I just wanted to look good in a bikini! Was that too much to ask?
Yes. I admit it, I’m vain. I’ve done fad diets, crash diets. I’m willing to endure moderate torture to look good.
So about a year ago I auditioned for something called a “fitness test group” for a popular workout DVD series. “Test group” is the technical term for “people in an infomercial”. For the audition, the goal was to show up and NOT look good in a bikini and pose for polaroids in front of a roomful of strangers. A few days later, I was thrilled to receive an email informing me that I was out of shape enough to be a part of the group that would last two months.
I, and approximately 30 other women, would be put through extreme workouts and calorie restricted diets to induce fast results for the workout DVD’s newest edition. No one was paid to participate, but we would be receiving FREE group training five days a week from a “real celebrity trainer” free food for the duration of the program, and a membership to a swanky gym that cost more than my monthly rent. The only obligations: to try our best, show up on time, produce results, not cheat on the diet, no drinking booze, (I’m sober so that wasn’t a problem), no coffee (hell no, I need my one vice, so I had to keep that around!) Yay! This was going to be fun!…well maybe.
Now keep this VERY important tidbit in mind!
When you see before and after pics during an infomercial you only see about 5 or 6 people featured. Those people are a fraction of the people that were a part of the process. Fitness test groups have anywhere between 30-60 subjects.
The group of women participating in my infomercial looked like a Benetton Ad. There were women of different races, types, ages and in different physical conditions. Some were mothers of four who hadn’t worked out in years. Others were models, who didn’t need to lose any weight I could see. The point of the test group was to get a variety of people with drastic results.
Getting even 10 television worthy success stories can be tricky. The bigger the group, the higher the possible success rates. You’ll almost ALWAYS see the infamous: “results not typical” in teeny tiny print at the bottom of the screen during these infomercials.