“Not a minute to waste.” That is how I reframed my thinking after the untimely passing of a close family member right before the start of the “Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle” (BFFM) 2011 Summer Challenge … the Challenge I wasn’t going to enter because I “didn’t want to waste my summer dieting and exercising”. Suddenly, it became imperative to get my body fit and healthy and to do it as quickly as possible.
However, I wanted LASTING results. Previously, I attempted change through sheer force and willpower, with limited short-term success. So, I wanted to know, what would I have to do differently this time to really reach my goals and make permanent lifestyle changes? I decided to dissect the BFFM book, use it as my manual, and change my life.
First; my level of commitment, it had to be 100%. I challenged myself to take it all the way. At the end, I had to know that I gave it everything I had. I constructed a plan and worked it daily taking consistent action toward my goals.
I put my goals in writing with emotional reasons “why” behind them, re-affirming/re-writing them every morning. I made sure my 98-day goals made me a little bit uncomfortable and nervous, so I could stretch myself to get to a level I had never been before.
Next, I set up goal deadlines/progress points so I could make adjustments along the way, based on weekly feedback. I measured progress with a combination of scale weight, measurements, bodyfat, photos, mirror, and clothing. I learned to control my emotions and trust the BFFM process; giving the scale less “weight” and focusing more on body composition and long-term trends.
My key to success was changing myself on the inside first. Once I transformed my self image, the outer me started to follow. I learned if I wanted to automatically make healthy decisions, it had to begin from within. I listened to self-improvement CDs constantly; removing “can’t” and “lose” from my vocabulary; replacing them with “choose to” and “burn off”. I started “pretending” I was a fitness model.
I made a Goal Card this time and carried it everywhere (see it on my thread). Friends photoshopped my head on my DreamBody (Monica Brant). I put these images on my goal card and my bathroom mirror and visualized my DreamBody non-stop. Soon, the line between my mirror image, and the images on the mirror, began to blur…
It was important for me to stop analyzing and started DOING.
I immediately cleaned up my nutrition. I used BFFM to design menus and learned to eat whole, natural, organic foods. I got rid of processed bars, deli meat, and hormone/antibiotics/chemical ridden man-made foods. I weighed and measured EVERYTHING.
In my food journal, I structured meals based on 35% Carbs, 45% Protein, 20% Fat; counting calories and manipulating macronutrient ratios, based on my weekly feedback. I ate small meals every 3 hours with starchy carbs earlier in the day and protein with every meal. Three low calorie days with a 30% deficit were followed by one high day at Maintenance Level (TDEE – Total Daily Expended Energy). I also drank at least a gallon of water a day.
I used my Workout Journal to plan my resistance training, using previous workouts as a reference to continually challenge myself with more weight or reps each time. Keeping/adding muscle was a priority. I did heavy weight training using the BFFM 4-Day Split; Variant 1.
My workouts: weights and cardio 6-7 days/week. Cardio was 30-45 minute sessions; sometimes twice a day, and included new activities like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), yoga and track work.
Posting my meals in the Burn The Fat Inner Circle (private forums) made me accountable; keeping me on track. Support was vital; both giving and receiving; joining a team was crucial. There were times I felt discouraged, but, because I was surrounded with like-minded people striving for similar goals, it kept me laser-focused and helped me stick to the plan.
Ostacles – of course there were many. I learned it will NEVER be the “perfect” time to get in shape. My diet wasn’t perfect; some workouts were less than stellar. One of my many challenges was having to literally drive across the country while eating clean, getting in workouts, driving all day, and staying in hotels. I did it (see my thread) and even made great progress. There were setbacks, plateaus (I referred to the 10 steps for breaking a plateau in BFFM), many many difficult social situations, and injuries. The difference, this time, was that I had a STRATEGY – before these events took place; I learned to always be prepared and plan ahead – and BRING MY FOOD!
Interestingly, I began this journey motivated by pain (unhappy with self, embarrassed by my body, lethargic, frumpy), but somewhere along the way, things changed. As I started experiencing true progress, I began getting motivated by pleasure (smaller sizes, lower bodyfat, more energy, lots of compliments).
I stayed motivated by keeping my goals in my face constantly; visualizing incessantly. Comments from negative people fueled my fire. I was spurred on when a friend said, “I just don’t want you to be disappointed.” I thought, “How could I ever be disappointed when I’m achieving my goals?!” I believed in myself and the BFFM Plan. I’m a winner because I gave it my all and I got my all. I EARNED this physique with hard work and perserverence. I competed against myself; becoming the best, most improved ME that I could. I took massive action to create massive change, transforming inside and out: body, health, attitudes, beliefs, habits, emotions, nutrition, foods, workouts, goals, actions, and THAT gave me confidence that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.
Lastly, I formulated a plan for life after the challenge. Now, with my new lifestyle fully ingrained after 14 weeks, continuing along this path is natural; I’m on auto-pilot.
BFFM took the guesswork out. I put the hard work in. The result: new body, new mindset, new confidence in myself. Burn The Fat Inner Circle Get the exact plan I followed and get similar results!!