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Body for Life for Women: A Woman's Plan for Physical and Mental Transformation Hardcover – March 24, 2005

3.9 out of 5 stars 247 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's not all about the jeans; flattening the tummy helps fight "Toxic Fat"--the disease-inducing weight Dr. Pamela Peeke teaches women how to conquer in Body-for-LIFE for Women. Her firm belief is, most women already know what they're supposed to do: eat a balanced diet, ditch junk food, exercise, think positively. Peeke strives to show her "girlfriends" how to accomplish these tasks, customizing plans for young and old. Clients' stories (including a 95-year-old who worked herself out of a wheelchair and into a martial arts class, and a 14-year old who replaced 90 lbs. of fat with a healthy load of self-confidence) lend credence to Peeke's 12-week weight reduction plan; so do the wowsie before-and-after pictures. Gender-specific scientific evidence supports Peeke's premise that women's bodies require different care than men's. But she doesn't stop there.

Amazon.com Interview
Read our interview with Pam Peeke.
Peeke digs deeper for her audience, defining four hormonal milestones of a woman's life (menarche to beyond menopause) and customizing a physical and mental transformation plan to suit each. Easing off on strict calorie and weight guidelines, she focuses instead on serious fat reduction, muscle improvement, and practical suggestions for self-care. A handful of charts and formulae help readers assess their progress; sample exercises and fitness logs help, too. But for Peeke, weight reduction pales to bolstering a woman's self-worth through nurturing healthier habits. The only rough pill to swallow is Peeke's two-page list of smart foods: it lacks suggestions for turning acceptable proteins, carbohydrates and fats into palatable daily meals.--Liane Thomas

From Publishers Weekly

According to Peeke, the unique hormonal and life challenges that all women go through over the course of their lives dramatically affect their ability to "remove" or maintain weight. In this adaptation of the popular Body-for-Life Program, Peeke (Fight Fat After Forty) offers sound nutritional advice and discusses how physiology and genetics influence metabolism. Although she describes how daily stressors and destructive habits can have life-threatening consequences, Peeke primarily aims to remove what she identifies as the greatest obstacle to weight loss--a woman's reluctance to focus on her own needs. While Peeke stresses her program's holistic nature, exercise, she says, is paramount. Photographs and instructions for cardio and resistance training and flexibility exercises will help women develop fitness plans that suit their abilities. But the emphasis on weight training, which Peeke says is essential to weight loss and maintenance, could intimidate readers unaccustomed to much physical activity. Others may have difficulty with the limited food choices in the weight-loss segment of the program, or the amount of time required to make use of its copious tools (journals, checklists, progress reports, etc.). Despite her book's drawbacks, Peeke's style, a mix of cheeky humor and not-so-gentle cajoling, as well as individual success stories, will likely motivate many readers to take the Peeke Challenge and become "Peeke Performers." (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

a letter from the author; Pam Peeke. [29kb PDF]
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Edition edition (April 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579546013
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579546014
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a great effective easy to follow program like in Body For Life, this isn't it. She doesn't outline a whole plan like Bill Phillips does. Pamela gives plenty of information, and many recommendations, but does not write up a complete easy to follow plan like Bill. To be honest, that is what I expect from a book named Body for Life for Women, so I had to take a star away from what is otherwise an outstanding book.

Overall, I find Bill's original plan too limited for a lifetime, so in this way, Pamela's book is better. But, his is so detailed that all you have to do is decide to commit and follow through. BFL for Women requires more input than that. You will need to research, figure out what exercise you prefer and plan accordingly. Determine what cardio you like and the level, etc. Weight work is also not all spelled out like his plan. She discusses yoga and Pilates, but again, doesn't make it easy to fit all this in.

It's a great book, but not what I had want in a BFL for Women. I want a plan of the same quality as the original BFL plan, that is guaranteed to work if followed. Not just a book full of great advice. Something I know will be worth the time because it has been proven by 100's of people who have followed the same plan and have great results to show for it. This is closer to all the common sense advice we've all ignored time and time again. Wonderful book, but not at all like the BFL concept.

I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to learn more about fitness for women. But, not for anyone who loved the original BFL plan and wants one for women. Nor for anyone who wants a quick, easy to follow plan to blast their body into shape. This is a great book for the long haul.
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Format: Hardcover
I lost 48 lbs with the first Body for Life book that was written by Bill Phillips. The only thing I didn't love about that book was all of the 'manly' exercise routines and instructions in the exercise and weight-lifting chapters. Although I loved the diet while I was on it, eventually I fell off the wagon and was inspired when I saw this book, thinking ah, this must be a woman's approach to the same effective program.

It wasn't.

There are several things that bother me about this book, the first being that it seems like this book was just an afterthought, a way to put a woman on the cover of a book to reach all of the dieters who didn't pick up the Bill Phillips version because there was a big hunky man on the front.

This book had a lot of general information and advice we've all heard before. I thought the assembly of information was just kind of general - not pin-pointing - and it was confusing. I also felt like I was reading way too much 'filler' information when really all I wanted was the health plan. We all watch the news and hear the statistics, I was bored seeing them again.

Also, there are a few contradictions between this book and the original Body for Life book. If this is a different plan, why call it Body for Life? One small example is that in Bill Phillip's book, low-fat yogurt is clearly explained as a carbohydrate. (And I lost almost 50 lbs eating it as one.) But in BFL for Women, it's listed as a protein! This is confusing. Also, in this book it suggests you can follow the plan for a few days, then have a free day. In the original BFL, you had to go 6 days on the plan, with only one free day each week. I would have liked these changes (or differences perhaps for women) to be explained.
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Format: Audio CD
I found Pamela Peek's book to be extremely smart and a comprehensive life time plan for everyday women. If you are looking for an advanced body building book, this book might not be for you. If you are struggling with mid-life weight loss issues, baby weight or are confused about low carb/no carb/high carb or zoning... buy this book, it works! Inside the book is a foods table that takes the guesswork out of "what to eat," while allowing freedom of choice. The exercise schedule is realistic (minimum time in the gym is 30 minutes/6 days a week. And unique to lifestyle fitness books is a chapter that addresses four hormonal milestones and how these milestones affect your body's ability to lose weight (and what you can do about it). Milestone 1: Menstruation to First Pregnancy. 2: The Reproductive Years. 3: Perimonopause and Menopause. 4: Beyond Menopause. On a personal note, I've seen the negative comments posted regarding this book ~ all I can say is that has not been my experience: I'm losing weight, feeling firm, not struggling with hunger pains and recommending the book to family, friends and colleagues.
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Format: Hardcover
As a life long athlete and body builder I am well aware of the Body for Life program. I stepped down from competitive body building, and have since been a strength and fitness trainer. Over the years I have had the pleasure of training men and women who really want to get in shape and achieve some optimal level of wellness. The guys have always gotten the "go hard or go home" message and welcome the sweat and intensity and therefore resonate with the original program. My frustration has been finding a way to reach most of my women clients and get them to push the envelope, get intense and transform. Most are so motivated and then run into problems with how to balance their workouts with caring for so many others in their life, and then there's the ups and downs with self image and moods, tough times with eating right and finally what's up with their hormone status. I got Dr. Peeke's book Body for Life for Women and after scoping it out, there's no question I personally have a better understanding of how differently women are hard wired when it comes to approaching their transformation. As a trainer, I want to be there to guide each woman in a way that respects their unique needs. This book nails it. I now recommend all of my clients read it. I really think it gives women a blueprint that's reasonable and realistic. None of my women clients want to look ripped and pose in bathing suits. Instead they so want to achieve the best body composition they can and know that they have to have a healthy and focused attitude to make it all happen. I really like Dr. Peeke's phased in approach to the workouts. Many of the women I train are obese and very out of shape, and frequently with medical conditions, and there's no way they are attacking a high intensity workout to start.Read more ›
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