Basic Body Flex Info to
Get You Started
(Buy the book/tapes!)

Howdy, Losers!   

Thatís not a slam at all, itís faith that you are going to be a loser and so am I.  We are going to lose pounds and inches and baggage and ailments and food obsession and our dulled outlook on life. 

In my quest for the body of a goddess through the Fatastic Journey Journal (www.eyeonsoaps.com/GH/fatastic.htm), I have tried a number of different things, done tons of research and heard from lots of people.  Here, Iíve combined the best ideas Iíve found so far into one comprehensive program.  If you use this, please let me know your results! 

EATING 

I *LOVE* food.  I like the taste, the feel, the temperatureÖeverything about food.  The thing is, I thought that to lose weight, I had to give up the food I love.  I learned that I didnít have to do that at all; I just had to get real about its place in my life.  I can have any food that I want, but I canít let it control me or my life.  I have to keep perspective on what it is and what it is not.  I have to remember that food nourishes me, nurtures me, fuels my bodyís engine.  It is NOT intended to take the place of my self-esteem, my joy or my validation as a person.  I have to find those things myself rather than anesthetize myself with food so that I donít care if I have them or not. 

My body needs food, ALL kinds of food, to be healthy and happy.  My soul needs some foods that my body doesnít necessarily need in order to feel joyful.  My body needs some foods my soul has issues with (water) to be healthy.  My body doesnít *need* ice cream, but sometimes, my soul does.  My body doesnít need a reward at the end of the day for doing my exercises like I should, but my soul does.  What my soul needs is just as important as what my body needs.  My body does NOT need for me to eat mindlessly.  My soul does not need for me to feel guilty when I eat something yummy that my body doesnít really need.  Can these two ever get along?  Yes, they can.  Here are my hints toward that blissful reunion. 

1.  Do not eat mindlessly.  You know what Iím talking about.  At the movies, mechanically putting popcorn and milk duds into your mouth, one after another after another.  Girlfriend, you might as well strap on a feedbag.  Pretzels donít have fat in them, so Iím going to eat this whole bag, handsful at a time, while I watch the Friends marathon.  Iím halfway through a bag of Oreoís before I even knew I wanted one.  STOP!!  Like Susan the Compusive Eater Powter says, ďSTOP THE INSANITY!!Ē  You DO have control!  Food having control over you is an illusion!!  Like the books say, stop, wait and see if you really want what youíre going for.  Did someone just piss you off?  Did someone just steal you energy out from under and make you feel like less of a person, less worthy?  Is that why your hand is on the ice cream carton?  Deep breaths, in and out.  One day, about two weeks ago, I was carving comfort food HARD.  I wanted meatloaf, mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie, chicken and macaroni, lasagnaÖ  I wanted to tear the doors off the kitchen to get it.  I made myself stop and think about why I was going nuts wanting these foods.  I wasnít even really hungry, that I could acknowledge.  My body or my soul, sometimes indistinguishable, was craving *something* and these foods would fill it.  Not only were all these things filling and cuddly, they were also all WARM.  With a start, I realized that I was chilly!  Not hungry!  I was cold!  I put on a sweater, made myself a nice cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows and felt wonderful and pampered.  Those other foods would have had HUNDREDS of calories and within seconds of my inspiration, I was warm, cuddly, happy and NOT craving.  I was amazed at how much I had allowed food to solve ALL of my problems.   

Eat on purpose, not mindlessly.  Figure out what EXACTLY you want or need and then relish it.  Donít overeat it.  Roll it in your mouth, feel it, taste it, enjoy it without guilt and be done with it.  Know that itís not the last time youíll ever have it.  By all means, be aware of each and every thing that you put in your mouth.  Eat what you eat on purpose and deliberately.  Not just because your hand wonít stop dipping into the bag of Lays.  NEVER eat out of the bag or the box.  Take out as many as you plan to eat and PUT THE REST AWAY and be done! 

2.  Make sure you are getting ENOUGH food.  That may sound contradictory for weight loss, but too many of us have yoyoíd ourselves into being able to sustain our extra weight on a ridiculously low number of calories, 600, 800, etc.  You need to eat at LEAST 1200 calories a day.  If you are not eating enough, spacing it out over several meals through the day, your body will constantly crave the nourishment it is not receiving.  Your body needs to be working on food all through the day, little bits at a time, to keep itís metabolism cranked and to convince it you are NOT malnourishing.  When the body thinks itís starving or that starving is imminent, it pulls the wagons into a circle and burns calories more s-l-o-w-l-y to conserve energy.  Try and eat something every 2 hours or so to assure your body that you love it and wonít starve it to death EVER AGAIN!  Stop abusing your poor body that has kept you alive for this long!  Stop talking trash about it and LOVE it.  Promise it you are going to take better care of it from now on and give it the food and movement it wants!  Now, obviously, you shouldnít eat crap every 2 hours, but choose from the good foods below and let your body relax and know itís going to be fed! 

3.  Find your nutritional program and hang in there.  Everyone has an eating plan that works for them.  For some itís low fat, others, itís low carb, some are vegetarians.  Find what works for you, what you can follow through on with a minimum of unhappiness.  We ALL know that deprivation does not work and only makes us evil.  WE canít make ourselves happy and find joy in life by making ourselves and our bodies miserable!  Deprivation only breeds misery, self-pity and frustration.  All are perfectly good reasons to eat like beasts.  Instead, letís NOT deprive ourselves, but simply make the stuff we want available AFTER weíve eaten our good for us foods.  For me, after going alllll around the block, I have come back to the olí food pyramid.   

 

I stick to the low end of the serving allowances, except that I go over on meat every day.  Itís what my body wants/needs and is what works for me.  It gives me plenty of foods that I like and if Iíve followed it well through the day, I get my reward at night.  That can be 2-3 cookies, a bowl of ice cream, a candy bar, whatever moves me.  Iíve been full and not feeling deprived all day, especially when yummy foods like oranges cut up with a dash of sugar, a huge bowl of strawberries with whipped cream, toast with a bit of butter, stir fried veggies, hot potato soup, etc, all can fit into my dayís allowance BEFORE my treat!  Last night, when I went to the grocery store on a bread run, I looked the store over for what Iíd get for my treat:  a big cookie from the deli?  A candy bar?  A box of ice cream sandwiches to share with the family?  NOTHING looked good so I didnít get anything.  I walked away not feeling deprived because I knew I could have it if I wanted, I just chose not to.  Once in a while, if Iím having a particular rotten day, Iíll have my reward with lunch, then Iím especially conscientious about following through on the rest of the day.  Just remember to NOT deprive yourself, but donít go ballistic either!  A reward is 3-4 oreos, not the whole bag!  If you canít trust yourself (as I couldnít in the beginning), then donít keep leftovers around.  Buy ONE cookie at the grocery store.  Buy the tiny packages of cookies intended for lunches.  Buy ice cream in individual packages, like little bowls of ice cream or fudgicles, and so on.  If you have to, give the balance of the goody to a family member, a neighbor, whoever.  Put it down the garbage disposal.  Flush it down the toilet.  OK, so donít flush it down the toilet or all kinds of plumbing issues are sure to ensue.  Just get it out of harmís way and know that you can have it again for a reward on another day.  This might sound wasteful, but you know doggone good and well that there are times when 5-6 Oreos can be well worth the $3 you paid for the package.  All things in moderation. 

Look at the food pyramid and remember that while a lot of foods might fit in there, itís not good to get all of one group from the same food.  For instance, ice cream is a dairy product, but it takes two cups of ice cream to equal the calcium requirements in one serving of dairy.  Although I certainly could pack away 4-6 cups of ice cream through a day, the fat and calorie content of doing it would most likely pack on the weight regardless of what exercise program you are using.  Yes, you have more freedom with this program, but be wise as well.   

Remember your fiber!  Your body will be much healthier and you will lose weight faster if you take in the recommended 25-35 grams of dietary fiber per day.  Eat your high fiber cereals, whole fruits and beans!  Between the additional water and fiber, your body will remember the comfort of a really good, easy poop every day!

All of servings allowed on the food pyramid may seem like a lot of food, but you are going to be able to eat more when you start moving!  It just seems like a lot of food because youíve become accustomed to living with the mentality of deprivation rather than abundance.  Can you imagine going to sleep, content, full, having had your reward for the day and knowing that although you were quite full and satisfied through the day you STILL could have eaten more and been within your food program?  Can you imagine NOT feeling guilty for eating a formerly forbidden food with joy at the end of the day?  Can you imagine replacing all the feelings of guilt that surround your eating with feelings of joy, accomplishment and satisfaction and STILL getting ongoing results?  It can be that way! 

4.  Drink your water.  This one is really a deal breaker.  I fought and fought and fought it because I really donít like to drink water.  After a couple of weeks of drinking almost as much as Iím supposed to, my body now really craves it and fusses like mad when Iím a quart or so low.  I still donít like it, but I drink it because it makes me healthier and helps the weight wash away.  You arenít going to believe the formula for how much water you should drink.  Divide your current weight in half and drink that many ounces of water a day.  For me, that is 110 oz a day.  I tell ya, my back teeth are floating and most days, I only hit around 80 oz or so.  Itís a work in progress, BUT itís 80 ounces more than I used to drink!  It DOES have to be plain water without additives.  The *only* thing you can put in your water is a slice of lemon or lime to amp it up a bit.  Sparkling water is ok, but the carbonation can bloat you, which kind of defeats your purpose.  WARNING:  For every once of soda you drink, diet or otherwise, you have to drink an EXTRA ounce of water, matching ounce for ounce.  For every once of alcohol of any kind that you drink, you have to drink DOUBLE in water.  That doesnít mean that if you have a scotch and water that youíre safe if you have one shot of scotch and two shots of water.  It means that if you drink a three ounce scotch and water, you have to drink six extra ounces of water.  So just do it.  Live with and honor, even if reluctantly and grumblingly, the fact that our bodies require water to be healthy. 

The easiest way I have found to do it is to fill up water bottles (I use the ones that have the push pull tops that Sparklettís water comes in at the grocery store, then I refill them from the big bottles of water) and place them all around the house where Iíll be:  in my office, by my bed, in the kitchen.  I fill up 6 a day and every time I see one, I take a giant slug off of it, drinking as much as I can before I realize that I donít care for it.  I take a bottle of water with us on our walk to the park and I drink the glass of water the waiter brings me in a restaurant.  Drink it, drink it, drink it.  Youíll shed a few pounds just from that and get rid of a million toxins in your body that have been stored up forever.  Youíll feel tons better and lighter.  

5.  Donít skip meals if you can help it.  Your body isnít happy when itís not fueled.  Donít eat if you arenít hungry, but when you do get hungry, put some good food into you.  Donít wait until you are starving or you will overeat.  Eat when you are hungry, but make sure you are really hungry and not just feeding a feeling like anger, fear or self-pity.   

6.  Donít eat late at night.  Itís true.  You will not lose as quickly if you eat within two hours of bedtime.  If you are dying hungry, eat lightly, but eat.  Remember:  deprivation = bad.  Just take it easy, shoot for easily digestible, low cal stuff and keep it as far from bedtime as you can. 

7.  Try to control your eating enough to learn what it feels like to actually be hungry.  This is tough for some of us because we become so accustomed to eating without even thinking about it.  Learn your body signals and see what it feels like to actually feel hunger rather than appetite. 

 

MOVING 

It is well and truly sad that many of us are so averse to exercising that we will subsist on less than 1000 calories just to avoid going for a walk every day.  Why not eat what we should be eating to keep our bodies happy, but also incorporate the movement we also need?  There was a time when our daily tasks kept us active enough to remain physically fit.  We worked in gardens, hung laundry on lines and took it down, carried buckets of water, chased hogs who got out of their pens and scrubbed floors on our hands and knees.  Iím fresh out of all those activities (thank GOD) and can run my house with my fat ass comfortably ensconced in my computer desk chair.  That means I have to oxygenize my body and move my muscles in other ways.  

When she was asked what the best form of exercise was, Dr Christiane Northrup instantly replied, ďThe one you will do.Ē  Donít make it something deplorable.  Make it something fun that you can do EVERY day.   Our bodies donít stop needing to move because itís the weekend.   Do you like to walk, feel the sunshine and smell the flowers?  Do you like to bike and feel the speed and the wind in your hair?  Do you like to swim?  Do you like to listen to books on tape while you walk a treadmill?  Thatís why I love Body Flex.  I can do it in 15 minutes easily, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  I can and will spare 15 minutes twice a day to make myself feel wonderful and to get that great feeling of pants that hang on me like a tent.  In my first ten days, I lost 10 inches off my hips and lower belly.  That sold me on it.  After further exploring the techniques, I came up with my own variations and tips for the program.  Update!  In the next two weeks, I lost 5 more inches from my upper abs, lower abs and thighs!!

There are a couple of main points about Body Flex and Body Flex that must be observed.  One is the incredible benefit of oxygenation and the other is the stretching, lengthening and strengthening of your muscles.    

Oxygen is truly the magic elixir.  It makes you feel wonderful (a few hits of pure oxygen will prove that AND will even temporarily abate a hangover Ė thereís a reason itís a controlled substance in itís pure form), gives you lots of energy, causes you to burn calories MUCH faster and hotter than normal breathing, helps you sleep better at night, wards off depression and much more.  Itís just great stuff.  As the oxygen level in our air has gone down, we need to breathe in more just to maintain our healthy status quo.  Flexing helps you to do that.  It will also help keep your airways cleaner.   

The tummy tuck and stretches that you will do as positions work different muscles in your body while you have flooded them with oxygen.  This helps them to burn more fat, especially in the area that is busy with the position.  What does running or biking or swimming do other than raise your heart rate, raise your body temperature and work your muscles?  We can do that, as well as oxygenate your body and squeeze toxins out of your internal organs.  The positions are very easy and silly looking, but quite effective, no matter what your physical fitness level might be.  It has elements of yoga, callanetics and other techniques.  Without further ado, hereís whatcha do. 

I very much recommend buying the book Be a Loser by Greer Childers, as well as her instructional videos.  This is just a basic overview to get you started.  To hear it in her own words is the best thing and you can't beat seeing the live demonstrations of the techniques. 

Body Flex 

The breathing:  The flex breathing is very deep and very quick.  If you are not accustomed to breathing deeply, it may give you headaches or make you light headed at first. Work to keep your inhales and exhales equal.  You may cough and junk may come up into your throat.  That is the air clearing out your lungs after years of under-expansion.  Your lung capacity and endurance will increase very quickly as you do the techniques daily.  After the first week or so, you should no longer get headaches, feel light headed, or do much coughing.  The positions will begin to feel very familiar to you and the work out will flow comfortably.  Remember, itís only 15 minutes. 

To feel the breathing you should be doing for each rep of each position, stand with your feet flat on the floor, bend your knees slightly and put your hands just above your knees (see picture on the first position diagram).  Without inhaling, blow any air out of your lungs (note:  this part is only done on the first breath of the workout), then inhale sharply through your nose.  Itís important that you breathe through your nose for the best oxygenation.  Breathe in as hard and fast as you can.  Hold the breath for a count of five, then exhale hard through your mouth, starting with your lips folded together like youíre blotting lipstick, then letting your air out hard and fast, making the noise, ďPAAAAAAHHHH.Ē  After you do that and while still not breathing in, roll in your gut and tense it like someone was going to hit you in the belly and you are trying to deflect it.  Suck it right up into your inner body and tense.  Tense your butt as well, squinching those little cheeks together.  Hold, hold, hold for a count of 8-10, then let go and breathe normally.  Do that a few times to get the feel.  What is going to happen during your work out is that you are going to tense up like that (not necessarily in that starting position), then move into your position and hold the position for 8-10 seconds while you are holding your breath.  Once youíve released the position, you will inhale sharply through the nose again (as your next breath) as you move into the next rep or position, depending on where you are in your workout.  You will be doing five reps of each position.  For the time of your workout, the flex breathing that you do with each position and rep (the hard inhale through the nose and hard exhale through the mouth while you suck in and tighten your belly and butt) becomes your breathing.  Until you really learn the positions and progression, you might need to do regular breathing between the different positions.  Once you are familiar with the techniques and progression of the work out, youíll be better able to get with the flow of the work out and use the flex breathing the whole time.  Meanwhile, be gentle with yourself and adapt as needed for your comfort.  Techniques may be done on your bed, but work best on a padded surface on the floor.  Bed should only be used if you are physically unable to do the techniques on the floor.   Also, be gentle with yourself.  If a position hurts beyond a muscles stretch and you can't modify it into a reasonable comfort, don't do it.  Any of these will help exclusive of the others, but the full work out is most beneficial and works the overall body. 

2.  The positions.  The workout itself proceeds as follows:

Assume the breathing position I told you about (shown below).  Do your stale breath exhale to empty your lungs, then the deep, sharp, hard inhale through the nose, hold for a count of 5, then follow with the hard exhale out the mouth and tensing and rolling up of the tummy muscles and tensing of the butt.  As soon as you have your tummy tuck and your exhale, make a little ďOĒ with your mouth and stick your tongue out it as far as you can while looking up at the ceiling with your eyes (not your head).  Hold that position for a count of 8-10 (donít race yourself on that count, but donít drag it out either, 1-1000, 2-1000Ö)  When you make your count or run out of breath, relax, inhale sharply, exhale ďPAAAAHHHHHH,Ē tense and roll up belly, tense butt and do the position again.  Remember, each exercise gets a total of 5 reps. 


BF calls this one ďThe Lion."  It works the facial muscles. 

When you finish your five reps, inhale sharply, exhale, tuck & squinch, then go to: 


BF calls this one the Ugly Face and that fits. 
Kids and spouses will laugh at you.  Ignore them.
This is for the neck.
 

Arms go back and up firmly to work your batwings, bottom teeth go out and over the top teeth and chin and throat muscles go tight as you look up.  Face looks up to the ceiling.  Count 8-10, release, go to next rep or position.  Remember, you do NOT breathe air back in during your 8-10 hold.  Let the Oxygen in your body do its thing.   


This position is called The Diamond. 

Place the fingertips of your left hand against the fingertips of your right hand and hold them out in front of you at chest level, elbows bent. Inhale sharply for a count of five or so, then exhale ďPaaaaaaahhhh,Ē tuck and squinch hard, push your fingertips together hard in an isometric that works your arms and your pectorals (boobs).  When you press with your fingertips, the arms will go up slightly.  Hold for 8-10, then release.  Go to the next rep or position. 

After your last diamond, step your feet a little further apart.  Inhale deeply, hold for 5, exhale hard, squinch your butt and roll in your tummy hard.  Bend to one side, leaning into the bend and POINT YOUR OTHER TOE TO THE GROUND, reaching your arm over your head in a long stretch.   If you donít point your opposite toe, you wonít get the full stretch.  Hold for a count of 8-10, then release and repeat or move to the next position. 


The side stretch 

After you complete your last side stretch, pop down onto the floor into the dog versus fire hydrant position shown below.  Knee is on the floor, one leg is out to the side, resting on the floor.  Inhale through the nose, hold for 5.  Exhale, tuck and squinch (letís just call it ďETSĒ from now on and give Miss Katrina a little less to type, shall we?) and lift your extended leg both up and forward, toward the wall in front of you.  Hold for 8-10.  Release, foot to floor.  Repeat, change legs or go to next position.  Do five on one leg, then five on the other. 

This one is a kicker, kids.  It is called The Seiko, which is Japanese for ďThe FlameĒ and thatís just what youíre going to feel in your hips.  Iím convinced that this exercise is what caused me to lose the 10 inches in 10 days.  If you donít feel the burn, ease your body back slightly and just an inch or so more into the crouch.  Youíll feel it, doll.  Itís OK to lean slightly to one side as you lift your leg (even 4-5 inches off the ground works), but try not to bend your elbows.   Toe points toward the wall in front of you.  As a side note, the second I go into all fours, I stop feeling the tummy tuck because my abdominal muscles are so loose, but even if you canít feel yourself doing it, youíre doing it as long as you try. 

 

After you exhale from your 5th Seiko (old people like myself also know that Seiko is a watch and thatís funny because if anyone is ďwatchĒing you do this, they will laugh themselves blind), ease onto your elbows and knees and extend one leg back (the one that did The Seiko first).  Inhale deeply through the nose, hold it for a count of 5, exhale with the Paaaaaaaahhh, ETS and lift your extended leg up as high as you can and butt cheeks really tightened.  Foot is at a 90 degree angle to the leg, toes are NOT pointed, so heel goes to the ceiling.  REMEMBER to go onto your elbows for this and NOT in the hands and knees position of The Seiko!  Hold for 8-10, release and leg goes back to the floor.  Repeat, change legs or go into next position.  Do five reps on each leg. 


Back leg extension

After you release the mule kick, sit on your sit bones (fluff out your butt around them if you have to in order to find your sit bones), arms behind you, hands on the floor, legs in a wide V.  Inhale through the nose, hold for 5, exhale out the mouth hard,  Paaaaaaaahh, and lean forward from the waist, walking out on your hands.  When you think you canít reach any further, go an inch or two more.   Hold for 8-10, release and return to the hands behind position in which you started.  Repeat or move to next position. 


The Rowboat 

The next position gets complicated, so study it carefully.  After your lost rowboat, one leg crosses over the other one as shown below.  I have trouble with this because I have fat thighs, so I have to have the foot of my top leg flat on the floor to allow more room for my fat.  The opposite hand goes on your top knee and your other hand goes on the floor behind you.   Inhale deeply, hold for 5, exhale hard and turn toward the arm that is behind you.  The trick is, not only are you twisting your body (works your waist, wrings the toxins out of your internal organs and works your lower abs), but you are pulling back on your knee as well to work the big thigh muscles.  If you arenít feeling it in your side, twist a little further.  If you arenít feeling it in your thigh, pull a little harder on it.  This is all done in one smooth movement.  Hold for 8-10, release and repeat, switch legs or move on to the next position.  After your 5th on one side, change your legsí positions and reach to the other side for 5 reps, pulling your other leg to the opposite side. 


The Pretzel.  *Almost* like The Steer in yoga. 

After your last pretzel, go onto your back, legs straight up to the ceiling, BOTTOM ON THE FLOOR, hands grabbing your legs where they comfortably can.  Inhale deeply, hold for 5, exhale hard PAAAAAHHH, squinch your butt cheeks, tuck your tummy in hard and pull your straight legs toward your chest until you feel it in your hamstrings.  If you raise your butt for this, you wonít feel it pull in the backs of your legs like you should.  Hold this for a count of 8-10, then release.  Repeat or move into the next position.  Do five reps.  This is the hardest of all the positions for me because my legs push my fat up into my chest and itís quite uncomfortable.  When I first started this two weeks ago, I had to make a V with my legs and pull them back to get around my tummy.  


The Hamstring Stretch
 

After the last hamstring stretch, feet go flat on the ground, knees bent, arms extending upward with fingers pointing to the ceiling.  Knees are apart, kind of GYN style.  Inhale, hold for 5, ETS, reach your fingers for the ceiling, pulling your upper body up off the floor.  Lower quickly without inhaling and do 8-10 quick little bobs up and down like that.  (my neck starts to ache on this one, but itís over fast)  Keep your eyes on a focal point on the ceiling and reach up to the ceiling with your fingertips, crunching up and down.  After youíve done your 8-10 crunches, release, then repeat for a total of 5 reps, 8-10 crunches each.  Make sure only your head, shoulders and upper back come off the floor.  Remember, the 8-10 crunches are done as one rep between the Paaaah and the next inhale, while you are squinching your butt cheeks and tucking in your tummy.  


The Abdominal Crunch 

After your last tummy crunch rep, lie back and try not to die and think about how out of shape youíve gotten.  Rejoice that you are reclaiming your health and demanding more of yourself and your body.  Do that really quickly, because you have a couple more positions to go.  Legs go flat, hands go, palms down, under your butt for support.  Inhale fast and hard, hold for 5, exhale, tuck and squinch, raising your feet about 4 inches off the floor.  Scissor your feet back and forth 8-10 times, crossing over and under one another.  Legs stay straight.  Use a pretty wide span on your crosses.  Donít pick now to be a wussy.  Your 15 minutes are almost done and this is your last hard position.  After 8-10 scissors, release.  Repeat or go to the next position after 5 reps of 8-10 each.  


Scissors 

Time to pop that back.  After you finish scissoring, get onto all fours with your back straight like a table.  Inhale, hold for 5, exhale and round your back and shoulders and tuck in your head as you squinch and tummy tuck.  Hold for 8-10 and release.  After you have done 5 of these babies, reach your right (left if you are left handed) hand over the same shoulder and pat yourself on the back for doing your 15 minutes of Body Flex/Body Flex for the morning or night. 


The Cat

 

IMPORTANT HINTS: 

***Remember:  Each rep of each position begins with the deep inhale through the nose, hold for 5 seconds and the hard PAAAAAHHHH exhale out the mouth, then you tuck in your tummy, squinch your butt cheeks, then hold that exhale, tuck and squinch tightly in place through the 8-10 seconds you are in the position.  Do 5 reps of each position, including 5 on each side of The Side Stretch, The Seiko, The Mule Kick and The Pretzel*** 

1.  Do NOT do your flexes with food in your stomach.  First thing in the morning and right before dinner seem to be the best times.  Remember, itís only 15 minutes of your time, twice a day to lose inches in a big way.  ALWAYS make sure at least 2 hours have passed since you ate. 

2.  If your flexes take less than 15 minutes, make sure you are doing them correctly.  If you are, good for you!  A LOT of people find it only takes about 12 minutes or so after then get the techniques down. 

3.  Breathe in and out normally between positions (NOT reps) if you need to, but your goal would be to move smoothly from one to the next to he next with only your flex breathing that you use during the positions.  This is often not going to happen until you know the positions very well, so be gentle with yourself!

4.  It is normal to perspire while you are doing this.  That means your metabolism is getting stoked and youíre burning those fat calories (now isnít this better than running a couple of miles?).   

5.  USE VISUALIZATION!!  As you go into and maintain your position, see in your mind your lateral muscles lengthening and strengthening as you do the side stretch.  See your hips getting smaller by every lift as you do your Seiko.  See your boobs lifting and getting more definition as you do the diamond (ever see "Death Becomes Her"?  Imagine instant boob lift.)  Allow yourself the honor of seeing your new, perfect body before itís actually there!  Imagine that tape measure sliding in a few more inches! 

6.  See your workout as one process, not several little ones.  Let one motion blend into the next and that one into the next like a complicated dance. 

7.  Really let yourself feel the Oxygen as it courses through your body, awakening and renewing the Oxygen-starved cells and searching out the fat cells to melt away the fat.  Feel your muscles welcoming the activity and the stretching.   

8.  You will most likely NOT be sore from these techniques.  If you are, it will probably only be a smidgen.  We are using gentle, but effective stretches to coax our bodies quickly into a healthy and exciting new shape.  The body seems to welcome these techniques. 

9.  If, during the workout, you start to get short of breath or lightheaded, stop what you are doing and take a couple of (normal) deep, cleansing breaths, in and out, in through the nose, out through the mouth.  Focus on making your inhales and exhales equal.  Once you feel better (it will only take a couple of seconds), resume your work out.  The breathing will begin to feel more natural after a week or two and you will even find yourself breathing more deeply and evenly in your regular, non-working out life.   

10.  Do the breathing, squinch and tuck at times other than your work outs for additional tummy tightening and oxygenation.  Oxygen=fat burning, so the deeper you breathe, even without the tucks and squinches, the more fat you will burn.   

11.  Within a couple of weeks or so, you are going to start to feel some distinct changes in your body.  Not only are your clothes going to be looser on you, but your stomach in going to get full on a lot less food.  This is because of the water you are drinking, as well as the tummy tucks, which massage the stomach and cause it to contract and shrink rather than just get baggy and stretched from food.  It wakes up the stomach and brings it back into shape as an organ.  You are going to start to have loads more energy from the Oxygen as well as the exercise.  You become much more aware of your breathing full time.  Your nails are going to be stronger, your nasal passages clearer, your skin healthier and you are going to sleep better at night.  The fog that tends to settle over us lifts and we feel like weíve awakened from a long sleep.  Confidence builds because we are following through, being true to ourselves and our goals and getting healthier and slimmer.  The program is simple enough that anyone can do it without hating it, so itís easy to get it done and feel a sense of progress.  This helps depression to slip away and improves our self-esteem as the inches also slip away. 

12.  DO NOT, no matter how tempted you are, weigh yourself for at least the first month of flexing, or even ever again if you can stand it.  You are going to build lean, strong muscle FAST with these techniques and burn away fat.  Muscle tissue weighs more than fat, so for a period of time, you are going to be trading off fat for muscle.  This is going to make it look as though you are not losing if you go by the scale.  You are losing fat, but you arenít losing weight YET.  This trade off can go on for a while and you may, in fact, gain a pound or two.  THIS IS WHAT CAUSES MOST PEOPLE TO DROP THE PROGRAM DUE TO DISCOURAGEMENT.  DO *NOT* BE FOOLED!  Measure (no pun intended) your success by inches, not pounds.   Besides, does it really matter how much you weigh or the important thing how big you are?  Iíd much rather be a lean, strong, healthy size 9 weighing 150 pounds, full of energy, life and self confidence, eating foods I like without deprivation than to be a thin, flabby-skinned, pale, malnourished  size 9 weighing 120 pounds and living on celery sticks and lettuce!  You see, once you begin MOVING you CAN eat the foods you want in reasonable amounts and burn off the calories and then some with your flexing!  How sick is it to ďdietĒ yourself into maintaining your obesity at 800-1000 calories a day (or less) and stubbornly insist that the only way for you to lose weight is to cut MORE calories and deprive yourself MORE??  Iím sure not up for that brand of self-flagellation!  I want to live and enjoy my food and have a healthy calorie/energy balance!   My life is waaaaay to short to live without the foods I love.  All you have to do is MOVE.  It can be just a little at first.  Maybe you can do half the reps I recommend of each exercise at first.  Maybe you can only do 6 or 10 out the 12 positions.  Keep trying!  Keep at it.  Do what you can and know that itís more than you were doing yesterday!  One step at a time, baby steps toward health and life! 

13.  Donít weigh, but MEASURE once a week or every two weeks.  Get your tape measure out and stand naked (ewww, I know) in front of a mirror, first thing in the morning, BEFORE you eat, after you go to the bathroom.  Make a chart to write each of these down on a continual basis.  Measure the same time of day on the same day of each week.  No cheating and peeking in between.  Measure the smallest part of your torso, where your pants waist comes.  This is going to be called your upper abs.  Measure at the level of your belly button.  This is your waist.  Measure about 2Ē below your belly button.  This is your lower abs.  Measure over the widest part of your butt.  This is your hips.  Measure each thigh at the widest part.  Make sure the tape measure is in a solid circle around the place to be measured and not dipping down somewhere along the way.  DONíT dig the tape measure in.  Be real.  Donít bend over to see the tape measure. Check the position of the tape measure in the mirror, then mark the number with your thumbnail, hold it while you release the tape and check the number.  Each week, you add up the number of inches you have lost in each of the six places and that is your weekly loss.  If you have a week or two or three where you donít lose inches, DO NOT DESPAIR.  The average total inch loss in the first week is 4-14 inches BUT everyone reacts differently and bodies sometimes take longer to figure out what youíre doing to them.  If, after two weeks, the tape isnít budging, make sure you are doing the positions correctly, make sure you are measuring at the same time of day in the same places on your body and if itís yes to both, keep trying.  Youíll find a week where you suddenly have a drastic drop.  

14.  In Body Flex, it is suggested that you do it twice a day for the first week, then go to once a day to avoid burn out.  Do you really think youíll burn out on an extra 15 minutes?  If it means that youíre more quickly whittling your ass down to size, Iíll bet you can spare that 15 minutes, canít you?  Iíve been going for 3 full weeks now and I can tell you, there have been times Iíve come close to talking myself out of it, but I can do ANYTHING for 15 minutes.  Unless youíre in labor, bleeding out the eyes or have a tag on your toe, get in there and do your fifteen minutes like a big (hmmm, perhaps very damned big) girl, then youíre done and you can feel that great sense of accomplishment. 

15.  Do NOT do these techniques if you are pregnant.  Obviously, if you have asthma or other conditions that might put you in distress with the breathing, then donít do it.  If you are unsure, see your doctor. 

16.  Some medications such as steroids and birth control pills or shots may slow down your loss, but they will not prevent it.  Just hang in there. 

17.  You may certainly supplement your two 15 minute sessions with additional exercises if you choose to, but make sure you do your flexing.  You will lose inches with or without supplemental exercising.  I like to listen to books on cassette, so I plan to start running again a couple of times a week just to enjoy my books and get in some extra exercising.  Since Iíve had extra energy, each day this week I have walked the boys to the park in their double stroller.  Thatís a brisk 1 mile walk round trip, plus playing with them there and shoving 60+ collective pounds of kid in front of my in the stroller.  I never would have done this before, thatís for sure.  

18.  You may take diet supplements while flexing.  My favorite is chromium picolinate because I can take it while nursing and itís a naturally occurring blood sugar stabilizer that is way too low in most folksí bodies.  It works well for me.  Garcina Cambogia boost the metabolism and eases the appetite.  Chitosan binds the fat and keeps you from absorbing more than a certain amount, then you poop out the rest.  Research the pros and cons of any supplement before taking it. 

20.  The Body Flex system is available in two forms.  One is the book Be a Loser by Greer Childers and She also has a set of two video cassettes available at www.thebodyflex.com.  There is a WONDERFUL support group for Body Flexers at http://pub17.ezboard.com/bbodyflexsupportgroup.  You will find the people there warm, encouraging and supportive.  If you click onto the section of the board called Loserís Circle, you will find people losing inches like crazy doing the exact techniques described above.  The section called ďBody FlexĒ support answers your technical questions.  They donít know me from Adam, so if you have questions directly about this page, please write me directly. 

Remember what it felt like to move as a child?  When you ran everywhere just to feel the wind in your hair?  Riding your bike top speed?  Twirling until you fell down?  Get that joy back again and START moving NOW.  If not now, WHEN?  As Greer says, ďIf not Body Flex, then WHAT?Ē  The days are slipping away, one by one.  Do you really want to lose another one without claiming your new life and your new body? Do it for YOU.  Do it for LIFE!

 

 Other Recommended Reading:

Womenís Bodies, Womenís Wisdom
By Christiane Northrup
(specifically, the chapter called ďNourishing Ourselves With FoodĒ)

 Life Strategies
By Dr Phil McGuire

Fat Is a Feminist Issue
By Susie Ormand

 Love Yourself Thin
By Victoria Moran

 

Write if questions or comments:  krasbold@earthlink.net