My workout journey has been topsy turvy over the past few years. I have gone to early morning classes at the Y or other local gym, done home workouts either with television shows or dvds or off the internet, run outside, run on the treadmill, and ridden my bike. In November of 2017, against my better judgment, I allowed a Beachbody coach (who turns out had stalked me on Instagram for the sole purpose of signing me onto her "team") to talk me into signing up to be a coach. For several months, for my own accountability, I had been posting my workouts on Instagram. That is where she found me. I hate direct sales. I hate pyramid schemes. I always SWORE I would not do it. But, she made it sound great and, hey, I would be helping people get fit! If only that was the true intent behind Beachbody. They can say it is all they want, but what they really want is to make money. And you need to know that. And you need to know that you are only a dollar sign. And you need to know that you can get the same results without spending a penny.
The way the coaches get you is by asking you to join a Challenge Group. And, I am going to be honest. I loved the Challenge Groups ... both as a participant and as a coach. It is an online accountability (private) group where you check in daily and post your workouts, whether or not you have consumed the all-important Shakeology, and provide and receive encouragement from others. I actually have made some really great friends from Challenge Groups. I was so excited by the comaraderie that I decided to jump in so I could lead my own groups. This part of the process I really did enjoy.
I also didn't hate the Shakeology, although it is crazy expensive. Prior to using it as the protein in my daily green smoothie, I just used plain Greek yogurt. Shakeology supposedly has all kinds of other healthy goodness to it. And, I will say, I was healthy all last winter when every person around me ended up with every kind of sickness. But, could that health have been because I was daily working out and drinking lots of water and getting adequate sleep and washing my hands? Who knows.
So I signed on some friends because there are always friends who see what you are doing and want to have some of it, too. I was sincere with my friends when I told them that I didn't care if they bought a thing, that I just wanted to help them on their health journey and work with them. I still felt so guilty anytime I received a little paycheck from Beachbody because they had purchased something. I knew this direct sales thing was just not for me.
And I was not about to spend hours every day stalking strangers on Instagram, leaving stupid fake comments every day, then waiting for that just-right moment to ask them to sign on. I hated it. I wasn't good at it. And I wasn't committed to doing it.
It just wasn't for me. I knew it wasn't for me. But, I kept working at it, encouraging those few friends who were in it with me, and trying to do some of the things taught to us for our success. But, here are the things that happened that made me decide to cancel my membership and stop doing all things Beachbody for good:
* To my own personal coach, I was just a number. Once I signed on, she really didn't invest in me. I had to remind her to provide me with the next step in the first 30 days (there were certain things we were supposed to do). I asked to do a FaceTime call with her, and she seemed annoyed the entire time we were on the phone. I really wanted to be involved in a challenge with her and some other coaches and she poo-pooed me off, until it was down to the sign-up deadline and she realized they needed one more person (by the way, I was more successful than her in that challenge). When she talked of her "team", I was not one of her coaches included in it. I was a number making her money. Period.
* Once I learned the Instagram "tricks" (ways to stand in your video, where to position the camera, filters to use, catch phases, things to do), I couldn't stand to do it anymore and couldn't stand to see other coaches doing it. If you watch one of their videos in their stories, you will see all the coaches doing all the same things. They became so disingenuous that it made me sick.
* I listened in on some of the podcast/conference calls and there was one particular coach, a leader, who just outright admitted that she mind *ucks people to get them to sign up. She even colored her hair pink so that she could relate to others on Instagram who had pink hair and get an "in" to start hounding them to sign up. This was a turning point for me. She berated coaches who were doing Challenge Groups. She basically said that if coaches wanted to help people, then fine, but they weren't going to make any money. I was disgusted.
* All of the workout programs on Beachbody are the same. If you have done one, you have done them all. It really just depends on which trainer you can stand. Years ago I bought the 21 Day Fix dvds with Autumn Calabrese. What I realized is that every workout program is just a modification of 21 Day Fix. Some have more weights, some have more cardio. You can do all of those same workout moves for free watching Pop Sugar workouts on Youtube.
* Trying to prove something to ..... others? myself? ... I injured my calf and my wrists, probably for good. It all happened because I felt like I needed to post a video of myself doing something women my age probably shouldn't do but should leave to 20 year olds. Dumb.
* And the straw that broke the camel's back. Beachbody releases new programs a couple of times a year. They are given a release date. Then they are given an early access date. If you wait for the release date, it's included in your yearly subscription fee. You don't pay anything for it. But, if you want it early you have to pay extra. Even coaches have to do this! So, in order to promote a new program early, like all the other coaches, you have to PAY for the program when it comes out for free a few months later. I just never understood that! Sure, if regular subscribers wanted to pay for early access, then okay. But COACHES? Come on! And that, for me, was it.
When I decided to stop coaching, I never told my coach. And, guess what, she never contacted me about it. She got points for signing me up and, beyond that, she really didn't care. I made her a little money, but not a lot, so I was inconsequential. But I am sure my sign on was part of a challenge she was doing and she needed my commitment to earn her the points for whatever water bottle or t-shirt she won.
It is all ludicrous and a joke. All getting fit takes is a commitment to working out, in some way, for 30 minutes a day and eating a healthy and lean diet heavy in fruits and veggies, protein, and limited fats and carbs. Drink lots of water. Get good sleep. Practice self care. Period.
In a later post I will share what my workout routine consists of now that I have banned Beachbody from my life.