Sunday, February 17, 2013

2012 Body for Life Champion!

So I just found that I am the 2012 Body for Life Champion!! I can't believe it right now. It really has not sunk in. It is such an honor. I'm honored that the judges thought I was worthy enough for this position. This transformation was a team effort with my wife Liz. Even though I may have won the title, the honor goes to Liz too. I actually remember thinking she had a better chance at winning than I did. I'm truly excited that we can now, more than ever, inspire others with our transformation. This now gives us credibility to encourage others.  Of my five goals in the beginning I can now mark off the last goal of winning.

When I got the email saying they wanted to have a phone conversation with me, I thought I'd better review my blog and remind myself of my journey last summer. As I read through I had forgotten a lot that I had been through with it. Most of all, I was reminded that this was God's battle. I relived how God worked with us in this transformation providing opportunities for us to get the right workout in and how He provided the finances for all the healthy foods we needed. All the different thoughts and encouragements that came along were completely from Him. I noticed in week 8 of my blog I wrote, “I am pretty sure that our only chance at winning this competition is to have God on our side.” People, this is more than a coincidence. Another interesting thing happened recently. I had forgotten about the competition since we did it last summer. About a week and a half ago I was looking through an old prayer list of mine and one of the things on it was “Win Body for Life.” I said a little prayer about it remembering that God WAS with us on that journey. It was only later that day that I received the email saying they wanted to talk with me. I did a phone interview the next day as a finalist and the following day they called me to tell me I was the champion for my age group. Woah!

I could easily run off saying, “Look what I did!” I'm thankful I wrote this blog that reminds me and can show others that it is God who was working through me. So my boasting is in Him. This has been a big step for me in my spiritual journey to heaven and I am encouraged all the more to commit whatever I do to God.

God, I can't believe this! I'm amazed at Your faithfulness in this event. I wish I could say I knew and trusted all along that this would happen. I realize this is all part of Your purposes. I am nothing. I want more than ever to follow You and make sure I am on Your side in all my battles. Please let this be an encouragement to others to commit their lives to You.

If you are unfamiliar with the Body for Life program, you can check it out at this link:

If you are unfamiliar with this amazing God I server, read the Holy Bible.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

End of the Body-for-LIFE program

End of the Body-for-LIFE program

Hey, guess what? We made it! We completed the program and have turned in all our entrance information for the competition. We actually finished the program two weeks ago. It has just taken a while to get around to writing the blog. All of our goals have been met. Of course we will have to wait to see if we won the competition.


So far after completing the challenge I have lost 16 pounds which was 6 more pounds lost than I had hoped for. I did complete the 12 week program without ever missing a workout or meal. I hope to win the competition but will have to wait to find out on that. The only chance I have had to be a good example to my athletes was competing in a 5k race at the end of the challenge that many of my athletes ran in. One of the parents of a girl I coach thought I was a new girl on the team and realized afterward that I was their coach. I also got some nice comments from my athletes so I hope this will give me more credibility when I actually get a chance to coach them next season. Finally, I think the photos show how far I have come on my belly. I can't believe how slimmed down my stomach has gotten!

As I worked through the program I noticed that I became more organized, developed extra energy and motivation, and gained a desire to help and inspire others. As a mom it is very hard to plan ahead for everything because the kids can make a mess or have a dirty diaper at any moment. However, I learned through this program that things were easier when I did plan ahead not only with the program but with house cleaning, errands, and time with the kids. In the evenings my husband and I used to watch TV and snack for two or three hours because we were worn out from the day. During this program I had more energy to clean up the dishes at night and take care of any last minute tasks for the day. I also slept better because I wanted to be rested and ready for my workouts in the morning. I think the biggest surprise was developing a strong desire to encourage others with their weight and exercise issues. I’ve had several comments from others about the changes they have seen in me and I really enjoyed sharing my journey with them. I especially love sharing how simple the meal plan is and all the good foods we have been eating. I know so many people, including myself, give in to food temptations easily. I developed the mental strength to easily resist these temptations because I always knew I had my free day for them. I also began to not really want the junk food even when I had my free days. I'm so proud of myself for completing this program and I plan to keep it up.


Well I completed the program quite well. I did miss a couple of days due to getting worn out between work and not sleeping well. I kept up with the eating plan everyday though. I think I had one meal mishap. So I would say goal one was a success. As far as becoming a Body for Life Champion, I will have to wait and see. Goal three was to gain 9 pounds of muscle and I gained 10 pounds. At about week three of the program I started feeling more energized. I was able to do hard physical tasks like yard work when I normally would be too exhausted to do them. My last goal was to support my wife through the program and she completed it successfully. We planned meals and cooked together. We had to work out separately but we would take turns watching the kids so we each could get our workouts in. So I think I did really well with my goals. I am so happy to have achieved all of them. I certainly hope I did enough for the competition to be a winner.

As I compare my before and after photos of this challenge I see how scrawny I was 12 weeks ago. I thought I looked healthy before the challenge but now I look and feel solid. What a confidence booster! I feel so proud to have completed this challenge and also to have met almost all of my goals. I learned how to set goals better by defining what I want and having a plan to achieve it. My imagination has run wild with ideas of improving my spiritual life, improving my career as a musician, improving my family and home, and so much more by setting goals and making a plan. I had one really big inner change during this program. As I was working out and trying to hit those high points I tried to think of what I really wanted. Early on I thought of the body I wanted and winning the challenge. This was motivating but after a few weeks I found that what I really wanted was truth. I am a Christian and believe whole heartedly in God and the Holy Bible. It is a daily battle to stay focused on God and I get so tired of myself not trusting and believing what I know is true. So when I was fighting for those high points I imagined that I was battling to stand up for God. By doing these workouts I was training my mind to fight not just in the workout but in my life. I only have one chance to live on this earth so I’d better fight for what I know I should be doing while I’m here.


We were trying to figure out what to do next because we really felt good doing this and it certainly was a benefit to us.  So we have ordered the Insanity program (as seen on TV) and will start that as soon as we get it.  Thanks to everyone who supported us and has been praying for us.  May God bless you.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

End of Week 11

One week to go!  What a journey it has been.  I already feel proud that we have made it this far without getting off track.  It’s hard to say how and why we did it.  I know I’ve said before that planning and setting goals has been really helpful.  But even then, I don’t always stick to other things that I plan for and set goals for.  I think it helped that the plan was fairly simple.  It helped that we were investing extra money into it because we don’t like to waste money.  It helped telling others about it so we felt accountable.  I think the real key was that God has been with us.  And I can’t explain why that is but we’ve tried things like this before and have never finished them. 

A friend of ours had leukemia and amazingly got rid of it after a long struggle.  I asked him after he had been heeled of it if he had any big spiritual breakthroughs from going through this.  The thing that I remember him saying was that he learned to really own his prayers.  I got what he was saying at the time but I’m starting to get it even more lately.  I can’t just come up with my wish list and say, “Okay God, I want a vintage 1936 Martin D-18 guitar in mint condition, I want a Corvette, a big new house, etc.”  The thing is, I may think I want these but deep down I don’t really want them.  I’m after what I think they will give me.  God knows what we really need.  I’m not saying I needed to get in shape like this but I think it had so much more to do with all the benefits of doing it like helping my wife, being an example for the track kids, being an example for our boys, and developing discipline.  I think…no, I know God had a reason for us going through this.  For me, I’ve grown far closer to God than I have in quite a while.

This last week I did much better with planning ahead for my meals each day.  That had been my problem in the 2 or 3 previous weeks.  I also relaxed a little more and didn’t worry so much about getting the perfect workout in.  I still tried but I think I was stressing too much about doing everything perfect.  Liz has been doing well in her workouts without stressing about them.  She just does it.  Me, I have to analyze everything.  Liz has seen great changes so I decided that I should just do the workout. 

It’s on to the home stretch.  Our final week.  We know what to do by now and it is routine so we just need to continue doing it and trusting God.  We also need to start working on our final essay and getting ready for all the stuff we need to turn in at the end of the competition.  I’ll post our final photo comparisons next week.

Monday, August 20, 2012

End of Week 10

Almost there!

This last week was a tough week for me. Liz was fairly consistent but I had some difficulties. The main thing was I wasn't sleeping well mostly because my mind was very active which caused me to stay up planning for all my projects, researching, and being anxious. We also seemed to get on a bad track with our digestion. We ate out at a Chinese Restaurant on our free day (last Sunday). It was delicious but it didn't seem to sit well with our stomachs and it surprisingly took the week to get back on track.  I think some of our supplements are not sitting well with us either.

As I read through my workout notes from this past week, I see how each day I seemed to have some note saying I didn't do as well, was lacking energy, and was failing to hit my high intensities. By the end of the week I got really dizzy in my workout on Friday and had to alter it. Saturday I took the day off to get caught up on sleep.

I also altered my diet this last week so I wasn't eating as many supplements. I tried to eat more whole foods. I didn't plan as well either so I don't think I ate as much as I should have. This may have been part of my problems in my workout.

So... this week it is time to get back on track. I got rested up this weekend so I feel ready for the week. I recommitted myself to making sure I get enough sleep, decided to relax more so my mind isn't stressed and anxious, and plan and eat what I need. Planning is so key. Any day I plan things out, not just for Body for Life but in everything, I am noticeably more productive. I've noticed when I practice guitar I have not been very productive lately so last week I started to really identify what I want and need to work on. I wrote out some plans and started to journal about my practice. I have made some huge gains in my practice just in one week.

God, help me to place all my trust in You. I recognized that you were with me in the beginning with this and I have gotten lost in other things. I keep wanting to do better but I am very inconsistent. I 'm not planning ahead as well. I'm not being careful on my Free Days. And I'm not focused daily on You in this. Thank You for Your grace and mercy that You have shown me through this process. Help me to stick up for what I know You are leading me to do.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

End of Week 9

The last few weeks of the Body for Life program have moved along very quickly. We continue to improve each day finding new, healthier, tastier foods to eat and improving our form on our exercises. Our bodies have changed for the better. We have more energy, better posture, and general strength to do more. We've trained our minds to push through challenges in the workouts daily. This translates to daily challenges of house cleaning, work, spiritual challenges, etc. Needless to say, it has been a really good experience so far and well worth the effort of making the time, planning ahead, and putting the extra money into it. A wise investment.

I don't have much to share about this past week. One thing that stands out though is the whole mind over body thing. I'm sure it won't sound very appealing but I really look forward to the opportunity to push myself. In the beginning, not so much. But now I know that I better myself and make myself stronger when I push passed what I think my body can handle. There's an incredible sense of accomplishment when it happens. I remember when I was in Cross Country in high school and college I would usually dread the hard workouts and competition. Even though I did pretty good, it was really hard and painful. A big difference I notice now is that I'm recovered, energized, and ready for each workout. The meal plan makes a huge difference.

Thought I'd share an example of a workout and meal plan from this past week

You'll notice in the intensity levels, I don't always reach a 10.  A 10 means you are pushing passed what you think you can do.  You should be able to say that there was no way you could have done anymore repetitions.  It's very hard to do.  I only hit 3 of the 5 tens for this particular day.  It's very hard to get a 10 on every exercise because of the amount of focus it takes.  I'm pretty hard on myself too so it's hard for me to give myself a 10.  You can also see my notes and side comments about my form.  I always write down questions I have and problems I'm having so I can research them and do better the next time.

Some of my abbreviations and symbols might not make sense so I'll try to clarify.  The P & C on the Eating page are for Protein and Carbs so I could count them and make sure I got enough portions.  I used quotations in the Actual column if I ate what I planned.  Myo is the Myoplex protein drink that we have after every workout.  Multi and Fish Oil are vitamins.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

End of Week 8

2/3 of the way through

Wow! We are really doing it. We are moving along in this program, hitting our workouts and eating what we need to. We are feeling stronger all the time both in our bodies and minds. It really is mostly a mental challenge. What's cool though is that the body reflects the mind.

Well we are really embracing this lifestyle more and more all the time. We rewarded ourselves with some things to help us in this challenge. Liz has been working on some issues in her back that she has had for a long time. She's been getting chiropractic treatment and using a back roller to help straighten her back. We also got an armband to take my smartphone with us on runs. Liz uses it mostly for music but we can also track our runs. I also got some weight lifting gloves that help a lot with getting a good grip and lifting more weight. Along with some new workout clothes, we are feeling good and enjoying this lifestyle. I think it will stick. Our plan after completing this program is to do a 12 week sprint program. As a lot of you know, Liz is the head high school girls track coach. I help out once in a while too. So we want to be able to train these kids better. Liz and I were both distance runners and need to learn about sprinting. What better way than to train ourselves.

I listed 6 things last week that we need to work on to do better. Some of them were unsuccessful but we definitely stepped it up.

  1. I was able to workout with Liz only once rather than twice. I think it will be more realistic to shoot for 1 workout together each week.
  2. We did study form for our weight lifting and have greatly improved in this area. I can tell I am getting a better workout and will be less likely to get injured.
  3. Portion sizes with food – Liz has been doing well with this but I have tried to make sure I am getting enough to eat and it is going well.
  4. I do keep checking in on past winners to see what they have done. Mostly what I have learned is I need to trust the program. I think I'm basically doing everything I can. I keep wanting to do more but past advice has said to stick to the program. You don't need to workout more or eat differently than what the program lays out for you. Keep it simple.
  5. I have not written anything yet for the final essay but I know it's still a little early.
  6. I have been recording my meals better. I still need to make sure I record how much water I'm getting.

The final big thing was making sure God is with us. This is tough to measure. Of course one can always improve greatly in this area. I think this is where we can step it up the most though. Liz and I were doing devotionals and praying together each day for a little while at the beginning of this challenge. Now it is every few days. I am pretty sure that our only chance at winning this competition is to have God on our side. He has already blessed us so much through this challenge. He has given us amazing opportunities including the use of a full gym at no cost. He has kept us focused on eating right and training right. The series that our pastor is going through this summer has been incredibly relevant to us. It seems beyond coincidental that God is already with us in this. God has made it known to us that He is with us. I just want to make sure we finish strong WITH God and making sure we are living according to the spirit; not the flesh. The hardest part is having three little boys that almost always need our attention. BUT, that is no excuse because we can make the time if we really want to.

Finally, we did take 8 week photos. Since I did the 4 week comparison, Liz said she would reveal her 8 week comparison photos.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

End of Week 7

As I think about what the Olympians had to go through to train to compete for the gold, it makes me wonder if I'm competing at that level with this Body for Life challenge. We are competing with a lot of people in the country for this title of 2012 Body for Life Champions. I think of Ryan Lochte who went into his race yesterday in the 400m Individual Swimming Medley knowing he was capable of winning. He knew because of how he had trained. I guess I still feel like I can do better in this competition. Of my five goals, I feel the weakest on the part about winning the competition and also supporting Liz. Basically I'm thinking as long as no one goes all out with this, we have a chance.

With only five weeks to go I need to start putting everything I've got into this to make sure we win. WE need to be the ones who are going all out for this. I know it's so easy to say well I'm doing good enough. I know these Olympians didn't say that's good enough as they were training; at least the ones competing to win. The commercial that's been on about finding your own greatness really sticks out to me. Even though we're not competing for the Olympics, we can still compete like one. After all we did decide that we wanted to do this. We wanted to challenge ourselves to this. I've wanted to build more muscle my whole life. I want to see what it feels like to win a big competition like this. I find as we get further along in this I feel like even if I don't win, we've made some good progress. While this is true, I don't think this is a winning attitude.

This next week is going to be a little challenging as we will be traveling a lot. I was impressed to see Liz planning our meals and workouts out yesterday for the week so we are ready. We will be cooking a lot today so we have a lot of good foods to bring with us this week. We will be getting some day passes at a couple of gyms while we are traveling to make sure we get our weight training days in.

Even though we are doing well with getting our meals and getting our workouts in, I know there is more we can do. It's time to take this to the next level. Here's the plan:

  1. Need to workout with Liz at least 2 times a week. We know we can't do our aerobic workouts together so we need to try to get at least 2 of the 3 weight lifting days in together to stay connected in this and push each other.
  2. We need to study our form and make sure we are doing the exercises as accurately as possible focusing on the correct muscle groups.
  3. We need to really make sure our portion sizes are accurate. I know I need to make sure I'm eating enough. It's really hard to get all the calories I need and still eat healthy. It's a lot of food.
  4. I need to read up on what past champions have done to win.
  5. I need to journal more so I'm ready for the final essay.
  6. I need to make sure I record every meal and especially how much water I'm drinking to make sure I get enough.

There's a lot of detail things we need to do. We've already invested enough into this that it would be a shame not to take these extra steps to win.

I just realized a huge thing we've started to fail in. We need God with us. Our busy life has taken over again and we've gotten away from really putting our trust in Him. We desperately need to spend time with God. We need to work as if it were all up to us and pray as if it were all up to God.

I performed the hymn “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” this morning in church. Isn't this exactly what we need?  If God is with us and for us, who can stand against us?