I should start by saying this is NOT a sponsored post. I just want to tell you how much I like something, that way you might choose to make the same investment, and thus improve your life, too! Sharing is caring.

I’ve always had a firm anti-pyramid scheme mindset. Whenever I’m asked to host a Stella & Dot party or join an Essential Oils group on Facebook or order a Beachbody workout, I feel super uncomfortable. Why? Because I don’t have tons of extra spending money floating around, but I don’t want to insult my friends by not supporting their businesses. If I have an extra $50 to spare this month, odds are I’m going on a shopping spree in Target. Sorry.

With that awkward pressure becoming more and more daunting throughout the last few years as pyramid schemes tidal waved into popularity, I started hating them. It didn’t matter the product, I hated them all* for making me feel constantly guilty, panhandled, and like I wasn’t healthy, stylish, or rich enough.

*I hated the products and companies, not my wonderful friends who sell the stuff.

But about a month ago, I hit a major wall when it came to my health. I felt so sluggish and round that I started referring to myself as a meatball. My husband, who claims he can’t see a difference in my appearance since the day we met, thought this was hilarious. He began calling me different types of meatballs: Meatball Marinara when I got sunburnt, Spicy Meatball when I got angry, and Little Meatball when I was sad.

meatball

Despite the joy of laughing really hard whenever my husband came up with a new meatball name, I got pretty tired of feeling like crap after 4 months or so. I hadn’t gained a substantial amount of weight or anything, but I felt different enough to start dodging my reflection and denying beach party invitations. This was a big pain, because my house is covered in mirrors due to my usual love of changing outfits 90 times before leaving and also tough because the beach is my literal backyard.

I was not willing to starve myself or give up bread a la Pageant Years, but “moderation” wasn’t working. Mostly because I’d stay motivated for about 3 days, then get a craving for Indian curry, and all bets were off.

I realized I needed some sort of structure. And it couldn’t be centered around “giving up” something. It needed to center around adding something to my diet…and consistency. Consistency is key. Some people can’t handle eating the same thing every day, but that’s the only way I can stick with a diet plan. I just need to do the same thing over and over, because then I stop craving anything else. Weird, I know.

An idea hit me: What if I gave those Beachbody Shakeology shakes a try? I disliked the idea of them, but maybe if I replace lunch with a shake every day, it’ll create a consistent daily plan, lower my caloric intake, and give me a huge vitamin boost for energy. (I literally rolled my eyes after I typed that, because it sounds like such a fake plug.)

As much as it pained me, I decided to go for it. A month’s worth of shakes boiled down to $4 per shake (i.e. lunch), which would be a good way to keep my budget under control, too. My Shakeology friend– who looks like a trillion bucks, which is always comforting when you’re about to adopt somebody’s nutritional plan– suggested I start with chocolate, so I took the plunge.

willy wonka chocolate

I’m three weeks in, and have only missed three days of drinking the shake for lunch. Those three days resulted in eating way too much crap, thanks to a family vacation involving homemade ice cream and burger wars, and also thanks to a weekend of camping with 120 other loud individuals who drove me to consume an exorbitant amount of brunch food in an effort to recover on Sunday.

Even with those three not-so-great days, and the one day where I had grits for brunch (though I only ate half, and had the other half for dinner…which means my self-control has already improved), I can see a huge difference in my body. When I started drinking the shakes, I felt proud enough of myself to be motivated to [finally] stick to a workout plan, too. Sure, I was riding my bike every day while I was in full meatball mode, but I needed to step things up with my cardio and weight training. Now, I’ve done just that.

I was skeptical of Shakeology at first– on many levels, including the fact that I like savory instead of sweet, and would have to down huge chocolate shake every day. But now I don’t find myself craving something sweet after dinner or basically ever, so the trade off works out. I’d be lying if I said I’m always in the mood for a sweet shake every afternoon, but I never don’t enjoy it. This jank is goooooood, y’all.

I haven’t weighed myself because I’m too scared to see a number yet…if I see a number I don’t like, I get discouraged and give up. So I’m waiting another week before I hop on the scale, but thanks to my pageant days, I can pretty much predict my weight loss down to the ounce. I’d say I’ve lost 4 lbs in these first 3 weeks, which is fan-freaking-tastic. I know it’s not about a number on a scale, but I’m never going to stop using that metric. Throw hate all you want.

Here’s a paragraph everyone will like: I feel a million times better than I did two weeks ago, and that’s without checking the scale. I have far more energy. I feel focused and steadfast. I get to look forward to healthy dinners without feeling guilty that I ate too much at lunch. I’ve started eating snacks for the first time in my life at 4 p.m., like a little bowl of greek yogurt or a peach from the farmers market. Most amazingly, I don’t dread the gym (as much).

gym gif

Every single person gets into slumps with their health and fitness. Climbing out of that slump is harder during certain stages of life than others…and this time was a doozy. But shaking things up (pun intended) was exactly what I needed this go around.

So, here I am, writing a blog about a pyramid scheme that I actually recommend. Gulp. Folks, if you like consistency and frostys from Wendy’s, implementing Shakeology as a meal replacement is the plan for you. Adding in an exercise plan helps, too, DUH. But you’ll want to work out more if your body is getting all the nutrients it needs to be energized…so start with the shakes, and be amazed at the motivation that follows.

Here are some more fun facts to put you over the edge:

  • Shakes come in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, cafe latte, and greenberry (?)
  • You can add things to the shakes to change things up. I always do my chocolate shake with half a banana, and use unsweetened almond milk as my liquid. The website has tons of “recipes” though, with ingredients ranging from cinnamon to peanut butter to mint.
  • Each shake as 23 vitamins and minerals at super high dosages of your daily value
  • They also include protein, amino acids, antioxidents, and other fancy sounding stuff that helps with digestion, your immune system, muscle repair, etc.
  • They take like, one minute to make

If you want to be my shake twin, contact this really pretty blonde named Rosemary HERE on her Soul Strong Fitness page. She can answer your million questions (like I had) and show you how to order some shakes.

Let’s get those winter bodies!! Well…you know what I mean.

Oh, and lesson learned: Pyramid schemes don’t have to be seen as a bad thing that make me (or anyone) uncomfortable! I guess just try something out if it sounds like it could work for you, and see what happens. 🙂