Update: October 17, 2013 — George is Now 144 lbs lighter!

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I’m excited to share this new update about George Umbreit, a cancer survivor and inspirational hero to me and many others! George is now 144 lbs lighter — he started at 378 lbs and when I weighed him on the scale at my Transformation Center in Colorado yesterday, he was a healthy and strong 234 lbs!! Not only that, but George is building strong, healthy muscles, gaining energy, and inspiring many others to confront and conquer their own struggles with being overweight and suffering depression. Congratulations George and keep up the good work!!!

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Perhaps the best Transformation I have ever witnessed!

Over the past 20 years I have been fortunate to be a part of some incredible body and life transformations. I used to regularly feature heroic, real-life before to after success stories in the magazine I used to write and publish, Muscle Media. In 1998 I made a documentary film about how people can transform their lives through fitness, positive thinking, and setting challenging and exciting goals for themselves.

And of course, my book Body-for-LIFE was all about how ordinary people can experience extraordinary personal growth by renewing their health and building their lives on a solid foundation of fitness.

Ever since then, I have stayed active helping people make positive changes in their lives but mostly at one-on-one level. I love teaching and encouraging people in person and in a situation where I can help them grow over time… and that is what I now have the opportunity to do at my private Transformation Fitness Center here in my hometown, Golden, Colorado. It is here that I have the opportunity to put the key tenets I’ve learned over the years to work on a daily basis… all with the focused intention of helping real people make really, really incredible changes to their bodies and lives. I love my work and am so grateful I get to do this full time. I intend to be helping people transform, God willing, right up until my very last breath.

I love my work because I get to play a small part in the miraculous body and life changes of people like George Umbreit. As you can see in his before and after pictures here, not only did he completely change physically but he has literally become more alive! No longer is he carrying 144 lbs of extra (and unhealthy) bodyfat. And no longer is he carrying the weight of depression, self-doubt, and isolation.

From the Brink of Death, a New Man is Born

George, age 23, is a reborn man: confident yet humble; happy and healthy; inspired and inspiring! Where he once was isolated (some days only leaving his room for ten minutes), now he has dozens of friends and lives an active lifestyle in the beautiful outdoors here in Colorado.

I can truly say that George’s stunning transformation is right up there with the top two or three I have ever witnessed (and I have seen hundreds of thousands of great transformations through my career in health and fitness). In fact, I am not sure I have ever seen it done better than this. Especially when you consider how far George has climbed to stand where he stands now. You see, when George was younger, he was told he may not live to see another birthday. Leukemia is a frightening diagnosis for any parent and child–George found himself in a brutal struggle to survive. Months of devastating chemotherapy and a nearly year-long stay in Children’s Hospital took him to the edge of life and death. No child should ever have to endure that much pain and suffering.

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Thank God, the doctors efforts and George’s incredible will to live pulled him through. I remember his wish being granted by our Make-A-Wish chapter here in Denver–when he got out of the hospital, he went on a Disney adventure he remembers well to this day.

The Cancer was Gone, but the Emotional Pain Remained

Physically, George was cured; but over the years, the emotional trauma of the disease simmered under the surface until it came out in the form of paralyzing anxiety and depression. He used food to ease the pain and calm the fear, like so many of us do at one point or another in our lives. Years went by and George’s weight climbed to nearly 400 lbs. (he is 6’4″). He felt out of place amongst peers of his age, trapped in a body that he didn’t like, isolated, lonely, angry and he almost lost all hope.

A Life-Saving Idea

One of George’s counselors and mentors, Charles, had been working out at my Transformation Fitness Center. After seeing George struggle and knowing that he was not responding very well to typical therapy and treatment options for depression and PTSD, Charles had a idea. That idea was the breakthrough that saved George’s life, again.

Charles and I had talked about the remarkable scientific research which shows exercise, healthy eating, and community support is powerful medicine that heals body, mind, heart and soul. Our program is especially effective in this regard; it is designed to not only transform the body, but to help uplift the whole person. That’s because our program is positive, encouraging, unconditionally accepting, fun, practical, and empowered by faith in the God-given abilities that every person has within them to change–to heal–to transform their bodies and lives. It is a program that is not based on theory, but scientific fact. For these reasons and an intuitive hunch on Charles’ part, George was introduced to our Transformation Center.

Tremendous Community Support Made the Difference

I remember the first day George came in for a visit and his first workout. I could tell George had the inner strength to do this and do it right. After all, he had already survived a very serious and life-threatening disease–this, in comparison, was just another mountain to climb. That first day, I got a photo with him and posted it on Facebook page. I said to my friends and readers that George could do this but he was going to need a lot of support and encouragement. I asked for their help. The response was over whelming–thousands of people from all over the world reached out to help lift George up.

Back in those beginning weeks, and still today, I am convinced that George’s success has had a lot to do with all those powerful prayers and positive intentions from people like YOU. I have been around long enough in life to see and believe in things like that. It makes a difference in ways our present day science can’t really understand.

Looking back now, I am SO happy that I followed my intuition and video-taped George’s first few days in the Center including his first workouts, weigh in, as well as the initial discussions we had about what it was going to take for him to make this incredible breakthrough in his life. George promised he would give it his all and not give up. And that is exactly what he did. The key for George has been his CONSISTENCY. His change didn’t happen overnight, but then again he didn’t gain the weight over night either.

A Simple, Smart Plan, Followed to the T = BIG RESULTS

George attended our 3-day Transformation Camp last summer, and since he lives here in Colorado, he has been coming here to the Center, giving the best effort he can every week. He works out for 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week (following my 5-25 interval intensity method). He eats 3 healthy meals from my Eating for Life book along with 3 Right Light Nutrition Shakes (for extra protein and vitamins) each day. He planned his meals ahead of time and followed his plan day after day. He scheduled his workout times for the week ahead and all but one time, he was here exactly when he said he would be.

4558Now, 15 months after he began, George is 144 lbs lighter and so much happier and healthier that his before photo from last summer has become virtually unrecognizable to me today. He truly left that person in his before photo in the past. Each day, when I see George here at the Center, I see a healthy, authentic, smart, caring, outgoing, fun and strong young man. That is who he was all along I think.

Your God-given Power and Ability to Change

True transformation is said to be both an ending and a beginning–a death and rebirth. It means that old ways of thinking, old ways of seeing yourself, old habits, old limiting beliefs… all that must go… that old and oftentimes unhealthy mindset must die to make room for the birth and growth of a renewed mind. A mind that has faith in God-given abilities and strengths that promise us all that WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE, and no event, no person (not even ourselves!), can ever take that away. I’ve discovered that it sometimes takes significant adversity to break open those powerful and transformative abilities. They are always there though… always.

In George’s case, I can clearly see that his humble confidence, his great inner strength, his grateful and joyful approach to life… it’s here now because of the pain and suffering of his past. Let me say that again: George’s transformation is so incredible because of the adversity he has faced, not in spite of it.

Lesson: Your biggest obstacle at this time may turn out to be your greatest blessing a year from now. George is proof.

It’s been an Honor and Privilege to Help George Transform

Yes, in all my 20+ years of helping people transform their bodies and lives, this experience has inspired beyond compare. What an honor and blessing it has been to be a part of this incredible young man’s rebirth. I am so proud of George and even though he has accomplished so much this past year, I know full well that THIS is JUST THE BEGINNING for him.

Go George go – I, and thousands of your new friends reading this from around the world are with you in spirit and behind you all the way!

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Here are some of my other blogs that can help you successfully transform:

(Notice: If you would like to make an incredible change in your body and life too, please consider doing what George did to get started and attend a 3-day Transformation Camp with Bill Phillips. Write to: Bill@Transformation.com for more information.)

Chris Perry’s Successful Body and Health Transformation!

Chris Perry's Transformation
59 lbs of bodyfat gone! Replaced with Muscle, Strength, & Health

Congratulations to Transformation Camp Alumni Chris Perry! You are an inspiring example of overcoming adversity to succeed!

Chris, 45 years of age, father of 4, traveled from Ohio earlier this year to attend my 3-day Transformation Fitness Camp here in Colorado. I got to know Chris and learned about his dreams and goals. We worked out, went to dinner, talked about nutrition and supplements and we had some laughs too over the weekend. Chris went home with renewed focus and motivation as well as a complete plan-of-action in a 3-ring binder about the size of a dictionary.

Chris worked hard, let nothing stand in his way, and he gave it his all every day. Chris wanted to change and he was willing to change… those are essential keys to crossing the abyss between knowing and doing. Another key to his success… he didn’t let adversity stop him either! Chris lost his right leg in an automobile accident which certainly makes getting through my intense weight training and aerobic workouts more challenging, but Chris didn’t quit! He applied inner strength and courage to help him accomplish his goal!

Fast forward to this past weekend… Chris comes back to my Transformation Fitness Camp. He walks in the door, I do a double take, squint my eyes to make sure it was him… and my jaw dropped! Good Heavens! Wow did he change from the last time I saw him!!! It looked he was 10 years younger! He walked in with a confident smile, wearing some 32″ waist blue-jeans and a casual short sleeve shirt with his newly muscular arms bulging out! I said “Chris!? Way to go buddy! Just incredible!”

We worked out Saturday and he was lifting the same heavy weights I was! He is now literally twice as strong as he was before!

To anyone reading this… YOU CAN DO IT TOO! Look at what Chris Perry accomplished–he didn’t let his adversity stop him! He didn’t make excuses. He confronted the truth–he was overweight and out of shape and his entire life was suffering as a result. Chris said enough is enough! He made the decision to be healthy and strong again like he was when he did Body-for-LIFE successfully a decade ago. Chris came to see me in person at my 3-day fitness camp and he went home with a team of new friends who believed in him and a whole lot of energy and motivation.

He put the plan to work with determination and he gave it his all–he poured his heart and soul into each day’s workout, nutrition, and mindset work. The result? Incredible! And you know what? Chris is just getting started–he has so much energy and momentum right now that he is going to keep getting leaner and stronger and healthier! In the process, he is inspiring so many people, perhaps even YOU, to follow his example! If Chris can overcome his adversity, why can’t YOU? (The truth is YOU CAN!!)

+++Are you ready, like Chris was, to renew your Body, Health, and Energy for life? If your answer is “YES!” then please accept my invitation to join me for our October or November Transformation Camp, here at my Fitness Center in Colorado. At Camp, I can work with you personally, like I did with Chris, and we can develop a motivating and easy to follow plan of action that will take all the guess work out of exercise and nutrition for you. Chris and many others who’ve enjoyed success after attending Transformation Camp are calling it the best investment in themselves they’ve ever made. Please, if you are ready to make an incredible change in your body, health, and life, email me right away and let me know you’d like to participate in one of our upcoming camps. My email is: Bill@Transformation.com

Inspiring Video: Eric Simpson Transforms Body, Life!

I’m happy and excited to share this Transformation Success Story video. It features Eric Simpson who completely changed his health and life for the better in so many ways.

This is one of my favorite Transformation Story videos that we’ve ever produced and I think you’ll really enjoy it too. When you have time, please check it out. This is what it’s all about — making healthy changes in your life that make a big difference in the lives of others! Keep up the good work Eric — you’re an inspiration!

Click Here to See the Video

Challenge News and Transformation Tips

—-We have extended the date to begin your 12-week program by one week — participants in the Challenge now have until (but no later than) Monday, July 22, to get started.

The game is pretty simple — you start by taking a before photo of yourself from the front with shorts or a swimsuit on (no need to hold a newspaper like the old days). Then write down your starting scale weight and get a measurement of your waist line (around the widest point) and record that also. You do not need to turn this information in until you finish your 12 weeks. After you know where you’re staring from it’s time to set some challenging and specific goals for where you want to be. For example, “Within 12 weeks I will be at least 30 pounds lighter.”

Once you know where you are now and where you want to be in 12 weeks, it’s time to start eating right and working out consistently. You can follow the Body-for-LIFE workout which has worked well for literally hundreds of thousands of people, or you can Click Here to learn about my new 5/25 workout which is designed to help those of us over 40 to get better results faster.

Exercise alone is not enough though. We’ve got to have the “one-two punch” of smart exercise and the right nutrition. Click Here to read a blog I wrote recently which gives detailed information about what works for me (Eating for Life meals, Right Light nutrition shakes, STRONGEVITY Rx anti-aging and cellular energy boosting formula).

Before and Afters

Before and After photos — It’s good to keep it basic and simple, just like these examples.

After 12 weeks, you take another photo from the front, record your new scale weight and waistline measurement. Send me that information, along with a 500-word letter telling me about your experience — how you’ve changed, what you’ve learned, and the difference it’s made in your life and the lives of those around you. Put your photos and letter in an envelope and mail them to me at the address provided in the Rules and Regulations.

(If you are signed up to follow this blog you are entered in the Challenge. You don’t have to participate — it’s completely FREE to join in though. Be sure to Click Here to re-read the Rules and Regulations to learn all the details.)

Fads Come and Go but the Facts Remain the Same

In this blog (below), I am also sharing with you a USA Today interview which was done with a reporter and medical expert for this national newspaper. The advice I give now is essentially the same as I did then (2002 — 11 years ago). Fads come and go but the facts on how to focus your mind, build strength, and lose bodyfat, stay the same. When you read the interview, you’ll see what I mean. The scientific facts show that this approach works and it is timeless. If you want to feel better, look better, have more confidence and energy, just put this knowledge to work — don’t just know it, do it!

If you’ve done it before, you can do it again! And if you are just getting started on your first 12-week health transformation, you will be pleasantly surprised by how well your body and mind respond to my simple (I didn’t say easy) transformation techniques. Always remember… You can do it. You can do it! YOU CAN DO IT! I promise. Just get started and don’t give up! ~Bill—-

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USAToday

USA Today Interview with Bill Phillips

Best-selling author, Bill Phillips knows exactly how to rid you of fat and get you in shape.

But you’ll need to do more than read about it, says author of the best-selling Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength.

“We’re inundated with more information about nutrition and exercise than ever,” says Phillips, creator of the wildly successful transformation challenge contests. “And yet as a nation we’re still fat.”

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bear this out. The 1999 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reveals that more than six out of 10 U.S. adults are either overweight or obese.

It’s not for lack of trying that Americans stay overweight. According to 2000 CDC data, 45% of overweight people are attempting to lose weight. So are nearly two-thirds of those who are obese.

“Clearly, many people know they weigh more than is desirable and they are trying in some fashion to do something about it,” observes Phillips.

Why then, do so many fail? According to Phillips, it’s often because they do not have specific goals and reliable directions on how to get there.

In short, they lack a workable plan.

Location and destination

“Although saying you want to lose weight is a goal in some sense, it is not a specific goal,” says Phillips.

“As an analogy, you don’t think of getting in the car to drive without having a destination,” says Phillips.

“But countless people start on what they consider a fitness or diet regimen without having any idea of where they would like to be.”

Consequently, they never get “there.”

“For most people, where they want to go has something to do with bodyfat,” says Phillips. “It may be a body fat percentage, but it may be something a lot less complicated — like a specific weight or waist size.”

Selecting a specific time period in which to achieve your goals in also essential. Phillips likes a 12-week period and based his initial transformation contest on that time window.

For a 25-pound weight loss that works out to a little more than 2 pounds per week, well within conservative weight loss guidelines.

Direction

Phillips emphasizes that creating specific directions to the weight loss goal involves both proper nutrition and exercise.

Phillips says his eating plan is simple. “For a plan to be successful, you have to be able to follow it easily,” he says. Its components:

Small meals six times a day, eaten every 2-3 hours — Each meal consists of portions that can be held in the palm of your hand. This keeps blood sugar levels more constant, deters hunger and binge eating, and “helps convince the body and mind that famine and the need to store calories is not right around the corner.”

A protein and carbohydrate source in every meal — Phillips’ preferred proteins are lean meats and fish. Carbohydrates include starchy vegetables like yams, steamed brown rice, or low-fat yogurt. He avoids processed sugars.

Other vegetables twice a day — He suggests at least two servings of predominantly leafy or green vegetables a day as well. “It’s roughly a 40/40/20 proportion of calories from protein, carbohydrates, and fats,” notes Phillips, who adds that you must never cook or cover your vegetables in butter or fats.

Unsaturated oils — Either a tablespoon of unsaturated oil a day (i.e. flaxseed oil) or three portions of salmon per week.

Water — At least 10 cups of water a day.

Performance-nutrition shakes — Realizing that many do not have the time to prepare 6 meals a day, Phillips suggests nutrition shakes as meal replacements 2 or 3 times a day.

Phillips notes that three other factors are essential to making this work: “You have to plan your meals and grocery shopping in advance so you don’t get stuck or have to guess,” he says. It’s also essential to record everything you eat.

But the third piece of advice is the most unusual. “Once a week you can eat anything you want,” says Phillips. This helps prevent the body from adapting to lower calorie levels and slowing stored fat burn-off.

“It’s also good psychology,” says Phillips. “Looking at three months without pizza or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be daunting.”

Phillips’ exercise program is also simple. “It has to be, or people wouldn’t do it,” he observes. It’s a blend of aerobic exercise to burn fat and intense anaerobic exercise that builds muscle — and has also been shown to accelerate fat loss as well.

You need to walk, bike, run, or swim for at least  20 minutes three times a week, advises Phillips. He suggests that varying the intensity from moderate to very challenging in each session four different times also helps.

On three other days Phillips mandates that we lift weights intensely, to keep the metabolism up.

“You don’t have to join a gym,” he says. “Many people don’t have that much time away from home. Just buy a bench and some dumbbells and work out at home as I do, making sure to record everything you do so you have an accurate record of what you are actually doing.”

Sticking points and signposts

Phillips notes that everyone hits sticking points, even with the best plans and directions. Four practices can help you through them.

Focus on progress — “It’s vitally important to realize that none of us are perfect,” says Phillips. “We are all going to make mistakes, so what we need to do is focus on progress rather than perfection.”

Don’t look for the change — “Even a fast transformation is not visible on a daily basis,” says Phillips. “Weekly check-ins can also destroy morale because you’re giving an honest effort, eating right and avoiding French fries and candy bars, and some weeks the scale reads the same.”

That’s a familiar scenario for those who are growing muscle and losing fat stores at the same time — smaller amounts of shapely muscle weigh more than larger globs of accumulated fat.

Find new markers — For more immediate positive feedback, Phillips suggests reviewing your daily activities. “Success may be a day when you ate and exercised right,” says Phillips. “Those are the quiet signals before noticeable visible change and it’s essential to recognize and honor them. But you can’t remember all these small successes if you don’t write them down.”

Be patient — At least for 12 weeks. “Other people are going to notice the changes in you and your body before you do,” says Phillips.

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Here are some of my other blogs that can help you successfully transform:

The Stunning Transformation of Valerie (100+ lbs Lighter!)

Valerie Before to After

Please make a few minutes today to watch this video — you will see the STUNNING body and life transformation of Valerie. She made the decision to make a change, set her mind in a new direction, and followed through with consistent exercise and healthy eating. As Valarie shows us in this story, where there’s a WILL, there’s a WAY!! Keep up the good work Valarie and for all of you participating in the Summer Transformation Challenge, please give it ALL you’ve got! You will get out of it what you put into it. ~Bill

—- Remember, if you are receiving this blog to your email that means you are automatically entered in the Summer Challenge and you are eligible to win the top prize of $10,000 for getting in the best shape of your life. Participation is completely FREE!

You must begin your 12-week exercise and nutrition program by Monday, July 15!

CLICK HERE to Sign Up (if you haven’t already) and Review the Rules & Regulations 

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Here are some of my other blogs that can help you successfully transform:

A Make-A-Wish Child’s Heart of Gold

In today’s blog I’m sharing an inspiring video that I really want you to see. It’s one of my favorite success-story videos out of all of the ones I’ve produced over the years. That’s because it teaches us the most fundamental lesson of all: to appreciate LIFE.

This story has its roots at Christmas time, 1994. I was making a list of which gifts to buy family members. But I realized that we already had everything we needed. With the surprising success of a health-food called MET-Rx which my company introduced to the fitness market in 1991, I was able to give considerable gifts already to my mom and dad, siblings, and grandparents. What I realized is that buying any more ‘stuff’ for us all was just redundant.

Coincidentally, later that day, I was reading the Denver newspaper (back when things were actually printed with ink on paper) and what grabbed my attention was a small article about an 8-year old girl named Abby, who had just undergone a life-saving heart transplant at Children’s Hospital. To celebrate her second-chance at life, the Make-A-Wish Foundation was looking to make her dream of going to Hawaii and swimming with the dolphins come true — they just needed a sponsor. I instantly knew this would be the best Christmas present of all… for Abby and her family as well as ours.

On behalf of the Phillips family, I gave Make-A-Wish a donation that would pay for not just Abby but for her whole family to go to Hawaii and have some very well deserved, care free fun in the sun (and also to swim with the dolphins).

On Christmas Eve, I gave a picture of Abby to each of my family members and explained her situation and her wish. Then I explained that our family helped make her dream come true. It was very emotional and brought good feelings to us all — better feelings than we would have had from just exchanging material gifts.

In the 19 years since then, I’ve been able to make 570 more Make-A-Wish kid’s dreams come true. It is unquestionably the very best part of the good luck I had back in the 90’s with my health-food businesses, MET-Rx and EAS.

Abby and I kept in touch over the years and as you’ll see in this video, she became a gold-medal winning athlete in swimming and has honored her second chance at life by taking very good care of her body. Today, she is a graduate of Michigan State University, married, and starting a family of her own.

At the time I visited Abby and made this video she was 19 years old. Because of her commitment to eating right and exercise, her doctor reported that even though Abby’s heart is 45 years old, it’s as healthy and strong as if it were her own. The transplanted heart has literally been rejuvenated — it is no longer older than she is. This is a stunning example of how miraculously the body can heal when we take care of it properly.

Important Lesson! We each have the same potential to rejuvenate our own hearts, adding years to our lifespan, if we do what Abby does: eat healthy, stay active, be grateful, and enjoy life to the fullest!

I never knew back in 1994 that reading that small newspaper story about Abby would have such a profound and transformative impact on my life, but it certainly has. I’ve learned so much from Make-A-Wish kids and their families over the years about how to face adversity, even tragedy, with grace and faith. These heroic children and brave moms and dads have been important mentors and teachers in my own personal growth over the years. I am very lucky.

I hope you enjoy the video — listen carefully and you’ll hear the part about her heart being as healthy and young as she is. It’s incredible what can happen when we wake up and start taking care of our physical selves with exercise and good nutrition.

~Bill Phillips

The Beautiful Transformation of Maria

—-In today’s blog I’m sharing the story of my beautiful wife, Maria. Her transformation started with a decision — a downright-determined, fully-committed decision that she made at a turning point in her life. This is something Maria has in common with many other people who have successfully made a healthy change from before to after. It’s the same conscious decision you have to make to experience breakthrough success.

Before and After Maria is very beautiful. I have loved her all along and I will continue to adore her no matter what. The reason I am so happy about her transformation is that it has not only improved her health but it’s helped her discover her true self — beautiful, intelligent, inspiring and self-confident. I love being married to her and yes, I realize everyday, I’m a very lucky guy!

The letter below was written by Maria and shared with her community and friends. As you read about her personal experience and positive results I think you’ll learn some key insights that will help you make exciting changes too. I’ve included some before and after pictures of Maria as well as a couple of her and I from our dream wedding last year in Maui. Hope you’re having a great day and that you enjoy Maria’s message! ~Bill—-

Maria's Before to After

How I Finally Got it Together —- By Maria

I’m Maria and this is a look at what worked for me… finally, after years of trying! My before and now pictures above show how much I have changed on the outside. I am 64 pounds lighter than I was before (180 lbs to 116 lbs). What you can’t see is how much I have grown and learned and healed on the inside (and I still have more to do).

I remember that it didn’t matter what anyone else told me, it didn’t click until I made the decision to change and do it for my own personal reasons; it wasn’t because my friends or family told me too. My doctor had mentioned that it would be good for me to lose weight and so I would try diets but I never got anywhere. I was beginning to accept that being overweight was destiny for me. That way of thinking changed in a big way one day though.

Maria's Dress Before to After

I was looking at a friends photo of a weekend party we were at. I pointed to an overweight woman in one of the photos who I didn’t recognize at all and I asked “Who is that?” My friend quickly replied, “Don’t be silly Maria, that’s YOU!” I said to my friend “Seriously though… who is that?!” My friend held the picture closer to my eyes “Maria, I’m not kidding… this is you!” I looked at the overweight woman I didn’t recognize again… and under all that weight… it was me after all.

I was speechless and it felt like my heart hit the floor. I burst out into tears. I was completely shocked. Then I became mad and sad both at the same time. I was mad for letting myself get this far off track. I was scared, too. I will never forget that day; looking back I can see it was maybe the most important awakening of my life. I had the will at that point and I found a way to do it.

What worked? It is simple. I started doing interval exercise 5 days a week for 25 minutes. I worked out with weights and did aerobics. But more important than the workouts for me was the nutrition. I had to go against my own thinking at first and that meant eating throughout the day and not skipping meals. I started planning what I was going to eat and when the night before and I started eating before I got hungry. These were all new habits for me and not easy the first month. With time though, this healthy way of eating became my new routine and today it still feels very good and isn’t complicated.

Bill and Maria

What makes the eating plan work for me is that I don’t have to cook meals 6 times a day. Bill and I eat a combination of protein and carbohydrate balanced whole food meals and Right Light Nutrition Shakes. For example, on a typical day I’ll have 3 shakes and 2 meals. Bill aims for 3 meals and 3 shakes. One of the things that really helped me make progress is when the days got really busy and didn’t go according to schedule, I wouldn’t skip meals or grab something unhealthy — I’d just have a nutrition shake or a Right Nutrition Bar which I kept with my in my purse. When Bill and I are travelling and are just too busy to get to a kitchen or café we’ll put our backup plan into action… it’s a really simple backup plan… more shakes. Sometimes Bill will have 5 shakes and then dinner; I’ll have 4 then a meal. Our favorite meal is salmon, yam and steamed broccoli or spinach.

We follow the Eating for Life plan most days but occasionally we will have a ‘Free Day’ where we eat whatever we want. For example, we go to our favorite pizza place and order a large pizza — I have 2 slices and Bill eats the other 10 (he says it goes straight to his muscles!).

I think what is most important is that you are truly ready to change your eating and exercise habits. I know I was, and I continue to live this way today. Nothing worked for me until I was downright determined to changing. Once you make that shift in your mind, the body will follow. This is how it worked for me and I believe this is how it can work for you too.

Bill and Maria Wedding

Thank you for reading my story and allowing me to share my experiences. I hope it helps at least one person out there who is stuck in a body they don’t like and a life they don’t love. -Maria Phillips

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Here are some other blogs that can help you succeed: