New Member of the Family

WHEW! I’m here, I’m here. Holy moly what a whirlwind. So, we adopted a puppy! Yeah. 2 kids, 2 kittens and a puppy. We are crazy and I am beyond busy. But I believe in listening to the universe big time and I couldn’t turn this guy down. Plus, how cute is he? Here’s a little insight to how the universe works in crazy awesome ways!

– If you know me well you know that I LOVE Bernese Mountain Dogs. I grew up with 3 of them and have wanted one of my own for as long as I can remember. In fact, we almost took one home this summer, but Molly wasn’t ready for a puppy.

– When Molly was 14 months old we “adopted” a 9 month old Lab from a family going through a divorce. But our living situation wasn’t ideal {small condo, large dog} and she had a lot of issues. When I reached out to the owner they had ended up staying together and wanted her back! Perfect for everyone.

– Over the holidays we went to visit my dad who has an awesome black Lab, Daegan, and my Aunt & Uncle who have a lab mix, Maggie. The kids were in love with them and we started to think maybe Molly was ready.

– Last week Ben said to me, “You know, I really would like a Lab again some day.”

– This summer I subscribed to “Bernese Mountain Dog” alerts on RescueMe.org. Every few days I get an alert… most are adult mixes that actually look nothing like a Berner.

– The day after Ben mentioned wanting a Lab an email came to my inbox from RescueMe.org with a Berner/Lab puppy.

So although I know we will have our hands full, I couldn’t say no to the Universe when it put a perfect puppy right in my lap! Welcome to the family Cap! or Cappy — short for Captain America {Burke got to pick the name}. :)

labernese

Full Circle Moment

This week has just been full of crazy awesome things but I had a HUGE full circle moment on Saturday that I haven’t had a chance to write about until now. We had the first Beachbody DC Super Saturday of the year and it was AMAZING! For those of you who don’t know what that is — well it’s a quarterly get together held in cities all around the US where coaches come together to meet, listen to trainings and motivational speakers, watch a video from corporate and do a live workout! It is SO much fun and you get to experience all the ENERGY that surrounds a Beachbody event. There’s nothing like that ENERGY!

Exactly one year ago I attended my very first Super Saturday as an Emerald Coach (the first rank in Beachbody). I was only 2.5 months into this whole coaching thing, but I was SO inspired by the speakers and the competitor in me wanted to stand up with all the people who were higher ranked than me. HA! I remember saying to myself that I wanted to be a Diamond Coach (2 levels up from Emerald) by the next Super Saturday and that one day I wanted to be on the Leadership Council — they are the ones who host the event.

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My very first Super Saturday!

 

By the next Super Saturday I was a 1 Star Qualifying Diamond (just look up the ranks. lol) and I was asked to speak about my success… both weight loss and coaching. Then the following Super Saturday I was asked to join the Leadership Council and work with corporate. I was HONORED.

So just one short year later to stand in front of 500 people and HOST a Super Saturday as a 7 Star Qualifying 2014 Elite Coach was beyond amazing and a total full circle moment for me. Even one of the same speakers was there! Yes, I cried. I can’t believe what this past year has brought me and how much it’s made me realize that I really can do anything I put my mind to.

Can’t wait to see what this year brings!

super sat

 

super sat 3

 

super sat 2

An Amazing Day

Yesterday was an amazing day! I received roses from corporate for being a 2014 Beachbody Elite Coach and I also was given a sneak peek of the 21 Day Fix Extreme launching next month! More on that later. But I remember a year ago watching the other elite coaches get their roses and thinking to myself that I wanted to be in their place. So I went to work and a year later, here I am! Of course, allllll the credit goes to my team because you cannot be an Elite Coach without your team putting in the work. They are amazing and I LOVE THEM!! Best.day.ever!

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Burnout

Have you ever worked so hard at something and then you reach that goal and think, “now what?” I have been feeling super down lately but I have not been able to put my finger on why exactly. And today I had a light bulb moment. I’m totally burnt out. I pushed and pushed so hard for my goal and then I reached it. So what now? The world continues on and I need to figure out where to focus next.

I know what my new goals are, so my plan of action is to reverse engineer them. What does that mean? It means to break them down into smaller, actionable items. I keep looking at the bigger picture and feeling so overwhelmed by my super scary goals. And that overwhelmed feeling is not helping my burn out.

I don’t really know why I’m sharing this with you. I guess I feel better when I blog and “talk” things out.

Being a Beachbody Coach is my passion and the most rewarding thing I have ever been a part of. But, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Being in the top 0.001% of this business is hard work. And hard work ain’t always pretty people. But it’s oh so very much worth it.

So tomorrow is another day for me to start tackling new goals and dreaming bigger. And I think I’ll treat myself to a massage to help me feel better. :)

life passion career

 

 

Transformation Tuesday – January 6, 2015

transformation tuesday 010615

 

So…. I have totally been using a passport with my maiden name on it the past couple of years. Shhh. Don’t tell on me. But now it’s officially expired and since we are going to Cancun in a few months I had to go and take the dreaded photo so I can apply for a renewal. LOOK at the difference in my face. I know there is 10 years between the photos {ouch} but I was 1 year post college in 2005. Just turned 22. And I was probably drinking my face off regularly because that’s what 22 year olds do right?

Finding the Silver Lining

I’ve always been pretty great at finding the silver lining in things and looking on the bright side. I’ve often been known to say, “Everything happens for a reason!” But lately, I’ve been just UGH. I can’t put my finger on it other than I have been sneaking more sugar into my diet and sugar messes with me so bad. Like one piece of chocolate leads to 5 pieces — and not healthy, dark chocolate that’s good for your heart — I’m talking Lindt Chocolate Orange truffles that I got in my stocking. Oops!

I’ve convinced myself that it’s my house. It’s too cluttered. There’s too much crap everywhere. We need to paint. We need to hang things. We need to organize. I need to get the car in the garage but there’s too much STUFF in the garage because we have no storage. The litter boxes always need emptying. There are piles of laundry. There’s just not enough time to do all.the.things.

I got to a breaking point this weekend. I wanted to get the tree down and immediately get all the Christmas stuff in storage. It was suffocating me. Maybe because I work from home and since it’s FREEZING I never leave my house. I really should try to leave the house more often. But that requires bundling up myself and two little people. And those of you with little people know how much FUN that is.

So where was I? Oh yeah, then my mom came to visit with her dog. And he pooped on the playroom floor. And then instead of grabbing Resolve, my husband grabbed the wasp and ant killer!!! And before looking at it he sprayed it all over the carpet. OMG! And then I laughed.

Because really, what else could I do?

But it ended up being a really great thing. We immediately transferred all living beings out of that room and blocked it off while Ben ran to Harris Teeter to rent a carpet cleaner. Our carpets were gross anyway, so we decided to just clean the carpets in the playroom and the family room. And then we took down ALL the Christmas stuff and decided to rearrange our family room!

I love it! Sure, there’s still clutter because that’s just what happens when you have kids. But our family room feels NEW again and feels brighter and more spacious.

So that poop on the floor turned into a really really really good thing. #sliverlining

Now, how can I convince my husband that I need some new couches to go along with the freshly cleaned carpet and rearrangement?

johnson family room

Becoming a Beachbody Coach

So you’re thinking about becoming a Beachbody Coach, huh? Good thinking!

2014 was my first full year as a coach and my team catapulted into the Top 100 out of 230,000+ teams!! This year, I have NO PLANS of slowing down and my team is committed to do what it takes to be a Top 10 team!! Because of that, I am currently looking for new coaches for my team and will be interviewing for apprenticeship positions!  I will be hand-selecting & personally mentoring these individuals in both a small group setting and with one on one calls.

During the first 3 months, I will train you with the same system that has helped both myself and the top leaders on my team reach the level of success we have today… I am a 7 Star Qualifying Elite Beachbody Coach Ranked #80 in the company.

become a beachbody coach

But remember, creating success is really up to you! When you succeed, it’s going to be you who creates success. I am here to guide you every step of the way, but I cannot do your workouts for you…I cannot build the business for you, but I am here to work with you. If you run, I run. I promise to always meet you halfway and be there to support you along the way. There is no denying that this training works! In just 14 months I have grown an income that surpasses the income I was making when I was working at AOL!

If you believe YOU have what it takes and are looking for something that both challenges you and gives you the ability to change lives while creating the life of your dreams… Fill out this form to become a Beachbody Coach and I’ll be in touch! (If you are having issues with the form below, use this link to access the form directly — thanks!)

becoming a beachbody coach

 

beachbody coach lindsay matway

 

becoming a beachbody coach

Clean Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Merry Christmas Eve!! Most of you know that I used to have a home dessert business, so it’s no surprise that I love to bake. But, most tasty treats are not very good for us and now that I am super focused on health & fitness I try to put a somewhat healthier twist on my treats. Since transitioning to 80-90% clean eating, I have tried to replace things in my baking such as all sugars and butter. YES, you can still make delicious treats without butter and traditional sugars! So I played around with this cookie recipe and I think Santa will be quite happy with the outcome… especially since half of them are already gone!

Clean Eating Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies for Santa

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic coconut oil (replaces butter)
  • 1 cup organic sucanant (replaces brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar (replaces granulated sugar)
  • 2 eggs (organic, free range)
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (not the cleanest thing, but better than white)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups organic old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup organic dark chocolate chunks (you can also use chips or you can chop up a chocolate bar)
In large bowl, beat coconut and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and chocolate; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.
ENJOY!
And that’s it! Easy and delicious and CLEAN! Just don’t eat all of them at once because just like regular cookies, you will get a stomachache AND these still have plenty of calories. :)
clean oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies

Postpartum Depression is a Bitch

post partum depression weight loss transformation

Don’t let that girl on the left fool you for one second… she may look happy, but she is not. That is me 1 month after Molly was born, in the depths of postpartum depression but not yet realizing it. I just knew I felt sad a lot and lonely even when surrounded by my family. I would sit alone in the middle of the night nursing with tears streaming down my face and not even know why. Shouldn’t I be happy with my new baby? But I wasn’t. I was full of anxiety and fear and doubts.

I pushed away my friends. I pushed away my family. I became a recluse of sorts. And I was NOT nice to Ben at.all. Once I finally got help a few months later things got a little better {until I was laid off, but that is another story for another post. ha!}. That is something that they don’t tell you about PPD. It’s hormone related so although I was on medication, I still wasn’t myself. I didn’t want to work out or take care of myself. And then I got pregnant again {on purpose this time} and I had antepartum depression my first trimester. Never heard of it? Google it. Welcome back hormones. :::sigh::::

I stayed fairly active through my second pregnancy but I was already overweight starting out so I had a long road ahead of me after delivery. THANKFULLY I did not have PPD with Burke. I was SO SO scared that I would have it again. Because even though Ben and I mentally prepared ourselves for me having it again, there really is nothing you can do to prepare… you just have to ride the wave. And it’s a wave that wants to take you under and drown you.

Most of you followed my journey here so you know it was not an easy road. It was day after day of making decisions that I knew would get me to where I wanted to be. However, I still struggle! I always will! There are temptations and excuses at every turn. I fall off the wagon constantly… in fact, I’m 10lbs heavier right now than I was in June!! {and it’s not muscle. lol} But that’s what life is… a constant learning and growing experience. I have all the tools I need to get where I want to be. It’s telling myself I AM good enough. I DO deserve to be happy, to reach my goals, to feel confident. And so do YOU.

I’ve come a long way from where I was in that photo on the left. That is why I am passionate about helping moms find themselves again after children — That is why I will not stop. Because I’ve been there and I know how it feels.

If you are a PPD sufferer past or present, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

 

Guest Post: How to Get Started with Aqua Aerobics

Guest post alert!! It’s been a hot minute since I had a guest post, but because I LOVE Kaitlin Gardner’s site, AnApplePerDay.com, I wanted to share her with you all! I don’t know anything about aqua aerobics, but she is a huge fan, so she is here to enlighten us!

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To put it simply, the best way to get started with aqua aerobics is to just jump in! In fact, boiled down to its simplest definition, aqua aerobics simply means moving around in the water. For maximum results and/or effect, the best practice includes consistency (over time), an organized routine, and basic equipment. Whether you are just looking for a moderate exercise routine that breaks up land-based workouts, rehabilitating from an injury that prevents impact to joints, or want to burn calories and lose weight, getting started with aqua aerobics may be a perfect fit for you. In fact, a 140–160-pound person will burn between 300–400 calories per hour in the water! For even more tips and information how aqua aerobics can improve overall health, follow the links below.

aqua aerobics

Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo

Before You Get in the Water

For most people, especially beginners, aqua aerobics is a mainly low- to moderate-intensity exercise, but like with any new exercise regimen, you should check with your doctor before you begin. Barring any physical restrictions, the only other preparation you will need to do before taking the plunge includes gathering a few pieces of equipment. Below are a list items and descriptions of some basic supplies to help you get started.

Water gloves: These handy items actually give your hands a webbed effect, which increases resistance as your hands move through the water. And of course, increased resistance means that the muscles of your arms, shoulder and chest are working a little harder, which means they’ll get stronger, faster. Remember, the goal is to get your heart pumping; when your heart is pumping and your muscles are working, you’ll burn fat and improve muscle tone.

Ankle and/or wrist weights: Weights strapped around your wrists or ankles also make your muscles work harder and get toned faster. Even as little as 3–5 pound weights will make a big difference. Spend time moving around the shallow end of the pool when wearing ankle weights for the first time, in order to get used to how they feel and how they affect your balance. The great thing about wrist weights, as opposed to hand-held water dumbbells, is that you can strap on wrist weights and also use your webbed water gloves, for a combined effect!

Buoyancy belt: This piece of equipment might make the difference if you plan to form a regular, high-intensity exercise regimen in the water. They come in several forms, from basic to more high-tech, but what they all have in common is the addition of support and balance to your deep-water workout, especially running. Most buoyancy belts are contoured to fit comfortably just below the rib cage, but above the hips, providing lumbar support for the spine. Land-based runners will appreciate the balance that a buoyancy belt gives them, allowing for an almost identical land-running form in the water.

Kickboard: If you have kids and you have a pool, chances are you have a kickboard lying around. If not, this inexpensive item can be found at almost any major “big box” store. Kickboards are ideal for a great, all-around leg workout. Simply hold onto the board close to your chest and kick your way around the pool, following the perimeter, or do end-to-end laps. To challenge the upper-body workout at the same time, extend your arms and hold the kickboard further out in front of you; this position will also provide a workout for your core (abdominal and lower back muscles).

Don’t forget: Even without the equipment listed above, getting into the water, moving around and doing basic repetitive movements such as walking, running and jumping will get you into the aqua aerobics game.

 

Kaitlin_HeadshotKaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes and being outdoors. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life