After three months of intense workouts, daily check-ins via social media, tons of meal-prep and self-discipline, the winners of the VIDA Fitness #VIDAresolution contest have finally been named. We’d like to once again congratulate our first, second and third place winners: Crystal Bradford, Maggie Feldman-Piltch and Aaron Myers!
We received dozens of submissions for this contest, not to mention the huge amount of members who didn’t officially enter but still used the #VIDAresolution tag as a way to keep themselves motivated and accountable for their workouts while sharing their progress with others. Picking the winners was no easy task, as all of the submissions documented incredible transformations including weight loss, body fat % and BMI decreases, lowered blood pressure, more energy throughout the day, healthier eating habits, clothes no longer fitting and overall reports of improved body image and confidence.
Our top three winners demonstrated all of the above in their #VIDAresolution journeys. We sat down with each of them to learn more about how they pushed themselves through the contest, what methods worked best for them, and how they plan to keep up their success through the rest of the year!
1st Place: Crystal Bradford
Crystal Bradford, our first place winner, lost a total of 25 lbs, 15 inches, and her BMI dropped by 5. She credits the Verizon staff for keeping her motivated every step of the way and shares with us how the #VIDAresolution contest has changed her life.
Crystal explains that she has lost significant amounts of weight before, but with methods that didn’t stick and without making any lasting lifestyle changes, so the weight always came back eventually.
“The first time I lost 50 lbs I was doing all the quick fixes – diet pills, shakes, etc. The weight came off but it wasn’t something that was permanent. A few years later I tried again, but was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I wasn’t doing it for myself and had a lot of emotional issues going on that I was using food as a coping mechanism for, so the weight came back again,” she explains.
At the end of last year, Crystal made a firm decision that she wanted to stop “yo-yoing” and lose the weight once and for all. She set a goal for herself to compete in the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion Transformation division this year (something that she has always wanted to do!) and began hitting up VIDA 5-6 days a week. At the end of December, she learned about the #VIDAresolution contest and knew immediately that it would be the push in the right direction she needed.
“I started a Facebook album on January 2nd called ‘Finishing What I Started’ and have uploaded a photo every day of my workouts, what I ate that day, how I’m feeling, how I pushed myself to get to the gym, etc. This contest was a way to challenge myself to see if I could really do it and it could not have been better timing,” says Crystal.
To make sure that this time around was different, Crystal says she had to recognize and admit that she had a food addiction and decided to do something about it. She started seeking counseling that helped her identify root causes and triggers of her emotional eating, and learned how to “just say no” to unhealthy choices that she knew would hinder her weight loss goals.
In addition to changing her relationship with food, Crystal committed to a 5-6 day a week workout regimen that she documented with daily pictures on Facebook. Her workouts were a mix of weight training, cardio and lots of walking all over the city. Plus, her favorite classes: Zumba with George & Tami, iRide with Joel and a little Spin ‘N Sculpt here and there with Timbo!
“I loved the fact that throughout my journey I could feel myself growing stronger. All the trainers and staff here were always asking me how I was doing and cheering me on. Everyone was so supportive and motivating and I couldn’t have done it without them!” she says.
Not only has Crystal documented her #VIDAresolution progress through Facebook, but she has also written a motivational book about her personal journey through fitness! Look for a copy of “Faith Fit” on the shelves in July, and we wish Crystal the best of luck in her first fitness competition this May!
2nd Place: Maggie Feldman-Piltch
As a lifelong athlete, Maggie Feldman-Piltch thrives on competition. She knew when starting the #VIDAresolution contest that having a specific deadline and goal in mind would keep her dedicated and focused on reaching her goals – and she was right. Maggie has lost a total of 20 lbs and 16 inches since January, along with a 9% decrease in body fat since the contest began!
Her initial goals starting out were to meet the weight/body fat composition and initial strength test for the USMC, learn how to make healthier food choices, and work towards being able to do unassisted pull-ups.
By training 5 days a week with Maria Bokulich at U Street, Maggie has met the USMC requirements, is sticking to a healthy diet and is now doing five assisted pull-ups at 40 lbs!
“Nutrition is the hardest part for me. I wanted to put more energy into my food choices and do a better job of healthy meal prep rather than coming home starving and ordering gluten-free pizza,” says Maggie. “I had to get in the habit of tracking my food and learning how to count macros. It was hard the first few days but then you get used to it.”
Maggie explains that the constant support she had from not only Maria, but the entire VIDA staff at U Street played a huge role in her success with her #VIDAresolution.
“Everyone knew how into it I was – they would all check in with me every day and ask me where I was if I missed a day. Having that deadline of March 31st really helped me stay focused and not wanting to miss a workout,” she says.
Even though the contest is over, Maggie plans to continue working out with Maria at the same intensity (and just started outdoor boot camp last week!) She’s now working towards her next goal, which is her first Spartan Race in August.
“My goals are less about looking a certain way and more about being able to do certain things. For instance I want to have five unassisted pull-ups by the end of the summer, and want to be able to deadlift like 200 lbs,” she laughs.
If you follow Maggie on Twitter, you know that she’s been super active sharing her #VIDAresolution updates, and we can’t wait to watch her progress as she continues meeting and working towards new goals!
3rd Place: Aaron Myers
Aaron Myers, our 3rd place winner and professional jazz singer in DC, was getting tired of ending his shows under the bright lights drenched in sweat and completely exhausted. He knew that something needed to change, and decided to make it his #VIDAresolution to get down to his ideal weight and be able to perform without getting out of breath and winded. Now, at 20 lbs lighter, his blood pressure has lowered significantly and he’s feeling fantastic!
“Since I’m in a very visual industry I felt like my weight was affecting my performances. I was working out here and there but had unhealthy eating habits that were not doing me any good. I was feeling very unhappy back in December, and wanted to utilize that energy into something that would get me social, out of the house and get my endorphins going!” says Aaron.
By using a combination of weight training, cardio, and Liz’s Spin ‘N Sculpt class at U Street, Aaron says the contest helped him form healthy habits that have resulted in 4 inches off his waist. He says his only problem now is that none of his clothes fit anymore (a good problem to have!)
Aaron was another one of our most active #VIDAresolution hashtaggers. He gave steady updates via Twitter and Instagram of his workouts that day and feelings about watching the number on the scale go down.
“I was never into fitness growing up, so if I can do it anyone can. This contest really helped create healthy habits for me – now I get gym guilt if I don’t go one day,” he says.
Aaron not only shows improvements in his appearance, but also reports feeling much more self-aware of his overall health and says his stamina has improved drastically.
“I remember last December feeling very depressed because a button popped off my shirt while I was on stage. But at my last show a fan came up to me and said how great I look, and I just got asked to do a photo shoot! It feels so empowering. My before and after photo feel like two different people,” says Aaron.
We wish Aaron the best of luck in his upcoming shows, and can’t wait to see those photo shoot results!
Crystal shares her excitement about winning the VIDAresolution contest with us in the video below! Congrats, Crystal!
Once again we’d like to thank ALL of our members who worked their butts off during this contest and for sharing your photos with us. A special shout out to our runner’s up: Evan Alderson and Anne Jamison, who also made significant changes to their bodies and deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication.
Congratulations to our winners and here’s to making your #VIDAresolution success last all year!
By: Elise Chretien