The Body For Life Challenge


On March 3, 2003, Gabby and I signed up for the Bill Phillips' 12-week "Body For Life" Challenge.  For a story on how we got roped into this mess and a look at our final results, check out the Body For Life Pictures page.  Anyhow, we've recently completed this heavy-duty diet and exercise program with a big group of friends and family.  The journal entries below are a sampling of the back-and-forth banter between the dozen or so people we entered the program with.  We supported each other, laughed at each other, and got healthy together.  

The program is a proven "health building" regimen, but tries to sell you all of these protein shakes and protein bars to help you get the most out of the program.  The perk is this... if we are one of the winners of the challenge, Bill reimburses us for all of his products that we bought!  Woo hoo!  I think he also shows up to our house to personally inject us with steroids, too... but I'm not sure.  Anyhow..

On the program, you have to eat SIX TIMES PER DAY!  This sounded very appealing to me until I realized that all six meals had to be healthy.  One fistful of carbs and one fistful of protein at each meal (about a 1/2 cup each).  you can also eat veggies twice per day.  The REAL kicker is that you have to drink 10 glasses of water per day... MORE if you sweat a lot.  So... I'm drinking about 120 ounces of water every day (we're not allowed to drink anything else) and stopping by every restroom in Central Texas to take a leak. 

The workouts are scheduled SIX TIMES PER WEEK, first thing in the morning.  They're very regimented, but they last 45 minutes or less.  Essentially, you grunt your way through a fast-paced weight workout 3 times per week, and do a "go till you puke" cardio workout the other three days.  Sunday's are our "free day," and we can eat whatever we want.  No workouts, and no restrictions.  It's a gluttonous gorge-fest!

Since the start of the whole thing, we have been writing to each other to bitch and moan about how much it stinks to give up sugar, fat, and taste for 12 weeks.  We also get in plenty of complaining about the early morning workouts six days a week.  The e-mail chain allows you to follow our progression.  All in all, it worked, and we're actually enjoying the healthy eating, but it wasn't always that way:


DAY 1:  Gabby's Entry

Hello fellow BFL-ers!  How was the morning workout? Breakfast and snack#1? My synopsis is this.

Owch! Workout was great and challenging. As far as the food? Plain yogurt sucks. The protein bars are huge and full of sugar and it's almost time for lunch and I'm not hungry.


DAY 1:  Scott's Entry

Gabby and I took the "before" snapshots this morning right after we got out of bed at 5:30 am. They are PRETTY! I made sure to have a bewildered/scowl look on my face. Gabby opted for the, "God I hate myself" option. We are both working on our "Blue Steel" glares for the "after" shots. We will attach them once we've had the chance to go through some "self-esteem" therapy sessions at the local Community College.

After tremendous success in the Belly for Life Challenge (we finished off last night with a dinner at Chili's... my entire meal was boiled in rendered animal fat), we have begun the Body For Life Challenge with renewed zeal! This morning, we hit the gym for our weight workout. We finished all exercises in 37 minutes, and even had time for a crunch or two. The only problem? Both of us felt like vomiting at two or three different times during our workout. Tomorrow, I won't be able to brush my teeth. In fact, I am having considerable trouble even striking the keyboard right now.

Breakfast wasn't too bad. Gab and I split four egg whites plus one whole egg. I drenched them in pepper, and lightly sprinkled some "artificial butter flavor salt" on them for taste (think... MOVIE THEATER POPCORN FLAVOR). Not too bad. I could even go with ALL egg whites next time, even though Bill allows a yolk.

The yogurt was another story altogether. I bought a bunch of frozen blackberries and raspberries and mixed 'em in with a 1/2 cup of plain, low-fat yogurt. Not too shabby. gab, on the other hand, went in for JUST the yogurt. After one spoonful, her face contorted like the guy on the "bitter beer face" commercials, and she immediately reached for a banana. Lesson learned.


DAY 1:  Owen's Entry

Can't comment on the workout since we haven't yet. Tonight we do the arms and then get on track for am workouts before Kerri has to be showered and leave by 6:30am. Yes you read that correctly.

The breakfast was good and I was hungry right on queue at 10:30. Unfortunately I was in a meeting and only just now ate my banana and cottage cheese and found it satisfying. Of course there is some stupid free food shindig here today with BBQ etc downstairs. My supportive co workers have promised they won't shove it all in their faces down there. They assure me they will bring more upstairs and parade it past me as they cram it into over stuffed pie holes. Not wasting my day off for that crud.


DAY 3:  Gabby's Entry

Ah.. Day 3! We have half conquered you already by finishing that leg workout. Not looking forward to days 4 and 5 when I won't be able to sit to pee OR lift my pencil. On a positive note, however, Scott and I did great this AM. His non-worked-out legs were cramping after two sets while I was about to pass out or vomit from working so hard to hit that 10 intensity level. I was SO HAPPY when it was over. I'm really digging the cottage cheese and fruit combo. I would recommend bananas to those of you (including me) that have not been working out lately.. It will help with cramping (potassium).

We also are exhausted. I had to nap between meal 5 and 6 and was in bed by 8:05pm.. Of course I talked on the phone til 9:30 but I was SO TIRED. I have to believe we will have more energy as soon as our bodies adjust to the new schedule. Oh, yeah.. And Scott and I took our couples before and after last night and redid some of our "befores". It was hilarious! We both did one where we tried to look good and decided that we don't even NEED to be on this program.. The improvement from our intentionally bad to our positive poses was all we need. Okay.. Not really. More photos to come. We also did our body fat at the gym and weighed... Oh the trauma. We'll have to share that another day.

Great job everyone! Keep up the SUPER work!!!


DAY 3:  Scott's Entry

The guy across the street has a business called "Husband for Hire." He does jobs that you either don't have time to do, or don't want to do.

After this morning's leg workout, I am now contracting him $10 per session to carry me to and from the bathroom to pee. I am cramped into my desk chair in the fetal position, sweating from the pain. The $10 is a good fee I think, being that I never have to be taken to the "music room" to poop anymore, now that my meals consist solely of foods that my body can actually use. I have installed a 60 foot straw from my office into the kitchen sink, which drips at a steady rate. I can get my water that way. My only issue now is that self-employment doesn't bring in much cash. Once my unemployment checks run out, I'm going to dip into the kitty one last time to hire "Hubby For Hire's" wife to come over and install a catheter using faxed pages of Kerri's cool nursing textbook as a guide.

In truth, we're holding up well here in Austin. I am dreading tomorrow's Cardio/PukeFest workout, but am excited that it will signal that we are half way through with week #1, with no lapses. Luckily, the Myoplex bars don't tear me up like they do Josie, so I'm counting my blessings. The Myoplex Lite bars have half the sugar, and taste really good (I dig the toffee flavor)

I have attached our new before shots. Taking a page from Kerri & Owen's book on

"How To Look Like Crap In Your Before Pictures", I opted to wear socks, and tuck my shorts into my buttcrack for the "rear view" photo. I also practiced my "after" pose, just to get ready for week #12. ENJOY!



DAY 4:  Owen's Entry

Just got back from an unplanned business lunch. Ate an oriental salad and had to leave 2/3 on the plate. Glad I wasn't buying. In some sort of one sided lover's tryst Kerri came in at about the two minute mark and cranked the stepper up from a leisurely 5 to a gruesome 8.

Suddenly the nightly business report on TV faded and I found myself doing the visualization trick mentioned in the book. I could see myself lean and mean, strolling out to the beach at Port A. Swimming out for my day 86 cardio just because I want to. That faded as the incessant beeping from the stepper nagged me to step up.

I survived and will seek revenge tonight on the lower body workout.


DAY 5:  Scott's Entry

Gabby and I have completed day 5 of the "Body For Life" program.  We're holding up well.  79 Days to go!  The only problems are:
1.  The leg workouts have us so sore, that Gabby has relegated to using the handicapped toilet at work (higher seat).  I am thinking of inventing a hoist that will pull us up from a seated position.
2.  Having to drink 100 oz. of water per day has given both of us the "sense of urgancy" akin to a 86-year-old man with an enlarged prostate.  We pee every 30 minutes - like clockwork.
3.  My fridge contains only fat free items.  The fat free butter is a mystery.  No Fat, no calories, no choleterol, no protein, no carbs, no sugar.  I think it is made of moon dust.  The box says, "do not use for baking or frying."  This scares me a little.
4.  Two words... COTTAGE CHEESE
5.  Gabby had to wear "80's style" old workout pants to the gym this morning.  Why?  It seems I washed ALL HER CLOTHES using a new fabric softener I bought.  When the fabric touches her skin, she swells up like the blueberry girl in the Oompa-Loompa movie (Willy Wonka). 
Other than these things, life is good.  We are feeling healthy, and eating 6 times a day isn't bad.  Still, we're looking VERY forward to our off day (Sunday) when we can sit on our cans and eat anything we darn well please.
Anyone wanna' sign up?

Day 7:  Owen's Entry

This will probably be my only dispatch for the next couple of days since I have got some significant project milestones to clear at work. I was going to say pass however that may still be too sensitive a word for most of us. I think I now understand why he says you can eat whatever you want on Sunday.

I met my sister at the livestock show and felt pretty good about the fact that I had eaten decently in spite of having free reign. It was sort of like double portion day. Then I spied it. The highest hand in bad food. Food that no sane person would consider ingesting. Food I would not have ever considered eating except for it's value as the trashiest trash I could possible have hoped to have found and eaten (ok tried to eat) on a Sunday.

Those still fragile from Sunday should just look away now or close this email. I found a stand that sells fried twinkies. We saw this and all thought "how disgusting". Then I realized that it was in fact the highest hand. I had found the royal flush of day off foods. This could not be any further in the opposite direction. I bought it and choked down a few bites. It wasn't bad until I got to the part where the white cream filling used to reside. I am glad to report that the stuff does melt under extreme temperatures. It left this moistened cake in it's wake. That was it. I was done. Had to go buy a roasted corn to offset that crud. Of course since then I have learned that Royal Flush could take a completely different meaning.

See you body for lifers later. Today is lower body day.


DAY 8:  Gabby's Entry

I have a question.. If we're supposed to be feeling all healthy and energetic, why do I feel fat today?  I mean, after my fine performance yesterday with my main indulence being 2 cokes.. Come ON!  The pounds should just be falling off, right??!!  Okay.. enough grumbling.  I guess wHine isn't on our approved list either.  Whatever!
We did have a great workout this AM and I am happy to report that I can walk like a normal person again. Hats off to Owen for going for the fried Twinkie.  Excellent showing!  I actually ate a hamburger on bread on Friday and it wasn't awful (Kerri will appreciate this).  I just have memories of being a kid and eating your pan fried burger on bread cuz Mom didn't have the money or the time to go buy buns and the burger makes that wet circle before you even get to take one bite.  Then you see that Mom has added water to the catsup because we're almost out.. AHhhhh... So I bought whole wheat buns made from "sprouted organic wheat" for $2.50 at the store yesterday.  Worht every penny... I hope!
Great job everyone.  We have successfully conquered Day1, Week2!


DAY 8:  Scott's Entry

This morning was the cardio workout. After yesterday's "squat-fest 2003," I was feeling the burn.


Gab and I have been told that you can mix natural protein powder int any food to get your protein fix. Well, this morning, i made some oatmeal and garnished it with cinnamon. Next, I stirred in a level scoop of this protein powder. I took the first bite, and it tasted like wall spackle. I added more cinnamon, and a dash of vanilla. Better, but still spackle.

I choked down the rest of the spoonfuls as you would if you were taking a really large pill. I never chewed, just placed it in my mouth, took a gulp of water, and washed it down. Breakfast finished in 2 minutes. I am now going to use the rest to fill nail holes in my walls as I paint today.

Have a good one!


DAY 10:  Scott's Entry

Last night I was sitting watching TV when hunger pains grabbed me by the throat. These were the kind of pains that won't be sated by cottage cheese or a protein shake. This kind of pain needs eggs, oil, butter, sugar, salt, chocolate, and an ice cold glass of milk.

Under a form of hypnosis, I wandered to the kitchen, where, lo and behold, I found a freshly baked chocolate cake sitting on the counter top. It was topped with chocolate frosting that glistened... even under the pale fluorescent glow of poor kitchen lighting. With one eye still on the cake (it must have been a "Devil's Food" cake) I reached into our utensil drawer and pulled out a shiny cake server. A glint of light pierced my eyes as I moved it toward the brown behemoth in front of me.

The sharp edge of the blade cut through the moist flesh of the cake with surprising ease. Frosting dripped from the tip of the blade as I extracted it from the cake. I slid the server under the slice, and lifted it from it's temporary prison, now en route to it's new home on Scott's Gullet Lane.

Not wanting to waste time or energy on finding a plate, I simply grabbed the slice with my free hand, and moved it toward my mouth. The whole episode was over in a matter of seconds. I devoured the entire piece in the time it takes a school of piranha to make its way through Emmanuel Lewis. (of "Webster" fame, for those that missed the bad TV reference)

Once the slice was down, I moved in for another. The process was repeated, an I found myself wiping frosting from my lips as I moved toward the fridge for a swig of ice cold whole milk right from the carton. As the creamy white river washed down my throat, I did a double take. I thought, "Dear God, Gabby is going to come home and see that I ate two pieces of this chocolate cake! I'll be ruined! She'll hate me! She'll have no respect for me! I have FAILED Body-For-Life! What have I become!? "Bossie for Life" is what I've become! Please Lord forgive me!"

Next thing I know, I hear a faint alarm. Not like a police siren, but like an alert of some sort. I've been found out! Gabby set a "cake alarm!" Holy crap! She's trapped me!

Wait... that alarm isn't a cake alarm? It's... a...

I roll over to see the red digits on my clock shining a bright 5:00 am. It was all just a dream... a horrible, Body-For-Life Challenge dream. I haven't let Gabby down. It' time for the morning workout.

Pretty sad when you start dreaming about bad food. Something is seriously wrong with me.

Time for lunch. Today it's lean ham on a pita. ENJOY!


DAY 21:  Owen's Entry

Well last week consisted of some good and not so good choices and a few scattered workouts. Abby the swim coach kicked my but Thursday with multiple laps of various torture in my dad's pool. Still today I am not sore at all anymore and I miss it. I am actually looking forward to the gym tonight.  Not sure what quitting consists of. I guess one week of half assed effort isn't quitting but it sure isn't giving the program the full chance either. I will have to add another week at the end and kick some but between now and Pork Aransas.

Kerri and I left for work with only a Slimfast (I know I know, where is that on the plan?!?). It was better than nothing. Nothing is exactly what I had with me for the day. I ran over to HEB and came back in the office with two bags of groceries. People look at you weird when you bring groceries into an office building. The celery really gave me away. So anyway I just had my 10:30 meal at 11am. It consisted of a banana with Laura Scudder all natural peanut butter knifed on it. (Editorial note:  Gabby says this tastes like someone just chewed up some peanuts and spit it out on bread.)  Not sure of exact portion control but it seemed like about 2 tablespoons at max. I think that meets the carb and protein requirement. And of course the obligatory quart of water. Someone please advise if this is bad information.

I discovered beef jerky last week when Abby (noticing a pattern here?) kept asking me when I was going to eat again since I am still on BFL, right? You only had some of your water bottle. You still have a big fat belly Daddy.

On and on. Aahhhhhh. These moments are what make raising children so worth it.



DAY 28:  Owen's Entry

First of all welcome Felica Walker to the list. She works with me at
Nisource and locally for Columbia Gulf. Felica has actually been through
BFL a few years back with great results.

When I mentioned our quasi support group she was immediately interested.
Hopefully she realizes what she is in for.  Right up front Felica I don't know these Dannemillers and have no family
ties to them at all. If Scott claims otherwise it is the BFL talking.

I found a program last week called Palm BFL that tracks all the particulars
of BFL. As I have spent a bit more time with it I am impressed. The desktop
client would suffice for those who don't us a palm device or (poor Kerri)
would rather not be seen with the geek logging his workouts into his palm
at the gym.

Here is the URL The guy to the right of all the
pda's is me.

A quick run down of the features I like:

Enter meal and workout plans, measurements, body fat content, etc. Then as
you move forward in time enter the actual workouts, meals, measurements,

This chunk of data then allows you to view progress and plan vs actual
reports and graphs. Are my workouts trailing off in intensity? Am I eating
enough protein?

Some cool stuff -  BLAH BLAH BLAH

DAY 28:  Scott's Reply

Dear Owen,

I was going to buy this little program, as well as a palm.  however, I read
the warning sticker that comes on the box, and it worried me a bit.  The
label reads:


In other news, Gab and I are making progress.  We were weighed and had body
fat analysis done this AM for our four week checkup.  Definite improvements
all the way around. The most exciting part was when the female fitness
trainer asked me to remove my shirt.  I started thinkin' that I "had it
goin' on" until I realized she was only asking me so she could clamp down on
the chub between my shoulder and chest to get her caliper reading.  I guess
the Chippendale's audition will have to wait for another two months.


DAY 28:  Larry's Entry

Hey everyone,

I have been back from Training for a week now. I finally went to work on Tues. I walked in and at every meeting of people who have not seen me for 3 weeks I got the following "Did they work you hard? You lost a lot of weight" So people can see the difference. So I think you have to hide yourself for 3 weeks then pop back in, that way people will notice.

The trouble is I do not know where I am going to hide for the next 3 weeks.

I have tried new bars, picked them up in Missouri, and they are good. They are called DETOUR bars. They contain 30g of proteien. Josie and Owen have tried them. I think they are great. I will wait to see what they have to say about these wonderful bars. The bars are advertised as SNICKERS ON STEROIDS.

Well Josie has finally taken the plunge and joined a gym (I think she was tired of me telling her to lift more while I sat and watched, because I would work out in the AM and her in the PM). She likes going to the gym, she likes the machines as opposed to the free weights. The cardio machines did her in, I was called at work to come an pick her up, they found her in the corner in a fetal position and mumbling BFL, BFL, BFL... I think she will recover.

We have decided to take our free day this Saturday. Our kids school is having their annual school carnival. This means fajita tacos, snowcones, cotton candy, Kerri's brownies, and all of the other good stuff. So that means the following week is going to be quiet long.

Talk to everyone later.



DAY 38:  Scott's Entry

OK... to make Kerri happy, I will add my own long, rambling commentary below.  You guys will get a good laugh out of this one.  Gab and I have been pretty faithful with the diet and exercise.  Occasionally, we'll miss a meal here or there, but nothing big.  So... the benefit is, we're seeing some results.  However, when I recently compared myself to some of the past Body For Life winners, I got a bit disappointed.  "Where are my rippling abs?" I said to myself.  "Shouldn't I be looking more like Arnold Scwartzenegger and less like Arnold Horshack by now?"
In a fit of logic, I reasoned with myself.  "These guys in the book are all hairless and greased up.  THAT'S gotta' be the reason you can see their abs!"  Looking at my own belly, I noticed a small forest of hair was covering up what could possibly be abs not seen since the men posed for Greek Statues.  Granted, the hair is light colored, and not too thick, but it was enough (in my feeble mind) to make all the difference in the world.  I knew that six pack was under there!  So, I grabbed a small pair of scissors and started trimming.  I didn't want to grab the razor, as I have very sensitive skin, and I knew that, though hairless, my new rippling abs would be covered by a breakout of razor burn so heinous that it would require medical attention. 
The question is... where do you stop?  How much trimming is too much?  Well, I answered that question with an emphatic, "More Is Better!" 
A close belly trim with home scissors is not nearly as satisfying as one might think.  When you get a haircut at the salon, they are able to run their fingers through your scalp, pull their hand up slightly, and corral a tuft of hair between their middle and index finger.  This is sliced off with precision, leaving a clean cut.  Belly hair, on the other hand, is not nearly so responsive.  I found myself grabbing hunks between my index finger and thumb, pulling away from my body until I was nearly ripping it out by the root, then cutting near the base of the forest.  Several times I cut a bit too low, nicking my belly skin and leaving a small welt.  Thank God I didn't actually cut myself.
However, this was not a very pretty sight.  After about 20 "pluck and cut" rounds, my belly looked moth-eaten.  I had about 20 nearly bald patches, surrounded by some hairy spots.  To make matters worse, I had gone to the tanning bed earlier in the day as therapy for a mild skin condition that I have.  Anyhow, the skin that used to be covered by hair was fish-belly white, in stark contrast to the hairless skin that was now the shade of Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice.  So, these little white spots were glaring at me through the forest of hair.  The humiliation factor was reaching epic proportions by this point.  In the end, I was forced to take the scissors and clip right along the surface of my skin for a nice, even finish.
The result?  Well, you'll all have to see at Pork Aransas come Memorial Day.  However, I will tell you that I had hoped that removing the hair would have been as satisfying as ripping open gifts on Christmas morning... only THIS time... I would be unwrapping chiseled abs, rather than a new pair of dress socks.  Unfortunately folks, Santa didn't come to Scott's house on April 10, 2003.  I still have an undefined lump of coal at my midsection.
Keep up the good work!  Stay away from scissors!  Week 6 is almost finished!  Enjoy Sunday, and we'll chat again soon.


DAY 39:  Jim's Entry

Hello all,

As Laurie said, we took our free day Saturday also. I can still smell those famous fajitas from the school carnival. To make things even better, we all worked in the "Sweet Shop" booth selling any and every kind of brownie and cookies known to mankind. Customers would ask what was good and our answer was always "everything". Little did they know that those of us working were drooling like babies at the sight of this food and this was our only day to gorge ourselves! Cardboard would have tasted great as long as it was topped with all the icing and chocolate that was there.  Now we're back to reality, although this thing is beginning to grow on me.  (maybe I bumped my head???) Feels good to be able to reach in the back of the closet and wear clothes that haven't fit for a long time.  I will have to reach deep this week for the strength to keep on track as I sit in a hotel room for the next 4 nights. I think that President Bush should add LaQuinta Inns and Suites to his "axis of evil" list for their do-it-yourself waffle iron in the lobby and for piping the aroma into all the rooms in the morning. I guess I'll take my whole wheat bread down with me and use their toaster and try not to look at the flashing neon sign over the waffle counter. 

For any of the guys who are interested, Epilspray is an easy way to remove hair from your chest and abs and might help prevent nipping yourself with scissors. (I was told this by a friend of course, and Laurie is sworn to silence!) As far as Nads is concerned, the Coalition Forces found this product in one of Sadam's torture cells in Iraq this week. (The same friend told me this as well).

Good luck to all, keep it up!


DAY 40:  Owen's Entry

I am not sure how BFL has turned to confessions from the battle against body hair but here we go.

I had to get an emergency manicure before a meeting last week. While there the lady says "What about you eyebrows?". Me, being a guy, said "what about my eyebrows?". Kerri, two tables away says "You're une brow is racing to catch up with your receding hairline" or something to that effect. Next thing I know I am being whisked off to a back room. It's never a good idea to have any personal grooming that involves going behind a closed door away from the other customers. I lay down and just as I was about to ask about the soundproofing egg crates stapled all over the walls she rips the first hunk of my flesh from the bone of my forehead. As I began to regain consciousness she ripped more. It hurt. ALOT. I began to consider the type of personal strength it must take to get a bikini wax. How do women do this? This is insane. Then she reapplied the wax and began ripping what must have been those last few bits of tendon and muscle that were still clinging to my skull bone. Just when I thought I was going to have wrestle her to the ground and mop the floor with her she said "Ok all done". Those words must be what it is like when women hear the cry of their newborn child. Now I see women with those eyebrows that have a permanent look of surprise I want to high five them. Yea baby, you are one bad ass chick! What, you only have a single row of eyebrow hair arching way out there and the rest of the eye is painted blue? You rock!

I will spare you guys the full story of turning Kerri loose with the #2 buzzer to cut my hair. I finally got up and ran after she had buzzed my head, neck, back, chest, arms, and stomach. The bathroom floor looked like Chewbakka got a haircut.


DAY 41Larry's Entry

Today was my lower body workout. I am working hard so that I can enjoy this Easter Sunday. I saw the chocolates that Josie bought!!! I can't wait. We are going to have FRIED FISH AND SHRIMP (my favorite) as our Easter Meal (meal made by Josie's side of the family). I still need to talk to my Mom and see what she will be making for lunch...YMMM, she makes great BIG homemade Tortillas...Fresh with butter...MMMMM...fasf;akaka;jkla,,..Sorry I was drooling on the keyboard and had to wipe it off.

Today at work somebody brought in this cake, chocolate with nuts and marshmallows, and to top it off it was homemade my somebodies grandma... So you know it had to be good. Well I held out and did not have any at all. Yes, I have the will power of a statue and nerves of steel, isthat how I overcame my weakness for chocolate cake? Hell, no I quickly left the office and was gone all day...


DAY 42Scott's Entry

Body For Life is working. Unfortunately, it is making for some embarrassingmoments.

Last night, Gabby was talking with Kerri on the phone. They normally get so engrossed in conversation that I could parade a naked Matthew McConaughey through my living room and Gab wouldn't notice. So, I figured that this would be a good time to flex for myself and check out the progress. As Ilifted my shirt and scoured the terrain for any sign of a six-pack, I contorted my body and face into gruesome positions... trying to flex every muscle in my body. Before the horrendous cramping could set in I hear my loving wife,

"Oh my God."

I look up to see her watching my every move. Then, on the phone she said, "Scott is fondling himself, trying to see his abs." I can hear Kerri laughing all the way from Houston. Knowing I had been caught, I just bit the bullet and continued my search for rippling abs. No sign of them anywhere, though I did see a rib poking out. This could be bad. Anyhow... due to this travesty... at my house, we will be instituting a schedule, giving new meaning to the term "flex time." We will have a posted sign up sheet on the bathroom door. Anyone in the household is allowed to reserve time in front of the mirror in 15 minutes increments for private, uninterrupted, "flex 'till you fart" quality time (since Gabby says my "practice pose" for our BFL after shots looks like I might just soil my skivvies). Kegs of body oil and EpilSpray provided at additional cost.

I'll let you know how it goes.


DAY 47Kerri's Entry

Okay I think today was my all time best Sunday ever!  Not only was it Easter but we ate enormous amounts of food!  I got up early and made sweet rolls with icing for a morning snack, I walk into the kitchen to find Scott in his PJ's snacking on a chocolate covered strawberry still half asleep (church wasat 730am this morning). Then it was off to the first church service.  We arrived at my new church to work the info booth I had to stop by the donut table and grab one.  After church I had to grab one more for the road.  had to!  The it was a dry spell for a bit, just snacking on candy, gold fish crackers and making of the greenbean cassarole with cheese.  Then it was off to an Easter egg hunt with some whoppers for a snack.  Then we went to a friends house for lunch.  This is what we brought to the lunch. Homemade chocolate cake with icing, chocolate pudding pie, rhodes rolls, cole slaw, cheesy green bean cassarole, oh cheesecake strawberry dip with graham crackers, strawberries, and then at the lunch there was grilled chicken breast, veggie pizza, broccoli salad, sodas, and fruit, apple pie, pecan pie and candy. then it was back home to have more family over and eat lasanga,
rolls, more cassarole, cole slaw, chocolate pudding pie and chocolate cake. UGH. i think i just gained back any weight I had previously lost. I am defiantly going to go back to strick BFL diet my body is mad at me very
angry for all of the food i have consumed today. bill phillips is probably laughing. hope everyone else's sunday was as eventful as mine.  waiting for all of the emails to follow.


DAY 47Larry and Josie's Entry

Well, I just wanted to let you all know that Joise and I stuck to our guns, we viewed this Easter Sunday as a challenge. Friday and Saturday we planned out our meals for Sunday (making sure we consumed the right amount of water along with protein and carbs). We planned it so that we would eat mostly good stuff. Friday night we read aloud from the BFL book to give us extra motivation and chanted our mantra EAT NOTHING THAT IS BAD.

Saturday came and we headed off to Port Lavaca, after a morning Cardio workout. We ate our "Bars" on the way. When we got to PL we had our 3:00 meal, a Beef Brisket taco (just 1 apiece) with some salad and two glasses of water. I quickly was sent to the store to purchase the stuff for Laurie's Famous Sinful Peanut Butter Brownies. Josie stayed at her mom's and started to make her Famous potato Salad (it is so good). I promptly returned with needed items. She started to make the brownies (ah, what a beautiful aroma, I said to myself) I was reading the local paper which takes 3 minutes. As that heavenly aroma overtook the house I found myself opening up the fridge and was going for the milk when I stopped myself. That was close. We then drove to my parents house and Josie and I reaffirmed that we would be good and stick to our guns and EAT NOTHING BAD. When we go to my parents house we all went out to eat at a Mexican food place. Josie had chicken fajitas, salad and only ate one tortilla (God I love that woman). I had the Fajita Salad no sour cream, no cheese it was good.

Well after that we went back to her mom's place and along the way we both said we were doing pretty good and we once again vowed NOT EAT ANYTHING BAD. It was close to 10:30 when we were back in her parents house. Put the kids to bed. She then frosted Lauries Famous Sinful Brownies with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing. We then stated to suff Easter Eggs, putting Recess Cups and Candy Miniature bars in each egg in preparation for the next day. We watched Fox News and started cleaning up..we were getting ready to turn off the lights when we looked at the clock it said 12:03..It was now Easter Sunday-Free Day.  Well we then realized we could try the brownies. W were very good we

>only each got a brownie with a glass of coke. We then had coke leftover so got another brownie (each) and then we were done. They were good. So we went to bad once again vowing NOT TO EAT ANYTHING BAD.

Easter Sunday as we got out of bed we chanted Do NOT EAT ANYTHING BAD. We went to the kitchen, I was reaching for the Corn Flakes when some strange wonderful aroma hit me. Yes Josie's mom had made Chorizo, yes Owen the real stuff, mixed with real eggs for Breakfast. We ate breakfast tacos to which I added some homemade hot sauce (I was getting my veggies). Then we got ready for church and had some extra time and so had we both had another brownie. After church we went to Josie's brother's house. They were making FRIED SHRIMP, FISH and OYSTERS. I quickly ate two plates full of this great food along with a heaping spoonful of Josie's potato salad. I had more brownies and to balance that off the brownies I had 2 sugar cookies. We then had the kids hunt eggs. After that we opened each one of the eggs to see what prize each of the kids had obtained in their treasure hunt. Needless to say some of that candy did not look to good but on closer examination and some extensive tasting I found it was okay to give back to the kids. We then headed over to my brother's house where he had been Q-ing it up. Chicken, steaks and Sausage was plentiful along with beans, rice and pico de gallo (more veggies with a kick). I could only eat one plate here, thank goodness I left room for more brownies. We slowly hunted eggs, which had to be inspected again and the candy tested (do parent duties never end). We said our goodbyes and departed good old Port Lavaca about 8:00.

On the way home I was thinking to myself..."Larry it is a good thing that you did NOT EAT ANYTHING BAD...cause everything I had was GREAT......" It is good when you live up to your goals.

Well I worked out extra hard this AM...I need to erase the food from this weekend. Talk to everyone later.



DAY 47Miranda's Entry

Kerri -
I think you got off "light"... no worries.  Bill doesn't say anything about restricting the free day (maybe he thinks we just have more common sense!!).  My day was beautiful... I made real eggs, real bacon, and these "morning rolls" with orange butter (sugar, butter, and some orange zest).  

I then ate two cookies for the  drive to my mother-in-laws.  At her house, I was still too full to eat, but did try a rib (it was pretty small).  Then we went to my mom's where I had a piece and a half of fresh, homemade lemon meringue? pie (YUM!!).
For dinner, I made chicken enchiladas verdes which consist of cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and all the bad stuff.  Then for desert I had a 1/2 piece of that birthday cake that had tortured me all week.  And a bit of cherry cobbler.  Oh yeah, and a handful of robin's eggs.... geez.

OH MY!!  I'm so full that I think I'll have massive indigestion or nightmares, or both.  One thing I have come to realize, is that the free day not only lets you get your cravings in for the week, it also reminds you that eating that way doesn't really feel so good all the time.  I am honestly looking forward to getting back to BFL meals tomorrow!!!  

But I agree, I think just as I was starting to suspect I had lost a few pounds, they are going to be back!!  But I'm going into this next week with zeal.  I hope that next Sunday I can keep some sanity :)

Happy Easter!!!


52Scott's Entry

Forgive the crudeness of this e-mail, but it had to be said.
Dear Reverend Bill Phillips,
My wife and I started your patented "Body For Life" program just over seven weeks ago.  We both whole-heartedly agree that it is a fantastic program.  We are certainly on our way to "buff-o-rama" status.  I can actually see an ab muscle or two emerging, and my wife is now shopping in the "Juniors" section of Target on a semi-regular basis.  Her new "hoochie" wardrobe has me whipped into a frenzy, which brings me to my question for you.
On page 4 of your book, "Body For Life," you describe how the 12-week transformations have made huge impacts on people's lives.  You talk about those who have benefited from your program by writing, and I quote, "Their relationships with colleagues, family, and friends improved.  Their marriages got better.  THEIR SEX LIVES BECAME MORE SATISFYING."  Great stuff, Bill.  Great stuff indeed.
My wife and I are newlyweds.  We were married back in September.  As newlyweds, we had no trouble making time for a little "horizontal mambo," if you know what I mean (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).  In fact, even though our "relations" could have caused a mild "Flab-o-lanche" prior to starting your program, we were still happy with the regularity of our "conjugal calisthenics."  I am incredibly attracted to my wife.  After seven weeks on this program, she is even hotter than when we first met (if that's possible.)  I've even stopped scanning the channels for Baywatch reruns!  Even so, the strict Body For Life schedule has caused us to put our "hoochie coochie" on hiatus. 
Mornings used to be a great time for a "roll in the hay."  Unfortunately, having to wake up at 5:00 to hit the gym has put a damper on our "morning rendezvous" time.  "Have your naughtiness at night" you say?  Sorry Bill, after waking at 5:00 and working all day, we can barely muster enough energy to give a simple kiss goodnight.  On lower body day, even "Spooning" can cause violent muscle cramping and charlie horses.
Heck, even when we ARE in the mood, that's still not enough.  I can't fully recall, but the last time we probably had any occasion to "knock the boots" was sometime during Week 2.  Even then, we had to stop halfway through our "mattress madness" to ingest cottage cheese and an apple per your schedule (CAN'T MISS A MEAL!)
"Play 'hide the salami' on Sundays" you say?  No no, Billy Boy!  Sunday's are for food!  After sucking down whole wheat, protein powder and egg whites for 6 days, when faced with the choice of "queso or copulation?", we'll go for the cheesy goodness EVERY TIME!  On Sundays, food trumps all other activity.
So, I am asking you... is this normal?  Once our bodies resemble those of underwear models, we will certainly wish to procreate and populate the globe with our clones.  Will this be possible?  Or, should we start trying to fashion a "soy baby" made of oatmeal mixed with protein powder.
Anguished in Austin


DAY 64Scott's Entry

Happy beginning of Week 10, everybody!  Three weeks to go!  Too bad Body for Life can't cure EVERYTHING.
Yesterday, one of Gabby's  best friends saw us at the mall.  She looked straight at Gabby and said, "Holy crap!  You're WHITE!  I think this is the whitest I've ever seen you!"  All this happened while she was standing next to Gabby's fair-skinned, red-headed husband of Irish descent.  So, today I bought her a membership to the tanning salon.  I don't know the name of the place.  They have a semi-ugly neon sign above their store in a strip mall that reads simply, "TAN."  Who needs marketing?  I'm already a member there.  I read some website ( that said that the cancer-laden light is good for my psoriasis.  Go figure.  Trade in one incurable disease for another, I always say.  Keeps life interesting. 
Gabby is "under the bulb" as we speak.  Let's hope her first day experience is better than mine was.  Supposedly, if your skin looks as if you bathed in baby powder (as mine does), then they wrap you in aluminum foil before allowing you to even get within 10 feet of a bed.  Today, I read the "Usage Indications" sticker on the bed.  It suggests that very fair skinned people wait for 3 weeks before using the bed for its maximum duration - 20 minutes.  After 18 months of semi-regular tanning, I am now permitted to lay in the beds for 12 minutes at a pop.  Anyhow, the both of us should be crispy-fried by the time Memorial Day rolls in. 
"Free Day" yesterday was monumental.  After a disappointing showing last week, Gabby was Hell-bent on making up for lost gluttony time.  We actually went shopping Saturday to stock up for the Sunday mayhem.  We bought the following:
Mont Oreos
Nutter Butters
Chips Ahoy
Dolly Madison Powdered Donuts (the medium-sized bag)
Ingredients for homemade chocolate chip cookies
One Pint of vanilla ice cream
One Pint Ben & Jerry's Phish Food
One Pint Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby
One Pint Ben & Jerry's One Sweet Whirled
One bag cheese popcorn
12-pack of Coca Cola
I also compiled all of the "lost candy" from around the house.  I had Sour Patch Kids, Hot Tamales, Reese's PB Cups, Kit Kat, and some chocolate eggs at the ready.  BRING ON FREE DAY!
We had to get to church by 8:00 am.  So, I set the alarm for 6:00.  Eating started promptly at 6:40.
Breakfast:  I ate 6 powdered donuts, a big bowl of cereal, and two slices of toast smothered in peanut butter
Mid Morning Snack:  One Scoop of each Ben & Jerry's Flavor (3), a handful of granola, a handful of strawberries, 3 more powdered donuts, and some raw cookie dough
Post Lawn Mowing Snack: 5 freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk.  One Oreo, and a handful of Hot Tamales.  One more powdered donut for the road.
Lunch:  Chuy's Mexican Restaurant - two baskets of corn chips, 3/4 bowl of queso, 4 flour tortillas, Chuy's Special Chicken platter, rice & beans.  Dessert was a breath mint.
Mid Afternoon Snack:  1/2 strawberry smoothie at the mall.
Coming Home From Shopping Celebratory Snack:  2 powdered donuts, 4 chocolate chip cookies, one Oreo, 3 strawberries.
Dinner:  1/2 a hamburger/jalapeno pizza (5 slices) dipped in Ranch Dressing (I know... it's wierd, but OH SO GOOD), 1/2 slice lasagna and a Pepsi.
Dessert #1 (7:00):  Kit Kat and a Reese's Cup, plus a handful of Sour Patch Kids and a powdered donut
Dessert #2  (7:30):  Two scoops vanilla ice cream over two warmed up chocolate chip cookies
Dessert #3  (8:15)  Sour Patch Kids and a powdered donut (these are the devil)
Dessert #4  (9:00), 1/2 pint of Chubby Hubby and 1/2 pint of One Sweet Whirled ice cream.  Upon finishing this, I read the nutritional information.  1 serving = 330 calroies and 29g fat.  Servings per container = 4  I just ingested over 1300 calories for this dessert ALONE!
At this point, Gabby and I are halfway through watching "The Natural" on TV.  My gut begins to churn.  I can feel it.  It's a familiar feeling.  I remember it well. The last time I felt this way was somewhere between Bourbon Street and our hotel last fall during my New Orleans bachelor party.  I try to lay down to spread out the sludge that is now mucking up my garbage disposal of a belly.  Once I'm horizontal on the "big chair" in our lving room, I begin to sweat.  I am breathing deeply and moaning.  Not a good moan, but a moan like you hear coming from a big dog whose leg has just been injured in a run-in with a Chevy Impala. Gabby has gone to another room.  I feel REALLY SICK! 
I run to the master bathroom, push the door almost closed, and stand above the commode.  I am turning red all over, except for my face, which is ghost white.  My eyes are glassy.  I am just staring at the bowl.  Then...
What the heck!?!?!?!
I walk to the light switch and flip it back on.  Gabby sees the light go back on and says, "Sorry, I didn't know you were in there."  She opens the door and takes one look at me.  She knows something ain't right.  She asks, "Are you OK?"
I reply, "Not so good.  My belly hurts."
"Are you gonna' puke?" 
"I might."  I say... looking for sympathy and consolation from my wife.
She looks at me, and a smile comes across her face.  Then comes the laughter..........the.... uncontrolled laughter.
'Nuff said.  She did her best to be sympathetic, but she couldn't muster it.  I was far too pathetic.  She walked away and told me to call her if I needed anything.
So, I faced the bowl once again.  My mouth was watering.  My eyes were watering.  I thought that I could get the bad taste out of my mouth if I just brushed my teeth.  I grabbed the brush and coated it with Crest.  I brushed away the pizza.  I brushed away the candy.  I brushed away the marshmellow cream and the fudge chips.  I brushed away the powdered sugar.  Then....
I brushed away some of the tastebuds  WAAAAAAAAAY at the back of my throat.  The accidental plunge of the brush into the far reaches of my gullet nearly burst the dam that was holding back my fountain of free day foods.  I thought of Bill Phillips and his "Will to Win"  His "Overcome anything" mentality.  That did it.
Muscles that have heretofore never been used in my 30 years on the planet Sprung into action.  My "Hurl HoldusBackus" was flexed tightly.  My "Barfus Barricadus" was working at intensity level 11.  I felt my toes curl.  I hung on the precipice for what felt like an hour.  Then...
A wave of calm hit me.  My belly settled, and I kept the contents of the biggest free day feast to date.  I met the challenge head-on and lived to tell about it.
So... next Sunday... bring on your ice cream!  Bring on your brownies!  Bring on your deep fried twinkies!  Nothing can stop me now!
Best of luck this week... and thank God you weren't near my squat rack this morning.
Much love,


DAY 68Gabby's Entry

In response to Kerri's cry for emotional BFL support::::

Dear Ms. Discouraged,
I know you've already gotten a great amount of encouragement from your fellow BFL'ers but I thought I'd pass along some words of wisdom from your Mom.  Remember, she always told us never to give up, finish what you start, to eat all our vegetables (and this applies here), and to love your neighbor as yourself (and you won't be lovin me if you have to wear your before pic around).  So go out there into that big mean world and show 'em that school and work and parenting and studying and house-fixing-up will NOT keep you down!  OH NO!  Cuz you're a KUBO missy and with that comes responsibility to do things twice as good and always with a smile!  Remember the paper route?  When Mom dragged us out of bed in the summers at 2am to throw papers to make ends meet when we were in high school?  Did we puke in the backseat like our older cousin Neal as Aunt Chris wheeled around corners and mom threw papers to and fro?  NO!   Did Mom complain when it was raining and the papers had to be in plastic bags instead of just tied with string?  NO!  And why Soldier?  Because Gayle was a KUBO, that's why!  She worked that paper route all year even when we were snuggled into bed on school nights.  Did we ever know how poor we must have been to force her to do that?  NO! 

So, today, you started out as a BFL'er and a KUBO and you only have 2 more weeks of the agreed upon 12!  YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

And don't forget.. Mom's watching!  We gotta make her proud! :)

PS - Happy Mother's Day to all your BFL Moms out there!  My hat goes off to you.  I don't know if I'd have the mustard to do this with a kiddo - even if he had a head the size of Canada and teeth like Bugs Bunny and could sing like a bird and organize like the


DAY 78Scott's Entry

Ms. Mulligan,
We received you call regarding a 3-Day Body For Life program.  You will be happy to know that such a program exists.  While the regimen is quite daunting, you will find that, should you survive until Friday, you should see dramatic results.  Here is the first 1/2 day of activity to get you started.
Day 1:
5:00am:  Wake up in the morning and immediately wrap your entire body in Saran Wrap.  Three layers should be fine.  Afterward, put on your scuba suit (everyone should have one of these) and tie a rope around your waist.
5:30 am:  Take the rope around your waist and tie the other end of it to the bumper of your car.  Find someone you trust to take you to the gym.  Eric is a perfect choice.  Tell him not to drive over 30mph so you can keep up.  The scuba gear should help keep the abrasions to a minimum.
5:45am:  Once at the gym, untie yourself from the vehicle.  Apply Lanicane to any reddened or bleeding areas.  Enter the gym and immediately proceed to the nearest treadmill.  Tie yourself to the handles of the treadmill and select "manual operation." Set the speed to the maximum allowable, and the time duration to 75 minutes.  Press start.
7:00am:  Have a certified finess trainer (or Eric) pull you out of your exercise-induced coma using smelling salts and a red-hot poker.  You may have passed out at minute 38, so there is a good chance you might have some scrapes from friction burns of the treadmill.  The good news is, the gym will be less crowded now, as most people have left because they couldn't tolerate the high-pitched whine sound created from your suit rubbing agains the rubber mat of the treadmill for the remaining 37 minutes.  Again, apply Lanicane to any reddened or bleeding areas.
7:05am:  Begin your strength training regimen.  Have a certified fitness trainer (or Eric) stuff as many 25lb. weights into your scuba suit that will fit (I can usually insert 4 or 5 of them).  Clank your way toward the pull up bar.  Use your rope to lash your wrists to the bar.  Do as many pull ups as you can.  If you cannot do any pull ups, that's OK.  The stretching from the excess weight in your scuba suit will lengthen the arms and make them appear more slender.
Next, go to the bench press machine.  Put 330lbs. on the bar.  Have a certified fitness trainer (or Eric) lift the bar off the rack for you.  Now, IT'S ALL YOU BABY!  Do as many reps as possible.  If the 330lbs drops straight on your chest, that's OK.  Your arms will be working hard to get the bar off your chest, and your lungs will be working hard to retain air and keep your breast plate from caving in.  The pain is secondary to the benefits of this exercise.  The chest will have a slimmer look, and your body will take on some nice color due to lack of oxygen.
7:30am:  Go home.
7:31am:  Look in the mirror.  NOTICE THE CHANGES?!?!  Only 2 hours into the program and you should already be able to see the difference.  If you happen to notice any "problem areas" that seem to have a little more ":jiggle" than you would like, opt for home liposuction.
7:40am:  Perform home liposuction on any trouble spots using a turkey baster and a vaccuum cleaner.  Have a certified physician (or Eric) assist you with anesthesia.  A fifth of whiskey and biting down on a stick usually does the trick for Gabby.  For me, I prefer being knocked on the head with a 16lb. sledgehammer.  Whatever you prefer is fine.
8:00am:  Breakfast!  Enjoy one egg white, 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal, and one gallon of water.  For your sweet tooth, finish off the meal with a box of chocolate laxative.  Ex-Lax can be expensive, so you may wish to acquire the Wal-Mart generic.
8:10am:  Getting dressed is another key.  Choosing the appropriate clothing can make or break the three day program.  First, melt enough wax to fill a 50-gallon drum.  After showering, heat the wax to a warm temperature.  Dunk yourself 4 times to create a thick, non-breathable coating.  To alleviate concern about the wax hardening too much, put on 4 pairs of pants, 3 long-sleeve T-shirts, a sweatshirt, and your goose down ski outfit.  The extra heat will keep the wax pliable.
8:30am - noon:  Explosive diarrhea and excessive urination will give your skin a glow.  The complete dehydration brings out muscle definition.
Give me a call at noon and I'll give you tips for afternoon #1.


DAY 85Scott's Entry

Woo hoo! Body for Life Week 12 is OVER! We're soooo excited! Like you, Gabby and I will be continuing the program, though in a slightly modified form. For starters, we have added peanut butter to the approved foods list. The Saturday workouts will be optional. And, if you have special occasion to eat out during the week, you don't have to irritate the waiter with questions and comments like, "Do you add butter to your vegetables? Is the bun WHOLE WHEAT? What type of oil do you use for frying? Or... I'd like the chicken fried steak without the chicken... or the fried... or the steak... just bring me a plate of air." Whatever the case, Gabby and i are happy that we have found a healthy way to live, and have found that we actually enjoy some healthy foods. Not bad. For those of you still working through the program, DON'T GIVE UP! It's TOTALLY worth it!

The weekend was another glutton-fest for 2.5 days. We ate mass quantities of ice cream, chips, Cheetos, cookies, hot dogs, hamburgers, sweet cereal, Little Debbie snack cakes, partially hydrogenated oils, and saturated fats. in fact, I even partook of a VERY COLD beer. MMMMMMMM good!

This morning was the wake-up call. We went in for our final body fat measurements and weigh-in. Here are the end results of the 12-week program for the Dannmillers.

Gabby: Lost 8% body fat. Shed 12.5 lbs. of fat and gained 5.5 lbs. of muscle.

Scott - Lost 11% body fat. Shed 20.5 lbs. of fat and gained 11 lbs muscle.

So, grand total, we lost two large bowling balls worth of fat, and gained one back in muscle. We're pretty happy with the results. I especially enjoy my smokin'-hot wife.

Per the contest rules, we promptly took our "after" pics on monday morning so we could submit 'em to the BFL competition. For maximum laughs, check out the before pics first. We look miserable. Still, the bellies are real. Sure, there is a little pooch, but the love handles are authentic.

The after pics are another story altogether. First, I made sure to don a pair of Gabby's skimpy workout shorts. Next, we each pumped up by doing a bunch of push ups and sit ups. Finally, we greased each other up with tanning oil. (It's much more fun to be the "oiler" than the "oil-ee") After a mere 36 seconds in the sun dressed as a basted turkey, I received a sunburn. Still, the before and after pics are pretty good when compared to the cheese-o-rama buff-body pics that get submitted to the contest. I'm thinkin' we may win a Body-For-Life keyring or something. Not bad for a 12-week investment of time and finances. For what it cost to buy protein bars for the three month stint, we probably could have funded an orphanage in Moscow for 17 years. Oh well... we'll see what Bill thinks.

Keep up the good work, folks!