Fitness and Finding the Right Fit

While I’m not a huge fan of moving, I am thankful of all of the great people that I have met in the various places we’ve lived. Cori Johnson is definitely one of those people. While we haven’t lived in Indianapolis for many years now, Cori and I have kept in touch over the years and have most recently been challenging each other with building our businesses. Each week we try and set goals and make each other accountable for accomplishing them.

You might wonder why I would want to promote someone else’s business on my blog and the answer is easy, we both want better health for those around us. Ultimately, I think that can be accomplished better by promoting the good things out there because as I have said, I don’t believe that fitness is a one size fits all deal. The more resources that people have available, the more likely they are to find what works for them.

There are so many things that I respect about her and her business: her counseling background enables her to coach women through the tough times to empower them in her journey, she knows the challenge of feeding a family with a healthy diet (sign up for her weekly menus), she has overcome injury setbacks to find programs that work for her, and overall, she is just one of the most positive people I know.

Image of Cori Johnson

I’m not letting “getting older” be my excuse for slowing down.

Stronger Than you Think

Cori Johnson

To be honest, I didn’t realize I had a “fitness story.” I have loved being active and moving ever since I was a kid. My parents weren’t exactly elite athletes, but I grew up in a household that valued good health in the most organic, natural way: we essentially were taught to eat right and enjoy the outdoors. We camped a lot. We hiked, went skiing, canoeing, white water rafting. I’m eternally grateful for what they taught me about the magic of just being outdoors and all that it has to offer.
My parents also supported our endeavors into sports. I began playing soccer at age five, and played through freshman year of high school. My high school didn’t have a girls’ team at that time, so I played freshman year with the boys. When I was told, “You’ll never play varsity because you might get hurt,” I suppose I could have put up a fight, for the betterment of all future female athletes. I wish I could say I did, but I didn’t. I quit and put more energy into running.

I first ran track in middle school and fell in love with running. I have always loved that running is available to everyone. I once saw a great quote that read something along the lines of, “There are country clubs you can’t get into, there are gyms you can’t afford, but the road is always open.” I love that. All you need to be a runner is a pair of shoes (and really, shoes are technically optional, we’ve since learned).

So, you may be thinking, “She’s been active since she was a kid. Fitness comes easily to her and she’s certainly never struggled with her weight.” You’d be wrong.

I am here to tell you, the phrase, “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet” is something I’ve had to learn the hard way. College shenanigans taught me that. I put on the dreaded freshman 25 (I’m an overachiever, I went for 25 instead of 15), and from age 18 until just a few years ago, maintaining a weight that I felt good about was a huge struggle.

I do pursue the rush of exercise. I love to move and be active. I love to try new forms of exercise- not because it’s trendy and I think it will be the answer to my weight issue, but because I love to see how my body will respond.

Nutritionally, I’ve been a train wreck. Although my parents planted a huge garden every summer, and we’d eat fresh fruits and vegetables from July through August, then canned and frozen the remainder of the year, I still am a child of the 80’s. What that means: processed garbage and horrible information about nutrition. Right when I was hitting puberty, we were suddenly given access to vast amounts of ‘fake food’ in our grocery stores, and being told that fat was bad. My passion for sports kept me ahead of the game through high school- I didn’t gain weight, but I also didn’t feel great. In college, I still worked out, but just ate much more of the fake food, plus my share of beer, plus the off-hours college kids keep, and the pounds came on.

Without going too far into my nutrition, which really is a story for another day, I’ll just simply share where I am now where fitness is concerned.

At 42, I can say with total honesty that I have never been fitter and healthier. I attribute that to Beachbody programs, Shakeology, and sharing this journey with like-minded people.

Here’s the deal… I ran for 25+ years. I ran more half marathons that I can count. I spent three summers training to run a marathon. Each summer I went out with an injury prior to getting to the start line of the marathon. I have spent more time in physical therapy and sports medicine offices than I care to remember… all from running injuries. Hamstring injuries, knee injuries, ankle injuries.

Three years ago, when I was playing soccer with my oldest and in my third attempt to train for a marathon, we connected ankle to ankle, and I suffered the most damage. For a full year afterwards, I couldn’t run without pain. But I knew I had to do something to stay active, and I was 100% certain nothing would fulfill the rush I got from running. I was totally wrong.
At that time, I decided to “retire” from running and try something new. I began with P90X. That was over three years ago, and since that time, I have never NOT been doing a Beachbody program of some sort. And here’s the really amazing thing: I am more flexible, leaner, and stronger than I have ever been before.

I won’t list all the programs… I’ll just say, if Beachbody produced it, I’ve probably done it.

I do the workouts, follow the training plan, in the comfort and privacy of my own home, on my own schedule. Then the magic happens online. I share my journey in what’s known as a challenge group, which is a private group on Facebook. There, I lead other moms just like me through these programs. They do the workouts in their homes, on their schedules, but we come together daily to share how we’re doing. Some days we vent, “That was SO hard.” Other days we celebrate, “Nailed it! And lost two pounds this week!” We share recipes, ideas, and accountability, and all support one another without judgment and with tons of love and humor.

But wait. There’s more.

Recently my 12-year-old, whose chosen sports as of now are running and soccer, has decided he would like to complete the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon this coming May. If you’re not from Indy, you may not be familiar with The Mini, as we call it. But those in Indy know it to be an important part of our city’s culture, and even an important part of the history and culture of Indiana. It was my first half marathon, and I’ve run it every single May from high school until three years ago, taking off only those years when I was pregnant or had just had a baby. So, when my son said he wanted to run it, my first instinct was: “I want to be there with him the first time he runs it.”

I recently began running again to train to run The Mini with my son. I retired over three years ago because I was tired of being injured. Since then it’s been almost exclusively Beachbody programs. What is amazing…. I am running strong, able to hang with my 12-year-old, who is one of the top runners in his middle school and recently went to Nationals for Junior Olympics Cross Country, and so far, my legs feel great with no sign of injury (knock on wood).

I am constantly amazed at our bodies. I am one who loves fitness, yes. But here’s the thing about fitness: you have absolutely no idea how strong you are. I don’t think most of us will ever push ourselves hard enough to realize that. But I do know that I am not backing down. I’m not letting “getting older” be my excuse for slowing down. If I can push, and it feels great, and it keeps my heart healthy and my lungs strong, and my clothes fitting, well, I’m going to.

My dream is that other moms will realize that they are far stronger than they have ever realized, and enjoy all the rewards of good health and fitness: confidence, empowerment, and yep, clothes fitting well. I love to use my counseling background to help moms figure out what’s got them stuck and unable to achieve their goals, and set them on a path to enjoying great health and feeling amazing. And I love to bring together moms from all over the country, in our little corner of Facebook-land, getting to know one another as we share our journey, trying to balance the demands of our busy lives as moms and wives while still pursuing great health.


I truly encourage you to check out Cori’s site and sign up for her newsletter. She’s of course also available on FaceBook and I know she would welcome new members to her private groups.

Fitness is truly about finding what works for you. If you haven’t found the ‘right fit’ yet, drop me a line. Let’s talk about your goals and what type of program would work best for you. Just because personal training might not be the right path for you doesn’t mean I don’t want to help lead you to better health.

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Top Five Reasons Shakeology is Worth It…

I’ve been an ACE certified Personal Trainer for over 4 years. During that time I have been approached by many people who used Shakeology and wanted me to give it a try. I always said no. Sometimes it was because I felt like it wasn’t worth the money when I could buy other protein powders for much cheaper, other times I said no because I never wanted to associate myself with a product.

About two months ago that all changed. I finally said, ‘Yes, I’ll give Shakeology a try.’ In the back of my mind I thought, I’ll try it for a month and then just cancel, no biggie. But I didn’t cancel. Instead I signed up as a BeachBody Coach and Shakeology is a regular part of my day. Here’s why…

1. I need the nutritional benefits of Shakeology to start out my day.

I’m always running two steps behind in the morning trying to get the kiddos out the door for school and me on my way to work. Partially because I don’t like mornings but also because, as we all well know, things happen. As a result I found myself constantly skipping breakfast. What made it worse was most days I would get caught up with projects and find myself leaving the office late afternoon famished because I hadn’t eaten anything. I don’t deny it all revolved around poor planning on my part, however, things weren’t changing and I was really messing with my metabolism.

Introduce Shakeology. I now had a very quick and easy solution to breakfast that was packed with nutrients. On most days I choose to add a fruit to my Shakeology for a delicious breakfast treat that I can easily drink on the way to work.

2. Shakeology keeps me full during the workday.

As I mentioned above, most days I don’t take the time, or have the time to eat lunch. I work a shortened day so that I can be off in time to pick my children up from school so I have to make the most of the 5 hours I have in the office. By drinking a Shakeology on my way to work in the morning, I stay full until I get home in the late afternoon. Sure, there are times that I have a light snack during the day (if I remember to pack it), but my Shakeology holds me over until I get home. No more leaving the office famished and ready to eat anything that is within arms reach when I get home.

3. Shakeology helps me to avoid bad choices. 

Again, my failure to plan or take the time to eat was working against me in a big way. I would have just enough time to grab a quick bite before picking my children up from school and many days that meant the quickest, easiest thing – not necessarily the most healthy choice. Because I’m no longer ‘starving’ when I get home I logically look at my choices and select things like a turkey breast sandwich, or carrots and hummus, or a salad. I’ve also found that because I am eating more during the day I’m not as tempted in the evening to mindlessly enjoy unhealthy snacks.

4. Shakeology tastes yummy!

When I worked full time as a personal trainer/group fitness instructor I often drank protein shakes at the end of the day for my recovery. I used a variety of powders throughout the years but got to the point that I just couldn’t stand the taste of any of them anymore. They all seemed to have a weird aftertaste and I just couldn’t get passed it. So before long, I dropped them completely. I was hesitant to try Shakeology because I assumed it would have the same gritty taste. I was wrong. Whether mixed with water or milk, I find all of the flavors to be rich and flavorful and lacking in a bad aftertaste.

5. I’ve lost 10 pounds and been able to maintain the loss.

Just like many others I have ten pounds that over the years I have lost and found multiple times. By adding Shakeology, and all of the other benefits mentioned above, I have also been able to drop the ten pounds and keep it off. I’m not starving myself, I feel adequately full throughout the day, and I know I am ‘nutritionally full’ by starting my day with a Shakeology that is packed with quality vitamins and minerals. I balance that out by eating healthy portions at both lunch and dinner and minimizing my intake of ‘junk.’

So why not give Shakeology a try and see what your top five reasons are? I resisted for years and wish that I hadn’t. Questions? Want to give it a try? Contact me! I can even help you get signed up as a BeachBody Coach so you can start helping others too!

Dessert For Breakfast? Yes, Please!

Breakfast can be one of my most challenging meals of the day. I struggle to find the time to fit it in and when I do I often struggle with trying to build a breakfast that has a good balance of the necessary nutrients.

Then along came the perfect solution for me, Shakeology. It solved both my time issue and my need for a balanced nutritional breakfast.

In less than five minutes I have a smoothie that I can take with me out the door and drink on the way to work – so that solves my time issue.

And my smoothies pack more nutrients than I could ever consume on my own. What do I mean by that? Check out this short video on Shakeology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt80wJanhmg.

Now I know you want to know how I can have dessert for breakfast. Shakeology is actually tasty and you can experiment with a ton of different recipes!

Here are my some of my favorite recipes, which for me, taste just like dessert!

Banana Split

Chocolate Shakeology

10 oz. milk (you can use water as well)

1 banana

1/2 cup strawberries

Peanut Butter Cup

Chocolate Shakeology

10 oz. milk

1 tbsp peanut butter

Blueberry Pie

Vanilla Shakeology

10 oz milk

1 cup blueberries

dash of cinnamon

Apple Pie

Vanilla Shakeology

10 oz milk

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Believe me, I’ve tried my fair share of supplements and protein shakes and this one by far tastes the best, especially when adding the right mix of fruit. But you don’t just have to take my word for it, give it a try yourself!

Contact me for questions or details on ordering!

Shakeology, I’m a Believer

Over the past several years I’ve had a number of people approach me about trying Shakeology. I always find a way to gracefully turn the offer down.

About a year ago I started making smoothies for my husband and myself in the mornings. They were full of nutrients and all good things but took a great deal of time to prepare and like most of you that are reading this, mornings are hectic enough as is, without trying to wash, chop and blend a breakfast drink. Most mornings I simply ran out of time, which often left me totally skipping breakfast and Don grabbing a piece of fruit or breakfast bar.

Needless to say, days turned into weeks and before I knew it, I had completely fallen back into my bad habits of running out the door with no breakfast and often nothing planned for lunch. My metabolism was out of whack, I was bloated, and I was at a complete plateau with weight loss (even gaining a few pounds over the course of time).

Now if you know anything about me and my philosophy about eating and exercise, you know I truly believe there are no shortcuts. There is no magic to becoming healthy and fit.

The equation is simple: Eat as clean as possible, keep your portions in check, drink water, and stay active.

Believe me, I know the equation is easier said than done. And being a person who isn’t really tempted by many ‘bad’ food choices, I’m left with the truth that the reason I have problems maintaining/losing weight all revolves around me not getting enough quality nutrients in my body. While all along I’ve been eating quality foods, I’m simply not eating enough of them at the right times during the day.

Fed up with myself and my progress, I was ready to try something new. It was the perfect time to go ahead and give Shakeology a try. And just like with anything, no one wants to go at it alone so I pulled my husband in too. ‘We’re going to give this Shakology a try. Just for a month. What do we have to lose?’

He was a bit apprehensive at first but the convenience of something that nutrient-rich early in the morning was definitely appealing to him. He hits the gym very early in the morning and his body needs the refuel to start a productive day in the office.

So we took the plunge and ordered – he got the Chocolate Shakeology and I opted for the Vanilla flavor. Over the past several weeks we have experimented with a number of different recipes – adding various fruits, peanut butter and even cinnamon.

Neither of us can imagine starting our day without it now so let me tell you the top five reasons I’m a believer:

  1. This is the most efficient way for me to get the nutrients my body desperately needs. Check out this video on the nutritional value of Shakeology.
  2. Drinking Shakeology for breakfast keeps me full throughout the morning. Most other breakfast choices leave me looking for a snack or hungry for lunch early.
  3. I love the taste! The choices for adding fruits and other flavors to your shakes are endless – or they taste great on their own!
  4. It’s convenient – takes me no time at all to blend a shake in the morning so even if I am running late (which is most days) I don’t have to miss out on breakfast.
  5. I no longer feel bloated and icky. Despite my efforts to eat a quality diet, I constantly felt bloated. I believe the combination of nutrients and fiber is just what my body needed.

As I said, I was once a skeptic. I am no longer…I’m now a huge fan and would love for you to try it too.

If you are looking to buy Shakeology in Lombard, Glen Ellyn, or Elmhurst, you should buy local direct from me! You’re just one click away: http://www.beachbodycoach.com/jennschindler

If you have any questions, please reach out to me at personaltrainingbyjenn@gmail.com and I’d be happy to answer any questions you have.