Meet Meagan: A Coaching Story

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Meet Meagan!!!
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Meagan and I went to college together at the University of Maryland and met on the Women’s Club Soccer Team. While we have a similar athletic background and we are now both mamas, I just love Meagan’s story. She is one inspiring lady who seriously does it all…she takes care of animals, takes care of her daughter, she’s an amazing wife/daughter/sister, and now she is back to taking care of herself as well. Meagan is working toward BIG goals, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled that she decided to trust in me to join Team SPARK! and take this journey as a coach alongside me. She is a TEAM player, a HARD worker, and she DREAMS BIG. Not only has she had incredible success with her health + fitness journey (she has lost at least 42 lbs post pregnancy to date of this interview…and possibly more now), she is also building her own team and making great strides toward achieving that type of freedom she craves with the business side of coaching. She has grown so much, and I cannot WAIT to see where this journey will take her next!!
 
Progress Photos:
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Beginning of Coaching Journey:
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Mid October:
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Without further ado, I will let you read my interview with her below and you can meet her for yourself! 🙂
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1) Tell us about yourself (where you live, family, hobbies, interests, anything else that you would like to include about yourself). I live in Baltimore, MD with my husband and daughter. We have 2 dogs and 2 cats. My husband and I are both from PA so our families are atleast 1.5 hours away. I’m the oldest of 6 girls so life for me has always been crazy/busy, non stop, always on the go. Living away from family means that help with our daughter’s childcare can be a little difficult at times. I work three 12 hours shifts in a row as a registered veterinary technician (nurse) at a very busy animal hospital with a very high standard of care. So work can be exhausting (mentally and physically) and stressful but I love it. I also bartend on Saturday nights at Phillips Seafood Restaurant where I have worked since graduating from college (this year makes 9 years!). My husband’s days off are two of the days that I work so he can be home with Charlotte. On Saturdays I go into work with Charlie and hand her off to Daddy and then he takes her home. So we only have to pay for one day of childcare. This plan, however, does not allow us to have any days off together. That has it’s own challenges, of course. I don’t have much time or the ability for activities for myself (I used to play football, kickball, and softball on local social club teams) but when ever I have off, I have my daughter (and daddy is at work) and it’s not always easy to find help to watch her if I need/want to do something. So, I can’t do it, unless I can take her.
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I love sports, animals, being outside and being adventurous. I like doing anything that I can take the dogs along for. They love to swim and fetch, they are very active and energetic but it’s hard to bring them with me sometimes since it’s usually just me with Charlie and both of them.
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2) What is your fitness background? I played soccer for 16 years. In middle school, I ran track and played basketball too. In college and afterwards I played on several club teams for kickball, football, softball, volleyball, soccer. If you need a person on your sports team, I’m your gal. Haha. I may not be awesome at all sports, but I can get by in most of them. My Dad was a soccer player (He played for the San Jose Earthquakes in the 80s) and he always played softball when I was growing up, so my love of sports comes from him— he taught me everything I know about throwing a baseball and football and kicking a soccer ball. My mom was always active also, she was a flamenco dancer in a dance company when I was young, trained with a body builder and would often go on long runs when I was in high school. She used to take me to an MMA gym where we would take a boxercise class and tae-ke-bo class. So my fitness always revolved around sports. I didn’t like running for fun until college which was when I picked up a love for yoga also. Both were a great way for me to de-stress and clear my mind. As great as yoga and running are for my mind, I have always loved team sports.
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3) Why did you decide to become a Coach on Team SPARK? I wasn’t expecting to decide to be a coach that day in May 2017. I saw one of your posts about daring to dream. I think it just hit home for me and I knew I had to jump on it, without much thought, I jumped in. I had been feeling very BLAH for months. I was in a funk, a bad one. I WANTED to workout more, but I just couldn’t seem to get it done. I had started taking regular walks with the dogs and Charlie in the stroller and I was more conscious about what I was eating. I was 160ish pounds in Dec2016/Jan2017 and by April I was hovering around 145. So, progress was being made but I knew regular walks weren’t gonna to get me where I wanted. I just couldn’t seem to figure out how I was going to get it done. My husband is naturally tall and thin and would choose to eat Taco Bell every night if he could (even though he is an amazing cook). He wasn’t going to be the one to motivate me. We had worked half way through P90X twice (we could only ever seem to make it to 45ish days haha). He grew up playing volleyball and baseball. We played kickball together on a social team and he can be very competitive and that’s how we got through P90X. I worked out during the day because I worked nights then and he would workout when he got home from his day shift— we always kept each other on track. Nowadays, he’d rather not workout— so that leaves me to motivate myself. It wasn’t going very well. I didn’t want to get a gym membership, becauseI knew I wouldn’t use it. Plus, not all gyms have childcare and like I said before, I always have Charlie.
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I’d also been dreaming of not having to bartend on Saturday nights anymore. It’s not a bad gig, but I’m just ready to call it quits. The money I make there each month pays my gigantic student loan bill and although we could probably survive without it.. it seems stupid to not work 4 days a month to be able to make that payment. I was trying to figure out what else I could do that would allow us the freedom we have financially without making any sacrifices. After several weeks/months of feeling like there was something missing in more than 1 aspect of my life, there was your post. Dare to dream. I had been seeing your posts for years. Busy mom, fit mom, working mom. Killing it. So I said, what the hell. Why not try it, what could it hurt. I knew just being a challenger would not be enough to make this a lifestyle change. Being just a challenger would probably get me as far as I got with P90X and then I would fall off again. BUT being a coach, being able to motivate and inspire others? That should do the trick. I always loved being a team captain, I loved coaching, and I had been thinking about taking looking into teaching at the local vet tech school. I wanted something to spend my time that was fulfilling, that would allow me to help others. But coaching/teaching was just another something that would take me away from the house and require additional childcare costs and less time with family. COACHING was it! I could check off all the boxes. PLUS, even if coaching wasn’t a financial success, I would hopefully have my athletic self back again. I had been missing since college. So, without overthinking it, I said yes. I’m so happy I did.
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4) What was the first Beachbody program you tried? What did you like about it?  P90X. I liked how challenging it was and I liked that variety of workouts. Since becoming a coach, the first program I tried was 22 Minute Hard Corps, because I knew I liked Tony as a trainer, and I was familiar with him so I picked that one first. Plus the shorter workouts would make for an easier transition into a fitness routine.
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5) What was tough or challenging for you?  The hardest part at first was waking up early to get my workout in before my long shifts. That had been an excuse of mine for a loooooong time. There was no way that I would be able to wake up before a 12 hours shift earlier than I needed to just to work out. I had been working on eating better for a few months, but nutrition was also a big part of what I struggled with. Not because I don’t like healthy foods, but because I was terrible at planning and I would stop at fast food restaurants all the time because I wouldn’t have food in the house. I would stop in the morning on the way to work for breakfast— because I wouldn’t give myself enough time to eat at home— and I would stop when I was out running errands because it was easy. I was getting fast food at least 3-4 times a week AND going out to eat with hubby once a week or every other week. Shakeology has really helped with that, it’s my breakfast in the car on the way to work and my go-to lunch on my days off when we are out and about!
 
6) What has your progressed looked like in terms of pounds and inches? How did you stay motivated to get to this point?  I’ve lost 15 pounds and 10 inches since becoming a coach. I went from a size 10 to a 4 (just realized I was in a size 4 the other day)! My motivation came from the accountability/support groups. Watching everyone live busy lives and still find time to workout and eat right was great. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone. I knew it was going to be a constant battle and somedays I may lose the battle was I was going to win this war. It all comes back to my love of team sports. That was this is like for me. We are all on a team, we win together, we lose together, we support each other, we motivate each other. We all have something to learn from one another, and I find that the most inspiring. The honesty and the open-ness of the group allows for a safe place to be honest and open with yourself. Sharing my story has helped me stay on track and hearing how people are inspired by what I’m doing when I run into them, that’s worth it. Even if they aren’t joining my group or supporting my business, they are driven by when I share to be more active and make better choices. That’s huge.
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7) How do you feel today, and what are your goals moving forward?  I feel awesome. My goals are constantly changing, which is so cool! I’ve surpassed my original goals which is sooo surprising! Instead of quitting because I’ve reached my original goals (which is part of the reason I stopped P90X midway through— I felt like I was at a good place and could stop), I make new goals. Now that I’ve lost the weight, I want to build muscle and tone my body. I want to be able to one day do a hand stand and at least 5 pull ups. I want to continue inspiring other people to reach their goals. My ultimate goal is to inspire my husband to join me and start his own fitness journey. Any wife knows that you can’t make them do anything they don’t want to do, so I’ll just wait for him to have the grand idea all on his own. 🙂 Haha. I just want people to realize that if they WANT to do it, they can do it. I’m a TV junkie. I love naps. I love junk food. I procrastinate. I’m always late, and I hit the snooze at least 3 times every morning. But here I am, surprising myself everyday. If I can do this, anyone can do this.
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8) How has your life changed since become a Coach on Team SPARK? My life has changed in so many ways! I LIKE waking up early before work to work out. I feel energized, accomplished, and proud. I make regular trips to the grocery store and keep my fridge stocked with good foods to eat! I plan more, plan meals for the week, plan my days, and plan to be better than I used to be. I’m happier. I don’t feel sluggish or tired (sometimes yes, but not nearly as often as I used to). I’m confident. I like the person I see in the mirror and not just because of my pants size but because of what I’ve been able to accomplish. Being a coach has given me my life back, I feel like myself again.
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So flippin’ proud of this girl, and can you just look at that SMILE!!!! That is EVERYTHING. 🙂
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All it takes is a leap of faith when you dare to dream. This girl is doing it. And this team is going places. Watch us. Or join us. Only you can make that decision spark that fire and FLY.
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Hope you are all making the most of your week!
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XO,
Gina

Transformation Story: Christie DeMarco

Happy Wednesday everyone! I am SOOOOO incredibly excited to introduce you all to a challenger and now coach on my team, Christie DeMarco! Her post partum health + fitness journey has been incredible and I’m so pumped to share. In addition to rocking her health + fitness, Christie has also been crushing her business as a new coach and helping others to achieve amazing results as well!
Without further ado, here is Christie!!!
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Photos taken in April – May – June respectively
P+ P: Hi Christie!!! Please tell us about yourself (where you live, family, hobbies, interests, anything else that you would like to include about yourself)!
Christie: I recently turned 30 this past June!! My goals were to be married and be done having babies when I turned 30, and I am so done! I’m 5’5 and 125lbs (3 lb water fluctuating weight) haha. I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and have lived around here all my life. I am a Palliative Care Nurse in home care which I love. I see sickness and death day in and day out. I think that helps push me to appreciate being able to get up in the morning healthy and able to workout and eat healthy. We can’t prevent cancer 100% but we can prevent what we put in our bodies and be more mindful of our health. Which I am hoping will prevent me from getting cancer.
P+P: What is your fitness background?
Christie:  I was 125 lbs pre-pregnancy and not really trying to lose anymore weight other than that. My focuses are tightening and toning.
I have always loved health and fitness. I worked at McDonald’s in high school, but I never really ate the food there. Only fries and egg sandwiches. 

I had diastasis recti with my 1st baby, Josilynn, which only made it way worse with Nolan, my baby. I gained 50lbs with Josilynn and only 45 with Nolan. However, even with 45 lbs i swear it was all in my belly which was very painful on my back. I lost every bit within 2 weeks with Josilynn without working out. I didn’t realize how nice that was until after my 2nd when my abdomen was not at all how it was before my 2nd pregnancy. It’s still not and will never be again. My focus has been toning my legs and arms and if my abdomen shaped up then bonus!
P+P: Why did you decide to try Insanity Max 30?
ChristieI did only the 1st month of Insanity when I was getting married but never finished it. I am a HUGE Shaun T. fan so I started Insanity Max 30. I figured I have 30 min a day I’ll give it a go. Well 1 week turned into 2 weeks and so on.  
P+P: What about the program worked for you? What did you like about it? 
Christie: I started seeing results in about 2 weeks which makes you get hooked right away!!
P+P: What was tough or challenging for you? (particular workouts? sticking to nutrition? anything else?) 
Christie: My son got sick and was hospitalized within that 1st month so I got a little off track but got right back into it when things settled. I just really wanted to finish a program. I didn’t follow the nutrition guideline, rather I just ate clean and listened to my body with good portion control. I am 95% vegan so I have to alter my diet other than the meal plans. I am NOT GOOD at meal prepping which I am really going to try and get into…..
I hate cardio because I have asthma. I know, Insanity is a LOT of cardio!!!
P+P: 10 lbs and 5 inches is an incredible accomplishment! How did you stay motivated for those 60 days?
Christie: Shaun T. kept me motivated.  I took extra breaks or modified when I needed to, but never stopped.
 

Gained confidence and without even doing most of the ab exercises I have a baby 6 pack forming!! You need to seriously focus on good form with any ab exercise especially with ab separation.

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P+P: How do you feel today and what are your goals moving forward? 

I am looking forward to coaching and helping other people gain confidence I have and will only continue to do!
I am now doing 21 day fix Extreme and my goal is to do Shift Shop in July with my 1st challenge group!
Christie Transformation Post Partum
Side note…this interview was done earlier this summer, and since then Christie has accomplished so much more! Not only has she crushed those workout programs, but she has helped SO many people in just her early stages of coaching! She achieved Success Starter status in our company in her 1st month as a coach and helped 5 people get started on their own health + fitness journey. She also earned a call with our company CEO, which is a HUGE deal!!!
She is running her own challenge groups now to help others and she is building her own team of coaches to teach and train as well. Christie is going places peeps, and I’m SO excited to have her as a part of Team SPARK!
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And she also is famous on our team for rockin’ the cutest workout tanks! Love it!
Hope you all are having an amazing week so far. Continue to spread love, positivity, and happiness wherever you go! With all this crazy stuff going on, be the change you wish there to be in the world.
XO,
Gina

Get Happy, Get Lean – Let’s Rock 2017!

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Almost 2 years ago, I finally decided I had enough of being unfit after having my first baby and made the commitment to my health + fitness by starting P90X and becoming and online fitness coach. Two days into the program, I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 and had to change the course of my journey. The road toward success or change is never easy and there are bumps (and in my case baby bumps! hehe) along the way. I could have easily quit and said “I will just wait until after I have my 2nd baby to work on myself. But I didn’t. I chose to keep going. A 2nd baby was an absolutely blessing…and it certainly was not an excuse to quit or give up on myself. Instead I chose to get healthy THROUGH my pregnancy…kept up with my exercise, improved my nutrition, helped others do the same…and it made it that much easier once baby arrived to keep going and get those results that I had originally intended.
 
This past year after getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight…I ended up surpassing that and getting back into even better shape than before. I challenged myself with tough programs + heavy lifting, and I also let myself breathe and have fun with yoga and dancing. I have continued to grow my business helping over 300+ challengers and have grown a team of 20+ coaches who are out there leading and inspiring others to reach their goals. I have also grown myself in ways that I never thought possible. I have learned that in order to help others, it starts within, so this past year has been incredible for self-reflection and growth. I have also learned that I would never be able to do this without the incredible supportive community of challengers and coaches to keep me accountable along the way.
 
Beginning January 2nd, I am LEAPING into the New Year strong to continue my personal journey, and I would LOVE for you to be there with me alongside to support each other!!! It’s never too early for resolutions, so if YOU are looking to make a CHANGE in the New Year, then please jump in to our amazing group and receive that support you deserve to reach your full potential.
 
The Beachbody community is also running their 2nd Health Bet this next month where challengers and coaches have the opportunity to win a share of a $2 Million pot JUST for completing 3 workouts per day and drinking Shakeology 5x per week. Sounds like easy money to me!!!! Getting paid to work out? Yes please!!!!
 
Let’s Get Happy, Let’s Get Lean…Let’s Rock Out 2017!!!
 
Who’s with me?!?!?!?!
 
Comment below or email me at gina.notes26 {at} gmail.com for details 🙂 ❤ 🙂 ❤
XO,
Gina

2015 in Review

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A lot has happened in this past year…

I embarked on a new career as a health & fitness coach last January and I have since been able to help over 120 challengers to reach their goals and 8 coaches to build a business of their own. I am continuing to help those who want to make changes in this brand new year.

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I found out I was pregnant with our second child in January, and we did a fun little photo shoot in Prospect Park to find out we were expecting a BOY!

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I felt a little bit tougher this time around during my pregnancy and made my health and fitness a big priority for both myself and my family.

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We took a trip to Tulum, Mexico as a family and it was a crazy fun adventure.

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I rocked a two piece dress during my pregnancy which Lord knows I never thought would happen! I also rocked a bikini.

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I came up with a post all about exercises during pregnancy which many of you read and loved…I call them pregercises.

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I had some fun collaborations with both Stella & Dot and Irresistible Me…I have to say I am obsessed with Stella & Dot jewelry, and I can now FINALLY use a curling iron without butchering my hair!

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Before & After

I surprised my husband with a trip to the NOLA for our 4 year wedding anniversary.

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We had an adorable family maternity photo shoot with my phenomenal cousin and professional photographer Misa Me.

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We took our annual lake trip over the summer…this time we landed in Seneca Lake in the Finger Lake region of Upstate New York.

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I also traveled 8 months pregnant to Nashville for the annual Beachbody Summit, and met my fabulous team of coaches in person to share a phenomenal life-changing experience. I also broke it down on the CIZE dance floor. (yes I was the awkward dancing pregnant lady)

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My beautiful baby Luca was brought into the world and our world was forever changed for the better. This kid is the smiliest, happiest baby I have ever met and we are so in love.

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My Nico Bonzo turned TWO this year with a TMNT b-day party. He started preschool, has become so independent, is making friends, and having full conversations these days. He astonishes me daily with how much memory he can retain in that little brain of his. I know he is destined for great things.

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I started my own 21 Day Fix journey to get back to my pre-baby, healthy, active self again, and so far things are going really well. I told myself I would not wait so long like I did with my first babe to get back into shape, and I have stuck to my word.

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We have celebrated many beautiful friends getting married this past year and wonderful holidays together with family. We are so very lucky and I am thankful for my blessings each and every day.

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Misa Me Family Christmas

(Photo by Misa Me Photography)

I look forward to what 2016 has to offer, and I am wishing you all a happy, healthy New Year!

XO,

Gina

Transformation Tuesday: 21 Day Fix Round 2

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Transformation Tuesday!

During my 2nd Round of the 21 Day Fix I lost 2 more pounds and 5.25 more inches. So from Day 1 to Day 42, I lost a total of 6 lbs and 12 inches.

It may not seem like much in terms of weight, but my photos show that you can’t just go by the scale! You can really see a difference (at least I think so) in the before/after shots. I can also definitely feel things have changed in the way my clothes fit. Those pre-pregnancy jeans are now feeling comfortable and not so super tight.

My journey is not over, but I am making progress and that’s what counts! It took me 9 months to carry that little baby to term, and it has only been 3 months postpartum. So I am feeling good and happy and strong with where I am today.

I indulged a little more than I had planned over the Thanksgiving holiday, but hey…that’s also part of why I’m working so hard right? To enjoy! Plus Round 3 started yesterday, and I am back on track for the month of December! Going to be hard to fight off some of those holiday temptations, but the best part about this plan is that it allows some treats! 🙂

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I am SO incredibly grateful and thankful for my family and friends. I am also thankful for all of you lovely readers who keep coming back here each day. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

XO,

Gina