I am entering the Challenge as a small group; though they are not in my picture, they are standing right by me—the behind-the-scenes folks, the proverbial cohorts that make it all happen. Though my story is not so unique from any of us trying to lose the fat, I hope mine will inspire you. I am a woman who functions in many capacities in support of those she loves and who also depend on her (sound familiar?). A wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunty, a friend and a colleague.
I am a retired Naval Officer, who has served 23 years in defense of the greatest country in the world. Now I work caring for military-civilian personnel for organizations that support Naval and Joint Operations. I am entrusted to execute Force Health Protection and teach individual accountability for one's own health. So, like many of us, how did I fall so far behind in my personal health and accountability? At approximately 160 lbs. and 30% body fat, I told myself at the age of 48 many women are a casualty under the combined barrage of middle age, declining metabolism, the infamous “menopot belly” and a never ending "to do" list (errands, travel, inconsistent meals/exercise). I can remember the actual point when my predicament ceased being an insidious process and became instead a shameful reality. The day came when my lack of fitness and health had been institutionally degreed. My most recent physical revealed an ominous pattern—lab values exceeding the norm (cholesterol 261, high blood pressure and low kidney function). I knew I needed to lose weight but I never anticipated my health had declined so much. I needed to get off this downward spiral I was so rapidly descending upon. But as its hermetic reach permeated through every aspect of my life (often tired, but unable to sleep, weight issues, fatigue, and body image struggles), I felt so daunted by the scale of changes I felt that I had to make.
Looking back I reflected on how hard I had worked to achieve milestones in my military career and living by core values that inspired an unrelenting determination to achieve a standard of excellence in every endeavor. I knew what I needed to do, so I dusted off my fatigues so to speak…and began my Body-for-LIFE® Adventure. I started by educating myself in every manner possible, speaking first to my physician and then my colleagues. I took my before picture and was mortified. I hadn't seen myself as heavy as I really was. After the initial shock, I read everything about the 12-Week Challenge—past champions, BFL articles, such as Peak Performance Nutrition. A complete plan to help you go further, harder and faster by Brett Hall on the BFL Website. This article spoke to me. I wrote out my goals in the smart format; I printed the 12-Week Training-for-LIFE schedule; I began a food journal using the BFL Nutrition Chart. I told everyone I knew of my plan. My husband quickly became my success coach. He rallied to keep me on schedule by assisting in my weakly meal prep, partnering with me in my 5:00 am cardio. Encouraged me to remember sometimes we begin to measure our self-esteem/self control throughout diets and do further damage to our spirits and our relationships with ourselves. That success requires developing attitudes/habits that keep you on track, not erode who you are inside. My son Michael created a workout mix CD for my cardio sessions. My daughter Amber was on patrol with comments such as " hey is that on your program" and "I’m proud of you Mom!" My son Zackary is an avid "Fitness Guy". My trainer Rachel inspired me to higher levels of intensity.
My co-workers, nurses, clinicians and administrators became my sounding board and consistently provided meaningful feedback and encouragement. The Navy MWR gym staff, crews from the USS Ronald Reagan, local squadron pilots at the gym, and people I didn’t know were participating in my quest. This was only 7 Weeks into the program. I realized quickly there was magic happening all around me. I felt blessed and reminded myself "Those we surround ourselves with help us to discover and recognize our true potential, giving us strength to keep on when perceived circumstances tell us to quit, and help to take our minds off our external situations". They empower us to get re-focused on the possible when the world says otherwise and it was not long before their validations was literally a catalyst that ardently instilled a driving force in myself to do what I set out to do: regain my health, transform my body and improve my attitude for incorporating exercise back into my life. Upon completion of my 84th day I did just that. I regained my health – cholesterol at 152, I transformed my body from 30% body fat to 18% and though age is a factor it is not a reason. The Body-for-LIFE® Program works. In the end, we truly never achieve our “Victories” alone, always to some degree, we stand together. Some at the forefront, some behind. Body-for-LIFE® will serve as a powerful reminder to be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid because no one who dares to stand up and challenge the status quo does so alone. I am enormously grateful to God, the Body-for-LIFE® Team, my Family and Co-workers for the immense support I received. God Bless!
* Individual results will vary