People notice that both of us look a bit “thicker” these days, but then again, we both have always enjoyed lifting weights. Jim is still a police officer in Freeport, Long Island, and is now much more comfortable and effective in his role. In fact, he is now training to compete in the Police Olympics in the over-40 category in power-lifting and has recently completed his second marathon. In addition, he now enjoys making appearances for our several sponsors, alongside me and on his own, and has carved a niche of speaking in colleges and universities about healthy living. What consumes him nowadays, however, is his desire to have a full-time career in the health and fitness arena once he retires from the police force a few short years from now.
I am consumed by the same desire and am excited to report that I now work full time in both corporate wellness and as a motivational speaker/wellness ambassador. Though I now spend the majority of every workweek making appearances for my sponsors, speaking on corporate wellness on behalf of my employer Quest Diagnostics (for whom I am national spokesman and “wellness ambassador”), or giving keynote speeches to public and private groups around the world, I often spend hours reflecting on how blessed we both are and contemplate just how to keep this dream alive.
The answer, of course, is to “pay it forward.” This is the proclaimed goal of many if not all of the contestants who compete in the several months of pure hell at the hands of Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper on the ranch of The Biggest Loser. Proudly, we can say that “paying it forward” is exactly what we are doing.
While our friends, family members and colleagues are usually excited to hear that we are making public appearances and studying to be certified fitness trainers and nutrition counselors, they are always most thrilled to learn that we have become certified Spinning® instructors. When I raise the topic of how proud I am to be teaching Spinning classes, I am usually met with a myriad of responses ranging from: “I took a Spinning class once… and I’m pretty sure that I went comatose and needed to be carried from the class,” to “The last time I took a Spinning class at my local gym, I sweated so much that it looked like my Spinner® bike was floating on a lake when I was done.” Our response is to simply tell them that we feel their pain.
We then go on to remind them that between us, we lost a total of 350 pounds (or more than 50% of our starting weights of 334 and 361 lbs., respectively) in just eight months, a large percentage of which came off while we were on Spinner bikes. We now get to pay it forward, both by educating people about what we learned and through instructing Spinning classes. Here, we are happy to administer some of the same abuse and beatings that we received at the hands of the two best trainers in the world. I am also quick to point out two more of the bonuses of teaching Spinning classes: The fact that I get to pick my own music and that there is always a Spinner available and waiting for me at the front of the room, without having to sign up for the class the day before (which I gladly give up if the class is overbooked).
On a serious note, anybody who watches The Biggest Loser on television sees just how integral the Spinning program was in changing our lives and being re-educated. I must acknowledge, however, that many of us instructors are often aghast at seeing the unorthodox and contraindicated methods often employed by the trainers on the show. Well, I am happy to report that we were trained thoroughly on proper technique for the Spinning program and need to point out that many of the television snippets in question show methods that were created by the trainers to enhance the workout scene and build the dramatic effect for reality television.
So, in conclusion, we’re both extremely well! We feel great, have tons of energy and are looking forward to living long and healthy lives. We each feel confident that we will walk our daughters down the aisle one day, and both dream of meeting, greeting and spoiling some grandchildren in the future. We are proud to now be positive role models for our children and are thrilled to be in the position to pay forward what we learned. We hope to accomplish this by helping those who feel helpless and giving hope to those who feel hopeless, and plan on keeping Spinning an integral part of our own workout routines as well as a primary method of educating others so that they can someday accomplish what we have accomplished.
You can follow both Bill and Jim on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, or visit them at www.weightlosstwins.com. In addition, you can join their “Mobile Fan Club” by texting the word “FIT” to 80366 (A monthly fee of $1.99 will be charged through your cellular carrier).