This guy is for real— And he knows that it’s never too late to transform your body.
It’s very likely that you have seen Dr. Jeffry Life before. And if you have, you might have thought, How can this seventy-two-year-old doctor have the body of a thirty-year-old? But his photos are very real, and you can look just as good as he does when you take control of your health.
Back in 1998, Dr. Life was sixty years old and a stereotype of the aging man: he was overweight with a noticeable gut and little muscle tone. Even though his own medical practice was thriving, and he thought he knew everything about men’s health, the facts proved differently. His libido was low, which was ruining his self-esteem. He felt tired all the time, yet no amount of sleep made him feel well rested. It wasn’t until a cardiologist read him the riot act that he even considered that change was possible. He then decided to make critical adjustments to his diet and lifestyle, and the results have been nothing short of astounding.
More than a decade later, Dr. Life continues to look and feel younger than ever. He knows that if he can make these changes to his body, his sex life, and his health, any man can. In this revolutionary book, he’ll show how you can turn around yourhealth by using the very same program he success-fully created and follows to this day.
The Life Plan introduces a healthy aging lifestyle that any man can master, no matter what shape he may be in. It offers:· An action-packed exercise program designed to make working out entertaining as well as improve heart health and increase muscle mass. His program taps into various disciplines—cardio workouts, resistance training, balance and core conditioning, martial arts, and Pilates.
By following this program you can once again enjoy an active, clear-headed, sexually satisfying, vigorous, and health-filled life, while avoiding late-onset diabetes, heart disease, and other common illnesses and complaints of aging. For men seeking to make over their bodies and turn back the clock, The Life Plan delivers the keys to a fitter body, a stronger immune system, and a richer, fuller life.
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Jeffry S. Life, M.D., Ph.D., is the bestselling author of The Life Plan and Mastering the Life Plan. At a vibrant seventy-five years old, he is in great shape, still practicing medicine, and at the top of the healthy aging field. In 2012 Men’s Fitness magazine chose him as one of the top twenty-five fittest men in the world. He has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Esquire magazine, as well as national TV shows, including The Doctors, Steve Harvey, and The Dr. Phil Show. His private practice is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he lives. His website is DrLife.com.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Most men, including myself, define themselves in two distinct ways: by what we do for a living and by how things are going in bed. If either one goes awry, we instantly feel less “manly.” That’s true whether you’re 25 or 80. We need to know that we can still compete, that we are still in the game, and that there’s much more to look forward to even as we approach or pass midlife.
Yet men don’t realize that both of these barometers are directly connected to their health. When we feel healthy, vibrant, and young, we excel in the workplace and can keep up with our sexual instincts. But when our health begins to decline, everything about life suffers. That’s why I recommend a proactive approach to health, which is exactly what age management medicine is all about. Sitting back, not taking control of your health, and simply accepting the status quo is a guarantee that you’ll age faster and be at much greater risk for disease. Healthy aging begins by taking care of yourself now, so that you don’t pay for it later when chronic disease rears its ugly head and “surprises” you. Take it from me: When I was in my 20s and 30s, I was already developing heart disease without even knowing it. And by the time I woke up to this realization, I had wasted many decades of good health and had to work very hard to get it back.
Regardless of whether I’m speaking with the media or a new patient, the first questions anyone ever asks me are always: “Are your photos real?” “How did this happen? How did you turn a 50-something potbellied body into a healthy, 30-something physique?” I’m not offended or embarrassed: With our programmed view of aging—and our overexposure to airbrushed tabloid photos—it’s easy to understand the doubt. A 72-year-old with a strong physique, low body fat, lots of lean muscle mass, and optimized health goes entirely against conventional thinking.
I’m also not embarrassed to say that I could have easily continued my life the way it was and completely missed the boat to great health. And that’s why my story is so important for every man to hear, because I was you, and I know how to change the way you age because I have done it and am continuing to do it today.
In 1994, I was going through a divorce and had reached an all-time low in terms of my self-esteem, mood, level of fitness, and appearance. I had been working in my family medical practice for 16 years, treating people of all ages from all walks of life. Even though my business was thriving, I had really lost enthusiasm for my work. I was living under a dark cloud, but there was a silver lining. In December of that year I met the love of my life, Annie. Over the next few years Annie and I were together constantly. I was happy most of the time, yet I continued to struggle with poor self-esteem, lousy fitness, and excess body fat.
Then in 1998, I came to the frightening realization that I looked and felt like an old man. My joints and muscles ached, I had shortness of breath whenever I climbed just one flight of stairs, my clothes were tight, and my stomach was huge. My LDL (bad cholesterol) scores were sky-high, my HDL (good cholesterol) numbers were rock bottom, and I was well on my way to becoming a full-blown type 2 diabetic. At 59 years old I was already a senior citizen with a pot belly, fatigue, sluggish thinking, out-of-control blood sugar, and undiagnosed heart disease. My self-esteem had never been lower and my waist never bigger. I, like most men my age, had devoted my time and energy to my career and family, which meant putting myself dead last.
On top of all this, my sex life was in trouble. My interest in sex was almost nonexistent. I suffered from erectile dysfunction, which, coupled with my low self-esteem, led to a daily battle with anxiety and depression. The irony, of course, was that I am a physician certified in family medicine who should know about staying fit and eating right. But that’s exactly what the issue was: I didn’t know. Like most in my profession, I had no nutritional or exercise training, and I knew nothing about the importance of hormone therapies and their relationship to healthy aging. As a result, I had become just another middle-aged man, the byproduct of conventional medical thinking and a disease-oriented approach to health—trained to ignore the hope that my life could get better instead of worse as I got older.
Then, one day, I took a long, hard look in the mirror. What I saw made me realize if I didn’t begin focusing on my own health, there would be no future. I knew I had to change my life drastically if I was going to maintain an active relationship with my kids, grandkids, and my beautiful girlfriend (now wife), who was almost 20 years younger than me.
Around that same time, someone had given me an issue of Muscle Media, a magazine written and published by Bill Phillips, owner of EAS Corporation. I took it home that night and read it cover to cover. I signed up that night for a lifetime subscription.
Soon after that, I ran into Pat Graham, an old nursing colleague from the emergency department where I had worked a couple of years before. Pat looked great: She had lost several pounds and was super fit. I asked her how she had been able to achieve her new physique, and she told me about her personal trainer, Ernie. Ernie owned a gym not far from me, so I decided to go check him out. When I walked into his gym I was met by a 50-year-old muscular Marine-looking guy behind the counter. I told him that he had been recommended to me as a guy who could really help me get in shape. He looked me up and down and said, “I don’t know, old man. That looks like quite a challenge.”
This was the beginning of a love-hate relationship between me and a Navy SEAL who had fought two tours of duty in Vietnam, then incorporated all he learned into physical fitness training. One month into his balls-to-the-wall program I read about the first winners of the 1997 Body- for-LIFE contest. I looked at the before-and-after pictures and thought to myself, These people can’t be for real. I was amazed at the way so many people had transformed themselves, over such a short period of time, from being fat and out of shape to being fit and lean. If those contestants could transform their bodies, maybe I could, too. I showed the pictures to Annie, and she immediately said I should enter the 1998 contest.
I raced to have my “before” pictures taken, then hired Keith Klein, a bodybuilder/nutritionist from Texas, and I started my pursuit of Bill Phillips’s challenge. I told Ernie what I wanted to do and he said, “Okay, old man, but we better step up your program.” I had just 19 weeks to make a significant change in every aspect of my life. Instead of drinking often and eating poorly, I put myself on a low-glycemic/low-fat diet, took supplements, stayed away from alcohol, and plunged into an exercise program.
Quite honestly, the first few weeks were pretty rough: I felt sore and beat up most of the time. I had been training three times a week with Ernie, and now we increased the schedule to five times a week. He said, “Old man, I doubt that you are going to be able to train as hard as you need to win this contest, but we are going to go for it.” So five mornings a week, I would get up at 4:00 A.M. and drive to Ernie’s gym. I had to train very early in the morning so I could make it to my office by nine o’clock. Ernie pushed me to limits I had never dreamed possible. He lived by the “no-pain-no-gain” principle. He taught me how to lift weights, how to build muscle and strength, how to eat clean, and how to lose body fat. More important, he helped me reach down deep into myself and maximize every last bit of my potential. He gave me the desire to set goals as high as possible and gave me the tools to reach those goals in small, precise steps. Ernie changed the way I think about myself.
Gradually I began to see real results. My LDL (bad cholesterol) went from 164 down to 80, and I started feeling better and stronger. What’s more, I could see the change in my physique. I was beginning to like the guy in the mirror. I also became extremely interested in nutrition and, thanks to a suggestion from a nutritionist at my office, I checked out a master’s degree in sports nutrition at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Not long after, I was accepted into the program and started classes with the 20-year-olds while continuing to practice family medicine full-time and preparing for the Body- for-LIFE challenge.
By the end of 1998, at age 60, I had my after pictures taken and then submitted an essay about how the Body- for-LIFE program had helped me. A week or so later, Bill Phillips’s mother called me and told me I was one of the finalists in my age category. Then, on Monday, December 7, I got a call from Porter Freeman, the 1997 winner in my age category and the new director of the program. Porter immediately asked me, “What would you do, Dr. Life, if you were the winner?” I thought he was just jerking me around until he told me the real news: I was the winner.
I hung up and still didn’t believe it. I sat there for a few minutes, and then suddenly the phone rang. It was Amy, Bill’s assistant. She said, “I am calling you so I can make arrangements for you to fly out to Denver.”
After just 19 weeks of eating and training right, I had become a Grand Champion in Bill Phillips’s 1998 Body- for-LIFE contest. The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming. Bill knew I had gone back to school to study nutrition and exercise science, and he came up to me during the awards dinner and asked me to be a contributing writer for Muscle Media magazine. I wrote a monthly column titled Ask Dr. Life, which I happily did for the next four years. This marked the beginning of my writing career.
After winning the Body- for-LIFE contest I immediately started incorporating my new lifestyle into my medical practice. Previously, I had doctored my patients the same way most physicians did: Almost all the care I provided centered on treating existing disease. But once I realized how much better I felt when I took a proactive approach, I began to change my focus to disease prevention and attempted to get my patients to start improving their health through better eating and exercise. It was truly an uphill battle, but I persevered. My patient population was typical of most Americans: They just did not want to do much in terms of improving their health and well-being.
I continued to train consistently and ate pretty clean. But a few years later, I began to notice that I was losing ground—gaining abdominal fat and losing muscle mass as well as strength, plus my energy and sexual function were also taking a hit. It was frustrating, to say the least. I knew I had a predisposition toward diabetes and heart disease because of my family history, but my regimen hadn’t changed: I was training as hard as ever with Ernie, but not seeing the same results. I was actually getting worse.
I realized that everything was becoming more difficult, whether it was getting up and practicing medicine, going to the gym, or making love with my wife. Then, in 2003, I came across a brochure for a medical meeting in Las Vegas regarding the role nutrition plays in preventing disease. The sponsor of the meeting was Barry Sears of Zone Diet fame. I signed up and headed out to Las Vegas. I met several Cenegenics Medical Institute doctors, as well as Dr. Alan Mintz and John Adams, the founders of this national medical practice. I learned then that they promoted an exercise and nutrition program in combination with correcting hormonal deficiencies, an entirely new concept for me. I signed up that day for the Cenegenics physician training program in age management medicine. The soonest opening available was going to be in August.
I went back to Pennsylvania and began wondering about my own hormone levels. I decided to get my levels checked at my local lab and learned I had major deficiencies in testosterone, DHEA, and growth hormone. That explained my losing muscle mass, strength, and endurance—and why I also was accumulating body fat and battling low energy levels, sluggish thinking, and even depression. I knew I had been getting viral infections more often, but guessed it was due to the fact that as a doctor I was constantly exposed to illnesses. But in reality, my immune system had significantly declined. The diminished hormones also explained the other major wall I had hit: a decrease in sexual function.
Enough was enough. I called John Adams and asked if there was any way I could start my age management program before I came out in August for my training. John was able to find a specialist to work with me. I became a patient of Cenegenics in June 2003.
Two months later, when I flew to Las Vegas to meet with John and Alan and begin my professional Cenegenics training, I had already noticed profound changes in my physique and energy levels. My physician had corrected my hormone deficiencies and had me continue a low-glycemic/low-fat nutrition program, the right exercise, and key supplements. I went from exhausted to exhilarated as I started getting my strength back. Once again I was losing body fat and gaining clarity in my thinking, and my sexual function came back as well. Cenegenics had helped me regain what Bill Phillips had given me—and what aging was taking away from me.
John, Alan, and the staff were very impressed with me and what I had accomplished. On day two of my training, they offered me a job. In January 2004, I became a Senior Institute Physician for Cenegenics and moved out to Las Vegas.
Six years after I won the Body- for-LIFE contest, I decided to get some pictures taken of myself without a shirt to show my patients I still was living the lifestyle I was preaching. In late 2005, a freelance writer was doing a story for GQ magazine on Cenegenics. When he was interviewing me, he noticed my picture on the wall and asked if he could use it in the article.
In early 2006, the article came out in GQ, and I was inundated by hundreds of phone calls. Not long after that, the Cenegenics marketing firm thought it would be a good idea to use my picture in one of its ads. Later my wife, Annie, got the idea of placing it in US Airways magazine to help me promote my own practice at Cenegenics. This proved to be a very successful marketing strategy. To this day Cenegenics continues to use my image in the majority of its marketing materials and campaigns.
It has now been 13 years since I began this journey. What’s so exciting to me is that not only do I feel great, I’ve been able to actually improve my physique over the years. I have been able to stay lean, reduce my cholesterol levels, reduce internal or “silent” inflammation, reduce blood sugar levels, and avoid diabetes. I have stopped the progression of heart disease that started when I was in my 20s. I have mental focus, clarity, and sharpness like I never had before. I am more productive and creative than ever, and I’m stronger and have more muscle mass than ever. At 72, I love being married to Annie, building my medical practice and website, writing my book, training for my black belt in martial arts, riding my Harley, playing with my grandkids, and learning more about exercise, nutrition, and preventive medicine. I love being energetic, lean, fit, and muscular. I love training with people half my age and continuing my education surrounded b...
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