Are You Getting off Track? Three Warning Signs…

Transformation is a continual path of rich and rewarding personal growth that leads to greater physical health and mental clarity. Or at least it has the potential to be. The key is to keep on doing what’s working and to steer clear of common obstacles and roadblocks in the process.

Knowing which pitfalls to be on the lookout for can save you a whole lot of time and trouble; it can also help you prevent a slip, a slide or a complete relapse back into your “before” condition. With that in mind, let me tell you about three of the most common signs that there’s transformation trouble ahead.

Warning Sign #1: You’ve Found a New Comfort Zone

The motivation to transform is high when you’re hanging on by a thread. For example, a drowning man makes all kinds of promises to God that he will right his ways and change his life. But once his feet are firmly back on the ground, his motivation to do the work necessary to change instantly becomes very low. He is comfortable again.

All too often this happens in the transformation process. When someone has a personal health scare or reaches a moral rock bottom, their willingness to commit themselves to the transformation process is high. Their compliance is strong. They’re excellent students and they get great results. Their results can be so good, in fact, that their motivation to keep on growing all but dissolves. And they find a new comfort zone, which leads to transformation trouble.

It’s imperative we understand that every comfort zone becomes a “comfort trap” eventually. Any place that we can hide out and indulge in excessive amounts of so-called pleasure will become dangerous as it fosters apathy addiction, as well as removes us from the natural flow of evolutionary pressure. The key is becoming more comfortable with continual change and less comfortable with staying the same. And that is so important in our transformation process. But, unfortunately, it’s something that we can easily overlook.

To keep moving forward, what I teach is to continually accept new challenges and invite positive pressure into your life. This works most every time. Challenges like transforming your life’s greatest adversity from tragedy to triumph, to overcome an addiction, or even train for and complete a marathon can really keep us on our toes mentally and emotionally. Embracing challenges keeps us in the dynamic flow of life, and it also keeps us from getting stuck or resisting the Divine Will. It also helps us to become more comfortable and excited about life while we’re in the process of change.

What challenge have you embraced in your life that is giving you positive pressure to move forward today? If something specific doesn’t come to mind right away, you may very well be headed for transformation trouble. You can course correct now by accepting a challenge which invokes the power of positive pressure and keeps you from settling into a new comfort zone.

Warning Sign #2: You Have No Specific, Inspiring Goals

When we set specific and inspiring goals with a timeline and deadline, we discover that this immediately focuses our energy and improves our clarity. And, in turn, this increases our motivation and propels us into action, doing the work that needs to be done to arrive at our predetermined destination.

The ability to set meaningful, energizing goals is something that we should all learn by the sixth grade. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people never become proficient at this essential skill for making your life work; and as a result, far too many folks never get the opportunity to discover even a fraction of their true potential. Like boats without a rudder, people with no specific and inspiring goals drift through life.

Meaningful and inspiring goals give our lives direction. And since we can follow so many different routes in life today, selecting a goal is literally among the most important decisions that we’ll ever make.

With transformation, we aspire to set goals which make our own lives healthier and happier, and which also make a difference in the lives of others. When we do this, we’re constantly growing, learning and bettering ourselves, and we’re also improving the world around us by being the change.

It’s really remarkable the way this works, time and time again. When we decide what we truly want out of all the possible things we could choose, and we focus on that objective each day, it is as if we invoke a creative force beyond our abilities. We don’t know exactly how it works, but most every person who absolutely commits themselves to achieving meaningful goals can give personal testimony to the power of its effects.

Probably the only thing that I find more stunning than the power of setting meaningful and inspiring goals is how often people overlook this vitally important practice. Thousands of people who’ve completed the 18-week Transformation, and over a million people who have done the Body-for-LIFE Challenge over the past decade, have all had a direct, firsthand experience with how effective this relatively simple practice is; yet, as soon as they achieve their initial goals, many people don’t set new ones. And right there, their progress begins to end.

So what are your meaningful and inspiring transformation goals right now? They should be specific, measurable, with a firm timeline and deadline. And they should give you a feeling of excitement and enthusiasm when you envision yourself achieving them. If you can’t bring your specific goals to mind right away, that’s a sign your transformation is headed for trouble, or perhaps you’re already in it. You can course correct now by becoming clear about your goals and committing to them.

Warning Sign #3: You’ve Strayed from the Group

Among my favorite television programs are those gorgeous HD shows on Discovery which are basically chronicles of natural life. They’re always filled with inspiring beauty and occasionally a life lesson or two. For example, watching the migrating herds of gazelle crossing the Serengeti, there’s always one that strays from the group and ends up in trouble.

For us, being connected to community and not straying away is also a good idea. Especially a community like ours where pretty much everyone holds the intention of making healthy changes in their lives which make a difference in the lives of others. The strength of a group of people who hold a similar intention cannot be underestimated. There’s the advantage of being able to give and receive support and encouragement. There’s the added benefit of accountability and camaraderie. And there’s the power of the unconditional group support. The advantages of this type of fellowship have been well known for hundreds, even thousands of years; and now, even modern science is verifying the positive effects.

Remember the importance of “right environments” and realize that people are a very big part of that. We become what we surround ourselves with, to a very significant extent; and without healthy, open, honest and transforming people in our lives, it’s hard to achieve our goals. Yet the opposite is also true – we do well at making challenging changes in our lives when we’re connected to others who are making challenging changes in theirs.

Whether your goals include losing weight, overcoming addiction, working through a bout of depression, or reaching a new personal best, connecting with a supportive, positive, unconditional community where others are seeking the same or similar victories is essential. More and more we’re realizing that significant and meaningful transformation in our lives is something that is hard to achieve on our own. We need help from others to succeed, and we also need the opportunity to help others succeed. Yet sometimes we behave as if that weren’t so. And we stray from the community and try to go it alone. There again is a sign of transformation trouble.

Conclusion

Make no mistake, in our heart of hearts we all want to experience continual growth and betterment of ourselves and our lives. Transformation is an ongoing process that can allow us to move forward in that direction. It’s a lifelong journey that can help us continually experience better physical and mental fitness. However, it only works if we work it. As soon as we take our eye off the ball and move our attention and focus elsewhere (deliberately or accidentally), our growth comes to a standstill, or more accurately put, it begins to regress.

And so with this reminder to be on the lookout for transformation trouble before it goes unnoticed for too long, we’ve got the opportunity to bring our awareness back to the right place. You don’t have to wait until you fall back to your before condition to realize that you’ve gone off course; you can begin to recognize that right here and now. Course correction and being on the lookout for trouble ahead is very much a part of becoming a successful, long-term transformer. As you develop mastery in this skillset, you’ll find your results are more consistent, sustainable, inspiring and enjoyable. =)

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.

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

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.”

Focus on Your Progress and Forget about Perfection

Over the years, I’ve seen far too many people give up on themselves because they simply couldn’t see how well they were actually doing. An example is a woman who had become 15 pounds lighter over a period of just 8 weeks. But in her mind, she wasn’t getting anywhere at all. I asked exactly what her goal was. She explained it was to develop a perfect body, like a swimsuit model on the cover of a magazine. And she associated all of these perfect feelings she would have, once she got there. This became her exclusive focus and each day she’d get up, look in the mirror and notice, “I’m not there.” She didn’t even see that she was making terrific progress. All she noticed was that she still didn’t meet this ideal of perfection. She convinced herself she had failed, and from there, she quit. What happened was she got caught in ‘The Void.’

The Void is a dangerous place we can wander into if we measure our progress based on what hasn’t happened rather than what has. The Void can zap your self-confidence and send your self-esteem tumbling, making it hard for you to feel good about yourself. Hanging out there can also lead to full-time frustration, which can permeate every aspect of your life.

This painful place is a psychological purgatory where we constantly compare ourselves to an unattainable and vague ideal. The amount of stress and suffering this causes in America today is significantly underestimated. In a culture like ours, where the mass media continually presents pictures of so-called perfection in marketing, movies and magazines, it’s difficult to feel like we’re ever good enough. In a race to keep up with the Joneses, there’s constant comparison and almost always a focus on what’s missing, what we’re not, what we need, what we’re supposed to be, do, say and become. And of course, in reality, the perfect persons’ lives don’t even exist.

The ideal is an illusion, and pursuing it is like chasing the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow—whenever you go to where it appears to be, it’s always someplace else. If we continue to pursue this mirage, we are setting ourselves up for a lifetime of never feeling complete; never feeling good enough, smart enough, healthy enough, successful or beautiful enough. Fortunately, there’s a solution. There’s a mindset that allows you to steer clear of The Void, while enjoying ever-increasing levels of authentic self confidence, self-worth and fulfillment.

The key is creating a game we can win. How do we win so we can feel confident and empowered every day? Well, that happens when we make this dramatic shift where we surrender the pursuit of perfection and instead focus on progress. To do that we must stop measuring ourselves by what we haven’t accomplished and start paying attention to what we have.

“The ideal is an illusion. Pursuing it is like chasing the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. When you go to where it appears to be, it’s always someplace else.”

Whereas the ideal is always abstract and impossible to specifically define, pursuing progress becomes something altogether different, because it’s clear, tangible, and objectively verifiable. Progress is a step in the right direction; it’s any action you can take which moves you further away from your point A (where you began) and closer to your point B (specifically where you have decided to go).

I want to emphasize again that the goals you’re working towards must be stated specifically, using parameters that are objectively verifiable. For example, “Within 12 weeks, I will become 35 lbs lighter.” That’s clear, measurable, objectively verifiable. On the other hand, “I want to get in great shape” is not a goal; it’s an ideal. It’s vague and subjective. It’s an example of a pseudo-goal which can lead you into The Void. We must steer clear of those kinds of targets.

“Progress is a step in the right direction; it’s any action you can take which moves you further away from where you began and closer to your goal.”

When you begin to focus on making progress, one day at a time, towards your goals, you’ll discover that you don’t have to wait 12 weeks to really start feeling good about yourself. You can do it every day, starting now. When you do, you’ll find that the self-critiquing will fade away. Instead, you will truly see and appreciate your progress all along the way; that’s something that will give you a positive focus and sense of achievement.

Focusing on your progress is not complicated at all. You simply identify three to five actions you can take each day that will help you move towards your goals. For example, if your goal is to become 35 lbs lighter over a period of 12 weeks, you can take a step in that direction by doing my 5-25 workout and eating only healthy meals that day as well as taking your vitamins and supplements.

When you shift your focus in this way, what you’ll notice, and this is a very important point, is that you will begin measuring your progress in actions, not results.

Remember, transformation is akin to climbing a mountain;  the way you ascend from the base to the summit is one step at a time. If we don’t recognize each step forward as progress, we begin to notice the impatient child in us asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?!” We do a workout and then get on the scale, expecting to see results. We might stand in front of the mirror and notice we don’t look like that model on the magazine cover yet. This is a game you shouldn’t even play because it’s one you can’t win.

Without putting what you learn here into action, don’t be surprised if your mind plays a trick on you where, more often than not, it will seem like you’re getting nowhere. From my extensive experience in helping people through this process, I’ve learned that this is the number one reason why people give up, give in and quit. And sometimes they do it on the two-yard line. It’s like they’ve gone all this way and come so close to the goal, but they can’t see it and throw in the towel. Please don’t let this happen to you.

CONCLUSION

Now is the time to begin focusing on progress rather than perfection. When you do, your mindset will quickly change–you’ll gain confidence and momentum with each new day. And because this is a game you can win, you’ll enjoy one victory after another. You will free yourself from living in The Void, that state of mind which leaves so many feeling incomplete and disempowered. When you approach your transformation with this new perspective, you will soon see that your progress is your success!

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If you like the information in this blog and want to receive, by email, my regular updates, tips, and news about fitness, please sign up to follow my blog at www.BillPhillipsNews.com – it’s FREE!

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

 

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—-

Bill Phillips Answers Your Health and Fitness Questions

QUESTION: I’m just making sure the deadline to start the challenge was extended to today. I hope so. I put my email in to follow this Bill Phillips Fitness News Blog to officially enter and I’m ready to start transforming my body and life! I’m in it to win it this time… for me finishing the 12 weeks and achieving my health goal is winning. I wouldn’t mind getting the $10,000 top prize also! =)

ANSWER: How exciting! You made it in just in time! Yes, by following this blog you are officially signed up and eligible to win the $10,000 top prize! Just get started today by taking your before photo (which I want you to hang onto for 12 weeks before you send it in — Click Here to see the Rules and Regulations for all the details).

Winners CertificateWhen you do complete all 12 weeks, I guarantee you will feel healthier and happier. And who knows… somebody’s going to get that $10,000 top prize… it really could be you! Don’t forget, everyone who finishes the Summer Challenge and sends in their before and after photos will receive an Official Certificate of Achievement, a Transformation-blue workout shirt, and a Challenge Finishers Honor Medal. (I always say that the best prize Challenge Finishers will get is a renewed healthy body! =)

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QUESTION: Bill, I have a lot of body fat to lose, is it ok to do cardio everyday along with the resistance training every other day?

ANSWER: Thank you for your question. You can do more cardio of course but I usually don’t recommend it. Over the past couple decades, what I have found works best is to keep the workouts brief but intense and most of all, CONSISTENT. I like to see people alternating days of weight training with days of cardio. For example, weight training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and cardio on Tuesday, and Thursday with the Saturday cardio workout being optional.

Intense Interval Exercise stimulates the metabolism by positively affecting cellular mitochondria energy production. This means that your body is burning more stored fat all day long and not just during the workout. Intense Exercise is powerful medicine and too much is akin to overdose — it can actually backfire and slow the metabolism. However, even the best exercise methods won’t make up for bad nutrition. It is imperative that we exercise AND eat right.

I have a friend, George, who has become 135 pounds lighter over the last year. He works out at my Transformation Center in Colorado and follows my 5/25 program to the T — he gets in 25 minutes of intense exercise, 5 days a week. He has 3 Right Light nutrition shakes a day and 2 or 3 portion-controlled Eating for Life meals.

Incredible before to after photos

George is 135 pounds lighter — he works out 25 minutes a day!

George’s body and life transformation is stunning because he did the right things very consistently for an entire year. He is stronger and healthier and has burned off 135 pounds, as I mentioned above. It seems like so much weight but when you get down to it, it’s just about 11 pounds per month. You don’t have to starve yourself or exercise for hours a day to trim off 11 pounds of unhealthy weight each month. I’m a big proponent of a balanced, practical approach.

Big progress is simply little progress compounded over time. It’s more important that your workouts are consistent than long. Whatever you do, just promise me you’ll combine exercise and eating right, and you’ll stick with it long enough to reach your goals and then some. You can do it!

~Bill Phillips

P.S. You can read my blog about George’s stunning transformation by clicking here.

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QUESTION: Which is better… the Body-for-Life weight-lifting routine, or your new 5/25 workout? I’m 46 years old and I want to lose 30 to 40 pounds of fat while getting my muscle definition back.

ANSWER: Both routines will give you a great workout. Both will help build muscle.

My newer version of the Body-For-LIFE free-weight workout is called 5/25 and it is the first program I’ve developed which is completely based on the science of High-Intensity Interval Strength Training.

Intense Interval Training has been proven in scientific studies to be the most effective exercise method when it comes to preventing heart disease, preventing stroke, accelerating the burning of bodyfat, and most important of all (in my opinion), increasing the size, number, and energy production of cellular mitochondria which is THE key to longevity. At age 48, my big reasons for working out are to prevent disease and keep my body as young, strong, and lean as possible — 5/25 High-Intensity Interval Strength Training helps me accomplish all that in one workout.

Bill Working Out

At Age 48, 5/25 Training Works Great for Me! ~Bill

Also, 5/25 works for me because I need a training method that hits the muscles hard but is easy on my tendons and ligaments. With 5/25 I can use less weight and still blast the muscles without injury. With BFL workouts I can lift quite a bit more weight  (because of the rest between sets) and that’s not necessarily a good thing for me because I’m just strong enough to damage some nagging shoulder and knee tendon injuries that I’ve recovered from.

Learn more about 5/25 Training by reading my blog about it here on Bill Phillips Fitness News — just Click Here to go there! =)

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QUESTION: Hi Bill, I started the challenge Monday and am super excited. I read your nutrition blog that showed your meal plans for a day and that helped me a lot. What are your thoughts on diet soda and alcohol? Complete no-no’s or moderation? Thanks for everything!

ANSWER: With nutrition, it is what we do most of the time, not some of the time, that shapes us. So drinking a diet soda from time to time (like I do) isn’t going to make or break your fitness.

Regarding alcohol, I use to drink on the weekends when I was in my 30’s and I stayed in really good shape virtually all decade. But once I got in my 40’s, my body’s response to alcohol changed — I felt awful the next day and drinking totally threw off my appetite for healthy foods. I stopped drinking alcohol  6 years ago and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Nowadays, I just don’t crave it or want it. I’ve tried drinking beer and wine again a handful of times over the years and each time it just made me feel unhealthy. I can’t figure out how I ever enjoyed it, but back when I was younger, I could get away with it somehow.

Anyways, there are some people who can have a beer or a glass of wine somewhat regularly, and do just great with their fitness transformations. More often than not, what I see is people who have a group of unhealthy habits which are often triggered by drinking and so I suggest that people who want to lose weight and get in shape at least consider giving up beer and alcohol for a few weeks and see how they feel. You can always go back to it if it doesn’t feel right for you, or just enjoy your drinks on Free Day (that one day a week you don’t have to workout or follow any rules).

All that being said, ultimately, what we’re trying to create here is a healthy, realistic, enjoyable new lifestyle for YOU. The key to long-term success is to like your new, healthy habits better than the old ones; in fact, if you don’t like them better, odds are, you’ll go back to your old patterns and way of living. ~Bill

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QUESTION:  Hey Bill, quick question about STRONGEVITY Rx. I’m a woman who is on the way to becoming 50 pounds lighter and healthier. I’ve been taking 1 serving a day for a week now and I’m experiencing crazy amounts of energy during my workouts. Since I saw you at Transformation Camp, I am 30 pounds lighter. Now I’ve set a new 12-week goal of losing 20 more pounds of unhealthy weight. This past week though, my scale hasn’t moved. I’m eating 4 Right Light nutrition shakes, 1 serving of STRONGEVITY Rx, and 2 Eating for Life meals each day. I’m also following your 5/25 workouts and drinking 10+ glasses of water per day. I heard someone say that STRONGEVITY Rx might interfere with my weight loss. Does that make sense? Should I be using STRONGEVITY Rx while I’m trying to get rid of this next 20 pounds?

ANSWER: First thing’s first — You are doing incredibly well — 30 pounds lighter in just three and a half months is excellent progress! You’re losing the bodyfat, strengthening the muscles, and literally re-sculpting your body — not just losing weight. Congratulations!

STRONGEVITY RxRegarding STRONGEVITY Rx, we know it is a scientific truth that it will absolutely not cause a gain of bodyfat; in fact, studies show that biologically active cholecalciferol (Vit-D3) which is in STRONGEVITY Rx, increases the rate at which the body will burn stored fat as fuel.

The Creatine and CoQ10 combination in STRONGEVITY Rx , after the 4 to 6 week mark, will noticeably increase your metabolism (an increase in metabolism is caused by increased energy production by the cellular mitochondria). The ingredients I mentioned here, as well as L-Glutamine, do initially create a cell hydrating/cell-volumizing effect, and that’s a good thing! It means that there is more energy within the cell and even a slight increase in cytoplasm which, when we multiply times 75 trillion cells in the body, can add up to an initial kilogram increase in lean body mass for women (and up to 3 kg for men because of our higher number of mitochondria-rich muscle cells).

The increase in cellular hydration plateaus after the STRONGEVITY Rx nutrients have reached saturation levels within each cell. That typically happens within 2 weeks. So, this may be some of what you’re feeling. Keep in mind that it is a healthy process even though you might not see the scale go down for a week or two. The increase in lean body mass and cellular energy will kick your metabolism up a notch and allow you to train with even more intensity during your interval workouts, this will even further increase your metabolic rate, which of course, is also a good thing!

One thing I do want to suggest though… let’s try cutting back to three nutrition shakes a day for the next week and see how that feels. I’d like to see your daily meal plan consist of 3 nutrition shakes, 1 serving of STRONGEVITY Rx, and 2 protein and carbohydrate balanced, portion controlled meals. I think this might be just right for you at this point in your transformation.

Lastly, make sure you’re giving yourself credit for the incredible progress you’ve made so far. I guarantee that if you keep working hard and remain consistent, you WILL reach your next 12 week goal in championship style!

~Bill Phillips

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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.

What’s Your Monkey Trap?

In southeast Asia, a monkey trap is constructed from a hollow coconut with a single opening, just large enough for a monkey’s hand to fit in and out of. To load the trap, a hunter simply places a piece of bait in the coconut; a tempting slice of fruit works well. A curious and/or hungry monkey reaches into the tethered coconut and clenches the fruit, but when he tries to take his hand out, he finds that his fist is too big to get through the opening. He cannot remove his hand with the fruit clenched in it.

So what does a monkey do in this situation? If you think he drops the fruit and pulls his hand out and escapes, you’ve missed the essential point about the psychology of monkeys, and perhaps of human beings as well. The trap works because the monkey refuses to let go of the fruit, even if disaster is approaching.

Monkey TrapIn much the same way, metaphorically, we suffer the same plight. So often in life we mentally and emotionally hold onto things which trap and imprison us. And like the monkey, when we refuse to let go, we can face dire consequences.

How do you know if you are stuck in a monkey trap? Well, let’s see… Is there any area of your life that is not changing the way you would like it to? Are you stuck in some way? We can check our health and fitness for starters. Are you feeling lighter and stronger as time moves forward? Is your body becoming leaner, stronger and more energetic?

If so, keep up the good work!

If not, that could be a sign you’re stuck, or even trapped, by something your mind is holding onto. It could be a limiting belief such as, “I don’t have time to work out and eat healthy.” Or, “My body will never change; this is just the way I am.”

A couple years ago, the limiting belief that became a monkey trap for me was: “I’m too old to feel young and strong again.” I had to be openBillWorkingOutBicep and willing to let that false perception go in order to make the healthy changes I’ve made in my own life. By doing so, I can absolutely say that, at age 48, I feel as healthy and strong as I ever have. I know that no matter what your age, you can feel your best too!

It doesn’t make sense on the surface that we wouldn’t find it easy to let go of our unhealthy way of living, especially if it is causing us suffering; however, it happens all the time.

So often, we limit our progress and success by holding on to a ‘comfort zone’ (comfort trap is what it often really is). Until we let go of our old habits and thoughts (“Oh, I’ve always been out of shape… that is just who I am.”), we will prevent ourselves from making the decisions and taking the actions we need to in order for us to each create a better and brighter future. Anything that keeps us physically or psychologically stuck or trapped, you have to let go of. When you do, you give yourself new power and freedom to transform your health and life.

It’s imperative that we step back and look at the bigger picture. We need to see our situation with a fresh perspective. When we do, we often quite quickly see something very obvious. “Silly monkey… just let go of the fruit and pull your hand out of the trap.” I mean like that obvious.

So now I ask, “What is your monkey trap?”

What is one specific thing you are holding onto right now which you need to let go of in order to free yourself? Is it a belief? A perception? A resentment or regret? An unhealthy habit? Or is it an attitude or mindset which is keeping you from being healthier and happier as time moves forward?

Consider it for a few moments…

When something becomes clear to you, write it down. Then ask yourself if you are willing to let it go. What price will you pay emotionally and physically if you don’t release your grip on it?

If the spirit moves you, please share what comes to mind by leaving me a comment. Awareness is the first step of letting go and setting ourselves free so we can move forward and enjoy greater quality and quantity of life!

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

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: