Michelle Steinbeisser lost 75 lbs. with INSANITY MAX:30, various other Beachbody fitness programs, Shakeology, and the Beachbody Performance supplements. Here’s the story that she shared with the Beachbody Challenge contest.
Tell us about your life before you started the program. How did you feel about yourself and your body?
Prior to starting my journey, I was lethargic and dissatisfied with life in general. I did not value myself at all. I loathed looking in the mirror and wearing actual clothing. I felt as though I was crawling in my own skin. I literally could not bend over and touch my own toes at the beginning of my journey. I had no hope nor belief in myself that there was any kind of way out. I was researching diet supplements and pills and looking for the quick fix. I was approached by a Coach and very unsure about this type of lifestyle for fear my “comfort” or food would be taken away. Food had become my crutch; I was the ultimate emotional eater; and even worse, I was a closet eater. I was ashamed. I would stop and buy the worst possible foods and eat them in my car on my way to work, and hide the evidence under the seat. Then I struggled with my feelings of guilt and stopped at random gas stations that were vacant to throw away the evidence in the garbage cans. This vicious cycle went on for years.
What inspired you to change your life and begin your transformation journey?
I honestly wanted to be happier and healthier for my family. No matter what extremes I had to encounter, I was willing to give it my all and focus with the recipe supplied to me in the programs. I have always been a good rule follower, and I don’t like to waste money. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do the unthinkable and turn my life around without interventional medicine or crash diets. This was not the way I wanted my daughter to remember me: unhappy, irritable, and eating all of the wrong foods. I wanted her to grow up appreciating her body and knowing that with hard work, determination, and focus, you can do hard things. I wanted to be a more present wife to my husband and not angry and argumentative all the time due to my negative feelings about myself, which was wearing our marriage thin. The only way the restoration of our marriage would ever improve is if I took 100 percent accountability for my actions and did something to change them. I wanted to believe in this company and the program.
What is the greatest challenge you faced before beginning the program? How did the program and Beachbody help you overcome that challenge?
The biggest challenge before starting the programs was finding time in my already busy schedule of working full-time and being a full-time mom and wife. I made small modifications at first, staying up later to fit in my workouts. Then I noticed an increase in energy and excitement for the next workout to come. Some days I even made it a priority to wake up the extra half-hour earlier to work on myself while everyone else was sleeping. There was also the challenge of cooking myself healthier meals and taking time at the beginning of the week to sit down and plan, create a menu, and force myself to stick to the eating plan. The programs were well laid out and doable on a day-to-day basis. I notice my physical strength growing as well as my inner strength and confidence in myself. The workouts became a way to release all of my negative feelings of self-doubt and daily stresses I had previously allowed myself as an excuse to eat.
What in particular did you like about the program you chose?
INSANITY MAX:30 was the ultimate quest in my journey. I liked the fast pace and all-out hard cardio, along with using my body as the main focus for strengthening. It challenged me more than any other program I have completed. I had days where I felt totally defeated, but that just fueled my fire for the days to come that I would hold on and do more reps or go a few seconds longer. It was the mind over matter from the pushing of play at the beginning all the way to the end. There were more mental releases and fears overcome during this program than I would have ever imagined — pushing my body and mind to the ultimate challenges on a daily basis. There were honestly times when I felt that I wanted to give up. But once I start a program, it has got to be seen through to the end. I felt my ability to complete the moves improving, and each day I built up a little bit more. I loved the all-out sweatfest I experienced with every workout completed, and the sore muscles afterward were my reward.
Describe the results you achieved with your Beachbody program. Which achievements are you proud of?
My weight throughout the program remained the same, my muscle definition was incredible, and my clothes continued to fit better. I lost an additional three inches to my waist, two inches to my hips and bust, and the unbudgeable arms and legs lost an inch a piece. I felt this sincere and extreme gratitude for my body, my mind, and myself for sticking with it even when I wanted to give up. I am most proud of starting each day with a new and positive mindset and leaving the previous day behind me, for they only encouraged me to keep going and push myself that much harder to complete the journey I had started. I was no longer scared of food or doing the hard work. I appreciated my body and all of its wonderful capabilities. I am grateful for my mental changes as well — that I wanted to give up at times but didn’t and gave myself and the program the commitment it deserved. I felt a sense of pride in myself for putting in the hard work daily, and even through the hard times, I continued to believe.
How has your life changed since completing your Beachbody program?
My physical appearance has changed drastically. I lost a total of 75 pounds and went from a candidate for bypass surgery to a healthy BMI. I am more mindful of the foods and portions I put on my plate. I have a sense of purpose and fulfillment in my life, marriage, and with my daughter. The little things that once sent me to overeat and make bad decisions are a thing of the past. I am able to focus those feelings into my workouts and do more for myself, mentally and physically, than I would ever thought possible. My whole life has been transformed because of these wonderful programs as well as trainers who share their knowledge. I’m comfortable in my own skin and do not loathe wearing clothing. I have a newfound sense of appreciation for my body, my outlook on life has improved, I value myself, and I have a sense of worth again. I realize it is okay to take and make time for myself to better my life, which in turn benefits my family. My relationship with food has been forever changed.
How did participating in a Challenge Group help you reach your goals? How did your group support you and keep you accountable?
Challenge Groups have changed my life forever. I have met some of the most amazing, strong, and inspirational people during my journey, many of whom will be lifelong friends. It meant that I had to be a little uncomfortable and be very vulnerable in sharing my story. I had to accept where I had come from and I had to learn to trust other people again. This was the most challenging for me; I was so scared of being judged. The group kept me motivated and accountable. I was able to see that they too were working moms and wives and had busy lives. They were all doing something different in that they were in charge of their own health and fitness, and all had amazing stories. I started to see that we were really no different and that I could do this as well. The groups were a safe place to share and start to grow and believe in myself again.
How did your Team Beachbody Coach support you on your journey?
My Coach has been a friend and supportive in so many ways. She believed in me when I was nowhere close to believing in myself. She set up a recipe for success and held me accountable to my goals, my vision, and my “why”. She encouraged me to share slowly at first and build my confidence. I was never pressured, and she was very patient with me in my coming around and believing in myself just enough to start sharing my own story. She was trusting, never judgmental, and accepted me for where I was and where my comfort level with sharing was. She focused on creating a safe environment and was willing to work with me on my own terms, which were pretty nonexistent when I started. She would send private messages for check-ins until we had established a bridging trust. She provided easy recipes and encouraged incorporating personal development.
How did a Beachbody supplement, nutritional product, or program (such as Shakeology or Beachbody Ultimate Reset) support your transformation? What are the greatest benefits you gained? Did you see benefits to your energy, sleep, mood/mental clarity, or digestion/regularity?
Shakeology provided me with the ultimate support in that I could use it as a platform to start my success and refocus on my nutrition. It provided me with less stress to planning an additional meal. It kept me satisfied and was very versatile with how to prepare it. With this tool, I not only was able to get my nutrition to a place of satisfaction again, but I noticed a difference in my overall energy. The cravings for comfort foods were slowly going away. I was able to turn down food of no nutritional value if I chose to. The shakes are something I now incorporate into my life daily, and my family has followed suit. Energize has helped me pushed through when I thought I had reached my maximum performance in my workouts. It gave me that extra boost and allowed my fatigued muscles to continue on.2
Tell us about your experience with Beachbody On Demand. If applicable, how has it helped you achieve your goals?
I love that it is portable. We have done a fair amount of traveling while I have been on my journey. My laptop and BOD was always with me, along with my supplies for success in completing my workouts during travels. It has also allowed me to try new programs that I later went on to complete and/or purchase. It allows for easy and portable components to fulfilling my programs all at the click of button and the ability to stream them literally everywhere. My husband and I took an ice fishing trip over the winter. I packed my weights and computer and did workouts in the hotel room and in gyms of various hotels. No hassle and no stressful feelings of missing workouts and having to make them up upon returning to my normal schedule.
You can change your life, too. Take the Beachbody Challenge for the tools you need to Decide, Commit, and Succeed! Complete any Beachbody program, and enter your results for a free gift and a chance to win cash and prizes. What program are you committing to next?
†Results vary depending on starting point and effort.
2These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.