When we first discussed competing in the Body-for-LIFE® Challenge, Ann was less than enthusiastic. So we set a start day about 4 weeks out to allow time to get mentally prepared for the Challenge and to exhaust some of the bad eating habits we had developed – a last hoorah you could say. We both gained 25-30 pounds of fat over the past couple of years and knew we had to do something. Prior to this, we had both been reasonably lean our whole lives but due to age, injury and sedentary activity we had suffered the weight gain.
Then “start day” finally arrived and we took the “before” photos, neither one of us could believe that we really looked as bad as we did. This was the point that Ann made the decision to see it through. Although we both had different goals when it came to the physical changes we wanted to make, we both had the same goal in that we wanted to feel better about ourselves. We both struggled during the first couple of weeks. Ann was skipping workouts and cheating on the diet. Mike was overly sore and not sleeping well, mostly due to the elimination of alcohol in his evening routine. About the 3rd week of the Challenge, Ann stopped skipping workouts, partially due to the purchase of a TreadClimber®. By the 4th week, Mike was on the TreadClimber® in the morning and was lifting in the evening. At this point, we were eating all our meals at home to avoid not knowing how restaurant meals were prepared. Although Mike’s weight had been decreasing since the onset of the Challenge, Ann really didn’t start experiencing any weight loss until about week 6 (being in McDonald’s management with free meals at work didn’t help). But, it was enough of a loss that the diet cheating stopped. Also, in the 6th week, Mike’s workouts were going much better. He had more endurance when lifting and it was less of a chore for both of us to workout. As the next few weeks progressed, the pounds just seemed to start melting away. The workouts became easier each week, which allowed both of us to increase intensity in both our cardiovascular exercise and weight when lifting.
By the 10th week, we believed we were looking good. We felt younger, looked younger and were feeling better about ourselves with each passing day. As we were now making noticeable progress, the tempo and intensity of our workouts increased during the final 2 weeks. By the conclusion of the Challenge, we both felt great about ourselves and what we had accomplished. We were also getting along with each other a lot better. We would like to clarify that last statement because although it wasn’t a goal of either of ours at the onset, it may be the most rewarding aspect of the Challenge for both of us. Although we worked together on planning meals, we did not workout together. This was just something we have never been able to do, due to various reasons – music selection, equipment availability, lack of cooperation and criticism. We have tried it in the past and it just doesn’t work – or, we can now say, didn’t work.
One thing that did happen during the course of this Challenge that wasn’t anticipated is we started getting along better. We can’t say we were getting along poorly before, we undoubtedly love each other, but after having been married for nearly 32 years, we had entered a state of co-existence. Kind of the “you do your thing and I’ll do mine” attitude. But somewhere in the latter half of the Challenge we almost accidentally started working out together. We’re not sure if it was schedule conflicts or how it happened but the occurrences became more and more frequent, and without any of the issues we had in the past. We were also getting along better in about every aspect of our lives – talking more, helping each other with various chores, and we even started to meet for lunch on occasion. Although we are more than pleased with the physical transformations, the most rewarding transformation we were able to accomplish during this Challenge, along with liking ourselves a whole lot more, is that we are no longer just husband and wife, we are once again a couple.
*Individual results will vary