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Fitness Plans That Work: The Transformation Contest

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About a week ago I woke up extra early, sauntered towards my bathroom, and stopped to look in the mirror. The reflection was one I barely noticed.

My body lacked life and energy. My muscles weren’t as visible and defined as they once had been. And my abs…well…let’s not talk about my abs.

Who am I?

That’s the question I asked myself. I’ve seen variations of this story told to me by thousands of people over the years. Whether I was at Men’s Health, or LIVESTRONG.COM, the messages on Facebook, the tweets, or even emails on BornFitness.com.

But what happens when my own body fails? What happens when I’m the one with the questions and need to get back in shape? How do I respond? Am I a hypocrite? Do I settle for being good but not as good as I know I can be? I guess it’s time to find out.

Falling Down…And Getting Back Up

For the entire month of December I fought off something terrible. It was my body’s own poison. I was suffering from a high fever of unknown origin. It’s not the first time I’ve battled this type of disease, and it certainly won’t be the last. Day after day I watched as my fever allowed me to eat less and less, took me away from the gym, and made me a shell of my former self.

I saw doctors and specialists, and had enough blood drawn to question whether I might run dry. More days passed, and in no time, I felt that the month of December had disappeared without my awareness…because it did.

All of that led me to the mirror—20 pounds away from where I once was. (Yeah, I know complaining about weight loss is a problem some people wish they had.) Sapped of my vitality, drained of some confidence, and looking uphill…ok, far uphill…at all my goals.

And you know what? I think this is good for me. And I think it’s good for you to know that I’m there with you.

Nearly 15 years ago I started my health journey under similar circumstances. Only in those days I was extremely overweight. It was then that I realized if I wanted to be healthy and live the life I want I had to make changes. Serious changes. And I had to be willing to fail, be patient, and believe that I could become something more, if I ever wanted to live my goals and reach my potential.

There were no miracles or amazing transformations—not at first. I struggled, went through the typical ups and downs, and received lots of bad information and made even more mistakes. But I never quit.

Each day I went back to my goals. I wrote them down and followed them. And each year I learned more. I finally found good coaches—this was one of my biggest breakthroughs. I relied on those wiser than me to provide a proven path, and that led to faster changes.

Through this evolution I became more educated. And I started focusing on the processes—eating well, exercising the right way, staying consistent, sleeping—instead of always worrying about how much I weigh or what I looked like in the mirror. Once that happened, that’s when amazing began.

I transformed my body but more importantly I recreated my life into what I wanted. Health and fitness became my lifestyle and job. Writing and editing became my vehicle. And I was infected was a strong desire to help everyone else discover their own journey to better health, believing that if I could do it was possible for anyone.

Take Charge of Your Body

Over the years I’ve seen it over and over again; you can transform your body. I might be biased by my own results, but it’s the people with much bigger hurdles than myself—families to feed, diseases to overcome, hundreds of pounds to lose—that have changed their lives for the better and convinced me that getting in shape is a gateway to improvement.

My mission never changed or swayed, but maybe I took some of those challenges for granted. After all, for the last decade of my life I’ve been in great physical condition and full of energy. After a significantly overweight childhood and part of adolescence, I changed my fortunes, worked my ass off, and through my hard work and dedication made good health practices as routine as brushing my teeth every day. But I also made it fun. That was always the key. Live life the way I want and look and feel good without the sense that I had to compromise on anything.

That is, until it was all taken away from me. In reality, I haven’t been to the gym in nearly two months. A serious elbow injury had kept me away from exercise prior to my illness, and then combined with holiday travel and work responsibilities, it’s easy to see how I lost my way.

Much in the way that maybe you, too, have lost your way.

So let’s find it back—together.

It’s time for a comeback. And I want you to join me.

Take Action: The Transformation Contest

The New Year is a time when people make resolutions and vow to make changes. But change can be temporary. I live by a much bigger motto and drive force. So I’ve become part of a contest that will help incentivize you to reach your goals.  This year, I want you to #MakeItCount.

With everything you do. I don’t care if your comeback is at your job, with your diet, with your fitness, or at being a better friend, significant other, or family member. I want you to make it count with every action you take. Put intensity and intention into everything you do. When that happens, you’ll see results.

If you’re interested in following my comeback, this year I’m trying something new: I’m joining Jason Ferruggia’s Renegade Inner Circle. If you don’t know Jay, he’s one of my good friends, one of the best strength coaches in the world, and recently he became my training partner. We decided that rather than keep our workouts and diet to ourselves, for the first time ever, we’ll let anyone join us and receive the exact plans that we’ll be following. Why are we doing this? Because we know that many people think that fitness plans don’t work. Repeated failure in the gym will do that to you. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

When you join the Inner Circle, we’re there to answer questions, share our workouts, help with diet advice, and provide exercise tips and videos to improve your workouts. After all, this year is the year of the comeback. It’s the year of greatness.

And with that in mind, Jay has set up an incredible contest for you. If you want to join in, you can find all the information here.

If you enter the transformation contest, you’re eligible to win thousands of dollars of prizes and an exclusive, all-paid-expenses vacation getaway. You’ll relax on the beach, eat amazing food, and train with Jay and me.

It’s a fun, incentivized way to keep you pushing towards the body you want. And in order to help that process throughout the year, I want you to tell me how I can help you. In the comments below, let me know what articles you want to read. Tell me what goals you have. Or let me know how I can help you. I still offer all the personalized plans for your fitness and diet needs through my online coaching program. This way, you work with the Born Fitness team to design a plan for you.

I realize that sometimes your health is taken away and you never get it back. Don’t let that happen to you. It’s never too late to start. And if you take the first step, I’ll ensure that you have enough support to always keep moving forward.

Make it count,

Born

Adam Bornstein is the founder of Born Fitness. He is the former Editorial Director of LIVESTRONG.COM and former fitness editor of Men’s Health. Bornstein has written 5 fitness and nutrition books, including most recently The Men’s Health Big Book: Getting Abs. He offers consulting for businesses, online coaching for those interested in fitness and diet plans, and is available for writing and editing projects.  You can find more from Adam on Twitter, Facebook, or Google +

About Adam Bornstein

Adam Bornstein is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning editor, speaker and business consultant. He is the CEO of Born Fitness, a company that specializes in viral content creation, publishing, online coaching, social media, and branding. View all posts by Adam Bornstein →
  • http://www.facebook.com/bradwethington Brad Wethington

    Awesome story! I have a lot of goals this year. One goal is to run 1000 miles. I started running last year, and I believe that it really did help set me free. I had let myself go when I started college (booze, late night eating, not exercising, you know the drill), and I was able to really find myself last summer. I lost close to 30 lbs, but I let myself slip as I was finishing up my last semester at school. I am really hoping to be able to get better, stronger (begin lifting 3+ times a week) as I begin my professional career in Seattle. What would be awesome for me is concrete lifting programs to follow. I know the drill and how to do the lifts. I did them all in high school, but without a plan, I find myself wondering and not working as hard as I want to be. Any help is appreciated, and keep up the good work! This year I truly hope to make it count!

  • Seth

    I needed this article right now, great read! Similar to the previous comment, I would love to see a strength training component or program geared towards middle to long distance runners. As often as I read strength coaches and their programs claiming “I hate traditional cardio,” or “I hate running,” I also know there are plenty of runners who also enjoy strength training but feel isolated and thrown into the anti-lifting crowd.

  • Pingback: 60 Must-Read Health and Fitness Blogs for 2013 | Greatist()

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