Q&A with Chris Whitted
Q: Describe your life before the Body-for-LIFE® Challenge?
I have always been an advocate for health and a good athlete, so working out had always been a way of life for me. In college, I played football for the University of Nebraska Omaha and was in the US Army reserve, so weight training and cardiovascular endurance were always important to me. I was required to take a PT test every year for the military, the police department and the SWAT Team. Even my first year in law enforcement, I worked out religiously and did my best to be in better shape that the “bad guys”. However, as I have gotten older, and it seems busier, I began putting in less and less time in the gym. With three young children, ages seven, five and five and my beautiful wife Tammy to take car of, PT time seemed to get lost in the shuffle. I was not even coming close to working out the way I did in my twenties or even early thirties. That said, I was also not eating healthy and had gotten into a fast food rut. I was grabbing food on the go and starting to put on weight. My metabolism was starting to slow and I became fatigued easier.
Q: What made you finally decide to take that first step and enter the Challenge?
I was approached by Nick Boswell and encouraged to enter the competition and re-dedicate myself to fitness. I looked in the mirror one evening and noticed and extra tire forming around my midsection to go along with my receding hair line. I was amazed at how quickly I had gotten out of shape considering the amount of time I had put into fitness the previous 20 years of my life. I guess the thought of being out of shape and approaching forty was more than I cared to accept… So I entered the challenge.
I wanted to rededicate myself to fitness and get back to level I knew I should be at. Being a Captain in the military, I had always strived to set the example. Weather that was how I wore the uniform to what my PT score was in the physical fitness test. I wanted to get back to “maxing” the PT test and being a role model for younger soldiers to follow. In October 2002, I graduated from Officer Military Police Basic Course in Ft Leonard Wood and was probably in the best shape of my life next to college. I knew I could get back to that level with a little effort.
Q: What were your very first impressions of the program? Did you struggle or was it liberating?
I actually struggled initially, with the eating portion of the program because I was not sure what I could eat….how much you could eat, when to eat, etc…I probably contacted Nick ten times the first couple of weeks with questions. Eventually, I got the hang of it and liked the way I was feeling. I went to the BFL website and looked at the meal selections and focused on consuming balanced carbohydrates and proteins with each meal.
With respect to actually looking like some of the guys in the posters…I was a tad skeptical that I could actually look like that in only 12-Weeks. But I decided if I worked hard and followed the program; it was worth finding out for myself.
Where the workouts were concerned, they were no problems. I enjoyed the cardio and weight day and immediately liked how quick you could get in and out of the gym. Before I would do far to many sets of this or that body part and realized it doesn’t take four exercise of one body part with multiple sets to get results in an area.
I would say it became somewhat liberating after week three or four when I had zero desire for fast food. I truly began feeling better and could begin to see my midsection slimming down. I was waking up more refreshed in the morning and began to realize my pants were even a bit loose.
Q: Talk about the moment you first began to see changes in your body and/or outlook?
I would say it was after a month into the Body-for-LIFE® Challenge. I began to see my waistline slime and my pants began to fit better. I woke up feeling refreshed and more prepared to take on the day. I also began to sleep better at night. Since coming home from Iraq in May 2004, I often would take Tylenol PM to help me get to sleep, but the consistency with working out allowed me to fall asleep easier and I seemed to have less stress on my mind.
I actually began to get excited about the program and that I could actually achieve the results I desired. All of the other guys were doing well and it became fun to compare results and keep each other on task.
Q: Did you have to over-come any obstacles during your 12-Week Challenge?
I think relying on the other members of my group for motivation and discipline helped. We often worked out together and bounced ideas for meals and weight workouts off of each other. Everyone was motivated to perform well and not let the group down. I think that went a long ways to keeping us on track and working towards our goals.
My biggest obstacle was in week three when I was married in Jamaica and stayed there a week for my honeymoon. I thought there was no way I could eat healthy, stay on the nutrition plan, find time to workout and do what needed to be done. But, once on the island, I found a workout facility, noted the meals had lots of lean meats, and fish and fruits and vegetables, and just decided to honor the commitment I hade made to the group and the challenge. I ended up only missing one workout for the week and stayed away from the desert bars.
Q: How did you feel on the very last day of your Challenge?
I felt better than I had in a long time. I was proud of myself for completing the contest and sticking with it. I lost 16 lbs. and weighted in at 189 lbs. while dropping my percentage of body fat 9 percentage points. I looked and felt better than I had since my college days playing football and felt a real feeling of accomplishment. I could begin to see that I truly could look like the guys in the posters and that it only took a little self discipline in eating and consistency with workouts. Obviously I was proud of the group for our accomplishments and the results we all achieved.
I actually felt as though we had already won. Regardless of where we ended up finishing the overall Body-for-LIFE® Contest; I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride I hadn’t felt in a long time. I was appreciative of having a wife who supported me through the program and encouraged me along the way.
Q: What was the reaction of your friends and family to the amazing changes you made?
I received a lot of praise and congratulations from family and friends. Many expressed a desire to know more about the program and were impressed that changes of that magnitude could be made in such relatively short time. My brother-in-law started the program and my wife has expressed a desire to also enter the challenge. Others in the military unit have expressed an interest in Body-for-LIFE® and have gone to the web site several times. I have talked about the program with several of them and hope they will give a try.
Q: Do you still follow the Body-for-LIFE® program?
I do a modified level. I have stayed from fast foods as much as possible and still perform the same cardio and weight workouts. I’m probably not as strict with the diet as I was during the two 12-Week Contests. I entered, but I have no desire to eat candy or sweets and still try to eat only whole grain breads, natural peanut butter and lots of yogurt.
I think that after doing a couple of 12-Week Body-for-LIFE® programs, proper dieting and eating have kind of become engrained in my daily activities. I try to eat the multiple meals to keep my metabolism up, and perform my workout in a similar fashion as to what I did during the contest.
Q: If someone were to ask your advice about starting—and finishing—the Challenge, what would you tell them?
I would tell them it was one of the best things they could ever do for themselves. Aside from learning about diet and exercise, I think you learn a lot yourself. You learn that you can accomplish goals you set yourself, no matter how difficult or extravagant they may seem. Once you complete the program, you will be amazed at the progress you made and how much you will have transformed your body. You also will learn to develop better habits that will stay with you long after the contest is over. I have and will continue to encourage friends and family to give Body-for-LIFE® a try and see for themselves what incredible transformations they can make.
Q: How has your life changed since doing the Challenge?
I think the Body-for-LIFE® Challenge has changed how I view the importance of good nutrition and exercise. It’s not something you can just do for awhile, and then stop, and expect to maintain the results you achieved from consistent workouts and good nutrition. It has to become more of a way of life. Also, my focus on the importance of good nutrition is something I think about everyday. I better understand the foods I put into my body really do matter and have a large impact on how I look and feel. I don’t ever want to be an overweight forty something with no energy to play with my kids or coach their sports teams.
I look and feel better than I have for sometime and have all the desire in the world to maintain what I started. Moreover, since being involved on the winning group entry team, it has given me a new platform to talk Body-for-LIFE® and try to convince others to take charge of their fitness and overall health.
Q: Where do you think you’d be if you had never done the Challenge?
I shudder to really think about that question. I probably would be on my way to being a good 20 lbs. overweight and on a path of losing all the physical fitness skills I had maintained since my 20’s or early 30’s. I am sure my body fat percentage would be in the lower 20’s and that is definitely not a healthy way to go through life. Without the challenge I would not understand the importance of multiple meals, wheat products over white, and how easy it really is to change your outlook, physical fitness level and overall health. The fact I would be upping my pants size would certainly be a reality. Now that I have achieved excellent health, I will do everything in my power to keep from returning to my pre-Body-for-LIFE® state.
Q: After going through the 12 Weeks, how was your mindset different that it was before? Were you able to face the challenges in your life with more confidence?
After going through the Body-for-LIFE® Challenge, I believe my mindset is different in that I understand better what consistency and dedication can do; for whatever your focus is. Physical fitness and nutrition has to be a priority in a person’s life and any time is a good time to get started. It’s never too late and you’re never too old to get in shape or change your life. If Porter Freeman can do it at age fifty, there really is no excuse to not be able to make changes while still in your 30’s. Jack Lalane was truly a man ahead of his time. There is no doubt his lifestyle and workout routine has allowed him to maintain his busy schedule and healthy life.
Q: What is your favorite free day meal?
My favorite free day meal was Mama’s Pizza and Garlic Cheese bread. Of course any food on my free day was Mama’s Pizza and garlic cheese bread. Of course, any food on my free day was welcome addition to the diet and made the whole thing much easier to accomplish. Sometimes I would simply tell myself, “I’ll just have that this Sunday and wait until then to enjoy it.”
At least with this program, you could still enjoy a piece of cheese cake now and then. Knowing that you can eat like a “Body-for-LIFER” six days a week, and still enjoy a piece of pizza very once in a while gives the participant the incentive needed to stay on the plan. I suppose with out the free day meal, I might not have had the patience to wait and eat “those other foods”. In all honesty, since completing the Body-for-LIFE® Challenge, I have lost the taste for most fast foods and definitely do not crave sweets or cookies. I simply have made a conscious decision to limit those foods in my diet…and I feel better for it!
Q: How have you spread the word of Body-for-LIFE® to other folks?
I have turned people on to the Body-for-LIFE® website. I have also shown people our video and let them watch the Body of Work video I received from Porter. Now after being part of the 2006 Group Champion Category, it has been easy to bring up the topic in conversation. Just recently I was at a live auction fundraiser for our Church and MC of the event had seen out new story and began to talk about the contest in front of the other 300 people present. Needless to say, I talked a lot of Body-for-LIFE® following the auction.
Q: What are your current goals?
My current goals, aside from family and friends, are to increase my muscle mass and cardiovascular health. I would eventually like to achieve a single digit body fat percentage and increase my abdominal definition. Maintaining my 2006 achievements for years to come is my ultimate goal and because of Body-for-LIFE®, I feel I am more prepared to do that than at any other time in my life. I would like to do future challenges and get other family members involved as well. I think EAS® should have a family/ extended family category as well. I can’t think of nothing better than sharing the gift of health and nutrition with other family members. The thought of spending many more years together with my wife Tammy and my children is all the driving force I need to stay healthy. They are truly my everything!
Q: Quotes that inspire?
“I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4-13
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931)
“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” Thomas A. Edison
“I’m tired of being Gross” Kevin Covi Feb 2006
Q: Define Success?
I think success can be defined a million different way by a million different people. But ultimately what success is not…is failure. Setting a goal and completing it…no matter how minor or insignificant it might seem to another is what really matters.
Some people define success by how much money you have or what title you have next to your name. I simply define it by what goals I have set for myself and if I have accomplished them or not.
I have always told the football kids I coach, to “Never fail to make a play because of a lack of effort.” I would tell all who read this to “Never fail at something, anything, simply because of a lack of effort”.
Q: Any final thoughts?
Never fail to succeed because of a lack of effort. Anything that will change your health and make you a better person is worth pursuing. I encourage everyone to take the Body-for-LIFE® challenge and find out for themselves how it will change their life forever…and not just physically. It will change you mentally and truly change how you view health, nutrition and the overall game plan for your life. Good Luck and God Bless. Enjoy the Journey!
Q: What are your favorite EAS® products?
Myoplex® Original, Thermo DynamX®, Phosphagen™, Phosphagen Elite™