Saturday, June 30, 2012

December 28, 2011
I decided to make a change.
Weight = 269 lbs.
I quit drinking Soda, no more fast food,
started eating "normal" portions.

On April 02, 2012 I officially entered into the
Body for Life Challenge (a 12 week challenge with the purpose of developing a new and healthier way of life).
Weight = 238 lbs and 25 % body fat. 
I ate 6 meals a day, lifted weights 3 days a week
and did Cardio the other 3 days
with one day of rest (free day).

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June 24, 2012 Last day of my first Body for Life Challenge
I weighed 205 lbs with 13 % body fat. 

On the last day of Challenge 1, I took my after pictures and then strapped on a 65 lbs. pack and climbed 2400 ft in elevation to the top of Malans peak in approximately 4+ miles.  The experience was one of the greatest in my entire life but not because of the climb.  It was because I finally felt like ME again.  I did the hike with one of my closest and longest friends who I had spent far too much time apart from.  That day will always be one of the greatest days of my life. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I completed my measurements the first week of BFL (on the 5th day) and again on my Birthday (42nd day). I wish I would have done them back in December but... I didn't.

Using a pair of Accu-Measure Calipers and the Body for Life body fat calculator I determined my body fat percentage in April was 25.05 % my fat mass on April 07 was 58.62 lbs. and my lean mass was 175.38 lbs.

Using the same calculator and measuring techniques, my body fat % as of May 13 (6 weeks later) was 17.16 %. My fat mass on May 13 was 37.41 lbs. and my lean mass was 180.59 lbs.

That’s just under an 8 % decrease in body fat and a gain of 5 lbs. of muscle.

I have lost 4 inches in my hips and 4 inches in my waist.

I've lost a total of 16.5 inches from head to toe.

I can't get over how great this whole experience has been. My watch band has decreased in size by 5 holes and my belt either needs a new hole punched in it or I need a new belt because my current one is too big. I was on the last hole of that belt when this all started. Last summer I was wearing shorts in a size 40. I'm currently wearing a 36 and they are almost too big for me. I have to have a belt on to keep them up.

I will need a completely new wardrobe by the end of this challenge but it’s soooo worth it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 12 - Half way through my first Body for Life Challenge.  6 weeks to go. This has been such an incredible process and I can't wait to see the end results. 

   Below is a copy of the Journal I started back in April 2012 when I entered the Body for Life Challenge.  

      Today is April 1, 2012 and tomorrow I begin my Body for Life.  I am super excited but unreasonably nervous.  I’m not sure why I’m so nervous other than it’s a big commitment; even if the commitment is to me and nobody else.  I’ve already made some big changes in my life starting back in December of 2011.  Before I explain those changes, I want to reflect back to many years ago.

Me at 18, smoking and not having a clue
the price I was going to pay, or at least not
giving a shit.
     I started smoking cigarettes when I was 16 years old.  Through most of my Teenage years and well into my mid twenty’s I was an avid partier.  I loved spending time outdoors and did a lot of Hiking but I rarely ever stepped foot into a gym.  I had no interest in lifting weights or doing boring cardio.  Over the years I spent less and less time outdoors and more and more time drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, eating fast food and gaining weight.  As the years went by I got more and more out of shape. 

Mom and I about 4 years into
her illness and a year before she
passed away.
     In the summer of 2000, I met my Mother at a park in Salt Lake City while she was on a break from her shift as a Homicide Detective.  We sat in her undercover squad car and started having a conversation about being out of shape and feeling bad about my weight.  She pulled out a book called Body for Life and told me about Bill Phillips and how he created this exercise contest where contestants were supposed to go through a 12 week program and the winner of this contest was supposed to win his Lamborghini Diablo.  She gave me her copy of Body for Life and together we looked at all the before and after pictures and read about some of the success stories.  I remember thinking there is no way these people could change that much in just 12 weeks. 
     I was excited about the idea of changing my body in less than 3 months but I made excuse after excuse to justify reasons I needed to put off starting the program.  I met my Mother at that same park a short while later only this time she told me about a rare disease she had been diagnosed with called Masto-Cytosis.  She told me there wasn’t a cure but the doctors were optimistic she would live for 10+ years and there was no reason to put my life on hold. 

     In 2003, I moved to Phoenix AZ and went to College.  I continued my life living on fast food, smoking a ton of cigarettes, drinking, partying and abusing my body and all the while thinking about the Body for Life program but still making excuses as to why I couldn’t start.  In January of 2005, Mom passed away while I was still living in Phoenix.  Although the disease had taken a heavy toll on her I was still caught off guard by her death.  I was overcome with guilt for being so far away while she was sick and fell into a deep depression. 

My portfolio review just before

     In 2006, I told my girlfriend (at the time) about Body for Life.  She got really excited about it, planned out a program for each of us, purchased two gym memberships and together we started the program.  Almost immediately I started seeing results and was so excited to finally see my body change for the better.  I continued to smoke cigarettes but we cut out the fast food and followed the program; for about 4 weeks.  Then, my school schedule changed and we weren’t able to go to the gym together.  I completely lost focus after that and before I knew it, the program was long gone and we were back to eating crappy food and eventually cancelled our gym memberships.

2007, Weight was down but mainly due to
excessive smoking and tremendous amounts
of stress.
     Over the next few years I stopped seeing that girl, graduated College and in July of 2008 I moved back to Utah.  By that point I weighed close to 235 pounds and was beginning to feel a life of eating garbage and not taking care of my body had really caught up to me.  My blood pressure was way up and I was easily winded. 

Jon and I; almost 1 year after I
quit Smoking.
     The following November my dearest friend Jon lost his sister, Tricia, when she unexpectedly passed away.    Tricia was in her mid-thirties and although she played hard, she appeared as healthy as any other young woman.  She looked much healthier than I was for sure. The medical examiner was never able to determine her cause of death.  Tricia’s Mother Kerry lived in the other side of the duplex that Tricia resided in.  Kerry wasn’t looking forward to having a stranger move in next door and I needed a new place to live.   Since I’d known Jon (including his family) since childhood I decided to move in to                                                                Tricia’s apartment the following month.

Beautiful Tricia

     One night as I lay in bed I found myself deep in thought about Tricia’s death and how unexpected it was.  I pondered the whole idea of life and how we never know what tomorrow may bring.  I tossed and turned and considered getting up to have a cigarette.  In that moment, I was completely overcome with anger.  I was angry at myself for being such an idiot about my health and how much I was feeling the natural consequences of such an irresponsible life.  I decided right then and there it was time to quit smoking.  Of course, I had to have one last cig so I got out of bed, went outside, and lit up only to discover I had a brand new pack.  Immediately I started to second guess my decision as I couldn’t bring myself to waste a brand new pack of smokes but then something unexpected happened.  I caught myself in the same cycle of self-deception I had used to comfort and trick myself so many times before.  I finished my cigarette, crushed the pack of cancer sticks and threw them away.  I made a commitment unlike any I had ever made before and told myself I would quit that filthy habit at any cost.  So, I started eating.  When I had an urge to smoke, I ate.  When I was full and wanted to smoke again then I ate again.  I said to myself, “I don’t care if I gain more weight.  If it helps me quit smoking then eat away chunky” and that is exactly what I did; I ate and I ate and I ate. 
     December 28 of 2008 was my first day without a cigarette and I haven’t touched them since but over the next 3 years I steadily put on more and more weight and by Christmas 2011, I had gained an additional 40 pounds since the day I quit smoking.  Yup, I was 6’1” and weighed 275 pounds.  Weighing that much had consequences I never anticipated.  The joints in my feet hurt when I walked.  When I slept I snored so bad I would wake up multiple times a night choking and gasping for air.  My back was in a constant state of agony.

     I was so ashamed and self-conscious of my body that I developed a hearty dose of anxiety which got exceptionally worse whenever I went out in public.  I didn’t even like being around my own friends for fear of the inevitable chunky jokes I was sure to endure.  Every time my friends invited me out I made up excuses as to why I couldn’t go.   Here was this guy who used to love to party and socialize and now I couldn’t hardly bare going outside of my own house.  All that time, all those many years, Body for Life buzzed in the back of my head. 
      I thought back to when I quit smoking and how determined and successful I had been overcoming the disgusting habit that held me in its grasp for more than half my life.  I thought, “If December 28 worked for me when I quit smoking then maybe that’s the day I should quit treating my body like a garbage disposal”. 

December 28, 2011
     As a Christmas present I received an emergency kit that consisted of a 32 oz. water bottle with a bunch of smaller items inside.  I emptied out the contents of the bottle and on December 28, 2011 I quit drinking soda, quit the fast food, started eating healthier meals, and exercised about 5 days a week.  I drank enough water to fill that 32 oz. bottle 3 – 4 times a day.  I used the information I read on the Body for Life website as a guide for my exercises.  I believed in the nutrition and fitness principals outlined by the program and within three months I was down to 236 pounds. 

The day I started the Body for Life Challenge. 
April 02, 2012
     Throughout the process I discussed with my girlfriend CodiAnne the desire to actually DO the program.  I told her I wanted to register online and do the program exactly the way Bill Phillips designed it to be.  I couldn’t help thinking how much better my results could be if I follow the Body for Life program 100% and I knew if I actually registered then I would hold myself that much more accountable.  I started downloading the different progress reports and ordered the 4 disc DVD set which included the Body of Work film.  I started watching the movies the day they arrived and with every success story I could feel this indescribable desire to be one of those people.  I could see myself with an healthy body and feeling great.  It wasn’t about the prizes or the attention.  It was the belief that for the first time in my adult life I knew I could do it; I could change my way of life and feel good. 

     So, here it is; the moment I’ve been thinking about for nearly 12 years.  Tomorrow I start Body for Life and this time, I know I’m going to finish.  This time, I will be one of those success stories and whether or not I win the contest, I will be a winner!