In the Fall of 1992, I made plans to go on a Christmas vacation to the Bahamas with my girlfriend. I remember it like it was yesterday. I made our reservations on my birthday, September 23. The next day, I was imagining how much fun we would have under the sun, on the beach, and swimming in the Caribbean. The problem was I wasn't happy with the shape I was in at the time. Through careless eating, I'd gained so much fat I couldn't see any muscle definition. Although I was an expert weight trainer and had been going to the gym six days a week, I was not putting it all together. I wanted to be at my best, so I developed a new, more focused plan and set a goal of losing 20 pounds of fat and increasing my muscle definition and energy before our vacation.
I had my girlfriend take a "before" photo, which helped me clearly see the condition I was in, and on October 3, I officially started my Program. Each day I planned my workouts and nutrition. I changed the way I was eating, started training more intensely, and focused on my goals. Twelve weeks later, on December 26, 1992, I achieved my goals and hit the beach happy with how I looked. More important, I felt great! My girlfriend and I had so much fun!
In the months that followed, I showed my before and after pictures to others and shared my "success story." The response was virtually universal: "Can you help me do that?!" Ever since, I've been teaching people how to transform in as little as 12 weeks. And the plan I utilized to go from "before" to "after" back in 1992 has now evolved into this, the Body-for-LIFE Program.
Now that you've taken your before photo and are clear about where you're starting from, it's vitally important to develop an image or vision of where you want to go. One of the ways you can do that is to find an example, possibly one of the success stories in this book, of someone who's made the type of transformation you'd like to make. Try cutting out pictures of people whose transformation you admire and post them in some place where you can see them every day. Remember, the fact that they have succeeded is proof you can do it too! Focus on how good you will feel in that new, healthy, energetic body. The more you visualize your best body, the more empowered your mindset will become, and the more resolve you will have to get there. Imagine it day and night, and let this fuel your success!
Success Story -- Victor Carter
My before and after pictures clearly show the change in my physical appearance. However, I learned that it's not just what other people see that made this Program such a great success for me; it's what I see in myself. I see a new Vic Carter -- a man with a renewed sense of purpose, happiness, and direction.
I see a better example of smart, healthy living. And I also clearly see that Body-for-LIFE is about transforming your self-image, not just your body. It's about feeling like a winner and a Champion, not just looking like one.
One of the most important lessons I've learned is that life has numerous challenges in store for each of us, some expected, some unexpected. Some are merely "speed bumps," and others are like a brick wall. I've also learned that the mindset you use (or decide not to use) to face your life's challenges has a powerful impact on your experience of life, the development of your character and courage, as well as your self-image and self-esteem. Through the process of completing the 12-week Body-for-LIFE Program, you'll learn invaluable skills and undergo a great deal of training that will help you not only face but overcome your life's challenges! Literally and metaphorically, through Body-for-LIFE, you will learn to overcome resistance, improve your ability to creatively solve problems, and discover courage and character, which, like a muscle, become stronger through proper training.
Success Story -- Susan Maxey
A shell of my former self, I was going through a divorce after several unhappy years. I became a recluse, my health was bad, my eating and drinking were out of control, and I didn't care...
I was totally self-destructing. My sister and best friend, who were very concerned, told me that they were entering the three of us in the Body-for-LIFE Challenge. This was just the spark I needed. At first, my commitment was half-hearted. But the longer I stuck with it, the better I felt! My confidence began to rise, which fueled my drive to succeed.
I've witnessed transformations that surprise even me! And, having had the opportunity to meet many of these people, to talk with them, and learn from them, I've discovered that they didn't just change how they looked, they changed how they see. They view themselves, the people around them, and the world, in a new light.
Success Story -- Carolyn Culverhouse
When I first began Body-for-LIFE, it was like standing at the bottom of the tallest mountain you could climb and looking up at a peak that was very nearly out of sight. I knew the journey could only be successful if I took it one step at a time. For me, the key was changing my thinking habits. I had to think like a healthy person in order to act like one. I had to think I was worth taking care of. I had to think I could do it. It took me 36 weeks, but I did it! I reached the top, and I feel better than I have ever felt in my whole life! Now I'm helping as many people as I can reach the top of the mountain they need to climb. I tell them, "You can do it!" And, "The view up here is amazing!"(Continues...)