Q&A with Joshua Sundquist
Q: Describe your life before the Body-for-LIFE® Challenge?
I was a college student in the final months before graduation. I had been a ski racer for several years, but ski racing is an odd sport because it doesn’t necessarily require fitness the way most sports do—in fact, some of the best ski racers are overweight.
Q: What made you finally decide to take that first step and enter the Challenge?
At the start of the summer I spent a week at the beach with some friends. It was everything you’d expect at such an event—junk food, beer, general laziness. On the last day of the trip I just looked in the mirror and said, “This has to stop. I am going to do whatever it takes to have a body I am proud of.”
I read the BFL book a few years ago, and I remembered reading about the challenge, and the incredible transformations people had made in 12 weeks. So as soon as I got home I took my “before” photos and got to work.
Q: What were your very first impressions of the program? Did you struggle or was it liberating?
It took me a while to get used to the intensity. I have worked out for a number of years, but never at 100% effort. It was several weeks before I built up the endurance to go all out for those 45 minutes of lifting.
Q: Talk about the moment you first began to see changes in your body and/or outlook?
I have always been pretty skinny; a “hard gainer” in body-building parlance. So about halfway through the 12 weeks when I started to see that I was actually putting on muscle, it was a huge victory for me. It gave me confidence that what I was doing was working and that I should continue.
Q: Did you have to over-come any obstacles during your 12-Week Challenge?
More than I can list here. I was traveling a lot during the summer, so whenever I went to a new place I had to find a gym in the area where I could work out. It’s also very difficult to eat well on the road—that’s where EAS® nutrition bars were crucial to my success. I also had several health issues along the way that made it difficult to work out.
Q: How did you feel on the very last day of your Challenge?
I couldn’t believe how good my physique was in the photo. I looked better than I had ever hoped I would, and I was so proud of the transformation I made.
Q: What was the reaction of your friends and family to the amazing changes you made?
I emailed the photos to some friends and everyone thought they were fake. They assumed I had pasted my face on top of a photo of a bodybuilder. (I pointed out that the person in the photo clearly has one leg, so it must be me).
Q: Do you still follow the Body-for-LIFE® program?
Absolutely; progress and success is addicting. Since I finished the program I’ve gained several more pounds of muscle and still work out six days a week.
Q: If someone were to ask your advice about starting—and finishing—the Challenge, what would you tell them?
Goals are essential. You have to have specific goals—strength gain, fat loss, cardio endurance, improved nutritional discipline, etc—and you also have to have an image in your mind of the way you want your body to look. That image should be the last thing you see in your mind before you go to bed at night and first thing when you wake up in the morning.
Record everything you can—how much weight/reps you do, how many calories you eat, your weight each morning. That way when you are discouraged with your progress (which will certainly happen a few times) you have a record that you can refer to and see that you’ve made tangible progress.
I read an article by a former champion who said if you want to measure someone’s discipline, you don’t ask them how many workouts they missed—you ask how many meals they missed. Meals are often harder, but just as important, to do right. So don’t slack in the nutrition.
Q: How has your life changed since doing the Challenge?
I have more confidence in everything else I do. When I applied to grad school a few months ago, for example, I remember thinking about my transformation and just being filled with confidence that I could get into the school I wanted to go to.
Q: Where do you think you’d be if you had never done the Challenge?
Still wasting time in the gym without direction or nutritional discipline, and therefore seeing no results.
Q: What is your favorite free day meal?
General Tso’s Chicken over white rice. I could eat that stuff all day.
Q: How have you spread the word of Body-for-LIFE® to other folks?
After I sent my photos to about five of my friends, they sent them to their friends, and then these people sent them to others. I’ve had people I barely know come up to me and ask me what I did to achieve my transformation.
Q: What are your current goals?
I am cycling between fat loss and muscle gain. Right now I am in a fat loss stage—doing more cardio, eating a bit less. Next month I am going to switch to muscle gain for a few months, and hopefully I can gain 6 or 7 pounds by the fall.
Q: Quotes that inspire?
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by sweat and blood…who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” --Theodore Roosevelt
Q: Define Success?
I think success is progressing towards your goals.
Q: Please provide a 7-Day sample of your daily nutrition during the 12-Week Program.
I ate pretty much the same things every day. This might be too boring for some people, but I like the routine. So here was my routine for my six workout days (I rested on Sundays):
6:00am Meal 1
1.5 cups of whole grain rolled oats (old fashioned oatmeal) cooked with water and mixed with a scoop of 100% Whey Protein and a teaspoon of Flax Seed Oil (good source of Omega Oils).
8:30am Meal 2
Post-workout meal: Two servings of 100% Whey Protein mixed with a teaspoon of chocolate syrup (this is the only sugar I ate—I like to give my muscles some quick energy for recovery).
11:00am Meal 3
Sandwich made with two slices of 100% whole grain bread, natural peanut butter and two sliced bananas.
2:00pm Meal 4
Two grilled chicken breasts, brown rice, a serving of raw vegetables
6:00 pm Meal 5
Whole grain pasta, soy protein isolate shake, a serving of raw vegetables
9:00pm Meal 5
Bowl of whole grain cereal (Cheerios®*, Shredded Wheat®*, etc) and 100% Whey Protein shake
12:00pm Meal 6
Natural (unsweetened) applesauce mixed with low-fat cottage cheese, serving of Casein Protein shake
3:00am Bonus nutrition
100% Whey Protein shake
Note: When I was traveling I would substitute 3 or 4 meals for nutrition bars, usually Myoplex® Deluxe.
Q: Any final thoughts?
The Challenge has a long history of incredible transformations, and I am honored to be a part of that tradition and to be associated with EAS®.
Q: What are your favorite EAS® products?
Myoplex® Original, 100% Whey Protein
*Cheerios® and Shredded Wheat® are not trademarks of Abbott Laboratories