Bill E. Branscum ©2001
It's now been eight (8) weeks and I am two thirds of the
way through the Body-for-LIFE "Challenge." I still
haven't gotten any taller but it would appear that my knees
are growing, or maybe it's my elbows - when I do crunches,
my elbows bang into my knees. I never had a problem with
that before! LOL!
At this point, I have lost about thirty-nine pounds of
fat, gained twelve (12) pounds of muscle and I feel really
good. Five gallons of milk weighs about that much; who wants
to carry five gallons of milk around with them all the time!
Looking at my back, you can certainly see muscle gain;
unfortunately, the biggest difference doesn't show since
you cannot see what my legs looked like in the before pictures.
Squats, Lunges, Leg Extensions, Leg Curls, and a lot of
time on a Treadmill and a Stairmaster have really paid off.
I still have a long way to go, and a brutal four weeks
coming up, but this program has become a familiar routine
and I feel like I am up to it. By the end of this contest,
by December 17, 2001 - Lycra will be my friend! Looking
at the pictures we took of my big, fat self just eight weeks
ago, who would have ever believed that possible?!
My blood pressure continues to fall like a stone. Eight
weeks ago, it was 203/143; four weeks ago, it was 146/115
and now, after just eight weeks and it has dropped to 138/86.
Since I have no medical insurance, this is very important
to me - more so than how I look.
At 182 pounds, I weigh 12 pounds less than I did four weeks
ago but, as we established in previous article, body weight
is not determinative of progress. Once again, we go to the
bodyfat calipers and do a little math.
Eight weeks ago, 34.1% of the 210 lbs I weighed was fat
- my body was 71.6 pounds of fat and 138.4 pounds of lean
muscle mass. At the end of four weeks, the calipers reflected
that 26.4 percent of the 194 pounds I weighed was fat -
that's 51.2 pounds of fat and 143 pounds of lean body mass.
Now, at 182 pounds, the calipers indicate that my body fat
is 17.7% - that's 32.2 pounds of fat and 150 pounds of lean
In other words, during the first four weeks I lost 20 pounds
of fat and gained 5 pounds of muscle and, during the second
four weeks, I lost 19 pounds of fat and gained 7 pounds
of muscle. A consistent training regimen produced consistent
results - 39 pounds of fat replaced by 12 pounds of muscle.
My training team and I are going to do it again next month
It didn't come easy - I worked really, REALLY,
hard every day, under the close scrutiny of my little team.
Meggie, my wannabe Drill Sergeant personal trainer is a
preschooler so she dragged me out of my home office to workout,
supervised, and counted reps for me. There's no way to cheat
when your four year-old knows what you're supposed to be
Saturday mornings are hard for me. There's
something unnatural about getting up early and punishing
and innocent body but, Cosmic Karma being what it is, the
day that I have the most trouble getting up, is the day
I have the most help. Some days, I think I must have done
something very, VERY bad in a past life.
My seven year old, "the Dookman," clearly understands
the concept of inspired motivation! It's been eight (8)
weeks, and hundreds of miles, since I had a chance to drink
an Icehouse - at about twice the alcohol of a regular beer,
one would probably be all it would take!
Since I posted the first month's pictures, the kids and
I have received a lot of e-mail. From those who are familiar
with Body-for-LIFE, we have received words of encouragement,
cute notes to the kids, photographs, testimonials and a
number of interesting things people thought the children
would enjoy (the collection of optical illusions was fascinating
- thanks, Jenny)
From those unfamiliar with Body-for-LIFE, the overwhelming
response was, "Wow, does this really work?"
Our response, in a word, was, "NO." The
Body-for-LIFE program does not "work,"
it has never "worked" for anyone, and it
will not "work" for you. Curious as that
may sound to some, the point is entirely clear to those
who have read Bill Phillips' book
We answered each and every e-mail we received and made
a good faith effort to explain our understanding of the
"Gospel according to Bill Phillips." To anyone
looking at this hoping that Body-for-LIFE will be that magic,
"Silver Bullet," you need to read the book. The
best I can tell you is:
YOU will always be unhappy with yourself, unless and
until YOU decide that YOU are willing to make the adjustments
in your lifestyle and do the work necessary to make the
changes you hope to see. There is no magic, there is no
free lunch and YOU are NEVER, EVER, going to look like
an athlete until you eat right and become more athletic.
When YOU decide that YOU are willing to do the work,
this Body-for-LIFE program will show you the fastest and
most efficient way to do it through a "less is better"
approach to getting the most dramatic results possible
from YOUR hard work without over training and working
against yourself and they'll provide the supplements necessary
to push your body beyond it's normal limits.
Trust me when I tell you that if you actually do the work,
if you put yourself through this ordeal, if you really and
genuinely do what this program calls for and manage to maintain
that pace for 12 weeks, you will lose your mind if someone
suggests that Bill Phillips "worked" for
Personally, I hope to convince readers to listen to what
Bill Phillips is saying and forget what the "Greek
God" looking guys & gals are saying on the infomercials
where hucksters hype false hopes. In a world of silver bullets,
magic elixers, electric devices that make your muscles twitch,
convenient plastic gizmo's that stow neatly under the bed,
hi-tech machines powered by souped up rubber bands and a
plethora of pills, Bill Phillips is trying to promote the
truth. It's diet and exercise - or be fat.
Unfortunately, although desperate drowning people reach
out to anything that gives them hope, they naturally go
for whatever seems easiest to get to. Who wants to hear
about diet and exercise when so many infomercial cowboys
are offering painless panacea, an instant, effortless path
to physical perfection? It's a tragedy that so many drowning
people are frantically paddling in the wrong direction and
inexcusable that people pretending to be rescuers mislead
them for their own personal gain.
To people who are in the situation I was in, I am trying
"HELLO!!! - haven't you figured out yet that
the Greek God looking salespeople on the infomercials
are pumped up prostitutes paid to lie to you? They don't
care if you waste precious dollars and a year of your
life twitching your muscles with an electric pulse generator,
trying to measure portions in perfect "magic ratios,"
or popping pills waiting for their magic to make you one
of the beautiful people too.
These people are professional liars, scumbags . .
. (use your own words, this is a family oriented website).
The bottom line is, their function in life is to lure
you to invest in false promises that will ultimately dump
your enthusiasm down the drain. Your despair is irrelevant
to them - all they want is your money.
Seriously, if you are really ready to commit yourself
to changing your life, give this a good faith effort.
Don't waste money and time on things that don't work or
use pills that will trash your metabolism to get results
you cannot keep."
Thus far, I have followed the Body-for-LIFE Program oulined
in Bill Phillips' book, as modified by "April,"
(BfL Rep., Extension #4504) who adjusted the program to
suit my specific needs. All the time she spent with me was
via toll free line (800 297-9776) and it wasn't a sales
thing - since my first purchase, she has devoted a lot of
time to my efforts and she has never pushed me to buy anything.
The time has been spent telling me how to maximize the results.
Since I mentioned the help I got from her in my last article,
I got a lot of feedback from readers; most indicated that
they had benefited from the advice they got from the BfL
Representatives they dealt with (kudos to April, Eric &
Tate) but a few reported that theirs weren't as much help
as they would have liked. If you're doing this program and
don't find your Rep is as helpful as you had hoped, you
should switch to someone else. This is too important not
I was going to include some pics of April but she is involved
in a "Challenge" herself and it's not finished
yet - I hope to include her before/after pics in the next
Although the Body-for-LIFE program allows for a weekly
"free day," I didn't do those as I thought I had
enjoyed enough of those in my life already. I also wanted
to keep my carbs restricted and stay in mild ketosis.
Since the "free day" concept actually serves
a purpose related to maintaining metabolic "set point,"
I did eat more on those days, but I didn't have things like
pasta, pizza, beer and ice cream. On my "free days,"
I had four Myoplex milkshakes instead of two and I added
raw egg whites, strawberries and bananas to them. I also
ate the same high protein, low fat food I had eaten on the
training days. The bananas and berries bounced me out of
ketosis but I was right back in it the next day.
One big thing that helped me a lot in this BfL experience,
and has helped me a lot financially for years, is the fact
that my kids and I enjoy "canning" our own food.
I really do believe that "home canning" should
be the missing chapter in Bill Phillip's book. If you know
how, you can take a chicken breast, a portion of mixed vegetables,
cover it with chicken broth seasoned to taste and can it
in a special jar where it will keep for ten years without
I was going to go into a lot of detail about this, but
I found a "how to" website maintained by the people
who manufacture the jars used in the canning process. The
website is at:
I have written a little more about canning in an article
that will soon post under Ideas and Suggestions called "Home
Canning; a Lost Art."
We're into the final round and we're winning, but winning
isn't going to be enough for us. Next month, my little angels
and I are going to slap my 900 Pound Gorilla upside his
ugly head - we're going to knock King Kong off my back and
lay that bad boy away forever. (You never heard "Dirty
Harry dialogue" 'til you've heard my children get wound
up, and that "nose hook" assault of Meggie's is
just plain vicious!)
The Body-forLIFE website is http://www.BodyforLife.com
You can call them at (800) 297-9776