Goal Support and Giveaway: Makeover Edition!

Do you sometimes wonder if it might be time for a makeover?

 (And hate to break it to you honey, but...)

Whether it's your house, physique, attitude, career, or eating habits... wouldn't it be cool to just to whisk off everything that's not working for you anymore and put on a new ensemble of awesomeness as if it were a new set of clothes?

Sounds great to me!

But as you might guess, I've got a few thoughts about "makeovers" below.

There will also some info on our giveaway prizes for July's goal post commenters: 2 appropriately-themed Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition BootCamp DVD's, and a high-tech, cleverly designed Airbac backpack.  Plus the identity last months winners of the NOW $50 custom sample pack and the leftover headphones will be revealed.

And best of all... it's time to hear how all you amazing Cranketeers are doing!  Have you been kicking ass, or slackin', or pondering, or rabble rousing or napping? Let's all pop down in the comments and give each other some encouragement, shall we?

Would You Like a Makeover?

There is something mighty compelling about the notion of a "makeover," isn't there?

To me, a makeover suggests a noticeable and often sudden transformation.  A successful makeover really brings it home that there is potential for change everywhere; things you don't like don't have to stay the same, everything can be different and better than before!

But how do you get one?  Wouldn't it be nice if some kind fairy were to wave a magic wand in your direction and make you over into exactly the person you always wanted to be?

Will Work For Snausage

However, fairies seem to have other priorities these days, chasing gophers I guess, so it may be up to us to create our own magic.

Makeovers are Awesome, Right?

It is really exciting and inspiring to see problematic "befores" blossom into stunning new "afters."

This is true whether we're talking a bad hairstyle, a persnickety personality, a failing business, a flabby body, a dilapidated fixer-upper cottage, or a wardrobe that could perhaps use tweaking.

 Not that Leisure Suits aren't Mighty Manly!

No wonder makeover television shows are so popular! If an obese sedentary depressed person who is in worse shape than you or anyone you know can be transformed into a happy, fit, energetic, muscular superhuman, what does that mean about your potential?

I've not personally had experience with sudden and dramatic change in my own life, but I know it happens, and not just on TV.  I've always envied people who come back from personal growth workshops with an annoying new set of catch phrases but a whole new outlook on life.  And I've often admired those who've had a sudden epiphany after a nearly croaking from a heart attack, and jumped head first into a sprout-eating, triathletic, cabernet and cookie shunning healthy lifestyle without ever looking back or even whining.

Why Makeovers are Sometimes Not So Awesome

Agency:  Often behind the term "makeover" lurks the sense that it is something done to you by some person or program, rather than something you engineer yourself.  At least it seems to have this element when it comes to clothes and makeup and tv reality shows. There is usually a team of professional TV "fairies" who sweep down and wave their wands and create magical changes, while the makeoveree adjusts accordingly. Or not. (Which, I gather, actually makes for a more entertaining program).

While the magic wand aspect is is part of the appeal, especially in fantasy, "being madeover" ain't really a great mindset for the long haul.  "Look what I've done!" is a far more effective perspective going forward than "look how I got transformed, hope I can maintain it!"

Expectations:  A makeover, to be dramatic enough for TV, happens quickly, within as little as a few hours but not generally longer than a television season.

People who are not actually on reality TV usually have no team of experts by their side, nor the ability to forgo all other responsibilities like jobs and families. They have limited budgets and other important priorities. Yet it is hard not to subconsciously expect television results when attempting to do a home-grown makeover.  Problem is, without all those resources, most people can't even do a small fraction of what they've been led to believe is possible.  This can lead to an insidious sense of failure, even when there are small successes every day that will add up over time--if one has the sense of perspective to notice them.  If not, all that effort can seem fruitless, and it becomes easy to give up.

Tips For Getting Through Non-Televised Real-Life Makeovers

I'll make this quick, and just offer a few, since we've got some prizes to get to!

1. Lower your expectations: Remind yourself that slow, frustrating, sloppy, inconsistent transformations are the normal kind! "Reality" television is not the same as real life.  Sometimes reading blogs or finding friends who are also trying to remake their physiques, diets, homes, professional lives, or whatever can be helpful to get a more realistic perspective. But choose a role model who faces as many hurdles, both pragmatic and emotional, as you do.  Don't go pick some show-offy super-achiever and try to live up to them, or you'll end up feeling crappy about your own valiant efforts instead of proud.

2. Allow yourself some superficial makeover fun

There may be ways to emphasize and celebrate incremental successes--a new flattering outfit; a competitive (but not overwhelming) event that you never could have entered before; a new family portrait with you all spiffed out and looking healthy and happy...

Ever notice on reality shows how much effort is put into cosmetic changes on the final reveal? Yet weight loss does not, in itself, restyle your hair or upgrade your wardrobe; fresh flowers and candles and perky throw pillows do not make a house more valuable to the next owners.  But these things are important for dramatic impact, as TV people well know.  Would more dramatic evidence that you are changing help your motivation?  Then go ahead, pump up the optics!

Does a series of gold stars on a wall calendar sound too corny? Well f--ck how it sounds, stuff like that WORKS.

3. Get Extreme:  if slow results are getting you discouraged, consider doing something totally different and perhaps more intense for a limited period of time.  Sign up for a workshop or class or hire a trainer or coach or plan an adventure that involves challenging yourself. But don't set yourself up for failure by demanding an unsustainable level of commitment for the rest of your life. 

And, um, be careful out there.

Giveaway Prizes for July!

Remember how when I did the Airback review I loved the ergonomic design and the comfort and the spacious compartments, but there was no giveaway because I hogged the freebie for myself?

Meet Crabby: Unapologetically Greedy blogger.

As you may recall, there are lots of features that make the Airbac a more pleasant way to haul heavy crap around.

So the Airback people kindly decided to offer a pack up for our July winner!

Two Extreme Makeover Weightloss Bootcamp DVD's:

Does it seem funny that I'm calling into question the impact of TV makeover shows in the same post that is partly sponsored by, um, a TV makeover show?

Yep, in a continuing effort to be the PR reps' worst nightmare, I am indeed engaging in behavior one might characterize as...

However, as many pets have discovered, biting the hand that feeds does not necessarily mean they will no longer get fed!  Funny how that works.

Anyway, I confess I've never seen the show, but I know people find workout DVD's handy, and this one looks promising.

This DVD was just released, so it's all fresh and shiny. According to their rep, it features "transformation specialist" Chris Powell and past participants from the Extreme Weight Loss show. The program includes "four fat-blasting workouts, each more challenging than the last.  And once viewers have mastered the levels individually, they can utilize bootcamp workout plans to really take it up a notch." Another bonus: it costs less than $15 so it's not a huge investment should you not score one for free.

How to Enter the Giveaway and How it Works:

Wow, this is getting to be a long post and I'm tired!  I think a bit of cut and paste from last month is in order...

Leave a comment, and consider supporting fellow Cranketeers by replying to other comments as well. Many of the regulars check back and will actually read what you have written.  At the end of the month, a subgroup of active participants is selected, in a nonrandom and somewhat arbitrary manner, but the winner is then selected randomly from that group.  While the giveaway is meant to encourage participation, the real awesomeness is in coming together as a community.

The winner will be announced in the next goal post in the beginning of August, and will need to check by the date announced therein.

Last Month's Giveaway

So as you recall, Now Foods was a sponsor and offered up $50 worth of products.

The winner can choose whatever up to $50 from this group of products:

Raw Energy Mix (blend of raisins, pecans, pumpkin seeds, almonds and cashews); Whey Protein Isolate (blends easily in water or milk); Eve Women’s Multiple Vitamins (includes cranberry, alpha lipoic acid and CoQ10 and superfruits) or  Slender Sticks (sugar-free drink sticks sweetened with Better Stevia).

And since the Now foods people were kind enough to send me a sample pack that I wasn't expecting...

I can tell you that the Slender Sticks are actually pretty tasty!  A little bit of chemical aftertaste like all the powdered stuff has, but no more so than the sugar-laden ones. The Lobster also thought they were not bad, and she's not a fan of stevia.  They do, however, contain more xylitol than stevia, so those with sugar-alcohol issues be forewarned.

And there was a left-over pair of Koss earbuds for women as well.

So the winners are:
Earbuds: Theresa!
$50 NOW custom pack:  Kimberly!

Congratulations!  Please check back by end of day Sunday July 7th to claim your prize. Email address is on the schmooze page, world's weirdest and most long-winded blog contact page ever.

Have you ever had a dramatic "makeover" or are your improvement efforts more gradual? And how are things going and what are you working on these days? Can't wait to hear what you're up to!

Fashion Plates: Plaid Stallions; Dog fairy photo: Found animals; Elephant: Photocatcher; Makeup photo: D Sharon Pruitt; Extreme Biker by Marta Sanchez; Biting Hand that Feeds: deVos 

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