CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - It was looking back at videos of herself on New Year’s Eve two years ago when Rachael Moase decided to completely change her lifestyle and her life story.
The Charlottetown woman weighed 260 pounds and thought the video was in wide-screen.
"I didn’t even really recognize myself,” said Moase, who now lives in Toronto.
That’s when Moase decided to make losing weight her New Year’s resolution.
“This extreme dieting and extreme exercising and then falling off the wagon has really not gotten me anywhere, so I just made myself this promise when I saw the video that I was going to treat myself right,” she said.
Now, Moase is one of the faces of an advertising campaign for the gym that helped her along her journey to losing 115 pounds and gaining 20 pounds of lean muscle mass.
After making a complete transformation, Moase, an aspiring actress, responded to a casting call from GoodLife Fitness looking for real people who use its gyms.
GoodLife Fitness selected Moase based on a video she submitted for its #ChangeYourStory campaign, which aims at encouraging others to live healthy lifestyles by telling the stories of real people.
The ad was filmed in June and launched in September.
It is a commercial now played on TV, on social media, YouTube, and at sporting events.
“I have so many friends who are just sitting at home watching TV and it comes on, so they’ll record it and send it to me,” said Moase, who is also a hairstylist.
The ad is also on posters and banner advertisements online.
Going in to the commercial, Moase was told she would be speaking to a new GoodLife Fitness member struggling with weight loss.
When she went in, pictures of her former self were displayed on a screen and she was the new member she had to talk to.
Moase cried at the sight of the photos, which is shown in the commercial.
“It was so shocking because I hadn’t really looked back,” said Moase. “I was so focused on going forward and meeting my goals and then they showed me and I was just flooded with all these memories of what it felt like to not feel like myself and not be kind to myself.”
Moase’s contract with GoodLife was supposed to end in October but was extended indefinitely due to the success of the ad.
“I was sitting with the marketing team a couple weeks after and they’re like, ‘Your commercial is really effective because you’re so vulnerable in it’,” said Moase.
Going to the gym was one of the main factors in Moase’s weight loss success. She goes to GoodLife Fitness down the street from where she lives a minimum of five times a week.
Moase tried different kinds of diets over the years but they were never realistic for the long-term.
She decided to focus mostly on exercising and stopped looking at food like an enemy.
“I want to be able to live the rest of my life and have pizza,” said Moase. “No food is evil and no food is off limits. I’m going to just go to the gym every day and I’m going to train.”
Moase said she also stopped focusing on the esthetic aspect of weight loss and started to focus on the health benefits.
She said she noticed things like her acid reflux, cystic acne and aching knees go away as she became healthier.
“I constantly have little physical goals and it’s not appearance driven,” she said.
Moase said there is no finish line to her working out and her health journey.
“Ultimately, right now I want to be able to do pullups when I’m 80,” she said. “I want to have grey hair and come in (to the gym) and crush it.”