I’m writing to wish all the Dads out there a Happy and Healthy Father’s Day and I also have a personal message to share with everyone who cares about and loves their family. (I posted this story last year and I was so inspired by the changes some of you fathers made since then. I hope it helps motivate a few more fathers this year–you are all VERY important people and your family needs you more than you know so please, take care of yourself, for them!)
Unfortunately my Dad passed away 10 years ago—he was just over 60 and had so many more years of life ahead of him. My Dad was my business partner and my best friend. When I started the company MET-Rx, then EAS, Muscle Media, and Body-for-LIFE, my Dad was in my office every day telling jokes and giving me key insight, legal and business advice (he was a lawyer and had his MBA in his early 20’s even though he had three kids by the time he was just out of high school).
His name was also Bill Phillips—his friends called him “BP” and I called him Dad. He never got too caught up in work and never really stressed out about it. To him being successful just meant he had enough money to pay the bills and enough time to relax and go fly fishing or go hiking often in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Make no mistake; a great deal of the success I enjoyed in my previous companies was because of my Dad. He taught me how to work hard, work smart, how to push myself to reach meaningful goals… he taught me how to find the best rivers and streams to fly fish and how to appreciate and enjoy nature. He tried to help keep me humble and grounded during my most successful years at EAS but those lessons took me a little longer to learn and probably didn’t set in until after he was gone. My Dad was a great man who lived a simple, smart, unassuming life. I miss him very much, especially today. Yet I am very grateful for all the years we had and I know the best thing I can do to honor him is to move forward and live a good, productive, and balanced life.
Knowing what it’s like to lose my Dad unexpectedly, and long before his time, gives me extra passion and determination to help other Fathers transform their health so their family doesn’t have to go through the pain and grief that comes with losing a loved one to a preventable disease. It’s sad but true: more than 3,000 Dads have already died this weekend from heart disease alone. Most of those deaths were preventable by a few basic lifestyle changes. For over thirty years I’ve been teaching men and women from all walks of life how to incorporate an intelligent and practical exercise, nutrition, and fitness program into their way of living. It’s not a diet, a fad, a silly gimmick like so much of what is out there on TV commercials and internet marketing schemes today. My method is based on a bedrock of scientific truth, medical research, and thousands of hours of real-word experience and application. The most up to date version of the program I teach at my Transformation Fitness and Research Center in Golden, Colorado is called “Health for LIFE” (it’s also the name of a new book I’m working on… think of it as Body-for-LIFE 3.0). It has already helped countless numbers of people lose the unhealthy bodyfat (from 25 lbs up to 150 lbs.) while gaining energy and muscle strength. But it’s not just the outward appearance that dramatically changes in our clients and students… the main benefit of the Health for LIFE plan is that you will very likely live longer — you’ll enjoy greater quality and quantity of life! Physicians even follow my program to reduce their own risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer which are lifestyle related.
Now of course, none of us have a guarantee that we will live through our 80’s and even longer. In my Father’s case, he contracted an incurable and rare form of lung disease (which went undetected and dormant for decades) from environmental toxin (not too dissimilar from asbestos) that he was exposed to working in a factory as a teenager. The important thing to realize is that even though there are no absolute guarantees in life, far too many Fathers are dying of illnesses that could be prevented with exercise and healthy eating. Please, if you have loved ones that depend on you, don’t wait until it’s too late to change your body and life. The best time to get well is before you get sick and that is the message I’ve dedicated my life to sharing. If you’re overweight, have unhealthy habits, if you’ve been procrastinating and putting off your efforts to get back on track with your health and fitness, please don’t wait any longer! Set a goal to lose 25 to 35 lbs. this summer while strengthening your muscles, improving your heart health, and cutting your risk of dying of a preventable illness in half.
A half hour of exercise 5 days a week – a combination of strength training and aerobics – will produce excellent results if you stick with it. And the key to eating right, as I explained in my book Body-for-LIFE, is to eat a balance of quality protein foods, healthy carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Eat smaller meals more frequently and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Take your vitamins, Creatine, Omega-3’s and a quality protein supplement to help you get better health improvements faster. Connect with others who are making healthy changes in their lives and most of all, please realize that other people need you and love you and your family is counting on you to be there. You have to take care of yourself – it’s one of the most important things you can do for others (it’s not selfish but rather self-less!). If you’re a parent, you have a tremendous responsibility to live a healthy lifestyle. We want you around for many, many years… far into the future! It does take some work to be healthy but the rewards are more than worth it.
Last but not least, I just want to say to my Dad: Thank You, I Love You, I miss you and I know that someday (not real soon, but someday) I’ll see you again.
P.S. And by the way, if your Father is still here be sure to contact him right away and let him know how much he is loved and appreciated today. Don’t let the important things go unsaid. You never know for sure if you’ll get a second chance.