A new challenger

  • Hey all,

    I recently finished Champion Body for Life and have picked up Eating for Life which are amazing books btw.  I've taken the last week or so to get my body used to eating 6 times a day, and have been practising writing down everything in preparation for my official entry into the challenge.  I've decided to start on Monday, March 29th because my nephew's birthday is on Sunday and i'd like to enjoy my cake :P

    I'm currently 265 lbs, the fattest i've ever been in my life.  I come from Ottawa, Canada and I believe my main problem was the booze; us Canadians really like the brews eh!, and eating/snacking before bed.  Anyways, i've decided enough is enough and I want to get myself back into shape and my goal is to see my abs again which is going to take a while.  I just came back from GNC and picked up Phosphogen Elite, CLA, a fat burner called Sub Q and 6 lbs of Protein Meal Replacement Powder.

    Any advice from fellow challengers/champions would be welcomed.  I don't care about winning any prizes although entering and doing the challenge is enough for me.  I want my body back!!

    So I hope the upcoming 84 days and beyond will return me to my once former self.


    Jeremy aka Canuck613

  • Hi Jeremy,

    Welcome to the BFL community! And Congratulations on starting your journey with BFL!I If you follow BFL to a T, You will see amazing results. Champion Body for Life and Eating for Life are both great books. Just make sure that you follow the palm/fist measurement for your food. One portion size does not fit all! Carbs would be about the size of your fist and your protein about the size of your palm. On some items you might have larger portions. For example: when I eat a green salad I eat a larger because it is so low in calories. Just be careful of salad dressings, many are high in calories. I also eat a larger portion of egg whites, which I usually have between 5 to 6 egg whites.

    Be careful with alcohol because it can slow down the fat burning process.

    I wish you all the best! Come here often for support, great advice and encouragement!


    Sylvia Bortman

    2006 BFL Grand Champion Women's 50+

  • Thanks Sylvia!

    I'm eliminating alcohol for the entire challenge and plan to reward myself on my birthday which is July 6th.  Other than that, all I've seen from drinking is weight gain, headaches and money loss, so I'm determined to just cut out the booze completely.

    I got Kraft Fat Free Zesty Italien which is great, plus I have Fat Free Ceasar for the times I want a healthier version of a chicken ceasar pita/salad.  I've seen some of the champion's weekly eating and when it says 1 cup of brown rice i'm guessing that they mean after it's been cooked and not before.

    I've also been a cook for 14 years, so my plan is to create and post healthy meal recipes I come up with as time goes on.

    Thanks for the support


  • Jeremy,

    Congrats and Welcome to the forum. Speaking from a new guys perspective, this place is great. all kinds of friendly helpful members. I'm sure you will do great and e in the next version of the Champions Book :)


    edit: Can't wait to see the Healthy Recipes you come up with as time goes on.

  • Here are the things that I would offer up:

    Honor Self Promises~FIRST.

    When you think you've got it bad, remember that someone else has it worse and might just be looking at you wishing for what you have so set the best example you can.

    You will be challenged to change the behaviors that drive you to love booze and food before bed, remember that you can survive without them.

    Be prepared to encounter those that are insecure with themselves and therefore threatened by your new chosen lifestyle.

    And most importantly...Quitting is not an option.  

    You can do this!!

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Hi Jeremy,

    You'll hear great advise and suggestions from others more qualified that I but I wanted to wish you good luck and remember to stick with this program! Take it seriously, document EVERYTHING and keep the promise that you are making to yourself and at the end of 12 weeks, you will be amazed.

    Winners never quit, and quitters never win

  • Welcome Jeremy!!  I would also suggest you get the original BodyforLife book.  It was published in 1999 and has Bill Phillips picture on the front.  It goes into a lot more detail about the program.  It also has a great section in there called "Crossing the Abyss".  There is also a 12 week challenge journal that has the weeks mapped out and also has an inspirational story on each day.  Many have found this helpful.  

  • Thanks everyone for the advice and support.  I can't wait till Monday !

  • Hey there Jeremy!

    Yes us "Aussies" love the booze as well!!  That was the hardest thing I had to overcome, but I did even though my hubby kept on drinking all the way through - you can do it if you "decide that you really want to" - all the best! Here is some info to get you started!


    Newbies: By – Catrina-BFLDanGRus-Cat!!!!! for this:




    #1. Most Important: READ THE ORIGINAL BFL BOOK..(and follow it)

    #2. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN

    #3. Eat 6 (not 5, not 4, but 6).. well portioned, appropriately spaced out meals (every 2-3 hours).

    #4. A meal: Includes a portion of carbs, a portion of proteins, and a portion of veggies w/at least 2 meals. Use the authorized foods list in the original book for the best results.

    #5. Carbs: a portion is the size of YOUR fist.

    #6. Proteins: a portion is the size and thickness of your palm (hand minus the fingers).

    #7. Veggies: a portion will fit into your cupped hand. Always refer to the "List in the book - some "veggies" are considered "carbs" in the BFL eating plan ie: corn, starches like potatoes, pumpkin, carrots etc

    #8. Water: Drink 10-12 cups (at least 80 oz) of water per day.

    #9. Pics:Take before pics (front view, side view, back view). Women, best if you can wear a 2 piece swim suit. Men, you can wear shorts (no shirt) and make sure the shorts aren’t so long that they cover your thighs

    #10 Measurements: Get your measurements done in the beginning: weight—once every 4 weeks ONLY if you are addicted to the scale…others might do once per week, neck, biceps, forearms, boobs, below boobs, waist, bellybutton, pooch, hips, thighs, calves, body fat percentage.

    #11. Follow up Pics: Take pics again once every four weeks wearing the same suit and doing the same front/side/back shots. Don’t forget to face the same way in your side shot each week

    #12. Follow up Measurements: Redo measurements once a week (ONLY WEIGH once every four weeks if you are a scale addict).

    #14. COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Come to guestbook often (if not daily) to get questions answered and for support.

    #15. Self Honesty Be honest with yourself, cheating is hurting you and no one else.

    #16. Training: Do 3 days of HIIT cardio and 3 days of strength training (alternating between cardio and strength days) as according to the original book

    Some common traps:

    Peanut butter– This is not unauthorized, but it is probably best left for your free day due to high fat

    Bananas– These are high in carbs; you should use 1/2 a banana at a time for a carb portion if mixing in with pure whey protein to make your own shake

    Diet drinks– I hear that diet drinks are not unauthorized, however, try to drink more water instead because some of the diet drinks (soda, pop, whatever you call it) may dehydrate you, also the sweetener makes your body spike like normal sugar and makes you want to eat/drink more.

    ADDING EXTRA HIIT CARDIO: - Not a good idea - the more cardio you do, the fitter you get, the lower your RMR Resting Metablic Rate is - which means you burn less fat at rest - do the cardio as written - three, 20 minute High Intensity Interval Training sessions per week.

    You can do activities that you normally would, have a life, but doing extra workouts is not good. Your body needs time to rest.

    Rest:Speaking of rest, get ample sleep. I believe 8 hours is the recommended amount.

    INCREASE YOUR WATER INTAKE! - BFL asks us to drink at least 80oz…if you are doing that, try taking it up to 128oz—that equals one gallon. ;)

    Set reminders on your Cell phone and work computer to eat (and drink water if you have to)!

    Take a multi-vitamin. :)

    Don’t forget about your INNER TRANSFORMATION and the LAW OF RECIPROCATION!

    Crossing the Abyss!
    by: Michael Harris  3/9/2007

    This blog is about the abyss, getting across it, and staying on the sunny side. Make no mistake—the abyss is real. The only people who don’t believe it are those who have yet to cross it, who have swapped all their efforts for meager results simply because they haven’t grasped the concept and haven’t put the work into their lives to cross it. Many never even try to get over. The pathway across the abyss is not troubled by heavy traffic!Here’s how I crossed it the wrong way--and got back where I am today.

    A bit over 50 years ago, (I was nine at the time) I got up early and raised the garage door, expecting to see my dad’s car in the driveway, where he always parked it after flying night missions with the Air Force. There, instead of my dad’s car, was an Air Force Blue vehicle. Somehow, I knew that spelled disaster, and what I learned as I ran into the living room and found my mother sitting with Air Force chaplains, quietly crying, changed my life forever. It made me withdrawn, lonely, afraid and angry, all at the same time. And for some reason those feelings didn’t go away. Without realizing it, I crossed the abyss, and I lived in an unproductive emotional wasteland for most of my growing-up years.

    Twenty-Seven years later, that all changed. I sought help for my alcoholism, which came from my favorite pain killer, my way of "dealing with" the fear and anger. The help began with a treatment center, where they made me do a lot of hard work. I had to look seriously at my life, make a written inventory of how and where things had gone wrong, and own up to my responsibility in it. I confessed all my failures and shortcomings and unloaded that huge piece of baggage I had been carrying around forever. Then, in a long series of support group meetings, I found a new way of life, a life of peace, serenity, hope and faith, all seemingly coming just by osmosis. Those support group meetings and the people I met there rebuilt me, and then ultimately built into me more than I ever had hoped to be. What did I do to deserve all this? Nothing! I had squandered the last 10 years doing my best to destroy myself by drinking away those feelings of loneliness, fear, and anger. To this day I cannot think of one thing I did to deserve the sobriety and new life that came through those treatment and support group experiences. I didn’t deserve that gift any more than I deserved to lose my Dad the way I did. The gift was a true miracle--and I had crossed the abyss--and left that darkness behind.

    Now to the main point. Dry those eyes and read on! Body for Life, though on the surface nothing but a bodybuilder’s diet with an excellent exercise program, really has the capacity to change your life, to rebuild you, to build you better than you ever were, and to restore the very love of life that you may have gradually lost over the years. How BFL can do that when other programs and diets can’t is because of the group spirit, the common purpose, and the universal law of reciprocation. (You’re already part of the group if you’re reading this blog.) The BFL community is real, and to experience it you can read the blogs and the guestbook, communicate with others through them, go to BFL events held a few times a year all over the country, and join some of the Message Board groups such as the Torch Spirit to stay in touch. (Read on below please!)

    The Abyss–continued!
    by: Michael Harris  3/9/2007

    So what does this have to do with crossing the abyss? Well, though you might have thought that crossing the abyss comes only from great effort or luck or through use of some superior gifts of strength or willpower, I think that crossing the abyss also requires a great big helping of blind faith and unexamined living as well. The worse off you are, and the more urgent your needs to change are, the better chance you have of crossing that abyss. It’s not just willpower—we all have some of that. Many of us have talked ourselves into thinking that we "crossed the abyss" only to find we hadn’t just by walking by a vending machine at work, or smelling some fresh pastry or popcorn at the mall!

    How, then, do you cross the abyss? I’m not totally discounting will-power; it can help you hold on. But a real appreciation of how lousy it has all been can help, too. I suggest taking an inventory like I did, a real one. Write down on a sheet of paper the benchmarks of your life, those decision points or those events that changed your life forever. Look at which way you went and try to figure out why. Own up to the part you played in the mess that resulted. Then, look realistically at where you are now. Next, think about where you want to be in 5 years. Does physical fitness seem to be an important part of what you want? Does confidence seem to be a big part of it?

    Next, in faith, put yourself mentally on the sunny side of that abyss, and immediately set out to act like it. Tell yourself (and act like it too) that you will live that line in that famous old hymn, that "there’s no turning back." Make your actions match your attitude. When tempted, always tell yourself you are on the right side of the abyss, and no bite of food is worth trading for those days you cried for hours and couldn’t get out of bed, or just drove around, eating and drinking aimlessly trying to make it all go away.

    It can happen. Put it into motion, and then live it. How is this approach different than just talking yourself into something? Mainly, it is that dealing with the past, the confronting it and the admitting your failings in it, that helps you resist its call. Otherwise, your past always tries to call you back where you were most comfortable, where you felt you really deserved to be—in the darkness. Try it—what do you have to lose? Mostly, just your ugly past. Life’s a whole lot brighter, prettier, and sweeter—on this side of the abyss.

    Thanks for reading this. Next week, we’re going to focus in the details, the nitty-gritty. I’ll start with supplementation and timing of it next week, and we’ll go through a whole challenge together. In the meantime, think deeply about whether you’ve made it over that abyss, will you? God bless!





  • Hi there! WOW nice info!! I'm starting on Monday too and am looking high and low for info on fruit.....I know we need to be careful of bananas but what about all the rest? Can we have a "portion" with every meal??? PLEASE HELP :)