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THE BEST BODY EVER


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The 'Best Body Ever:' Individual results vary

Friends, family notice the almost 8-inch loss
on Lisa Ann Williamson's frame

September 22, 2003

By LISA ANN WILLIAMSON
STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE

There were changes. That was the good news.

Nearly eight inches disappeared from my frame, including two from my waist and two more from my upper thighs. An inch-and-a-half went from my hips. More than a half inch was lost from my upper arms. A half inch each was missing from my shoulders and my lower thighs. And my calves now lacked a quarter inch.
When I started the 14-week "Best Body Ever" program developed by Tony Books Avilez, I had visions of shocking weight loss, killer abdominals like Janet Jackson's and the hope of the purchase of a new wardrobe three sizes smaller than my current one.

The food program (which at first, I thought I could never last more than a week without my beloved carbohydrates), was actually easy in retrospect. My bladder adjusted to the increased water intake of about two-and-a-half liters per day. Soda was not a necessity. I read labels and noticed the amount of sugar in sauces or even apple sauce. I chose not to have the high-sugar foods daily.

Remarkably, I could have bread without butter, which was an impossibility a few months ago. I planned to maintain the fun food day (the day when I can eat whatever I want), while re-introducing other components of my diet like potatoes and bread. These things happened in just over three months.

When it came down to the wire, I clipped the 14-week program short by a week. I was having trouble getting to the gym. My schedule got busier, I told myself. I was, afterall, still faithful to the cardio exercise, though I might have skimped on the crunches.

AN INDIVIDUAL PROGRAM

It wasn't exactly the program as prescribed. That's one of the reasons many programs disclaim, "individual results may vary. The other reason is your own body's genetic potential.

Still, I lost 7.75 inches. I developed more muscle, which in turn will help burn even more fat, without the assistance of pills. The cravings for chips and sweets are at a minimum and I developed a habit of more regular exercise. The exercise habit caused me to pack my jump rope along on vacation and walk a few miles during my trip subsequently losing an additional half-inch from my waist.

I was pleased with the changes so far. I wanted to do a little more.

Friends and family noticed the difference. While I lost perspective and could not see the changes except for a gap in the waist of my pants, a girlfriend whom I met for supper recently marveled and demanded to know what I was doing. She saw a slimmer face and body. That made this whole process worth the struggle and strain at the gym.

Now that I was on this path, my goals shifted to continued weight loss and then maintenance. I was curious to see how far I could go.

CHANGES

Most remarkable was how my body changed. Before the first week of the program, the body composition analysis revealed body fat of 31.7 percent, fat weight of 44 pounds and body water of 32.85 liters or 52.4 percent.

At 13 weeks the body fat slid down to 19.2 percent. That's a 12.5 percent change for the better.

And that original 44 pounds of body fat is now 26 pounds. It is a reduction of 18 fat pounds.

Amazing.

Another friend guessed from looking at me that I must have lost 15 to 20 pounds, but it's really the shift in composition.

The actual report from the scale was not all that amazing. Net loss: one pound.

My obsession, which I share with many women, is the scale. The reason for the minuscule 16-ounce drop in scale measurement is because the fat weight was replaced by lean muscle, which weighs more that fat, Avilez told me.

WHAT FINISH LINE?

If I continued with cardiovascular exercise four times a week with weight training at least twice a week, the weight will continue to fall, he said.

Had I been more of an etcomorph, which are the lean-built twiggy model types, it might have been more difficult to build the muscle.

The muscle tissue was also responsible for the lost inches, Avilez said.

My body was hiding under a rounder temporary endomorph shape. Now the mesomorph has broken through. I found my true body.

I have active muscle tissue. And that also means I can burn an additional 30 to 50 calories for each pound of muscle I've put on.

The challenge now is to keep the muscle tissue active with continued weight training (about two days a week), Avilez suggested.

I'll be able to lose even more inches and plan to drop about 10 to 12 more pounds.

In the quest for good health, or to look great in a bikini, you don't really get to say you're done.

If the muscle is not used and developed, it will atrophy and the body will absorb it for energy. That will make room for fat stores to take the place of muscle.

My goal is not to let that happen. But even Olympic and professional athletes take a break even now and again. In the off-season, they may only spend a couple days in the gym. But come game season, they are training full force.

Now I moved onto tweaking and sculpting exactly the body I want.

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