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!!!
Christie Transformation
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

A Special Invitation

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PINCH ME PLEASE!
 
A year and a half ago, I decided to try out this “coaching thing” because I didn’t want to start a brand new job in the advertising industry spending long hours away from my little guy. I knew I would enjoy working for myself, and being able to work on my own schedule from anywhere was extremely appealing. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I figured as a former athlete and with my passion to help others that maybe it would be something I could do.
I quickly realized that this job would require hard work, but at the same time my potential was limitless…a feeling I had never TRULY felt before.
 
I became pregnant with baby #2, continued my own healthy journey and helped others to start theirs…and then I really knew this was no longer a “let’s see what happens” kind of job. This was a job that I felt was important…one that I needed and wanted to make work for my family. A job that I still enjoy waking up to do each day. I still have a long way to go on my journey, but I know that train is headed in the right direction.
 
I never realized how many people I would be able to help.
 
I never realized that I could actually get paid to do something like this.
 
I never realized how many AMAZING people I would meet.
 
And I definitely never realized I would be heading to Sundance, Utah this fall on a free trip provided to the top leaders of our team from our incredible coach.
 
This coaching job has not only allowed me to help others change their lives…with physical transformations, increased energy, happiness boosts, increased confidence, financial transformations, and more…
 
But it has given me an incredible confidence I never thought possible…and I have been able to surround myself with other hard working, bad ass women on a similar journey toward self-improvement. My team is amazing. I have realized that literally ANYONE can do this. You don’t have to be a social media rock star or a sales person (Lord, please don’t be a sales person). You don’t have to have completed your journey yet or “be where you want to be with your fitness.” My team is still learning and growing on our own journeys every day.
 
To see this invitation in my inbox last week, I am still in shock at how much has changed in the last year and a half. Back then I was a mom of an 18 month old with one on the way, out of a job, + a semi-directionless mediocre blogger who discovered my coach on the interwebs. Now, we are good friends, and she is hosting this phenomenal retreat for our team where I will reunite with other amazing ladies I have met on this journey and we will learn how to grow ourselves, grow our businesses, learn how to better help others, and have a little fun while doing it.
 
Seriously, PINCH ME! Thank you Marion for this incredible opportunity! I am counting down the days!!!!
Happy Friday everyone!
XO,
Gina

3 Week Yoga Retreat

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I was an athlete growing up, but yoga is something I discovered in my 20’s after college. Being that person who was always into cardio heavy sports like soccer and basketball, yoga was quite a switch. The quiet, calm music…having to hold balance and stay still in a position for an extended period of time. It was definitely different. But the moment I tried it for the first time, I knew I loved it. There was just something about it that made me feel AMAZING after it was all over. It was a different feeling than I had experienced from exercise before. I normally felt exhausted, tired, banged up, bruised, sore, and more after a soccer or basketball game. But after yoga I felt rejuvenated. I felt a clear mind. I felt a release of stress, tension, and anxiety. I knew that yoga would not be going anywhere in my life.
 
While living in New York, I have had the pleasure of attending amazing yoga classes from my favorite teacher Brian Williams! If you haven’t taken a punk rock yoga class before, or a class on top of a roof in this amazing city, this guy will rock your world. Seriously. I am still dreaming of taking his week long yoga retreat vacation to some beautiful, tropical location. One of these days, I will make it happen.
 
But for now…since becoming a mom, it’s nearly impossible for me to make a yoga class (or any other classes for that matter). When my older son was about 18 months, I finally decided to get back into shape by taking my workouts to the living room. I quickly found out I was pregnant with baby #2 and I was going to need something more low impact than P90X. I WISHED Beachbody had a yoga program at that time, but they didn’t. The closest thing they had was PiYo, and I absolutely loooooooooved it. This combo of pilates/yoga/cardio/sculpt/strength + Chalene Johnson will always have a special place in my heart. However, it was not truly yoga.
 
I am THRILLED that as of yesterday, Beachbody has launched a new *** 3 WEEK YOGA RETREAT *** that you can do inside your own living room!!!! This is the program I have been waiting for!!!! Now I don’t have to feel left out because I can’t make the classes, but I can do them from home. 21 different yoga workouts for 21 days. On demand, so you can not only do them at home, but wherever you need to go. Pretty amazing.
 
The super yogis will love this, but it’s even better for those just beginning or those needing a low impact workout.
 
I’m currently doing Hammer + Chisel as you may have seen from my posts yesterday, but I seriously cannot wait to rock out this yoga program as soon as I am finished! I already know that I will love it. ❤
Hope you all had an awesome Labor Day Weekend! I cannot believe they are already serving pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. I am sad for the summer to end, but I do love the fall. School also starts this week for my oldest guy which is crazy! He will be in a 3’s program this year, and it will also be my first experience as a mom packing lunches! Is it weird that I oddly excited about that? I am also a bit excited to get started in our new routine. Yesterday, I was feeling all “Bring Back the Summer,” but today I think I’m embracing the new season.
 
Namaste!!!
Gina

Jam out July

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Like music? Like working out? Like listening to music WHILE working out?!?!

Then THIS is the challenge for you!!!

Join some of the top coaches on Team SPARK! July 18th for Jam Out July!!! This FREE 5 Day Health + Fitness Challenge will incorporate a summer jam for each workout on each day of the week. You can listen to the song once for a quick mini workout, play the song on repeat for more of a challenge, or string them all together at the end of the week to pump up that jam!

We will also be sharing healthy recipes and tips for summer fun! Should be a good time, and you won’t want to miss this one!

Comment below with your email address to JOIN the fun or reach out to me for more details!

gina.notes26 {at} gmail.com

Cannot WAIT!

XO,

Gina

Melt Away May

Melt Away May Invite

ICE CREAM!!!! No, I am not running an ice cream eating challenge group (although that might be pretty fun 😉 ) …

We all like ice cream. You can say you don’t, but I know you do…or maybe you are just weird 😉 No one wants to give up these kinds of things for life. And we don’t have to. Your journey toward health and fitness does not mean you have to eat food that tastes like cardboard, be hungry all the time, or work out like a maniac for hours and hours each day. To me that doesn’t sound fun or healthy. And neither does depriving yourself of the finer things in life…like said ice cream.

Just because I love ice cream doesn’t mean I need to eat it every day. But it also doesn’t mean I can’t have it and still live a happy and healthy lifestyle. In fact, that happy factor goes right up after a delicious bite! I’m a firm believer that if you are fueling your body with the right whole foods, vitamins, and nutrients 80% of the time, then you should absolutely enjoy that ice cream (or pizza, or chocolate, or whatever you please)…the other 20%…and you should enjoy it guilt-free! Enjoying these things can be satisfying and it can also curb that urge to go on a super binge down the road.

My post-partum health and fitness journey has been different than any other journey I have had previously because while I have always been an athlete…I never really thought too much about what I was eating. I liked to think that I was eating healthy most of the time, but I never REALLY paid a super amount of attention. After baby #2, I really dialed into my nutrition, paid attention to what I was eating and learned a lot about my habits from doing the 21 Day Fix program. It made me think about healthy habits for a lifestyle rather than just a fad diet.

In addition, the workouts were an awesome variety that really targeted the entire body each week. Previously I was a soccer player, basketball player, a runner, etc…I had natural results because I was so active every day with 2 hour practices or hour long runs. After baby #2, 2 hour practices on the soccer field were definitely no longer practical! With this program I could get a 30 minute workout in each day without ever leaving the house…and I got a total body workout that produced amazing results…while still allowing me to enjoy life with those treats J

While I do still sometimes crave that game on the soccer field…with my current lifestyle and hanging out with my little guys on a daily basis…this is how I am able to get it done…and how I am able to get results. I have to say I am probably the HEALTHIEST I have been in my entire life. All it took was:

*Healthy Meals & a Realistic Outlook on Nutrition

*30 Min Daily Workouts

*Drinking a daily dose of dense nutrition each day

*Checking into a group full of positive, inspiring individuals that keep me accountable each day

*Surrounding myself with positive “co-workers” who build me up and make me a better person, athlete, mom, and businesswoman.

These days everyone has a full, busy life…but it doesn’t mean we don’t have time for the things that matter. And our health definitely matters. It’s all about what we choose to do with that time. You deserve that time for yourself. YOU MATTER!!!

I am starting my next Challenge Group up on May 2nd, and would love to have you MELT AWAY MAY with me! Comment below with “I want to Melt Away May!” and the best way to contact you if you want to learn more information or need help choosing a program to fit your needs, likes, and goals. This summer I am excited to finally feel confident in a bikini while enjoying that ice cream guilt-free! Who’s with me? LET’S DO THIS!

Hope you are all having a great day! We are in Maryland this week spending some extra time with family while Nico is on Spring Break from school and the hubby is on a work trip in Austin. Make it a great one all!

XO,

Gina

Caribbean Cruise

Woweee, ok if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you are probably sick and tired of seeing all of our Caribbean Cruise photos by now….but just in case you’re notttt, and you wanted to see a little more detail from the trip, I created this blog post.

The ship (Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas) was absolutely incredible! One of the biggest in the world, it had everything from a wave rider, putt-putt golf, aqua theatre, rock wall, zip line, multiple pools and hot tubs, all you can eat ice cream dispensers, clubs, grand ballrooms, a champagne bar, a “Central Park” re-creation, stunning views, a solarium, a carousel, 17 floors, amazing restaurants, and even a Starbucks. I mean, seriously?!?! I am cruise SPOILED!!!

When docked in the Bahamas and Jamaica our ship just dwarfed every other one next to us. I literally cannot believe our company rented out the entire boat for us. I was beyond impressed with the great lengths they went to make our trip amazing and how wonderful the Royal Caribbean staff was.

Each day, we woke up to the option of working out with a celebrity trainer followed by an awesome post-workout Shakeology bar. My little buddy came up and did two workouts with me on the top deck.

Nassau was absolutely beautiful. We walked around the town exploring, went to Junkanoo Beach, treated ourselves with ice cream and Bahama Mamas, and splashed in the crystal clear waters. This was Luca’s first ever trip to the beach, and I’m pretty sure he was a big fan!

Getting to spend quality time with some amazing friends and fellow boss ladies on this trip was fantastic. We hang out online pretty much every day, but to see each other in person, you would never know we had only met face to face ONCE before! These gals push and inspire me daily, and they have become so important to me. It was also a super huge bonus during our team dinner to have Tony Horton come up and entertain my children! He was just as sweet and as funny in real life as he is on DVD 😉 So grateful to have been surrounded by so many positive people each day on our trip.

These smiles pretty much made my vacation! My boys had an awesome time, and I’m so happy I was able to provide this adventure for them! I will never forget it.

And last, but not least…Jamaica Mon! This place was gorgeous, and I definitely plan to return for a longer stay!

Again, I am so grateful to have had this experience with my family and close friends. A year ago, I never would have imagined a Caribbean vacation would be possible with a toddler and 6 month old. What an adventure! So happy to have stumbled upon the opportunity to work for such an amazing company. Looking forward to what is in store for our future!

We are now back to our regularly scheduled programming here in New York. Yesterday was a cold one waking up to a bit of snow on the ground. While I am still dreaming of the islands, it is nice to get back into my normal routine again!

Hope you are all having a great week!

XO,

Gina

 

Best of Both Worlds

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What kind of life do you desire for yourself?

I find that as I get older and time goes on, my priorities have changed. In my twenties, I may have been fine with working late hours, meeting up with friends for an after work drink, crashing late, and doing it all over again the next day.

But now as a mom of two kids, I want to be here to tuck my kids into bed at night, read them stories, and snuggle them to sleep.

Previously, I was okay with a long subway commute. I used it as an excuse to get lots of reading done and was proud at how many books I could finish underground. Now, I do not want to spend a total of 3 hours per day commuting, because that means 15 hours a week extra that I would be spending away from my kiddos on top of a long work day.

My family has become my priority these days. I love being a mom…the good, the bad, and the ugly. The lack of sleep and toddler tantrums have nothing on those newborn snuggles and those slobbery toddler kisses.

That being said…I never saw myself as a stay at home mom. My mom worked hard outside of the home each and every day, and I figured I would follow in those footsteps. I studied hard in school and had dreams of a future and career that involved television and movies and sports and more. I wanted to be successful in my own right, and never have to rely on someone else to pay my bills. Not that those who are stay at home moms are not successful. It’s the hands down HARDEST job I have ever had to date! And I give props to every single stay at home mom out there, because having and raising kids on a daily basis IS definitely success in my book.

But the difference between then and now is that I didn’t realize then that I could be FINANCIALLY successful AND be a stay at home mom at the same time. I could own a business, work from home, AND spend my days raising my children the way I see fit. The best of both worlds in my mind.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s easy. I work HARD…both as a mom and as an entrepreneur. And some days I still feel like I am not quite measuring up in either category…because let’s face it…as mom you never feel like you are doing everything right…I am only human, and I can only do so much and yes, it’s HARD to work from home when you have a toddler…and now with a newborn, it’s even more crazy. But I am making it work, because it’s what’s best for ME and what’s best for my family. I am getting to fulfill something that I always wanted to do by having my own business and creating my own success…and I am not missing out on those opportunities to see my children grow.

The best part is that I have the FREEDOM to work when and how I want. I am able to create my own schedule and hours. I am helping others to reach their goals not only in health and fitness, but by teaching others to build their OWN business as well.

This opportunity is not exclusive to me. Have you ever thought about being a fitness coach? What about being home with your kids more? Or having the freedom to work from wherever you want? Or to stop stressing about money on the regular?

If so, I would love to invite you to join me and Team SPARK on Monday September 28th as we host a sneak peek into our business and share what is that we do on a daily basis. We are looking for 5 hard working, creative, and intelligent individuals who are looking to create more freedom for themselves or for their families. If you have any interest at all in learning more, please comment below and fill out this application to save your spot in our 3 Day Coach Open House group!

https://pandpfitness.wufoo.com/forms/team-spark/

Hope you are having a great week!

XO,

Gina