OPERATHLETIC is thrilled to have Ellen Broen, Beachbody coach & founder of OPERAfit, contribute to the blog! For this article, we asked her to rank her top 5 choices for Beachbody programs for the busy traveling singer — and as an active singer who is constantly on the road herself, she has some fantastic input on this subject! Thank you, Ellen, for being a part of OPERATHLETIC! [Disclaimer: OPERATHLETIC does not endorse / sell any weight loss products]
At a certain point in my singing career, as many of you have probably also experienced, the stress of it all really got to me. As an avid emotional eater, acid reflux sufferer, and gym unenthusiast, I struggled with my weight and feeling good in my skin and body. To combat my overeating, I thought my solution was plunking myself on a treadmill until my calorie counter ticked away enough calories on My Fitness Pal for me to feel less guilty about it. To wipe out the reflux and ensuing swelling of my vocal folds, I look medications and over-the-counters to “handle it.” Almost every singer I knew was on Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, or something nextlevel like me, so I thought it was just a new normal for my life.
Enter: Beachbody®. I know, the name is not appealing to me either. I am well aware that all you need to have a “beach body” is to take your body to the beach. I agree! BUT, stay with me here. It starts out as one of those stereotypical stories where I saw a friend of mine had used one of those at-home fitness programs and posted her before/after photos. It was pretty remarkable what she’d accomplished, and hell! I wanted that too! So I signed up for one of the programs and gave it a go – after all, I’d tried going to the gym, seeing a personal trainer, seeing a nutritionist, dieting, acai berry cleanses, fiber hunger-suppressant pills, and all that’s in between… So why not try one of those programs!?
I am not exaggerating when I say that program unlocked a whole new world of understanding, empowerment, and confidence. Yes, through an at-home fitness program. But it’s NOT just a fitness program, y’all! It gave me the ticket to a whole new lifestyle, where I understood how to eat to feel my absolute best, how to exercise consistently (even if I’m on the road for a program or gig), and how to not give up when it gets hard.
Here’s the deal with Beachbody. There’s really nothing WRONG with the products, it’s just that advertisements and marketing, critics and culture, and even our own negative self-talk tell us over and over again that we need to lose weight to look a certain way, get a certain part, “be better.” So I totally feel you on the revulsion towards “weight loss products.”
And I hate to be that person (and also sort of love it), but I will be. This is different.
When I experienced that “whole new world” Aladdin moment in my own life with one of these products, something clicked and I just wanted MORE! So I tried other programs by Beachbody, kept drinking their superfoods shake called “Shakeology,” held myself accountable with friends in a community where we helped each other not give up, and over time I had changed three things:
1. MY MINDSET.
When I really experienced what power I got from being strong and active while eating foods that fueled that lifestyle, I started feeling more powerful and positive towards my singing career. I felt more grounded and connected than I ever had. I felt confident in my body on stage and off. I applied the discipline I was using for my workouts to my practicing schedule. I dropped my judgment and jealousy of other people who seemed to “have it together,” and instead I was happy for them and exuding my own happiness with myself.
2. MY HEALTH.
I am not alone when I say this (and some of you may not believe me), Shakeology’s superfoods changed my life. After a couple months of drinking this shake that was made of fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins you don’t encounter in most American stores, and packed a punch of 23 vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, adaptogenic herbs (lowers your stress levels), probiotics, and fiber – without ANYTHING artificial – I really did notice an immediate difference in my mental acuity, productivity, energy levels, digestive comfort, and overall vibrancy and mood. It inspired me to ask questions to my doctors and nutritionist about the ingredients, and took me down the path to finding healing for my reflux through my nutrition and these superfoods. I now take NO medications and feel better than I ever have. My reflux is gone because I learned how to change the SOURCE of the problem, and not just suppress the symptoms.
3. MY ACCOUNTABILITY.
Don’t be fooled — I’m no super human with the fortitude to stay committed to this stuff all on my own. The key to my success was 100% the people I did my program with through my online community. We shared our struggles on the hard days, and the successes on the kickass days, and it made the whole process FUN! We read books together to guide our inner transformation as well as our outer, and we posted our accountability posts every night. Every morning I woke up to comments and likes on my posts from other people who had experienced the same thing as me, who asked me for my recipe or offered another they had found, who were my cheerleaders when I totally fell off the wagon and wanted to hide my “failure.” How could I give up when my team wanted me to succeed even more than ME??
So, to me, Beachbody gave me more than some workouts from home and a shake. It gave me control, community, healing, energy, and knowledge. I now am a coach for my own team of other musicians who come at this from the same place I did, and I named it OPERAfit–because you know what? We ARE.
Now, for the meat and potatoes of what you’re looking for. What programs do I recommend for my fellow singers; and how can you look them up, down, and sideways to decide if they’re something you want to try?
Here you go!
1. 21 DAY FIX
This is the program that changed it all for me. You get a nobrainer, simple system to balance out your nutrition through some nifty color-coded containers. You get the superfoods for 1 month to try out (I HIGHLY recommend chocolate [no joke, it’s like a Wendy’s Frosty] or cafe latte). You get a different workout for each day that is 30 minutes, warm up to cool down, and offers modifications for everything so ANY fitness level can get a really awesome workout. With workouts from upper/lower body, to cardio, to Pilates, to yoga, so it keeps things interesting. And you get our OPERAfit team through that link. *minimal equipment necessary* Click here to order and join Team OPERAfit!
This is one I do when I am at a YAP or stressed during a performance week. It’s a combination of Pilates and yoga, so you get the lowimpact strengthbuilding of Pilates with the stretching and breath focus of yoga. Again, you get the superfoods and our OPERAfit team, but there is a different nutrition plan. If you want to mix the 21 day fix portion containers and this program, email me and I can show you how to add it on. *no equipment necessary* Click here to order and join Team OPERAfit!
This one is fun! If you hate working out, this one is ALL hiphop dance routines set to top 40 songs. Again, a great one when you’re stressed and just want to funwind (lol, just made that up) or pump up your jams! Also doesn’t come with a great nutrition program, so shoot me an email for how to add on the containers. *no equipment necessary* Click here to order and join Team OPERAfit!
Brand new program made by a combination of the trainer from 21 day fix and her style of workouts (the “chisel”), plus a body builder male trainer (the “hammer”). This is a lifting, lowcardio program, so if you’re an intermediate or advanced gymgoer, this might be something to try! It comes with the 21 day fix nutrition/portion container thing, but has different plans for different goals. You can follow it to lose weight, maintain and tone, or bulk up (lookin at you, guys!). *hand weights + exercise ball necessary* Click here to order and join Team OPERAfit!
This is a hardie, but a goodie. For those of you familiar with the original Insanity program, it’s the same trainer. This one is just 30 minutes, start to finish, and an intense cardio/calisthenics workout. If I don’t have any equipment with me, and I really want a great sweaty workout, this is gold. A little pricier and doesn’t include the portion containers (email me!), but gives you a 60-day calendar of TONS of different workouts, and it’s really the best cardio workout I’ve ever done. *no equipment necessary* Click here to order and join Team OPERAfit!