Learn from my mistakes!

  • Awesome thread junibird!!!  Very well written.  I appreciate all the comments as well.  I love that we are all human, make mistakes, and are strong enough to learn from them.  I love that I can learn from others here who go through the same things I do...Thanks for sharing :)

  • Great thread I am in week 7 of my second challenge, did the first 11 years ago.

    A few things that get me through.

    Remember it's body for LIFE, not body for 12 weeks, keep the principles( failed this after my first challenge 11 years ago)

    One of the many things that jumps out for me from the book and is my motto these days, " Honor self promises if you can't rely on you, why should anyone else?" Do it for you so you are there for everyone else in your life.

    I hit the gym at 5 am because I want to, I don't eat sugar because I don't want to. I drink water allthe time because it's good for me, I don't drink soda because it's not.

    I started this challenge at 292 pounds after six weeks I am at 268 pounds. I take free days, I hit high points when training. I had my Body fat measured in week four and it was 33 percent my goal is 20 percent! Set goals write them down.

    And I'll throw this out there I'm gonna look good in one of those champion jackets!

    You can't change things  already done forget them and move on!

    Good luck all let's keep rolling!

  • Thanks for the love all---and I have really enjoyed the conversation that ensued.  

    I can't remember who asked me how I maintain but the fact is I DIDN'T!  And now I feel just like the way Bonwitty described, like I wasted so much time throwing away my results and will have to work hard to get back to where I was just ten short weeks ago.  It's kind of a pointless thought for me to have but if I had continued on, I think I'd be at my goal now.  BUMMER!  

    Such is life though, and perhaps I needed to derail just to see how precious these results are.  My boyfriend and I had a conversation about all this today and in the most loving way possible he told me that he's seen my emotions/self esteem do a complete 180 since I stopped.  It couldn't be more true.  All feelings of low self-esteem, mood swings and general ickyness have come back ten fold with the added plus of feeling silly that I let it all slip away after working so hard.  

    All boo-hooing aside, I want to look at where I am at now as a new beginning.  As I enter this challenge again, I vow to appreciate this journey as a second chance to get to where I want to be and work hard without trying to make the program "better".  

    As for those of you nervous about ending your first challenge, I think the advice given here was great----stay the course with the eating and just downplay the intensity of your workout for a week or two.  Just be careful about dropping too much as you could find yourself where I am now.  

    The other factor I think should be addressed is boredom.  I was bored with the routine and exercises so I attempted to do other stuff but with much less focus on planning.  This was a mistake for me too---I just need to write stuff down and have a plan.  There are tons of exercises out there that can vary your routine but if you're like me, it may be best to consult with an outside source like a trainer (or the people at the EAS hotline) to have a concrete plan.  But I'm just one of those folks who does well when you tell me simply, do this.  

    Anyway, thanks again to all who've commented.  It's been a real helpful experience to get this out and hear other's stories.  

    Wishing everyone the best in their quest for health.  It is more valuable than gold!

    Much love,


  • Amazing results, Bonwitty!  What an inspiration.  :) Thank you for sharing!

  • I thought I'd add these great posts from our late BFL Mike.....enjoy.

    What the Heck Syndrome–Throwing It All Away! by: Michael Harris 2/19/2008

    Today, we’re going to briefly deal with what I think is the most dangerous part of the first transformation, the middle weeks.

    About weeks 5 to 8,( or Christmas) somewhere in there, you will encounter the "what the heck" syndrome. How you deal with it will determine the course and outcome of the rest of your challenge(holidays). Here’s how it works. You’ve seen good results to this point, maybe nothing spectacular, but your clothes fit looser, people have noticed, you feel stronger and lift more, and your diet has been pretty much by the book. You’re feeling confident and more. Then, here it comes: "Honey, you’re looking great, and that big wedding reception(staff/family dinner) is coming up next week. Would you do me a big favor and just try to eat and act normally while we’re there? You deserve a little break–you’ve worked so hard!" A smile, and a "pretty please" squeeze and he or she walks away.

    You bite. At the wedding reception, it’s cake and ice cream, a few beers, a couple of handfuls of nuts, and so on. What the heck–you’ll burn it off in the early morning cardio. And you hit the cardio hard. But you hit free day which comes up very quickly even harder. Sleeping in after free day felt pretty good, and you’ll be back on that routine before they know it. This begins a spin from which some never recover.

    Well, this is just an example, and the what the heck syndrome can take many other forms. A very sad event that just begs you to eat and drink over it. A really joyous event that just has to be celebrated. So, what’s wrong with that? Can’t I enjoy life, you say?

    WELL, my question to you is,

    "What does risking all the work you’ve done so far, in exchange for some really unhealthy eating actually have to do with the enjoyment of life??

    If this is how the rest of your life after your challenge is going to be, you don’t stand the proverbial snowball’s chance in Hell of keeping your weight off and staying conditioned.

    The appropriate response to the "what the heck" opportunity is simple.

    Act like you’re enjoying yourself, and you no doubt will. If you can’t handle the peer pressure, grab a glass of diet soda, put a few little food treats on a plate and walk around talking to folks. Mess up the treats, and then at the first opportunity put the plate down, or hand it to a waiter, and walk away. You’ll feel better, and really, no one who matters to you will ever notice the difference. You will, though, because you won’t be waking up the next morning feeling like a bird slept in your mouth!

    Having fun and acting normal at foodfests, without becoming a victim of the gluttony, takes practice but can be done! If you don’t master this, even if your challenge goes smoothly, the rest of your life is going to be a bumpy road! When I was first learning how to be a recovering alcoholic, I worried to death about how to decline a drink when offered one. My sponsor told me to simply say, "No thanks, I’ve had plenty!" And it was certainly no lie either. It worked. The only people who still tried to push drinks on me were people who needed the program I had just been in. It’s no different with food.

    The ones trying to get you to stuff yourself are doing it due to their own issues, not yours!

    Eat, drink and be merry–on free days! On other days, be merry! Don’t let anyone steal the prize out from under your nose.

    "The Great Pretender!"

    by: Michael Harris  2/4/2008

    That’s actually the name of a big hit back in the 50’s by the Platters.

    "The Great Pretender" could also be the title for some of our Body for Life transformations if we’re not careful.

    What I’m talking about is self-deceit, and deceiving others as well.

    The "Pretender" starts on this course by failing to set meaningful

    goals that are lofty but measurable. Then, he settles for

    "pretend" goals like "to get hot-looking" or to "be ripped." These

    pretend goals have no ability to move us forward because they can be

    whatever we want, and they allow us to just do as little or as much as

    we want. They don’t motivate, inspire or propel us towards anything.

    They are just a flight of fantasy.

    Then, armed with these goals, our pretender begins to fudge right off

    the bat.(I’m going to call our pretender "he" just to avoid the awkward

    he or she all the way through, but this is not a gender based problem I

    assure you!) He pretends that he "just couldn’t get up" this morning

    to hit that first early morning exercise program--even though if he had

    been getting up to go to a new job it would have been no problem at


    Then, he pretends that he is physically unable to resist the

    temptations of food at work. The dead giveaway--blaming others--comes when he writes that "someone at work brought.........(fill in the blank of whatever he ate)...." He then tells us he couldn’t resist or that he would havefelt out of place if he hadn’t had at least a few bites.

    Next, our pretender "struggles with" an invitation to go out after work

    with the boys, and of course, that leads to a few beers, and a few

    wings, and there goes the evening exercise program!

    "No worries," he proclaims, as Tuesday approaches. "Today is a new day.

    I start today!" Of course he doesn’t. Soon enough, our pretender has put together about two days out of three weeks that even remotely resemble a BFL program, and then comes back to the guestbook to assert that, "I guess this doesn’t work for everyone. I’ve done it to the T but I don’t see any changes at all." The really sad part of all this is that the pretender has pretended long enough that he actually begins to almost believe that he has done what he said he would.

    In the end, not only does the pretender look the same on the outside,

    but he much the worse on the inside. That’s because he is paying the

    steep price of what BIll Phillips calls "self-perjury," failing to keep

    promises to ourself. What is that price? Sadness, disgust,

    anger--sometimes directed inwardly and sometimes outwardly--and ultimately depression and withdrawal.

    The solution? Set real goals that are steep but can be measured; set up

    a self-discipline and reward system; create some accountability in your

    life, and understand that lying to yourself is one of the most

    destructive things you can do. You honestly would be better off to not

    even start a challenge if that is what you’re going to do.

    Please, be brutally honest with yourselves, and don’t accept any of

    those excuses that weaken you. This is ONLY twelve weeks, and you ONLY

    have to do them one day at a time. Do them to your very best ability,

    and at the end, you’ll be amazed. You’ll be stronger physically,

    emotionally and spiritually than you’ve ever been. YOU’LL BE TRANSFORMED!

  • Wow there are some great thoughts and insights here so I'm bumping it.