While running this morning (seriously people, if you need time to think, pick up running as a hobby!) I was listening to a women speak about how jumping out of her comfort zone is when her life became wonderful! She failed at things, was scared a lot, but the fulfillment and happiness and inspiration she has found was WORTH IT ALL. Hearing her speak about where her family was financially while in the comfort zone, brought my own thoughts forward of a time where we were just making ends meet…. when things were NOT comfortable….. but for some reason, we thought we were.
My husband accepted a job offer that finally gave us an income that we were proud of. We moved into a really nice apartment, and a year and a half later in late 2007, we decided to build a home and start putting down roots.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt later, we moved into our brand new home. Because of a very sad situation we ended up in a legal battle for some unfinished work on our home, that became fruitless and we ended up paying the last of our savings to finish the home, and our legal fees. I also gained the most weight I’ve ever gained this year, topping out at 193 lbs at 9 mos pregnant. And after I had the baby…. it wasn’t coming off….
The economy crashed, expenses went up, our medical bills from our daughter’s birth at the end of 2007 (we had horrid medical insurance) were coming in, and we found out unexpectedly we were pregnant again. We were, LITERALLY over $9,000 in debt from medical expenses. My husband was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease and that began our life of wheat free, gluten free cooking and living.
Living paycheck to paycheck, and putting some bills in deferral, me working, him working, our 2nd daughter, at 10 mos old (the first time), was hospitalized 3 more times over the next year from asthma for 3-4 days at a time each starting with an ER visit….. and in between the last two hospitalizations, we had our 3rd baby. The medical bills were SOARING. And then….. we noticed water in the basement. We started noticing our front lawn pulling away from the driveway. Something was wrong. My husband hand dug with a shovel and bucket, a deep hole next to our foundation and discovered a crack and water, just 5 feet down….. LOTS of water. He got expandable cement and tried to repair the crack…. but water was STILL coming in after a few days. We called the city to come and inspect the water line from the street, and got a few more opinions, and sure enough, our water line from the road to our home had burst, leaving our newly SODDED ($$) lawn to sink in several places, and our driveway to start pulling away as well. SO, we hired the right people to do the job, ripped up our front lawn and tore out part of the driveway and got it fixed. We also needed a bigger vehicle, and as we applied for a small loan to help us get a reliable car, we found out that one of the doctors had tried to send our bills to our old address and when no reply came to pay then, he sent them to collections, which, yes, was not awesome for our credit. We were 100% unaware of the situation, and yet, it had been on our credit for almost 6 months before we found out. All the while, I’m dealing with a new born, an 18 mo old with severe asthma and my 4 yr old who also got shingles during this charade from stress. It was QUITE the year. By the end of this year, we were in debt over $38,000 from medical, home fixing, and other expenses. It was not fun, but we survived.
We budgeted carefully, and although we had more medical expenses, we got better insurance, and took great care to NOT get pregnant 😉 and began to crawl out of this hole. This was a year of healing. It was a HARD year. I was overweight, and emotionally SPENT. Tried a diet, lost a few pounds, and would try something different… ultimately stopping because I just didn’t feel I could really do it. Just accepting my body how it was. My husband was struggling to gain weight (I know… so not fair) but we were surviving on love and patience. This was the year of patience. We stuck to our guns and were able to save and pay off and negotiate a LOT of our debt. We ended the year happy and ready to move forward. We had regular life struggles, but GRATEFULLY no more big expenses.
Another good year. We budgeted carefully each month, and watched where every penny went. We were able to pay off all the debt, including our van, and had just a small amount on a credit card.
We were able to go on a few vacations, putting a little here and there on the credit card to make ends meet, all the while I was working and my husband was working. It was tough, but we made it! I didn’t like that I had to work every day, but it just had to happen if we were going to get out of this whole and have some fun at all along the way. My health was not in a good place though…. all the stress from that past few years had piled up on my waist and although I was trying to eat well, and work out, it just didn’t budge! I was going in and out of emotional breakdowns and my body just wasn’t coping well. We felt we were supposed to welcome another child to the family, but we couldn’t seem to get pregnant.
A blessed year. After some doctor visits, I found out I was pre-diabetic and on my way to full Diabetes type 2 fast. I needed to lose 40 lbs and really watch my diet. No more sugar the dr said…. I cried. I went through the “My Story” saga which included a workout that I didn’t know was Beachbody, P90X. Using that and taking up running and learning about eating RIGHT through my own research, I was able to lose 32 lbs in 5 months, and we were blessed to get pregnant, and we ended the year in a VERY good place. Our health insurance was amazing, we actually were able to refinance our home and saved over $58,000 and lowered our monthly expenses by $500 through a few changes. BUT….. we were still putting some things on the credit card each year during the summer since I didnt work in the summer as a music teacher, and by Fall, we usually had a bunch of debt to pay down. The cycle had continued this way for the past 2 years….. using the CC for a few things on trips, or to pay that last bill that didn’t quite make it into the budget…. it was essentially our emergency fund as we paid off all the other bills. And then when my husband got his yearly bonus in December, we’d pay it down. And our tax return became our “extra” while I didn’t work in the summer. Overall, we lived a good life. It was ok. Our credit scores went back up and things were good. I was introduced to the Beachbody opportunity, but was not interested in jumping THAT far out of my comfort zone and I was VERY skeptical about any network marketing company.
This year changed things forever. I started to tell people about my weight loss before my pregnancy, and then, after having my baby I was able to lose all the weight and more because the knowledge I had gained about food and health and food addiction and working out. I learned more about Beachbody workouts, and started using ChaLEAN Extreme 3 times a week, while running 3 times a week. I learned about clean eating. I learned about how food works in our bodies. I learned that I like to write things out on a blog and people felt empowered by it! I was able to look at my body in the mirror, and say WOW. Who is this? I was at a weight I had NEVER seen, a strength and ability I had NEVER had before. I was talking to people that asked, about my findings and trying to reach people and help more. But I was still working 4 days a week, and it was hard to juggle it all. We still had some things added to the CC and it was hard to fathom starting some type of business or book writing venture on our income and means, and yet I felt PULLED to share my story. Something was stirring inside me! It was CRAZY. Also during this year I watched a friend of mine start a business at home sharing Beachbody workouts and their nutrition supplement and was helping a LOT of people with their health… but it seemed too good to be true…. it had to have a catch…. and I just didn’t know……
After feeling more desire than ever to share my story about diabetes Type 2, and that you CAN reverse the symptoms, and that you CAN learn to eat right and you do NOT have to starve! I started to look at the Beachbody business opportunity more closely. I was sick of working and putting my children LAST each evening. Dinner was ALWAYS a rush. ALWAYS. I wanted to do what I was more passionate about…. as much as I LOVE music, and teaching was very fulfilling to me, it was just taking too much time and creating stress I started to resent. After much praying and pondering, and thoroughly looking at the Beachbody opportunity, and seeing the success my friend had and chatting with her about it…… I took the plunge. I KNEW the workouts worked, since I had used them to finally lose weight and keep it off… and I trusted the other elements of the company were just as sound after talking to my friend extensively. So I jumped right in, and took it seriously from the start. After my first month, I made income. Enough to allow me to know I didn’t have to teach any more. So after some tears and lots of deep breathing, I transferred all of my students out, and closed my studio after 8 years. It actually felt freeing… but very SCARY. But this “Beachbody thing” was showing me how to reach more people, and to assist people in learning how to care for their bodies and I felt so much excitement about what I was doing, and it made me grow OUT of my comfort zone a LOT. Shakeology was a game changer. OH Shakeology. Shakeology changed my daily life forever! The daily battle with cravings was no longer an issue… my hair stopped falling out, my moods were better, my hormonal cycle and pms were softened a LOT….. oh if I had had this from the beginning, I KNOW that my health journey would have been different. But I am grateful I struggled, to know the power of this product! I HAD done it the hard way, and now could share with people what I learned. 🙂 But through this business venture…….. what did it provide financially? Guess what? No more little bits on the CC. We have been able to put our girls in a private school. We could easily afford gymnastics for my daughter as well. We were able to finish our bathroom downstairs, frame and wire the basement as well, and even do much needed landscaping in our front yard…. all in CASH. We have gone on 4 family trips this year all in CASH, one of them being a 10 day excursion to California and Disneyland. Again, in CASH. When my husband’s yearly bonus came around? We were actually able to put some in savings, and we bought a car as well. And one of the BEST parts? I’m working from HOME now. No more baby sitters. No more stress. Its all on my own time, in my own way.
Here we are. Almost half way through the year.
I am making $24,000 a year as of today with my Beachbody business, working from home, and on my own time assisting people with their health and improving myself each day. I have learned that my “comfort zone” was actually VERY uncomfortable. And now that I’m putting myself out there, and taking risks and really striving to make an impact…… a LOT of things are WAY outside my comfort zone…. but guess what? I LIKE it here! Its exciting, fulfilling, and VERY freeing! It is worth the failures I have (oh I fail a lot) and the squirming in my chair as I reach out to people to share what I have to offer and then see MANY of them change and have amazing realizations and find their POWER……. YES. YES! YES! YES!!!! IT IS WORTH IT! It is worth every uncomfortable moment. My husband LOVES what Beachbody has brought to the table in our journey as a family. He is starting to DREAM again, and seeing the possibilities for HIM open up as well. He has told me he loves the risks I take and seeing me pull through the rough spots that I dont like… and seeing me become a leader and how passionate I am about what I am doing. Our marriage has NEVER been stronger, and we are SO HAPPY. Our financial outlook is great. No more CC expenditures. We look forward to the summer without dread. 🙂
Our health has never been better. Our kids are happy. And we look forward in life. Not looking back, no regrets, no drama. Just forward. Excited for the next twists and turns. We are EMPOWERED by the freedom that Beachbody has offered us. And you know what? ANYONE CAN DO THIS. If you believe in health, and might feel your perceived “comfort zone” is actually, like me, a little UNCOMFORTABLE….. then I encourage you to consider this business. The model is sound, the company is built on integrity, and I couldn’t be more excited to be on this ROAD on constant CHANGE and NO MORE comfort zones. 🙂