Some Assistance for a Newbie, Please

  • Today was Day 37 for me.  I haven't been posting, or participating in the community, as I've tried to complete a Challenge a couple of times before and haven't stuck with it--so I decided to wait until it "took" and I had a track record of diligence.  I completed a Challenge in 2005, then within a few months had a debilitating accident and have spent the last few years in pretty poor physical shape.  This Challenge is about getting back into the shape I was in before the accident.  I could really use some advice.

    My workouts are going well--I missed a total of 3 in December (which believe it or not is pretty great given that I didn't have a car for two weeks and had to walk a mile to and from the gym in the snow), although last week wasn't great.  My initial cardio workouts were on a stationary bike because I was afraid to run again--I have hardware in my right leg because of the accident--but I've even started doing that again, which feels great!  I've been pretty diligent with my diet--surprisingly, the holidays posed absolutely no problem for me at all.  Drinking 10 cups of water a day is a real challenge but I'm becoming more and more diligent with my water consumption.  My clothes are fitting a bit differently although there's no dramatic difference yet--or perhaps there is, but it's been achieved so gradually I don't realise it.

    The one thing I haven't been able to give up, however, is flavoured coffee--2 to 3 cups a day.  The reason last week was the worst week of my Challenge is that I persuaded myself that, because I've been indulging in coffee with artificial sweetener, I really wasn't making any progress at all so I might as well do nothing.  I corrected that mindset into the second day and got back on track with renewed vigour.

    My question is this:  Am I, in fact, making no progress because of consuming coffee with flavoured syrup, or am I hindering my progress so much that I really haven't accomplished anything?

  • Hello Nathan,

    When it comes to these kinds of questions, I believe that if we truly look within ourselves, most of the time, the answers are easy to see.  The problem is, we usually choose to either ignore them or we find a way to satisfy the answer we want.  Flavored coffee is not on the approved food list but giving in to that desire doesn't have to be a reason to give up any of the other BFL fundamentals.  Exercise and eating nutritious food is good for you so stick to it.  The trick to body for life is setting your goals and then giving everything you got to achieve them.  For me, that meant making a lot of sacrifices and pushing myself harder than I ever thought was possible.  I saw the biggest results during the last 2 -3 weeks of my challenge so be patient and stay focused.  If you can't see results after the end of your 12 week challenge, then my guess is you probably could have pushed yourself harder than what you thought your limits were.  Good luck!


  • Your post was so condescending, negative and judgmental ("When it comes to these kinds of questions, I believe that if we truly look within ourselves, most of the time, the answers are easy to see.  The problem is, we usually choose to either ignore them or we find a way to satisfy the answer we want.") that I thought, well, why even bother because obviously I'm deluding myself and doing (and accomplishing) nothing.  I quit my Challenge as a result and got REALLY turned off of Body-for-Life and the website because the only answer I got to my query was from someone who was SO condescending and judgmental.  It took me six months to gain the courage to start a new challenge (I start my sixth week tomorrow).

    I honestly think you thought you were being helpful, but you came across as arrogant, condescending, judgmental and really quite full of yourself--and COMPLETELY unsupportive.  Consider that the next time you feel that you should share what you obviously regard as the boundless bounty of your superior wisdom with a newbie.

  • . I did not realize the full context of this post when I commented. Today is also the 7th and I thought this was all today. There is no option for me to delete my comment. Moderators can you please delete this for me as I do not wish to participate in this discussion? Thanks
  • Lol at Nathan. The guys post wasnt condescending. You're just a weak minded individual. And he didn't fluff it up for you.

    How bout this. I dropped 130 lbs in 18 months because I made up my mind I wanted it. And I didn't let what anyone say offend me.

    It took you 6 months to get over what someone typed on the Internet? LMFAO

    You either want it or you don't.

  • And apparently you feel your success entitles you to abuse others.  Your reply was inappropriate and abusive.  I've reported you to the Webmaster.  DO NOT contact me again.

  • Caity,

    Thank you for your kind response last night.  It was much appreciated.



  • Come on, Nathan, put on your big boy pants, sack up and kick your problems right in the teeth. It doesn't matter what people say (and I didn't find anything to get bent out of shape about). If you want something, anything, out of your life, you have to take it. We all have issues, whether its a debilitating illness, family issues or injuries sustained in an accident. Quit feeling sorry for yourself and punch your problem right in the face, and kick it when it's down so that it never gets up. This isn't a "bash Nathan" post. It's called tough love. Good luck.

  • First, having undertaken this Challenge after a debilitating illness which required I learned to walk again (and having lost my job less than a week in), but having stuck with it nonetheless, I'm certainly not 'feeling sorry for [myself].'  Second, it IS a 'bash Nathan' post when you use a term as condescending as 'put on your big boy pants'--you Americans seem to have absolutely no idea when you're being arrogant and condescending.  You know nothing about me, or my circumstances, or the difficulties I've already 'punched . . . right in the face' to come as far as I have.  Your reply isn't 'tough love,' it's all-too-common American narcissism and entitlement.  I'm going to finish this Challenge, no matter what, with the goal not only of transforming my body and mind but of not turning into the narcissistic, entitled ass completing the program seems to have turned you, Charlie and TheHeavy into.  I asked for advice and encouragement, certainly not judgement and abuse that passes as what Americans call 'tough love' (which is, in fact, no more than an abusive projection of one's own values onto another).  I was raised to be polite and, at worst, to say nothing if I had nothing positive or encouraging to say.  I would encourage you to adopt those same values; you'll find it carries you much, much further in the world.


  • I'm not a coffee drinker, so I don't know if I'll be much help.  I've always read it's fine to drink some coffee, but drink more water to get it out of your system.  May not sound great if you're already struggling with water intake.  As for water, I've read and heard from nutritionists that you should drink have your body weight in ounces of water each day.  Example...a 200 pound person should drink 100 ounces of water or more.  You'll make A LOT of trips to the bathroom if you can manage to do this.  As for the sweetener, that may be hindering your progress, but it's hard to say how much.  Have you tried Splenda?  I think that is what is recommended.  I would say keep going with the program and see what kind of results you get.  Re-evaluate then with what you want to change.  This program does work if you follow it.  IMO, a lot of people try to make it harder then it is.  Meals during a challenge aren't always going to be wonderful.  I get tired of chicken and rice, but it's a key formula for getting to where you want to be.  Once you get there, you can be a little more lenient on your meals.  Just remember, it's a lifestyle change...not just 12 weeks.  Best of luck to you!


  • Hi Everyone!

    We love all of the participation going on in the forum. Just a friendly reminder --- The forum is a place to support and motivate one another. Let's try and keep conversations positive and encouraging. If you have any questions about what is appropriate to post, take a look at the BFL guidelines here: Keep working hard towards your goals!

    -Morgen, The BFL Team

  • "You Americans?" That's not condescending? Nice double standard.

  • I don't find anything wrong with the response from Mark.  The program works, so when someone isn't getting any results, it means the program isn't being followed in some form or other.  I thought Mark's response was honest, spot on, and potentially very helpful.

    Charlie went over the top with his response, but I think the point was correct, he should have just made it less personal.

    Bottom line - BFL works, but it isn't easy.  You have to change bad habits, you have to work your butt off, and you need to leave your comfort zone.  

  • Well said Dave!  

    The one thing about BFL is you do not want to be so sensitive that you can not handle critizism(sp?)

    Everyone is here to help...and they will be honest about what they feel.

    Tis better to look UP in the mirror to be inspired than to look DOWN at the scale and lose your desire!! - SEM