Stephen
O'Reilly
The Functional Longevity Coach®
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The Edge Program - Genesis of a New Approach - Part 4

Updated: Jun 22




It was amazing how once I had removed the fog of cognitive dissonance and emotional bias, and stopped allowing myself to be ‘sold’ ideas by the health and medical establishment how clear the answers became. How much the truth contradicted what we are led to believe is the most effective way to create and maintain health in the body was staggering.


After a little experimentation based on my new understanding and insights, I very quickly formulated an approach that encompassed everything I had learnt. This new approach was designed to work with the body rather than try beat it into submission, a belief I had previously been indoctrinated with by industry experts. It also stood on the bedrock of an element I consider absolutely essential to any life long approach to health...it had ‘liveability’. In other words it fitted into a normal life in a way you could live with it easily. After all, you can have the best approach or system in the world, but if its something you won't actually follow through on, then its worthless.


As a result of the changes, within a few months the negative health effects that had been developing were totally reversed. I had lowered my bodyfat significantly, normalised my blood pressure, and rebalanced HDL/LDL cholesterol ratios. My body felt like it was mine again, and not just some disassociated part of me that was doing its own thing.


Now, as I mentioned before, I never set out to construct a program for others. This had purely been the result of a personal search for a way to restore my health and set me on constantly improving path to 'Functional Longevity' for life. However, unbeknownst to me, family and friends had been observing the positive and dramatic changes from the sidelines, and it wasn't long before they plucked up the courage to start asking subtle questions.


Bizarre as it seems, and even though I had been a consultant and coach for many years, not for one moment had I considered that others might be interested in this new, weird and contradictory path to exercise and healthy living that I had constructed. I guess I was oblivious to it all because I was so focused on just fixing me.


But interest grew. It seemed I had hit upon something that resonated and appealed to a lot of people. Primarily I guess because their lives were just as crazily busy as mine, and my new way appeared to offer a solution they were looking for too.


It still makes me laugh now when I recall the first time one friend said to me ‘Steve, I’ve been watching for months, how you train, how you eat etc….and you seem to be doing everything different to everyone else…and getting results....will you teach me or train me…I’ll pay you’?


My immediate reaction was a weird kind of nervousness and reluctance, my thoughts immediately conjured worst case scenarios such as ‘what if I agree and then it doesn’t work for someone else?', 'do I want to risk my reputation as a coach?'


Such are the games of the mind. With hindsight now I can see how laughable it was to think those thoughts…but that honestly was my initial reaction.


However, I took a deep breath, and allowed myself to rationalise the reaction. ‘How could it not work’ I told myself. After all, I had done the research and it had definitely worked for me. I decided to accept the logic and override the emotion.


So I agreed to teach my 'way' to a close friend.


Within a couple of months, more and more friends were lining up to ask me to teach them my method. It was crazy to watch all these people replicating what I was doing. But even crazier was the results they were getting, and the effect it was having on their lives.


As I put these friends though my approach, I began to keep meticulous notes and record everything…every step, every nuance, every detail...this is kind of my nature. I'm an observer of details and traits, a very visual learner.


I began to notice patterns, cycles, effects, predictable results...and by predictable results I mean I could predict with accuracy, timescales for percentage changes in bodyfat. I could also predict how long it would take for certain physiological processes to occur, and even when they would happen. This was something I had never seen or experienced in all my years working with previous clients. I had never heard of any other coaches or trainers being able to do it either.


I began to systemise it, create a structure to it, and offer it as a program commercially.


Within a year clients were queuing up…I literally had an 8-10 month waiting list. What amazed me was that clients were actually prepared to wait 8 months! To me that spoke volumes as to how unhappy and desperate people were to change their physical condition and health. So many people expressed to me that they would rather wait a long time for something that obviously worked, than spend more time and money on so called solutions that never delivered. The amount of 'false promise fatigue' they projected was often palpable.


Their wait always paid off.


Incredibly, from day one, I never even needed to market the program…my clients were walking talking advertisements. They became this network of success stories that others couldn't wait to join, and as a result my phone never stopped ringing.


People told me they were attracted to the unique simplicity and the fact they could incorporate it into their lives so easily (liveability). They also said it was definitely something they envisaged themselves being able to do for the rest of their lives. However, the main reason they loved it was because it just plain and simply worked! They finally felt in control of something that had been dominating their life. No more wasting money on trainers' promises of if’s and maybe’s, and certainly no more torturous training sessions that resulted in nothing more than exhaustion and despondency.


As the client list grew, and my experience grew, I began to develop a level of certainty in my ability to read clients and predict results. Nothing new in that as a phenomenon really. Pattern recognition, evidence based diagnosis, and subsequent treatment certainty is how the medical establishment works. It was just never something applied to health and fat loss...or at least not in my experience. It is still not applied even now in the main, which is why results are always so hit and miss within the industry. Programs, training protocols, and nutritional approaches, are often cited or sold as 'scientific'...but in my opinion most of them are pseudo-scientific hocus pocus. A fact borne out by the lack of results you see. Again, you just have to look around the gyms, even now, and you will see what I am saying is true.


So as my confidence grew I decided to make a daring move, one that no other coach was doing…I decided to guarantee the results or ‘your money back’!


I would literally guarantee a 3% reduction in Bodyfat within 3 weeks or your money back. No other person working within the industry was able to do that! Hell, there were people I knew who had been paying coaches and nutritionists to help them lose fat for a year and they had not even lost 1%!!


In other industries of service, money back guarantees are pretty standard, but within the fat loss industry no other coach, trainer, dietitian, nutritionist, or even gym was prepared to do that. Ask yourself why?


I can tell you right now, I really upset the applecart by doing that. It’s hilarious now when I think about it, but the reaction by high profile trainers and 'experts' within the fitness and weight loss industry in the UK was incredible. I received everything from abuse, to threats, and within the London area I even got banned from certain gyms and clubs…for fear their members or clients would come and talk to me.


You see, the biggest sources of revenue for most trainers and coaches, is repeat business…and that just never made sense to me. After all, when you coach somebody or train them…the objective is to help them achieve their goal…and if you do it right the first time then they shouldn’t need to come back, at least not for the same problem right? That is what I believe anyway...and I would bet money that that is how all clients feel too. They just want the problem solved.


And I was able to do that. How I was doing it contradicted how everyone else was doing things, so I guess my unpopularity with other coaches and weight loss 'experts' within the industry was to be expected. The funny thing is I know a number of these so called critics who have now tried to replicate what I was doing.


It's like 'Fasting'.... the new buzz word within the industry at the moment. Well, here's a big revelation, its been around in one way or another ever since humans walked the planet (more about that in a future article), and Naturopaths and natural healers have been using it therapeutically for hundreds of years if not longer. I had also started incorporating it into my program back in the early 90's in the UK, long before any trainer or coach had ever contemplated the value of it. A fact that can be verified by my clients who initially thought I was crazy. In fact I was using intermittent fasting in some form or another when most in the fat loss industry were actually stuffing their clients with six meals a day...because that's what 'science' said you had to do to lose weight. Seriously.


Anyway, I consider the fact that they are now replicating what I was doing back then as the sincerest form of flattery.


So, that in essence was the birth of The Edge Program


As I said earlier, I have been extremely lucky over the years that I have never needed to actively market this program. My clients have always been referrals from other clients. It’s also not a program I have ever attempted to run on a mass scale as it’s very much a one-2-one mentoring journey over 5-6 weeks with each client.


The program did start out as a fat loss and health program...but it has evolved, just as I have, to be so much more now. I will go into the evolution of the program in a future article


But suffice to say, building health, building the body, AND building the mind, is the goal of The Edge Program. It's designed to not only help the client not detox their body, strengthen it, and then futureproof their health as optimally as possible, but to do the same with the mind too. By taking this journey that contradicts nearly everything they understand to be true about health, exercise and nutrition, it teaches clients to question the assumptions and see through the marketed narratives about health, life and how to live...and ultimately it gives them confidence in their ability to take control of not just their body, but their mind, and by extension, their life.


#edgeprogram #livelean #livelong #livestrong #livetrue

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