Q&A with Michael Harris
Q: Describe your life before the Body-for-LIFE® Challenge?
This was one of a series of challenges. But, before my first challenge, I felt always stressed, chronically depressed, like my life was just adrift. I was professionally successful but personally unfulfilled and restless.
Q: What made you finally decide to take that first step and enter the Challenge?
Reading Tom Archipley’s essay in the Body-for-LIFE® book. When he said he confronted his fear of failure, changed his habits and outlook, and developed his character as well as his body, that really spoke to me!
Q: What were your very first impressions of the program? Did you struggle or was it liberating?
Both. I struggled with perfectionism, trying to get everything just right, and I was embarrassed to work out in front of others much more experienced than I was. Soon, though, as I quickly saw some results, I settled in and it went smoothly.
Q: Talk about the moment you first began to see changes in your body and/or outlook?
Within two weeks of beginning, I saw that second row of abs in the mirror, and the beginning of some definition in the upper arms. That kept me going.
Q: Did you have to over-come any obstacles during your 12-Week Challenge?
Depression. Arthritic shoulders, hips, back and thumb, all the results of multiple injuries and at least 9 surgeries.
Q: How did you feel on the very last day of your Challenge?
I had the “Exes.” I was exhilarated, excited, and exhausted all at once.
Q: What was the reaction of your friends and family to the amazing changes you made?
Almost to a person it was, “I wish I had the time for that.” (Same thing I said to myself before making the time!)
Q: Do you still follow the Body-for-LIFE® program?
I don’t just follow it, I live it. It is literally a part of my operating system.
Q: If someone were to ask your advice about starting—and finishing—the Challenge, what would you tell them?
Plan for all 84 days. Prepare a week at a time, and Perform on the day you are living. Set some lofty goals; Leave nothing out; give it your all, and never, never quit no matter what.
Q: How has your life changed since doing the Challenge?
Like Tom Archipley, I have overcome my fear of failure, replaced it with eagerness to try something new, and willingness to do what it takes. In a phrase, I am now successful both professionally AND personally.
Q: Where do you think you’d be if you had never done the Challenge?
Overstressed, chronically depressed, unfulfilled, and unhealthy.
Q: After going through the 12 Weeks, how was your mindset different than it was before? Where you able to face challenges in your life with more confidence?
Confidence is indeed the product of seeing clear through to the end something that less than 15% of those who start ever finish. One thing BFL teaches everyone, including me, is that you can do much more than you thought you could!
Q: What is your favorite free day meal?
Pollo Loco®* (Crazy Chicken), a great Mexican dish, with plenty of chips and salsa, and a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream on the way home!
Q: How have you spread the word of Body-for-LIFE® to other folks?
I drink Myoplex® at work, while I’m on the bench (I’m a judge) scheduling cases. Whenever anyone asks me what I’m drinking, they get what one lawyer (who is a BFL’er himself) playfully calls “the sales pitch.” I also wear the gear to the gyms and elsewhere (I have some of the old stuff from UTC and some T shirts) and talk to anyone who asks about EAS®. I also tell people in the gyms and even at church.
Q: What are your current goals?
Keep the muscle I have and add a couple of pounds of it a year. Avoid anymore surgeries for the foreseeable future. Increase bone density with impact aerobics and heavy lifting.
Q: Quotes that inspire?
“Never give up. Never stop trying. As long as you're trying…you haven't failed.” Julie Whitt
“Act your way to better thinking. Don’t try to think your way into better actions.” By Mel, my old twelve step sponsor.
“Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. You can. It’s up to you. Decide to do it and follow through.” Porter Freeman
Q: Define Success?
Achieving your goals without compromising your principles.
Q: What are your favorite EAS® products?
Phosphagen™, Muscle Armor®, HMB®, Myoplex®
* Pollo Loco® is not a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories