The summer I was 5 years old, I watched the Barcelona Olympics and decided I wanted to be a gymnast.
My mom never ended up enrolling me in gymnastics lessons, so that dream kind of sailed because let's face it -- gymnastics is not one of those things you can master in 10,000 hours -- but the dream never really left me.
It wasn’t that I want to actually be a gymnast, compete on the world stage (hello performance anxiety nightmare!!), or receive fame and glory.
I fell in love with the energy and power and grace of the young women who flipped and vaulted and danced across the floor.
Despite my young ambitions, all through grade school I was never athletic. I was good at reading, learning, and expressing myself through creativity and music, and absolutely hated PE and any type of sport where there's a ball flying towards my face.
It wasn’t until college that I really discovered myself through movement and started to work out. I was initially motivated by wanting to lose the weight I gained freshman year.
I started walking, then jogging, then running, and eventually went as far as to join the cross country and track teams. Ha! We were a Division 3 school, so I wasn’t really ever competitive but I could at least show up for practice everyday and try.
Actually, one of my biggest motivations to go out for XC and track was that the cute boy I had a crush on was a pole vaulter...so yeah my motivation was always a little questionable.
Running track and cross country was very discouraging and frustrating because since I had zero history of running or competitive sports, my body didn’t really know how to handle daily practices. I always finished last at meets and events, and ended up injuring myself and sitting out most of my last season, which honestly was a bit of a relief.
I wished I could be stronger and more athletic than I was and never really felt like I fit in with the team.
Just like being an awkward bookworm in jr. high, track was another way for me to feel like I was an outsider who didn't belong with the cool or even "normal" kids.
Over the years, after the weight came off, after I ended up marrying that boy and finding my confidence and self worth, I started to realize that fitness was becoming a pretty huge part of my life, and discovered that I wasn’t motivated by external stuff like my weight anymore.
I fell in love with fitness for the same reason I loved watching gymnasts on TV as a 5 year old: I love how it makes me feel powerful and strong.
In an ironic twist of fate considering my non-athletic past, I ended up discovering Beachbody coaching and now am a full time health and fitness coach. It’s literally my job to workout and be in the best shape of my life, but it still isn’t that easy, especially since I'm still in the process of reinventing myself.
Life happens! Excuses happen. Ice cream and date nights happen.
I get distracted and yes, even I fall “off track” occasionally.
Because even though I’ve made fitness a part of my lifestyle for the better part of a decade now, I still identify more with the awkward, non-athletic bookworm inside of me than the strong, athletic, badass I know is inside of me too.
But deep down I want to give more attention to that inner athlete, let her come out to play, and see what happens.
That’s why I’m so excited about the new program launching this month, a 21 day athletic based bootcamp called Shift Shop..
I love the fact that this entire program was designed as a comeback journey.
"It doesn't matter where you came from...or where you've been. You can always reinvent yourself."
That's one of the actual taglines. Yes!
I'm excited to do this program because it's not just another quick fix; it's a complete lifestyle shift: mental, physical, and emotional.
A lot of fitness programs focus only on the external side of things, like how to lose weight or tone up as quickly as possible, and neglect to consider that losing weight or getting healthy is actually an emotional or spiritual journey of leaving the "old you" behind and stepping into a new version of yourself. And change is freaking hard! That's why we tend to sabotage ourselves or fall on and off the wagon.
In order to completely redefine or reinvent yourself, you have to confront all the deep rooted insecurities, doubts, and stories that are buried deep inside you from childhood. That's why I love being a coach! I get to offer the mental and emotional support to women who are in the process of transformation.
When you push your body and mind, you discover how strong and resilient you really are from the inside out. Once you start taking care of yourself physically, it’s easier to make positive changes in every other area of life too: relationships, work, hobbies. You start to live more on purpose, fueled by positive energy.
I'm friends with a few of the coaches in the Shift Shop test group and although their physical results are freaking insane, what inspired me the most was hearing about their mental and emotional transformations.
Undertaking a program like this is not easy, and having extra support and accountability is essential. I'm excited to be hosting a Shift Shop Challenge with my entire coaching team later this month for anyone who wants to try the program with me!
Who is Shift Shop for?
• Shift Shop is for anyone that wants to ramp up their fitness fast. In three short weeks you progress from basic 25 minute workouts to advanced 45 minute routines - all while honing your nutrition for optimal results.
• It's great for all fitness levels. If you have a lot of weight to lose, Shift Shop will be your on-ramp to fitness. There’s a great low impact modifier, and you can work on building your strength and endurance foundation. If you've spent some time away from your regular routine, Chris will lead through a fitness tune-up. It's perfect for anyone who wants an easy commitment to jump-start their regimen. If you’re already in great shape, you’ll break through plateaus.
Speed: 25 (25 min) Jumpstart your cardio with 1-minute intervals designed to work your entire body and make you break a sweat.
Strength: 25 (25 min) Build a strong foundation with easy-to-learn 1-minute intervals of resistance movements designed to set you up for success.
Speed: 35 (35 min) Intensity increases as does the formations. This workout was designed to improve your agility, build your stamina and burn more calories.
Strength: 35 (35 min) By combining the foundational moves, the intensity ramps up creating new challenges as you continue to get stronger.
Speed: 45 (45 mins) Up the ante with new dynamic drills that continue to ramp-up your conditioning and get your ready for any challenge.
Strength: 45 (45 mins) The ultimate resistance workout created to challenge every muscle group to increase definition and get the very best out of you.
Shift Core (12 mins) Strengthen your core as you breathe through 9, 1-minute ab-shredding exercises.
Shift Mobility: 20 minutes of focused stretching to alleviate tightness and get you ready to continue the Shift.
Super Speed: 50 (50 mins) Adding in the Beachbody PT Sandbag, this workout brings you 3 rounds of calorie-scorching drills guaranteed to shift your endurance into high gear.
Super Strength: 50 (50 mins) Three rounds of resistance intervals designed to challenge your strength with the Beachbody PT Sandbag. This workout will challenge your body and your mind.
Super Shift Core: Take the Beachbody PT Sandbag to the mat for 9 intense 1-minute core-focused exercises.
Agility Markers and Weights For Base Kit Workouts. Sandbag and/or weights for Deluxe Workouts.
This is not a diet -- it's a healthy eating lifestyle plan that will help you learn how to use food as fuel. I’m looking forward to the nutrition plan even more than the workouts, because when I did the Ultimate Reset (and didn't workout for THREE WEEKS) I experienced first hand that what you eat makes such a big difference when it comes to results.
The Shift Shop nutrition plan uses the portion containers from the 21 Day Fix and Portion Fix, which I love because they give me just the right balance between intuitive eating and structure. Every single meal is planned out so there’s no guesswork - you just pick the foods that you want to eat that fall into the containers.
Basically, whole foods FTW!!
Other than the portion system, the Shift Shop nutrition plan is totally different than anything else I’ve ever tried.
Just like the workouts, each week your portions change. You gradually decrease your carbs and increase your protein and healthy fat, so your body starts to burn fat as fuel.
I know this is going to be a challenge because I know I’m going to have to break my emotional eating patterns, but at the same time I know I’ll free up so much mental and emotional energy when I’m NOT thinking about food.
Check out some of the results from the coach test group!
“Down 9 pounds. Lost 11 inches. Gained strength, speed, flexibility and my smile! This never ending journey of health and fitness blows my mind every day! It’s amazing how following a program to a tee for just 3 weeks can change my body so drastically!”
"13.2 pounds are GONE. 10 inches are GONE.
Six months ago, I gave birth to my second son, Mason. I had so much anxiety about getting my body back and I couldn’t ever imagine my body looking the way it did before I got pregnant. These three weeks proved me wrong .
My physical transformation is by far the best I have ever had in three weeks. But I would argue that my mental shift was far greater than my physical shift. I gave these workouts ALL OF ME. I pushed when my mind told me to quit. I kept going when I was faced with temptation. I learned so much about myself in the last three weeks – it was like the ULTIMATE personal development for my mind, body and soul.
I am six months postpartum and I feel better now than I ever have in my ENTIRE life. I am not making the shift for three weeks, I am making the shift FOR LIFE. One round down and I have committed to doing three more.”
"This program is for REAL. The biggest change is all over my face…I have so much more confidence…this mental shift is huge for me. I NEEDED to know that I could do something like this again…that I had the willpower.
I showed up EVERY SINGLE DAY. I fought through strep throat, I even cried at times in my workouts, but I made it happen. I reminded myself “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” He worked in me and through me.
Hear this- if I can do this, YOU can do this. I am a foodie (one of the reasons I love coaching- because I can relate), It isn’t easy for me to lose weight, I am a nursing mama who’s body wants to hang on to fat (I gained 50 lbs nursing my son alone and then lost it using these programs and drinking shakeology. This time I didn’t have to search for the answer…I knew it.).
The odds are stacked, but the “shift” happened in my heart, head and therefore then my body. I am so so PROUD. I am so happy. Bring on Round 2.”
But let's be honest.
Really the only thing you need to know about Shift Shop is that you get to spend three weeks working out with this guy, Chris Downing ;)
Ready to make the Shift?
If you’re interested in entering the Shift Shop with me, I’m hosting an accountability group with my coaching team and we’re all going to do the program together!
We’ll have a daily check-in to make sure we stay on track, and it will be a safe, positive space to share our journeys.
These accountability groups are MAGIC and make the biggest difference when it comes to actually following through on your goals and making lasting change happen.
Registration closes July 17th.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I can't wait to unleash my inner athlete with you :)