THE LADY SUCCESS DOCUMENT (a/k/a “The Eight Week
Miracle!), compiled by Mike Harris, 2006 Men’s BFL Champion
ACTUAL POSTS FROM THE GUESTBOOK OF THE BODY FOR LIFE WEBSITE AND EMAILS
SENT TO ME, LAST EDITED 11/27/09
This is a document that consists of either actual guestbook posts from ladies, or responses from
personal emails (where I requested additional details) These posts have only been edited by the
Microsoft spell check system to avoid embarrassing or unreadable errors in the posts.
Otherwise, these are the exact words used, and the names and dates on which these occurred.
This document probably represents less than 3 % of the overall number of posts I’ve seen on the
topic, but I chose not to copy posts that did not give detailed information and were only general in
nature. The few that are copies of emails sent to me were sent after I saw a post about progress
on the guestbook, and asked for more details. Of course, as you might imagine, there are some
who have posted and said that they DID NOT experience the 8 week miracle. None of them
admitted to struggling with eating right, but why would they? My sense is that most women who
do not see good results on BFL simply are unable to adhere to the diet 6 days a week. Certainly,
there are a select few who either have endocrine problems of a severe nature, or have trashed
their bodies with eating disorders, who simply will not see significant results in a program like this.
BUT, they are very few and far between.
Happy reading! Mike Harris
Posted by Loise Miller, 6/30/04What if I had quit at week 4 when my scale weight went up 5 lbs
and I cried because I worked so hard. I read everyone’s posts about week 8 and 9 and I
continued. What if I had quit on week 6 when I saw no change but I visited Hussman sight
[www.hussmanfitness.com] and he said when there is no change in body weight that is the time
your body is changing fat for muscle.
I believed and carry on. If I had quit, at night I would not have gone to bed smiling after looking at
my 8 week pictures. They are absolutely awesome. If I had quit, I would not be jumping for joy
because I have lost 6 lbs of scale weight. The feeling is awesome; this result had me in the gym
so fast I hit all my 10’s and then some. I am in week 10 my next 2 weeks will be the best ever.
Have ever wonder why results come out in the last four weeks? Please stick with the programme
Denise Kowal, 1/7/04C1D52 I haven’t posted in a while, so I owe you all some encouragement.
After the first six weeks of feeling changes but seeing little, the “high burner” switch must have
turned on inside me. The last week and a half has yielded unbelievable results in terms of
increased energy, decreased body fat, and (shock of all shocks) a little six-pack peeking out! No,
I haven’t changed anything – still eating clean and about the same quantities (like the book
suggests), and workouts leave me in tears every time, but it just goes to show me that patience,
persistence, and hard work will be rewarded. So those of you who are wondering how come you
aren’t getting the results you hear about from other people, remember this: every body is
different, and each has its own schedule for change. Stay with the program, because it works.
Review it often to make sure you are doing what you should, and carry on! Results will be yours if
you stick with it. Be strong! –Denise
Linne, Goleta California, 2/28/05Well, I posted my Week 8 photos on BFL Tracker! I am finally
seeing a difference, my clothes are getting baggier, I’m feeling happier and all is well! So many
people told me they didn’t see a real difference until around week 7 or 8 and I felt like…”week 7 or
8?” “I can’t wait that long!” But you have to power through it and know you may not see it right
away, you may not see it until wk or 7-8-9, but it will happen. For anyone who gets discouraged,
please hang in there, the early weeks can get discouraging (maybe even a little depressing) but
don’t give up, you can do it.
From “Chriss” in a personal email to me on 4/10/05: “my transformation took the entire 12
weeks, didn’t actually see a lot of change until week 8, and I am really GLAD that I did not step on
the scale, measure myself, or anything until day84, and wow what an improvement. Actually, the
photos were the icing on the cake, because the scale only moved 7 pounds, but I lost 15
inches, went from size 10 to a size 6, and lost 12% body fat! So, who cares what the scale says,
and doing the weekly re-measurements is for the birds.”
Kellie, from Santa Clara Utah, 5/16/05Happy Monday Everyone!!! I am proud to write it is C2D1
Here!!! I NEVER would have believed that I would be writing that! It’s amazing what happens
when you commit to a goal and actually FOLLOW through. All you women starting out, don’t get
discouraged. Keep working towards your goal. Keep your self promises. If you falter a bit, don’t
get down and out just brush it off and over come it. Be patient with the results. I didn’t see any till
week 8, but what happened between then and the end, is amazing to me. Am I the best??? Far
from it!!! But in my opinion I’ve already won!!! I’m already a champion, because I followed through
and finished something that is important to me! My greatest reward is a healthy body and a brain
that says I CAN DO IT, energy to keep up with my 12 1/2 year old daughter who runs a 6 min.
mile and my 2 year old who just plain runs me ragged!!! The level head that keeps me sane when
I’m rushing from work, to ball games, to ballet!!! And the self confidence that I’m not so bad after
all and I know that I can handle all of the above!!!!
Karla, in an email to me 8/12/05I could tell a difference after 4 weeks, but it was slight. The
biggest change I noticed was after 9 weeks, when I took a photo. I’m highly critical of myself in
the mirror, but I couldn’t deny the change in the pictures. Also around week 9, my clothes were
more loose fitting, and now, most of them don’t fit at all. To be clear, I wasn’t overweight before.
But I was completely out of shape. I don’t know if it’s harder for really overweight people or not,
as far as seeing quicker results. Even though I didn’t see the physical changes right away, the
mental changes came within a week or two. Not to the level I’m at right now, but I could already
tell I was feeling good. And in other ways physically, the better diet has helped in so many ways,
and early on. I hope people focus on the bigger picture, instead of only worrying about their
appearance, weight on the scale, etc. I know it’s hard to do that. Sorry for the long response.
Thanks for your interest!
Amy San Diego, 8/7/06Hello I know it has been a while but as some of you know I have been on
the hunt for a job! It is going well a few interviews here and there. I am completely elated with all
of my changes so far I am in week 10 and people are now noticing the differences. Hallelujah! I
got asked if I had lost 15 lbs. ****************************For all of those concerned with not
dropping scale weight I haven’t lost a pound but I look like I have and my pant size doesn’t lie!!!!
Size 11/12 to an 8!! Keep up your dedication and hard work! Started boot camp for abs today…oh
my gosh! I know I will be feeling this in the am. I had a funniest home video moment in the gym
today. I feel very at home in the gym and comfortably know my way around. Well today was a
different story I was following the abs training and only could find a flat bench for the side
obliques. (Now it is visual time) I reached up to hold on to the bench and twisted my body as I
curled my legs up I fell off the bench…Ha Ha Ha!! I was sooooooo embarrassed but I shrugged it
off and kept up with the ab workout. Guaranteed that everyone in the gym saw the fall out. At
least I laughed and moved on!! Keep up the good work everyone it is totally worth it!
Kimberley, Bunker Hill W.V., 2/8/07 I have been reading some of the other posts and the 8-
week change. It is sooo true. I did this program in 2003 and week 8 and all the rest of the weeks
were stunning. I would wake up looking different everyday. Amazing. I had been so discouraged
because my husband was losing like crazy and looking great. And here I was stuck, so it seemed.
Week 8 oh week 8 I cannot wait to get there. I could see a different lump (that’s a good thing,
muscle) everyday. I would look in the mirror and wonder who the heck was that. Hang in there
ladies. The results WILL come. It is like Christmas. Almost overnight it happens. I can’t wait for
week 8, I can’t wait for week 8.
Posted by Jami from Medford Oregon on 3/8/07 Okay, this is going sound lame, but a few
tears shot out of my eyes this morning when I changed into my workout clothes and took a
gander at my progress from yesterday. We’re in the middle of week 10 and we’re literally seeing
change every day. THIS PLAN WORKS!!!! The more faithful you are to how it’s laid out, the more
results you will see. My goal for the 12 weeks was 20 pounds lost and I’m now down 23.5. I cried,
I guess, because I was so hopeful when we began and wasn’t sure how it would go. Tears of joy.
The changes inside are more wonderful than the exterior. I am really blown away at how life
changing it really is. EDITOR’S NOTE: Jami’s couple’s challenge was on the featured
challengers of the 2007 BFL website. She and her husband are featured in the Champions
Body for Life book as well.
Posted by Sarah, on active duty in Afghanistan, on 3/21/07 Well, here I am- staring down
the last 48 hours of my challenge. I feel like I’ve been through it all. I had the withdrawal
headaches from sugar in the beginning. i had the aches and rotten attitude during the first couple
weeks- wondering why the fat wasn’t falling off of my body and why I hurt so darned much. I’ve
been at that point where I couldn’t understand why my weight would plateau…and I would get on
the scale every day. I measured my body every day- more for accountability purposes than
anything else. in the process, I learned how sensitive my body was to extra calories and sugar
(which would explain why everyone in my family is diabetic!) When I hit a plateau and felt
frustrated, I kept asking myself how much effort I had put into eating exact amounts that day. I
discovered a few things. 1. I lost a majority of my weight in the first three weeks, but a majority of
my inches after that. 2. The last two weeks really do matter. My last 7 pounds came off and I went
from a snug size 8 to a size 6, AND I lost another 2 inches from my waist. I am energetic and full
of hope. For everyone who wakes up feeling bloating or wondering why they just aren’t losing that
fast, I have three recommendations for you. Ask yourself if you’re eating the right amounts (for
women- that’s less than 1500 calories a day). Ask yourself if you’re eating high glycemic carbslike
a lot of fruit. I’m not saying that fruit is bad- I’m just saying it could have a profound effect on
your challenge. And lastly- are you eating a lot of sugar-substitutes? They are a lesser evil than
sugar, but plenty of substitutes will cause your body to react in the same way as it would to sugar.
Anyway, I’m getting ready to head back to the states after a long year in Afghanistan. I had a few
days where I was dragging my food around the mountains with me- it took some creative
planning on my part. Oh yeah- for all you new guys starting out. Stay flexible. If you cheat, give
that day up as your free day. If you miss a workout, let that be your free day. Don’t tell yourself
“oh, no big deal…I still am going to take my original free day.” Realize that you may be breaking a
sugar addiction and be patient with yourself and your cravings, but be strong. I’ve got faith in you.
I’m 26 pounds lighter and went from a size 12/14 to a size 6. I’m looking forward to sending in my
packet- not because I expect to win- but because it symbolizes my completion of a something
great. See you all next year at the expo! (I’m planning ahead.) AND, a personal email to me from
the same Sarah: “Mike, feel free to add anything I said to that document. It helped me
immensely to read that women’s document- and if I can be a part of inspiring or helping other
people out, I’d be proud to be a part of that. I just felt so compelled to share my joy with everyone
today, so I posted that note on the guestbook. I hope that others out there realize if I can drag my
rice and tuna around the mountains (questioning my sanity the whole time) while working with the
people/livestock or whatever the mission/crisis was- they can do it with their own particular set of
adversities and challenges. if I even inspire one person, I’ve done great. So yes, please add me
to that document. I’d be proud to be a part of that. Sarah” (email 3/22/07) EDITOR’S NOTE:
Sarah’s transformation was also among the 2007 featured challengers on the BFL
Posted by Lacy, Olney, Md, on 4/2/07 “Hi all! First all, I’m stoked! I looked in the mirror
yesterday and saw the makings of a lil’ 6 pack, too cool!! If that isn’t motivation I don’t know what
is!Okay, I’m on challenge 2, week 2 day 1. For those early in the program with no changes,
please listen to my story….
NO CHANGE in weight, barely any in clothing, and little difference in the photo up until week 8.
Then I started to see some changes. Week 12 I took my photo and was literally astonished with
my new bod, jumped on the scale and weight EXACTLY the same thing as my starting weight!
Dropped from size 16 to size 12 and the photos don’t lie. Same weight on the scale. That hit me
hard, but I’ve since had my sanity talked back in and I’m really psyched. I’m on essentially week
14 and just feel like at the end of this second challenge I’ll have that body I’ve always wanted!So
please, please, please don’t expect pounds to melt off fast, this is a slow moving program where
you literally get healthy on the inside before you start to see it on the outside! You must be
patient, you must stick with the program, and you must keep going or you will never see those
changes start to manifest them on the outside. You can’t visualize the great things happening
inside, but if you keep going and keep going, soon they will be on the outside and when they start
to show, they show fast!!” (In an email to me, Lacy told me that she weighed 173 at the beginning
and end of that first challenge and that people have told her she looks like she weighs 140.)
KRISTY, a 41 year old lady who did BFL three years ago with good results, reported on the
guestbook on April 24 2007 that she had seen great results at the beginning and near the end of
her challenge, losing five pounds or more in weeks 10 and 11. She has gone from a size 8 to a
baggy size 6, but not quite a size 4. She estimates her starting body fat at 35% and knows that
her measured body fat at the end of week 11 is 24%. She has lost 17 scale pounds so far. She
was sedentary for the most part before her latest body for life transformation and endured a
lengthy plateau between her early results and the results that came in weeks 10 and 11.
Sometimes it doesn’t take quite 8 weeks to see really amazing things.
Nicole T wrote this email to me on 4/25/07: “I am 43, always been active and healthy but
weighed 185 lbs on January 1st of this year. I vowed to learn to eat reasonably and lose some
weight. I started by buying a skin tight pair of size 15 black jeans which I would use as my
benchmark. I weighed and measured myself as well. I tried on my own to change my eating
habits and exercise but wasn’t progressing. I finally gave Body for Life a chance. I started my
first challenge on March 5. My jeans were still skin tight. I followed the program to the letter. At
the four week mark I couldn’t wait to weigh and measure myself and try my jeans. I did and I was
so devastated. The scale hadn’t moved although I was ready and warned about that. So I went
to my measuring tape. I was sure the changes would show there. Nope. Not one centimetre
lost. In fact I GAINED on my thighs. But the worse came when I tried on my jeans, they were still
suck-in-your-gut-to-snap-shut tight. I only kept going with BFL because I’d heard that week 8 was
the week to see changes. Truthfully, I didn’t think I would see them. I did not alter anything; I
stuck to the BFL following it to the letter and counted the weeks. Well, at the end of week 7 I was
getting dressed for work and pulled out the only clean pants I had: the black jeans. I couldn’t
believe my eyes. They were huge and baggy! I was making my children’s lunches and had to
keep pulling up my pants because they were hanging at my hips! My daughter told me I was
gross because she could see my underwear. I finally had to get a belt to keep them on. I haven’t
worn those pants since. They’re TOO BIG! That was last week. I can’t wait to see what the next
few weeks have to offer.” Signed simply, “Nicole”
Posted by Frances from Biloxi Mississippi on 4/29/07: Hi, everyone! Just dropping in to let you
know about more changes I am going through. If you will remember, I am one of the ladies whose
fat is just so darned stubborn it won’t budge. Well, week 8 came and went and not much diff:(
BUT…week 9 came and something began to happen. Inches started coming off and weight
started dropping on the scale. The BF% did not change but at least it did not move up. I
previously had lost 5% BF in the early 5 weeks and was amazed at how much marbleized fat I
had in my muscles. I truthfully just didn’t have much muscle mass to begin with so I was carrying
quite a bit of adipose tissue on some skinny bones. WoW! I just had to go back and change the
last sentence to reflect a PAST tense! So here are some more changes and I am only day 3 on
week 10. I woke up skinnier! Yep. I stretched to get the mind racing and when my hands fell
across my abs there was nothing there!!! I jumped out of bed and the scale was down another
pound. Now my scale has not moved in weeks. I think I might have lost 2-3 lbs the first 4 weeks
and then nothing until week 9. I began to lose a pound a day! I am not fibbing here. A pound a
day! I am eating 6 balanced meals a day, sometime 7-8 depending on how long the day has
gotten. I exercise with all I have and do the appointed workouts as BFL wrote them. That is it! I
am losing inches, too! I lost 3 inches last week in my waist. I know I have lost more but I am not
measuring again till Thurs (my free day).BTW: Regarding free day for me, I take a free meal. And
not just some junk meal because I can. I just eat out someplace and get home cooked style food
that is not as artificial as the fast-food places. I watch my portion size too! For me, eating BFL is
about eating wholesome foods, not “dieting”. I was already a whole foods buff, but I still have
cake and hot dogs and what not on my free day but it is all natural products and usually a dessert
I made from scratch using wholesome ingredients. These things are not bad for you if you begin
with healthy ingredients. It’s that other stuff that is killing us all! Well, that and eating way too
much of it! So try to think in terms of long-term health when using your free day/meal. It is not an
opportunity to junk out. We should never ever have an opportunity to do that to our bodies! If you
are craving processed food, go make the item you are craving from scratch! I am NOT saying not
to eat cake, cookies, doughnuts, pizza, etc…just saying make them yourself using wholesome
ingredients. That is MY take on Free Day/Meal. ABS MAY APPEAR EVEN LATER THAN WEEK
10 IN LADIES!!
Here is a guestbook post from Jocelyn of Waco on 5/31/07 (whose husband works in a Snicker’s
Candy Bar plant by the way!!), followed by an email from her with a bit more information: “Thank
you all so much for your compliments! I trained my abs HARD like every other muscle. As the
layers of fat melted off they eventually uncovered my abs. It wasn’t easy; this is the first time in
my life I’ve seen abs, and that’s after having 2 kids lol. It’s possible, just not easy. I got my packet
sent in I also had delivery confirmation added to it, so at least I know EAS will get it “On
June 1, Jocelyn added dietary details to her remarkable results story: “My progress started
stalling out a few times. At week 10 I was at my old afters (from 03) measurements and weight
wise), I thought there was no more room for improvement. So I figured I’d end strong. I cut out
whole wheat bread and tortillas and pasta out after week 10, week 11 I cut out fruit and I upped
my water. Week 11 was when I started noticing my abs were coming out, I couldn’t believe it.
When I did my final measurements my hips and my thighs were both one whole inch each less
than my old afters (I didn’t think it was possible to get any smaller than that). In my 2nd challenge
I lost about 24 lbs, went from 26.9% body fat to about 12%, and I am in better shape than I EVER
have been before. I am smaller than I was in high school, better shape than the last times I did
BFL.” [Editor’s note: Dropping the starchy carbs in week 10, cutting out fruits in week 11 and
increasing water consumption really helps to drive out those last few pounds off fat and water
between the skin and abs, and is a strategy long used by professional bodybuilders and fitness
competitors.] And in an email to me she tells more about how it happened: “Wow Mike I am
very honored that you’d ask to put this in your success document! Of course you can!! My abs
didn’t appear until I was below my possible perceived smallest weight and waist size. I didn’t
think it could get better, I didn’t think I could see my abs. I felt them rock hard below that last
layer and in my very last week of this challenge they uncovered. Honestly I thought things
couldn’t get better, but I ate a little bit cleaner just to see and made sure I hit my 10’s and
they came out. (the bold is mine, not hers)The # of inches and everything is irrelevant, everyone
is different. When I had my week 10 results I didn’t think there was room for improvement, but I
found that there really was. I hope this is helpful to you! Thank you Mike ” EDITOR’S NOTE:
Jocelyn’s transformation was among those selected for featured challengers on the BFL
website. She is also a feature in a new infomercial for the P 90 X fitness program. She is
also a Beach Bodies grand champion and she currently lives in western Michigan.
From Michele B, received by email of 11/8/07: Mike, I promised I would send you information
for the ladies success journal, so here it is: During the first 6-7 weeks of the challenge I was one
of the “lucky” ones. What I mean by that is I saw steady weight loss on the scale during those
weeks. However, when I took my week 6 picture I saw little change. There was some drop in
inches, and I went from a 16 to a loose fitting 14but still not a 12. At the end of 8 weeks I
wondered if I had any chance of seeing the “8 week miracle” that so many women with little to no
weight loss speak of getting. Somewhere around week 10 I started seeing the difference. The
size 12 pants fit, and the next week they were loose. By week 12 I was in a comfortable size 10!
The inches seemed to melt faster after week 10, and people started noticing it in my new body.
Even one of the very conservative guys at work commented on my weight loss! That was when I
knew it was real. I lost 24lbs total over the 12 weeks, but dropping from a size 16 to a 10 was the
bigger accomplishment. The best part was when my husband stared at my legs one day while I
was tying my shoes before a run. He said he was amazed at how strong my legs have gotten,
and that he could really see the muscle coming out. After 17 years of marriage I’m thrilled that he
is still checking out my legs! One of the women at work told me I look “fit”….me, fit? Imagine
that! I’ll be forty in less than a year, and thanks to BFL I am on my way to 40 and FABULOUS! I
have more energy than ever, and I’m not even the least bit moody anymore (yes, I admit I WAS
moody). The sugar highs and lows are gone, and the cravings have gone from cupcakes to long
runs. I’m training for a half marathon now and am currently running over 7 miles without falling
over on the side of the road…all thanks to my improved body…thanks to BFL and hard work! I
hope this helps someone else hang in there. I wanted to give up more than once, but I stuck it
out with the support of the wonderful people in my life, especially on the GB. If you are a lady
reading this…YOU CAN DO IT! The end result is WORTH the difficult days. And here’s the best
part. I am still exercising regularly with cardio and weights, eating 6 meals each day, and
following a maintenance eating pattern and the weight is still coming off. I would like to drop one
(or 2) more sizes, and I know I can do it by completing another challenge after the half marathon.
Life is good! Michele
FROM LIL OFF THE GUESTBOOK on 12/3/07: Robin, 8 Week Miracle Story here. If you are
frustrated with or questioning your progress, I am a living 8-week miracle. At weeks 6 and 7, I
was considering whether I had the ability to lose weight at all. I saw no change in my pants.
Around week 8, people at my office started commenting, and I noticed a change in my pants, etc.
From that point on, I saw almost daily changes. End of challenge results: 15.5 lbs lost; down .
8% body fat; all tape measurements went down,; my waist went down the most (2 inches). Mike,
feel free to snip and drop this into your ongoing “book.” Thank you to all who helped me along the
way! I am so glad I finished! I am so proud. Thank you, thank you. 1/23/08 KARLA sent this to me
via email: “In my first 4 weeks of BFL, I had the normal 4 week freak-out because I wasn’t seeing
any really noticeable results. I’d lost 3 pounds and nothing more. Then I ran upon your “Success
Document” and had hope of what I might begin to see at the 8th week. The 8th week came and I
did think I was seeing some changes. So, I pulled out the measuring tape and I had lost 3 inches
off of my waist. By the 12th week, I’d lost a total of 5 inches off of my waist. I also fit into a smaller
pants size in the 11th week. After taking all of my measurements, I was down 6 inches all over.
The definition of muscle that I was seeing in my legs and my arms also began around the 9th
week. Now, that scale of mine wasn’t doing much in terms of moving, but I was definitely seeing
and measuring those changes. Right then I knew for myself that the scale is NOT a good
measure of how well I was doing on this plan. I don’t care now what the scale says…if I can look
good at this weight then so be it. That is what I’m after anyways. So, to sum it all up, at the end of
12 weeks, I lost a grand total of 8 pounds and 12.75 inches. So, I lost 5 more pounds and almost
another 7 inches in the last 4 weeks of BFL!! BFL works!! Just keep with it and don’t give up or
give in!! I can’t imagine what I will look like from here on in. It can only get better and better!!!
Then, KARLA, who already had the lady success document added: “I know when I doubted, I
would re-read that document and keep working hard knowing it would happen!”
FROM LINDA from Winnipeg, on 3/31/08: “One week ago, I posted voicing my frustration with
lack of weight loss and no change noted on pictures between weeks 6 and 9. I was hoping for the
results most women get in weeks 8 and 9. Well, I weighed in yesterday at the end of week 10 and
I was down 6 lbs! My new jeans are so loose they are uncomfortable. So, hang in there! It will
happen.” HERE IS LINDA’S end of challenge information: “ Day 84! I’m happy with the results.
I lost 10lb. Very strange…I lost 4 in the first 2 weeks and 6 in week 10. My goal was 135 and I’m
at 144 so I have a ways to go. Better than scale results though, I lost 2 inches on my chest, 3 and
a half on my waist, 3 on my hips and 1 and a half from my thighs. My menopot is nearly gone and
I feel great. I am taking a few days to rest and reflect on new goals before starting again.”
FROM JULIE OF MERRIMACK N.H.: on 4/12/08: “Lynette – I took two weeks off between
challenges with the recommendation of Mike Harris. I was only going to take one week but I sure
am glad that I took two. I didn’t gain anything back, actually lost a 1/2 lb. and felt much stronger
when I started back up this past Monday. I will do the same thing again after this challenge! Your
body totally needs that rest from all the heavy lifting.”
6/17/08, posted by Mary Okoniewski from somewhere overseas: “DAY 85! Thank you so
much it has been an awesome journey- I could not have done so without the guest book, blogs,
and the support of other people. I am so thankful – I joined the military 23 years ago because I
lacked self discipline. I realized shortly thereafter that self discipline comes from within and that
could not be instilled by another. I went about my days letting life happen to me, not really
concerning myself with my lack of discipline. These 12 weeks have been a challenge in several
ways, as they are for most (if not all) I’m sure. For me… I’m retiring from the US NAVY after 23
years of service, I just completed my BS on June 6th, my daughter graduated from high school
last week, I’m coordinating three separate household moves, I don’t have employment after the
service(I know it will come:), my girls leaving their friends.. moving once again…, trying to be the
rock, stable and supportive, has been difficult. But through it all I have derived my strength and
determination from all of you here and have inspired three others to take the challenge. Let me
share what happened on cardio day Week 11 – my workouts were getting pushed later and later,
my eating wasn’t “clean” 100% but rather clean and never missed a workout. I was running
people here and there… and was to go out for lunch when I realized.. no, I HAD to workout – so in
the 90 degree heat I put my running gear on and went. As I was jogging along I realized – this
was it – this was SELF DISCIPLINE – I was so happy – I never imagined that this journey would
lead me there – what I’ve admired in others my entire life I now had. What a gift – I ran 2.5 miles in
20 minutes! Hit my HIITs and set a personal record. When I returned home I looked up self
discipline in the dictionary just to be sure – self discipline: the regulation or correction of one’s self
for the sake of improvement. WOW – Thank you Bill Phillips, Guest book, Champion Bloggers,
and numerous others. I have received the greatest gift. I love my new self and looking forward to
the taking and facing my next challenge whatever it maybe. Thank you and I will continue to read
and hopefully inspire.
I’m sitting here… surround by movers…who don’t speak my language…LOL… all that is left in my
room is my computer!!! YIKES My Body Life Success Journal has been packed- oops- these guys
are good. I thought I might share some of the numbers with you!
I am a 43 yr old female, 5’6″ tall, who started BFL on the 24th of March 2008. I weighed 178lbs,
my waist was 34″, my thighs 26 1/4″, I wore a size 14. Today, i weigh 157!! and my waist is a slim
28 1/2″.. my thighs 24 1/4″…and wearing a size 10 but tried on three pairs of 8’s two weeks ago..
and YES I can wear an 8… is that CRAZY???? Yes crazy… but wonderfully so!!! it WORKS!! I
saw the physical results early on and then very slow – but the greatest reward is not in the
numbers but on the inside … although don’t get me wrong – the numbers ROCK!!!! I’m sorry if I’m
rambling… just so pleased and thankful.”
Posted by Janice from Indiana, by post and email of 10/22/08: My journey began because I was
at the end of my rope, I had tried and failed at every weight loss program there is. Truth be
known, I used the weight to hide behind, and even though I am outgoing and an extrovert, I have
low self-esteem. The program was recommended to all members of the gym I go to, so I bought
Bill’s book, read it, and was immediately hooked, I COULD DO THIS, I was sure. Like all of us, I
was mortified by my before pictures, but my liberation began the day I posted them on tracker, it
was one of the hardest tasks I have ever accomplished. Over the course of the next nine weeks, I
would post pictures and not see much difference with my eyes (others apparently could see
things I could not). Week 9 was a horrible week for me. I ate a box of chocolate caramels by
myself and came home in tears that night, certain that I was in a stage of self-sabotage.
Fortunately, there was the BFL Community. They rose to the challenge and got me through my
darkest hour. Oddly enough, when I posted my 9 week pictures at the end of the week I could
actually see the changes myself. Bear in mind, the changes I saw were nowhere near the
changes that others saw. The next day someone on the tracker website noticed my pics and
started a thread about them, I was shocked and amazed that others thought I had done
something great. That was the catalyst that pushed me over the edge and gave me the
determination to go on.
I am 54 years old. To date, I have lost between 5 and 6 lbs. of weight. Hey, NO BIG DEAL. 5 lbs
is 5 lbs but, more importantly, I have lost 16 lbs of body fat and gained 11 lbs of muscle. I have
lost nearly 16 inches, including 4 inches from both my waist and my hips. WOW!! Oh and my
Body Fat has dropped about 9%. The eight week miracle doesn’t always hit at week 8,
sometimes it is at 6 weeks, sometimes not until weeks 9, 10, 11 or even 12, but it will hit!! Hang in
there, please do not give up. Body for Life is not really about the external changes although they
are a huge plus, but they are about the internal changes, learning to love ourselves so others can
love us for who we are. I was by no means perfect on the plan, I stumbled, but BFL gives you the
opportunity to pick yourself back up and get back on track. One meal or one day or one week is
not going to completely derail anyone, the important thing is to pick yourself back up and get your
act together, so you can achieve the life and the body you want for yourself. I encourage you to
share your pics online, if not for yourself, then for others who may be inspired by your success.
Even if you can’t see changes, others will if they are there. The successes you cannot see may
well be the ones that save someone else’s life.
From Alicia, on the guestbook, 3/13/09 [the post was directed to a specific person whose name
has been deleted here]
Let me just say I know where you are coming from. I work two jobs and I am the soul provider for
my husband, two dogs and myself. I am sure your life is a little chaotic and hectic, even more so
than mine. But I want you to take that fear and channel it into this program.
I know that you are afraid of the results and not seeing what you want. I have tried every fad diet
out there as well as every pill. I would spend 90 minutes on my ellipical and tried to burn more
calories than I was taking in, and not in a good way. I thought if I ate a pizza I would just have to
work out harder the next day, and I thought that was healthy. I was very skepitcal when my
husband told be to read the BFL book.
But here I am closing in at the end of my week 10, I have lost all the weight I set for a goal in the
beginning!! I have quit smoking after 20 years, I eat right and I am truly in better shape than I ever
was!!! You can do this. If you plan well and take some time out on Sunday premake meals, and
plan your workouts you will succeed. Then you will have the best feeling about yourself and your
accomplishments. There were times during my challenge that I wanted to quit, when I didn’t see
anything happen to my body then the miracle happened. Around week 7-9 I woke up and it was
just there. I have abs, I fit into all my clothes I was going toss because I was to fat to fit into, and I
was running faster, lifting more. I had more energy and was not napping on the sofa all weekend.
I am living life and feeling great for my accomplishments!!!
I know you can you do this. Your life right now is a big Challenge, working, school, single Mom,
and you are surviving, you are pushing forward. You aren’t letting things get you down there, you
just keep pushing. And that is all the BFL Challenge is, pushing yourself and going farther. If you
weren’t going to school right now you would be stuck never learning, never moving forward. And
that is exactly what this is, learning using that knowledge to move forward and grow. YOU CAN
A personal email from Alisha with her statistics at week 10: “Thanks Mike. I feel so good and
privileged that you want to add me, and I hope to help others when they think “this
just isn’t working” or if they are skeptical. I have read it and it helped me when I
thought I would throw in the towel.
I was 139lbs at my first weigh in and my goal was to be 120-125lbs. I currently
weigh 124lbs. When I was 139 and only 5′ 2″ I was wearing a size 9 or 10 and now
I am down to a size 2-4 depending on the pants.
Thanks again Mike, without your help and your knowledge I am not sure I would be
where I am today.”
Lori from Colorado on 5/1/09, an email that I requested after seeing a post on the guestbook.
The key topic here is the 2 weeks of active rest, but the challenge results as well will be of
considerable interest to those of you who think you just didn’t see much happen:
I started my challenge January 19 and completed it on April 12th. I had very few results
initially and really wondered if the “8 Week Miracle” was true. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Week 4 found me somewhat discouraged, but all of you encouraged me to keep going.
By week 7, I thought I was starting to see some slight changes but continued on. Once
week 9 hit and I took measurements I realized ‘something’ was beginning to happen for
me at last. Weeks 11 and 12 flew by and I didn’t realize the truth of what had occurred
until I viewed my final photos.
At week 12, I had lost a total of 8 pounds (151 to 143) and my body fat went from 26.4%
to 21.8 %. I lost a total of 11 inches in hips, chest, waist and thighs. By April 21st my
weight was down to 141.
During my 3 weeks of active rest, I continued eating 6 meals a day with very little
change to what I did during the challenge. My free days were actually a little ‘free-er”
with my birthday and a trip to Vegas occurring during this time. I had cheesecake and
other yummy foods on my birthday, and one Vegas buffet and one visit to a Mexican
Restaurant on the same day. I did plan very well for my Vegas trip and brought food
for my regular days. I took cooked chicken, apples, oatmeal, boiled eggs, protein
pancakes, protein shake packets and a few protein bars. My suitcase was still under 50
( Ah…who needs clothes in Vegas anyway!!) (kidding) This lasted me to my free day
with enough ‘good’ food for my trip home on Monday. My free day was a doozy and I
did pay for it with a stomach ache that night. It was so good to have a reminder of how
wonderful you feel when eating properly 6 days a week.
Today, near the end of my 3 weeks of active rest, I had my weight and body fat %
checked with a very accurate piece of equipment. My body fat during active rest dropped
from my end of challenge 21.8 % to 18 %. My weight dropped from 143 to 138. My friend
bought me size small workout clothes and I thought she was dreaming. I have NEVER
seen myself as ‘small!’ Now I do because they fit!
My various workouts during active rest included some light yoga, pushups, abs, walks
with my kids, an outdoor run or two, a first attempt on the Precor elliptical machine
(loved it), stretching, few pull ups and some parts of a video for legs. I had one session
with a trainer for abs. I did what I wanted and did no weight lifting at all. My cardio was
relatively light and I enjoyed myself. I also had a massage….does that count?
I am really happy in my skin once again and now feel as if I have the ability to continue
this lifestyle. I realize I do not have to be constantly pushing myself to stay in shape.
With the principles I’ve learned from Body for Life and the faith I used to get through the
tough stages, I am empowered to help others achieve success. To me, that is what truly
Thanks Mike for your support and kicks in the pants! I have needed both. I’m so excited
to see what the future holds. I feel more alive than ever.
11/28/09: And even if you don’t get an 8 week bump or “miracle,” that’s not to say you
won’t see great results. Some people are just more like the paper towel theory. Here’s
BRIGIT from Virginia describing the results of her two challenges.
“I turned 48 at the end of May, 2009, and was disgusted with how I had let myself go.
Seeing my ‘before’ pictures was devastating and there was no room for denial. Was I
“too old” to turn this around? Where would I be by 50 at this rate? It was a terrifying
thought. I started Challenge 1 on 6/10/09. I experienced steady results throughout
despite a fair amount of travel. The “paper towel ” effect was evident as I steadily lost 1.5
pounds a week, just melting away steadily. There was no 8 week miracle for me, which
was really disappointing. I wanted a spectacular transformation like I saw in the books.
Regardless, I felt better; my energy increased, and things were slowly changing. At the
end of the first 12 weeks my body fat had dropped by 9%. from 43% to 34%. I lost 22
pounds of fat and gained 2 pounds of muscle, so the scale dropped 20 pounds from 175
to 155. I went from size 18 jeans to size 10. I was happier, healthier and determined.
Now that I knew what to do, I planned to just keep doing it.
“I completed my official challenge packet and sent it in. Because the official round dates
fell as they did, I went directly to challenge 2 with no active rest. That was a mistake.
Active Rest for a minimum of 2 weeks is not only ideal, it is essential. IMHO, the body
needs time to recover and repair and the mind needs a reset period.
“My second challenge was from Sept 2 to Nov 24 and was filled with real life issues. I
went on a cruise and was fine, because I knew how to eat properly now. I traveled 3
weeks in the back woods with no gym and no running water, and still I was fine. I ate
clean and worked out every day regardless of my location, and I challenged myself to
get some sort of workout in regardless of circumstances. My body was changing I could
feel it, but once again there was no 8 week miracle. “POUT!”. However, those jiggly flaps
under my arms were gone now, and when I crossed my arms I could feel my own
biceps. I was able to lift and carry lots of large, heavy things with minimal strain and no
damage/injury to myself. I have stamina and endurance now. Oh, how nice it was to
surprise the men–especially the young ones!
“It is very affordable to travel with shakes and bars. The planning is what kept me on
track. This is Body-for- Life, not just Body-for-A-While right? I needed to be able to do
this wherever I was and with whatever life was throwing at me. I think I have proven to
myself that I can. During challenge 2 I lost 17 pounds, 9% body fat, and 4 jeans sizes. .
“Challenge Fat % start- end Scale start-end Fat lbs lost Size
1 43% to 34% 175 to 144 22 18 to 10
2 34% to 25% 155 to 138 19 10 to 6
“I will be maintaining this for at least a month of Active Rest. I also find myself thankful
for the slow steady loss as my skin has mostly kept up with it to include what was my
sagging belly ‘apron’ which is now on its way to revealing some abs… maybe by
Here’s the very normal story of a good transformation result by guestbook regular radswillslim that was sent to me by email in the middle of March 2010. I asked her to give me her story because she had a really nice result and inches losses, especially around the waist, that are remarkable in view of her fairly normal amount of weigh loss her challenge, which means she lost a lot of fat. By itself it is a great result and is even more remarkable when you consider that Rad is a vegetarian and does not consume eggs either. Here is what she wrote:
Today is an ecstatic day for me. I am so glad I found, followed and above all completed my first BFL challenge.
I was frustrated with how I looked because even a year and a half after my daughter was born I still kept the baby fat. I was borderline diabetic during my last trimester. I worried about ending up like my mother who is obese and has Rheumatoid Arthritis. I wanted to get fit and active and healthy for myself and my family. Before officially starting the BFL challenge, I had joined a gym and worked out on my own for a month, but did not pay too much attention to my eating.
When I started the BFL challenge on 14th Dec, my determination was 10/10 and I was ready to give it all that I had. . BFL exercises seemed simple enough but the diet was challenging because I am a vegetarian and do not eat eggs. I read the Body for Life book, but still made lots of mistakes with my eating during the first four weeks. With the help of all the guestbook people and my doting husband as well, I was able to change what I was doing wrong even though the eating remained challenging.
No one else on the guestbook was a vegetarian like me, but I eventually found my proteins in the form of texturized soy and soya crumbles with tofu and tempeh. [editor’s note: tempeh is a high-protein food of Indonesian origin made from partially cooked, fermented soybeans.] I also used soy protein powder to make protein tortillas most of the times.
My free day was either on Saturday or on Sunday. If I missed a workout during the week, I compensated by working out on Sunday. I never missed more than one workout in a week (which I compensated for on Sundays) throughout the challenge except for the last week when I missed two. I made up for one on the following Sunday.
Weeks 1 through 6 went fine with the eating and exercising. In Week 7 I suddenly had uncontrollable hunger pangs from nowhere, as if I was experiencing sharp gastric pain or something. The first time, I gave in and ate junk foods like cake, biscuits etc. Immediately after this incident, I realized what was happening to me and shushed them by drinking lots of water whenever those hunger pangs crept up. From week 8 to the end that problem never happened again.
Week 9 though 12, were quite challenging mentally more than physically. I really had to focus hard to stay in the game and to keep myself pushing through the workouts especially on empty stomach. Also, I had to constantly increase the exercise intensity and switch exercises to hit my 10s, because I could feel my body had gotten used to all the lifting and running and I had to really push myself to feel the intensity. I would notice huge differences in my workout intensity directly related to whether I got enough sleep the night before or not. HIIT was categorically challenging during weeks 10 – 12, I would dread each HIIT wondering if I could push myself harder, but to my surprise I did. The hardest one was week 12. I had to force myself not to think about the finish line and to focus hard on each day as it came ,trying not to give in to eating the wrong things. I did fail a couple of times the last week.
Mistakes that I made unknowingly – During the first few weeks and fixed later:
• Not doing all the 6 meals because I thought the last one was too close to bed time.
• Not working out on empty stomach in the early morning
• Considering beans and lentils as my protein portions (this is a classic one)
• Mistaken Portion sizes – having 1 cup of dry oatmeal and fruits and milk in place of just 1/2 cup oatmeal and protein powder
• Not taking the Myoplex lite RTD shakes within the proper time (half hour for workouts and after one hour for HIIT) as the after workout meal for optimum muscle recovery.
Fitness wise, when I started:
• I could not hold a plank, I now hold it for 1 min and sometimes 1:15
• I could not do knee ups on a bar, now I can comfortably do 15 at a time
• I could not do a single push up ,and now I can do 10 at a time
• I could not jump rope continuously, now I can do 350 in multiples of 50 in under 5 minutes.
• My high point on the treadmill was at 5.2 mph, now it is a 7.8 mph and 8.0 on the last day
• I could not lift beyond 10 lbs, now I do my bicep curls with 20 lbs and I do lunges with 25 lbs each and leg press at 150 lbs
Here are some of my details:
Height: 5′ 4.5″
Diet: Vegetarian – No eggs
Female, Married, Mother of a two year old, Home maker (financial software analyst – project leader before baby)
Week 1 Week 12 My goal Realistic Goal Total Lost
Weight 154 137 120 140 17
Fat % 36.3 30.8 < 20% 28% 5.5
Dress size 12 + 8 8
Chest 38 36
She also told me in a later email that her results were pretty much gradual throughout her challenge and that she did have several slipups both in diet and exercise, but that she never gave up. She also told me that all of her size 8s she had bought fit fine and she was even able to wear a size 6 jacket! How cool is that!