The year no one wanted to transform.
People used to get excited about New Year's Fitness Goals. Maybe EXCITED isn't the right word, but there was this sense of, "it's time to focus and get in shape" that was a central part of my business and my life from 2005 on.
12 years, thousands of people and literally TONS of lost weight later, something is different.
Not good, not bad. Just different.
Maybe we're jaded by the remarkable accomplishments of people who have lost 50, 100, even 200 pounds on our Facebook or Instagram pages?.
Is Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover even on television anymore? Has losing weight, feeling great and getting a new lease on life actually "jumped the shark"?
Whatever it is...I'm OK with it.
Actually, I'm GREAT with it.
Admittedly, I have been part of the problem for the last 12 years.
While I have always been opposed to the manipulation and the false drama of these made-for-TV weight loss shows...maybe, not so secretly...I was envious of the amount of attention they generated. I said from the beginning, weight loss is not fun to watch on its own, in fact, it's monotonous as hell. BUT those RESULTS! They motivated us, they inspired us and they made Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper household names! Personal trainers across the world started pushing clients into their own extreme workouts in hopes of replicating the same attention garnered by our newest 'fitness celebrities.' Me too. I became "John H of the DFC" and Troy Smith of the D & C's Insider (remember that!?) referred to me as "like Richard Simmons on steroids." I'm not so sure that was the brand I was going for, but Troy was young and his imagination wasn't fully matured yet...but I digress. Transformation was a hot business and I was good at it.
My annual weight loss contest evolved into the 'Body Transformation Challenge' after the year that 'Joe' (who lost 38 pounds in 6 weeks) told me as I handed him the check for winning, "I'm glad this is over! I went to the doctors yesterday because I noticed blood in my urine. He told me that I was suffering from early stages of renal failure." What!?
This guy was alternating hours of cardio with marathon sauna sessions and as a result, his kidneys had started to malfunction! I developed more sensible criteria, as I wanted no part of killing people in the name of weight loss.
The contest portion of the BTC has remained the same since. Four scoring components contribute 25% each to a total score to determine the winner in the men's and women's category.
1. weight loss - by PERCENTAGE
2. bodyfat reduction - by percentage from start to finish, not measured in gross percentage.
3. waistline reduction - by percentage from start to finish
4. before/after photos as judged by panel of fitness staff at the gym, each scoring their top five choices for 'visual' transformation 1 thru 5, then totaling the scores, lowest score wins.
I started posting the before/after photos of the top finishers. Hundreds of people started signing up each year. We ran a New Year contest, a Spring challenge and a Summer challenge...we even did a Fall contest one year...I mean you can ALWAYS find a reason to get in shape. Most importantly, at the backend of this contest, I've developed a really solid program consisting of exercise and nutrition, along with common sense strategies that WORK. The average person will lose 10 pounds in 8 weeks, many will lose more. Like I said, the people who were the most successful became my most powerful advertising. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to show people what they could accomplish through online ads, direct mail pieces, A-Frame signs, posters, print, radio and television ads.
When I started Healthy Edge, I even started featuring Transformation Tuesday success stories to my social media page and website...it is still the most interacted with post and page on the Heathy Edge platform today, BUT here's what I've learned...
The REAL success that comes from most of these transformations is much deeper stuff than tight butts, six-pack abs or chiseled chests and perfect racks. Success in many of these featured stories is victory over addiction to drugs or alcohol, escape from abusive relationships and overcoming depression, anxiety and crushing self-image issues. It's surviving tragic accidents, miscarried pregnancies or cancer to find hope and purpose again...and in some cases, it's just losing a SHIT ton of weight so you don't have to buy two airline tickets or not be able to fit on the roller coaster with your kids at the amusement park. The real transformation is the STORY not the PHOTO.
Here's the bottom line: IF you commit to a LIFESTYLE and develop the HABITS, the RESULTS will take care of themselves. Period. OH, it might not be the "results" that the girl on Bodyrock TV implies with her perfect physique...but if you are able to create YOUR most optimal state of health and fitness, whatever that looks like, with the DNA that your parents bestowed upon you...you've WON at this.
So are we tired of 'transformations"?
I think we are collectively tired of another program selling us on achieving the perfect body. I mean…COULD you, hypothetically, create a "perfect" physique if that's what you really wanted? YES. The fact of the matter is you can get cosmetic procedures, take human growth hormone, testosterone or even steroids, diruetics and other enhancement supplements, never eat a 'bad' food or meal, workout for hours nearly every day and you could create a physique that would make you the envy of your friends, family and of course...your "haters" (cause haters gonna hate.)
I'd just ask, "WHY?"
What the 8 week, Healthy Edge Body Transformation Challenge is about, is employing sound exercise and nutrition strategies in a sustainable way that will help you establish habits that will move you closer to your optimal state of health for the long haul. It just so happens that if you follow these steps consistently over the next 8 weeks...you’ll probably 'respond' well to that lifestyle and see big, positive changes in your physical appearance.
AND IF you do it better than everyone else on the program, you'll win up to $1000!
If you've written this off as just another one of those 'transformation' programs, I understand. I wish I had more to offer, but I simply don't have any other images to show you other than people who have done really good at losing bodyfat and getting healthy.
But, in the right context, this program is possibly the BEST way to spend the next 8 weeks of winter in Rochester, NY.
Here's the link if want to lose a few pounds because it's healthy and you'll FEEL better...and get back into those jeans after the holidays. Well, that's just practical,
With World Gym privileges:
To participate at your gym or home: