In the past year, I have started and stopped an exercise program maybe 4-5 times. In the past 10 years, too many to count. In 2002 I was introduced to BFL and I stayed with the program for 2 months, lost 25lbs and was feeling great. Went on vacation (Rio) and when I came back I feel out of the routine and stopped. Then I was 275 and went down to 250. Now, 12 years later I'm 355. Over the past few weeks, I've really been unhappy with myself, I know I can do better, I can see myself doing better and I want to do better. It's hard. I use to be in great shape during my college days, former football player and a commissioned officer in the military. I'm so tired of being fat. It's time for a change! It's time for "The Change." I'm a good guy, I have good friends, a good job (it's ok i guess) and I'm not hard of the eyes. I just let my weight go in the wrong, very wrong direction.
Each time over the past years I've been doing these exercise programs by myself. Well, I now see that there are a lot of people out there who are facing the battle of weight gain just like me. I guess I'm not alone. And I'm tired of doing this alone. So, I need help! I start Monday Jan 27th 2014. If there is anyone out there who can be kind enough to share some advice on starting and not stopping, I will very much appreciate what you have to say.
Thanks for stopping by.
Back in 2002, were you an active member of one of the forum groups? What was your self talk like when you got back from holidays and decided not to start training again? Was it because you were "comfortable" with how you looked maybe or were there other things going on that got in your way?
A lot of people either dropout before end of week 2 or round about week 8. You had the motivation to get to week 8, which is excellent. ANY week can be really tough if you haven't got people their to support you when "obstacles appear"... and they will, as sure as the air we breath they will and they will make you want to give up...
I can't emphasise enough how important it is to have a support system around you of "like minded people" doing the same program you are doing. The ONLY way to get that is to be connected daily to one of the forums on this site. These amazing people, all with stories that read like yours at some point in time, inspire, motivate, pick you up when you fall and kick you up the backside when you find toooo many excuses to not keep going..... some even end up being like "family" to you - most don't start out with that in mind of course, but I can tell you my own experience and many others have ended up with people that really "get them"....
Please jump onto the Forum called "CALLING ALL LIFERS - JAN 6TH GAME DAY" I have just joined the group - week one is under my belt whereas most of the group have just finished 3 weeks. YOU REALLY NEED THIS KIND OF SUPPORT this time Charles because your self doubts are already setting you up for failure..
I'll post a couple of articles here from one of the previous champions, I have many more from him (Mike Harris) on this and everything BFL, if you would like me to email you directly with more, let me know and all the best to you!
Ps/ I don't know if Perfectionism is a problem for you, but I think we can all get something out to this article, so please read with an open mind and the third one I put up, it's lengthy but the bottom half is very important..
Perfectionism–the Ultimate Transformation Killer! by: Michael Harris 9/4/2008
If I called you a perfectionist, would you smile? I hope not, because it is anything but a compliment! See, I view perfectionism as the single biggest character flaw there is to a successful challenge. In tomorrow’s blog I discuss another big impediment to a challenge, perhaps bigger, called eating disorders, but I do not view them as a character flaw, like I do perfectionism. A character flaw is a way of behaving that has become ingrained and second nature, and which almost always leads to adverse consequences to the person who has it. They often appear to the person as an asset rather than a flaw, and that is another reason that they are very difficult to eradicate. In the real world of Body for Life, here is how perfectionism usually operates. The person decides that he or she has "had it," that they are going to renounce their current way of living, lose X number of pounds, and get and stay in shape forever. They buy the book; read it carefully; make tremendous preparations just as recommended in the book; plan all their meals and workouts; do all their shopping, and begin in earnest early on a Monday morning. Within a week, they will miss a workout, or grab an unauthorized food and wolf it down, or encounter some personal crisis which suddenly attracts all their attention, and BANG, just like that, their challenge grinds to a complete halt. Then, they resolve to start over and do it again perfectly. See, the reason that the perfectionism is such a fatal flaw is that it always makes you quit, and never allows for a mistake that can be a teaching moment. Yet, the person who has it just doesn’t see this. They think of themselves as victimized by the temporary failure, and they see "do overs" as just part of the way of achieving the perfect result. There’s no such thing! And the end result of the perfectionist is always the same--they quit! In the end, they are usually much worse off than they were when they started. How do you beat perfectionism? Well, in a way, it is like a cockroach--it doesn’t like the light! So, admit it to yourself, and put the light of truth on what you are doing, and your ridiculous way of behaving will become evident to you. The wall of denial will crack, and you’ll be able to accept less than perfect, and to get on with your life in an orderly manner. The second thing you can do is to realize that it is far more important to keep your self-promises than it is to do anything perfectly, because breaking promises to yourself causes a complete lack of self-confidence in due time.
15/11/2009 - BFLMike – ONCE AGAIN (You should write a book on all this stuff Mike – call it - BFL according to King Mike! Hehe!)
Ride the horse you saddled! Abandoned Challenges!!
I’m thinking this morning about why so many BFL challenges are unsuccessful. By "unsuccessful" I mean that they were either completely abandoned, or turned into "unofficial" challenges, or just sputtered through 12 weeks without any real differences in the appearance or daily routine of the trainee.
I think the reasons for failure are actually only two: 1. Failure to make a deep commitment. This is the person who begins with the "ready–fire–aim" method. He or she pronounces that they have "had it" with being fat, out of shape, and miserable. This time, they assure us, they are going to go all the way–nothing can stop them–and they are going to win this challenge! There is no evidence of preparation, education, or ability to do what they are announcing–just this huge burst of energy! Well, what invariably happens is that the first minute something else comes along, or at the first sign of even a trivial misstep, our once-enthused trainee immediately goes off the reservation and is never heard from again. This is a classic case of mistaking enthusiasm for determination. Enthusiasm isn’t even necessary, but determination sure as heck is. In order to achieve some determination you need to invest in your life efforts. You need to read the book, get a journal, buy the right foods, learn the right exercises, take your before photos, and several other things that the trainee fails to do. In a phrase, the trainee failed to make a deep commitment.
2. Altering the program. What is wrong with modifying the program to suit your own personal situation or desires? Everything, usually! See, we are part of the "have it your way" generation. Hollywood and Madison Avenue (For those of you from Rio Linda those are terms for the movie and advertising industries!) have told us for years that we deserve anything we want, and that as long as we earnestly believe we want it, then we should have it–no matter what! That attitude is prevalent in our society today, and so it is quite a simple matter to take a simple program like BFL and change it up to suit our schedule or our tastes, or our perceived inability to eat certain foods, or at least so our trainee thinks. Well, as the title of this blog suggests, it is far better to "ride the horse you saddled" than to make huge changes to an existing program. Body for Life is very sensitive, and if you go from 6 meals a day to 3 or 4, you completely rewrite the program. If you add a bunch of cardio because you "have a lot of weight to lose and want to lose it quickly" you completely rewrite the program. And rewriting it means you step into uncharted waters and your results will be far inferior to those who stick with the program. As soon as you tweak the program you will have no idea which of the tweaks were responsible for the diminished results. You will also be frustrated, and unhappy.
If you have come to BFL and are impatient for your results, keep doing the things the book tells you to do, and get through the 12 weeks. It isn’t an 8 week program, and the book does not promise you incremental results–just results. If you modify it, or quit it, you have wasted every minute you’ve already put into it. If after 12 weeks you still aren’t where you want it to be, heck, do something else! Try combining a detox diet, the Atkins diet and the Hollywood diet and see what happens! But, until then, stick with what you have committed to, and you’ll be glad you did.
Progress Not Perfection – can be a trap..
by: Michael Harris 8/22/2007
In twelve step groups they call them "waltzers." THey come to a meeting, with a contrite heart and a renewed resolution to change their lives. They’ve had a relapse. They relapse often, sometimes every month that year. These folks are called the "waltzers" because they work steps "1, 2, 3, and 1, 2, 3, and..." And it goes on and on. Step one is the admission that they’ve failed in their attempts to change and that their lives are unmanageable; step two is a profession that a power outside themselves and greater than themselves could restore their sanity; and step three is a decision to turn their will and their lives over to this higher power. The real question is: Why do they keep repeating the first three and never going on to four? Obviously one of the reasons is relapse. That is, the addiction or besetting problem took over their lives again before they could move to the next steps. But why? Well, take a look at the next step. It says that they are to "Take a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves" and step five requires them to "Admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." In my unsolicited opinion, the waltzers cycle in and out of the twelve step programs because they find it easy to say that they have failed, and that they know that surrender to a higher power is their salvation, but they are utterly unwilling to do the difficult work of searching out their deepest flaws, sins and wrongdoings, as well as inventorying their assets. And if they did do that, then they’d next have to do something they don’t want to do in a million years--tell those secrets to another human being! Thus, they just keep waltzing, and the cycle deepens for them each time, until eventually either a miracle rescues them, or the disease kills them. This is where the recovery saying, "You are only as sick as the secrets you keep" comes from. Unless you get rid of the hold that your deeds and flaws of your past have on you, they will always call you back to your old bad habits and ways. What does this have to do with Body for Life? EVERYTHING!
For those who start challenges over and over and over. For them, the "waltz" is the disgust that comes at the end of the binge, usually on a Sunday, and the resolution that "I’m starting over Monday, and this time nothing will stop me!" Then, within five days, it’s all fallen in on them again. Someone gave them a donut, or the alarm didn’t go off; or the kids got sick; or the husband was mean; or the boss was mean; or WHATEVER! But the main thing is--THEY JUST QUIT!
What happens when you quit? Well, you just lied to yourself again, for one thing. And just like when somebody lies to you, it leaves a scar, and it destroys trust. When you lie to yourself, the trust you destroy is your self-confidence. It’s gone. So, after going through this cycle a dozen times, you have no faith in your own ability to do the challenge--you’re just mouthing the words--and just waiting for the next failure opportunity to present itself. What’s the solution? Oddly enough, the solution begins by not starting over again. By this, I mean what the person must do is to work steps four and five before they work step one. They need to take a couple of weeks and really do a fearless inventory of themselves. THey have to admit that they are just plain weak, and that they lie to themselves and others all the time, about what they’ve eaten, what they’re going to eat, and why they don’t keep their promises. They need to write all that down, and then they need to tell someone. It is only through doing this that the past loses its hold on you. It’s only by taking a complete personal inventory that you truly acquire the strength of character to say "No," and to honor your self-promises. You can fool yourself all you want by posting those silly sayings on your fridge--like the one that says "nothing tastes better than skinny feels"for instance--but the truth is that the only thing that will work for you and will break your slothful habits and your addiction to food is to own up to your faults and to replace them with good habits. Then, and only then, will you be able to come back to BFL, and with confidence begin the life change that you say you desperately desire. So, act like you really mean it--don’t just say you do. Get a pencil and a tablet and get to work on your life. The only way to a new one is to get rid of the old one, by dealing with it, understanding it, and telling it. Then, you will be free to start over. If you want to know the mechanics of how this is done, just do a google search on "Fourth Step Inventory"
Obstacles are the quickest way to decipher the
winners from the losers....
Greetings Charlie, Debb is right, join a forum group and get with the BFL program, you won't be sorry. I started out with a weight of almost 300 years ago (297) and now am down to a much more leaner, healthier, more energenic 225 and still losing and will be doing another BFL Challenge this spring (April to Jul) works best for me and the gym I go to (still not normal there yet). Aming for that 200 or very under that level this year as a goal with no loss of muscle as well. Wish you the best of luck, read the book, follow the plan and be sure to plan out those meals as best you can and don't overuse the Free day as well. WTG on taking this first step.
As Bill and Deb have mentioned, there is a tremendous support group on this very site. However the one flaw that any online communication has is that "personal commitment" is just that, personal. By this I simply mean that because non of us know "Charlie" in a personal, one-on-one sense, then Charlie can merely disappear until the next time he feels like joining in on a conversation. It would appear that you have a commitment issue, and most of us do, myself included. With that being said, I always suggest to my client's that that they make their commitment to living healthier lifestyle as public as possible; Facebook, Twitter, workplace, friends, family, etc, and then when you begin to backslide on your commitment to yourself you will find it a bit more difficult to just give up on your dreams and desires. Good Luck in your quest!
Charles....so glad you posted. Just getting back to the gym after years of being inactive. I am 60lbs overweight and have started and stopped diets numerously throughout the year. I keep quitting on myself. However, because you posted this. .. The responses have been inspiring! I feel like there is hope. Hang in there. ..I will be thinking of you along the way.
Good morning Charles,
Stick close to the forum, this has a lot of great people here that will pick you up when you are down and point you in the right direction when you are lost. You know the path, take the first step. We will be here with you. Best of luck with this man, lets get this rolling!
Do I ever know what you are going through. I got pretty emotional reading your post because I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN how many times I have "let myself down" or quit. I used to have absolutely ZERO self trust for myself. I didn't trust myself because I had given up so many times when I had promised myself that I wouldn't. If you haven't read the BFL book, read it. But I want to share the chapter in the book that was the "the light bulb going off" for me...Here it is:
"When you begin a Transformation process and set important health and fitness goals, you must promise yourself you will finish what you start, no matter what. That vow, although it might be easy to break, is by far one of the most important ones to honor. You see, the very essence of confidence is self-trust. If you’ve developed a pattern of not honoring self-promises, this is a great time to make a change. If you can’t honor, trust, and depend on your own word, well… that may be the root of a lot of the challenges in your life — a lot more than you realize.
Most people have a very hard time answering the simple question, “Do I keep my word to myself?” Or, I should say, they have a hard time answering it honestly.
The thing about lying to ourselves is we never, ever get away with it. On the surface, we may fool our minds into ignoring or not admitting what we’re doing, but deep down, in the place where all truth resides for each of us, in the place where we know and see ourselves as we really are — in that place, we are causing pain and damage every time we are not totally honest with ourselves.
For example, when you know darn well, deep down inside, that you should be doing something and you’re not, like exercising regularly, like eating right, like starting and finishing a 12-week transformation plan, you’re lying to yourself. Do it often enough, and your self-trust — your confidence — will fade away. Into that emptiness will seep uncertainty, anxiety, stress, and sometimes anger.
It doesn’t have to be like that though. No matter how long it has been like that, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Contrary to what many people think, it’s a lot easier to keep the promises we make to ourselves than it is to break them.
Keeping those promises unleashes enormous energy and potential. That potential emptiness created by self-deception will become filled with strength, certainty — and yes, confidence — if you honor self-promises. (We’ve all heard the phrase, “The truth shall set you free.” Well, nowhere is that more true than when we apply it to our relationship with ourselves.)
When you set health and fitness goals, you must promise yourself you will finish and not quit, no matter what adversity gets in your way. Never, ever give up! Make your promise to yourself upfront, that you will keep going and remind yourself of that promise every day. This is not something to take lightly. This promise must be treated as earnestly as a vow you make under oath. Approach it with that feeling, and you will keep it. And when you succeed, you will feel the transformation inside even more than others see it on the outside. That, by the way, is a promise." -Bill Phillips
I promise you Charles....If you do this and keep your promise of commitment to yourself, a lot more than just your body is going to change for the better! You can do this! and the BFL community is the BEST support group there is. It has done wonders for me. Keep us all posted on your progress when you start so that you can give us all the opportunity to cheer you on!!!
The "WALTZ" yup, that was me....... Thank you for sharing!
I just made a nice post thanking everyone for their support and for some reason it did not post. Oh well. Here it goes again. I want to thank eveyone for their support, it really does mean alot. THANK YOU!! I started my workout today and looking forward to the 89 days that remain. It's feels so good to have complete strangers to show support and care. I will keep moving forward and will not quit. I will not quit!!!
Good for you Charles!
I'm going to add you too the "Team Renegade" list for encouragement and accountability next time I update it! Please come over and share your journey with others!
Ps/ only 83 days remaining!!!!!
:) This welcome for "Charlie" warmed my heart. It's where I began as well. Just a name. I was committed to ME this time (umpteenth time) though, and it wasnt long, that I began to recognize familiar "friends", and maybe you can say I was naive...but I started to really LIKE seeing these "friends" every day. In time, we got to know one another on a thread we called the Coffee Crew. (It's still here, somewhere...) Charles, the people that posted ahead of me are bang on. Keep yourself accountable. Keep posting - good and bad days. Feelings, triumphs, questions etc. You ARE valuable, you DO deserve to be all you want to be. Your job is to train that machine. :) We will help you with the job of training that mind. If we do a good enought job, we should see you around here for the full 12 weeks! ;) I'd like that. And I KNOW you will be so flippen proud of yourself if you do. You are strong, you are willing, and you are able. :) One of my dear friends, (who I met right here!) told me that over a year ago ... I typed it up, and had it on my treadmill. I read that bloody thing every day. Still have it too! You did the right thing coming to BFL.
Day one is in the books. Lets keep turning those pages!! Woo Hoo!
I was just watching a popular weight loss show on t.v., and realized just how much my success counts on the emotional/mental changes needed. I can be my own worst enemy. I don't know how I ever got in this condition.I. too started and stopped (BFL) several times. I did however finish the challenge in 2001 and was pretty successful. Fast forward through a lot of loss and turmoil and falling back into self medicating with alcohol,nicotine, and food,and here I am. I so want to be the person I used to know. Self confident, challenge seeking, and sure of where I was going. Now I feel like I've been spinning my wheels for many years, and I'm tired of it. At 57, and in not so good health,who knows how many years I'll have to fulfill my dreams and aspirations.So I am looking to this forum, and my journal to help me succeed this time and make it a lifelong lifestyle. The eating right and working out are the easy parts. I wish you luck, and hope knowing we're not alone will be the help that's needed. Best to you.
I am so going to re-read the book!!
Livingood, wow, you sound like a carbon copy of me, except I'm 53, don't smoke but drinking out of control... I too realise the years are running out, it's harder as we get older, the body feels it more and the mind can only take so many broken promises.... I too am here to work on "for life".. hopefully I will work that out mentally during this challenge..
I just looked at my old profile from two years ago, and the only thing I changed was my age. That's sad that it took me two years to get going on this, and get serious. But I'm going to give it "what for". As we age, it's easy to fall into that "I'm doing better than some other people my age". Or, Oh well this is who I am now. But I'm not so much liking who I am or how I feel. So let's do this!
Yeah lady! lets do it and work it out for beyond too! I'm a grandma, but sick of dressing like one and wearing long tops to hide my gut... I can't believe how invigorated I feel this time... it's caught me quite unawares really... 11 days ago I didn't even plan on doing BFL... I watched Biggest Loser opener in Oz and on the same day my old BFL sisters re-ignited a FB thread that we started after meeting in TN in 2010, I got all caught up in that, came over here to have a look and got hooked by reading the posts on the 6th Jan thread... it's awesome, I feel like I'm alive again...
See you over there!
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