It appears the prize money has been eliminated for the 2011 challenges. Prizes consist solely of merchandise and merchandise credits/reimbursements. Winners are liable for taxes on this too. Wow. Thoughts, anyone?
OH man! Didn't even think about that one. At the end of the year you'll be 1099'd on all the value of those prizes!
At first I was a little dissapointed that there was no prize money as I could never use all that product. I love my results so far and am still sticking with the program but not sure if I will enter the contest. Then I saw someone post that they could donate the $5k in Abbot products as formula to a local charity. I thought that was a great idea! Then I read the thing about taxes. With the grand prize being valued at $9,000, that means I have to pay taxes on this amount if I win. Yikes! I'll have a great new body but owe Uncle Sam a bunch of money. Maybe I'll just make my own charitable donation and not have to pay all that tas. I'm starting to lean towards not officially entering the contest....
marathonmama: I'm with you on this one. I like the idea of entering the challenge and having the opportunity to inspire other people, but don't want to get hit with a tax bill if selected as a winner. I wonder, like game shows, if it's possible to trade in the prizes for the cash value. At least that way you have some cash in hand and you can put enough away to cover the inevitable taxes.
Yeah, this has been a big debate with a friend of mine.
We were going to do the challenge together, but when she found out that the award no longer included any cash, just merchandise, she bailed on me.
She doesn't make allot of money being a piano teacher and couldn't afford to pay the taxes on the prizes if she won the contest. I think it's sad that there may be people who don't join for this reason...$25,000 was a big incentive, and you could then use the money to pay your taxes with it.
I still registered for the challenge, but to be honest if I have dramatic results, I may not finish submitting everything just to avoid dealing with the taxes headache.
I would like to hear what the official BFL representatives have to say on this topic...What was their reasoning, and can the prizes be turned in for a cash award?
SEE YOU LATER BFL!! I'm not sure why the executives decided to eliminate the prize money but I'm not entering any longer and neither are the 23 people at my office. This company will crash and burn because the cash incentive was a huge motivator. Who wants 3 years of shakes? Give me a break!!
I know someone is going to post "But what about doing it for yourself" yeah yeah.. truth be told the MONEY is the biggest motivator. The inner transformation will come but without the initial (ie:money) incentive why enter?
They are a multimillion dollar company and should continue to honor this challenge as they have for over 10 years. They give us no incentive to become a champion. Why even enter?
I am definitely a believer in the BFL program because I've seen it work. But, now that the contest has changed, I don't know that I will enter. Might get to expensive if I win! It seems to have gotten away from Bill Phillips original plan of offering a huge outside motivater to get people to help themselves physically. Then once they realize what they can achieve, the internal motivation takes over. Yes, Bill Phillips is a business man and his company benefited with the increase in sales from people using EAS products for the contest; but I think he was also willing to make a sacrifice to see people's lives changed. That was his passion and his baby. Under the new management, it seems like EAS is just another company out there with a small department in charge of trying to keep the BFL contest going just for show....but their heart isn't in it like Bill's. For anyone interested, Bill Phillips new Transformation Program is offering a $50,000 cash prize. It is a 18 week program instead of 12, but my guess is you could just do BFL for the extra 6 weeks! Don't really know much about it but saw the ad when I was surfing the web to find out where ole Bill went after EAS.
Folks... I can see the anger and disappointment that there is no CASH reward for the challenge... but why do you have to be teased with $$$$ to get healthy... yes a nice plus but really isn't good health a better prize? and Challenge.... challenge yourself to get healthy...
I am in no way associated with Abbott Labs (sp) but just because they offered those prizes in years past doesnt mean it would be the same year after year....
Personally Offering all the help and guidance for health here is enough for me.... I will be a Winner and a Champion.... even without Prizes
Correction: They are a multi BILLION dollar company. Have you ever been to Abbott? I used to live and work in Chicago area and tried to build a business relationship with Abbott..that place is like Fort Knox.
I'm sure they are a fine company, but BFL is more than just a department to be managed, it means something very important to many people. It was revolutionary in helping people transform their lives...and yes, dangling some money out there as a prize is a great motivator.
I agree that it should be about focusing on the inner transformation, but if I wanted just an inner transformation, to talk about my feelings all day and get in touch with my spiritual side I would go do Transformation by Bill Phillips, but that's not my cup of tea.
All the BFL Champions I've known have embodied the qualities of a Champion and none did it for the money. I'm glad people who are only in it for the money aren't entering because that's not a characteristic of a Champion anyway. I'm sorry. I wanted the money too, it's been a tough year financially. Who wouldn't love that check? It's perfectly reasonable to want it and understandable that paying taxes on the value of the prizes is frustrating when it didn't come with cash, but really, this is silly. If you don't want to be here then move on, but don't discourage people that have come to better themselves. This board and community aren't about that.
Abbott is a business. Times are tough and I've heard they had layoffs. Taking the prize money out of the budget might have saved the jobs of a few people. Think about that.
I have decided to add a portion of my Body-For-Life essay to this forum. Perhaps you can get a glimpse of how BFL has transformed my life personally. I hope you find this story inspiring and you realize that the program can transform your life as well. Prize money or not-- it can change you in ways you never imagined.
Over 2 million people have embraced Body-For-Life over the last decade. Their scientifically proven system has transformed the lives of people across the globe. 151 contestants have been honored as winners since 1996, and their awe inspiring stories gave me the mindset to change my life.
I was diagnosed with a paralyzed vocal cord and lost the ability to speak. I was confined to using an amplifier and hit an all time low in my life. I felt lethargic, my breathing was labored, unable to swallow liquids, take medication or even sleep. It all seemed so unfair, I was only 39 and my life was spiraling out of control. I had two options; I could continue to drown in my sorrows or believe in myself 100% and build a Body-for-Life. I took the challenge.
They say nothing worth doing is easy, and my journey was certainly not that! Workouts were initially intensely problematic because the paralysis made breathing difficult. So I learned to pace myself. I also lost considerable strength and initially struggled with lifting only 2 pounds.
As my breathing improved, and my strength increased, my outlook on life changed, and my desire to be a Champion emerged. I pushed as if my life depended on it and frankly it did. I pushed for one more tricep extension, one more bicep curl, one more pound, one more time, until I literally couldn't push any further. I would go to any limit to succeed. 2 pounds soon turned into 20 pounds.
Miraculously, by week 4 my left vocal cord was so strong that I gained my voice back despite have the other side permanently paralyzed. The doctor’s were amazed and I was the talk of the hospital. Now they are implementing weight training as a source of therapy for vocal cord paralysis.
Accepting this challenge was the single most important decision in my life! The last 84 days has taught me many valuable lessons. While lifting in the gym and hitting those # “10” high points, I learned to apply that method to how I live life; with conviction and devotion. I now live with purpose and apply those “highs” in all aspects of my life. I will never take my health for granted and will continue to honor myself.
etc... etc... thank you for reading my story.
Jessica, please don't take it personally. I don't think anyone is saying they don't want to transform their life anymore or not be here because they are upset about the money no longer being part of prize. Entering the Official Contest has ZILCH to do with transforming ones life. I think people are just wondering whether it makes sense to enter the contest if they don't have a motivator that is important to them. If someone wants to do the challenge because they want to win money, it doesn't make them any less of a person or less committed to the personal transformation. The money was never enough to motivate me to change my life. I stopped and started a hundred challenges before this last time. It finally took me hitting rock bottom and making a pact with myself to be a better person so that I can be a better husband and father.
Lori, that's awesome about how you regained your speech and have transformed your life. Good for you!
Andy - I understand what you are saying, to some degree. You knew Mike. Mike frequently talked about officially entering the Challenge and the difference in commitment. Officially entering has a lot to do with transformation. If the money is the reason then I would say it does make them less committed to personal transformation. I want the money too. Don't get me wrong, but is that one of my 5 reasons for doing this? No and if it were I would have fallen off by now.
Also, what about motivating others, being an example, showing how going for your goals works when you are dedicated? Many Champions are still around motivating people because they believe in this, not because they got a check.
I got your perspective, but not that of those who were blatantly negative towards EAS. EAS/Abbott does provide everyone here with a lot of useful, helpful and wonderful tools so I think it's disrespectful to disparage them on their own forum. I get it if you say you support the program, but don't have any real incentive to enter the contest. I just don't get the people who are now all anti EAS.
Agreed, I don't see the need to start bashing EAS/Abbott. I'm sure they have their reasons for changing the rules, and it is written that they have that right. It's their contest.
What we all need to learn is that being a Champion is about more than being "named" a champion. A champion is anyone who takes control of their life and overcomes the obstacles standing before them on a day to day basis and thrives.
I agree with you that if a person is going to just ditch BFL or the challenge over the money issue, than yes, they aren't perhaps committed to their own personal transformation. However, I think it is valid to be a bit discouraged about there not being a monetary prize. I doubt any of the past champions would argue that that money came in handy to help them in many ways, whether it be start their own gym, go back to school and follow their dreams, take their family on a vacation, etc.
Without a monetary prize it will certainly cause people to think much deeper about why they enter the challenge, especially if they are going to end up getting hit with the taxes for accepting those prizes. That's my own beef with the whole thing. If EAS structures it somehow that they don't have to pay taxes on the prizes, then most of this discussion is completely pointless.
© Abbott Laboratories,2013