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.)

Mindset: A Key to going from Before to After

Transforming Patterns of Action

Patterns of action are like habits. They are the “rules” we follow automatically — the things we do that we don’t even think about. We’ve all got them. We have patterns of action for how we work, how we eat, how we relate to other people, how we do just about everything. What makes a pattern of action good or bad is simply whether it takes us closer to or pushes us further away from our goals.

Now that we’ve decided to change and we’ve become more clear about our future, we need to look at our patterns of action, which brings us to the next important question I need you to answer:
Which three patterns of action might prevent you from reaching your goals?

For example, if someone’s goal is to lose 20 pounds of fat, he would need to stop eating low-nutrient, high-calorie foods. Another pattern of action he might need to get rid of is skipping workouts. You see, these habits will prevent progress, so they have to go — they’re what I call “unauthorized.”

Think about it and write down the three patterns of action which you believe might hold you back. Once you’ve done that, please answer this question:
Which three new patterns of action do you need to establish to reach your goals?

For example, if someone’s goals include gaining 10 pounds of muscle, he would need to get in the habit of regularly lifting weights. He might need to start eating more often and getting more sleep.

You must identify both the patterns you will stop and the new ones you will start. You see, I’ve discovered one of the reasons so many people fail to break their bad habits is because they merely focus on what they shouldn’t be doing — what they shouldn’t eat, that they shouldn’t smoke or drink — all those things they shouldn’t do.

I recommend you focus just as much on things you should start doing because new patterns help “crowd out” the unauthorized ones.

By the time you’ve identified three patterns of action that are unauthorized and three new ones you need to start, you’ll be on your way. And, even though it might have taken you years to develop the patterns of action that brought you to this point in your life, it’s not going to take you anywhere near that long to change them; in fact, it takes less than four weeks before those new patterns of action will feel more natural to do than not do.

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

Transform Adversity Into Energy

Picture this: For the first time in a long time, or perhaps the first time ever, most all aspects of your life are coming together and you’re moving forward in the direction of your goals.

You’re looking better each week. That stubborn fat is finally melting away. In its place, muscle is forming. You’re getting stronger, healthier. You’re well on your way to a new and better life. You feel unstoppable until . . . the “unexpected” happens. Adversity strikes. Something goes wrong. You’re blindsided by a bad hit.

These “hits” can come from any direction. It might be an injury that makes it difficult to exercise. It might be the loss of your job or a failed business venture, an illness, the end of a relationship, or worst of all, a personal tragedy.

The fact is, adversity hits all of us, and not just “once in a blue moon.” No one is exempt. When trouble, in whatever form, strikes, it can bring your progress to a screeching halt. It can destroy your momentum, cripple your self-confidence, and send you into a tailspin — a situation where one thing after another, after another just doesn’t go your way.

There’s no training system, supplements, or “miracle pill” that can make you immune to adversity. But does that mean there’s nothing you can do about it?

Yes and no.

You can’t always prevent ill fortune, especially due to forces and circumstances beyond your control. But what you can do is expect adversity as an inevitable part of life. In fact, you must expect trouble in order to properly deal with it. Remember, it’s not a matter of if it comes your way; it’s a matter of when and how severely it strikes your life.

We must all accept that ill fortune is an inevitable part of life, and it is because of, not in spite of, misfortune that we grow. You see, our character will never be fully tested until things are not going our way. Those who have the courage to succeed in spite of adversity become and inspiration. They contribute value to the lives of others. They make a difference.

Whenever you encounter adversity — whenever something comes up that you believe might prevent you from successfully transforming your body and life — immediately ask yourself, “What can I do to turn this negative into a positive? How can I make this work for me rather than against me?”

When you approach obstacles this way, you will experience an immediate boost in energy and confidence (both of which you will need to succeed). And by practicing this skill — by learning how to transform obstacles into advantages — by attacking challenges head on — you will not only continue to move forward, you will gain the inner strength to deal with anything life brings your way.

When you look at adversity this way, you will realize misfortune is a bridge, not a barricade, to greater achievements. It can represent the opening of doors, not the closing of them. When adversity strikes, don’t let it stop you. Promise yourself in advance that you will transform that negative into a positive. That’s not just the right way to handle it, it’s the only way.

Weight Loss and Health Q & A with Bill Phillips

—-This blog post is an interview I did for a mainstream magazine where the focus was how to achieve healthy weight loss; something millions of American’s are concerned with. If you are one of them, this blog is for You! ~Bill Phillips

Q: How do people get the willpower to lose weight?

A: Willpower and discipline, despite what people are often taught, are not the keys to making challenging changes in our lives. The real power comes from inspiration. When people are inspired, they can accomplish almost anything. And so what I teach people is how to connect with what inspires them. And I ask them to identify a purposeful reason for making the decision to make a change in their lives. And one of the reasons that often awakens peoples’ inner strength is becoming healthy so that they don’t pass on their deleterious lifestyle to their kids.

Most parents I know would move mountains to protect their kids and that’s the kind of strength it often takes to stop destructive habits and start living a healthy and mindful life. There are many powerful reasons and what’s important is for each person to find the one that inspires them. One great reason will override 100 excuses.

Q: What are some practical tips on becoming more focused on their weight loss efforts?

A: I believe it’s important for people to realize that losing weight is not enough. You can actually lose weight and become more unhealthy if you do it the wrong way. Many people also lose weight  in a way that’s not sustainable. Merely changing the outside is not enough. When  we change our perspective we can see that what we really want is not just to  look better but to feel better; and not just to weigh less on the scale, but to become lighter. And to do that, we need to look at what’s weighing on us mentally and emotionally.

It’s vitally important to understand where we are at the beginning of the transformation process. I ask people to take a before photo of themselves, put it on a piece of paper, and around the photo write down a dozen words and/or phrases that describe what they’re thinking and what they’re  feeling. I often see people describe that they have low energy, that they feel stuck, that they feel like they’re carrying the weight of the world, that they’re suffering from stress or anxiety, that they feel sad or depressed. We have to confront where we are to begin with — we have to know where we stand, in order to know where to go.

Once we’ve achieved some clarity on that, we take a look at where we want to go and we develop an inspiring vision for our future carefully describing how we want to look, how we want to feel, and what we want our lives to be like. Once we establish a point A and a point B we develop specific goals that help us focus our attention on moving forward.

Q: How can people stay strong in the face of temptation?

A: When people are inspired by a powerful reason, managing temptation becomes a whole lot easier. Unfortunately most people don’t really feel a strong sense of purpose when they start out on a diet or weight-loss plan. That makes compliance extremely unlikely.

Another thing that strengthens resolve is to connect with other people who are dedicated to making healthy changes in their lives. In a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (February 2009) scientists discovered that people who are trying to lose weight and get healthy are 225% more likely to succeed if they participate in a weekly support group meeting. And this is because supportive friends can help keep us accountable, they can remind us of what we told them our important and inspiring reason is for changing our behavior from unhealthy to healthy, and they can give us support and encouragement which is pretty hard to be successful without. And in  return, we can do the same for them which, according to research, also helps us  by boosting our energy, confidence and self-esteem.

Q: How can people overcome making excuses when trying to transform their health?

A: Most every remarkable health transformation I’ve seen over the last 20 years was preceded by a dramatic increase in self-responsibility. As we mature we often discover that to a very significant extent, the condition of our bodies and lives is our responsibility and the longer we blame something outside of ourselves (an organization, another person, even genetics), the longer we disempower ourselves. The ability to change is harnessed when we accept the responsibility to change. And this essentially  means becoming a ‘no-excuses person.’ When we give up excuses we can no longer say, “The dog ate my homework.” Instead we deal with the reality of the situation which might be, “My homework’s not done because I chose to watch TV instead of doing it.” Accepting responsibility makes us stronger, not weaker.

Q: How can people overcome falling back into old unhealthy patterns?

A: The only thing better than making a healthy change in your body and life is sustaining it. In my experience, the  people who’ve succeeded over the long term do two things:

1) When they achieve a goal, they immediately set another, challenging goal. Goals keep the mind focused and help us decide on a daily basis how to invest our precious time, energy and attention. For example, if someone’s initial goal is to become 30 lbs lighter, once they achieve that, they might set their eye on another motivating objective which is to run a marathon or half marathon within the next few months.

2) People who successfully lose unhealthy body weight and keep it off are most often connected to a support group or community of like-minded folks. Being active within a healthy weight-loss group gives people the opportunity to help others which is very important. Recovery from an unhealthy lifestyle that causes overweight and obesity is similar to recovery from other addictive habits — there is always a risk for relapse. Our old habits will wait on us forever. What we do to get healthy, has to be what we continue doing to stay healthy. We need to look at it as a life-long recovery process. And  probably nothing helps long-term recovery better than being active in a group of  supportive peers.

Q: How can people change their habits?

A: The mind craves what it’s used to which is not always what it needs. And this is why the things we do habitually have a sort of gravitational force — they seem to pull us in their direction. And so the key to breaking free of unhealthy habits is to abstain from them while at the same time replacing them with new, positive patterns of action. Each day we adhere to the changes, the more the mind will crave the new pattern which will  allow it to become more and more of a routine. People who can stick with a change like this for a month, usually find it gets a whole lot easier from  there. Inspiration and support are essential to get through that first month because it can be a real tug of war between the old and new ways of thinking and behaving.

Q: What are your top tips to help someone say no to an unhealthy action or behavior?

A: Throughout each day, we have dozens of moments where we decide our future direction. When we ask ourselves, “Is this thought, action or behavior going to move me closer to or further away from the inspiring vision I have for my future?” we can make better choices pretty easily. We must relentlessly ask ourselves that question throughout each day and give ourselves honest answers. When we do, we can change the direction of our lives one moment, one decision at a time. Which is really the only way it can be done.

Q: How powerful is the mind in controlling our weight-loss success?

A: The body serves the mind. Anything that happens in our physical body is a result of what happens in our mind. The mind is primary, the body is a secondary phenomenon. And of course we experience life through our mind, our thoughts, our emotions. It’s always how we think and how we feel about how we look that determines our experience. And until you truly transform your mind, any other change is only going to be temporary, external, superficial. It will never last. However, when you heal and renew the mind, and get it set in the right direction, your life can become healthier, happier and  more inspiring than most people could ever imagine.

Q: Is there anything else you think we should cover on this topic?

A: Weight loss is very misunderstood. Supposed solutions so often focus only on the body as if it exists independent of mind and emotions. The real solutions will be found by looking at the whole person—mind, body, heart and soul. The answers we’ll find aren’t new. In fact Plato’s philosophy described what may very well be the right approach over 2,000  years ago when he wrote:

“This is the great error of our day, that physicians separate the soul from the body. The cure should not be attempted without the treatment of the whole, and no attempt should be made to cure the body without the soul.”

Get Back on Track with Bill Phillips Transformation Camp

Transformation Camp Brings Together People from All Walks of Life Who have One Thing in Common: The Desire to Get Healthy!

Transformation Camp Brings Together People from All Walks of Life to Get Healthy!

This is a message especially for people who have had success with my Body-for-LIFE program in the past, but over the years, have gotten off track and drifted towards ‘before picture’ condition again.

It’s a message for people who want to get back on track but need some extra help to regain the focus, drive, and motivation it takes to succeed.

This is also a message for people who have struggled to lose weight and get fit on their own but who aren’t ready to give up yet. It’s for those who are ready to give themselves a second chance and regain the strong, energetic, confident feeling we enjoy when we lose the fat, build the muscle, and get in great shape.

If that sounds like you, I’m inviting you to join me, in person, at my Transformation Center in Golden, Colorado for a 3-day crash course and motivational rally which I call “Transformation Camp.” This exciting and life-changing event is scheduled for August 9, 10, 11.

In previous Camps, we’ve had participants come from across North America, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and even Asia to experience this inspirational, educational, and motivational weekend. People from all walks of life — doctors, lawyers, nurses, military officers, firemen, business owners, moms, merchants, and marines — have attended my Transformation Fitness Camp and gone on to make incredible changes in their bodies and lives. You can be the next one to get back on track — to breakout of the rut and truly transform your health and renew your energy for life.

We have room for just 3 more participants in our August 9, 10, 11 Camp and I am hoping you will be one of them. At camp, I’ll work with you personally to develop a nutrition, supplementation, and exercise plan that is designed just for you. I’ll help you regain your focus and empower your mindset. I’ll help you get ‘unstuck’ and back on track. Then, I’ll give you the secrets to stay on track so you can live a healthier, happier, longer life!  

Rebuild Your Body for Life!

If you’re overweight, over age 40, and if you have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, you can’t afford not to attend Transformation Camp — it could literally save your life. Your investment in the 3-day Transformation Camp, where you will work with me personally, is only $1,495. This includes over 20 hours of time with me and my Team and 12 weeks of ongoing support to help you stay on track and achieve breakthrough results. We provide all your healthy meals during the Camp, and you’ll be my guest for a delicious, nutritious dinner out both Friday and Saturday night. We’ll get to know each other, have a lot of fun, and also do some serious work over the weekend, both physically and mentally.

This is an investment in YOU and I guarantee you’ll be glad you stopped procrastinating, stopped waiting for ‘someday’ to get healthy again, and finally took the bull by the horns to regain control of your body and life. You CAN get back on track — NOW IS THE TIME. Don’t put it off another day; after all, it’s YOUR LIFE we’re talking about here… how much is that worth to you, your loved ones, and the people who count on you? (It’s worth a heck of a lot more than $1,495 I’ll tell you that much!) 

Please, consider my sincere invitation carefully. I really mean it when I say these 3 days, where we focus just on you, your health, and your future, could absolutely change your quality and quantity of life. It’s already done that for many of our past Camp participants and I promise, it will work for you too. You just need to sign up, get here, and let me and my Team take care of you for 3 days. You will head home from Camp already transformed and renewed in your mind… from there, it’s simple… follow the specific plan of action I give you and in 12 weeks, your body will catch up.

Think about it… why wait another moment to make the decision to get back on track and feel great again? Take action now — the moment you do, you’ll already start to feel a little more healthy and a little more excited about your life. Here’s what you do: send me an email at Bill@Transformation.com and let me know YOU’RE IN — that you want to reserve one of these last 3 spots available for the August 9, 10, 11 Transformation Camp here in Golden, Colorado. Please include your phone number so we can contact you to answer any questions you might have and finalize your reservation.

It would be an honor for me to help you get back on track and transform your body and life. I look forward to meeting you in person and getting started.

Sincerely,

Bill Phillips

P.S. Please Click Here to  watch the Transformation Camp video and learn more about my 3-day event. Then write to me at Bill@Transformation.com to sign up. (If by chance you can’t make it to our August 9, 10, 11 Camp, please consider joining me for our September 13, 14, 15 event.)

P.P.S. We have had several dozen physicians attend Transformation Camp and go on to transform their own health. Below the video is a special message from one of them — you will enjoy the doctor’s enthusiasm!=)

Watch the Transformation Camp Video by Clicking Here: http://youtu.be/BnHW5UfCnOY

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Doctor Recommends Transformation Camp

“Friends: If you are on the fence about attending Transformation Camp, I strongly encourage you to do so. It is the single best thing I have ever spent time and money on, both for myself and for the people in my life. I made a spur of the moment decision to attend camp and have not looked back for a second. I have lost over 60 pounds, six sizes, and regained my health. My blood pressure was dangerously high; it’s now 110/75 without medication. I had daily, disabling back pain; I rarely have pain any more. Best of all, I am inspiring friends and family with my transformation to seek a way to recover their own health. I am at the lowest weight and best health since my 20’s- and I am 52 now.”

“Bill and his cast of wonderful staff gave me the tools to get my act together, get my head out of the sand (and other places), and put my mind and body to work. Thank you to all of you at T-camp for giving me the courage to do this. Please do register for camp if you are looking for a path back to health and fitness with the support of an incredible, knowledgeable, motivating team.”

Dr. Louise Thurman, MD, MPH

—-Write to Bill@Transformation.com to make your reservation now—-

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:

7 Stubborn Nutrition Myths Debunked

—-Trying to lose weight and get in shape? Confused by all the different diets? If so, PLEASE read today’s blog (below) for a reminder of what’s merely MYTH and what’s solid FACT when it comes to eating right! ~Bill—-

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MYTH: If you exercise regularly, it doesn’t matter if you eat right.

FACT: If you exercise regularly, it matters even more that you eat right. Exercise increases your body’s need for nutrients. And exercising a nutrient-deficient body actually creates worse nutrient deficiencies. Make no mistake, for exercise to be effective and for it to help improve your health, you must feed your body plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals, essential fats, quality carbohydrates and drink ample amounts of water. Then you’ll be able to build a stronger, healthier, leaner, better and more energetic body with each workout!

MYTH: Once you reach a certain age, you can’t get in shape.

FACT: You can improve your health and energy, at any age. You can improve your physical fitness, boost your energy and even improve your mental performance at any age, when you start feeding your body the right way.

MYTH: To be healthy, you just stop eating bad foods.

Grilled Fish Tacos

Delicious, Nutritious, Fish Tacos
Read my book Eating for Life to view this, and over 100 more recipes!

FACT: Your health is enhanced by eating the right foods. There is so much emphasis in diet books on what not to eat and so much misinformation in the media about how “bad” food is for us that I’m increasingly concerned what’s being overlooked is the fact that health is enhanced and our energy enriched by eating the right foods. Your body needs essential nutrients every day and it’s vitally important to understand that food is the ally, not the enemy.

MYTH: It’s bad to eat for “emotional reasons.”

FACT: I wholeheartedly believe that you should enjoy food. There’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t look forward to your meals and count on them to help you feel good. A delicious dinner can settle your nerves after a hectic day. A great breakfast can lift your mood and help you get ready to take on the day ahead. And a sweet, satisfying dessert can put a smile on your face. It does mine! There’s really no reason not to honor the tradition of making food a part of the process of celebrating holidays, birthdays and special occasions as well. I think it’s perfectly fine to reach for a bowl of chicken soup when your body aches or you feel under the weather. The key is making healthy versions of the foods you enjoy. You can eat to fuel your body, while also feeding positive emotions.

MYTH: To stabilize blood sugar, you have to stop eating carbohydrates.

FACT: Eating protein and carbohydrates balances blood sugar. Today’s carbohydrate confusion began years ago when we fell for the low-fat fad. When food manufacturers began removing fat from foods and replacing it with highly processed carbohydrates, our collective blood sugar went through the roof, and the problems began. As it turns out, dietary fat wasn’t really the problem after all. However, in somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction, now the food fad is to cut carbs in an effort to bring blood sugar levels back into balance. Ten years from now, I guarantee we’ll be looking back at this current craze and seeing some very serious side effects. The fact is, cutting carbs is not the healthiest way to stabilize blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are essential to eating right. The solution is to eat meals balanced with protein, quality carbohydrates and the essential fats your body needs.

MYTH: In order to be satisfied, you need to eat large portions.

balsamic_salmon_salad

Delicious, Nutritious, Balsamic Salmon Salad
Read my book Eating for Life for this and 100 more, delicious and nutritious recipes!

 

FACT: Quality, not just quantity, produces healthy satisfaction. Our bodies crave quality nutrition, not merely massive quantities of food. So many people in America today have it completely backwards, though. They believe the more they eat, the better they’ll feel. Supersized portions at restaurants, fast-food chains and packaged goods at the grocery stores are obviously all playing into the myth that more is better. Yet so many people are stuffed but still “starving” for nutrition. The fact is, our bodies are satisfied by high-quality meals, not just big quantities of junk food.

MYTH: To make a change, you need to wait until you’re all ready.

FACT: Don’t wait until you’re “ready.” Please, start eating right, right now! Don’t fool yourself into believing now is just “too soon.” If you wait until everything is perfect in your life before you make a change for the better, you’ll be waiting forever! Things are never going to be “perfect.” Fact is, the time to change is now. The longer you wait before you take control of your nutrition and eating habits, the more you delay the rich rewards that are rightfully yours. Energy, strength, renewed health and decreased bodyfat… please begin feeding these benefits today! =)

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

Classic Interview: Jack LaLanne and Bill Phillips

—-Today’s blog is a look back to an interview I did, some years ago, with fitness icon Jack LaLanne for USA Today’s weekend paper. Jack LaLanne practiced what he preached and lived 96 energetic years and inspired millions of people to start working out and eating healthy. In the personal time I spent with Jack over the years, I learned a lot about his mindset and what kept him young at heart throughout his life. Two key things he said to me I keep, always, in the front of my mind:

LaLanne’s Lesson #1) Keep Moving! Jack was never inactive — he was strong as an ox the last time we worked out together and he was in his 80’s at the time!

LaLanne’s Lesson #2) Keep Challenging Yourself! Jack set goals with deadlines and used positive pressure to keep him motivated. For example, on his 70th birthday, he achieved a strength and endurance goal of swimming a mile and a half while shackled as he towed 70 boats in Long Beach Harbor (seriously, he actually did this!).

Jack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne (1947)

I’ll also never forget his philosophy on ‘warming up’ before a workout and ‘cooling down’ afterwards: “Bill, does a lion warm up before he bursts into action and runs full speed to get his dinner? No! Does he cool down afterwards? No!”

Jack taught us that eating healthy and exercising are the best medicine we’ll ever get. He was scoffed at for years as a ‘health-nut’ but five decades later, science proved him to be exactly right. He (and Arnold) inspired me to start lifting weights in my early teens and he has motivated me to keep working out right up to and through the final chapter.

I am very grateful to Mr. LaLanne and it was always an honor to do interviews with him, like the one reprinted in this blog. The USA Today journalist asked the questions and gave the introduction. ~Bill—-

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Classic Interview: Jack LaLanne and Bill Phillips (March 21, 2001)

Jack LaLanne and Bill Phillips

Jack LaLanne and Bill Phillips

On an impossibly perfect California afternoon recently, two generations of fitness gurus met for lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel in Santa Barbara to discuss health and fitness. The old guard was represented by the “Godfather of Fitness,” Jack La Lanne. Representing another generation was Bill Phillips, the Colorado native who penned the mega-successful fitness book, Body-for-LIFE. As the two shared breakfast (eggs and fresh fruit) La Lanne, a quick-witted testament to the benefits of nutrition and exercise, summed up his perspective: “You don’t get old from calendar years,” he said, removing the yolk from one of his four hard-boiled eggs. “You get old from inactivity.”

USA WEEKEND: What would you tell a 50-year-old who is thinking of starting a regular exercise regimen?
LA LANNE: Get a physical. Then just start walking around the house. You can join a gym. There are a lot of good books and tapes, too.
PHILLIPS: Before even considering an exercise and nutrition program, I recommend that the person put on some swim trunks and have somebody take a photo of them. Then take a good look and ask yourself: Is this who I really am? If you don’t see yourself as that, you have the opportunity to change it. But you need to change your mindset.
LA LANNE: I tell people that the scales lie. You may have played basketball and weighed 175 pounds, with a 30-inch waist, back when you were in college. And you may still weigh 175 at 55. But you probably have a 35-inch waist and you’ve probably lost 30 or 40 pounds of muscle — and gained 30 or 40 pounds of fat. The tape measure doesn’t lie. Get that tape measure out and put it on your hips and your waist. Keep checking it. And keep exercising and cutting those calories down until that tape measure gets close to where you were in your prime.
PHILLIPS: Progress is made where progress is measured. People will set a New Year’s resolution: “I’m gonna get in shape this year.” But they don’t set a parameter for how they’re gonna measure it. Or if they do measure it, they wait until the first day of the next year. You’d never run a business that way. Document your progress.

USA WEEKEND: Should people who are 50 and over dive into the sort of workout program someone much younger would do?
PHILLIPS: Tufts is a leading university in research on strength training and muscle metabolism in people over 50, and they’ve shown that muscle cells strengthen in response to intense exercise — whether you’re 18 or 88. But the intensity is what’s lacking in most people’s workouts. And there are doctors who’ll give you the advice, “Well, don’t push it.”
LA LANNE: That’s ridiculous. What the hell do doctors know about exercise? Most of them know zero. You gotta push elderly people to failure like anybody else. Then the body responds.

USA WEEKEND: Lots of people start fitness routines. But how do you sustain it over a period of months, even years?

Bill Phillips (age 17) inspired by Jack LaLanne to start working out and lifting weights early in life.

Bill Phillips (age 17) inspired by Jack LaLanne to start working out and lifting weights early in life.

PHILLIPS: I’m a believer in routine. I like to see people work out at the same time each day.
LA LANNE: And make it quick. One of the reasons so many people fail is they get on this treadmill for an hour or an hour and a half. That’s totally unnecessary. If it’s cardiovascular, you don’t need more than 15 to 17 or 18 minutes if it’s vigorous.
PHILLIPS: We also talk about progress — not perfection — as one of the things that helps change the mindset. People feel so guilty about not exercising. Especially people over 50, who feel like they’ve gone a lifetime without taking care of themselves. Instead of aiming for perfection, you should try to celebrate the progress you’re making.

USA WEEKEND: What’s the biggest mistake people make when they decide to get into shape?
LA LANNE: Their goals are too high. You start out with an hour on the treadmill, then another hour of lifting — hell, in two weeks you’re not doing anything anymore. You gotta be reasonable.
PHILLIPS: Sometimes people — especially people over 40 — underestimate what they really are capable of. They believe they’re not capable of doing something great. I tell people who are over 40, “I don’t want your best. I want better than that. I want better than what you perceive your best is.”

USA WEEKEND: How do you guys feel about nutritional supplements?
LA LANNE: I was the first one to come out with a protein supplement, so I think they’re useful. I was also the first one to come out with the nutrition bars.
PHILLIPS: Some supplements work; some don’t. It can be faddish like diets. What about these people who say you should eliminate carbohydrates from your diet?
LA LANNE: No!
PHILLIPS: I agree. The brain’s preferred source of fuel is glucose/carbohydrates. And when you go on a low-carb/high-protein diet, your brain is using low-octane fuel. You’ll be a little groggy, a little grumpy.

USA WEEKEND: If somebody was gonna do only one exercise …
LA LANNE: Swimming. No doubt about it.
PHILLIPS: I’m always asking people to do something in their mind [first]. So if they’re gonna do one exercise, it would be to ask themselves what they want to change about themselves in the next 12 weeks. Once they solve that, the body will follow.
LA LANNE: You can’t separate the mind and body. It’s impossible.

USA WEEKEND: What should people do first thing in the morning?
LA LANNE: Count your blessings.
PHILLIPS: Plan what you’re gonna do that day and commit to it.

This is My Day… Eating for Life-Style!

—-In this blog I am going to show you how a healthy day of eating looks for me. But first, let me remind you of the key principles behind the nutrition method I originally introduced in my Body-for-LIFE book 14 years ago — it’s called Eating for Life. Upwards of a million people have used this method along with exercise and, based on the mountains of before to after success stories that have come into my offices over the years, it’s easy to say… this works! I mean it really  works.

Eating for Life is not a diet. It’s not one of those super-low carb approaches. It’s not an ultra-high protein plan either. We don’t eliminate any particular kinds of food (even pizza, ice cream, cookies and french-fries you can have once a week on a ‘Free Day’!) The Eating for Life style is built on a bedrock of common sense, supported by science, and proven effective by real-world results. The key ingredients in the Eating for Life recipe are what I call the ‘Right FACTs.’ Let’s take a look…

The Right FACTs

  • Foods — The Right Foods are high in nutrients and calorie compact. My favorite protein foods are eggs, chicken, salmon, lean beef, low-fat cottage cheese and my Right Light Nutrition Shakes. For carbohydrates, I like baked potato, brown rice, oatmeal, apples, oranges, strawberries. And for vegetables, I eat a lot of steamed broccoli, spinach, and green beans. You get the idea.
  • Amounts — The next key is to eat the Right Amounts of those healthy foods I mentioned above. I don’t need to count calories — I keep track of portions instead. A portion of protein is an amount that’s about equal to the size of the palm of your hand. For me, that’s about an 8 or 9 ounce steak, chicken breast, or piece of salmon. A portion of healthy carbs is an amount approximately equal to the size of your closed hand. For me, that’s a pretty good-sized baked potato, about 1.25 cups of cooked brown rice or cooked oatmeal. For vegetables the portion rule is how much you can pile into your cupped hand (I can stack it high so I have pretty big servings of steamed broccoli very often with my dinners).
  • Combinations — Now we need the Right Combinations of the Right Foods, in the Right Amounts. I combine a portion of protein and a portion of healthy carbs in each meal. For example, oatmeal and egg whites (I like Egg Beaters), chicken breast and brown rice; lean steak and a baked potato; cottage cheese and a sliced, whole apple. It’s very important to get a balance of protein and carbohydrates in every one of our daily meals.
  • Times — The Right Time to eat is OFTEN. Feeding the body 6 times a day (once every 2.5 to 3.5 hours) is ideal. Eating often is the key to managing the appetite and making sure our bodies have a constant supply of the healthy nutrients needed to support health and fitness. We also have better digestion and more energy when we eat smaller meals frequently throughout the day.

I Keep My Kitchen Junk-Food Free

My wife Maria and I eat off of side plates instead of the big dinner plates — this helps with portion control and I really suggest you give it a try. In my previous blog called ‘It’s Hard to Eat Right in the Wrong Kitchen’ I ask people to do a ‘Healthy Spaces Makeover’. That means going through the refrigerator, pantry, cupboards and getting rid of any high-sugar, high-fat junk food that may tempt us into slipping up. I know this is especially important for me — I can be super disciplined 23 hours and 50 minutes a day and in just a 10 minute lapse, I can scarf down over 500 calories of low nutrient, high calorie crap. So if I don’t want to wear it (as fat around my belly) I don’t keep it in the house. Once you’ve cleaned out the unhealthy food in your kitchen head for the grocery store and stock up on the Right Foods: fruits, vegetables, healthy carbs, lean protein sources, nutrition shakes, and water.

EatingforLife

My guide to cooking nutritious, delicious food that never leaves the kitchen is my book Eating for Life. I’ve been cooking from the recipes in this book for about a decade now — with over 100 fantastic meals to choose from it never gets old. You don’t have to be a chef (I’m sure as heck not) to be able to cook up great tasting, healthy food for yourself and your family — just follow the recipes in this book. (Click here to see over 2 dozen of those recipes — if you haven’t tried them yet, please do because I think you’ll really love the meals! And they’re all Eating for Life ‘authorized.’)

One of the true secrets to success when it comes to consistently following the Eating for Life style is developing the habit of planning your meals in advance. When we make smart decisions ahead of time and write them down (we plan what time we’re going to eat and which foods/meals we’re going to fuel up on) we are taking control of something that for most folks, is as out of control as a bucking bronco in a rodeo. I mean most people don’t plan what they’re going to eat during the day at all.

The main problem with the way we eat in America today is that we just don’t think it through. We wait until noon before we even begin to consider what we’re having for lunch. Dinner is whatever we can pick up on the way home from work and breakfast, who has got time for breakfast!? Basically, we’re eating unintentionally and without much awareness of what we’re doing. That’s a problem. We get out of shape by accident — no one does it intentionally. We have to wake up and really start looking at what we’re eating and how it’s affecting our mind, mood, body and life. We have to consciously and purposely plan and prepare to eat right — that’s what works in the long run!

We’ll continue to talk a lot about nutrition and eating right here in ‘Bill Phillips Fitness News’ because it’s a very, very important part of transforming our health and staying on the right path. For now though, let me finish up this blog by giving you a look at this exciting list of ‘WHAT BILL HAD TO EAT YESTERDAY!’ (Maybe I’m over hyping that… I mean how exciting can it be to take a look at what my 6 meals were? Maybe I should just say it’s important to learn and if you consistently eat like this, the results… now those will be exciting!)

What Bill Had to Eat Yesterday

Breakfast — 8:00 am: Vanilla Right Light Nutrition Shake blended with Strongevity Rx (my new cellular energy supplement)

Mid-meal — 10:30 am: Low-fat cottage cheese mixed with light yogurt; 16 oz. water

Lunch — 1:00 pm: Turkey Sandwich with lettuce, tomato, mustard; 16 oz. water

Workout — 3:15 pm to 3:40 pm (super high-intensity 5-25 spin bike workout)

Mid-meal — 4:00 pm: Vanilla Right Light Shake (blended with 6oz. water, a fresh peach, Strongevity Rx and 4 ice cubes)

Dinner — 7:00 pm: Asian Beef Stir-Fry (delicious, nutritious, fun and easy to make!); 16 oz. water

Dessert — 10:00 pm: Chocolate Right Light Nutrition Shake made as ‘double-chocolate pudding mix recipe.’

++ Including the water I get with my nutrition shakes, I have about 10 – 12 cups of H2O each day.

++ I always have a back-up plan in case my day doesn’t go according to schedule. I carry a couple Right Nutrition Bars with me throughout the day and if I run out of time for lunch or one of my mid-meals, I have a bar instead. Right Nutrition Bars are rich with protein and vitamins, low-glycemic, all-natural, gluten-free, organic and the peanut crunch flavor is really good.

++ Sometimes it’s hard at first for people to get use to eating frequently throughout the day. That’s because what we end up doing is eating when we’re not hungry, and that’s good! It seems counterintuitive, especially for people who are trying to lose weight, to eat when you’re not hungry but honestly, this is a very important key to long-term success. If you wait until your hungry to eat, it’s like you’re the tail and the cravings are the dog. They control you, you don’t control them. So be sure to schedule your meals ahead of time and follow that schedule.

++ I follow the Right FACTs and eat clean 6 days a week. But I try to take one day each week for what I call a ‘Free Day’ where we forget all the rules and just eat for fun. Sometimes on a Free Day, Maria and I go over to my Mom’s house for ‘very un-portioned controlled dinners!’ We also have a favorite pizza place (Front Room Pizza) in Lakewood, about 20 minutes from our house. Thanksgiving, birthdays, special nights out… these are all good times for my Free Days.

You Can Do It!

Don’t ever think you don’t have time to eat right frequently throughout the day. The list of my meals from yesterday which you just reviewed takes me less than an hour to prepare and eat. Of course my Nutrition Shakes I can blend up and chug down in just a couple minutes. Lunch takes me about 10 minutes. And dinner is 30-40 minutes. When you plan ahead of time and you prepare in advance, you’ll find you save time and money with the Eating for Life style. And best of all, when you eat this way your body will get stronger, leaner, healthier, more energetic and you’ll feel good! Now give it a try and let me know what you think! =)

—- Here, below, are three more of my favorite Eating for Life dinners that you can find in the Eating for Life Book —-

baked_chicken[1]

moms-chicken-lrg[1]

homestyle-turkeymeatloaf-lrg[1]

How Dying Transformed This Man’s Life! (Video)

—-In today’s blog, I’m sharing with you one of my all-time favorite success story videos. It’s a story of a man named Richard Brown and how a brush with death transformed most every aspect of his life. What I love about Richard is his tremendous and authentic gratitude for life. Here’s someone who truly enjoys the simple things in life: waking up and taking a deep breath of fresh air, seeing his children smile, encouraging and being there for a friend.

But there was a time this husband and father took it all for granted. Like many of us, he assumed he’d live forever. He put taking care of his body on the backburner in order to put in more hours at work. He didn’t even really notice his unhealthy habits were killing him until one day it hit him like a bolt of lightning. This 7-minute video is one I especially encourage all parents to watch carefully. There are powerful lessons in Richard Brown’s upclose-and-personal story that everyone can learn from. (By the way… IF YOU ARE uplifted by this heart-warming story, please help spread the inspiration by sharing this blog on your Facebook profle.)

NOTE: In tomorrows blog, I’ll lay out a full day of my personal nutrition plan — showing you what meals, nutrition and protein shakes, as well as which supplements are working best for me. And next week, watch out for an exclusive story and stunning news about a scientific breakthrough that can, within a few weeks, boost your muscle strength and energy by more than 25 percent, improve fluid intelligence (IQ) by up to 40 percent, and strengthen your heart. This incredible discovery has been scientifically proven to slow the aging process (research studies have shown a 22% increase in lifespan) with consistant use. No, it’s not one of those expensive and possibly dangerous ‘anti-aging’ drugs; in fact, it’s not synthetic and you don’t need a doctors prescription to get it (at least not yet).It’s safe, it’s natural, and it works! What I’m going to tell you about in my blog next week may very well be the most exciting news I’ve ever had to share with people, who, like me, are interested in maximising their quality and quantity of life. Okay, that’s all I have to say for now. Have a great day (be sure to get in your workout!) and enjoy the video! ~Bill—-

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