The Truth About Those Before & After Pics... (here's the secret to how it's done)

Have you ever seen those 12 Week Transformation photos that look fake, like they have been Photoshopped? Did you wonder if they were real?

                                                Michael lost over 50 lbs in 12 Weeks

                                               Michael lost over 50 lbs in 12 Weeks

My name is Mariah. I have been coaching 12 Week Transformations for the past 15 years.

I specialize in those dramatic before-and-after's that look Photoshopped. But aren't.

More importantly, I help clients get results that are sustainable. And I should know what that looks like: 15 years ago I went from 225 lbs and a size 20 to a lean bikini body and a size 2/4 in only 6 months (24 weeks). More importantly, I kept the weight off for 12 years.

I have 2.5-year old and 1.5-year old daughters. So last year at this time I was back up to 225 lbs. Once again I had to shed the weight. And I did, dropping from 225 lbs to a lean size 2/4 again in only 6 months (24 weeks).

                                            Coach Mariah lost over 75 lbs in 6 months

                                           Coach Mariah lost over 75 lbs in 6 months

So today I am going to share with you my top 5 secrets to a successful transformation. Grab a pen and let's get started!

1. Make a Vision Board

It's hard to work for something if you don't know what something is. You need to step away from your self-doubting beliefs that tell you, "it's hard to lose weight," "I don't want to be hungry," "I only want to lose 5-10 lbs even though I would really like to lose 50 because to me 50 just doesn't seem sustainable," and embrace the possibility that you can be whatever you chose to be with the right coaching.

The first step I have my clients take is to go buy a peg board at Target and buy some fitness or fashion magazines. Pull out pictures that resemble how you want to look. This can be about appearance and how you look and feel in your clothing, or it can be about energy: pull out photos of athletes who look like they could run a marathon tomorrow. Or say you're a parent who wants the energy to keep up with your kids: find some pics that remind you of that.

If you want to save money 'for a trip', it's best to know where you're going, how you'll feel when you get there. If you want to save money 'for a car', it's best to test drive the car. Then you know just how much you love it, which makes the sacrifice of setting aside money to get to your goal of owning the car you're excited about fun and a bit of a game, instead of feeling like a drain on your bank account. If you want to set aside money for a mortgage... and on and on. You get my point.

Start with your vision.

2. Do or die

When Cortez reached the new world, he burned his ships and in turn his men were well motivated.

Anyone can set a goal. We all set goals all the time. But very few people are willing to put themselves in a "do or die" position.

Cortez knew many would dream of colonizing the America's. Some might even make the voyage, get to shore, and have the plans all drawn up. But few if any would be willing to put themselves and their men in a position where they had to succeed... or die.

Likewise with transformation. Every year people make resolutions. But how many really triumph? Notice my word choice: I'm not saying succeed, I'm saying triumph? Transform their bodies, and maintain that transformation season after season, year after year?

If you want to be one of the few, you have to put yourself in a "do or die" position. Consider emailing 10 of your closest friends your 'before' pictures, and commit to update them with your progress every week for 12 weeks. If you have social media, post your 'before' pictures on there, or start a blog.

Burn the ships, you'll have to find a way to succeed.

 3. Get coached

When I did my first transformation 15 years ago, I hired a coach whose results impressed me. I told myself that if she could transform herself and other people, she clearly knew something that I didn't. So I paid her fee for online training, and told myself that whatever she told me to do I would, for 12 Weeks.

It worked - I dropped from 225 to 175 lbs, and a size 16 to a size 10. It worked so well, in fact, that I hired her for another 12 Weeks. And at the end of it I was wearing a size 2/4 and rocking a bikini. I also constructed a method that has helped me and 1000 others transform. I'd say that was worth the investment!

Listening to someone who has been there, and having them hold your hand along the way is invaluable.

Transform With Mariah offers coaching programs from high-end personal training in your home all the way down to scaled down nutrition and supplementation programs coached over the phone and online. Check out the website, and email us for details at

4. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition

Think of transformation as a pyramid: nutrition is the foundation. It has to be in the right sweet-spot for your workouts to do their job effectively.

Invest in a good coach who can work with you to sort out what foods are right for your body. Once that building block is in place, it's time to consider supplementation to fill in the nutritional gaps in your diet, and help convert your body from one that burns sugar for fuel to one that burns its own fat for fuel.

I am a proponent of AdvoCare nutrition supplementation, having used it in my own transformations (and having felt the effects on my body when I stopped supplementing during my pregnancies). I typically start clients on a 24 Day Challenge which, at $4-$10/day is a low-cost, easy way to get started on your transformation. Check out or click on the Strategy Session link to set up a Skype to discuss your goals and how to reach them.

5. Workouts

I believe that intensity is key to transformation. If your body feels stress (in this case the good, positive kind brought on by a good workout, not the negative kind brought on by chronic stress in your life) it gets the hint that it's time to transform.

I believe intensity can take many forms: CrossFit is an obvious first example, but an intense bodybuilding workout, an intense ballet regimen, and intense dance programme, all fit the bill to some degree.

I also believe that resistance is an important component to any transformation program. Clients I work with train with intensity, but in domains that are appropriate for their unique goal.

So now it's your turn. Want to get inspired? Check out the before and after gallery on the Transform With Mariah Facebook page, and while you're there be sure to like us: When your'e done, set up a complimentary 30-min strategy session by clicking here.

May 2016 be YOUR year to Transform!