• Thu, Oct 18 2012

I Was An Infomercial Guinea Pig (And It Was Awful)

I began to regain my sanity. I got very resentful towards Celeb Trainer. She wasn’t very nice, really. So I decided to rebel and cheat on the diet.

One day, I walked in with an iced latte and drank it during the class. Everyone there glared at me. If I happened to gain a pound, or if my weight stagnated, I said I had my period. I began saying I had my period every other week. I had already lost enough weight, and I wasn’t stressed out about losing anymore. I was simply coasting. Had the group and myself been experiencing Stockholm Syndrome? Why did we wanting so badly to impress the trainer and the cheerleaders? During a moment of clarity, when I did try to quit, they wouldn’t “let me”.

“Are you afraid of failure?” one asked me.

“No.”

“Are you afraid of gaining weight back?”

“No. I lost enough weight.”

“What do you have to lose by staying? It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“I’m just over it! I’m so tired” I said.

“Do this for me. Do this for you. Do it for the group. People look up to you. Don’t stop now.”

Once again, I was reeled in, and told to stick it out just a little longer. Besides, I still wanted to win some kind of magical prize.

So I stayed. I lost 10 pounds and nearly 20 inches, but I also lost my mind. Celeb Trainer would often verbally lash out at the class to work harder, tie our shoes, to NOT grab water to drink unless we were told. Her real personality was the complete opposite of her DVD one.

The prizes started to trickle in. Not in the capacity I had hoped though. I was awarded a size extra-small jog bra for being “enthusiastic”. It didn’t matter in the moment of winning that I was a size D and spilled out of the bra that clearly did not support my large breasts. I had won something. Another girl got a gift certificate to Victoria’s Secret for $50. I was pissed. That wasn’t fair.

We were told that the final prizes would be determined “later”, but later came and went…and nada! No prizes.

THERE WERE NO PRIZES.

That said, I was happier with my body in this photo. (That is not my bikini. I don’t own that. I don’t do prints.)

But it’s not really accurate. Keep in mind, the lighting is changed for the after photos. I do believe that they were untouched – but we were also told to suck our tummies in for dear life, arch our backs for a better rear view shot, and strike various uncomfortable poses that made us look slimmer.

Thankfully, the brain cells I had lost during this experience started rejuvenating. I realized that I didn’t want my horrific, sad-looking “before” photos appearing on a national commercial (even though now they are now here). I purposely drank coffee and red bull to appear bloated for my after photo shoot, and neglected to get a spray tan-(those make everyone look skinnier). My results were good, but not as great as others who had surpassed 30 pounds in weight loss.

Some women who lost dramatic amounts of weight struggled to keep it off after it was all over. The majority, gained it back. The faster you drop pounds, usually is a sign on how quickly they go back on. Similar to weight loss programs on television, all they care about is how fast you lose weight, but once it’s over, you’re on your own with no one to guide you, but you, and maybe a box set of DVD’s. Unless you can afford a trainer to maintain, which many cannot.

A year later I’m finally getting over my experience and so is my fiancé. I’ve kept in touch with a few of the other girls who were in the group. For some the experience was a Godsend and helped them reach fitness goals that they never imagined. Their experience was amazing, and for that I’m happy for them. For others, like myself, I was into the free food, idea of prizes, and to have an interesting experience.

“Yeah, I can’t believe we went through with that. It’s like we were addicted to that, that thing.” This was over coffee with my friend Shayna who I met through the group. Now we laugh about it, but shudder about how and why we actually put up with it.

I’m not as obsessive about the gym, now. I do have a regular fitness regime, and yes, my weight fluctuates, but you know what? Life is too short to worry about it. Diet Soda, no way! I go for real sugar. If I want pizza I’ll eat it. Living in fear of splurging isn’t a way to live.

Do these infomercial products work? ABSOLUTELY. If you actually want to take the time to do them. Just keep the small print “results not typical” in the back of your mind. In the test group, we were on an extremely low calorie diet, burning more calories than we were consuming. It was NOT a healthy way to lose long term weight. Just keep the small print and keep “results not typical”, in the back of your mind. And don’t do anything that makes you feel crazy.

Share This Post:
  • Cat

    I always wondered if those before and after shots were real!! Thanks for the inside look. Sounds terrifying/awesome.

  • Trish

    Do you have a job? How is having to be at the gym at 10am on weekdays difficult? I have to assume you are still a college student or something. Only college students think 10am is early.

    • http://twitter.com/sarahannelloyd Sarah Anne Lloyd

      I’ve been out of college for a few years and 10 a.m. still feels early for me a lot of the time :( Especially for anything demanding at all, like a rigorous workout.

    • mm

      I feel you, girl. I haaaaated having a full-time job where I had to be at work by 9 every day. Now that I’m back in school I have not one class that starts before 12, and on my work days I start at 10, which is still painful. I don’t even feel awake until 7:00 pm. Trish is mean. Obviously adults deal with getting to work in the morning no matter how much it sucks BUT…some people are morning people, some are not. That has absolutely nothing to do with how old you are.

    • curiouschick

      So your regular job doesn’t start until after 10?

    • http://twitter.com/sarahannelloyd Sarah Anne Lloyd

      I’ve been out of college for a few years and 10 a.m. still feels early for me a lot of the time :( Especially for anything demanding at all, like a rigorous workout.

  • Kelly

    Very interesting! Any one else thinking she is talking about Tracy Anderson?

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • http://www.facebook.com/spockish Erynn Petrulis

    I thought your before picture was pretty…

  • besides

    so sometimes she is into the program and sometimes she is against it. sounds like she needs to seek counseling. she was free to leave at anytime but came back just to rebel then participate at times… i’m confused.

  • besides

    so sometimes she is into the program and sometimes she is against it. sounds like she needs to seek counseling. she was free to leave at anytime but came back just to rebel then participate at times… i’m confused.

  • besides

    so sometimes she is into the program and sometimes she is against it. sounds like she needs to seek counseling. she was free to leave at anytime but came back just to rebel then participate at times… i’m confused.

  • besides

    so sometimes she is into the program and sometimes she is against it. sounds like she needs to seek counseling. she was free to leave at anytime but came back just to rebel then participate at times… i’m confused.

  • besides

    so sometimes she is into the program and sometimes she is against it. sounds like she needs to seek counseling. she was free to leave at anytime but came back just to rebel then participate at times… i’m confused.

  • besides

    so sometimes she is into the program and sometimes she is against it. sounds like she needs to seek counseling. she was free to leave at anytime but came back just to rebel then participate at times… i’m confused.

  • besides

    so sometimes she is into the program and sometimes she is against it. sounds like she needs to seek counseling. she was free to leave at anytime but came back just to rebel then participate at times… i’m confused.

  • besides

    so sometimes she is into the program and sometimes she is against it. sounds like she needs to seek counseling. she was free to leave at anytime but came back just to rebel then participate at times… i’m confused.

  • besides

    so sometimes she is into the program and sometimes she is against it. sounds like she needs to seek counseling. she was free to leave at anytime but came back just to rebel then participate at times… i’m confused.

  • besides

    so sometimes she is into the program and sometimes she is against it. sounds like she needs to seek counseling. she was free to leave at anytime but came back just to rebel then participate at times… i’m confused.

  • besides

    so sometimes she is into the program and sometimes she is against it. sounds like she needs to seek counseling. she was free to leave at anytime but came back just to rebel then participate at times… i’m confused.

  • jamiepeck

    You looked good in a bikini already. This sounds like a nightmare!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003550070412 Laura Brian

    Losing weight and sticking to any workout routine is going to be hard in any situation. I’ve been doing it on my own and would kill to have a ruthless trainer…she WAS lucky.

  • G.L.

    Thanks for sharing your experience! This was a really interesting article to read.

  • Kat

    Personally i think your body in the purple bikini (before picture) looks healthy. You just need to wear a high waisted pant bikini with thicker straps (no spaghetti straps) and one which lifts up your breasts, then you’ll look much better and feel confident.

    Those quick fix starvation diets and excessive exercise regimes last for only a short time then when people have lost the weight, they will, almost definitely gain it all back, even being heavier than when they first started. It just isn’t healthy or manageable, or smart.