Although the prizes include facials and massages, the goals of ReStart: Santa Barbara are anything but shallow. With this contest, director Nissa Gay hopes to effect a complete mind and body transformation “from the inside-out,” giving the contest’s winner a chance to completely revitalize herself or himself.

Between September and November 2009, the winner of the contest will receive services ranging from tri-weekly personal training sessions to consultations with a Life Coach. By collaborating with numerous local businesses to accumulate donated services for the grand prize, Gay’s contest demonstrates how businesses can work together to benefit their communities, as well as to support one another. “Everyone needs a helping hand or a lift,” explained Gay, “especially in this economy.”

The owner of Montecito fitness studio Fitness Together, Gay is anticipating upwards of 80 contestants based on a similar contest that was offered by a sister studio in Woodinville, WA. Erica White, that contest’s winner, is currently in the 9th week of her makeover. The Santa Barbara contest has a similar structure: a winner is chosen by a board of judges, the winner’s progress is updated on a daily blog, and the winner is formally re-introduced at the conclusion of his or her makeover. In an effort to encourage the winner’s lasting success, Gay plans to follow up with continued training sessions, facials, chiropractic adjustments, and life coaching sessions for one year following the makeover.

What about the contestants who do not win the grand prize? The winner’s daily blog will give individuals the opportunity to structure their own transformations along similar lines, and Gay even says she is open to online training sessions for those who are interested. The contest closes August 15th, so start working on your essay on why you’re ready for a total makeover.


To learn more about the contest, call 969-6000 or visit


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