Kathy Gerstorff lives next door to a restaurant that serves deep-fried sweet potatoes and birthday-cake-flavored ice cream. The temptations sometimes got the best of her, but Gerstorff says she gained the tools she needed to stick with a healthy regimen through the 90-Day FIT for SUCCESS Challenge. By the end of the blog series, led by fitness expert Shawn Phillips, Gerstorff had lost more than 30 pounds. "The idea is that the challenge never ends," she says. "It becomes a way of life. I will continue to challenge myself to get fit and go for it. I expect success!"
Gerstorff was one of more than 5,000 SUCCESS readers who signed up for the first interactive SUCCESS blog challenge. Up next: the Sales SUCCESS Challenge with Jeffrey Gitomer, promising 10 weeks of hard-hitting, results-driven content for the success-driven person in today's market.
The 90-Day FIT for SUCCESS Challenge ran from June 1 to Aug. 28, and each week participants logged on to blog.success.com for Phillips' fresh blog and video content. Over the 12 weeks, SUCCESS readers rediscovered their vitality and adopted healthier habits. But the benefits continued long after each participant stepped off the scale. "When you are strong, healthy and alive with energy, you are more effective, more confident and more in control," Phillips says. "Your results in all areas of your life will improve as you do."
Gerstorff, who lives near Montpelier, Ind., says the FIT for SUCCESS Challenge taught her that being fit is about more than the physical body. It's about shaping up in other areas of your life, too. I think that knowledge is the secret ingredient to success that has been missing in my previous attempts." Like many people, Gerstorff is no stranger to diets, but had little lasting success. "Dieting has always made my body feel similar to driving a car that's firing on one cylinder. I have heard the mind-body-spirit mantra for years, but I didn't fully understand the power of the connection. By reading SUCCESS magazine, listening to the CDs (over and over), and participating in the FIT for SUCCESS Challenge, I finally get it! I understand that the mind, body and spirit must be simultaneously engaged to stay energized and make permanent positive changes in my life."
Gerstorff used her fitness success in the challenge as a springboard for pursuing her dreams. She always had a goal of compiling a book of poems and short stories. Today, she's taking steps to realize that goal. "I am moving forward," she says. "The challenge has stretched my mind to a new dimension that includes real potential for a life full of vitality, purpose and victory."
Susan Christiansen had never gotten to the end of a fitness challenge before she signed up for the FIT for SUCCESS Challenge. Christiansen, who lives in Tulsa, Okla., turned 50 this year, and she knew it was time for a change. But she had no idea that she would get great fitness results from following Phillips' program, as well as increased mental focus and a new zest for life. "I'm capable of doing so much more than I thought I could do," she says. "I have an inner strength that I can rely on to get me through. My husband and I laugh more now. We have decided to try new things, maybe even start our own business. Anything is possible at any age."
But the FIT for SUCCESS Challenge, like other SUCCESS blog challenges, isn't just for beginners or those who feel they have basic goals. Paul Daborn, a reader from New Zealand, was an accomplished athlete when he signed up for the challenge. At 45, Daborn enjoys track and field, especially the 400-meter hurdles. But he was on the slim side for a sprinter and wanted to add some muscle mass. Already a fan of Phillips' book Strength for Life: The Fitness Plan for the Rest of Your Life, Daborn was ready to stretch his athletic body by trying something new.
Daborn says he took three main lessons from the challenge this summer: focus, relaxation and strength. …