Workout: Pt.2 – Body-for-LIFE!
Graham R. Cooper
Body-for-LIFE.* It’s a catchy title. But it was the before and after photos of the couples on the glossy cover that caught my eye.
I bought the book, but I didn’t buy into everything the author had to say. I was particularly turned off by the mantra-like affirmation you were meant to repeat over and over as you ran or pumped iron: “I am building my Body-for–LIFE.” [sic]
The glossy photos were more turn on than off, but feeling self-conscious, I removed the book’s cover. I think I put it in the fire. Go figure!
A generous chunk of the book and the free video cassette tape that came with it had people telling their own stories about how the twelve week ‘body-for-life’ challenge had changed their lives.
Reinvigorating marriages, giving back self-esteem to fat people, divorcees, out of condition high school coaches, people in wheelchairs, skinny cancer battlers. Hallelujah – ‘body-for-life’ and its high priest probably have a cure for your very own “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”.
You’re gonna turn your life around. You’ll stick religiously to the trinity: diet, weights, and runs. The transformation will take just the twelve weeks. And don’t forget the before and after photos of yourself in your boxers.
Succeed and your story and your body could grace future ‘body-for-life’ print and video publications. Win and you get to meet the guru in person and get all sorts of recognition and prizes – what they were, all lost in the dim mists of time.
You see my edition of Body-for-LIFE came out in 1999. I started to workout eighteen years ago. I had no interest whatsoever in the twelve week challenge rah-rah. What appealed to me was the way the author structured the exercises and explained them clearly with the aid of black and white photographs.
I guess I was seventy to eighty percent successful in keeping to the weights and running schedules for the first six months. But no way was I going to change my diet.
I’m a three hearty meals a day guy, but my one concession was to include the addition of some high protein snacks – mainly tinned salmon and sardines, and the occasional raw egg white disguised in milk and a little honey.
His idea (also his product – surprise, surprise), of gulping down protein shake quickies so that we could get in the recommended six meals a day and still do our day job appealed not at all to a homesteader with a great deal of self-sufficiency in the food department.
Protein snacks between main meals lasted all of six weeks. I felt stuffed full, and got acid reflux and smelly farts.
But with all the enthusiasm of the newly minted convert, I must admit that overall those first few heady weeks were exhilarating. I’d get up early and complete my intensive weights schedule before heading off to work. I vividly recall bouncing along high school corridors, more than a mere spring in my step – kitted out with new suspension, and an inner voice going “Look at me! Look at me!”
Of course, life intervened after a few months and shortcuts became the order of the day. And it’s several years now since my dedicated exercise programme ground to a halt. All attempts to get back into some sort of routine fizzling out.
So as I hinted at last week, it’ll be nothing short of a miracle if I do manage to resurrect it. I’ll give the ageing bod and not overly willing spirit one last shot at it and see how it goes. “I’ll keep you posted.”
Two ‘Workouts‘ under my belt (I wish) – well, talked the walk if nothing else – and I’ve still not told you what I actually intend to get up to when the iron’s pumping and the legs are pistoning. Sounds too good to be true and probably is, but catch the last post: Workout: Pt.3. See ya then.
That’s all on modern-day homesteading at Little Owl Gully till next Monday. Thanks for your company. Bye for now.
*Body-for-LIFE by Bill Phillips