>(I participated in the EAS Body for Life Challenge in 2006. As part of that process, I was keeping an online blog. I’ve been reviewing some of those blogs recently, and find they still hold relevance 3 years later. So periodically I’ll put them up here. They are unedited, so there may be some odd references. The deeper lessons hold across the board.)

I think it’s very easy for people who are successful in Body for Life to underestimate just how much strength of character it took to make the change.

Matt Whitt just made a comment this morning that struck me.

“That first step off the couch is the extremely hard, and it takes courage, and will power to take that step. Everything else is easy, even fun.”

I tihnk that may be one of the most powerful and true statements I’ve ever seen about Body for Life. This program is about hitting your dreams. It’s also very much about physical appearance. I mean let’s face it guys, we all want to look like the amazing after shots we see. The health benefits are very important- but the most visible element of the program is the physique transformation. So people looking from the outside see these changes and automatically have to protect themselves.

Protect themselves? What do I mean?

Simple- they are scared to death that they “aren’t good enough, strong enough, worthy enough” to get those results. When you are dealing with people who have significant emotional issues that impede their ability to make forward progress, health professionals have learned to temper their expectations. By setting lower expectations it’s easier for their patients to actually hit a progress mark and keep moving forward. Now, that patient comes in with a copy of BFL and asks their doctor if they can do this, any sane self respecting doctor is going to say it’s impossible/ very, very hard. Why? Because if they set the expectation for that patient that they will look like Donna Szabo in 12 weeks, if the patient does not make it, a person with this quitter oriented mindset is going to say, “this is a load of bunk and none of it works.”

That’s an excellent way to TOTALLY derail a person with self confidence and health issues.

So people protect themselves. They say the pictures are faked, they say it’s impossible, they say you have to use steroids. It’s all about self preservation. My friend Bethany is going through her second challenge, her first official one. She wants to lose her mommy tummy. While I was home, she asked me if I thought that was a reasonable goal. Because her friend who’s a personal trainer said it was unreasonable to get to below 20% bodyfat.

I listened, smiled, and told her the truth. I told her getting to below 20% bodyfat is hard. It takes serious work and rock solid eating. BUT! I knew for a fact it was doable, and that she was in the right physical condition to make it to that point. Last but not least I told her that I knew of two people in the current challenge finalists who’d done it. To do it, she will have to dig incredibly deep. She nodded, said, so I can do this?”

Yes. If you want it enough, and WORK at it.

This is one of the hardest things to do. It’s not just losing weight. It’s TOTALLY CHANGING EVERYTHING. You are rebuilding yourself. That is not easy.

The Navy SEALS have a saying, “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday”. I find that so very true of Body for Life.