I did the Body for Life Challenge back in 2000. I had forgotten all about this accomplishment until I was at a garage sale recently, and I saw the book and journal for sale at 25 cents each. They were both brand new, never opened condition. That alone says a lot about people intentions.
For those who have never heard of it, it is a contest sponsored by EAS (they make sports supplements). It is 12 weeks of exercise, meal planning and looking into some of the psychological aspects of body transformation.
I am not naive enough to think they did this just to help people. They sold a lot of supplements and shakes.
Anyway, when I saw the book and journal, I said to my wife “hey remember when I did that? I wonder if I could do it again?” She replied “How big were you the last time you tried it?”
I realized in 2000 I was at my high point of 425+ but I still did this challenge to the best of my ability.
What really amazed me when I finished the challenge was the note at the bottom of the certificate. I am sorry it is hard to read on this scan but it says “This puts you in an elite category – surpassing the achievements of 94% of all competitors who entered the challenge”. Here I was at 425 pounds and I could still do what 94% of people couldn’t do – stick it out to the end.
Now I am realistic here. I knew I had no chance of winning and winning wasn’t my point. Finishing was my point. I had a past of not finishing things I started and I was determined to do this. What was the last thing you started and gave up on because it was hard?
Well here we are. June 1st 2015 and I am now 190 pounds lighter than I was at 425. I just did my first workout of the challenge and have my meals planned out for today and will do my homework later. The homework is the what did you learn and what will you do better tomorrow part.
I have to say in full disclosure I haven’t entered the contest “officially” this time around. That is to say, I am not entering for the prizes and stuff simply because they expect you to use their brand of shakes etc, and I have always said I have done my weight loss with no pills, potions, shakes or shortcuts and I still want to maintain that.
Now when I say I haven’t done shakes, I mean I never did a weight loss shake – the kind where that is what you live on, but during the course of this challenge I will do the occasional protein shake or smoothie. That would be for repairing and building muscle after a workout.
So what am I doing this again? Simply because I needed to shake things up. Something I have learned along the way is that the more weight you lose, the harder it becomes. Kinda sucks but there is a physiological reason for it. It is much like hitting a plateau.
Your body gets used to the amount of food coming in and the calories burning off and your metabolism “thermostat” settles in at a certain point. You have to shake things up by tweaking your diet such as really being honest with what you are eating and making needed changes to your food plan. It also involves kicking it up a notch with your exercise. Your body gets used to what you have been doing.
I like lifting weights believe it or not, but even there I have to change up my workout routines or my muscles get bored. I am sure they don’t actually sit around yawning from boredom, but that is how I think of it.
The problem is after a while, these little tweaks aren’t enough. As of today’s date, I am 35 pounds from my goal of 200 pounds. When I get there (which I never thought I would) I may reevaluate that, but that is the goal for now.
I would like to hit that goal by the end of this year, so I thought this would be a good way to get more of a laser focus instead of something I am prone to using – the haphazard approach.
Losing weight and getting in shape is a focused effort that takes time and work and that is why so many give up.
Richard Simmons always said he made a vow never to just walk up to someone and say things about their weight as had been done to him, and I have tried to do this too. It is hard, though, when I am sitting in a restaurant with a friend who says “I just don’t understand how you keep losing the weight” as they much down and a burger, fries and a $4.00 Harshbucks sugar laden coffee.
I suggest they need to look at their diet and find an exercise or activity they like. Then the excuses start. “Oh I can’t. None of those diets work for me.”
“Diets don’t work for anyone in the longrun” I point out. “It is changing what, how much and WHY you eat and how much you move your body.”
“Oh I hate getting all sweaty. I can’t get to a gym. I like food too much.”
I tell them I like food too, but I have learned to change WHAT food I eat. I don’t like getting sweaty either but I tell them I picture it as fat melting. I tell them you don’t have to go to a gym. Get outside – walk, play tennis or golf or badminton or…”
“I don’t have time.” And yet they can tell me all the latest goings on in their favourite TV shows.
Any of these sound familiar?
So for the next 12 weeks, I am embarking on this challenge. I am not entering the contest. I am just challenging me, and as I blog here about what I learn during this time, I hope it will challenge you.
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!