating and positive – which made me push harder and want to make her proud!

How did a Beachbody Supplement or Nutritional Product or Program (such as Shakeology® or Beachbody Ultimate Reset®) support your transformation? What are the greatest benefits you gained? Did you see benefits to your energy, sleep, mood/mental clarity, digestion/regularity?
Yes, Shakeology was a life-saver during my transformation because of where I was in my life. I needed something quick and easy to put together for lunch after spending 30-60 minutes in a work-out and having to get back to taking care of my baby. This was the answer. It filled me up, it satisfied my cravings for something sweet, and I had a ton of energy! I was able to stop taking my prenatal vitamins (which made me feel bloated) because I was able to get those essential vitamins through my shake!

You can change your life, too. Take the Beachbody Challenge for the tools you need to Decide, Commit, and Succeed! Complete any Beachbody program, and enter your results for a free gift and a chance to win cash and prizes.