One cold morning in early 2002, I was sitting on the couch watching TV and eating my second huge bowl of cereal, slowly waking to start my day. I began to channel surf and stopped on an infomercial about a workout program. For whatever reason, the "info" made sense better sense than anything I had tried before (which was nothing since the 1990s when "Abs of Steel" was the rage). "I'm sure this Power 90 workout program is a lot of work and sweat, which I don't really want to do," I told myself, "but I need to do something." That year I had grown into size 36 jeans, which I swore I never would allow myself to do, and my weight was creeping into the 190s.
So I decided to secretly make a phone call outside my house so as to not wake my wife Terri. I could just hear her: "Who could he be talking to at 4:30 in the morning?" I placed the order for Power 90 and two resistance bands. In the days before the package arrived, I tried to psych myself into thinking, "When the program comes I'll stop eating junk and start working out, and I'm really going to get in shape." The program came and I eagerly opened it and read through the material. Yep, it looked like a lot of work. Six days a week? No way!! And where is the pizza listed on that Michi's Ladder thing?
I decided to try the program MY OWN WAY, and customize it to fit me. So I began working out in secret. I didn't want my wife to catch me working out, because I felt kind of silly doing some of the moves. At first I started working out three days a week. Then maybe I'd work out once a week. Then I wouldn't do any workouts. Then I would bounce back and give three days a week a try. Needless to say, "Perry's way" of doing Power 90 was going nowhere. So, I put everything away in a closet and forgot about it. A year went by.
In early 2003 the scale was beginning to surge past the dreaded 200-pound mark, so I simply stopped weighing myself . . . out of sight, out of mind. But my size wasn't going out of sight and it was constantly on my mind. I needed to go shopping for even bigger jeans . . . size 38s this time. I decided to start eating less. That would hold off the growth into the 38s, for how long?
In my job I videotape teachers and classrooms and produce professional development videos for a school district. I caught myself on tape one day and saw myself looking way bigger than I thought I was. That's when I decided to commit to the Power 90 program for the full 90 days. I looked at a calendar because I wanted to block out a 90-day time period where there weren't a lot of holidays, birthdays, or events that usually were associated with food. Mid April sounded good to me. I discussed my plan with my wife and told her that I wanted to give Power 90 a try, and needed her support. She agreed and said she felt that she needed to do something for herself as well.
On April 12, 2003 I took the dreaded "before" picture and began my Power 90 workouts religiously on April 13, 2003. I took pictures every 30 days and noticed changes. Not huge changes like I saw in the infomercial, but good changes nonetheless (I had a difficult time weeding out certain foods). At any rate, I stuck with the workouts six days a week through July. My day 90 results did not look anything close to the people I saw on the infomercial a year and a half before, but I felt good. I went from 200 pounds to 185 pounds and could start wearing smaller clothing.
A shining moment happened that summer. I still wore the size 36 pants and shorts, but they had gotten looser. On a whim, I decided to try on a pair of size 34 jeans I had stored away. Stored, because I told myself that someday I would fit into them again, dammit! Yeah right! Well, that time was here. I put them on, and they fit perfectly! I showed my wife, and she was a bit taken back at first because she said it looked like I had lost hip structure. Fat structure was more like it.
The best part of the story (and what motivated me to continue working out) was that I reached in the little coin pocket and pulled out a movie ticket stub dated July 2, 1998! I couldn't believe that I hadn't been able to fit into those jeans for FIVE years!! I was elated, and put away the stub in a place for safekeeping as a kind of trophy.
In the following 90 days I completed another round of Power 90, and began searching Beachbody's Web site for the next step. I was hoping to find something where I wouldn't have to work out so long, but could maintain everything I had worked at. I ordered Power Half Hour. When the tapes arrived I was sorry to learn that in order to continue my progress after Power 90, I would need to do TWO Power Half Hour workouts each day. I decided to do just one a day and see how it went. Well, there was good news and bad news. The bad news was that I regressed a bit in my overall conditioning and put back on a few pounds. The good news was that my wife was intrigued by my results and began doing Power Half Hour every day herself.
We both continued to do our Beachbody workouts each night after work. There was a moment in November 2003 when my wife and I were carrying a table upstairs for our Thanksgiving guests and I noticed her arms. She had biceps! Beautiful, hard, chiseled biceps! I was so happy for her! We both were shaping up so well and we felt a lot better because of it. That month I decided to return to Power 90 and Terri continued with Power Half Hour. I started getting my results back and progressed even further with Power 90 this time around. Then disaster struck.
On the drizzly evening of December 9th I came home at my usual time, and I needed to get to a hair appointment in 15 minutes. My neighbor came over and asked me if I had a minute to chat, and I told her I didn't. She insisted that I cancel my appointment and stay at home because someone needed to talk to me. I got a sick feeling in my gut and we both went into my house. I let out the dogs and took care of the puppies, as we run a German shepherd rescue. When I had taken care of all the wagging tails, a man came to the door and introduced himself as the county coroner. My heart sank so deep. He asked me to sit down and he proceeded to tell me that my wife had been involved in a head-on collision with a semi truck. Terri was dead.
Devastation . . . numbness . . . lost . . . my world as I knew it would never be the same.
For whatever reason, I was able to meet with Terri's secretary and she and I planned Terri's entire visitation and tribute (in lieu of a funeral) that very night. All of the arrangements and details went perfectly. Terri would have been proud. During that long week I tried my best not to drown my sorrow in food, and there was no time to even think of working out. I wondered if I would even try again.
Well, I did try again, and with even more determination. I completed my next round of Power 90. I visited the Beachbody Web site often, as I had my eye on the new P90X program. I watched all of the "making of" videos and marveled at how Beachbody documented and presented its research on the program. The movies were done in a way that mirrored my own style, so I doubly appreciated the content.
Finally, P90X was released. I waited to start the program until I had all the necessary equipment (yoga mat, pull-up bar, resistance bands, etc.).
I started P90X on March 13, 2004. The program totally kicked my butt at first (still does!) and I chose to extend the phases by repeating a few weeks. The results were totally amazing. I did not follow the nutrition plan, but kept my food intake pretty much in check. I started the program at 181 pounds and am now at 165. I am also wearing size 32 and occasionally size 31 pants! I'll be 40 years old in two weeks and never thought I'd be in better shape than ever before in my life. P90X I bought it and Brought It!
The pictures I took every 30 days are only frontal shots, but they do tell a story over the past year and 90 days, that is, one year plus P90X! I am so proud of what I have accomplished. I get compliments on my appearance all the time. People ask me what I did to get in shape and I tell them all about the products from Beachbody. Many of these people have purchased the programs for themselves.
So Beachbody, thank you so much for creating products that make sense and work well. Of course it is the customer's responsibility to make it work for them. It is just incredibly amazing what transformations can occur when you follow the program. I'm still not sold on infomercials in general, but the ones from Beachbody are about products that are realistic and that work!
It is the end of July 2004 and I am about to begin ROUND TWO of P90X, as there are still some things I need to improve on (yoga for an hour and a half for example, UGH!). I am all smiles after my last photo upon completing P90X. I only wish I had my life partner to share my success with me. At least I always feel her inspiration to keep pushing to improve and keep building a better me. I love you, Terri! And I love you, Beachbody!