Falling into a rut can happen so gradually that you fail to realize it is happening until you hit the bottom. For me it took a rough decade. First my mother died just two months after being diagnosed with leukemia. I lost two uncles to cancer and a third, after surviving three aneurysms, to a freak construction accident. I watched my grandfather, a former rocket scientist, decline and succumb to Parkinson’s’ disease. Even my own life was threatened. A blood clot formed from my neck to my elbow almost completely blocking the flow of blood to my heart. Doctors dissolved the clot and removed a section of my ribs to make room for the pinched veins. I was restricted from activity for months and my diet had already started to decline. In the wake of so much pain and loss, I became less and less motivated to do much of anything. Slowly, my eating habits became worse until I was regularly eating chips and cookies for breakfast. I would crash hard in the afternoon, struggling to stay awake at work. To compensate for poor productivity, I worked at night and on the weekend, instead of spending time with friends and family.
The worse I treated myself, the less I had to give others. I came across the original Body-for-LIFE® book at a friend’s house and read the stories of every challenger. We had so much in common! That year, I signed up for the challenge three times but never made it past week 4. Each time my motivation would subside and I would revert to my bad habits. After a bad binge, I was in my closet trying to find pants to wear when I realized nothing fit but my sweats. Angry for allowing myself to be out of control, I tried on everything in that closet and set aside whatever did not fit. I filled three large storage bins. I did not go to dinner that night, as all that remained were shirts and sweats. I knew then it was time to make a change. Clearly, I was in a rut. I was not honoring the memory of my mother by living this way, by failing to take advantage of the gifts I have been given in life.
I knew right away that completing the Body-for-LIFE®Challenge would be the first step towards turning things around. In previous attempts I was unable to stay motivated. This time, I told everyone who would listen about my goals. I kept them up to date with my progress in an online journal and read success stories on the Body-for-LIFE® website every day. I scheduled my photo shoot early. Every time I wanted to quit, I put on a swimsuit, stood in front of a mirror, and imagined the photo shoot for the after pictures. This time I would not quit! I have never worked harder to achieve a goal in my entire life - I feel so empowered! By making fitness and nutrition a priority, I now have a more physical, mental, and emotional energy for myself and others. It carries over into all aspects of life. I am more productive at work and at home but still have more time for other things.
I am so thankful to the Body-for-LIFE® Challenge for inspiring growth and change in people like me who cannot wait to pass it onto others. Setting such a difficult goal and working so hard to achieve results is incredibly rewarding. I have discovered I am capable of so much more than I thought was possible. Just yesterday, I tried out for a competitive fitness challenge team (for Crossfit) in 2.5 grueling hours of fitness contests. I made the team! After two weeks of rest, I will be starting another 12 week Body-for-LIFE® Challenge for maintenance and to prepare for competition! 12 weeks now seems like no time at all. I spend a decade falling into that rut and it only took 12 weeks to get out!
* Body-for-LIFE fitness goals vary by person, but through proper diet and resistance training, the Body-for-LIFE program can help you achieve yours.