Week One results are in…along with snow here in Nashville!
It was a great first week. After starting off my journey at 241.2 lbs, I expected a decent weight loss considering that I was super pumped about starting something new and exciting. Also, I’ve gotten lots of support from YOU, the great people who are reading this blog and taking the time to respond and encourage me. Knowing that people are rooting for me has really kept me going this week.
So how’d you do, Dennis?
Before I get to the numbers, I am going to risk embarrassing myself by showing you a picture. First, though, a bit of backstory.
In January 2001, my good friend Chris and I traveled to Hawaii. He worked for Delta Airlines, and he gave me a “buddy pass”, that allowed me to practically go for free. While we toured the island of Oahu, we discussed our mutual desire to get back into shape.
Chris has worked out for years, so he told me about Bill Phillips and the Body for Life fitness program (BFL), that he had been using as a program for himself. Bill is legendary in the fitness world, and I was immediately struck by his caring demeanor and his success in helping transform others into the best physical expression of themselves in a 12-week time-frame. At that time, he hosted a contest, and the winner with the biggest 12-week transformation would win a luxury car, cash, or some other big prize.
The Body for Life Plan
The premise of the BFL plan is to eat six small, healthy meals a day and work out six days a week (three cardio and three weight training). Day seven on this plan was to rest and eat absolutely anything you wanted (I used to live for “cheat” day!).
After enjoying the bounty of Hawaii, I was feeling very out of shape at 213 lbs. (which is hilarious to me now that I thought THAT was overweight!). I made a pact with myself right there on Oahu that I would do the Body For Life program.
Want to know what actually made me take the leap?
It was so simple and surprising.
Chris and I were eating at a salad bar, and he told me cottage cheese was a healthy choice. Except for the pear salad my mom used to make when I was a kid (half of a canned pear, cottage cheese, a little shredded cheddar cheese and a maraschino cherry), I don’t think I’d ever eaten cottage cheese in my life. Even though I was convinced it would be disgusting, I gave it a try. So I dished a little of it on my plate along with a heaping serving of fresh, Hawaiian pineapple on top of it, hoping the pineapple would overpower the taste of the cottage cheese, and I’d be able to keep it down.
But guess what? I loved it! I would go far as to say it was an honest-to-goodness, life-changing moment!
I figured if I could eat cottage cheese, then I could do the 12-week transformation, since that what’s many of the “winners” of the BFL challenges ate. It didn’t take much to convince my simple mind!
We flew back to Nashville, and I joined the BFL online community and started the plan that week.
Oh, What Dread
Part of the Body For Life challenge was having to take the dreaded “before” picture. Like most “before” pictures in a body transformation competition, there was every manner of body type. The goal was to let it all hang out and document it for the ages. Then at the end of the 12-week competition, another picture would be posted to show off the results.
I still have that “before” picture of mine. Looking at it now, I think I look a little pudgy and could use some muscle definition. But back then, I was desperate to change.
Transform with a friend
I encouraged my friend Phil from work to do the competition with me. We both hit the gym and were guzzling protein shakes like there was no tomorrow. Bottom line for that 12-week challenge? I lost 20 lbs. and was toned and fit. I was so proud of my “after” picture!
I actually did it!
And I kept that weight off for quite a while.
The problem with losing weight is that the change of diet to healthier food has to be permanent. I have lost lots of weight over the years only to regain it (plus some!) as I eased back into the “Standard American Diet” (SAD) each time. (Read about my hamburger habit here…ugh!)
And now for the embarrassing part
So now I have new “before” pictures. Click here to see me in all of my before-picture glory (or as I tease Danielle about “all my lusciousness!”). BE WARNED: If seeing an out-of-shape, 53-year-old man without a shirt offends and/or terrifies you, just know you are clicking at your own risk!
Another warning: I plan to put up pictures every four weeks as I progress. 😉
Just remember: every story has a beginning, and this one is mine.
Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you. I lost 4.4 lbs!