This past October and November, Sphericality held its first Little Black Dress (LBD) Challenge. 70 women participated in the six-week bootcamp project where they received personalized metabolic fitness programs, six weeks of dietician-approved meal plans, weekly grocery lists, a “success manual” covering blood sugars, hormones, macros, water, supplements and more, accountability check-ins, a private Facebook group, and daily inspirational emails. And the program wrapped up with a Ladies Night Out celebration with live music and prizes – and a chance for all the ladies to rock their Little Black Dresses!
While everyone came out of the challenge leaner and stronger, Kristen Boyce, 45, was the big winner, losing 14.8 pounds and 5.9% body fat! I asked Kristen about her LBD experience and her story is inspiring.
Kristen had a hysterectomy last March and had put on 25 pounds in the six months post-surgery. Depression kicked in, she had to increase her medication, and she was not in a good place mentally or physically.
“I needed a change!” says Kristen. “Sphericality’s Facebook ad kept appearing on my page, so I finally clicked on it to see what it was about. I decided to go for it the night before the challenge began.”
Kristen says the part of the challenge that really got her attention was the meal plan that came with a grocery shopping list.
“For me, the meal plan was the big difference,” says Kristen. “I would workout regularly in the past, but always eat horribly. I didn’t know what to eat. Having someone tell me to eat this, this, and this relieved the stress of figuring out what to eat. And I felt satisfied with the diet. I wasn’t hungry all the time like you often hear people say when dieting.”
But sticking to the workout and meal plan when life throws curve balls was a struggle for Kristen. Even through a stomach bug, sick children, and other stresses, Kristen says, “I have learned that life is a journey and when we fall off course we just need to get back on the path of life and journey forward.”
The community at Sphericality also contributed to Kristen’s success. “To hear other LBDer’s stories and struggles made me think, ‘if she can do it with all that she is facing on a day to day basis, I can too!!’ “
Kristen feels that the workouts were probably the easiest, most enjoyable part of the program. “I worked hard, but felt so great after every class,” she says. “I looked forward to “going to the gym” and I built my week around my workouts.”
“I feel like I learned how to eat healthy and exercise so I can continue on my own,” says Kristen. “The motivation and support were a true blessing. I was shocked and speechless after my weigh-in. As I posted on Sphericality’s Facebook page – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!”
Congratulations to Kristen, who won not only a healthier lifestyle, but also a 3-month BURST membership to Sphericality, a massage, hair styling session, and photo shoot with Hillary Murphy Photography!
Here are a couple of testimonials from participants in the Little Black Dress Challenge:
“Sometimes, out of nowhere, life has a way of turning your world completely upside down. That is what happened to me eleven years ago when I was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease. There are a variety of symptoms associated with Parkinson’s; but in all cases, movements we all take for granted gradually disappear, and somewhat incontrollable movements take over. Through the years I have learned that the best way to conquer my fear of this progressive illness is to stay positive and keep busy helping to find a cure. What I should have given equal attention to, though, was the importance of continuous exercise. One day last summer, on a whim, I walked into Sphericality, a fitness studio in Flemington, New Jersey. Right away I knew I liked the look and feel of the studio. Dorian, the owner, listened intently to my story. She encouraged me to try some yoga and Pilate’s classes, designing a schedule to ease me in slowly. She was not pushy, just caring and enthusiastic. Did it matter if I was the only one with Parkinson’s? Not at all. She noted that many women there were “dealing with something”. I was psyched and nervous, but I dove in. Dorian promised I would love it there. When I say, “my life changed,” that is not an exaggeration. Intimidation did not happen. The staff and women rocked! . Of course, there were days I struggled, but I persevered. There was always a class or time slot to suit my hectic schedule. I began to look forward to working out. My balance improved, and energy level increased. In the fall, I enrolled in Sphericality’s 6-week “Little Black Dress Bootcamp Challenge.” That meant a strong commitment to eating healthy and exercise. Once again, Dorian encouraged me to try. Not only did I try, I discovered movements I thought were lost forever. Body fat went down; muscle percentage went up. I lost a couple of inches in my waist, and my body age decreased. Friendships developed with women living with various health issues as well, and who also choose to live with a positive attitude. I had fun doing bootcamp! Truth be told, I was proud! I barely even knew what a plank was before I started. On a good bootcamp day I found myself able to embrace one for 2 ½ shaky minutes! My favorite moment came when Dorian spotted me attempting military push-ups. This is not a Parkinson’s cure. It definitely is another way to fight back big time though. Researchers believe the progression of Parkinson’s can be slowed through exercise. I am on a personal mission to prove that theory. Thank you to the wonderful staff and amazing women of Sphericality for helping me feel stronger in every way. Dorian was absolutely correct. I do love it there! Nancy Mulhearn.
“I’ve dealt with shoulder injuries since my early 20s. I deal with bicep tendon issues and rotator cuff problems on top of shoulder and upper back pain associated with my job as a photographer, as a busy mom and working on our farm. With so much of my work happening in front of me and with repeat movements in my shoulder area I deal with chronic pain. I usually spend my fall season, the busiest season for me as a photographer, in agony and taking ibuprofen constantly! In May 2014, after a busy spring season of shooting, I was left with a shoulder that I couldn’t move and was in agonizing pain. An MRI resulted in finding two large burses around my rotator cuff. I was ordered a cortisone shot, six weeks rest (meaning no shooting!!) and physical therapy. Along with physical therapy, I returned to taking regular barre classes at Sphericality. Knowing from a shoulder injury in my 20s that I needed to build up strength between my shoulders and have better posture as well as increased core strength, I thought I would try regular barre classes and TRX. I couldn’t hold a plank and I definitely couldn’t hold a forearm plank. I couldn’t do two push-ups and my core was outrageously weak – way weaker than I even thought. But I started to notice a difference in my strength within a few weeks of going to class only two or three times a week. Fast forward to fall 2016 where I shot five weddings in a matter of four weeks, and hundreds of families and children in a three month period all while being completely pain-free!! I’m still surprised at my strength and know I get stronger with each class I take. Dorian has been a huge support in my recovery and strength building. She’s a constant support as a friend and in my business. I appreciate her and all of the teachers at Sphericality so much! This community she is building is an amazing place I love coming to work out here!!” Hillary Murphy
Are you ready to join the next Little Black Dress challenge? We’re starting again on January 12, 2017!!
Sphericality will have an informational kick-off meeting on January 12th. You’ll learn everything you need to know about the challenge and get pumped up for the next 6 weeks! You will also get to meet the staff and past LBD participants and hear them speak.
EARLY BIRD pricing – three payments of $97 – is offered from December 22nd – 31st. Sign-ups from January 1st – 12th will be at the regular price of three payments of $107. Click here to signup: 2017 Little Black Dress Challenge
– Shannon Entin is a Sphericality member and freelance writer covering travel, adventure, and fitness.