Here's the paper towel theory. Print it out and read it often...it's so true!
Here’s a little inspiration for those of you who are worried about not seeing any changes in your body so far. It’s called the “Paper Towel Theory,” and Bob White sent it to me in 2003.
Let’s assume you go out and buy two rolls of paper towels, each with only 84 paper towels on it (one for each day of the challenge). You put one aside, and keep it for future reference (your “before” picture). The other one represents you (I’ll call your paper towel you “Ed”). The core represents the lean Ed. The towels represent the fat that is covering the lean Ed. For sake of argument, let’s say that Ed wants to lose 21 pounds of fat, so (84/21) each sheet represents a quarter-pound of fat lost. Let ’s also assume that Ed loses his fat equally during each day of the challenge.
Each day during the first week, you tear a sheet off of Ed, representing the fat he has lost for the day. Next, you put Ed next to the full roll (“Big Al”) for comparison. No noticeable difference!!! Even at the end of the week! This can’t be working for me! But, being a good Ed, you continue to follow Body-for-LIFE. At the end of weeks two and three, you continue to compare Ed to Big Al, and still notice very little difference. That Mr. Phillips MUST be joking!
But Ed is determined! He works hard! Hitting his 10’s…eating his six daily meals. Three more weeks go by, the sheets peeling off day after day, before Ed gets up the courage to stand next to Big Al again. Holy Myoplex! Ed is skinny! OK, not skinny, but less huge!!!
By the end of the 12-week Body-for-LIFE program, Ed is down to his lean dream, or somewhere near it. Ed is happy. We are happy. Big Al - well he’s not so happy.
The lesson to be learned is that fat, like paper towels, comes off in sheets. When you are heavy, you are big around. And when you are big around, that fat is spread over a MUCH larger area - just like that outside towel sheet. The closer you get to the lean you, the more each lost pound of fat shows, because it is spread over a smaller area.
While the outside sheet may only cover one layer of the roll, the inside sheet may go around 4 times. That last sheet looks like it gives you 4 times the results of the first sheet, but in reality, the results are the same - your perception is just different! And you’ll never see the inside, if you aren’t patient while the outside is coming off!
VERY GOOD analogy! Thank you for posting this!
I just started today and I am really hoping that thru this community I can DO this... I trained for a marathon 3 years ago and coud not believe that I was able to commit to the training. Since then I have turned 40 and gained 25 pounds that refuses to budge. I know that I can do this if I get in the right mind set, but lately I have been feeling so depressed with the extra weight that getting up and moving has been a bit challenging. So I am hoping to motivate and be motivated and to also get advice from others who are in this with me...
Dear BFL friends, hope your day has been well.
Thanks for the post Amy. It's a good read and reminder. I appreciate you taking the time to do this...to encourage us.
Lifeinthe40s--you are not alone in this. We can do this together, but more than half the effort is to simply try. Please do post and keep us/me informed so I can here cheer you on every step of the way.
Day 2 was a bit of a challenge to get through mentally today. I didn't maintain the 6 meals according to plan but I was careful about what I ate. As I pulled into the gym parking lot, there was barely any parking space. Already I felt a insecure about the weights. I wasn't sure what or how or if I could even achieve the right workout since I'm not very good at weights. I had a stressful day and almost drove home out of sheer frustration. My ex-landlord is keeping my security deposit and now I think my next course would be to sue her. Being a FT single mom of 3, and working full time, and today, the unnecessary added stress today about my ex-landlord compounded my stress levels. Then to get to the gym and find the lack of parking spaces...I was just about to give up.
But I told myself that I was already here and I might as well get it over with. And so.....I parked a bit further out and just walked in and just tried, wrong or right...just do the training and see how it goes. I realized as I was moving along the sheet of paper, checking off and writing down my actuals, the initial weights I had set for myself was simply too much. By the time I got to my 8/6 reps, I could barely lift them anymore. So I have learned how very weak my muscles really are and I will start with lower weights and build up next go around. I'm glad I went in and glad I didn't give up. I was in a slightly better mood on the drive home and realized it's not really the end of the world...not just yet anyways. =)
Well BFL friends, the night is almost over for me and Day 2 will done. I'm going to have my daughter take my before pictures tonite...ugh, not quite looking forward to it but will have to get it over with also.
Tomorrow is a new day to conquer or at least try to give it my what I can. Take care and good nite.
Ok I have been doing BFL for a while now (since 99) and I never ever got through a 12 week challenge. I have made it to week 8 and 9 before. But this time was different. Not only did I make it through a 12 week challenge but I am on week 9 of the second challenge. Here is what I can tell you. Do not weigh yourself daily. Instead weigh yourself right before the start of the free day. If you lose 2-4 lbs you are on track. If you gain or stay the same do not freak out. Re-evaluate your foods and exercise. If they are good then continue on. I have had weeks were I lost 4, 2, and 0. I had a free day that put me 8lbs higher then I was the day before. I can tell you that really ticked me off, but by the end of that week I was on course to still lose weight from the previous week. What I am saying is tell yourself no matter what happens I am going to finish out the 12 weeks. Even if that means I gain weight every week. I am going to just do it. If you do you will win and be healthier. And that is what this is all about.
Tracing114 - Good for you! You have taken that first step....now just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I promise, you won't regret it. I once heard a saying that went something like this....."thinking about dragging yourself out of bed and working out is more dreadful than actually doing it." I feel that way sometimes. My alarm goes off and I just want to roll over and 'dig in' for more sleep. However, after I've actually gotten up and done my workout, I feel so much better and realize that it actually gets my day off to a good start. I don't know why we dread it so much in the beginning.
I had a very good workout today. If you haven't tried the stair stepper, give it a go. To me, it is the hardest machine in the gym. It really kicked my butt today. Hope you had a fabulous workout and are on track with your eating. I can't wait to see some results! W3D7
Good morning BFL friends, it's really nice to be able to read the encouragement and advice everyone has to offer. It helps tremendously since I'm very certain I will have lots of questions along the day. Today is Day 3 and so far the morning is off okay and I'm hoping my post tonite will say that it ended well. ;-)
Tmsmith23 - Is training for a marathon similar to BFL for you? I'm just curious to know what got you to stick through the first challenge and of course, definitely congrats in order for that. Was your second challenge back to back with the first or did you have a break in between the two. I have read other postings where folks would usually stop midway or so and I'm wondering if it it's simply because the results wasn't there for them. And like you said, as long as you get thru it, you will win no matter what. Of course, being more fit, trim and looking better is a definite plus.
Amy - I totally am not a morning person. No matter how many times I tell myself I will do my workout in the mornings, I always end up stopping after a few tries. I think I'm just going to have to accept that I will need to do it after work because it that has actually been something I could find myself sticking too, even though the BFL book states that a morning workout would burn more calories.
Cardio today. I have not tried the stair stepper because it's always taken every time I go to the gym. I did the treadmill on Sunday and will probably do the same routine since it was a good workout. Although, I would like to know, when you do the stair stepper, can you give me a guideline of how to do the workout?? Is it similar to the workout I have below?
Here is my current treadmill workout (which I took from another posting that helped tremendously as my starting point and baseline for me to build on). My goal is to increase the speed by .2 each week:
Min 1 2.5mph
Min 2 2.5mph
Min 3 3mph
Min 4 3.5 mph
Min 5 4 mph
min 6 4.5 mph <--This is your Lv 9 intensity.
Min 7 3mph
Min 8 3.5 mph
Min 9 4 mph
min 10 4.5 mph <--This is your Lv 9 intensity.
Min 11 3mph
Min 12 3.5 mph
Min 13 4 mph
min 14 4.5 mph <--This is your Lv 9 intensity.
Min 15 3mph
Min 16 3.5 mph
Min 17 4 mph
Min 18 4.5 mph <--This is your Lv 9 intensity.
Min 19 5 mph <--- This is where you shoot for that 10! Should be a big effort and really have to dig deep.
Min 20 2.5mph
I'd love to hear from the rest of the folks who have joined or are in progress. I find it so encouraging when I read your stories and hear of your triumphs...and even during your down moments, it helps me realize I am not alone in this. Have a great day everyone...will be back later.
Since I have never trained for a marathon I cannot say it was like that. For me the key was a workout partner. I found a guy who was about 10 years older than I was and we just made a 5 day a week commitment (M-F) to work out. I am a competitive guy so I always want to run faster and lift more than he does. But he is competitive too so he will only let me do that for so long then he pushes himself thus making me step up even more. We have different free days (mine sat and his sun) so we do our own cardio on the cardio day on the weekend. I can tell you this, knowing he is there waiting for me makes me get up and go and vise versa. So far I am 47 lbs down from where I was so it is working. My workout partner today asked me why I thought everybody at the gym still looked the same as they did on March 6th when we started and we did not. I told them it could be food but most likely it was their training. They are there when we come in and there when we leave. They do not write anything down and work the same muscle group every day. They look at me like I am crazy after my 20 minute cardio is over and I leave but it is me who is making the transformation, not the guy who walked for an hour on the treadmill. Be sure to push yourself the more you put in the more you get out.
I'm going to begin on August 1st...I'm very optimistic, just worried cause I'm very busy! How has your 1st two days been?
Find a gym that opens at 5am. And go then. You can still be busy and not have an issue. Pack your meals the night before so that you have what you need.
I go to LA fitness and it opens at 5 so I think I will be okay! how has everyone's challenges been? starting to see your body transform yet?
Tmsmtih23 - It's amazing to me the amount of time that people will workout without seeing results. i have done BFL for many years and just let it go within the last 2 years. Right now, I'm sure there are people at the gym watching me lift weights for 45 min. and do cardio for 20 minutes and thinking to themselves that I am wasting my time. But, I know that I will be the one with the last laugh. I've seen and done it before. What's even crazier is that you read about all of the Hollywood celebrities that work out for hours each day. Who ARE the trainers that they are using? Clearly they haven't done their homework!
danigrey - my challenge is going great so far. Tomorrow will mark the end of my 3rd week and I am down 10 pounds. I'm trying to stay off the scale because I tend to lose a little early on then plateau for a long while. I haven't noticed a huge difference in my clothes, but my watch is looser this morning! HA! Hang in there everyone.....we can do this!
I am so excited to do this! I think it will be a wonderful habit to get into for the rest of my life. I need to create habits that will make me successful in fitness at an early age! :) Amyismynamey, keep me posted on your progess, it sounds like you are doing great so far!
I just started yesterday. I am already inspired by reading your posts. I usually don't post comments, I just read them, but I read a suggestion by someone to post daily and it helps keep you on track. I am determined to finish this 12 weeks so whatever can help keep me on track I am willing to try. I have started the BFL before, but never finished it. For some reason this time feels different. I am determined to make it work. The fact that I am in day 2 and haven't cheated once yet is saying something. (sad isn't it). I have quite a bit to lose so one 12 week round probably won't do it for me, but I have to start somewhere and this is where I start. the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Katie--I don't find the comment you made about not cheating the past 2 days sad at all. Actually, it was heartfelt but more importantly, it was real and I'm sure so many others who might be reading your post would feel the same way. I do. You aren't in this alone because each day that has passed, albeit 2 so far for me, I've felt the same way too. I haven't cheated so far either. Granted, I'm still trying to adjust to the schedule/routine/meals/etc....and like Amy said, one foot in front of the other and each day at a time because that's about all I can give right now. We can do this!
Tmsmith23--I hate the scale and even moreso I find always so compulsive over those numbers. I am going to weigh myself every 3 weeks but would like to use my clothes and possibly pictures are my gauge because it's just less stressful for me. In the past, whenever I did weigh in's, I'd over analyze my weight and it really unhealthy mentally for me. I do often find myself getting so deep into the nitty gritty of things and perhaps in my own ways, I'd set myself up for failure. So this time, I'm going to try a different approach. If my clothes get loose and fit me better, then that's progress for me. And I'm not buying new clothes until the ones I have on are getting too big/loose. Here's to working towards buying some new clothes in the coming weeks...LOL
Just finished my lunch and off for a meeting. Hopefully I can head out a bit early to get my cardio in. And if the gym today is like anything yesterday, then I'll be stuck waiting for a machine and I'd like to avoid that. I don't know how you early morning birds do it...5AM!! Kudos to you though.
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