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Finding my passion!



Vanessa McLaughlin, vanessamc246.blogspot.com, the butterfly effect

What fuels you? Drives you? What are you passionate about?

Vanessa McLaughlin, vanessamc246.blogspot.com, the butterfly effectPassion. You know, that powerful, compelling emotion? It lights a fire under those who feel it and consumes their thoughts.

If anyone asked me this question a year ago, I’m not sure I could have answered. I probably would have shrugged my shoulders and said I’m passionate about my husband and children (which I am); or I like reading and writing, but I don’t do it often, and shrugged my shoulders again. I was just moving along in life, interested in it, but not taking action in it. However, if I had recognized my passion, I could have answered. It took until this past November, when I finally recognized my passion.

I am a mom of two boys and the wife to an amazing man, Schuyler! We live in State College, PA and love living in a fun, college town!

I am working mom, I am in love with, my family, my life and of course, my side job as a Beachbody coach! Spoiler alert: that is my passion!! My goal is to make it my full-time job and become a mompreneur! I want to help others reach their health and fitness goals, or even start their own Beachbody coaching business. This is what I think about every day, all day!

Body image issues
I battled weight issues, issues with food, and body image. I finally got sick of it! Sick of being negative and down all the time, and I said ENOUGH was ENOUGH! I wanted to change MORE than I wanted to stay the same.

When I was in college, I didn’t use it correctly. Instead, I used it to lose weight quickly, and was never satisfied with the way I looked or what I weighed. I would criticize my body, in a way I would never, ever criticize a friend or even a stranger.

I got certified as a fitness instructor took up running. My fitness journey raced through certifications in personal training, kickboxing, spinning, yoga, and furthered my distance in triathlons. I was obsessed with exercise and food as well.

Counting calories, fat, and limiting all sorts of “bad” foods from my diet became the norm. I hated going to restaurants or parties because I couldn’t control what I ate. My social life ground to a halt, which didn’t even phase me at that point, because I was in law school, and told myself I didn’t have time for a social life, anyway. My weight didn’t plummet, nor did it spiral out of control, but I wasn’t being kind to my myself, my mind, or my body.

Changing my view, loving my body
Vanessa McLaughlin, vanessamc246.blogspot.com, the butterfly effectIt wasn’t until I got married and started thinking about having children, that I realized I had a
problem. I started thinking about treating my body with kindness to prepare it to have a baby. I started thinking about how my body would care for a growing fetus for nine months. It was a slow progression, but as I considered pregnancy and labor, and when I finally became pregnant, I realized food isn’t an enemy and exercise is not punishment.

I still taught fitness classes, but I started looking at food and exercise differently. I found the book “Clean Eating” by Tosca Reno, and discovered food as fuel, with a cleansing and healing power, and realized even if I ate low fat or sugar free food, I still needed to cut out the processed food and chemicals that came with it. Also, I looked at fitness as a way to keep my body, and my mind healthy. When my first son was born, I turned to yoga, and found my ohm!

One would think that my involvement in fitness and desire to learn more about exercise and nutrition, the light bulb would turn on, and I would recognize my passion. Instead, I thought of it as a hobby, something on the side to keep me in shape while I studied for my journalism and law degrees, and then while I was a trailing spouse following my husband around the globe. Fitness and nutrition was just a hobby, right?

Vanessa McLaughlin, vanessamc246.blogspot.com, the butterfly effect

The mommy pounds

The next phase in my VERY SLOW revelation came after my second son was born. In fact, 8 years after he was born! For eight years, I couldn’t shed the last 10-15 pounds that I had gained from pregnancy. I would joke that at some point, I’d have to accept them as permanent mommy pounds!

Mommy-hood, working two to three part-time jobs, being a wife and holding down a household made me tired. I still worked out, but my food took a down turn. The food was healthy, clean, and whole, most of the time, but it was also too much. My portions and amounts of food were too much for my short stature and doing all that I did every day, well, didn’t I deserve a cookie too, when I was handing one out to the boys? I made this mac n’ cheese, one bite (okay maybe three) won’t hurt me, right? And these crusts off the peanut butter sandwiches; I can’t just throw them away. They’re only crusts of bread, and healthy bread, they don’t count.


Guess what? THEY DID! And they counted even more when I stopped teaching fitness classes and took a full-time desk job, where I moved a whole lot less during the day than I was used to.

This is when I stumbled upon the 21 Day Fix and Beachbody coaching. At first it was a way to lose the last 10 pounds and keep my hobby, while I worked my desk job. I still loved exercise and nutrition, after all. But as I sat behind my desk, staring at my computer, trying to work on a marketing plan for my department, all I could think of was my next workout, meal plan, challenge group! How did I not see this before? I’ve thought about this and incorporated health and fitness into my life for years? How could I show other people how to transform their own health and fitness?


Discovering my passion and sharing it with others

Vanessa McLaughlin, vanessamc246.blogspot.com, the butterfly effectLooks like I just needed a formal invitation!! Haha! When my coach asked me if I was interested in coaching, she barely finished the question. I wanted to share this with others, and surround myself with like-minded people! I know how much diet and nutrition has changed my life and I would love to share that information to help other people change theirs. I decided to follow through and become a PART OF THE TEAM!


Beachbody coaching lit a fire in me. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops!! (Facebook would have to do). I took this leap of faith, I decided to put one foot in front of the other, learn from the Slight Edge principles, and finally feed my passion! It gives energy, excites me, and fuels me!


I am building my business in the hours after my desk job. I scheduled my Beachbody working hours after the kids go to bed, and I’m ready to work at this and make my passion my full-time job!

Vanessa McLaughlin, vanessamc246.blogspot.com, the butterfly effect

Whether you follow me for nutrition, recipes, motivation or inspiration, thank you for your support!

If you want more information about joining my challenge groups or you would like to be part of the Butterfly Effect Team then fill out the form below or contact me at vanessamc246@gmail.com for details!


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