Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I am not a salesperson and other personal failures

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I am constantly trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. It's an ongoing process and some days, well..some days are better than others. (If you are new to my blog, hello and welcome. I'm Brooke and for the past few years I've been trying to live a healthier lifestyle).

It's been an interesting process. Somewhat like a roller coaster. You know, like life tends to be in general.

In 2009, I completely revamped the way I was eating and started working out. I lost about 45 pounds pretty quickly. I had biceps that were muscle instead of ...whatever they had been before. Something similar to jello. Or if you really are what you eat, a combination of pizza and cookies. I continued to work out regularly but didn't lose much more weight.

In January of 2011, I joined a challenge group on Facebook created by an ex boss of mine. Determined to burst through my year long plateau, I started drinking Shakeology and began P90X. I lost another 30ish pounds in three months, bringing my total weight loss to almost 90 pounds. I was also going to Zumba classes 4 to 6 times a week and even became a Zumba instructor, not that I ever started teaching my own classes. But my nutrition wasn't where it needed to be and my weight started creeping back up. A pound here, two pounds there. And so on.

By the time we moved to North Carolina in March of 2013, I had gained back most of my 2011 loss. Granted, over half of that loss was because I pretty much stopped eating more than 600 calories a day for about two months, so it was bound to happen. I was also pretty down about the life and people I was leaving behind, and I fell out of the habit of exercising and eating well. (Read that to mean that I dove mouth first into all the crappy food I could eat.) Some people say the proof is in the pudding. My proof is in my stomach, hips, and thighs and it's more of a cottage cheese thing than a pudding. Truth.

Back to 2011 - I became a Beachbody coach. I was so excited. I was dropping weight and body fat, felt great, and thought I had everything under control. I had a deep, true passion for living a healthy life and I wanted to help other people (if that was the path they were on or interested in) get there too. And I tried, I really, really did. I read personal development books. I went through Beachbody training. I was, as they like to put it, a product of the product. Shakeology t-shirt on, samples and brochures in my P90X backpack I went off to the gym or to the kids' schools and was always looking for an opening to share my extreme fortune in this company and product line. 
Except that's not really my personality. It was really difficult for me to approach people. I didn't like it and man, did it show! Any of my friends that I approached tended to avoid me for a few weeks after my big pitch.  People who would ask me what I was doing to lose weight and get fit really did want to know, but they also really did not want to purchase a meal replacement product that cost $130 a month plus shipping. And I completely understood. All of which added up to my being a lousy salesperson. In fact, I should probably capitalize that in Lousy.

Still, I gave out samples, I followed up with the leads I got through the Beachbody coach program. But I also felt like a huge fraud. By this point I wasn't a product of the product. I was slipping away from the healthy lifestyle I had worked so hard to cultivate and I couldn't seem to stop. I felt like such a failure. Who was I to coach ANYONE when I didn't have my own crap together? And, like a friend of mine in Germany who wanted to be a personal trainer said, "Who in the world would ever pay to hire a personal trainer who wasn't in top physical condition?" And once the negative self talk started, things were all downhill from there.

I was so full of shame and disappointment and failure. I did talk to my Beachbody coach about it, but she was running a business too, and really could only offer me the advice of more personal development and trying to use the training available to me through Beachbody. What I couldn't bring myself to tell her was that I didn't want to continue. Her success partially relied on my success. And I was no where near successful. I felt guilty that I wasn't better at being a coach.  I didn't want to let her down and I didn't want people to see me for the fraud I felt like I was.

But wait! Since I had my Zumba license, maybe that was a way to get back on track. I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and offered to sub for one of my favorite instructors. I worked and worked on my choreography. I made it though my first class as an instructor with this knowledge: that was not for me. I panicked and forgot some of my choreography. I showed no personality. Oh my gosh, it was so bad, I wouldn't even let Doreen pay me for leading the class. But there was also a relief in knowing. I had tried and I had given it 100%. It just wasn't going to be my thing. Fair enough.

Meanwhile, Beachbody changed the formula for their chocolate Shakeology. I genuinely loved the original chocolate. It took me a while to get used to the new formula. Then they changed it again. I could drink it as long as I mixed half a scoop of the old formula with half a scoop of the new. But when I ran out of the old formula, my body rejected Shakeology (and I'll let you use your imagination on that one).  I tried to switch to Vanilla, but it took customer service six months to make that happen and then it turns out I liked vanilla even less than I liked the chocolate. So now I have a nice sized stockpile of Shakeology that I'll probably only drink in the event of a Zombie apocalypse. For you Walking Dead fans out there, I could even show Carl how to make a pudding out of it.

I finally cancelled my Beachbody coach account in January. As soon as I did, the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders. I was now free to concentrate on myself and my journey. I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to beat myself up and feel guilty if my nutrition isn't perfect every day. Or if I skip a workout or half-ass it a little. I don't have to ask people to believe something of me that I'm not able to believe of myself yet - and not because I can't do it, but because I am still in the process of learning how to do it.

As a Beachbody coach, I was pretty much a failure. As a woman on trying to lead a healthy, happy life? Well, I'm pretty much a rock star.

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