Before he went to work after college and then landed at Body Bar, Tim Riley was a long-time athlete: football, basketball, even rugby in college. Staying fit just came naturally since he was naturally active hiking, and just working out whenever and however.
But six years after he started at Body Bar – and stepping up to managing director 18 months ago – he looked at himself and realized he didn’t like what he saw, how he felt, what he didn’t do anymore and how horrible he felt when he did try to do something.
“At a certain point my lack of energy and just not feeling at home in my skin really got to me,” Riley told SNEWS®. “And I was with people who were ultra-fit at conventions and events. It wasn’t congruous that I was selling this equipment and I wasn’t fit myself.”
Riley could have put himself on a workout and diet plan with the help of the experienced folks at Body Bar and just silently whipped himself back into shape. But that wasn’t good enough. He went public, very public. Press releases from Body Bar announced his goal of “three months to fit.”
He talked about being a bit poochy, and told his story, writing about his weight (238 pounds), body fat (25.5 percent), and his goal (14 percent body fat). He posted pictures of himself on a blog (no hiding there) and wrote updates about his progress. (Click here to see that, and click here to see a “before” picture of Riley.)
Why did he come out with such a public display, even measuring his body fat during the first day of the IHRSA trade show on March 6, which was two months into his program?
“Because I wanted to get it out there that it’s possible (to get back into shape) and that anybody can do it,” he said. He added that he hopes he’ll be an example to the industry itself.
“It’s been a process of growth and awareness,” he said, “and I’ve benefited from it. And I’d encourage others to do the same and to walk our talk.
“I’ve been able to feel what it’s like on the other side,” he added.
After workouts using Body Bars three times a week and cardio workouts another three times a week (hiking, biking, running and gym workouts when the weather wasn’t as welcoming in Boulder, Colo., where the office is), he had dropped 7 percent body fat, hitting 18.5 percent. And he’s rediscovering what he used to feel like and how much he loves being active. He said he also has realized that the program won’t be over in three months (slated for an April 11 grand-finale body fat measurement) but will keep going.
He will also donate $10 for every percent of body fat he loses to Augie’s Quest, and Body Bar will match that amount. He said he had other pledges, so he won’t know until April 11 what the total donation will be.
“Engaging in an active lifestyle makes me feel good,” said Riley. “I’ve realized it’s more of a journey than a destination.”
SNEWS® View: We applaud Riley for making a good example of himself – a very public example. Even when someone is in the fitness industry or another active industry, it takes work and discipline to find or make time for workouts and stay in healthy shape. For Riley to come right out and say he was out-of-shape and tell everybody about his progress (posting less than complimentary pictures online) took guts. But it also helped him discover the fear and even the shame that some out-of-shape people feel. It’s not easy to get out there, he said, but he’s doing it. Kudos to Tim.