First heard about BFL challenge from friend in 1998, read original book and saw video at that time. Interest rekindled by competition of Randy Asselin and Becci Totcke in 2007.
To me, the whole BFL Challenge is dependent upon an inner transformation. External results are only a window through which the quality of the inner transformation is visible. When I was craving ice cream or candy, and those used to be a regular part of my diet, inner strength is all there was to keep me from giving in. When I just didn’t feel like doing cardio that day, inner determination is what made me get up and do it anyway. I don’t mean to discount the other factors that helped me succeed. Going through the challenge along with my wife was an immeasurable help, but I would have failed miserably if I had only put forth the effort when she was there to see me. Knowing that I had made a commitment to improve the body God gave me was driving force, but it was an internal force and worked by helping to drive the inner transformation.
There were many factors that helped drive my inner transformation. God and my wife were there, as mentioned. I also felt accountable to a large group of friends from church that I entered into the challenge with, I needed to keep up my end of the bargain to help our group entry. Constantly running low on energy and sometimes just not being able to bring myself to care about getting things done also helped to make me want to change. At one point, after a day bending over to talk to elementary school children about their science fair projects, my back was so out of shape that for the last part of the day I could barely keep standing. After seeing my BFL before pictures, I was even more motivated to make the inner transformation I knew was going to be necessary.
With motivation spiritual, relational, internal, and external, I began the challenge. The first part of the inner transformation really has to happen immediately upon starting the challenge. If it had taken me two weeks to wean myself off ice cream, I would have been two weeks worse off at the end of the challenge. There is a good and bad part to this instant requirement. The bad part is a large change being needed all at once. The good part is that it is kind of like ripping off a band-aid, you just do it. No more junk food except on Sunday. Eat three or four servings of green veggies a day. Drink plenty of water, eat plenty of protein. Stick to your workout schedule. Just do it.
Just being able to rip off a band-aid once doesn’t give you lasting inner discipline. That first two weeks are really hard and I think of them as the sudden start period. One big initial push will get you through them, but then the transformation needs to continue. The transformation itself needs to transform from a single massive effort into the sort of transformation that gets people through marathons. You have to develop inner endurance. You have to learn not to give in to any of the little temptations that come along. These temptations will happen, a friends birthday cake, or freshly baked brownies at someone’s house, you must resist. You must transform into the sort of person with the inner drive to pass over such temptations.
This is where the inner transformation becomes life changing. The same drive that allows you to bypass cake will help you to bypass a TV show when a paper needs finishing. The drive that helps you resist a candy bar is the drive that helps you do things the right way instead of the easy way. Feeding your body healthy, nutrient rich, food is the right way. Feeding your body a candy bar that you can grab on the way through the check-out line is the easy way. Giving in to your cravings is the easy way. Pushing your inner transformation to make a life-long change is the right way. I believe that my external results are a window on the success of my inner transformation through these twelve weeks. I also believe that my inner transformation is the start of a permanent increase in drive and desire to live my life the way it should be.
*Individual results will vary