Wow, it's been a while since my last post and oh what a post this is going to be. I've thought for two days if I was going to write this, what I was going to say and blah blah blah. Thing is, this blog is my journal. It's a way for me to vent, to get stuff out, to air out my feelings so I can go back to feeling normal again.
With that, I give you an update on the Summer Challenge. When I signed up for the challenge the rules were clear: submit pictures with a newspaper for date validation, submit after photos by August 18th, juicing should be part of your lifestyle and in the end there would be 5 male finalists and 5 female finalists and the community would pick a male winner and a female winner.
Somewhere along the line the rules started changing.
On Wed, August 21st we received an email from Fitlife saying that they were giving everyone additional time to submit their after photos and you now had till the end of the day to get them in. I found this odd. The deadline rule had been there from the beginning, why suddenly give more time and why take so long to announce it? It also said there would be 3-5 finalists announced by the end of the week and the community would vote for the winner. I just figured that they didn't get that many entries and were trying to get a couple more in, no biggie. Later during the week I would learn that of 3000 entries, only 40 people submitted after photos. The end of the week came and went though, and no finalists. I started getting a weird feeling that I had been made a fool and the whole thing had been a false contest.
Now, that said, I did not pay to enter this contest. It was free. I also DID win a refurbished juicer, which was wonderful. However, I work enough with corporations through the Non Profit I work with to know that nothing is ever really free. As part of this challenge we were getting lots of information of programs and products we could buy and I'm sure I'm not the only one that bought. While it is free, the Fitlife team is getting money somehow.
Onto this week. Monday came and went, Tuesday came and went and still no finalists. Suddenly on Wednesday there it was...the Summer Challenge announcement. A winner had been selected, a man named Trevor. Wait, what? Where were the finalists? Where was the female winner? When was the community going to get to vote? When that picture came through I was pissed. I felt like I had been lied to and been part of something that wasn't legitimate. I wasn't the only one.
On Thursday the winner's picture was posted again and a woman spoke up asking the questions I asked above. I backed her and stated that I didn't think this was right either. It was so hard to write anything on that wall. Being in social media I knew two things would happen, there would be a backlash from the page's followers and I would be looked at like a sore loser. I decided though, that didn't matter and what had happened needed to be brought to light.
The reason we were given was that of the 40 people that entered, Trevor was the only one that submitted his after photos with a newspaper so they decided that since he had made a great transformation he was the winner. Wait, what? I'm sure those of you that read this or know me know I had a picture with a newspaper. I submitted it to them, I posted it on Instagram and Facebook. I also got a couple comments from members of the Fitlife Team so they KNEW I had a photo with a newspaper. Of course, since the rules are posted on a website that is ever changing and the submissions happen through a website there is no way to show that I did that. I just have to know that I did and know that they are not being truthful.
As the comments went on many claims of mistakes came from Drew and I'm going to be honest here, I don't buy all of it. The other woman that spoke up said she also submitted pictures with a newspaper and low and behold...they had made a mistake and had hers. The solution, they would now open it up for voting between she and Trevor. How this is right I have no idea. If I was Trevor I would be pissed, I mean if Trevor is out there...this guy already thinks he's the winner right? I have my own thoughts of how this is all going to play out in the end but I will just wait and see.
Here's the deal, I didn't win. I'm not a finalist and I don't really give a shit. What I do care about though is that if someone's main claim is "we are all in this together" and they start changing rules and making the game unfair it becomes really clear that the motto is not being lived up to. I got a ton out of the challenge. It pushed me to better myself and gave me motivation and I am truly thankful for that. I just think if you set rules, you keep those rules. There are so many other ways this could have been handled if it were legitimate. My Non Profit runs contests, and we follow the guidelines and rules that we set. While ours may not be in the magnitude of a $10,000 cash/prizes, I think that would only make Fitlife more careful that they follow their own guidelines. I find it hard to believe that 39 people didn't submit an after photo with a newspaper, especially since a picture of some "finalists" showed up after the red flag was raised and some of them had a newspaper. If that were indeed the case, instead of sending out an email on Wednesday to everyone stating that there was now extra time to submit photos, wouldn't you throw something out there that many came in without newspapers and everyone might want to resubmit? So instead when I got that email I did nothing because I had already submitted my pictures WITH A NEWSPAPER.
I'm starting a new challenge on Monday with some friends and I can't wait. It has nothing to do with Fitlife or Juicing Vegetables. While I feel they have some good intentions I can't turn a blind eye to what happened and jump on the "they are doing good" bandwagon. Here's to better results next time around!