Winning the Lean Body Challenge was a life changing experience that I will cherish for a lifetime.  It was truly a journey with its peaks and valleys. With that said, if you are in the beginning , middle, or nearing the end of your journey, read on for some helpful advice to reaching your transformation goals.

So many of us get used to being where we are that we convince ourselves that we can’t change our situation. Or we don’t believe in ourselves enough to try. The first step to achieving your goals is to believe you deserve success, and that you can do this. If you set out on your journey half-hearted you likely won’t succeed. This applies to a 12-week body transformation challenge, a new career, or even a new relationship. Believe you can!

Set small goals that will lead you to your end goal, when you hit your smaller goals move on to the next goal. Chipping away at your larger goal by setting interim goals will not only help motivate you but it will also make the end goal seem more attainable. If you don’t reach your interim goal, use it as a learning opportunity to make small changes to help you learn how your body reacts. Re-evaluate what you have been doing and make adjustments. Maybe add in some more cardio or make a small change in your nutrition.


Having lots of choices can be good. But you may also end up wasting a lot of energy on small decisions that when added up can lead to frustration. Try making as many things as possible “automatic”. Find some simple meals that you enjoy and cook up a few days’ worth. On the day before your work week starts, have them all packed up and ready to go. Look for different seasonings or substitutes to throw in some variety. This may include sweet potatoes instead of rice, turkey or fish instead of chicken, etc…

I eat the same breakfast, lunch and snacks almost every weekday. For me it just works to know that it will take me about 15 minutes to cook my egg whites and oatmeal for breakfast. Then I throw my pre-packed lunch, snacks and shakes in my lunch bag and head out the door. If you wait until the morning of to decide what to take for your meals, you will be more likely to end up having one of those “to heck with it” moments. That’s when you decide to hit the local drive-thru.

Dinner is where I usually get in my variety because that’s when I have more time to prepare and try new meals. But here as well, simplicity is key to staying on plan.

Remember: if you do slip up and eat something you know wasn’t the best for your goals, don’t let it snowball. Get right back on track because it’s not the end of the world.


Another key to success is building routines. Do things that will aid in achieving your goals. Eliminating things that lead to temptations or triggers behaviors you’re trying to eliminate. When shopping, do your best to only buy the healthy foods on your nutrition plan. If you don’t have that favorite junk food in your pantry to grab, you will be much less likely to eat it. If you can’t avoid buying  junk food (maybe you have young kids) at least make it inconvenient for you. Store it in the garage or perhaps your basement cupboard so that it’s not readily available.

Avoid places or situations that trigger you to go off of your plan. Find a new route, and don’ t pass by your coworker with the candy dish. Make sure you’ve eaten a healthy meal before a movie so you can skip the buttered popcorn, soda, and candy.

Probably the biggest key to succeeding, is find someone to be accountable to. Taking on the challenge with someone else will increase your chances of success. Having a training partner will hold you accountable for missing workouts or not working towards your goals. This person doesn’t need to be a drill sergeant. But you’ll do better if you can find someone who will tell you when you aren’t putting forth your best effort. If you are lucky enough to find someone like this, whether it’s a friend on social media or a friend at the gym, you will succeed.  Just keep setting new goals and working towards them.


By doing these three things, you will set yourself up for success, both in the short term and long term! There are few things that are as rewarding as watching your body change in a positive way. And even fewer things that will help you to enjoy a healthier and longer life than a good exercise and nutrition program. Try and find someone to hold you accountable to your goals. If you aren’t able to find someone within your circle of family and friends, join the Lean Body Challenge’s private Facebook group. There you’ll find support and motivation here:

About the Author
IMG_20150904_100357Doug Amburgey served for 9 years as a military policeman in the U.S. Marine Corps. He has competed in the Scottish Highland games, powerlifting competitions, and most recently in drug tested natural bodybuilding.

Doug was selected as the‘s Over 40 Amateur of the Week in April 2012 and the Labrada Lean Body Challenge Grand Champion in 2015. During his Labrada Lean Body Challenge, Doug dropped an amazing 28lbs and 7.5% bodyfat.

Doug is married with two sons and currently works as a systems administrator.