In November 2014, when Leela was 4 months old, I was going back to work after maternity leave. I worked as a health coach for Dr. Frank Lipman at his wellness center in NYC, where we see many celebrity patients. Even before having a baby, I found it a lot of pressure at times to be giving diet or weight loss advice to gorgeous teeny Oscar-winning actresses. But after having a baby, and still carrying 10 extra pounds, I was incredibly self-conscious. Bottom line: I felt fat. Leela was nowhere close to sleeping through the night. So I was tired. I was exclusively breastfeeding, and constantly felt pressure about pumping and my milk supply. I was “FINE” – frustrated, insecure, neurotic, emotional.
A nutritionist friend recommended Shakeology. I studied the ingredients. I have high standards with this stuff, and because of my work, I understand supplements and ingredients well. It wasn’t perfect in every way, but it was free of soy, gluten, dairy, artificial sweeteners. It had a lot of good stuff in one bag, so the quick + easy factor was a big selling point, since I had to wrangle a baby, pumping, a dog, showering, makeup, and getting to work on time. A bag of Shakeology cost $130, which nearly gave me a panic attack. That came out to $4/ day, but the upfront cost was hard for me to swallow. It had a 30-day “bottom of the bag” money-back guarantee which I liked. So I ordered it, kind of as a going-back-to-work present for myself.
I started drinking these crazy shakes and my life started to change. I don’t want to exaggerate the changes, but one healthy change can lead to a domino effect. In behavior research, they call it “keystone habits” which set off a series of related changes. Here’s what happened for me over the past 14 months.
1. My fog of exhaustion started to lift.
2. My milk supply started to increase, which was a big relief.
3. I had more energy, which meant that after the workday and putting the baby to bed, I actually could convince myself to exercise. This lead to endorphins, better mood, gradual weight loss.
4. My digestion improved. (The shakes have prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, fiber).
5. The price of the shakes still bugged me. Because of my work in the nutrition industry, I have a good sense of the markup of these shakes! So I signed up as a Beachbody coach, which meant I got a 25% discount. It also meant that as friends and family started to buy shakes from me, I received a commission. In my very first month as a coach, I got my shakes for “free.”
6. Karan caught on that I was making a delicious chocolate milkshake in our blender every morning. He wanted to try. He got hooked, and also felt the boost in energy, stamina, etc. He launched a book last year, while working full-time as a CMO, with a young baby. He was spread really thin and to be honest I expected him to go bald! Thanks to a lot of good habits – shakes, green juice, exercise, meditation – he was just a powerhouse all year, and he still has plenty of hair 🙂 I don’t know how he did it, but was happy to make him a shake every morning to help support his health and resilience in any way I could.
7. My cravings for sugar dramatically reduced. This is a common ‘side effect’ that I hear from people with Shakeology. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, which was hard because as a health coach, a) I know better than to eat sugar!, and b) I’m supposed to set a good example for my clients, not be a donut-eating hypocrite! I’ve tried a LOT of things to reduce my sugar cravings, and this really was a turning point for me.
8. Since I was signed up as a Beachbody coach, I started leading 21-day fitness groups, too. In the 7 years since I graduated from nutrition school and became a health coach, it was the most fun I’ve had with my coaching yet.
9. By summer, I was feeling back to myself. No longer the stressed, exhausted, shrill, emotional mess of a few months before. In fact, we started talking about trying for another baby and got pregnant. While it took a few months to get pregnant with Leela, this time I got pregnant right away.
10. It seems like this list should have 10 items 🙂 I suppose what I can round out the list with is by saying, I became more comfortable with investing in my health. Not just investing money in shakes. I invest time in reading books like Daring Greatly and The Power of Habit. I invested in flying to Nashville for a Beachbody conference. I invest 30 minutes a day in my workouts. Part of the journey of becoming a wife and mother is realizing that my family can’t afford to have me be “FINE.” They need me to be strong and happy. So on the one hand, I’m one of the least materialistic people you’ll ever meet. Leela wears hand-me-downs, I’m wearing all second-hand maternity clothes, our house is completely uncluttered. We don’t buy crap. Yet we always prioritize investing in our health.
I share all of this because I’m grateful to the nutritionist friend who shared about Shakeology with me. As a disclaimer, I’m not giving medical advice here, nor am I suggesting that all of these things will happen to you. I’m simply sharing my experience. If you’re looking to make a change this New Year that will improve your health, and taste like a chocolate milkshake, well let me know and I’m happy to get you set up!
New Years Special
Beachbody has a kick-ass special happening right now. If you buy Shakeology, you can get the 21-Day Fix workout DVDs, eating plan and portion containers for $10 only. For extra support, motivation and coaching, you can also join my January 4th challenge group – for free! Let me know if you’d like to jump in.
Lots of love and HAPPY NEW YEAR!