1 AN EXTRAORDINARY SECRET Life is short, live it well. -JORGE CRUISE Something has happened across America, and it's spreading throughout the Western world. People's waistlines are getting bigger and bigger. More than 60 percent of Americans are overweight or obese, and the number keeps growing. What does this mean for you? Well, if you're overweight-whether you have five or over 30 pounds to lose-you probably aren't living the life you want to lead. Extra weight destroys your self-esteem and truly limits your ability to move freely. Even worse, extra weight around your midsection has been shown to lead to life-threatening health problems like type II diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and stroke-belly fat is extremely dangerous. I'll discuss why belly fat is so risky in a bit, but for now it's crucial that you realize that getting fit and shrinking your waist are essential to your health. By the time you finish this chapter, you will understand my extraordinary secret to shrinking your waist in two weeks and getting into the best shape of your life. And it will only take two 20-minute workouts each week that you can do at home or the gym. You won't have to spend hours to see results; you'll never waste time on inefficient exercise methods again. THE KING OF FAT I know what it's like to feel uncomfortable with your body. I was fat as a kid. My whole family loved to eat huge portions of heavy, rich foods. My mom and grandma believed that a well-fed kid was a well-loved kid-and I would say that I was loved as much as two normal kids combined! I became so chubby that my mom started calling me el rey, or "the king" in Spanish. However, my extra fat, my belly fat in particular, was starting to take a huge toll on me, physically and emotionally. Exercise was never a priority in my family; my dad worked ten-hour days and considered exercise too difficult and time-consuming. As a result of my poor diet and lack of exercise, I was a mess by the time I was fifteen. I had low energy, daily headaches, and asthma so severe that I wheezed when I tried to run laps in gym class. The other kids in school made fun of me and called me names like "lard-ass" and "fatso." I was never picked for teams. I never played sports, and I couldn't even do one push-up or pull-up. I was so embarrassed by my body that my self-esteem suffered. No one-especially not my family who loved me so much-suspected that my lack of exercise and unhealthy diet were responsible for the challenges I faced. It took a life-threatening experience to make me realize that my lifestyle choices could kill me. When I was a teenager, my appendix burst and I came within minutes of dying. During the long and difficult recovery period, I began thinking about becoming a healthier person. I realized that I didn't have the tools I needed to start living a healthy lifestyle, but even thinking about it was a big start for me. Not long after my appendix burst, something happened to my dad that changed both of our lives forever. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and told that without medical intervention he only had a year to live. Rather than undergo invasive, conventional treatment, my dad enrolled in an alternative health center in San Diego called the Optimum Health Institute to learn how to cleanse, rejuvenate, and heal his body with lifestyle changes. I joined the program with my dad, mostly for emotional support, but I took away life-changing lessons in exercise and nutrition. My dad's cancer went into remission and my headaches and asthma disappeared. We both got healthy and gained energy-as well as a whole new appreciation of life. My dad wasn't the only member of my family to suffer serious health consequences from his lifestyle choices. My grandparents were both significantly overweight. They didn't think much aCruise, Jorge is the author of '12 Second Sequence How to Burn 20% More Calories Every Day', published 2007 under ISBN 9780307383310 and ISBN 0307383318.