The New Jan Brady
By Kelly Songy Nelson
For those who don’t know me, I’m a cheesy family sitcom fan – The Brady Bunch, Full House, Dick Van Dyke…all my favorites!!! And it’s funny how sometimes the lessons in those shows can bleed into real life!
As I was reflecting on 2013, an episode of The Brady Bunch popped into my head…
Jan was unhappy with who she was – she was the middle child and thought she wasn’t good enough or pretty enough or popular enough. In this particular episode, she made a drastic change with a quick fix – a wig. She stepped out at a school function as “the new Jan Brady” and the reaction she received was not the one she expected. Her new look didn’t make her smarter or prettier or more popular or a better person. It actually caused a lot of pain because it was just a Band-Aid. Soon she was back to being plain ol’ Jan – but almost a little more down and depressed because she now had the reactions of her siblings and her schoolmates weighing on her mind.
Jan desperately wanted to change, but she didn’t know how and she didn’t have the support to guide her through this transformation. It reminds me of how I was about 13 years ago. I didn’t have many friends, I worked a lot, I didn’t’ take care of myself – I was basically stuck in a bad loop.
I’d put on about 30 pounds just from poor choices. I remember one day thinking I needed to buy bigger pants. The rest of my family was overweight or obese…that was my destiny.
Boy was I wrong!!
Like Jan, I knew I needed to change; I didn’t want to follow down the deadly path my family was on (heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc). Also like Jan, I didn’t know what to do or how to do it. I just knew something needed to give.
We ordered the Power 90 workout program based on the results that Jimmy’s friend had with it. We had no business buying this program. We were newlyweds with “newlywed income” (check to check basically!!) and we were both running ourselves into the ground with work and doing theatre shows (Jimmy is an actor and I was choreographing up to 3 shows at once…all while working a full time job!!). I thought for sure this was going to be something that would sit on a shelf and collect dust! But it arrived and we decided to go at it together. One baby step.
Once I started working out, I didn’t want to have chicken fingers and french fries every day! I started eating differently…eating foods that came from the perimeter of the grocery store! Another baby step.
Then we started doing weekly food prep and portioning. Our schedules were still crazy busy and we ate most of our meals on the go, so we took all of the food in our house and portioned it into single-serve zippy bags. It took mindless eating to a new level – we didn’t have to think about what we were going to eat – it was just grab a baggie of chicken, a baggie of brown rice, a baggie of veggies and a baggie of fruit. No thinking required!!! Another baby step.
Slowly, my body started to wake up and change. People started to notice. My self-confidence and self-esteem began to improve and I felt like Jan did when she stepped out with her wig on. But unlike Jan, my transformation didn’t come from a quick fix.
It came from a series of small changes, commitment to working on ME and having the support system who encouraged me every step of the way.
It was a change that happened from the inside out.
I’m reading a book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. He talks about how old habits will always lurk in our brains. This is why it’s hard for people to create clean eating or workout habits. But don’t let that be an excuse. We can create new habits. We just need the support to create them.
I have been incredibly blessed to have found Beachbody and even more blessed that I can now pay it forward by helping others make real transformation. No one should have to wear the Jan Brady wig! You are good enough, we believe in you and we are here to help you transform!
We invite you to stop by Jimmy’s Facebook page – let us know if you’ve had a Jan Brady moment and if you’re ready to make lasting lifestyle changes!