Dave & Ellen E.
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2003 Hawaii Trip

Before
After

Ellen writes:

My journey with Beachbody products began in earnest in February 2002. Yes, that was far more than 90 days or six weeks ago, but reflecting on my journey as of week, oh, let's say week 75, I am submitting my success story in hopes of showing Beachbody members, both new and veteran, that Beachbody fitness products truly can change your life -- for the long haul.

For most of my life, I have been at least somewhat overweight. Not the kind of weight that makes you *always* feel bad about yourself, but the kind that makes you feel heavier than your friends and eager to avoid bathing suit situations. Sometime around 1998, I added an additional 20 pounds to my already 10+-pound overweight figure. Disgusted, I started off 1999 with a weight loss and exercise vengeance. And succeeded... until I started a new job at the end of 1999. A job that required me to be on the road 80% of the time. Long story short, I gained it all back and then some. By Thanksgiving of 2001, my 5'8" figure was topping the scales between 180-185 (I was afraid to weigh myself back then, so I'm not 100% sure what my exact weight was). I finally woke up and realized that the job was killing me - literally and figuratively - and that there was no way to eat healthy and exercise while running from city to city, airport to airport. So I quit, and took a needed sabbatical. I promised that during my time off, I would get myself in shape.

After I had resigned from the job, but before I actually finished up with that company, I saw the Power 90 commercial. It was not the first time I had seen it -- I have always loved having a variety of solid home workout videos, but what had stopped me from ordering Power 90 previously was the simple fact that I was never home! But that was about to change. I ordered Power 90, and in February, 2002, after having finished my job and having taken a trip with my husband to Hawaii, I set about the hard work of changing my body and my life.

I loved the Power 90 workouts right from the start. Despite my weight gain, I had somehow, miraculously, been able to stay fit enough so I could handle moderate workouts. The intro tapes helped to ease me back into the fitness routine, and I fairly quickly worked up to level 3-4. The advanced tapes caught -- and kept -- my interest because they are easy to follow yet very challenging. I shared the beginner tapes with my Mom, and she loved them too. Mom and I have done every home workout in the book over the years -- from Slimnastics to Jazzercise to Jane Fonda to the Firm -- and we both agreed that the Power 90 tapes were fantastic due to the simplicity, the attention to safety, and the ability to easily modify the intensity for different levels of fitness. And oh yeah, I started getting results very quickly.

I know that I have not exactly followed the rules here, because I did not officially take before and after photos, and I did not "officially" chart my progress. But if you'll indulge me, I think you'll find my Beachbody story to be compelling... I faithfully did Power 90 for approximately six weeks and was enjoying the workouts and my results. Coupled with a very healthy diet, I quickly lost approximately 10 pounds. About six weeks before I was scheduled to go back to work for a new company, I saw the commercial for Slim in 6. As I mentioned earlier, I have always liked to have a variety of video workouts in my arsenal. Because I liked Power 90 so much, and I really had faith in the quality of the Beachbody products, I immediately ordered Slim in 6 -- it would be perfect because I had six weeks before my new job! I was drawn to the idea of really ramping up my workouts for a defined period of time, and then I could go back to alternating between Power 90, Slim in 6, and other workouts that I enjoy.

I was *immediately* hooked on Slim in 6. Much like Power 90, I love the fact that the workouts are "simple" (meaning easy to follow), yet truly intense. No matter how good of shape you're in, you can't tell me that the advanced Slim in 6 tape is not a kick-butt workout! The Beachbody workouts were perfect for me. The key? I was enjoying my workouts, WITHOUT GETTING INJURED, so I developed a routine where working out truly became a part of my everyday life -- a part that I enjoyed and didn't ever want to miss.

So I started my new job looking great and feeling great. I was 20 pounds lighter than when I had first interviewed with the company. My new co-workers couldn't help but say, "Uh, have you lost weight since I met you?" What a joy it was to have to buy all new clothes for my new job!

But the journey didn't end there. By May 2002, the start of my new job, I was still doing so well with diet and exercise, I didn't want to risk backsliding. I ordered the Power Half Hour DVD to make sure that I always had a "short" workout in my arsenal for the days when I was either short on time or short on energy. I just knew that I would love the workouts, having been so thrilled with the previous Beachbody products. And I did. Who knew you could get such a great workout in just 30 minutes? Throughout the summer I kept eating healthy and I kept pushing play. In the fall, I also began to incorporate Yoga and Pilates into my routine, just to continue to learn new workouts and keep my routine fresh. But the core of my regimen remained Beachbody workouts.

Then the Beachbody website began to advertise Debbie Siebers' new Slim Series. I was like a child waiting for Christmas Day -- I couldn't wait for the new series to come out! I must have been one of the very first customers to place an order to receive the new series. And, I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I was so anxious to receive the tapes after I had placed the order that I sent a somewhat nasty email to Beachbody customer service demanding to know what was taking so long! The new series was well worth the wait. I love every single one of these kick-butt workouts. I began using the Slim Series in April, and today I am truly proud of my progress. I never, ever thought I would say this about myself, but I now consider myself an athlete. My body is toned, sculpted and cut. And if I can make it through 80 minutes of Tear It Up with a smile on my face, I must be in pretty good shape, right?

One of the most exciting aspects of my journey, however, has been the silent influence I have exerted on my husband, Dave. Unlike me, Dave has never really been overweight and has always been pretty athletic as an avid tennis player and marathon runner. But like me, 2001-2002 were very busy, stressful years with his job and other life demands, and exercise and diet had started to take a back seat. When I started eating healthy, he of course followed-suit because I did a lot of cooking and kept the kitchen stocked with the right foods. But one day he woke up and realized how much he was missing by not joining me in our "home gym" for my everyday workouts. I turned Dave onto Power 90, and it took no time at all before he was hooked. With Dave's help and commitment, we have transformed our unfinished basement into a terrific workout den. We have a gym-quality floor to ensure safe workouts, all the weights we would ever need, we recently added a heavy bag, gloves and focus mitts so we can do a little contact boxing along with Tony's kicking and punching routines... and we, of course, have the DVD/VCR to keep pushing play! Dave and I are both hooked. We are junkies. We love working out so much, we feel blue on the (rare) days when circumstances don't allow us the opportunity. We work together to make sure we each have time for our workouts, and we workout together when we can. I still like to do the Power 90 workouts with Dave, and Dave likes to be challenged by one of the tough Slim Series workouts on days when he's especially full of energy. We were reflecting the other day on how much our lives have changed for the better since we got serious about fitness, and we were talking about how so many people say they don't have time to workout. Without boring you with the specifics of our daily lives, I think you'd be hard pressed to find two busier people, but we have made the commitment to make time. So what have we had to sacrifice to make this time for exercise? Have our jobs been compromised? Time with family or friends? Sleep? No, the simple answer is that we are watching less TV. We are happier, healthier, and look better than we ever have been and we are not missing out on ANYTHING that we enjoyed doing before we got serious about fitness. Not only that, we have added more fun to our day because we love our workouts so much.

I have to admit, it wasn't until I sat down last week and looked at a picture of Dave and me taken on July 6, 2003, on the Big Island of Hawaii that I realized how far *both* of us have come -- how deserving we both are to proudly represent the success that Beachbody products have brought to our lives -- so I am submitting a success story on behalf of both Dave and Ellen. We are a Beachbody team! Compare this recent picture to the "before" picture -- taken around February 1, 2002, also on the Big Island. I was SHOCKED by the comparison -- shocked! Look at me, look at my legs, my chest, my arms, my puffy face in the before picture. I almost don't remember looking like that, even though it was less than a year and a half ago. I'm between 45 and 50 pounds lighter today than I was then. And look at Dave -- he never needed to lose as much weight as I did, but look at how he's toned up. His belly is gone, his arms are toned, and you can really see the difference in his face, too.

Although our "before and after" photos were never meant to be "official" -- these were just casual snapshots taken on vacation, I think they speak volumes. We now both have Beachbodies! And more importantly, we've stuck with the Beachbody program for months and months -- we did not view Power 90, for example, as a 90-day only program, but rather an integral part of a never-ending journey. While neither of us are trying to lose any more weight (nor have we been for several months), we continue to strive to reach the next level of fitness, to add variety to our fitness routines, and to stay motivated. We are now both waiting with baited breath for P90X! Sign us up!

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