Read The Life Plan Online

Authors: Jeffry Life

Tags: #Men's Health, #Aging, #Health & Fitness, #Exercise, #Self-Help

The Life Plan

BOOK: The Life Plan
2.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub






A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.


1230 Avenue of the Americas


New York, NY 10020


Copyright © 2011 by Jeffry Life, M.D.


All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Atria Books Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.


This publication contains the opinion and ideas of its author. It is intended to provide helpful and informational material on the subjects addressed in the publication. It is sold with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering medical, health, or any other kind of personal professional services in this book. The reader should consult his or her medical, health, or other competent professional before adopting any of the suggestions in this book or drawing inferences from it.


The author and publisher specifically disclaim all responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this book.


First Atria Books hardcover edition May 2011


and colophon are trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.


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Designed by Jason Snyder


Manufactured in the United States of America


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data


Life, Jeffry S.


The life plan: Dr. Life’s guide for men to great health, better sex, and a stronger, leaner body/Jeffry S. Life.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. Men—Health and hygiene. I. Title.
RA777.8.L54 2011
ISBN 978-1-4391-9458-4


ISBN 978-1-4391-9460-7 (ebook)


This book is dedicated to my dear friend Alan P. Mintz, M.D., (May 5, 1938–June 3, 2007), “The Father of Age Management Medicine,” whose wisdom and vision inspired me to create this book.










Taking Control of Your Health




The Life Plan for Healthy Eating




The Life Plan Diets








The Importance of Exercise




The Life Plan Flexibility, Core, and Balance Workouts




The Life Plan Resistance Training Workouts




The Life Plan Cardio Workouts




Putting It All Together for a Complete Life Plan Workout




Silencing Your Inner Demons








Why Hormones Matter




The Growth Hormone Controversy




The Importance of Nutraceuticals




The Life Plan for the Future: Breakthrough Medicine




Share the Life Plan with Your Doctor














ost 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.
My Story
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-
-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-
-LIFE challenge.
BOOK: The Life Plan
2.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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