12 week challenge, change the narrative, Gold's Gym, status quo

Challenge the status quo – Go get em 12 Week Challenge Participants

The 12 Week Challenge posts on Facebook and pictures at the gym bring up all kinds of thoughts for me.  I participated in the Gold’s Gym 12-week challenge last year and it was without a doubt the catalyst for a tremendous year for me.  It was also one of the lowest points in the year for me when I found out I had been voted in 1st place by the local gym, but not by corporate.  Corporate’s decision overruled all of those at our local gym and I was given 2nd place. 

This steered me towards being a huge advocate of the body positive movement going on.  I came across it on Instagram.  It’s the hashtag #bopo.  There are some wonderful ladies speaking out on this subject on Instagram,  @omgkenzieee, @nourishandeat, and @selfloveclubb.  While staying in shape, eating a well-balanced diet and being healthy are important, they shouldn’t define us.  Nor should that extra slice of pizza be the end of the world.  Be willing to flaunt your outer beauty as well as your inner beauty.  Don’t allow a corporation to make you feel less than you really are.
Many of the images we see in women’s magazines and on the Internet have been doctored; just like I was able to do with my image.  “However fake or real the image, take a step back and realize you don’t need to look or act like anybody else.  You don’t need muscle tone, restriction or unrealistically hard abs to feel worth.  Don’t waste your life chasing an image.  Don’t wake up one day at 70 and think “I never did look like those women and I wish I’d have made memories and smiles with the time I spent comparing.”” @selfloveclubb      I am working on this with myself and getting stronger in this area.
What “gets to me” about the 12-week challenge is that Corporate decides which images are used to “promote” the challenge.  They are looking for the most “marketable” winners when selecting the final 15.  Your numbers (weight loss, inches lost, fat lost could be higher than the winner, but if your picture is not as marketable – you lose.)    How could a fitness giant be so shallow? (is the question I ask.)  Do you know how many women are over 200 pounds and “not marketable” and want to make a change?  Are we excluding them in our unrealistic posters (pictures) of women?  It’s just a question.  You need to answer that for yourself. 
I know that I offered to our local Gold’s gym to do a side by side picture of me – day 1 of the 12 week challenge versus almost a year later.  I said I’d be willing for them to post that and promote the 12-week challenge for our local gym.  The answer I received back was they would love to do the side-by-side but it could NOT be used to promote the 12-week challenge.  ONLY corporate photos could be used.  (Again a Corporate decision.)  Are you catching on to my displeasure?     We did come up with the following and it is posted in the NLP room, but it is not promoting the 12 week challenge.  It is promoting the NLP program.

Thankfully you can find trainers at the local gym that truly want to help you no matter your size.  The 12-week challenge can be a GREAT starting point for your future success.  So if that’s what you want to do to motivate yourself to get started and be accountable, I say absolutely GO FOR IT!  Go for it for yourself!  Do it for you!  Hopefully your trainer will encourage and inspire you every step of the way as mine did for me.  But just know if you do not win or place, YOU ARE ENOUGH!  You are a winner.  And don’t stop at 12 weeks!  Keep it going.  Don’t diet – find a nutrition plan that works for you.
If you are on Instagram, check out the hashtag bopo (#bopo).  I think you’ll really enjoy seeing that the young women of today are trying to change the narrative of what a “real” woman looks like.  I wish I had believed this when I was their age – then I wouldn’t be 55 years old still wondering why anyone would want to train me.  I AM ENOUGH.  (There’s another one of my 2017 goals- believe I am enough.)

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