Shouldn't Nice Girls Finish First?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Some of you know my story by now. I once yo-yoed from extreme weight loss to major weight gain for years, and eventually settled in to what I call my "happy" weight, a figure that I'm able to maintain with a healthy attitude toward food and exercise—one that includes rest days and hard days and healthy days and even ice cream dinners.
I exercise because it feels good and keeps me healthy, and what you see when you look at me is the direct result of how much I exercise (or don't) and what I eat. I'm happy with my approach to both: no obsession, no deprivation, no self-punishment.
As a trainer, I try to deliver the same healthy, balanced approach to students in my classes and followers of my workout videos, whether you have a lot of weight to lose or simply want to exercise regularly for the benefits it provides.  I don't look ripped. I don't have a six pack or bulging muscles. In the fitness world, what I represent usually isn't very marketable.  Fitness trainers have to look the part (buff) and deliver the goods (workouts that make you beg for mercy) to make it in this world.  I'm not (and don't do) any of those things.   
But for one day, yours truly, an unassuming trainer from Ohio who was once told that she didn't look toned enough to have a fitness DVD, had an exceptional moment.  Earlier this week, SparkPeople's "28 Day Boot Camp" DVD was the best-selling fitness video on For just one day, I beat "America's Toughest Trainer" (who has been dominating the fitness scene for many years now), a feat that I thought was only a pipedream.  Let me tell you: There is nothing like seeing yourself on the store shelf next to these popular and talented trainers, let alone near the top rankings—or higher—of such a force in the fitness world. I had to take a screen capture just to prove to myself later that it really happened! It was a day worth celebrating (which I did…by eating pie—yes, PIE!).
 Look at me, mom!
This is significant not just for me professionally, but for SparkPeople, which may be America's best-kept secret. As large as our following is, our small, passionate company isn't yet a household name, but we have big plans to be. After all, our mission isn't over until we've touched the lives of millions more people who need our free resources to eat better and get in shape and live healthier lives.
But it's also significant because I see this as a continuation on the theme I'm so passionate about: changing the shape of fitness. Exercise isn't about weight loss or looking ripped, although it plays a role in both, depending on your goals. My goal is to make fitness accessible to everyone—in an unintimidating style that still helps people get results in a safe, practical way.  It's about being healthy and fit at any size, which I truly believe in. The fact that "28 Day Boot Camp" is selling so well shows me that people are ready for this shift in what has been presented as intimating, difficult, challenging, or "only for the elite" for far too long.  And that is an amazing thing!
So thank you for embracing me as your trainer--flaws, cellulite, belly rolls and all (yep, I have all three of them). Thank you for supporting SparkPeople by purchasing our amazing DVD (it really is great, I promise). And thank you for Spreading the Spark to others by telling them about the DVD, reviewing it on other sites, and talking about SparkPeople whenever and however you can.
If you haven't purchased it yet, take note: "28 Day Boot Camp" is 53% off at for a limited time. This sale ends April 2, so take advantage of it while you can. Not only will you be putting your own health and fitness first by trying this sound and effective program, but you'll be helping a nice girl finish first—and giving "America's toughest trainer" a little friendly competition.  The longer SparkPeople can stay in that top spot, the more lives we can positively impact!
Can I get a WooHoo?!

Photo (headshot) credit: Arthur Cohen