BFL: Since becoming a Champion, how has your life changed?
It’s hard to believe it’s only been three years since I started doing Body-for-LIFE®. So much has changed! Since winning the Challenge, I’ve dedicated my life to helping others transform themselves through my work as a personal trainer, health and fitness writer, and motivational speaker. I’ve also had the good fortune of signing a modeling contract with Wilhelmina Models and have become involved with acting as well. One thing that hasn’t changed is my passion for the Body-for-LIFE program. I’m still extremely involved in the BFL community and am just as inspired by it as I was the day I finished my challenge.
BFL: In what ways have your workouts and nutrition plan changed?
Nutrition has remained very much the same. Eating frequent balanced meals really is the key to keeping the weight off. I can eat more freely if a social opportunity presents itself without worrying about any weight gain, and I do enjoy doing that whenever the mood strikes. Then it’s right back to BFL eating the next day.
I’ve experimented with other workout plans and regimens, but I always come back to my favorite type of strength training (free weights) and structured cardio (HIIT). I change up my strength routine to include pyramid training, supersets and circuit training.
BFL: Have you done any more 12-week Challenges, or what do you do to stay on track and in shape?
My body composition continued to improve post-Challenge with little to no effort. I just kept doing Body-for-LIFE by the book, as I did during my Challenge. It was 17.5% the last time I checked. People would ask, “Are you going to do another Challenge?” I guess you could say I’ve been doing a Body-for-LIFE Challenge for the past three years; it’s just a way of life for me. I don’t think about eating every three hours, because it’s just a lifestyle habit. I don’t think twice about working out every morning first thing, because it’s just the way I live. I practice the same things I now recommend to my personal training clients: Plan ahead, prepare and store food in bulk, carry a cooler everywhere, drink plenty of water and make following your plan a priority. I try to incorporate opportunities for extra activity any place I can, even while vacationing.
BFL: If you get a little off track, what do you do to take it up a notch?
We all get off track from our “perfect plan” from time to time. It’s common for me to gain a couple pounds around the winter holidays. I allow myself to enjoy life when the opportunity presents itself, which helps prevent me from falling into an all or nothing mentality.
Once you fuel your body with clean high quality foods for long enough, it’s really easy to get back on track, because the body just doesn’t crave as many unhealthy low quality foods. I notice a huge difference in my energy, mood and productivity after eating unauthorized foods. People practice healthy eating along a very wide continuum: super strict clean eating to a more lackadaisical approach with “extras”. If my pants are fitting tight, I know it’s time to get back to a more rigid approach and cut back on the free meals. I may even take a couple weeks without any free meals. I will never forget how I felt the day I hit rock bottom and decided to change my life. Tight pants are motivation enough for me!
BFL: What advice do you have for other people who have successfully completed Challenges and would like to continue to live the lifestyle?
Surround yourself with likeminded friends. Get your spouse on board with living a healthy lifestyle. You might be surprised at how much your positive example will rub off on others around you. If either of those things seem difficult, then just take the initiative to do it for YOU. Don’t let others hold you back or influence your decisions. Don’t be embarrassed to make a special order at a restaurant. I always tell people, “Exercise should be just like brushing your teeth.” The same thing goes for eating healthfully. Don’t ever make excuses for living a healthy lifestyle, even if it feels like you are in the minority.
BFL: You've started a blog and web site geared toward helping people improve their lives through healthy lifestyle practices; how has this experience motivated you?
Being able to connect with others through my site, www.EmilyAlvers.com
, has been such a blessing. So many people experience similar situations and have similar questions. Providing useful tools, tips, recipes and blogs allows me to be creative and share things that I find to be helpful on a larger scale. I get a lot of great questions and comments, and have built some amazing relationships with people who have connected with me through my site. Being able to help and inspire others toward a healthier life is one of driving forces behind my own passion for doing the same things myself.
BFL: Is there anything else you'd like to share about share about your life, and how BFL has changed it?
There is no way to know what I’d be doing now if I hadn’t made the decision to enter the Body-for-LIFE Challenge. It still blows my mind that doing this program for only 12 weeks can have such a huge lasting impact on your entire life. Doing Body-for-LIFE was the catalyst to change that I needed desperately at the time I started it. Little did I know how much it would translate into success in so many other areas of my life. No matter where I go from here, I will never forget the role that this program has played in allowing me to become what I was always meant to be.
To contact Emily Alvers, or read more about her favorite recipes and nutrition, training and motivational tips, please visit www.emilyalvers.com.