Hi, I’m Shanna, and I am the founder of the Healthy Family Project. Here is my story…
I have struggled with my weight and body image since middle school. I learned many things about what does and does not work for me, but never found a way to combine all those separate pieces of knowledge into a single plan that was successful long term. I once joined an online group doing a whole foods based diet and achieved ALL of my goals – healthy eating, regular exercise, and my smallest adult jeans size. I felt great. I thought I had done what I needed to do and left the group, thinking I could carry on by myself. And within a couple of years, I had gained everything back and then some, and found myself struggling to get back to the basics and put what I had learned back into practice.
That happened to come at a point in my life where I had some extra disposable income, and I hired a personal trainer. We worked on strength training together three days a week, and he pushed me to keep up with my cardio training on our “off” days. Once again, I did great, and although I barely lost any pounds, I was shedding inches and toning up like crazy and I was thrilled. And when my financial circumstances changed and I couldn’t afford to keep up with our sessions, I thought “I can do this. This is what I was missing, I can keep it up.”
I bet you can guess what happened next, right? I didn’t keep it up, all that hard work went back out the window where it came from. I decided there was something wrong with me, that I just couldn’t do it, and for a long time I stopped even trying. Sure, I still enjoyed walking, and biking, and eventually discovered and fell in love with kayaking, but I wasn’t doing anything consistently enough to get to, much less maintain, my healthiest self. I continued along like this, and eventually I met my now-husband Paul. We fell in love, and got married on a beautiful day in October of 2011.
Then, in 2013, our son was born 8 weeks early. I felt so cheated – the day your kids are born is supposed to be the best day of your life, not terrifying! You’re supposed to leave the hospital with a baby, not come back to visit him in an isolette for a month! I was scared, and angry, and I threw myself into all things Mommy to make up for my body letting him down.
Unfortunately, one of the things that went by the wayside was taking care of my body. I stopped working out, and a year later I had only lost 10 of the 35 lbs I gained while pregnant and of course none of what I had to lose before that. And on his first birthday, I really did have the happiest day of my life! We survived the NICU, and Early Intervention, and RSV, and he was catching up to the full term babies on all of his milestones – woo hoo! And theeeennn…I started seeing pictures. And I almost deleted them all. I was so upset by how I looked that I almost erased the record of the happiest day of my life. And as I hovered over the delete key I thought, “Whoa, this is messed up. I need help.”
And then I remembered that while I was concentrating on surviving day to day, I was also watching an amazing transformation – my friend Pam had her “ah ha!” moment about a year before I did. She tells her own story magnificently, and I hope that you will join one of our challenge groups so that you can see and hear it for yourself! But while she was living this amazing journey, I was watching from the sidelines, cheering her on and wondering if I could ever do that. And as I sat there looking at those pictures, I figured that if I was ever going to find out, this was the time to do it.
So I picked up the phone, and I called Pam. And I asked her “How are you doing this? Because I’m ready to try.” And we had the first of many long conversations about our goals and our struggles, and what we could do to get through them together. She told me that the biggest key to her success was the support system – that she had a coach who was helping her through it, and that she never felt alone in the process even though it was ultimately up to her to do the work.I didn’t sign up with her that same day. I was too afraid of failing again. Paul and I talked it over, and he encouraged me to give it a try because he had also been watching Pam’s amazing transformation. I researched Beachbody online, I even did the “does anybody really DO this?!” thing in the pre-workout warnings and consulted my doctor before beginning this or any other exercise program. My doctor practically cheered when I asked what she thought about me signing up for Beachbody, and told me that she loves the program and actually does it herself.So I signed up for a free account and joined Pam’s clean eating challenge group on Facebook. It was an amazing, supportive experience, and I lost 4 pounds and 6.75 inches before I ever placed my first Beachbody order. By this time, I was convinced that the supportive team that Pam had found was for real, and that it was something I wanted to be a part of. So my first Beachbody order was a PiYo Challenge Pack, with a Coach’s welcome kit.
Since then, I have completed several programs and become an Emerald Coach by helping others achieve their goals. I’m consistently losing weight and inches, although I have become so much more confident in my body and the changes I am making that I’ve stopped weighing and measuring myself more than once a month! One of my best moments so far was fitting into a pair of jeans I bought for our honeymoon and getting an awesome compliment from Paul about how good they looked (it’s the little things, right ladies?) My workout and my early morning shake are a daily habit that I’m proud of – my little man even insists on joining me for “shake it up” time on the weekends. I am planning and preparing healthier meals for my family, and it’s been humbling and thrilling to have people come up to me and ask for advice about creating healthier habits for their own families. And having a second income relieves a lot of the pressure of being dependent on a salary.
This website is here to share our journey from a typical processed-food family to a healthier, happier one where real food is center stage, exercise is fun and frequent, and we’re working to create a future free of debt and full of potential. We’re not perfect at any of these things, by any means, but I believe in giving grace to those we love, and shouldn’t we extend the same to ourselves? I hope you will join us on this amazing journey, and learn, share, and grow along side of us.
To learn more about the programs I use, or the Beachbody Coaching Opportunity, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.