I've seen quite a bit of new folks starting the Body-for-Life Challenge and wanted to post something that I consider important to all new challengers.
Have realistic expectations of what is physically possible to achieve in 12 weeks.
I set about my first challenge just absolutely without any doubt in my mind that I would be an "after" in 12 weeks. Well, when you start out classified as "morbidly obese" by your doctor, 12 weeks isn't going to cut it. Why do I bring this up?
At week 10 of my first challenge I realized that I wasn't going to be an "after" in just 12 weeks. What did I do when I had that realization? I cried like a blubbering baby. Why, because I realized for the very first time that my expectations where totally unrealistic and what I did in two years to wreak havoc on my body wasn't about to be undone in 12 short weeks.
I stuck with BFL for 3 full challenges and lost a total of 125 lbs but that wasn't the end for me. It wasn't easy, but it was doable. Now 10 years and 4 more challenges later I'm in the best shape of my adult life and I continue working on my own personal goals.
My message is look at the big picture of what you need to accomplish and go to it, regardless of how long it takes you to get there.
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
thanks for posting this! i'm in week 11 and not where i want to be yet. and it does get discouraging at times to see those after pictures--i've said to myself more than once, "why couldn't i get those results?!". because let's face it, those before/after pics on this site are AMAZING and some even seem impossible! i also remind myself that everyone's body responds differently. i don't have tons of weight to lose (my goal is to drop 2-3 sizes), but my body just isn't shedding fat super fast.
as you said-this is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. i know that if i stick to this, i WILL get the results i desire!
What a great post. I actually had a different problem, my first challenge I far exceeded my dreams by that last day. And that was nearly 10 years ago. My frustration was that I haven't been able to produce those same exceptional results again. So this time around, I am also keeping realistic expectations. Last year I was frustrated because I completed the challenge only to have lost 5 lbs, even though I never missed a workout and never cheated (except on a free day of course). This challenge that starts today, will be about trying to achieve my best. And...maybe not so free with the free day anymore... :) And if the goals aren't met? Do it again. And again.
Excellent Post Michelle!!
What a great post! I knew when I started this on 1/18, that it would take a few challenges to get to my goal weight. I am trying to look at this as a lifestyle to live forever, not for 12 weeks, or 24 weeks.
Today, a wonderful thing happened. As my 13 year old opened the door, the neighbors dog rushed inside. It has been a long, cold winter in Virginia, and there has been more snow this year, than on record. So, I only see my neighbors while I am in my car, driving kids all over town. Well, she came to the door to get her dog, and was in awe. She said that I looked great, and wanted to know what I had been doing. She said it twice, too! It felt great. None of the friends I see on a daily basis have even noticed, but when people see you less often, the change is more obvious. What a great feeling.
Oh, yea...and those Lane Bryant emails I keep getting? Time to block those. I won't be needing those anymore!
Julie (in Virginia)
Congratulations Julie, that's fantastic.
BluesKat I understand exactly what you are saying but I will say this, a whole lot of stuff changes in 10 years, but stick to your guns. You will learn over time what foods your body responds to better and which ones it doesn't. In example, I don't do well consuming whole wheat breads and pasta, but I do extremely well with oats and sweet potatoes.
Jaypbee be patient open and totally honest with yourself from every angle and journal everything because if you are struggling, there are lots of us in the community that will help you figure out what's not working. Hang in there!
You aren't kidding things change. Since when did my forearms start to sag? What is up with that? hehehe - yes it takes awhile to figure out what is the best combination for you. I used to think I would die without pasta. But now, I never even think about it. And when I do, it's a wheat based or quinoa based pasta with extra protein.
The key for me is to be the best I can be now. And not focus on what I have been in the past.
michelle-thanks for the encouragement! i'm losing inches. at last measurement (end of week 10), i'd lost almost 17 inches off of 6 measurement sites. but, i fluctuate between 8 and 10 lbs lost and i'm only down one size. but that's okay, as i'm already planning challenge 2 after 2 weeks of ar.
Michelle I always love when you post about realistic expectations, because it is so easy for us to have unrealistic expectations and thoughts. So many things affect how our body responds to doing the challenge, age, dieting (especially extremes), and workouts we have done in the past and the toll it has taken on our body. Because sometimes our bodies actually have to "heal" before it starts working at its most efficiency.
Jaybee, those are some fantasitc stats!! Good for you!!
Stephanie-AL your comments are so true. Even now I have to reel in my expectations!
I love your story.
Your post is exactly what I needed. It is 11:00pm, I am once again reviewing my day and all the "bad" choices I made, vowing to get started tomorrow. It's the same thing over and over....and has been for the past 8 years. The last time I lost a major amount of weight, it was with BFL and it was the healthiest I've ever been. Shortly after, I got pregnant and 80 lbs gained has turned into well over 120. Tonight as I thought about all of the things I've tried.....Weight Watchers, Acai, Alli, Meridia....you name it....I realized that I keep looking for the easy answer when I really do know what to do and how to do it. So, I came online to see what was going on with BFL and miracle of miracles, a challenge starts TOMORROW. I then go to check out the forums, do a search on "morbid obesity" and find this post. I will go to bed feeling hopeful for what tomorrow brings! Thanks!
Thanks for the post Michelle. I looked at my week 5 photos last week and realized that I was not were I wanted to be, but it was unrealistic. I then stepped on the scale and realized I was exactly were I was suppose to be on my short term goals I wrote down, 2lbs a week. Your post has helped me to understand that we need focus on the short term goals for 12 weeks, not thinking we are all going to look the next bodybuilder, fitness model, etc., etc.. Not everyone is going to be like some of the champions that went from flab to fab in 12 weeks. Ultimately I want to loose 48lbs, and thinking to myself is that attainable in 12 weeks? It probably is, but it probably wouldn't be healthy. Small steps lead to big things. Thanks again Michelle!
I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It
never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two
hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds." -Henry Rollins-
Way to go Matthew!! It helps so much when we really understand what our expectations are and how we reach our goals! I've said this a bunch of times over the past six months. It's better to be consistent in your efforts day after day than it is to try and rush it. Hang in there and stay the course!!
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