Friend, this last week has been so exciting and humbling! We received some amazing news and I want to share it with you! You’re invited to follow along on our journey that will take us through the grand finale on July 13th.
It all started with a prayer
It was July of 2016- a pea-soup sort of sticky-hot day in Virginia. Phil was pushing the lawnmower in the front yard, when he suddenly felt like he was having a heart attack. He yelled to me to come outside.
He was beet red, all 315 pounds of him, as he fell into my arms. “I need you to pray for me. I feel like I’m dying… I need to make a change in my life right now. I need God’s help!” So we prayed right there, under the persimmon tree, and his journey began.
I had started my journey a few months earlier, in May of 2016. I was still trying to find my way – but I was headed in the right direction. The two of us love food. It’s our comfort and joy. Pizza, ice cream and beer or wine were present for every crisis and celebration.
Now, Phil was ready to start thinking about a change too. He started to just watch me for a few more months, as I developed a new habit of daily exercise. Some days, he’d just lay on the floor while I was doing my MMA kickboxing workout!
I cooked “clean” meals and measured my own portions, and he ate until he was full. I never tried to push anything on him. He was still working on changing his mindset. But it was MUCH better than what we had been eating before. He also started incorporating Shakeology into his daily routine.
In January of 2017, Phil went all in and started doing the workout programs with me as well. We started with Masters Hammer and Chisel. It wasn’t always easy, as we were at different levels in our fitness and have different preferences for types of workouts. But the 30 minutes or so that we dedicated to getting out exercise in, was probably the best thing we could have ever done for our marriage. As the weight came off us both, we connected our hearts on a new, deeper level.
That summer, Phil decided to publicly declare his 5-25-50 plan. 2017 was to be the year that he would reclaim his health. His plan was to run his 5th half-marathon, celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and his 50th birthday. He went live on Facebook to share his goals, and many people were inspired to follow his journey that day.
Over about 2 years’ time, Phil lost 120 pounds. He did all the Beachbody on Demand workouts that year as they released, his favorite being Shaun Week. He did that for 3 months in training for his half-marathon. Incredibly, after about 15 years of no running, he was able to run that half-marathon at 50 years old, and shave 15 minutes of his personal best record. He was literally in better shape than when I met him in the Air Force when we were only in our 20’s.
I asked/nagged him frequently to enter the Beachbody Challenge contest, but he just shined me on. I even had friends who encouraged him to submit his results, but he wasn’t interested.
One night in May of 2018, we were laying in bed. I was about to drift off to sleep, while Phil was scrolling Instagram on his phone. He came across a post asking for votes for a gentleman who was in the Beachbody Challenge finals. He happened to be wearing the same “Beast” tank top Phil had. “I can totally do THAT!” he exclaimed, and pounced out of bed.
I fell asleep waiting for him to return. (typical). But in the morning he told me about his flurried email submission. We had no idea what would happen from there.
Months went by. Then, in Sept 2018, we received the first letter stating that Beachbody was very impressed with Phil’s results and that he was being considered for the semi-finals of the contest! They asked for his written testimony and more pictures… and we waited. Still… no idea what would happen.
Finally, in January of this year, we got word that he was in fact, in the semi-finals!! Out of 50,000 entries, there were 40 semi-finalists – 4 age groups, with 5 male and 5 female in each group. 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, and 50+. Phil was 1 of the 5 men in the over 50 group.
We were over the moon!! Phil was tasked to create a 60 second video testimonial and send it in within a week or so. Let me tell ya… it’s VERY difficult to tell your testimony in just 60 seconds. We spent about 5 hours one Saturday, trying to get it just right. Finally, we gave up and decided to just sleep on it.
The next day, Phil woke up and decided to completely revise the video and do it his own way. He went down to the basement, just him and my ring light, and made his video in 1 or 2 takes. It was just a genuine thanks for being considered and the opportunity to bless others with is journey. He sent it in… they said we’d hear back by the end of February… and we had no idea what would happen.
So that’s the back story.
I had this great plan to video him at the moment he got the email – regardless of what the news was. I was so excited, waiting to hear. Well, it turned out that he had to go to networking event for his job, so he had to stay overnight out of town. It was Feb 28th at 5:00. Still no email. I kept texting him every hour, “Did you get an email yet?” Nope.
Then at 6:33 as I was walking into Bible Study, I get this text.
He made it to the finals! I literally didn’t know what to do with myself. No one in the room really understood how big of a deal this was! Needless to say, I rushed out the door to call him as soon as study was over and we had quite an excited phone call!
So now, Phil is 1 of 4 male finalists in the Beachbody Challenge contest. The winner will be chosen by popular vote. We have no idea what will happen.
But what we do know, is that prayer is what changed my journey and prayer is what started Phil’s. God has given us an amazing platform by which to share how much our body, mind and spirit our intertwined. Making a lifestyle change is a spiritual growth more than anything else. When you get your spirit right, the mind and body will follow. Looking back, I realize that you can’t make a change until you DECIDE to. No one can make you ready. It has to come from within.
We are just so very grateful to ride this wave.
Getting Phil’s life back, restoring our marriage, and adding years to our lives so that we can be there for our family, is already MORE THAN ENOUGH. The rest, is just icing on the cake.
We’ll keep you posted on the results which will be announced on