In March 2001, I started a program to lose weight/fat called Body for Life by Bill Phillips. I am not following the program by the book anymore, but it has made me more consistent about exercise and good eating habits. BFL helped get me to the point where I am today with my running. I probably would have never considered running a marathon if I had not followed this program for several years.
The most important points of the program are high intensity interval training 3 times per week for 20 minutes, 3 forty-five to 60 minute weight workouts 3 times per week , eating 6 meals per day of reasonable size portions with balanced carbs and protein for 6 days per week, and one day per week where you can go all out and eat whatever you want. I still follow eating more than 3 "meals" per day, but have increased the carbs. I'm only now doing 2 weight workouts per week and run 5 - 6 times per week doing way more cardio than the program requires. Also, I don't worry as much as I used to about having a few extra treats since I burn them off with all the running.
In 2001, I weighed 177 lbs and lost 22 lbs over 6 months. Since that time my weight has fluctuated, usually peaking by the end of December and then I lose those 5 or so holiday pounds over the next few months by being more consistent with eating right. In late 2003, Eating for Life, a cookbook was released by Bill Phillips and that has really helped with getting ideas of what to eat. I have noticed that each year, I tend to maintain a lower weight more consistently since I've had to change my pant size several times.
Part of the program includes taking progress pictures and measurements. I’ve taken progress pictures less frequently than the first few years with the last pictures taken in 2004 until today. Today, I decided to take new pictures. I am now 5 lbs less than the pictures in 2004 and 25 lbs less than 2001. Another important part of the program is tracking body fat (since losing muscle is bad), but I haven’t had an official BF measurement in a few years. I can tell by the pictures and past measurements that I’m currently probably somewhere in the single digits.
Here are the pictures I have taken every 3 years: