Monica W.
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January 2004

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Dearest Beachbody,

This month we will be celebrating our 6-month anniversary! I bet you are wondering what I got you. . . well, bikini pictures of myself, of course!

I find it very difficult to write to you from the same perspective I had just a few months ago. I don't see the world in the same way.

Here's my story: My name is Monica and I am a married, 31-year-old mother of two. My oldest is 3 and my youngest is 9 months old. I was overweight before I had my children. I was overweight before I got married. I was overweight in college and I was overweight in high school. I have always been overweight by about 20 to 30 pounds. There have been times throughout the years when I have slimmed down for a special occasion, such as my wedding. However, I gained the weight back just as soon as I took it off.

When my husband and I decided we wanted children, I was afraid of gaining additional pregnancy weight. I knew I would gain 30 to 40 pounds in addition to the extra 20 to 30 that I already carried. I did gain that pregnancy weight, but I was able to shed it naturally, leaving me still 20 to 30 pounds overweight. This happened with both children.

I knew that I wanted to have an active family. We live in such a beautiful part of the United States, and yet I never got out for a walk or a hike. I was lazy and not very strong. I knew that as a parent I was going to really need to make fitness and activity a part of my life before I could expect my own children to make it a habit in their lives. I didn't really know how.

When my youngest child turned 6 weeks, I tried a personal trainer. She was great, but between her fee and the cost of childcare, one visit just about broke the bank.

Then late one night I saw Power 90 on the television. I sat there and watched the entire infomercial. I really thought I could do it. I liked the idea of an in-home boot camp. I really liked the idea that it was a 90-day commitment. I was going to have to work out 6 days a week for 90 days to achieve my results. I was ready to try.

I was so excited that I ran to my computer and bought the program from the Web site. I decided not to tell anyone about P90, because I didn't want anyone to sabotage my efforts.

The program arrived in late July. After reading through all the literature, my husband and I decided to go for it. I could barely complete the exercises, but I was hooked. Every day I had a new goal for myself. I would try two more reps, or one more push-up, or five more crunches. Every day I got a little stronger. It wasn't long before I couldn't stop talking about the program! So much for my secret, huh?

The program really took a turn when I discovered the Message Boards and the chat room. The first step was to put myself out there. Then, I had to post those pictures.

The first time I was actually glad I took the Day 1 photos was the day I took my 30-day photos. I couldn't believe the changes my body had made in just 30 days. The best part was having those pictures as proof!

I'm not sure where it is written, but BB members subscribe to a code of ethics. This was demonstrated well as people began to post messages to my thread. First and foremost, all Beachbody members must be positive. You must advocate for your fellow team member. You must greet every person who enters the chat room. You must use particular words like rock, awesome, bump, and WOOHOO. Most importantly, you must share your stories so the chain of inspiration can be continued. That is why I am writing to you and sharing my story.

By Day 60, I had begun to connect names with stories. I felt like I had a community of support around me. They were able to answer my questions, maintain my motivation level, and keep me inspired. I was amazed at how my body continued to transform. I had lost 17 pounds and lots of inches. The most surprising thing was that I was wearing a smaller size than I usually wore at that weight. I was getting really strong. I was also focusing more on my overall improvement, not just numbers on a scale.

Day 90 came and went, and I was so proud of myself! I did it! I completed my fitness program and was 23 pounds lighter and had lost over 22 inches. I was on my way, a model of healthier habits and fitness goals for my family.

Since Day 90, I have completed Slim in 6 and used all the workouts from both Power Half Hour and the Slim Series. I have lost another 7 pounds and more inches all around. I have a lot of great buddies on the boards who have been wonderfully motivating for me. I have definitely surpassed my original goal. I look forward to 2004, summer in a bathing suit, and my BB fitness library to keep me looking and feeling great.

Happiest New Year to you, Beachbody! ! ! ! I wish you even greater success in 2004.

Sincerely,

Monica W.

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