On this day a year ago, there were a lot of thoughts going through my head.
Flashback to about six weeks before – I was not happy with my physical health. I was a few months out from back surgery following an accident that left me with a cracked back and 24/7 pain. Surgery helped, but I was still in pain when sitting, standing, laying down. I was only sleeping 1-2 hours per night at a time without waking up. I was taking steroids for inflammation that were making me want to eat a horse, as steroids do.
Needles to say I was a bit sad. Here I was a personal trainer and water fitness instructor and avid runner who could not run, could not train people in person, and was just barely getting back into the water. Before the accident, for the past three years, my life had revolved around health and fitness. About the only thing I could keep doing was my radio show, Fit Living.
It was pretty depressing. About three weeks prior, I had finally “given in” to my friend Casey Brown. See, Casey was the bariatric nurse coordinator at a local hospital. We met when I came to speak at her support group and formed a bond, which I now realize was a God thing, and became friends. I came back to speak every now and then and my very first stop on our anti-obesity tour, before my accident, was at her program. This is me, thinking “wow, I look really good” and not even realizing how much weight I had gained. I was beyond in denial! Casey knew. She had been mentioning Plexus to me off and on.
She knew I was struggling since my accident with regain. It was rough. The lack of running, tons of meds, increased immobility and some pity party going on had taken their toll and before I knew it I had put about 40 pounds back on of the 135 I lost after my gastric bypass. I was also having ridiculous blood sugar crashes as is so common with post RNY patients. Crashes down into the 40’s. This can be quite dangerous and even when I was eating on point, the crashes kept coming. Casey knew Plexus was made to help regulate blood sugar. She had been trying to get me to try this Plexus stuff for almost a year and each time I said NO NO NO! Here are just a few of the things I said:
“Are you crazy?”
“That is some fad diet pill”
“That is a pyramid scheme. How can you do this as a nurse?”
These were some of my uninformed statements as I sat there getting bigger and unhappier and unhealthier. In late July I had finally had enough and told her I would try this “Pink Drink”. My husband Ben thought I was nuts. Within 3 days I saw myself feeling less tired, feeling less melancholy. I found myself not wanting to eat the chips and popcorn and carbs and also with less appetite. This shocked us both considering what the meds had been doing to me for a year.
After the first week Ben said, okay, mix me up one of those drinks and let me try it too. This was us last summer. Needless to say it was time to do something. I was mortified to realize how I had let myself, a HEALTH AND FITNESS PROFESSIONAL, regain. I had to realize that I am HUMAN. So we started taking the Plexus program serious and WOW!
We noticed changes right away and our energy improved and the pounds and inches started to drop. By the time we headed to Phoenix, AZ for the OAC conference to speak and for me to teach water aerobics, we were both down about 15 pounds.
It was an amazing trip. It felt so good to be back in my fitness groove. My class was filled with awesome people and it just reaffirmed my passion for helping others get healthy. I was in no way thinking of this from a business standpoint at that time. I just wanted my health back. Then it hit me….I owed it to myself and to all of the people who followed me via the radio show and our online programs to share this tool. At the conference where we spoke and I taught Aquafit, I spoke to so many people struggling with weight. There were those who had had some type of weight loss surgery and were regaining, there were some who had never had any type of surgery and were looking for a solution. At this point, I realized that I had an obligation to share. I spoke with Ben and immediately worried about a few things. My thoughts were:
“Oh the bariatric community will flame me and think I am promoting a diet fad”
“People will scoff at the network marketing aspect”
“What if I lose sponsors?”
“What if my radio show audience thinks I am crazy?”
On September 26, 2013 I signed up with Plexus as an Ambassador. I was trying to find a way to tell the world about these awesome products without causing a furor in my weight loss circles. On October 8 I realized that I needed to “come out” about my decision and realized FAST that if anyone wanted to make a stink, un-friend me, call me crazy, etc etc, then GO FOR IT because what if someone out there was struggling and needed this tool and I could be the only way they heard about Plexus? So I released this blog.
The feedback was INCREDIBLE! Sure there were a few uninformed people who scoffed at me, but for every one who did, there were 20-30 who contacted me saying PLEASE SHARE! Yes I had to unfriend and block a few whackadoos from Facebook, and it was SO WORTH IT IN EVERY WAY!
With all of that said, what is different today than a year ago? Well first off, I have lost 55 pounds and am now 15 pounds lower than the LOWEST I ever got after my gastric bypass. This is where I started with Plexus to now:
It is a big change for sure. In addition to being down the pounds and inches and dress sizes, I also can take the steroid when needed without wanting to eat everything in sight. My blood sugar crashes that were coming at least 3-4 times per week are all but gone now. My energy is incredible. Even with the back surgery, I was able to walk a 5k and 10k in January with my husband and kids in Disney.
He is also off of his cholesterol and blood pressure meds. I love you Benjamin and am so blessed that Plexus is not only helping us get healthy together, but also allowing you to be home with me and help others get HEALTHY with this tool.
There are so many other great benefits. On my team, I have a husband/wife who are both bariatric patients who had regained a significant amount of weight and are each down almost 80 pounds and FEELING AMAZING. I have three people who have come off diabetes meds. The last time I totaled the pounds and inches gone so far on my team, the pounds were in the 1000’s and inches were as well.
Here is another great aspect of this decision a year ago. Not only have we showed people a REAL TOOL to help make better choices and get healthier, but we have also helped many start a business. Plexus is so unlike any home-based business out there. We do not operate on the typical binary pay scale. Have you ever tried those home-based businesses where you just spend money and make nothing? Well the people who founded Plexus had been there and done that and wanted something better. Oh and for anyone who thinks Plexus is a pyramid scheme, those are illegal. And in Plexus, you can easily go past the person who showed you the business and got you in and it happens all the time.
This is my friend Shirley. Shirley is off of her $200 a month inhaler and her husband Eric had his cholesterol drop 60 points in 6 weeks after starting Plexus. Oh and as far as being a true opportunity to earn a nice income while helping others- After joining my team July 5, Shirley earned a free trip to Orlando with us in October for the Leader’s Retreat.
We will be spending a weekend learning and growing with company leaders as well as going to Disney and the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party all on Plexus. This company knows how to treat its’ reps. See, Plexus spends zero on advertising. World of mouth is how they spread the word. TRUE network marketing. No paid athletes, no ads in big sports events. Just word of mouth from people who use and love the products. The past year has been the biggest time of personal growth and development for me and I am just scratching the surface. My circle of friends has changed and God is bringing some amazing people into my life via Plexus and weeding out some unhealthy relationships. It is AMAZING how people change when you start getting healthier and are living your passion. I could not be more grateful.
I am now a Ruby Ambassador with Plexus and my husband Ben is a Sr. Gold Ambassador and joining this incredible company was the best decision we have ever made. I love the way we feel, I love that he can be home working with me full time and not commuting to a job where he makes money for someone else, and I love knowing that we are truly helping people change their lives with this tool. It is beyond humbling. I am so very grateful for the team of 300 we have with us and for the many others not directly on our team that we have gotten to know and learn from daily.
Now a year later, I look back at those first few weeks when I was so scared to go public with what I was doing and I just laugh and smile. I think of the PhD who literally told me I was in a pyramid scheme and giggle. I think of the few people whom I had to block from Facebook and just pray for them to one day find happiness and a tool that they can be as passionate about as I am about Plexus.
This is my friend and business partner Susan who has lost about 40 pounds and lots of inches and has gone down several sizes and who I get to work with daily as we help others get healthy. I love this lady and love seeing what Plexus has done for her and her family. Watching the stories come in daily of amazing and positive changes people are seeing to their overall health means way more to me than the paycheck I get each week.
Plexus is changing lives. Chew on this incredible fact for a moment- Inc. Magazine recently named Plexus the 8th fastest growing privately held company in America.
This is a BIG DEAL. This is a network marketing company. I am so blessed and grateful to be part of this company.
To Casey Brown RN, CBN- I love you and thank you so much for meeting me for lunch at Panera on this day one year ago. WOW I am so in awe of what God has done in my life and Ben’s life through this opportunity. You are a wonderful person who truly cares and I am loving being on this journey with you! I am so glad you did not give up on me when I said NO WAY!
To Sara Marble- You as well are an amazing mentor and leader! I am so glad YOU got Casey Brown into this business and so blessed to have two incredible nurses to learn from each day. You are both changing lives and I love that Ben and myself can now try to follow in your footsteps! The two of you teach me new things daily about just how incredible Plexus is and what it can do for people! I cannot wait to be with both of you in Orlando in a few weeks!
To my AMAZING TEAM- I am so stinking proud of all of you and thankful for each of you. You guys continue to amaze me daily and I see incredible things in the future for all of us. Each time one of you messages me about you or one of your customers coming off of a script, losing another 5 pounds, losing another 3 inches, being able to walk past the cookies, being free of migraines, being free of fibromyalgia and other painful issues, I literally want to cry. YOU GUYS ARE LIKE FAMILY!
I truly feel like Plexus is a gift from God and one I am not going to take for granted. I cannot say enough about the company and the integrity of the leaders we have. If you are really struggling with carbs and sugar and pain and stress, send me a message. Think of where YOU could be a year from now! YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! All it takes is commitment and healthy tools.
If you want more information on what Plexus can do for you, by all means come visit my site at Erin Akey.com Or email me- firstname.lastname@example.org What do you have to lose besides another year? Please be sure to visit our Facebook page Erin and Ben’s Plexus Slim!