How does a person lose 200 pounds? Or drop 22 pants sizes? Or wrestle their blood pressure to a safe level, insuring they can be around to watch their kids grow up? How does a person face any of these challenges?
Turning one's life around is no easy feat. It takes day-after-day persistence, tenacity, and focus to turn dedication into success. But we knew our customers were up to the task, which is why last year we asked you to take the Beachbody Challenge™. To enter, users like you picked a Beachbody® program and hammered it, tracking their progress and taking "before" and "after" photos. Once they were done, they submitted their transformation stories. Every month, we chose a winner and awarded them $1,000. We also sweetened the pot a little with quarterly $5,000 winners. All of these Success Stories became eligible for the grand prize of $100,000.
Additionally, Beachbody sponsored the Shakeology® Health Transformation, a contest where anyone who drank Shakeology alone or with a fitness program could enter to win $25,000.
Our expert panel of judges, alongside the Team Beachbody® community, voted on both contests. It was a stacked playing field filled with great stories and stunning results. While several of you took the Challenge and every entrant was a rock star, only a few could come out on top. With that in mind, Beachbody is proud to announce the winners of the 2012 Beachbody Challenge grand prize of $100,000 and the Shakeology Health Transformation $25,000 prize.
As a mother of three, Kathy felt like a failure and disappointment to her kids and wanted to turn her life around. With the help of P90X®, Kathy lost a total of 120 pounds, going from a size 24 to a size 10. Going into the Beachbody Challenge, she weighed 270 pounds with high blood pressure and bad cholesterol issues. Kathy knew she needed to turn her life around and she accepted the P90X Beachbody Challenge so she could become the role model she always wanted to be for her three boys.
After starting P90X, Kathy's motivation came from her children, fellow Success Stories, and the fact that she wanted "to love herself again." Aware of her limits, Kathy modified exercises in the beginning of her P90X Challenge, but "modification did not mean fewer results." As time went on, the modifications fell away. While her greatest challenge was consistency and battling the excuses that naturally developed, she tackled everything day by day to achieve success.
Best of all, Kathy's boys are super proud of what Mom has done—that is what is most important.
At 27 years old and 426 pounds, Richard was a morbidly obese and severely depressed sneak-eater who routinely hid candy bar wrappers under his bed. After he and his wife could not conceive a child, he asked for the help of a doctor who recommended he lose weight. At the advice of his insurance agent/Beachbody Coach, Richard took the Power 90® Challenge and lost over 70 pounds in his first 90 days. He then progressed to P90X and now has lost over 200 pounds and is down 22 pants sizes! Since losing the weight, he and his wife were able to conceive and they just had a baby boy named Brady.
But it wasn't an easy road. Richard had a full-time job and was taking care of his dying mother-in-law, but still made the time to change his body and his life. What was Richard's secret weapon in all of this? His Shakeology! With Shakeology, he "felt a big boost in his metabolism" and he "craved it." Now, the only wrappers underneath his bed are Shakeology packets!
Linda lost 50 pounds and 4 dress sizes using Shakeology! Linda's daughter, a Beachbody Coach, first encouraged her to try the nutritional cocktail, and Linda has been hooked ever since. Previously, Linda's eating habits were less than awesome. Years of poor-quality food intake caused her to be on blood pressure and cholesterol medicine. After adding Shakeology to her diet, she is now proud of how she looks and feels. Most significantly, she is completely off of her blood pressure medicine and has significantly reduced her cholesterol medication.
Linda loves her new body for all kinds of reasons. Take the shopping mall, for example. "It is so much more fun to buy clothes," she muses, "and not have to go to the large size section of the store."
Tyler went from flabby to shredded by losing 86 pounds and 12 inches off his waist. Prior to starting Shakeology and P90X, Tyler was in a dark place. He was an alcoholic and completely unhappy with his health and weight. He had gout in his feet and knees. Some days, he had to crawl up the steps on his hands and knees from the pain. He had seen the P90X infomercial, but didn't take action until his father passed away at age 56 due to a lifestyle chillingly similar to Tyler's. Six different people told Tyler at the funeral, "Wow, I forgot how big your Dad used to be . . . boy, you look just like him." That statement changed his life forever. For Christmas, his wife purchased him Shakeology and P90X. Realizing he wanted to be alive to watch his two boys grow up, he put the alcohol down and picked up the Shakeology. "Shakeology is the most amazing thing I've ever put in my body," says Tyler. "It was the Game Changer."
These people decided to change their lives and put their health first by taking the Beachbody Challenge—and so can you. Our 2012–2013 Contest is on now! Simply log onto BeachbodyChallenge.com and pledge your personal Challenge with the program of your choice. After you complete your Challenge, tell us your story and submit your "before" and "after" photos. You're guaranteed to be a winner because every entrant wins a free T-shirt. Every entrant also has the chance to win a daily prize of up to $1,000, a monthly prize of $1,000, a quarterly prize of $5,000, and the annual grand prize of $100,000.
With all these chances to win, the odds are in your favor, but if you want to hedge your bets even more, get started with a Challenge Pack, which contains all that you need, including a fitness program of your choice, the ultra-premium nutrition of Shakeology, and peer support through Team Beachbody. For even more support to help get you through your Challenge, talk to your Coach about joining a Challenge Group with like-minded achievers. After all, there's nothing like a little friendly competition to give you accountability, right?
Honestly, it doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you do it. At the end of the day, you have the key to good health and great results. All you need to do is start by Pushing Play.
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Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Check the Team Beachbody Chat Room for the next impromptu video chat. Or, if you just can't wait, log onto the Information & Education section of the Team Beachbody Message Boards for questions, answers, and scintillating conversation.
If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at email@example.com. We may even answer your question right here, for all the world to see!
And if you'd like to know more about Beachbody Director of Results Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration. You can also read a more scientific (not to mention snarky) take on many of the topics we discuss here at The Real Fitness Nerd blog.
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Congratulations to Kathy M. and Richard N., our 2012 Beachbody Challenge winners! Together, they lost over 300 pounds and won more than $100,000 each!
Now it's your turn to transform your body and your life by taking the Beachbody Challenge. Take the Beachbody Challenge today to keep you motivated and for your chance to win!
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P90Xers are, almost by definition, a hungry lot. They're hungry for excellence, hungry for results, hungry for "the burn," and, more often than not, hungry for knowledge. Sure, you're over the moon about the endless pull-ups you can now hammer out—but what muscles are you working when you do them, exactly? And what systems activate those muscles?
Furthermore, people now constantly ask how you got that beach body. Up until now, your default response has been to tell them to buy a copy of P90X®—but wouldn't it be great to have the knowledge to show them how to do it personally, one-on-one?
If you're one of those people, you're the reason we launched the P90X Certification program. In the last 5 months, hundreds of women and men have become P90X Certified professionals, changing the way the world's most popular in-home fitness product is utilized. Personal trainers, group exercise instructors, gym owners, P90X aficionados, gym rats, and Beachbody Coaches have all come together for two days of intense learning, exercise, and fun.
Sounds fairly amazing, right? Let's take a closer look at P90X Certification and how it can enhance your health, the health of those around you, and maybe even your career.
A certification is a designation earned by an individual to assure others of their ability to perform a job or task. In other words, a certification makes you qualified to do something. Unlike a degree or diploma, a certificate program can be done in a brief period of time, ranging from a couple hours to a couple of years. There are certificate programs for everything out there, from cosmetology to criminology.
For many fitness professionals, acquiring certifications is like collecting trading cards. For them, there's nothing more thrilling than a weekend gaining knowledge with like-minded souls—except, perhaps, a weekend spent exercising, but I digress. Not only do additional certifications make for better trainers, group exercise instructors, physical therapist assistants, and managers, but it's a great self-check-in. Fitness pros can look at their own training and nutrition, using this knowledge to reassess their personal goals.
Even if you're not a cert-nerd, earning a P90X Certification is actually pretty fun, considering you're learning about things you actually want to know about, as opposed to, say, your junior year Medieval Hungarian Literature class.
A P90X Certification is similar in set up to many other programs out there. First, you read the Latin translation of Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum by 13th century Hungarian author Simon of Kéza.
Just kidding. First, you go through a simple online program, which will give you a basis of knowledge regarding P90X. Next, you receive the Certification manual in the mail (which is in English as opposed to Latin, with the exception of the names of a few of the muscle groups). At this point, you have a few weeks to study the material. Next, you attend a 2-day live workshop, lead by P90X Master Instructors, that will walk you step-by-step through everything you need to know, culminating in a written and practical exam. Upon receiving your passing score, you become an official P90X Certified professional. Woot! Woot!
This is where the P90X Certification program starts to separate itself from the pack. The weekend includes an academic portion, a practical portion, and (bonus!) a couple of workouts. In other words, this isn't lecture hall from your college days. You'll learn about the program, the science behind it, anatomy, physiology, proper mechanics, nutrition, supplementation, how to apply the program, how to adapt the program, how to keep others motivated, and how to build a business. The weekend also breaks down how to teach, cue, and perform many of the more challenging movements in P90X. Oh, and then you get to bang out 2 brand-new P90X workouts from Tony Horton himself, which will leave the you swimming in sweat.
Additionally, a continuing education program will be launched later this year to provide more knowledge, tools, as well as new P90X alternative workouts, only available to P90X Certified instructors.
As if it's not already obvious, Beachbody's Director of Results Steve Edwards explains, "The more you know about the science behind the creation of an exercise program, the more effective you'll be at teaching it. This is particularly true for P90X, which is both versatile and complex, and can be utilized and structured various ways based on the needs of the individual client."
In other words, you'll be better at your job, more knowledgeable about exercise in general, and able to use the P90X system to take it to the next level. If you're a gym rat, P90X Certification will help you transition P90X to the gym environment, giving you the very best of both worlds. And if you are an in-home P90X user, P90X Certification will give you the tools to take your training to the next level, and maybe open you up to the possibilities of a new career. "We developed the P90X Certification program because we wanted to allow more people the opportunity to take advantage of the proven fitness solution that the P90X program offers. Getting P90X Certified will give you the ability to bring this powerful tool to your current clients and classes and even attract an entirely new set of clients," explains Shannon Pappas, Beachbody Vice President of Certification." And for P90X enthusiasts, a deep understanding of the science and structure of the program will allow you to take your workouts with you anywhere you go, not to mention help you get the most out of each workout."
For many, fitness is a passion. Sure, they work 8 hours a day, get the kids to school, make meals, do laundry, and serve on the board for the homeowners' association. But whatever free time they have left is spent doing some form of exercise or sport.
And for the millions, that passion is channeled into P90X. More often than not, these folks would like to help those around them get the same amazing results. P90X Certification can teach you how to take that desire and make it a reality, using it to help pay your bills at the same time. Imagine those 8 hours of sitting behind a computer becoming 8 hours of working with others to improve their lives. Nothing could be more rewarding.
"P90X Certification has added an additional layer of legitimacy to my coaching and training business," admits 9 Diamond Coach and trainer Mark Briggs. What might it do for yours?
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Maybe your home garden had a bumper crop, so every mixing bowl in your kitchen is full of tomatoes. Or perhaps your neighbor, who has a green thumb and a propensity for random acts of kindness, showed up at your door with enough jalapeños to bring all of Mexico City to tears. Or was it that the zucchinis at the farmer's market looked so beautiful that you got a little carried away and now don't even have room in your fridge for the milk?
Either way, it's easy for fruits and veggies to pile up come summertime. If you're ready to run screaming and leave the whole pile to rot—don't! Here are some ideas for making delicious things out of LOTS of produce.
Blender tomato sauce. Fill your blender 3/4 full of cored, quartered tomatoes—should be about a half dozen or so. Throw in a few cloves of garlic, a generous handful of basil leaves, and a small onion or a small bunch of green onions or scallions. Salt and pepper to taste, and blend with a little bit of olive oil, tasting and adding up to 1/2 cup to get a smooth but not oily consistency. When you stir this into fresh, hot pasta, the sauce will warm up just enough.
Roasted tomatoes. Slice tomatoes in half or in big chunks. Arrange on one or more baking sheets. Add big handfuls of basil, cilantro, or spring onions, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes are wrinkly and soft, and herbs are completely wilted and disintegrating. Put into a bowl, and be sure to scrape all the oil and bits of herb off of the baking pan. Makes a great pasta sauce, bruschetta topping, or chunky topping for chicken, fish, or another cooked vegetable.
Tomato salad. Mix a variety of colors and types of tomatoes, throw in some herbs, and add a simple oil and vinegar dressing and a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Just because it's salad doesn't mean it has to have lettuce in it.
Tomato sauce. Yes, it's obvious, but this is the Cadillac® method for using up a whole lot of tomatoes at once. Plus, tomato sauce freezes really well. There are too many recipes for us to recommend just one.
Grilled squash. Thickly slice squash lengthwise and roast on the grill.
Summer squash bake. Slice or roughly chop a combination of summer squashes, enough to fill a baking dish. Add fresh herbs if you have them. Grate a layer of cheddar, jack, or even mozzarella on top, and use your fingers to sift a little bit of the cheese down into the vegetables. Sprinkle whole-grain breadcrumbs on top if you wish. Bake in a 350-degree oven until the vegetables are soft and the cheese is beginning to brown. Cover with foil if the cheese or breadcrumbs are browning too quickly. If the finished dish is a bit watery (some summer squashes are more watery than others when cooked), just serve with a slotted spoon.
Italian summer squash bake. Same as above, only add tomato sauce, and use mozzarella cheese.
Curried summer squash bake. Same as squash bake above, only omit the cheese and add a drained can of chickpeas, maybe some fresh greens, and 1 to 2 tablespoons curry powder to taste, depending on the quantity of squash you're baking.
Your signature summer squash bake. Are you getting the idea about this squash bake thing? Summer squash is very mild in flavor, so it plays well with both eastern and western spices. Make a squash bake whenever you need to use up zucchini plus almost any other vegetable or herb or sauce or cheese.
Grate and freeze. Use later for zucchini fritters, zucchini bread, in frittatas, as a thickener for spaghetti sauce, or a filler in any kind of vegetable bake or casserole.
Pesto. Pesto. Pesto. You can use basil a few leaves at a time in Caprese salads or tomato sauce recipes. But if you need to use up a ton of basil in a hurry, pesto is what you want. Experiment with the many recipes out there—with or without cheese, with various kinds of nuts, with lots of olive oil or very little. Pesto stores beautifully in the fridge, in a tightly closed glass jar with a layer of olive oil covering it. Here's what you can do with pesto:
Raita. This Indian cucumber-yogurt condiment can be thick like a dip, or thin like a sauce, depending on the thickness of the yogurt you use. Thick or thin, whip some yogurt with a whisk to even out its consistency. Then stir it into to a bowl of chopped and (optionally) peeled cucumbers. Add more or less yogurt as you wish. Salt it to taste. If you want a spicy raita, add a seeded, finely chopped hot pepper.
Cucumber water. Peel and slice one or more cucumbers and add to a pitcher of water. Squeeze in a little lemon juice, and serve very cold as a refreshing thirst quencher on a hot day.
Cucumber salad. This was on the supper table almost every summer day when my mother was a child in Kentucky. Very thinly slice cucumbers, pour a little bit of white vinegar over them, and salt. Some people also add a little sugar, but Mom would not approve. These are simple and delicious—but don't put leftovers in the fridge for next time, because as they marinate in the vinegar, they lose their crispness.
Oven roast or grill. As with basil, there are plenty of recipes that call for one or a few red or yellow bell peppers. But when you have a real bell pepper glut, roasting them is the way to go. Take as many red and yellow bell peppers as you have and spread them on a hot grill, or on the top rack of the oven, set to broil. If you're using the oven, line the peppers up on the front edge of the rack, and put a baking sheet underneath them to catch drips. When the skin blackens, give them a quarter turn with a good pair of tongs, and repeat until the peppers are charred all the way around. Then remove from the oven or grill and let rest. The charred skin will peel easily off of the cooled peppers. Core and slice the now-soft roasted peppers, coat the strips with olive oil, and store in a tightly closed container. Use these in pasta and on sandwiches and bruschetta.
Many recipes call for the notoriously spongy eggplant to be fried in oil. Roasting eggplant instead is much healthier, and roasting on the grill imparts a rich, smoky flavor. In addition to the recipes below, try adding roasted eggplant to casseroles and veggie burgers.
Baba ghanoush. This Middle Eastern dip is often served alongside hummus, with pita bread. Slash one or more eggplants in several places and bake on a pan in a 425-degree oven until very soft. This can take an hour or more, depending on the size of the eggplants. Cool, then peel off the skin. Throw the soft interior into a food processor. For each eggplant, add 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of tahini, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the juice from one lemon. Blend just until incorporated, leaving the texture a little rough. Salt to taste. To serve, make a little well on the top of the baba ghanoush and pour some olive oil into the depression. Sprinkle parsley over the top. (Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.)
Roasted eggplant salad. Roast eggplants as above, peel and roughly chop. Serve in a large salad bowl with toasted pine nuts or walnuts, lots of parsley, and mint. If you have too many tomatoes, chop and add a few of those. Dress with either a light vinaigrette or with a bit of whipped yogurt.
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Beachbody CEO Carl Daikeler announces the latest $5,000 winners of the Beachbody Challenge contest: Ashton M. and Hiram S. Ashton lost over 80 pounds with Hip Hop Abs® and INSANITY®, and Hiram lost over 230 pounds with INSANITY and P90X®. Enter your results at BeachbodyChallenge.com for a chance to win!
(Makes 2 servings)
Note: For a kid-friendly version, omit coffee and increase almond milk to 1 cup.
Nutritional Information: (per serving)
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†Results may vary. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition.
Please consult with a physician before beginning any exercise program.
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