“Eventually, there comes a point in every life where you can no longer ignore the enormous and expanding gap between the life you could be living and the life you’ve settled for…. Every day of your life that you’re not actively engaged in staying fit, eating well, and strengthening your body the gap grows.” – Strength for Life, by Shawn Phillips, page 10
I recently finished reading Strength for Life and, quite frankly, I’m filled with two emotions:
- I’m angry at myself. Why didn’t I start, in my 20’s, eating right and exercising every day. By now I could be Wonder Blogger! I’d never have to worry the trauma room (for my male readers, this would be the dressing room), I’d have all the energy I need for anything life throws me or for anything I want to throw it, and I’d be setting a golden opportunity for my three daughters.
- I’m excited! It’s never to late to do what you should have done. There aren’t any NO U TURNS signs along life’s highway, so I can start today (actually the day I opened the book) getting my butt in shape – as well as the rest of me.
I knew the author, Shawn Phillips, and I would hit it off right from the start. You see, while I’m a typical girly girl, I’m also a huge sports fan. My favorite teams are the UK Wildcats, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Denver Broncos. At the end of chapter 1, Shawn quoted my all-time favorite QB, John Elway, and referred to him as “a friend.”
So, I settled back with the book to see what an author with impeccable taste had to say.
A Wake-Up Call
Do you realize how out of control obesity is in America? According to the National Center for Health Statistics, about 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 and older are obese and 65 percent are either overweight or obese. 65 percent!
Even more disturbing, to me, is the following statistic: In the kid’s group, one out of five ages 12 to 19 is now considered obese. That absolutely breaks my heart.
Not only does being overweight keep you from living the life you should be living, it’ll end your life much sooner than it should end. It’s not just about being able to keep up on the playground or tennis court, it’s not just about how those Levi’s look, and it’s not just about leaving the trauma room with your head high as opposed to buried in your hands – it’s about being around for your loved ones as long as you possibly can!
What Strength for Life Can Mean for You
I’m certain I’ve pointed out before how difficult it can be to write a book review. Especially when it’s for a book that you’re dying for your readers to read. On one hand, I want to tell you all that I learned from the book. For someone with the gift for gab like me, it’s particularly hard NOT to give everything away. The problem with that, of course, is that you’d have no reason to buy the book. Not a very fair thing to do to an author who put their heart and soul into the publication.
Let me try to Bullet Point the reasons you should read Strength For Life as soon as you possibly can (bullet points usually keep my gift… that would be the gift of gab… within reason):
- The author, Shawn Phillips, is a fitness expert in every sense of the word. He’s been in the business for over 20 years and has helped not just thousands, but tens of thousands of people live better, healthier, and stronger lives.
- Strength for Life includes an eating plan that gives you more energy than you’ll remember ever having. The nutrition tips are golden (I laughed out loud at his description of pop and will never look at one the same again!) He points out how berries will protect you from the damages of free radicals, why water is more important to drink than we even realize, why apples are the perfect fruit, and a lot more. You feel better AND look better when you eat the way you should – Strength for Life lays it all out for you and even gives sample daily meal plans. There are over 25 pages devoted entirely to educating the reader about nutrition. As a web publisher who spends 50 percent of her day reading about health, food, and nutrition, I was amazed at just how much I learned.
- Illustrated, simple exercises make it easy to follow along. They’re accompanied by step by step instructions that are (Thank you, Shawn!) clear and precise. I hate it when an exercise book just shows a picture and tells you something like, Do 3 sets. 3 sets of what?! The exercises in Strength for Life are fun, highly doable, and effective. The entire workout plan can be done a little over 30 minutes. Personally, I like to do them while Andy Griffith’s on. I get started a little before the whistling starts, and I’m usually through by the time Andy has gotten Barney out of his recent scrape. Mayberry makes a perfect soundtrack and I know the shows by heart, so I don’t have to look up from my book or “focal point” to know what’s going on.
- Get this – there’s a boot camp in this book! The book refers to it as Base Camp, but my body’s convinced it’s boot camp. And I love it. Section 2 is called “Base Camp: 12 Days That Will Recharge Your Body and Mind.” I’m certain that recharging your body and mind appeal to you as much as they do to me!
- Goal setting and achieving exercises provide the motivation you need to make all of your fitness dreams come true.
What’s So Great About Shawn Phillips?!
Shawn Phillips is one of the most motivating and inspiring authors I’ve ever read (and you know me, I read – therefore I am). Even when the book is CLOSED and you’re making your food choices in the store or the kitchen, you feel like Shawn is there with you – saying, “I think there’s a better solution…here, let’s try this instead,” “Look at the ingredients – corn syrup, you know what that means..,” or “Are you completely out of your mind?! Put that back.”
You also feel like he’s there when you’re walking or exercising – coaching you and WILLING for you to make it. He’d actually make a wonderful trainer on a show like The Biggest Loser because, while he’s filled with information, he has an even more important trait: He honestly cares about the health, fitness, well-being, and happiness of his readers. You can tell it in his words. I read so much that authors can’t even begin to fool me – I know sincerity when I see it.
Now It’s Up to You
I strongly urge you to buy this book as soon as possible – the sooner, the better, because the minute you start reading is the minute you turn your life around. As a bonus, if you’re a parent like me, you begin setting a golden example to your children. They’ll even get on board with you! A few days ago, I asked my oldest daughter what sounded good for lunch. Instead of the typical Fries and a Burger answer, she said “a grilled chicken salad.” I couldn’t make it for her fast enough!
I hope that TODAY you’ll think about “the gap” that began this post. I hope you’ll get a good, clear picture of the life you could be living – the one you’d spell out for a genie. Then I hope you’ll realize that the first step you should take (to make your wishes come true) is to get a copy of Strength for Life as soon as you possibly can.
As the greatest quarterback to ever play (I believe his name was John Elway) once said, “If you’re going to set a goal, aim high!”
Make each moment count double,