I am sure you are curious about that recent 6-week, 20 pound weight loss challenge I participated in.
It’s been a month since the challenge ended. With so many emotions going through my mind, it was imperative that I wait to post this after enough time had passed.
Please know that this is my own personal experience. Make your own decision on whether this is a challenge that you would like to embark upon.
There are many of these types of challenges out there across the States. Transform FX is located in Concord California, with other locations in Sugar Land, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The premise of the program is you pay $497.00 as a deposit toward your 20 pound weight loss. If you lose the 20 pounds you get every cent back. If you don’t, they keep the money. You must sign a contract and abide by every single one of the rules. If you fail to follow each line item of the contract, it will become null and void.
You may have heard of others bootcamps, such as “P2P” (Push ups to Pin Up’s) or Results. From what I gather, they all have the basic premise. Do what we tell you and you will lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks.
At the orientation they tell you up front, this is not going to be easy, the program is tough and if you follow it 100% you will be successful. They state that their success rate is about 89%. That is a pretty high success rate, and I felt it was the challenge I needed for me.
You have unlimited use of the workouts and they highly recommend working out 6 days a week. In addition, they will provide you with a nutrition plan. They dub this plan “FTDI” for Follow the Damn Instructions. Pretty clever mantra.
They also ask that you attend a supplement and nutrition orientation. This appears to play an essential role in your weight loss journey. I will get into a little bit of the details on this later
Anyway, the first week of workouts I thought I was dying. They are awesome workouts. Intense and different every day. They workout different parts of your body each day. You will start to crave these workouts. It’s like the oh my gosh get this over with. Oh wow that was a great workout feeling!
You can’t help but form friendships with the people who you work out with daily. You all encourage each other and push each other and help one another. It’s something I haven’t experienced before and I am glad that I have also created lasting friendships with people who also went through what I went through and that is huge.
They also have a Facebook Community page for support. A place to ask questions, share your thoughts, your meals, etc. This is also an essential part of helping you stay on track. You are required to text your weight twice a week to your coach. In addition,you need to weigh in on the official scale at the studio once a week. It’s on the honor system. You weigh yourself in and record it in a book.
During the initial orientation, they have a presentation in which they tell you that your coach will work with you on your nutritional plan. They emphasize that this program is not easy and you must be committed to 6 days a week of workouts. They mention how they are not like the “big box” gyms out there and that you are provided with individual coaching.
When you sign up, you must provide your credit card information up front. You won’t know if they accept you into the program for a couple of days. They let you know if you were selected to participate in their challenge via e-mail. Their Facebook advertisement states thy are looking for 30 people to participate. But don’t worry, it’s not true. They take those that sign’s up and are willing to pay upfront..
The nutrition and supplement meeting they recommend is actually their version of Amway. It’s a membership based on-line store that you purchase the recommended supplements. Each time you make a purchase, TFX makes a profit.
The next meeting you will attend is your official weigh in and when you finally receive their official handbook. It’s there that you discover the “individual nutrition plan” is the same for everyone in the room. The plan is an extremely limited list of what they refer to as “ingredients” I advise you to thoroughly read the handbook. There are quite a few discrepancies as you read through page by page. For example, they state 20 grams of protein should be consumed 5 times a day. Then they state that 20 grams is equal to about 4 ounces of protein. Actually 4 ounces of chicken is really 35 grams of protein, not 20. Furthermore, 20 grams of protein in fish is 3.5 ounces of protein.
I strongly encourage them to update the handbook to include the nutritional breakdown for each type of lean protein on the list of ingredients. Understand that all lean proteins are not the same amount of grams. It can be really confusing, but by the time you realize you are either over eating or under eating, too much time has passed. There are other discrepancies as to how much water you should consume. Some pages state 72 ounces other say 1 to 1.5 gallons a day.
There are only three coaches for 50 or 60 people. The communication is via text, or their private Facebook page. If you question why a vegetable, such as zucchini, is not on the list, they tell you to “FTDI” and that it’s only 6 weeks of your life. This is not necessarily how I would expect to receive a response to any legitimate question. I am an analytical person who needs to understand the nutritional reasoning behind their list of ingredients. Adding additional information in the handbook would make it easier for regular people like me to understand the nutritional science for limiting the vegetable list.
You will need to limit your use of sodium as a seasoning, which is very difficult to get food to taste halfway decent.
The “studio” is rather small for the amount of people trying to do the circuit workouts. The building has no windows and smells like sweaty dirty socks most of the time. The flooring is made of AstroTurf and very difficult on the hands and knees for the exercises.
The weight loss strategy for the 6th and final week is an extremely unhealthy approach to weight loss. The strategy is to eat white fish and asparagus 5 times a day for seven days. The day before final weigh in you are instructed to go on a mini fast and to drink dieter’s tea. For me, the cramping from the tea was so intense and took 11 hours before I was finally able to let the shit hit the fan. This was an intensely difficult thing for me physically and emotionally. The handbook claims this process should get you to lose 4 to 5 pounds or more. Buyer beware: All the pain and suffering you go through that final week, which is merely a water weight loss, you will gain that week’s worth of weight loss right back.
For me, even with the fish week and fast, it was not enough for me to reach the 20 pound goal. I lost 19 pounds and therefore did not win the challenge. However, I am happy with the hard work and dedication I put forth to lose the weight and I managed to reduce my waist size by more than six inches. I struggled with eating 5 meals a day and especially eating within 45 minutes of waking up.
The diet isn’t really conducive to a long-term life diet, and unless you sign up for a membership at the end, they don’t really give you any further tools to transition back to the real world.
After weigh out I finally felt free to be me again. I didn’t have to “FTDI” anymore. I have never been on a weight loss program that made me as miserable as I was. If I can learn to combine the healthy concept of Weight Watchers, and the workouts from this bootcamp, I know that I can maintain my weight.
This weight loss is my third attempt to lose the same 20 pounds. I hope I can keep it off this time.
Here is a Before and After shot of me.
Now, would I do this challenge again? I am going to say that for me, if I did it again, I would skip fish week completely. It’s healthier to be 4 pounds short of goal than it is to lose it in such an unhealthy way.
I also want to say losing 20 pounds is easier if you have more than 40 pounds to lose. The caveat to the 40 pounds is you can’t get your money back after one challenge. You will be required to participate in two challenges. Thereby, having to lose 40 pounds in order to get your money back.
I do want you all to know that they practice unethical behavior as well. Those that needed to lose one more pound to make it to 20, but still really needed to lose another 20, were given several opportunities to “sweat it off”. I, who only needed to lose 20, and weighed out with a 19 pound weight loss, was not given that same second or even third chance as I witnessed others get. If they adhered by their own rules set forth in the contract those two members would not have made the goal either.
Their own quote on the door of their business “Men Lie, Women Lie, numbers don’t. As you can see, the manager lied, but the numbers didn’t.
I sent the owner and the manager an email about what I observed. I am happy to inform you that she admitted to breaking the contract rules and offered me 2 months membership of their workouts. I enjoyed this part of the program and graciously accepted the 2 free months.
I want you all to realize there is no quick fix to weight loss. Six weeks rapid weight loss following an extremely limited diet is not practical. Especially the fish week and the dieter’s tea. It’s not the healthiest approach to weight loss other than the mind-set to workout.
I did manage to create a few healthy recipes along the way:
Just remember, make your own choices. Read everything first and do what you need to do for you.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.