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As I squatted down to take a picture of Ben organizing his tuxedo a few weeks ago, I heard a really loud “riiiiiiiip”. And there it was … the big red flag, the warning siren, the ever-obvious sign from God. There I was, 20 minutes into a wedding day, and I had COMPLETELY blown the seem out of my pants. Thank goodness for the father-of-the-bride, who was kind enough to lend me his jeans for the rest of the ceremony until I could get home and change!

I’m fat. REALLY fat. It started soon after college and hasn’t stopped since. If it wasn’t bad enough having one unhealthy person in our house … Stacey is willing to admit that she’s in the same situation. We’re both tired all the time, and spend most of our free time eating out, taking trips to Ben and Jerry’s, or just simply being lazy.

We’ve tried to motivate each other. We’ve tried to hold each other accountable. But we just can’t seem to get our act together. We’ve realized that it’s definitely past time to get moving! I’m tired of always feeling exhausted after two hour portrait shoots, and Stacey’s fed up with having to work hard to get into her favorite jeans.

So we’ve decided to start a little competition! Not just for us, but for all of you out there who feel like you need to weigh-in and lose some pounds. We don’t care if it’s 5 or 50, if you’re ready to get in shape than listen up!

One of the most awkward things about being overweight, for us anyways, is having our picture taken. So we figured that would be a GREAT way to hold ourselves accountable. That said, we want to offer up two challenges …. one to our every-day blog readers … and one to all of our photograher friends!

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FOR OUR BLOG READERS: Are we shooting your wedding later this year and you’re still trying to fit in the dress? Or are you simply one of our awesome blog followers who’s ready to cut the waistline? Well here’s our proposal …. we want to meet you on May 17th to get your “Before” picture made.

We’re going to be meeting people at Botanical Gardens here in Birmingham at 6 p.m. that day. We’ll take your picture, and that will be your starting point. From there, it’s entirely up to you HOW you lose weight… but we didn’t want to leave you without a little incentive!

That following Monday (May 18) we’re going to have all participants submit their starting weight. No worries folks…. we won’t be publishing any actual weight numbers! Each Monday after that for a total of 20 weeks, we’ll have everyone submit they’re weight from that day! We’ll be blogging about our weight-loss along the way, and we’ll also include updates from all of our competitors. And if you can’t make the shoot at Botanical, you’re more than welcome to email us a recent picture of yourself.

PLEASE NOTE: We WILL be publishing these pictures on the blog, and we want you to bookmark the post, so you can go back to it whenever you need motivation. There’s nothing like seeing a version of yourself that you’re not happy with to motivate you!!!

Now here’s the good part! Once you’ve finished the 20 weeks, and your feeling healthy and light, we want to reward our competitor who loses the most with another picture. But this time, we want it to be a full-fledged shoot! We want you to go buy a new outfit, gather your husband, wife, fiance, boyfriend, girlfriend, family, or friends … if you have one of each of those than you have bigger problems …. and join us for a full photo shoot with the new you! How awesome will it be to not be afraid of getting your picture taken because of your weight?! I know I would LOVE it!

Please note: This is not a race to see who can lose the most actual weight! Rather, we’re going to be tallying based on percent of body weight lost. That’s the big reason why we need your actual starting weight!

The entire prize package will include:

– $100 towards your new outfit for the photo shoot
– A one-hour session of your choosing
– A full-resolution disc of the image for you to show off

I know it’s not alot, but we’re hoping this will motivate people to get healthy, lose weight, and be happy with the way they look!!!!

And not to worry! We’ll be setting up a day after the competition for EVERYONE who participated to come out and get that “After” picture to show off!

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FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHERS: We definitely wanted to find a way to include all of our photographer friends out there who are looking to shed the pounds! So we’re offering up a similar challenge to you guys as well! We know alot of you from around the country aren’t going to be able to make it to Birmingham on May 17th. So feel free to email those recent picture in! NO photoshopping allowed!!! :-)

If we can get at least three photographers involved, the prize for our top losing photographer will be a choice of:

– $100 B&H Photo Gift Card
– A free Shootsac by Jessica Claire
– Free one-hour portrait shoot with high-res disc of images

Please note: This is not a race to see who can lose the most actual weight! Rather, we’re going to be tallying based on percent of body weight lost. That’s the big reason why we need your actual starting weight!

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So there it is! This has been a really emotional thing for Stacey and I over the past few months. We’re not happy with the way we look and feel, and we’re ready to make a commitment to change. This is a serious invite to all of you who are ready to make that change, and start feeling better about yourselves. Ultimately, we pray that everyone who joins us in this little quest will come out better for it, regardless of if you’re the “biggest loser.”

Just to recap the rules and deadlines:

– Shoot us an email at brandon[at]simple-color[dot]com by May 16th to get on the “Official” competition list
– Please meet us on May 17th at 6 p.m. at Birmingham Botanical Gardens to have your “Before” picture taken
– If you can’t make it to the Gardens, please submit an image via email by May 17th. (It needs to be at least 72 DPI at 600 px wide on it’s longest side!)
– Weekly weigh-in reports will be due by each Monday at midnight via email. These number won’t be published, but your percent lost WILL BE PUBLISHED! Even if you haven’t lost any or gained …. we’re serious about holding people accountable.
– We’ll be blogging updates every Tuesday about our progress, as well as the entire group!
– We’ll need a contact name and e-mail if you’re planning on participating, and we’ll be sending out friendly e-mail reminders each Monday.
– If you fail to submit your weight one week, no worries! If you don’t submit two weeks in a row, than we won’t be able to qualify you for the grand prize. But you’ll still be more than welcome to submit your weights for the whole competition and come get your “After” picture made.
– We are relying 100% on the honor system, and we’re hoping that this competition will mean more to people than just winning a free shoot!

Lastly, we need EVERYONE to tell their friends and family about this! We want as many people involved as possible! I’m positive this will be a great way to hold each other accountable, and I’m excited about helping one another feel better about the way we look!

If you have ANY questions, feel free to email me! Otherwise, we’ll be waiting to here from you by May 16th!!!

Thanks!

-Brandon and Stacey

8 Responses

  1. Birmingham Alabama Wedding Photography | Gresham Photography » Beverly, Don, Trey, and a baby bump … [...] same time! Beverly also found time to compete in, and win, the “friend” portion of our Weigh-In 2009 competition … all while pregnant! Wish I had that kind of drive! Here’s a few of [...]

  2. Brandon Wow Ashley! Thanks for the iPhone App! Stacey and I both downloaded it the other day and we're loving it!

  3. Kathy I would like to participate in the weigh in. You will have to use the picture you took the last time I was there.

  4. Inspirations & Creations — Elizabeth Anne Designs: The Community [...] to the News: http://simple-color.com/blog/?p=1509As I squatted down to take a picture of Ben organizing his tuxedo a few weeks ago, I heard a really [...]

  5. Ashley I love this contest! It's great motivation and support! We started watching what we eat and exercising a few months ago. I completely understand being tired of gaining weight and being out of shape. If you have an iPhone, Lose It is a great app for tracking calories. Good luck and have fun!

  6. Ann Marie Leveille WOW! This is awesome! I'm so inspired by your transparency with this... I'll do it too! Good luck to all!

  7. Cassidy This is awesome! You guys are making the world a better place day after day!

  8. Leslie Roark I'm SO in!!!!!!! I can't wait.. this should be fun!!!!!!!