Monday, October 03, 2005

Guest Essay #3

Here's a success story from another gal I met here on the net, Irene. Great job, girl, keep up the good work!

My Journey To Fitness by Irene

April 2000 is about the time I decided I needed to do something to get my body back into shape. I had been in a car accident 2 years before , and needed hand surgery. I recovered and went through several months of physical therapy, but found myself somewhat dumpy looking and feeling like a typical 40 year old housewife, at 5 ft 3 in tall and weighing in at 150 pounds, around 32% body fat. I had read through the “Body For Life” book that a friend suggested and I decided it was a no-brainer plan to follow, and obtained a gym membership. I also signed up for 4 personal trainer sessions because I had no clue what to do in the gym; and these sessions turned out to be very helpful. I did my first BFL challenge exactly by the book, with little to no deviations. I lost 8 pounds in my first challenge. Several people asked me if I was disappointed for losing only 8 pounds. I was thrilled that I LOST 8 pounds. No, I didn’t have the results or the after pictures like the people in the book, but I had results. In my second challenge I changed my eating and workouts. I switched to having 2 free meals a week instead of a whole free day. The free day would make me physically sick, plus it would take me at least 3 days for my weight to regulate itself afterwards. I chose 2 separate days, Thursday lunch and Sunday breakfast or dinner, depending on what was happening that day. I also added 10 minutes to the BFL style high intensity interval training (HIIT) that I was already doing. I was also planning to run in my first 5k event and I needed the extra time to make sure I could manage a 5k distance with in 30 minutes or less, and I did. I lost and additional 10 pounds in my second challenge. I did a third challenge, keeping just about everything the same as my second, but just made sure I was hitting the highest intensities I could on my weights and in my cardio. After the third challenge is when I felt like I had the results I was after. I finally felt that I looked like an after picture. By the end of challenge 3, I weighed in at about 120 pounds, with about 20% body fat. Shortly after that I made even more strides and brought my body fat down to 16%. I was thrilled, to say the least. I was now wearing sizes I’d never fathomed. I fit into a 2. I had to keep rechecking the labels at the store to make sure they weren’t miss-marked.
One of my biggest obstacles on my road to fitness was dealing with less than supportive friends and family. They all thought I was nuts for starting to work out and get my act together, which came as a complete shock to me. I actually had one of my closest friends say to me “You’ll never have the body you had in high school.” That statement hurt and I was really upset at the time, but in a way that friend is right. I don’t have the body I had in high school… It’s better J … I’ve stuck with my fitness plan and now my friends and family come to me for eating and exercise advice.
Since starting my journey to fitness, I’ve accomplished a few goals that I had never set out to do before. I’ve participated in several running events since 2000… I even ran in my first marathon on June 5, 2005, just 5 days shy of my 46th birthday. This 46 year old grandma (yep, I’m a grandma) placed 2nd in her age group in a 5k run event on the 4th of July, 2005. Right now, I am still adhering to the BFL structure. I have just completed my 5th challenge, to get muscle tone back in the rest of my body AFTER marathon training. I’ve had my share of ups and downs over the past 5 years, but the good thing is that I realize I am empowered to get myself back on track. No one is going to do it for me. I have to be good to myself.
If you would like to contact Irene, you can write her at


Anonymous Priscilla said...

You're such a great inspiration and prove that the BFL program can be for life!! I can only hope to someday be in your shoes, seeing the after. Great job!!

1:18 PM  

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