Saturday, October 13, 2007

YOU Are The Solution!

I spent 24 hours this weekend at an event with great intentions called "The Big Task" weekend. It was put on by a true entrepreneur and networking genius named Keith Ferrazzi. Present were power players in health, wellness, and social media, like WebMD, iVillage, Kaiser Permante, AARP, Aetna, Scholastic, Microsoft, and others. The goal was to walk away with contacts with a common purpose of helping each other make progress in turning around health care and the trend of obesity in this country. I really respect everyone who went to the event. These are professional, quality people, with big hearts. They are looking at the massive pile of a problem, focusing on it, and brainstorming ideas to make a change.

But that's also the problem -- they were all focused on the problem, like driving on a slippery road with white knuckles on the steering wheel worrying about how everyone will avoid running into that telephone pole up ahead, rather than first slowing down to making sure each individual himself would stay on the road. The rally cries were brave and the quest was bold: "We must be warriors against declining state of health in the country," "Let's fight the bureaucracy", "Be a thorn in the side of the Presidential candidates so this issue gets attention." On and on it went, spinning our wheels, my wheels included.

As usual, the players were looking for a mass solution to the micro problem of the individual behavior that got us here. There was plenty of blame to go around. And the longer we talked, the more complex the whole situation sounded. It was all "How do we solve the problem for them" with talk of rewards programs, celebrity endorsements, and more task forces. As I drove home from the event, I realized we forgot to make a critical admission: Every human being in the room was a microcosm of the problem. We all created the problem. We are all LIVING the problem. There is no "them" in this. It is me. It is us. But we kept talking because it sounded right. Not a bad thing, just trying to push a massive mountain out of the way, when it seems all we really need to do is, each one of us wake up and walk around it, one at a time.

Later I signed onto WOWY for my workout, and like a breath of fresh air I met my 42 workout buddies. I read the exit messages from the real heroes who have taken control of their situations and are replacing the trend of obesity with their own trend of wellness, fitness, and a daily rush of endorphins. You guys are the hidden gems, the real energy behind a movement that will quietly, yet quickly get people moving and living a healthy lifestyle.

Here's a few examples of my 42 WOWY buddies, at 6PM on a Saturday night no less!

McDade in Washington
"Thanks for being there. Have a great night"

Wendy82 in California
"That was awesome! My fiance finally did it with me, about time, he's 5
days behind, and he's dying. I love it!!!"

pmtdunn in Indiana

Emilyr in Kentucky
"Keep Moving!!!!"

hunk2b in Arizona
"Done, now time to relax, have a great evening all!!"

lateboomer in Colorado
"Hang tough, y'all!"

Honestly -- you are all really amazing. You take the time to stop and cheer on people you have only met online. YOU are the solution. I wish the whole world could see you. I guess that's the point of Million Dollar Body anyway -- to encourage and reward you for spreading a positive message of action and peer support - first by living that message for real through your own action... MDB coaches don't just talk about change, you ARE change!

Thank you so much for helping us make a difference. This is all nothing without you! Thank YOU for being the real thing!


Anonymous said...


Thanks for "walkin' the talk" and getting others, like me and my family, to do it too!

Shamrock1 said...


You practice what you preach. That is why Beachbody works. Its about the message of fitness and health. Thanks to your products I have lost 20 lbs and my wife has lost over 40 lbs. Thanks.

misscmac said...


This is SO TRUE!! There is so much talk and not enough action out there. That is why I LOVE MDB and I am committed to helping to spread your vision through my changes (31 pounds gone so far!). I am so glad I found you guys back in March '07!!

Thanks again!
Clarissa (misscmac)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting your experience. You are absolutely right. We as a nation tend to look at the big problem but the big problem isn't that big. It's individual behaviors. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share our positive behaviors with others and allowing us to make a buck while doing it. Thanks Carl.


woyman said...

Please keep up the awesome work. Coming from a conference like that with so many influential people and making the realization that what you felt during that time was a skewed notion, is a something that not everyone does. I'm very impressed. I just started on P90X (on day 9 - can't wait for day 90!) and found out what an amazing company BeachBody is. You have my support!


Tina K. said...

You're view on the problem of obesity and your personal commitment were the main reasons I became affiliated with Million Dollar Body as a coach! You are more concerned with making a difference than making a dollar and that is HUGE these days!

The individual changes you have helped me to make daily has been the reason I have succeeded in a 89 lb weight loss (up to this point and still going!) And to be called a success (July winner) is something that I've NEVER equated with myself and my health.

I just want to say THANK YOU for your commitment to individuals such as myself!

Matthew said...


personal responsibility is great. i am in my second round of p90x - looking forward to xplus soon. i love the materials you put out and the services you provide but for many americans it isn't in the realm of possibility to afford.

but lets be honest a country that encourages the corporations to have quarter after quarter of growth where costs must be externalized you will get obesity. unlimited growth isnt possible or desirable...our goals must be sustainable.

food corporations lobby relentlessly (and very successfully) to allow advertising of all sorts of food products to children (and adults). they are allowed to write the rules for what is healthy and not...all in service to the bottom line and getting long term customers.

why is a bag of potatoes more expensive than a bag of potato chips? why do we have corn syrup in virtually all our foods and in our gas tanks as well? government subsidies for industrial farmers that make what should be reasonably priced very cheap indeed...which drives farmers out of work creating cycles of poverty in the country and drives people into urban areas with rural skill sets...and if you are poor and you dont have the option to buy better products because they aren't available to you it is incredibly hard to break the cycle.

personal responsibility is the mantra that coke and general mills and others chant while stacking the deck against everyone.

there is no trade group for broccoli that has the money, clout and magnitude of the National Consumer Choice Bureau (a crazy industry funded organization that fights to give consumers as many "choices" as possible on market shelves).

I am not saying that Beachbody needs to become a political organization but this is a political problem more than it is one of personal responsibility.

If you haven't read Fast Food Nation (Schlosser), Food Politics (Nestle), The Omnivore's Dilemma (Pollan), Real Food (Planck) and Appetite For Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines our Health and How to Fight Back (Simon)...I recommend you do. And put some of that information in the Beachbody newsletters instead of the low grade filler you currently put in there.

best to you.
happy to talk further about this if you would like
matt stillman
mstillman at gmail dot com

Carl Daikeler said...

Thanks for the comment Matt. I disagree with thinking this is political more than personal responsiblity. It's ALWAYS personal responsiblity. There is no "them". There is only "us". The system is so enormous that what needs to happen is individuals need to take action and spread the word -- it is our collective behavior and acceptance of circumstances which has created this situation. At the same time, none of us can completely understand the circumstances or decisions of another. Tolerance is important. Compassion is important. Gratitude for the honor and privilege of being able to participate in improving things is important.

There is a lot to be grateful for in this country and elsewhere. It will never be perfect. I think our job during our time alive is to manage our actions, attitudes, and contributions in order to have a positive impact and enjoy life.

By helping individuals see what's possible for them, and what it takes to be personally accountable to their health, we are in effect creating a political movement, without being political.

When we talk about individual behavior, we are not just talking about buying our products. Every American can afford to walk. Every American can afford to drink more water. Every American can afford to not eat at McDonalds every day of the week.

Yes, there is room for improvement in the political system. The cozy relationship between big corporations and the government always has been troublesome. But from time to time there is a breakthrough when corporate systems stay true to a healthy conviction. AL Williams did it breaking the whole life grip on the life insurance business, helping millions of people get more value form their life insurance. Toyota did it by bringing the Prius to the market and putting pressure on the industry to follow suit. Patagonia does it with the way they produce clothes. We're trying to do it by staying disciplined and focused and create a tide of people who get it, like you, that the way we operate as individuals will have a direct effect on our own quality of life. I am hoping that will translate into its own movement, and in the meantime, millions of people will get healthy and earn a substantial income thanks to the peer-support system within Million Dollar Body.

I truly appreciate your spirit and commitment to P90X and helping people make positive change!

Matthew said...

do you know how much the federal food stamps program gives to a family of 4 for a week? 28 cant buy quality food with that, you just cant get anything but the lowest quality. guess who takes food stamps? Mc Donalds, White Castle etc...I live in Harlem and my wife teaches kids who live on 113th st - three blocks from the north end of Central Park who do not know there is a park there. that is scary.

personal responsibility is awesome especially when done with BB. but dont forget that deck is stacked against all of us...particularly those who are most vulnerable and poor. mc donalds doesnt have to worry about anything but the appearance of being concerned for the health of its customers.

tobacco companies preached about personal responsibility but their product impeded with the full capacity of choice to allow for personal responsibility - advertising, controlling health critiques and an intrinsically addictive product.

smoking levels went down in the US when a political solution was imposed on them...but Big Tobacco now is linked to black market tobacco and pushes their products where there are no boundaries on advertising and no potential for lawsuits.

it is the same with big food companies who have preemptively lobbied the US government to disallow huge class action lawsuits like those against tobacco companies despite the evidence that high fructose corn syrup has addictive properties and transfats cause cancer.

of course you cant actually eliminate personal responsibility from the equation but there is a huge political aspect that cannot be ignored...we can back and forth about whether the problem is more political or personal but either way there is a huge political aspect. Again BB could help with telling BB members about legislation coming up about selling soda in schools that they should call legislators about.

People often ask about "what do I do after p90x?" how about volunteer at a school through a program like Inner City Outings and take inner city kids who have never left the block they were born on out into the country to go on hikes and spread the gospel of hard work and feeling strong in your body?

might be a start.

again I encourage you to read those books I suggested...particularly the Michele Simon one - Appetite for Profit.