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Reality series 'Radical Body Transformations' shoots episode in North Bay

"Never in a million years would I have thought that I was that girl, looking back I never thought that losing 157 pounds would be possible for me.”

Jessica Patterson was with her family at an amusement park and tried to get on one of the rides with her kids. That’s when an attendant asked her if she exceeded the weight limit.

“I was kind of looking at him saying; what do you mean I exceed the weight limit? It was a shock to me,” says Patterson.

“I think when you’re that large you don’t realize you are that large.”

At that point, Patterson weighed 320 pounds and had to get off the ride.

“Thankfully my mom was there so she could go on the ride with the kids, but I just went and stood on this bridge at the park with my husband and just started crying and I said to him, I can’t do this anymore, I need to make a change.”

That’s when she found Monique Cormier, a local fitness instructor and coach with Radical Body Transformations.

Cormier says, “Jessica is my biggest story, losing 157 pounds over the last two years. She just hit 159 pounds and her goal is 150 pounds so we’re almost there. It’s rewarding for me to see someone change their whole life.”

“It really is a lifestyle change,” says Patterson. “I’ve got three kids; seven, six and four and its easier to run after them, to play with them, just to get off the couch is easier. It is not a struggle anymore. Never in a million years would I have thought that I was that girl, looking back I never thought that losing 157 pounds would be possible for me.”

“I went back to that amusement park last summer and we went on every ride and it was amazing.”

Cormier and Patterson are both going to be featured on an upcoming episode of Radical Body Transformations, a reality series on Amazon Prime. James Hergott is the Executive Producer and co-creator of the show and his team was in North Bay to shoot some footage of Cormier, Patterson and another one of Cormier's clients Jennifer Kelly who were all working out at World Gym on Friday evening.

Hergott says, “We’ve been covering transformations since 2015 of all different kinds. People of different ages and sexes. People who have different starting points and different goals. We have people like Monique who lost over 100 pounds and is now a coach on the show.”

Cormier and her husband Joe have grown a very popular following around North Bay for their own transformations and transition into the world of competitive bodybuilding.

Patterson says it was "word of mouth" that brought her to Cormier. She says, “I heard of her through a friend of mine and even when I met Monique, I didn’t think this would ever be possible. My goal originally wasn’t to lose 157 pounds. At first, I just wanted to lose ten. Then that turned into 30, which turned into 50. It’s been a journey for sure and Monique has been so supportive and encouraging and helpful. I say all the time that she saved my life because she really did.”

Cormier says, “She looked in the mirror and wasn’t proud and she didn’t have confidence and now I’ve actually seen her whole character change. From this shy girl who didn’t want to have a social life, it was so hard for her to even climb five sets of stairs. But last year we ran the CN Tower in 30 minutes. About two weeks ago we ran a 21-kilometre run this summer. To see that transformation is amazing, I have goosebumps just retelling this story.”

Those are the stories Hergotts and his team strive to portray on their show. He says they received a tremendous boost with the release of From Fat Lolli to 6 Pack Lolli, a movie that featured Anthony Lolli’s transformation and weight loss. “Since I’ve done Radical Body Transformations, we’ve had many people come forward wanting to share their stories,” says Hergotts.

“But after the movie was released it has been taken to another level. I have people writing every day and asking about being transformed or telling us that they’ve been inspired to start their own journey.”

He says the movie received some criticism because Lolli is a self-made millionaire and has the time and resources to undergo this kind of transformation. But Hergotts says that’s where his show truly depicts that this can be achieved by anyone. He says, “We have people, like Jessica (Patterson) who has lost more weight than Anthony has, she has done it with three kids under the age of 10 at home. She isn’t a millionaire, she’s right here from North Bay and so all of those reasons are just excuses people use for not starting their own transformations.”

Jennifer Kelly is another North Bay resident who is just beginning her journey with Cormier. She says, “I have tried everything prior to this. In 2017 I was really close to my goal weight, but I had some setbacks. I hurt my knee, I broke my shoulder and I was really down and sitting at home due to COVID-19 I came across a post on Facebook that said to change the way you are and be healthy and proud of yourself. I wanted to be the healthiest version of me and so I wrote to them and they picked my story and here I am three months in and I’m down about 11 pounds now. I did a 10-kilometre run in July and that was the first time I had done that.”

“I love the support from Monique. She is a fantastic coach and the Radical Body Transformation team is amazing," Kelly said.  

"The motivation is there. When you are feeling down all you have to do is read the stories on their website and that’s what keeps me going every day.”

When it comes to the reality series, Cormier says it is a relationship that goes back six years ago.

“In 2014 I was part of the first cast to sign a contract to share my story of transformation," she said.  

"I sent in my application and since then, James and I have been in communication ever since and he followed me into my competitive lifestyle. I wanted to show my clients that anything is possible and so I started competing. I won in two different divisions in my first competition and it was just a ripple effect from there. My husband and I are mixed pairs national champions and now I’m honoured to be the trainer as people are going through their own transformations and it’s a great honour for me to have Radical Body Transformations filming in my hometown.”

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