May 15th, 2011

Burn The Fat 2011 Summer Blog Contest

What’s really been stopping you from achieving the body of your dreams and why will you NEVER let that stop you again? If you can answer those questions, I can almost guarantee that you’re going to be in the best shape of your life before the summer is over. What’s more, if you’ll post your answer in the Burn the Fat blog comments below, you could win a whole bunch of free stuff – free ebooks and free inner circle memberships – even a FREE trip to Maui! Read on to get ALL the details…

The Summer 2011 Burn The Fat Challenge Body Transformation Contest opens Thursday, May 19th – that’s THIS WEEK – Just days away!

Why should you enter the Burn the Fat Challenge? After all, we’re surrounded by “weight loss” contests these days aren’t we?

Yes – and that’s precisely the problem!

In “weight loss” contests, people are rewarded even if they avoid weight training, lose muscle, drop buckets of water weight or even cheat by taking laxatives or diuretics… It’s all about the almighty scale. Hmpf! Big deal! I know wrestlers who can sweat out 20 pounds overnight!

This contest is different.

The Burn the Fat Challenge is the World’s First “Body Composition Transformation Contest.”

In the Burn the Fat Challenge, what matters most is burning the fat and feeding the muscle!

When you accept this challenge and enter the 2011 Burn the Fat contest, you will not only take before and after pictures, you will also measure your body fat percentage so you can be judged visually and numerically on your improvement in body composition !

“Skinny fat” people who starved and dehydrated themselves to “lose scale weight” are NOT very likely to win THIS contest, no sir!

Earlier this week, we just announced the AMAZING (and highly motivating) grand prize package, which includes two dream vacations for two to sunny Maui, Hawaii.


Click Here for Burn the Fat challenge contest details and prizes

TODAY! Burn The Fat BLOG Giveaway Contest! Enter to Win Free e-books, Free Burn The Fat Memberships And Free Automatic Entry Into the Burn the Fat Challenge!

Today, in anticipation of the upcoming Burn The Fat Challenge body transformation contest, we are running a pre-challenge BLOG GIVEAWAY CONTEST to find out WHAT’S BEEN STOPPING YOU FROM HAVING A BRAND NEW BODY (until now – because whatever it was, it’s about to be behind you)

You see, a lot of people have emailed, commented here on the blog, posted on the facebook Burn the Fat page or answered our past surveys and said, “IM IN TOM!”

And lots of people say they want to transform their body, give up old bad habits and start a new lifestyle. But in my experience, one of the reasons so few do is because so many cling to a long list of things that they believe are stopping them.

Here’s my pre-challenge challenge to you: How many of those beliefs are real and how many are self-imposed limiting beliefs… stuff that’s only in your head that’s holding you back?

And heck – even the “REAL STUFF” – daily life challenges that get in the way and true physical adversity. Has it really been stopping you?

Bunch of kids running around the house? Couldn’t possibly find the time to workout and eat right as a busy new mom with three little ones under the age of 5 could you? Hannah did it. And she WON our first ever Burn the Fat Challenge in 2009.

“But being busy and stressed doesn’t count,” you say, “I have serious limitations.” Even your doc said so – you have orthopedic restrictions – that’s a legitimate excuse, right?

Tell that to Burner Dennis Giger, who shared his success story with our inner circle members not long ago. He burned 109 pounds of fat… despite having osteoarthritis, a hip replacement, and severe leg pain. And that was at age 55 after 35 years of totally sedentary living!

Did you read the story of my good friend Dougal Macdonald from South Africa who broke his neck in a surfing accident? Didn’t stop him. Just weeks after the last of his 5 surgeries he was pumping iron again. Today he’s a fitness role model and inspiration to thousands.

Oh, but you’re obese. You’re too far gone? When you’re that big, you can hardly even move, let alone exercise, right? Why bother? That’s a real reason – a real thing stopping you right? Well it’s stopping you if you choose to let it stop you. Mike Boyd chose to be unstoppable. He lost 256 pounds! That’s right, he was 425!

This guy is amazing! It gives me chills every time I re-read the success story and articles he’s shared with our Inner Circle members. When he started, he said, “walking 10-15 steps was killer.” Now you can find him out on the basketball court.

Do you see where I’m going with this? Because if you don’t, I could go on for pages and pages and pages and in fact there ARE pages and pages of these types of stories in our Burn the fat inner circle in the success story archives.

Yes, people have real problems, setbacks and adversities, including injuries and illnesses. I would never deny or downplay the major obstacles or disadvantages some people have to overcome. But that is the key word: OVERCOME. My question is: Are you going to overcome? Or are you going to succumb?

The question is, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to do nothing? Or are you going to do what you can with what you have, where you are, right now? Are you going to start with baby steps and build from there? Do you have the patience and the determination?

What we’re doing here at Burn the Fat is not just a contest. It’s a challenge. And I’m challenging you to answer some serious questions. This is a life-altering exercise, not just a blog sweepstakes with a chance to win free stuff. I hope you’ll participate.

To enter our blog giveaway today, you just need to post a short comment below, answering this question:

What have you believed in the past… up until now… that you thought was stopping you from having the body you always wanted? Be honest. Brutally honest. Get it out.

Then, once you’ve done that, take a cold, hard look at what you’ve just written, and ask yourself: “was that REALLY holding me back? Was it REALLY stopping me or was it just perhaps, slowing me down a bit? Was it just a temporary setback. Was it just self limiting belief? Was it a mere idea in my own head – and that’s all that’s been preventing me from achieving my dreams?”

And finally, write down, right here, right now, WHY that will never stop you again.

Answer these questions in the blog comments below – try to keep it under 500 words or less – and here’s what you could get:


We are going to pick 10 winners at random – so anyone has a chance to win

1st prize: one person will receive a one year membership to the Burn The Fat Inner Circle ($119 value) a free copy of the Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle ebook (deluxe edition, download) and a free personally autographed copy of The Body Fat Solution hardcover book.

2nd prize: three people will receive a six month membership to the Burn The Fat Inner Circle and a free copy of the Burn the Fat, Feed the muscle ebook (download)

3rd prize: six people will receive a special four month “challenge” membership to the Burn The Fat Inner Circle (which will last you all the way through the 2011 summer challenge, if you choose to enter).

All winners will be eligible to enter the Burn the Fat Challenge body transformation contest (optional.. but I think you should GO FOR IT!)

It’s not too often that an OPPORTUNITY like this just falls into your lap. A PERFECT STORM of the positive kind – where ALL THE ELEMENTS FOR WINNING fall right into place… where conditions “conspire for your success.” This week’s Body Transformation challenge – opening on Thursday May 19th – is such an opportunity.

And the thing is, the vast majority of people reading this are already part of our community – if you own the Burn the Fat manual, our upcoming transformation contest is FREE for you too!

That’s right, you don’t have to buy a bunch of fat burner pills or diet shakes to get into our challenge – I don’t sell “magic pills” or quick fixes – never did and never will! The Burn the Fat challenge is a FREE service for our community and the opportunity is yours for the taking. Right here, right now.

(The transformation contest is open for NEW customers too, just be sure to check the rules and restrictions below)

So, is this finally going to be the summer that YOU become unstoppable? The decision is yours.

Now, Tell me what’s been stopping you in the past and why it will never stop you again in the comments below! Comments are open. Blog contest is live!

Train hard and expect success,

Your Friend and coach,

Tom Venuto
author of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle
Founder & CEO,
Burn The Fat 2010 Summer Challenge

You must answer the questions above and include your name to be entered in this free drawing. Entries must be received by Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST. .

Blog Contest Terms/Rules/Restrictions: NO PURCHASE REQUIRED TO ENTER the blog contest. you must be 18 years of age or older, Contest subject to state and federal laws and void where prohibited. Answer must be provided by posting a comment in the blog comments below, including your name (include at least your first name and last initial). Entries must be received by Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST. Winners to be announced here on this blog on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011. Winners must contact Burn The Fat support at to redeem prizes by providing postal address for hardcover book delivery and email address for digital book/membership delivery. Contest sponsored by Fitness Renaissance, LLC doing business as Burn The Fat blog. All entries become property of contest sponsor.

BURN THE FAT 98-DAY SUMMER CHALLENGE: Some restrictions apply. Must be 18 years of age or older. Contest enrollment is FREE for ALL current Burn the Fat customers and Burn the Fat Inner Circle members. Current customers subscribed to the clients list will receive a private email invitation to register before May 19th, or may contact customer service and request an invitation between May 19th and May 25th by showing proof of purchase. Contest is open to NEW burn the fat customers, but there may be restrictions in some countries. Void where prohibited. In the United States, Contest is void for new customers in Vermont, Maryland, North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Tennessee, New Jersey and Rhode Island (reason: state laws do not allow registration in a fitness contest that requires a new purchase). Complete rules, list of prizes, terms, conditions and legal notices can be found on the contest information page.

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413 Responses to “Burn The Fat 2011 Summer Blog Contest”

  • My limiting belief is that I’m not worthy enough for success; I won’t ever be good enough, and someone will have a problem with my success and tear me down when I start to show signs of being successful, so why bother setting myself up to be torn down and deal with the resulting pain? Plus, I have major doubts about my abilities to be really successful any more in my life.

    Wow, I never realized this in this way. The first part started from a young age, back in grade school. I was able to keep it from limiting me in most ways while I was still in school, except my weight. The pain was apparent through my struggles with weight. The latter was always a part of me throughout my life, the insidious voice of doubt anytime I did anything less than perfect, but really reared its head after working for a horrible boss, on top of that job taking away from opportunities to be true to myself outside of work because of the demands it put on me.

    So how am I not going to let this stop me? That’s an even harder question because I’ve let it do that all my life so far, and I’ve used food to cope. I have always told myself that I’m not motivated enough because I can’t overcome these issues to be successful, and therefore tear myself down as a result, doing what other people used to do before they can do it to me now.

    I know I’m supposed to say, But I deserve success! But that wouldn’t be truthful to how I feel.

    However, I do know that for reasons I’ll never be able to fathom, I have a Savior who found me worthy enough to save, and I need to, as a result of his love and not because I need to do it to be loved and to receive the gift from him, live my life the best that I can so that I can use the unique abilities he’s given me. I was made this way–with these abilities and these crosses to bear–for reasons I likely won’t fully understand in this lifetime. But I’m not honoring Him or myself or those in my world by being less than I was made to be, and my fat and my lack of true energy isn’t helping any of us, much less helping me make the world a better place or serve my family.

    I’m not going to let these things stop me any more. I wasn’t made fat and unhealthy and lacking energy to be limiting my abilities. I was made to use my uniqueness to make the world a better place, and to show how my Savior’s love is for everyone, INCLUDING me!

    This is probably a much longer answer than you were looking for, Tom, and some may mock my faith, but I do know that it is by His grace that I am still walking this earth, because without that grace, I would have ended my life along time ago. But that means I’m still here for a reason, and the best way to live the rest of my life is in the best shape I can be!

    • Langknow

      My limiting belief is my self image.

      Growing up I’ve always looked in the mirror and thought, “man, what a fat kid…”

      I’ve always been fat.

      I’ve recently for about 2 years now been on and off strength training, and I’ve improved my health much more, but it’s not my ideal body type still, because eventhough I’m stronger, and it might sound ego related but I still have around 25 % body fat .

      I’m 180 lbs at 25 % body fat, at 5 ‘ 5 ” height.

      What I find is that I might try hard as I may, but I keep eating or overeating .

      Sometimes I would overeat, and then vomit it out.

      What’s my main issue is body image, and laziness.

      I feel it’s easier to just eat some instant noodles, then cook something raw.

      I’m a person who thinks he doesn’t like vegetables, eventhough I know they are good for me. I know I shouldn’t be overeating but I do it anyway.

      What’s wrong with me?

      • Jasmine

        No, there is nothing wrong with you. It is just a matter of getting stuck in old habits. I am in the same boat as you when it comes to body image issues, overeating, laziness, and doing things even though you know it’s wrong! I am still struggling with everything you listed as well, but I am trying to create new habits and a new lifestyle that will make me look back on all of this and laugh. It will not be easy, but the journey of changing ourselves can be one of the most rewarding things that can transform who we are – mentally and physically. Hang in there, I know we can do this.

    • Linda Miller

      I wish you the very best Kate!!! I’ll be praying for you!

    • Hey Kate!

      Of course you CAN DO IT!

      You need to TAKE RESPONSABILITY, you are not a VICTIM, at least you shouldn’t see yourself that way because if you do YOU HAVE NO POWER

      It’s time to TAKE CONTROL girl!

      Listen to some Earl Nightingale on YouTube and you will be on your way to achieving your goals, no more whinning!! you are worthy and you’re valuable =)

      • Kate M

        Jorge – thanks for the encouragement!! I’ll check out Earl, too. Here’s to a great summer!

    • Oh crud, I missed the part about last initial! Just updating it here!

    • Michelle Clement

      Wow here it goes, I am scared of having the body I want because when I was a teenager and had the body I want now in life, I was raped on two different occasions,I am scared if I look and feel good I wont feel safe.

      I suffer from low self esteem from being put down since my child and have a sever sence of failure.

      So I suppose I am scared if I start this journey with you Tom that I will once again let myself down and I cant be let down anymore.

      Oh and finally I have been trying to understand the calorie counting but the penny hasn’t dropped so that holds me back also.


    • Linda Miller

      Thank you so much Kate and Elizabeth M. for your beautiful words of wisdom. Elizabeth is my daughter’s name so Elizabeth M. would be her name and initial and that I don’t think is a coincidence because I don’t believe in coincidences. She is a beautiful little girl of 7 who is in the Autism Spectrum and is also Down Syndrome. I believe everything happens for a reason. I’ll let you both know that I have printed out your replies to me. That’s how much they affected me (especially Elizabeth’s.) I think about the fact that “the more is given the more is required” and that does scare me. I know that the Lord teaches that with love there is no fear but I fear my own inadequacies, not His Love, but I guess that’s an oxymoron because with Love there is total Trust and I guess I have more to learn about trusting Him than I do about fearing my own weaknesses. After all, we are all weak inadequacies without His love and mercy. Anyway, thank you both very much for your support and I am soooo looking forward to hooking up with you for this challenge. May God abundantly bless the both of you and your families. Love, Linda Miller

      PS: Isn’t Tom a card. This time he let us reply to one another and support each other rather than him having to respond to our comments. I almost feel like I should be in a petri dish! LOL HI TOM!

      • Elizabeth M.

        that’s the third time I have been blessed this weak to be a blessing. thank you I think it is definitely the thing to put me in the challenge with you. No excuses of being busy, just setting it up right now. Here’s one more tidbit on follow-through. It was magic for me:

        I have always been told my rebellious ways were against God. But I found a way to use them against my implanted voice of the devil. This is it. Fight against what you think you want or don’t want. And then just play the game and laugh at yourself rebelling against your flesh nature all day. It’s fantastic. Thanks for the honor of your friendship. I will be praying for her everyday. I will put her on my daily prayers. I don’t know if you looked up the name like I do so often. But Elizabeth means consecrated to God. It’s a wonderful name. Thanks for sharing. I will catch up with you and Kate soon. My aunt’s name is Linda and she is an amazing woman. Funny. :}

  • Ian Brown

    The wrong approach is what has stopped me in the past. I have always had the motivation and desire to do it. I have put in the long hours in the gym and followed a strict diet. And when it didnt work I would get frustrated and tell myself that what I had accomplished was good enough, knowing that it really wasnt.

    That wrong approach of calorie restriction and long hours of intense cardio was preventing me from reaching my goal and I just couldnt figure out why. On paper it didnt make sense. I should have been dropping fat every week. Instead I would plateau and eventually get so hungry that I would eat everything in sight.

    After reading BFFM and learning the principles I now have the answers to why it never worked before. I now have the “right” approach to finally reach my goal! The BFFM guidelines, my unstoppable desire to reach my goal and the support of the Inner Circle will help me get there. The summer challenge is the perfect time to do it!!

  • Zsuzsanna

    FEAR, of the unknown, of success. And convincing myself that I deserve better. Lots of voices from the past in my head telling me I am fat and lazy and selfish. If I can unlearn those voices I can maybe concentrate on me without guilt.

  • Jasmine Colon

    What has stopped me in the past? MYSELF! I would always find some excuse: not strong enough, no time, it’s not worth it, I’m going to gain it back anyways, it won’t change anything anyways, too tired, it won’t last….. It goes on and on.
    Not to mention there are very negative people in this world who will sabotage any efforts made and instead of resisting it, I would let it push me back further, therefore creating a negative mental state within myself and then giving up.

    What’s going to keep me from stopping this time? I’m tired of feeling this way about myself, I’m tired of always putting excuses and I’ve had enough!!! I’m ready to change once and for all. I’m ready to be healthy, live to my fullest potential, live longer and be a healthy role model for my daughter. I realize that only I have the power to control what I put in my mouth and how I look. If I want to look better, feel better and be healthy, then it’s up to me to make the changes necessary to do so.

  • Mila S.

    In the past, I believed that not exercising and poor eating habits were my main obstables preventing me from getting the body I wanted.

    Now, I realize that it’s not only diet and exercise that was holding me back; it is not having the right frame of mind that is really my obstacle. It’s me not believing in myself that I have what it takes. And “it” is just a matter of purging out all the negative thoughts, bad experiences, and self sabatogating habits I’ve accumulated over the years. Once I do this, there’s no stopping me.

    All I have to do is start with a goal, stay focused, work hard at it, and stay patient by taking one day at a time and I will see the finish line!

  • Kel

    ive lost quite a lot of weight but i still look flabby,ive been going to the gym a lot to try and change this. But i allways end up giving into cravings and it ruins how hard i have worked at the gym this has led me to believe that i will never be able to get a toned and muscly figure. this will not be stopping me from reaching my goals anymore, i beleive now with the determination and following the advice given in the bffm book i can now achive the body i have allways wanted, and by following the right nutrition plan i will not feel the need to give in to cravings anymore.

  • Amy

    I’m the queen of self-sabotage!
    I always believed that I dont eat that much, that I train hard therefore I don’t have to watch what I eat, to my very core I’ve allowed myself to believe this, even now that I’ve finally changed my dietary habbits, (to eating 5 small meals a day, all whole real foods) I’ll lie to myself and say “oh I’ve been good, this extra bit of sauce or piece of meat or chocolate or beer wont make a difference” in one word, BULLSHIT. It’s these little lies I keep telling myself that are precisely the reason why I’m NOT getting that svelt lean body that I damn well deserve!
    I must stop lying to myself. I’ve allowed food to dictate my life and I’m *beeping* over it.
    Not only and I going to trash that belief! I’m going to take on a new one, that I love eating clean and I always stick to my meal plan!
    I am going to enter this competition and im going to come out a winner because i am finally going to achieve the body of my dreams!!
    Thanks for the support and wealth of info Tom, you the man 🙂

  • SuperChunk

    What’s been stopping me? Not finding your program! After years of unsustainable “yo-yo dieting” and believing claims that are too good to be true, I found BTFFTM and finally it all makes sense.

    • PeterA

    • Janice H

      Ditto for me. Before I found BFFM, I was afraid that if I dieted to lose weight, I would ultimately lose a lot of lean muscle mass. I had dieted before with disasterous consequences in terms of my body composition.

      With the BFFM program, losing muscle is no longer a concern. I have no more excuses. I will be competing in the Summer Challenge. I am dedicated, motivated, and very excited.

  • Vicky

    What’s been holding me back in the past are mostly limiting beliefs about myself that I won’t ever reach my goal weight/the body I want, that I can’t do it and mostly the belief that even if I reach my goal weight/the body that I want, it won’t change how I feel (about myself) so why should I bother.

    Very recently I’ve come to realize that the most important thing I have to do, is BELIEVE that I CAN do this and that it WILL change everything. I also finally realized that I just have to take baby steps in changing my attitude and my mindset and then one day, I WILL get there.

  • Mbuotidem Isaac

    I live in an area where I have no access to gyms. My excuse has been, “well, since there is no gym around, there is no point, I can never be as successful as the other people who have access to least i’m not obese, i’m just skinny fat.”

    But clearly, that was just a self-limiting belief. A little bit of research has shown me that there are a lot of exercises I could engage that could still help me lose weight. Exercise machines would be the first choice, of course, but they clearly are not the last choice.

    Now that its clear that I’m the one standing in between my having a body i’m eager to show off, I am determined to get out there and do my pushups, jumping jacks, lunges and all else that will help me reverse the damage already done to my health. if I don’t take action now, and develop the discipline, I’ll have a much harder battle later on.

  • Margaret

    I’ve recently progressed in the mental part of my efforts, using visualization techniques to “see” my body. During this process, I realized that I’ve not been in touch with my body for a long time…Yeah, I ran it through workouts, and had good periods of food intake, but I lost the feeling of what it should feel like…walking down the hall feeling my abs pulled in tight, and my legs walking strong, doing work around the house, lifting and moving, and feeling my body working as an efficient machine. I don’t know if I have felt that mental strength since I was a teenager, when my youthful body last was fit. I didn’t realize that I can feel that way now, until I started this new phase of my life.

    It’s changed me. My body is being molded by my brain now. I’m joining the contest for the fun of it, but I don’t need it to stay focused any more. I haven’t seen many success stories of women over 50, gaining this success in massive physical and mental transformations. I will be one, for women who have been blessed with children, and who are moving into this stage of life.

  • nieves

    i think whats always holds me back in essence is fear. fear of being boring cuz i cant hang out and drink lots with my friends. fear of being “that obsessed guy’ or the health freak. fear of obsessing so much about calories that i just dont have a life. im scared of finding out that if this works, im going to have to live a strick eating, exercise all the time kind of life and there will be no time to just bum around. im scared that ill get tired of mentally pushing myself and give up half way or just get tired of living at the peak and ill let myself go.
    so many things that scare me!! of course im also pretty stubborn and ive got this idea in my head of doing this, so i have no choice but to jump for it and see what happens later! :S
    still terrified but ive got to see what really is going to happen.

  • Lisa Lee

    There are so many little things that have contributed to my lack of success in the past but by changing my “inner dialogue” all those little things are now coming together and I’m moving forward.

    For my entire adult life I’ve had the running dialogue in my head “I’ve tried everything and no matter what I do I can’t lose weight”. Had I tried 45 minutes of cardio daily? Had I tried lifting heavier weights, consistently? Had I tried tapering my carbs or balancing my macronutrients? Had I tried (gasp) increasing my calories? No, no, no and no. I hadn’t tried everything, so I hadn’t lost weight.

    With BFFM I realized my goal wasn’t actually to lose weight it was really to lose fat. I look fine with clothes on but I was flabby and out of shape and really didn’t feel good about myself. The simple task of changing the issue in my mind to losing fat, I began to think of things a LOT differently.

    I now surround myself with positive, likeminded people, both in real life and online. This change was monumental! For example when I posted on the inner circle I want to run a 5k, not a single person laughed at me or asked why (amazing how those outside reactions from negative people can really shape your internal dialogue), instead, they gave me suggestions and support. I began to think of myself differently and therefore began to talk to myself differently; this has made all the difference.

    I have a ways to go but now by telling myself I am doing it (not “going to do it” or “trying to do it”) I am on the right road and am doing it. Instead of asking myself “what’s the difference if I exercise today, what is one workout going to accomplish?” I say, “get your butt out of bed and push as hard as you can, this is one workout and you better get it done”. If I don’t have the 45 minutes I want to spend, I do 25 minute HIIT or do a 10 minute run, pushing those 10 minutes to the max because if that is what I have to spend, that’s what it is going to take. With my mind preoccupied with all this positive momentum forward, it is very hard to fall back into that negative mindset. I’m truly off and running!

    • mel b

      i love you and thanks for voicing the fear i’m not even @ that level of talking about it but i want to see too.

    • mel b

      You hit it right on the nail. Not utilizing the time I have left in the day on myself and not doing healthy activities on a daily basis, I instead have continuously made poor excuses and poor follow through on plans made during a wealth of free time while my child is in school. I can’t get past the blessings that are staring me in the face and somehow see them as obstacles and then have created more obstacles that I refuse to remove which is keeping me from doing what is right for my health. Thanks for helping see a different perspective and put in my brain that every little bit does count and the more I put off the goal the longer it will take to reach it.

  • Danielle

    In its simplest term the thing that has been stopping me from achieving the body of my dreams is a role. A misperception that I’ve been living with basically my whole life. When I was young, I was chubby and not athletic, but very smart. And in our youth, my siblings and I took on these roles of what we were “good” at. I was the smart one, my sister was the pretty one and my brother was the athletic one. Because of that and some comments that were made to me in my youth I have never truly believed that I could be anything more than the smart one. Sure, I’ve told myself that I’m pretty and athletic…and been told the same, but I haven’t really believed it. Until now.

    I realize that I CAN have it all. I can be the smart one, AND the beautiful one, AND the athletic one. Nothing is stopping me from having all of these things. I am physically able. I am smart enough to do the research to figure out the proper nutrition and exercises to make a training plan; And I have the determination to stick with a plan and not let anyone or anything stop me. When I have my mind set on a goal, I can close off the negative influences of my environment and go full steam towards that goal. In realizing that I’m unstoppable…that the potential for me to be whatever I want to be in unlimited…I have broken that barrier that has haunted me for most of my young life. Now that I feel that freedom I am never going back. I’m going to win this competition.

  • Virginia

    My negative belief is that I’ve lost weight in the past kept it off for a good while, but it started creeping back on again. I have been through rigorous programs with intense nutrition plans and it worked, but I didn’t have the support I needed to keep my nutrition on track. I believe this time I am jam packed with the tools I need for body and MIND success! I am ready to feel good about myself again and stay that way!! Thanks so much for all the great information:)

  • Laura

    I am stuck in mediocrity. Most people would not consider me to be fat, but I am not happy with my body. But to get the kind of body I want would mean making some big sacrifices. When you are at the point where you are fine by some standards it is so hard to give up fancy meals or wine when you are in a social setting. Especially dating. I need to be able to find the motivation to make the sacrifices to get rid of last 10

    • Laurie

      I’m with you on all those, Laura. Everybody always tells me how slim I am, but I know the truth and the mirror doesn’t lie. And no, I’m not in denial/anorexic; I’m a ‘skinnyfat,’ as I like to call us. I’m in reasonably good shape, walk or bike to work, walk or bike for fun, have a very active job, and eat FAIRLY well MOST of the time. But my biggest fear is giving up what I consider to be one of the great joys in life: eating good food, with and without good friends and family. I DO NOT want to be one of those people who avoid everything yummy all the time, because I know from experience that I would end up feeling super-guilty EVERY SINGLE TIME I put anything in my mouth that wasn’t considered clean food. So all I can envision when I think about challenging myself is: no more popcorn at the movies, EVER. No more happy hours, EVER. No more dates at restaurants where I don’t have to say: “And could you please broil/grill WITHOUT fat? And sub steamed veggies for the fries/mashed potatoes? And please don’t bring the bread to the table because I can’t have that either. Etc., etc. No more bike outings for ice cream with my kid. No more 7-layer dip with tortilla chips for an easy hot-weather dinner, because I’d have to sub baked tortilla chips (yuk) for the regular ones, low/nonfat cheese for the regular, something, god only knows what, for the guac, and Greek yogurt for the sour cream. No more cream-based soups, EVER. No more cake or brownies, EVER.
      I could go on and on. I am a ‘foodie,’ have been all my life. I love to cook and bake and feel like I would be so limited in my choices of what to make FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE that I just go, the hell with it. I look pretty good clothed, I feel good nearly all the time, my health is good, my blood sugar is good, my blood pressure is low, my resting heart rate is <50; why should I deny myself so much of what I enjoy in life?
      And just so you know, I prepared (and ate, and very much enjoyed) a vegan quinoa/black bean/mango salad for dinner last night. Well, with half a piece of bread. With BUTTER.

  • Ahmed

    I have always, to a certain degree, watched what I eat and I have been somewhat active throughout my life. I am 65.5 and weighted 125 when I graduated from college 4.5 years ago. I was always considered skinny by family and friends. Therefore, I always wanted to gain weight, but I wont about it the wrong way. Although I attneded a gym, I was not doing any cardio at all and I eat as much as my stomach can hold and whenever like a pig. One year ago, I realized how fat I have become. From 125 lb to 185lb. That was too much weight on a short and small fram. So I started on my journey to lose weight but I have never been able to go below 165. One reason is the family and envirnment I live in. College and work are also another reasons since they do not leave me with much time to cook my meals or excercise regularly. However, I started begining March of this year to excercise regulary lifting weight and doing some cardio. I also have been careful with what I eat. Although my diet is not perfect, I am doing better than before. My weight has not changed but I notice more muscle on my body and less fat in my midsection than before. Hopfully, I will use this transformation contest to add as much as 4 pounds of muscle to my fram and strip as much as 14 pounds of fat. This is not my ultimate goal, but this is my short term goal for now. This should bring me to 155 at 10% body fat.

  • Irene

    Well, I think my biggest obstacle is not putting myself first for a change. I have children, a husband, a business and it all gets done. But I haven’t done anything for me yet! And it’s time. Tom, I’m going to be fifty this year and I’m obese. I have been follow a bariatric doctors program and I’ve lost 37.5 pounds so far and I’m going to keep going. But I need strength training in a such a big way. All my life, even as an obese person I’ve been strong and healthy. I know, probably not so healthy. But I can bike, hike, swim better than some of my skinnier friends and family. But I now feel weak. I haven’t exercised with this weight loss program I’m on and I need to start. I love how my body feels when it’s strong. I want to be ripped. I am going to take your challenge and be in the best shape of my life by the end of my 50th summer! I can’t wait to see what I look like and hopefully on the beaches on Maui will be a bonus!

  • Stacey

    What has been stopping me is the actuality of getting to the finish line and not being able to sustain the body once i get it. When the weight comes off I listen to what others say and to not myself. Plus another huge thing for me is that i honestly do not see what others see in the mirror. I am too hard on myself and on my body. These things have been holding me back (for years) because i listen to everyone and dont trust in the system and in the plan that it is working. Slow and staedy wins every race and i just have to keep it real! I never want to go back because i hate to be in a constent compitition with myself. I want to figure out the real way to sustain the eating habits, and sustain the body… and move on with my life. Life is too short and i have wasted too much time in my short 31 years worrying about it … I want to finally move on.

    • Virginia

      I couldn’t agree with you more Stacey, I have had the same problem. Good luck to you in the challenge!!

  • My mental sabotage is what has always held me back from achieving the body of my dreams. I am working on my mind by reading and implementing subconscious suggestions through Burn the Fat, The Beck Diet Solution, and Dr. A’s Habits of Health.

  • Nina V

    I just didn´t have the belief that I can do it. I´ll thought I´m just a ordinary person with living ordinary life, all my life. Now I have lots of dreams and I have decided that I just don´t dream about it, I´ll just do it. Now its my time to get my dream body, my dream life. I am worth of it. And I´ll do it.

  • karen

    I will tell you why I have never achieved the results I wanted – I plain didn’t know how to go about it. I have been working out for more than twenty years and following every diet that came along not to mention all those ‘fat burner’pills! and I just kept getting fatter. Since I’ve read the BFFM book I’ve changed my beliefs about food. This was a big breakthrough for me. So far I have lost 10 pounds and I’m thrilled to say most of it is fat! I’ve got at least 10% body fat to fry yet but I know now I can keep making progress. I am thankful everyday for finding this information….I feel so powerful now that I am in control.

  • Linda Miller

    Wow Tom! It’s so weird that you just published this. I was thinking about that very thing just within the past couple of days. I am a very religious person. Was born and raised Catholic and still my faith is the most important thing in my life. Without it, I can see no reason to live. I have been heavy all of my life and have dieted and even gotten quite close to my goals. But when I do get close to my goals, I always seem to mess up. As I was thinking about this these past couple days, I think I see myself as vain, egotistical, arrogant, selfish and maybe, dare I say it, even sinful for wanting to look good. I know the feeling good part of it is not wrong because with two special needs children, I do need to feel good so I can properly take care of them. But I am in good shape and do feel good most of the time. I said most of the time because I do struggle with food. I do use it periodically to console myself when things get very difficult. I know it will be a lifelong struggle, but I guess I just wish I could receive affirmation that it’s not wrong for me to want to look good and to actually look good. I guess I would need to have God himself tell me???? I’ve been praying about it and I think this is what I will be psychologically processing all throughout this summer’s challenge since it will put me at or near my ultimate goal. Any words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for everything and God Bless You!!

    • Hi Linda, I’ve felt the same way! But I also know that God wants us to be healthy, and for me if I look at it that way, as opposed to focusing on how I’ll *look* when I’m really healthy, that takes away the issue of vanity. You deserve it because this is what God wants for you. He wants you to rise above the comfort received from food so that you can be your best for your children–and so that you find that comfort from him.

      I think we too easily settle for feeling alright, or pretty good, but not great. It’s hard to get to great, and life can easily get in the way–life events that on the surface look like they should take up our time, but in perspective are holding us back from living the best life we can here on this earth. Being our best here doesn’t take away from knowing that our ultimate best will be in heaven, or make us vain in some way, because then we can serve others that much better and God can really use us the way he needs to if we’re at our best.

      Does that make sense? Hopefully that helps. This time feels different for me because I don’t feel that worry about being vain, and even if I don’t intrinsically feel that worth, I know God put me here for a reason, and part of that will probably be to encourage others through their own struggles with weight. Who knows what’s waiting for us on the other side of all this weight and mediocrity? Whatever it is, I’m sure it all will be awesome!


    • Elizabeth M.

      I’m intense in my faith as well. And years of being put down for looking good or feeling pretencious if girls look me over and feel insecure or even challenged has brought me to the same thought. It’s vanity and I need to stop. But then something I read changed that thought process. God made beauty in order to connect us to something greater, beyond our capacity, something eternal. It brings others to awe, and even if it’s just for a moment, they are experiencing what they were made for…spiritual connection to the Father. He doesn’t want His temple to be plagued with issues of self-doubt and self-consciousness. We are holding in His light when we do that. I am not saying wear a mini skirt after losing weight. I am saying that our bodies are temples and God’s temples are magnificent! He is crowned in gold, rubies, sapphires, etc. He is beauty, just as He is love. I truly believe that the thoughts of it being a sin is Satan’s hold on us to be our best. I also think that achieving such a feat would actually boost gratitude, meekness, kindness, and all the other fruits of the Spirit. Because we will get past that point where our minds are doing it for ourselves and transition into doing it for our God and the victory it brings that He designed us to have. We are more than conquerors. Now I am preaching to myself. So for that…thank you. I didn’t even get to the thing I read yet. So here it is.

      Marianne Williamson:
      “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

      • Elizabeth – I’m totally with you, especially about self-doubt. And the quote was the one in my head last night when I was answering the question! Thanks for sharing!

        • Elizabeth M.

          My pleasure. To uplift and encourage one another is an honor that we miss so many times out of fear and “self-doubt” that what we say is valuable. I’ve realized just how valuable it is to people. I love that quote. It has totally put me out there. I was showcased for my artwork last month, and just did my first solo ever at church last Sunday, and I have lost 25 pounds. I want 40 more off but I am working toward another 15 before bday in June. I haven’t even read the BFFM for money reasons, but I read everything he sends out and save it in a fitness file. I have changed a lot of thinking and now it’s a matter of putting them into full practice and just believe in God’s power to carry me through to the other side. Life is so precious. I used that against myself for so long because I didn’t want to waste time on myself when I can be out doing stuff with my kids. But this one…this one is for me. Because I want to know what it feels like, not to be just skinny because I have been skinny many a time, but to be fit, strong, capable, lupus free, and mentally awake. I want to be able to rescue my kids if need be…or even just be able to carry them to the car to go to the hospital…I need to be that fit. I’m all they got in terms of immediate help. So anyway, I love talking about this and just the positive stuff. I can talk all day about the good things. Thanks for sharing your love of that quote. I read it when I need it…I used it Sat night before the solo. My prayers of strength and resolve are with you and all of the people on here. Take care!

          • Kate M

            Same Kate from before, just didn’t realize I needed my initial. 🙂

            Something is really clicking for you, because for you to take so many big steps all around the same time, the artwork, your solo, your loosing 25lbs, you are definitely on the right track!!

            I used to think about loosing weight and eating healthy as just the way I would be able to be an example for my daughters, but what you say is so true, about being able to fully care for them as they might need you, not just emmulate you. That’s what I’m coming to realize.

            For me, the other thing is that I need to up my energy so that I can have more kids. Having twins is overwhelming, and if I have trouble keeping up now, there’s no way more in the mix would be better. I feel that God has put it on my heart to foster and adopt kids, and I need to be in a better place to be able to do it, so I’m doing this for my future children, too!

        • Linda Miller

          Thank you so much Kate and Elizabeth M. for your beautiful words of wisdom. Elizabeth is my daughter’s name so Elizabeth M. would be her name and initial and that I don’t think is a coincidence because I don’t believe in coincidences. She is a beautiful little girl of 7 who is in the Autism Spectrum and is also Down Syndrome. I believe everything happens for a reason. I’ll let you both know that I have printed out your replies to me. That’s how much they affected me (especially Elizabeth’s.) I think about the fact that “the more is given the more is required” and that does scare me. I know that the Lord teaches that with love there is no fear but I fear my own inadequacies, not His Love, but I guess that’s an oxymoron because with Love there is total Trust and I guess I have more to learn about trusting Him than I do about fearing my own weaknesses. After all, we are all weak inadequacies without His love and mercy. Anyway, thank you both very much for your support and I am soooo looking forward to hooking up with you for this challenge. May God abundantly bless the both of you and your families. Love, Linda Miller

          PS: Isn’t Tom a card. This time he let us reply to one another and support each other rather than him having to respond to our comments. I almost feel like I should be in a petri dish! LOL HI TOM!

  • Karen Lemburg

    The belief I have had in the past, was that I didn’t deserve to have a fit, lean, strong body. I have believed that I had bad genes, big bones, slow metabolism. The picture I have carried around in my head has been of a pudgy, ugly, undesirable person without much hope of attaining my deep desire to have a lean, fit strong body. I believe much of what has detoured my life in the past has been self limiting lies in my head. I really believed that stuff and then acted according to those lies. The outcome was that I was a pudgy, ugly undesirable person! When I bought and read Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle, I began to take steps to mentally see myself in a different light. I started believing that when I start doing the right things, nutrition, weight training, cardio and mental training, I can acheive the body I really wanted. It’s a matter of choice. What voice will I choose to believe? The truth or the lies? I decided to start believing the truth outlined in the pages of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle. An amazing thing happened when I started acting on the truth. I started seeing myself with a lean body, more muscles, toned and athletic looking. My posture got better. My confidence went up. My energy increased. People started asking me what I was doing that was causing me to look so good! I am a different person inside and out now. I now see in the mirror the new improved and real person I was meant to be, the one I started picturing in my head when I started beleiving the truth instead of the lies. And that’s is why I will never ever go back to those lies. Once the truth is known, how could anyone ever go back to believing those self debilitating thoughts that keep you from acheiving what is possible? Thank you for getting the truth out Tom! The truth really does set us free!!
    Best wishes to all who are taking on this summer challenge! I can’t wait to see and be a part of all the exciting life changing transformations taking place.

  • Lee Horner

    What’s been stopping me? Lack of information – or more accurately – good information so buried in bad information that it gets lost. I have been dieting my whole life (well, since I was about 18 years old). My whole family has issues with obesity, diabetes, heart problems. I had escaped most of the illnesses somehow, even though at my heaviest I weighed more than 250 lbs in spite of the many, many diets I followed religiously (sometimes gaining weight on the diets while my friends lost weight).

    Then I found Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle in January this year. At age 71 I am now on the way to a goal of fitness and health that I know I can reach. Why would I let anything stop me? I had lost 50 lbs in 2010, but was starting to gain it back again when I joined the IC. There is not a chance in any part of the world, or underworld, that I would let anything stop me now.

  • Stephen Mills

    I continue to struggle with overeating. I have done well though, im down to 215 from 265 and 14% bodyfat. I have always struggled with my weight. But now ive ran 3 half marathons and looking for my first full in october. I train harder than I ever have in my life but reversing 40 years of eating habits is not easy. But for the first time I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am emerging upon a life of fittness and well being. Taking my shirt off in public with confidence sounds much better than pizza and cheezeburgers.

  • Sarah T

    “What’s really been stopping you from achieving the body of your dreams and why will you NEVER let that stop you again?”

    Hmmmm. I have been wondering this myself. The conclusion that I have arrived at is I am consistently satisfied with less than I want because I “look” better physically and am healthier than most people(especially in my demographic!)! That will never stop me again because I am going to quit comparing myself to other people and start comparing me to me!!! 🙂 I want to be ALL that I can be–and then some!!! 🙂

  • Wendy

    Letting myself off the hook has been my problem in the past – excuses like hypo thyroidism and work related stress eating have been too easy. Since Jan 3, I have lost 60 pounds and 6% body fat. I have also turned 49. I REFUSE to turn 50 overweight, weak and tired all the time. The time is now to build the strong, lean body that will carry me into my 50’s, 60’s, etc and an active retirement. Last week, I bought a two piece bathing suit and I am absolutely committed to being able to wear it in public before the end of this summer.

  • Krys West

    Summer Blog Contest:
    1)Believed in the past – stopped me from losing weight
    2)What was really holding me back?
    3)Won’t stop me now!

    1)With all the different fitness/nutrition programs each with a different view of weight loss and how to achieve it – it’s pretty confusing to decipher which is “The Golden Grail” to fat loss.

    2)Bottom line is still “Calories In VS Calories Out” – Simple….maybe too simple. Instead of trying to make it seem more difficult than it really is or looking for that “Magic Pill” etc. It’s simply “Calories In VS Calories Out”

    So I guess it was basically just self sabotage that has prevented me from achieving my goals. Making some progress with weight loss only to return to old habits.

    3)I now realize that is has to be a life style change where as you can let yourself splurge for say family get togethers or holidays while staying on track for the rest of the time.
    —–Calories In VS Calories Out—-that’s all there is to it!

    Krys West

  • Stephanie

    I am an emotional eater. When something does not go right in my life, I eat to “get through” the situation. Food does help me to cope. I like to eat, I like good healthy food, I love red wine and I enjoy junk food too. Food tastes good and I was taught that food=pleasure. I was not taught that exercise=pleasure and so I have no life experience to help me handle life’s challenges in a healthy way. My parents are both aging and I now see that their lifestyle choices and turning to food as comfort, has hurt them and is now limiting their golden years. I do not want that to happen to me. I am still at point where I am young enough and healthy enough to make a radical change and that is what I plan to do. I will admit to being afraid of success though. I do not know why and I hope to figure that out in the months to come. I do not want to diet. I want to treat myself with kindness and by doing that, I hope to look better, feel better and have a more positive outlook.

  • Pookha

    What has been stopping me from losing fat and getting in the best shape of my life? Laziness, pure and simple.

    I was a gym rat in the ’90s–loved bodybuilding–but I got married, joined my husband’s business, and took care of my mother until she died. I thought that I didn’t have the time, but in reality I was just too lazy to make a schedule that would work for me. The same is true of your transformation challenges: I’d admire them as a lurker, but I was too lazy to figure out a plan to make them work so I wouldn’t join.

    But this is the year! I’m tired of looking frumpy. I want to check some things off my bucket list, like running a marathon. I want to get into the best shape of my life. I repeat, This Is The Year!

  • Andrea

    Ok, so several thigs have stopped me from getting the body I hve always wanted. First, I have never had the sports figure that everyone dreams about. I guess in a way, I could say that I don’t know what I’ve been missing. Secondly, I think the mentality that even if I lot the wieght, and gained the muscle that I want, I still wouldn’t have confidence is a problem. One other thing that has stopped me is the environment I live in. I am surrounded by unhealthy food. Another reason related to the last is that when I cut calories and eat healthy food I am not satisfied. Lastly is the fact that I have no willpower, and a support system.

    The thing really holding me back is my lack of willpower, and fear. Fear of not knowing if I can get in shape, and fear of what will eventually happen to me if I “can’t”.

    The fact is that it is time for me to takeover my life. No one else can do it for me and I am tired of looking the way I do. I need to find a support system to help me do this myself, and not think that they can do anything other than to support me.

  • John Felps

    What’s really been stopping ME from achieving the body of MY dreams and
    why will I NEVER let that stop ME again? Well, let’s see, my wife, my kids, my job, my busy life? Yeah, right. I have demonstrated to myself that I ultimately have control over my time, my diet and my health. No one else can do it for me. And I’m not doing myself any favors when I look for excuses for why I don’t demonstrate discipline. I am training hard, and am looking forward to finishing what I’ve already started. I have brought my wife on board for this one too, so NO EXCUSES! She’s a champ and a trooper and will be kicking my tail!

  • Rose Doll

    Without a doubt, I’ve been stopping myself. I get lazy! It’s so much easier to be lazy, eat convenient snacks (a.k.a. unhealthy carbs) than to prepare a menu and meals ahead of time so they’re healthy. I need to stop making excuses, get up at 5am and go for my run, get down to the guy at lunch and throw some weights around. I keep telling myself tomorrow. I need to tell myself today! It’s not called “easy out” it’s called “working out”!

    • Laurie

      I agree with you also, Rose Doll. It IS a lot of work and requires a lot of planning, especially for those of us who are trying to raise families! I have often told myself that if I had a personal chef and a personal trainer around the clock, I’d be able to achieve my goals pretty easily. But that’s where being realistic kicks in, and I think that applies to getting fit as well. If you’re not normally a really early riser, then you’re bound to self-defeat just by giving yourself the goal of getting up at 5 a.m. (ugh) and going for a run (double ugh!!!!). At least that’s my opinion. In order to make it work for you, you do have to work for it, but you have to realize your own limitations and work with them as well.
      I also had an issue with 5-6 small meals a day, and I would imagine that lots of other posters did/do as well. Again, it comes down to family and job logistics. (1) I work in a busy retail environment where it’s impossible for me to run to the break room to eat a small meal 2 or 3 times during my shift. Just not gonna happen. So where does THAT leave me? That’s one of the principal rules of this eating plan. (2) Same for trying to put a dinner on the table for your family – it takes a vast amount of willpower not to eat 75% of what you’re feeding everybody else.
      So…I hate to be a naysayer, I’m just saying that this plan is not realistic for some portion of the population, and there is absolutely no getting around that (see part 1 above. I realize part 2 is indeed doable, just difficult – witness the amazing results of some of the contest winners who have families!

      • Tom Venuto

        Hi Laurie. 5 feedings a day doesn’t have to be done like a bodybuilder or physique athlete does it: Try 3 meals a day: breakfast lunch and dinner. Have healthy snacks between meals that don’t require cooking or food prep: fruit, raw veggies, yogurt, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, protein shake etc. Thats 5 feedings 3 + 2. That IS realistic for virtually anyone (ive seen exceptions like divers who are underwater for long stretches… kind of hard to eat, LOL! but even they manage just by getting their calories and macronutrients on target every single day). When i wrote my second book, the Body Fat Solution, that book was aimed toward “everyone else”: all those people with your type of family and job logistics rather than competitive athletes or bodybuilders. I understand the differences in lifestyle. The original first edition of burn the fat, feed the muscle was indeed written with the bodybuilder / athlete mindset. VERY effective, but yes, challenging. But the program has more flexibility than you might think. Improvise and adapt. Dont think in all or nothings. You can do it. Anyone can do it.

  • In the past, I always believed that a six pack was achievable. Even though many people do use steroids to achieve that look, I believed that six pack could be achieved with out the use of drugs based on the number of successful drug-free bodybuilders. Now I know that a six pack can not only be achieved, but many people who aren’t bodybuilders can achieve that look as well. My limiting factor through out three years of failure was do to the amount of false information about dieting. I have always wanted that six pack look and have been dedicated to the diets that I followed. But to my frustration I found out that these diets, keto diet and Starvation diet, not only failed to give me amazing results, they made me lose my hard earned muscle. Even though I am relatively young, 19, I have made mistakes sorting out the good and the bad information regarding dieting. I am so great full to find this book and I plan to follow it until I achieve one of my life time goals by getting six pack the healthy way and maintaining it for a better and longer life.

  • Joe Maddox

    I am afraid to try my best, because i’m scared that it wont be enough.

    • Kila Macklin

      That is all too familiar to me as well! Joe, I don’t know you, but I can assure you that if you were to grade yourself on effort and someone else were to grade you, the lowest score would be the one that YOU gave to YOURSELF! I’ve done it so many times.




      Kila Macklin

      • Kate M

        Awesome encouraging, Kila, because it’s helping me too! Thanks!

        And Joe, somehow, you picked up that fear from outside yourself, because we don’t naturally have that fear. I totally feel it too, I understand. Elizabeth already posted this quote, but I’m going to post it for you here, it might be a good one to read regularly…

        Marianne Williamson:
        “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

        • Kila Macklin

          Thank you Kate and Elizabeth for the initial quote…allow me to add a few more:

          “Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.” -Winston Churchill

          “The only one who never makes mistakes is the one who never does anything.” – Teddy Roosevelt

          “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” – Gen. George S. Patton

          and FINALLY 🙂

          -KJV Phillipians 4:13


    • Rachel C.

      THIS!! I’m a pageant girl (and a decently successful one, at that), and I can say with absolute certainty that this is what has been holding me back from achieving all of my goals.

      PS: I didn’t notice the last initial thing, either! Sorry!

  • Floyd Owens

    My story starts as many have. I had always been an overweight child and insecure in just about everything I had ever done. When growing up, the diet in our household consisted of three things; meat, grease and lots of carbs. As a child I always “knew” this is how everybody ate and was just cursed with being overweight. Of course, I was wrong. Then my father passed away when I was 15 from diabetes and a long bout with dialysis. Five years later; my mother passed away from complications of being overweight and having a fairly rare blood vessel disease called vasculitis.

    I was a mess and still overweight. Topping the scales at more than 420 pounds; “tons of fun” is what my friends called me. When I was 24, I decided to have gastric bypass surgery since I couldn’t live like my parents. It felt as if everything I had tried failed and failed miserably. Since, I have lost 170 pounds and am very happy.

    But, I felt as if I was short-changed, or perhaps cut myself short, from a world full of knowledge on nutrition and exercise science. I can honestly say that I did not take the time to learn everything regarding these two areas. I recently finished BFFM and implemented this into my lifestyle just a few weeks ago. Although the contest begins soon, I did not see the point of stopping just to start back up again and felt as if that defeated the purpose of having a new lifestyle and the message of the book itself. Since placing BFFM idealism into my life, I have lost 6 pounds of fat and gained 3 pounds of muscle (luckily, I have access to a BodPod) and will be testing this again very shortly for this program. So, to end this, I am doing this because I am re-inventing myself yet again through hard work and dedication; and regardless if I “win” or not, I will have won in the long run.

    • Kate M

      Awesome, Floyd!!! Way to turn it around and make your life even better!

  • Beth Kluth

    I know that the only thing keeping me from succeeding is my own mindset. And even though I’ve had weight loss success in the past (and even recently), the ingrained thought that “I just don’t have what it takes” is so strong that it’s a CONSTANT, conscious effort to overcome it. I almost talked myself out of entering the BTF Summer Challenge thinking “There’s no way I could win that”, but I’m consciously changing my attitude to “I have just as good a chance of winning as anyone if I work really hard” and hope to get to “I’m going to win this thing!”.

    I’m so excited to start this challenge. I recently lost 40 lbs and still have 75+ lbs to lose, but I’m realizing it’s not just about the weight – it’s about fitness and activity and nutrition and body composition. It’s about quality of life. This is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done – but I’m ready!!

    • randall

      Just wanted to say that I believe your mindset is changing already just by reading your last paragraph. Win or don’t win (the prize), having accountablity with support we all win with changing those things that keep us from being healthy and fit. In that, FTW for Beth.

  • Irina Hill

    I have been working on my body probably for years. And I know all the things that are stopping me are fake. First, people around me, including my husband, think I am nuts. They think I have a great body, and I am just sick. Well, maybe they are right, maybe I am nuts, but that is a different issue. And why should other people affect me? I can find support, right? Second, I believe I am a fruitoholic and can’t do low carb. I know I can, but, and here comes the third, I hate my job! Every time I enter the office and sit infront of the computer, I reach for a fruit, because I need something sweet. I know my job is great, and I am lucky to have it. But it is boring, and here we go: an excuse to eat all the apples and pears around me. And I keep plenty of them. I could judt stop buying them, right? This one is probably real: I have type I diabetes. So I have to inject insulin several times a day. And that is what makes it really difficult. It seems like after a very good and tough work out (weights or cardio), my blood sugar gets too low and I have to eat some fast acting carbs. Again, fruit ;). I eat so much fruit that I don’t have any room left for the protein. I am very exited now, because it looks like we are going to be shown a way how to get rid of all this silliness. Yeah, I will stop eating fruit!!!

  • Cindy Pierre

    What’s been stopping me is a long cycle of emotional eating, a sedentary lifestyle, a lack of confidence in myself and a lack of faith. What has motivated me to change, lose 50 lbs and continue to lose another 75 is my desire to change my life, improve my health and appearanc, and grasp better things for myself. I can’t achieve the things that I’d like in the body I’m currently in.

  • kim

    A few years ago I got divorced which left me feeling like a failure. As time went on and I fell deeper into depression I felt paralyzed with no energy or drive. My job is physically and mentally stressful. When I get off I’m exhausted, the couch is my best friend. Really, I have cut myself off from nearly everyone and have no friends. In some ways thats not all bad because I’ve realized that the company I was keeping was the wrong kind and I deserve better more positive people in my life. In all of this I’ve also realized that I reach for food for emotional reasons. Time to face up to the facts I’ve let myself down and am now in worst shape I’ve ever been in. I’m sick of being sick I’m 53 years old and arthritis and fibromyalgia have started to become a real problem for me. The doctor tells me the best treatment for what ails me is to get into the best physical shape possible, not drugs.(Good Doctor) So because I need too and deserve to feel and look better I’m in, and winning a trip to Hawaii doesn’t hurt either. I like me and I deserve better in this life! Enough of the self pity and buying into thoughts of being unworthy just because my ex was unfaithful. My goal is to lose 6% of my fat and tone back up. I know I can do this and there is nothing in my way except what I allow to get in the way.

  • Deborah

    I believe what’s really been holding me back from achieving the body of my dreams is the lack of focus. I feel as though I’ve been pulled in too many directions and I haven’t taken the time to focus on myself. Kind of like the life is slowly be drained out of me. I feel lethargic and slightly overwhelmed. I’ve stopped doing the things that make me feel healthy and vibrant enough to seize each day with verve. That is just not that way I normally operate.

    I can’t ever let this happen again because I don’t like this stormy place I’m in and need to regain control and focus so that I can be a help to others that depend on me. This is just the kick in the pants I need to get back to life. I’m truly ready and up for the challenge–for real!

  • Lindsey

    I could give a whole bunch of reasons as to why I didnt lose the fat before I discovered BTFFTM, too busy, too lazy, bad back, big boned, diets are too strict, etc, etc, but if i’m completely honest all of that was just excuses.

    I honestly think that being fat was my protection. Nobody expects much from a fat person. It gave me an excuse not to make the effort, or try to make my life better. If you get rejected for promotions or by partners you can just say people are shallow or judgmental or its all about looks. I also think that I used to feel that looking good and fit and healthy meant that people would only look at the surface and not see how smart or capable I can be. Or maybe that was just another excuse that I used to not do anything about how i’ve abused my body over the years.

    As for why that won’t stop me…. Well i’ve been through one hell of a journey over the last year, and finding BTFFTM has been just one stop on a road of self discovery. I realised that beating myself up for not being perfect is just as negative as being overfat in the first place. I realised that it doesnt really matter what the world thinks of me so long as I can look in the mirror and love the person looking back at me. I realised that my body can do amazing things so long as my mind lets it. And perhaps the most important one is that I realised that I dont need that protective fat suit any more. I dont have to prove anything to anyone and I can simply be who I choose to be, and I choose to be fit, healthy and positive. I’m already on my way.

    See you in Maui Tom 😉

  • Kathy Hollingsworth

    I can tell you there a many reasons why I have not obtained success in the areas of health and weight which ultimately meant achieving the body of MY dreams. Every reason comes back to me and change. Change is uncertain and even scary. How will it make a difference in my life? Also, I have always looked to everyone for approval. I am now realizing that I only need the approval of myself, confidence in myself, and the willingness to put myself first. Not that I have to be selfish, but if I don’t do it, no one else can. If I am happy, then I can share that with those around. I am tired of being tired, sore, out of shape, unable to even squat and then get up….tired of mediocrity. I want a lifestyle transformation; I want to overcome my doubts, past failures and the thoughts that say I really can’t have my dreams. I want to put behind me all those thoughts that say, I can’t make it, and if I do, I can’t stay there. So now I am saying, I can, I will achieve success in health and weight and have the body of MY DREAMS. I will not let my doubt, current self physical limitations, or the fear of change stand in my way. Hard work and life changing lifestyles are coming. Summer 2011 will bring new life to me. Bring it on!!!

  • Ophelie

    First of all, I would like to apologize myself for the grammatical mistakes or the miuses I may do. I’m not a native english speaker.
    So, here we go.. what has stopped me until now? i’ve grown up only with my mum because my “dad” wanted to have a boy. i kept in my mind the feeling that i was the reason of their wedding failure. So, i’ve tried to.. make my best to “disappear” and to be the kindest, sweetest child i could. i thought i decided that i just have the right to be as bright as possible or happy in my life. I’ve chosen to have good grades. Now, i’m almost 30, i’m lived europe since 3 yeard, i’m about to end with a PhD, i’m afraid of having a social life and being attractive. In fact, I can’t understand why people come and talk with me. My relatives and supposed friends were such a negative support and they explained me that i will never deserve something good.
    The truth is.. i’m a people pleaser and i’ve lost my mind and my self esteem to please everybody around me. i’ve forgotten my right to be healthy. i’ve given up my ability to consider myself as a real girl and not only as a smart mind. i’ve been so far away into a negative mood that it’s the best moment in my ectic, roller coaster life to take a positive, inspiring and amazing new beginning.
    Finally, i won’t stop my journey because i know i have the rights tools, what to change, what I need to change my body composition. Most of all, i’ve failed to many times, I deserve to succeed and live the best life. I wish to all the contestants my warm wishes to acheive goals and dreams.

    • randall

      Dear people pleasing Ophelie, now is your quest to please the most important person you will ever meet, yourself! Your life secure in yourself will impact every other person that comes in contact with you in a positive way. Good for you, FTW

  • Geoff K

    Tom — just seven years ago, I was a 230lb “computer potato” – my blood pressure and cholesterol were way too high, and I was at 26% body fat! My doctor said, “Get those numbers down”! So I did. I hired a trainer and started a strength training/cardio program and lost 60 lbs the first year! I bought your “BFFM Secrets” and started applying the concepts in my diet and workouts. Amazingly, all of my other numbers dropped as well. I felt so energetic that I even started training for Triathlons! About two years ago, I was SO CLOSE to reaching my ultimate goal of 10% body fat. I tasted success finishing 3rd in a couple of key Triathlon events that year. At 46, I was in the best shape of my life!!

    It was a LOT of hard work, though. I started getting burned out and backed off my training, little by little. I began making excuses and rationalizing with myself that I was already “fit”, and eventually gave up trying so hard to reach my goals. So, my diet faltered and I started cheating more often, drinking more wine at night to “relax”. Then struggling to get up the next morning to do my workouts. I have gone from 11% back up to 15% BF in just 18 months and I’m really disgusted with myself right now. I was hovering around 168lbs for most of the past 6 years and then I let my guard down. Now I’m back up to 182 lbs and feeling really sluggish.

    Your upcoming invitation to participate in the “Burn the Fat Summer Challenge” couldn’t have come at a better time. After reading over what I just wrote, I finally realize that I have been lying to myself and sabotaging all of my efforts. My life has been out of balance, and I see now that my achievements over the past few years have been for all the wrong reasons. I have been training and dieting to try and “win” something (or someone), instead of deciding to just eat healthy, wholesome meals, excercise moderately and enjoy my life! I understand now that the trash in my mind has been holding me back, and now I have to throw out the garbage. I know how to do this! I’m done with “living to train” – from now on I am “Training to LIVE”! Using what I have learned from your BFFM manual, I am confident that I will succeed in my renewed endeavors. Thank you.

  • Michele

    Dear Tom,

    I’ve been hanging around your website and receiving your emails now for probably about 2 years. Every season I vow to do the contest, but push it off. Then I gave birth to my son last year. And I realized that not having had “food education” as a young women growing up caused the bulk of my weight problems. I was always “skinny” actually until puberty and my parents separation hit at the same time. It was tremendously hard and since then I’ve been an emotional eater. I have struggled with my weight, had people call me ‘fat’ to my face and have tried every diet in the book. And I’m done with it. We are pretty healthy in my household now and I’ve educated myself (thanks largely to your website & emails)and I want my son to know all about what he eats and how important fitness is. I never had that and combined with bad genetics have fought the battle of the bulge for half of my life now. I’m tired of yo-yoing and want to be proud of my body. I want to not be ashamed when my husband sees me naked, much less when I see myself naked. I have lost some weight over the years, but now I’m flabby all over. I’m ready, like never before, to get fit, to get ripped and to have the best health of my life. It’ll also be a lot easier to get through my pregnancy and lose the weight when I’m ready for our next baby 🙂 Thanks to you and all the best,

    • Kate M

      Michelle – I’ve been there too, but it sounds like you’ve got a great start! You know what you want, now let’s go get it and be firm not flabby for our hubbies!

  • Paulus

    My limitation is my reliance on “intuitive” eating.
    Simply, and only this.

    I have personal burdens, but this is life and I deal with it each and every day. I plan and maintain hard and dedicated training around my commitments. I maintain my aerobics and eat clean, healthy and often… but I just don’t monitor and maintain my calorie balance properly.

    I am definately making progress, BFFM has transformed my lifestyle, but I could achieve better, faster results by addressing this single issue. The biggest negative of this is that at my core I KNOW that this single factor is enough to keep me from achieving my best possible results… and it is a factor that I am responsible for fixing or failing.

    Now the excuses are over with… it’s time to deal with it.
    1. Properly use the eating tools already available to me from BFFM.
    2. Plan my meals properly
    3. Stick to the plan on a daily basis
    4. Monitor and adjust as necessary and with regularity
    5. Don’t sabotage myself or abandon the plan at any deviation from it.

    Time to do it, monitor it and see it through.

  • Kevin Smits

    A L C O H O L

    Unlike many of your great comments, I was the skinny little kid. Graduated high school at 5’6″ and 90 pounds. Started partying like a rock star in college and gained weight in leaps and bounds. At the start of this year I was 278 and drinking nearly 3.5 liters of rum a week. I used to call myself a functioning alcoholic. Looking back, nothing was further from the truth. I quit drinking. By far the biggest thing I had to do to get the body I want. I am now in my second 90 days of P90X and doing doubles to try to get rid of my belly fat. Down to 235 and lost more than 14% body fat. I WILL NEVER DRINK AGAIN! My family deserves a better husband and father and with your help Tom, I will be the fun Dad that can do anything and everything athletic with my kids. I will monitor everything that passes my lips and make every rep count! I will do this for ME! I DESERVE to be healthy! I have EARNED my workout time! I AM going to MAUI! Nobody can STOP me! Good luck to everyone else…but I AM WINNING THIS!

    • Stacey

      Keep it up, Kevin. You’ve got a great attitude–I hope you do go to Maui!

    • randall

      I wish these blogs had a like button or way to go, hence Kevin wow great for you man….. two thumbs up mate!!!

      • Kevin Smits

        Thanks Randall. It was time to come to terms. I really eat pretty clean, but when you dump that many calories in via alcohol and mixer, you get nothing but fat and broke! Hopefully other people will realize that they may have the same problem…good luck on the contest!

  • William manzo

    Well I suffer from the start and stop syndrome.I do so well for a week or two and then fall apart.I started out 275lbs at age 30. The first 4 months I did really well,counting calories,excercising and such.Flash foward to 34 years of age.I currently weigh 226 pounds.It seems like a good thing and it is,I’ve kept the weight off but the last fifteen pounds are a killer.I am 5’7inches on a extreamly stocky frame but my ideal weight is 203lbs.I would love to get down to 210 lbs thats my ultimate goal. Cant seem to pull the trigger I know what to do but am lacking the long term moativation,the last 3 month push is all I need.The weekends are a killer for me,its the beer I love it on the weekends . Guess I need to suck it up and just do it. I know I can do it and I deserve the body that I have always dreamed of. Damit you can do it Billy.

  • Chase

    One of the things that has been holding me back is embarrassment from not doing the ‘normal’ thing and having other people pity me for eating six meals a day or a chicken salad over a burger.

    This will never stop me again because I realize that it isn’t embarrassing. What is embarrassing is being overweight, and being in good shape means a lot more to me than any embarrassment over people judging me because I am trying to change myself.

  • Donna S.

    I have limiting beliefs about myself that I let sabotage my efforts…SILLY…I KNOW! Time to kick that to the curb once and for all!!
    AND…I’ve had an “all-or-nothing” attitude wire in my brain that does not serve me at all SO…as of right now I am unplugging that connection!
    Feeling better already!!!
    From here forward I will realize that even small steps forward are steps in the right direction…AMEN!
    Here’s to the Summer Burn and may EVERYONE kick some BFFM A$$!!!

  • Stacey

    What has been holding me back? Self-sabotage, I think. I like to work out at the gym and I like to eat. Mostly I eat healthy, whole foods–lots of veggies, balanced with lean protein and whole grains. But, I can’t seem to go more than a few days without adding sweets, or empty calories to my “healthy diet.” I saw big results changing my eating habits after first reading BTFFTM. But over time, I’ve been following the plan at 95%–telling myself that an occasional cheat wont hurt. But guess what!? 95% has kept me from reaching my goals.
    It feels like such a psychological battle between the “good me” and the “naughty me”, and I wish it didn’t have to be so hard. (especially since I like to work out and eat healthy foods!) So, I think it is my brain that is holding me back. My attitude and thoughts. I’m going to re-read my issue of burn the fat (it has been a while) and this time, try engaging in the support system that Tom has created on line. And I am going to stop kidding myself that a “mostly healthy diet” is good enough.

  • Jennifer Saunders

    I have entered each body transformation contest that you have offered including the very first Holiday Challenge. Although I made progress, I did not achieve my goals during these contests. Up to this point, I thought that the stress in my life had stopped me from achieving my goal of having the body I always wanted. The stresses I refer to included keeping my own business running by myself, living with an active alcoholic, living in a high stress environment with my sister, not being able to pay bills so having to take on part-time jobs, etc. Now that I look back and contemplate my efforts, I realize that it wasn’t the stressful life situations I was involved in. It was because it was not my priority. I was not allowing it to be my priority because I put everything else in front of it or along side of it. My mental health was my priority over the last year. I went to Al-Anon, counseling, read self-help and motivational books. I searched myself daily for answers to what I wanted for my career, relationships, etc. It’s OK that this was my priority. It’s what I needed at the time. I was stuck in life and I had to get unstuck. Over the last year, I’ve come to know what I want again, what I believe in, what I’m willing to accept and not accept, what my boundaries are, and what changes need made in my life. I was in a fog, and that fog has now lifted due to the achievements I’ve made in finding myself again. I know now that my mental health was my priority during my prior attempts at succeeding in these challenges. I am ready to succeed in the Burn the Fat 2011 Summer Challenge this time because I have decided to make it my first priority. Nothing will stop me from achieving my goal of having the body I’ve always wanted because it is now my number priority. Everything else can wait or resolve itself. With the use of the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle e-book and other BFFM resources, I will be successful this time around.

  • Reem Ibrahim

    What’s REALLY been stopping me? What has me say again and again I want to be ripped, but never reaching that final stage. It’s fear. The fear that lurks inside my soul and fills my heart with doubt; the ‘maybe there’s something wrong with me’.

    It’s a multilayered fear.

    It’s the fear of reaching my goal – and having a ‘then what’? settle in and fill me with grief; or worse, not maintaining, slipping up, and feeling incapable of maintaining my discipline.

    It’s the fear of departing from my comfort zone. The fear of departing from my ‘self’, my ‘ego’. Night eating (no longer what I classify a problem) but an ongoing comfort habit and symptom of my self-punishment/ self-indulgence/ self-guilt and unsettling state.

    The fear of living this life of numbers, and not knowing how to be, simply, normal; a certain self-remedy initiates from being able to analyze, again and again, plan, and re-plan, and just see how to get things right ‘this time around’. I know how to listen to my body, but the question is why am I not?

    What’s going to make this time different? Why is it gonna be different this time around? Why isn’t this fear gonna stop me?

    Because I am going to work on me – from the inside out.

    It is the self that I need to depart from. The selfishness that resides within; I am a person of character, holding true to my heart the basis of discipline and integrity. But it is the ‘personality’ that resonates unkindly; the personality of an extremist. This time around, I know that the truth of my discipline resides in mental training, the physical and nutritional realm have long been conquered. I am going to focus again on the basics, and live by the principles that helped me once before, and will help me again, but this time around to reunite to the simplicity of being me.

    “Every slip, every fall, every return to selfishness is a lesson learned, an experience gained, from which a golden grain of wisdom is extracted helping the striver toward the accomplishment of his lofty object”. James Allen

  • Teresa Redman

    i must not want to lose weight . i must not be as fat as i think i am, but when i see pictures i look fat! if i think i am, what is stopping me? maybe i dont want people to look at me as a ( wow she looks great)

  • Marisa

    What’s stopping me? What’s stopping me?…….ME! My excuses. My lack of commitment to myself. My inability to say “No” to other people. The fact that I always put other’s need ahead of my own – mainly those needs of my husband and children. My belief (even though it’s wrong) that being shellfish is a bad thing – even when it comes to my own health and happiness.

    My husband used to body build and was a personal trainer when we met. After we were married I packed on 20lbs and after the kids were born I noticed that I had somehow gained an additional 20lbs. So, I asked my husband if he could train me and he agreed – the only caveat was that I would have to get my butt out of bed at 5:30am so he could train me and still have the ability to get his own work out in. To which I happily agreed. This lasted a week until one of the kids got sick and I was up all night with a sick child which left me with NO energy to be working out at 5:30am. Our workouts never got back on track and I think I resent my husband for 1. Not getting up with kids when they’re sick and 2. Not pushing me harder to get out of bed in the morning. But, truth be told, I need to stop making my husband responsible for my training. I need to stop blaming getting married (10 years ago) and having kids (6 & 5 years ago) as the reason for my getting fat. Those are really old excuses and they’re not working for me anymore so I need to let that go.

    I know that getting into the best shape of my life will make me a better wife and mom. It will give me the energy I need to keep up with my kids. I might actually get into a bathing suit and take them swimming or to the beach this summer without worrying about getting harpooned.

    I might actually let my picture be taken with my kids. We took the kids to Disneyland for the first time a few weeks ago and every night when we were back at the hotel room, putting the kids to bed, I would secretly go through the pictures on the camera and delete every single one that had me in it. How sad is that?

    A trip that should have had every moment captured on camera so that my kids (and I) had the ability to reminiss at some point down the road – all because I don’t like the way I look, I deleted half of them, thereby effectively, erasing half of their memories.

    If, for no other reason – THAT is why I am doing this. THAT is why I need to do this. THAT is why I am going to succeed.

  • Nic

    In 2003, at 19, I lost 50lbs and stopped hiding. I put myself out there and had a confidence that I had been missing. I did it with diet and exercise and was so proud of my results that I wanted to help others because it was EASY!!! I went to school for a 2 year diploma in fitness and became a personal trainer. After working for a year I went back and got my nutrition degree but in the process I gained 40lbs back. I feel like a hypocrite and I’m struggling to find my way back. I know the science behind working out but I can’t seem to find my own motivation again. I’m an emotional eater, and love to party with friends and this has gotten in my way every time I’ve tried to lose weight this past 4 years. This summer, I won’t let any of these things get in my way of achieving my weight loss because I want to start training again and WILL NOT do it overweight. My time to procrastinate is over and I’m excited to move forward and find that confident happy girl that I found at 19. This is my summer to shine:)

  • Liz

    I have been holding myself back from being the best and looking the best i can simply out of FEAR! I know i have what it takes to do this and if i worked as hard as i should i could win this thing! Simply put, i love to eat food. I am 3 months post-partum and am having to make that mental shift that i had while pregnant, that i could eat what i wanted, which i did. I am scared of doing great and then eating everything in site. If i could be more positive, believe in myself and not let food or lazyness hold me back i could be GREAT! I am GREAT!

  • Jasmine

    I am my own worst enemy. I know what it takes to achieve my goals, yet I keep doing things to sabotage them. Why? It all starts in the mind. My mind is tricking me into thinking – just one, just one cookie which turns into the whole package. Why do I not work out as often as I should? Because I make up excuses to do other things, so I am just “too busy.” I want to see results and reward myself with a lean and healthy body, but there is a part of me that doesn’t believe in myself to do it. It is all in my mind. If I can begin to visualize the kind of person I want to be 100 days from now I know I can truly make a difference. I will achieve the body of my dreams, and what will get me there is working out my brain muscles. If I can train my mind to think certain ways, I can make my body do amazing things. I will do this, and I will succeed. Everybody watch out 🙂

  • Bill

    What holds me back is a lack of discipline. Last year I dropped 19 pounds and about 4% bodyfat… after I cleared the ‘hump’ of changing my diet. Not dieting, but changing my diet.
    Less bad stuff, more good stuff. Not none of anything. I still have a soda now and then, but I treat it like a candy instead of a beverage, or go for the Zero flavor instead of the sugar variety. that’s just one example.

    So I’ve gotten lazy since thanksgiving, and have only a couple months before beach season. I’d like to have two years in a row where I can take my shirt off at the pool… time to buckle down! I want to look good, not “good for a 35 year old” and THAT is why I will suceed!

  • Sue

    In a word… Laziness. That is it. Period. I have everything I need to make a total body transformation, I just hadn’t been doing it. However, I started and I have dropped 8% body fat and 30 pounds and I intend to drop 5% more body fat. I am committed to success and will not stop until I achieve it.

  • David

    What has stopped me in the past is that I was essentially lazy and lacked the motivation to get off the couch, or get out of bed earlier to work out. Cardio is tiring. Lifting weights is hard work, and it is just easier to take the day, week, month, season, year off.

    Being lazy no longer stops me because I know that laziness was killing me from the inside, and I love life and want to have the energy to enjoy it.

  • Sharyn

    Selfishly guarding and hanging onto my own bad habits of comfort eating including bingeing because I believed this was the only way that I could cope with life. If I couldn’t binge and eat what I wanted and when I wanted and in huge amounts then my life would be awful, how else would I cope.

    Also I believed that I couldn’t trust myself because after so many attempts to get the body I wanted I would always give up and I was just fed-up with failing. I believed that I was a failure.

    But this is not the case, they’re beliefs that I somehow formed and these beliefs need to be put to rest because they’re old and worn out and haven’t done anything to improve my life, in fact they make me feel worse about myself.

    So out with the old and in with the brand new gorgeous, fabulous me !!

  • Anthony

    I was afraid of injury and not being able to finish what I start.

  • Michael

    My entire life I grew up with parents and relative that were overweight and unhealthy, and I just let myself believe that my fate would be the same as theirs. As a young man, I grew accustomed to being picked last for sports, being turned down by all the pretty girls and being too tired and lazy to get out and spend time outdoors. I saw my parents struggle for years to lose wieght and get healthy, and they were in turn rewarded with diabetes, heart problems and high cholesterol. I seemed to be doomed.
    This January, I decided enough was freaking enough. I had recently gotten engaged and was trying to pursue a career in law enforcement, but couldnt even see my own feet unless I moved my belly. I began slowly reforming my diet and trying to get a little exercize in here and there and started seeing results almost instantly. I was well over 250 lbs (I stopped weighing myself because it as flat out depressing) with a fat percentage of easily 35% or more. Today, May 16th, I am 5′ 9″, 200 lbs, under 20% body fat, and I have no intention of stopping until I am in the best shape possible. As the months get hotter, so does my intensity to leave that despicable lifestyle behind me. I am unstoppable because I choose to be, and not for anyone else, but for me and me alone. I need this. I want this. I will be healthy.

  • Kerri Knox

    What has always stopped me in the past was my desire to be considered important. When I was single and living on my own I was so motivated, I dropped 20 lbs on weight watchers and looked fantastic. Then I moved in with roommates and we used to have fantastic dinner parties. I told myself that I couldn’t possibly eat healthy as I wouldn’t be part of the group anymore. And Of course I couldn’t take time to work out because I would miss our after work beers on the patio, or the movie with a friend, or coffee date, it goes on and on. I was more concerned with being a social butterfly than with my health. Slowly (of course) the weight came back.I tricked myself into believing I didn’t have much of a problem. Sure – I don’t like the way my clothes hang on me, and I feel guilty after a night out but I only need to lose 20 lbs. no problem, right?

    Well, then I had kids. Now, all of a sudden, the only people I want to be popular with is my family. I stepped on my new body monitoring scale and yep – that 20 lbs is still there (in fact it is creeping close to 25) but more importantly I am a skinny fat person! My body fat % is close to 40%. I can’t believe it.

    Now I have a plan. This plan incorporates good food, healthy eating, the occassional beer (or wine as I now prefer lol) and more importantly – exercise. I take the time to exercise and I AM going to succeed. I don’t care what my weight end up being. FOr the first time in my life I can say that. I care about that %. I was to see it go down. I AM going to be below 25%!

    I plan to enjoy a long, healthy life with my family.

  • Diane C

    What has stopped me is oblivion followed by lack of motivation! I have always been the “skinny girl with the high metabolism”. This winter, my lack of doing anything but coming home, eating and sitting on the couch caught up with me! Up until my sister introduced me to BFFM, I didn’t really know how to go about making a change for the better. I am not completely uncomfortable with my “number” (how much I weigh), my issue is with what I see in the mirror and my overall physique. Now that I have the tools to change how I look and feel about myself, I am ready to get moving!!!!

  • phil

    My limitting belief is that my hormones are what stops me. My testosterone is low, my growth hormone is low, so I can’t lose weight like other people, I can’t gain muscle like other people, I don’t have the energy to workout like other people. These beliefs combine to leave me thinking that no matter how hard I try, how stringently I watch my diet, how regularly I work out, I won’t get the results I want (or that other people get – maybe that bugs me more – I think for what I am doing I am not getting equal results to other people – hmmm )

  • Beth Williamson

    I am ready to meet your challenge!! This is the summer that I change my life, I have “tried” and failed so many times, and I am ready for the real thing. I’m putting my body in your hands, and I know it will be well taken care of. . . .I do really well at cardio, but I need to work more with strength training and on my diet. I am the only one standing in the way now, so look out Me, I’m movin’ on!!

  • Michelle

    My limiting belief is that it will never happen for me. I have been overweight (morbidly obese) since I was 12. When I hit my 30s, I had the lap band put in and lost over 75 pounds BUT I still have never been thin. Now, the lap band is making it almost impossible for me to lose any more weight, but since I am not “normal” yet they will not take it out. When I step on the doctor’s body fat scale, it says that I am over 40% fat! But, I excercise a lot so I know that can’t be true!

    As for how to change this: I may be getting my band out even though I am technically “fat” due to acid/slippage – I do think that will help (hopefully).

  • Laura W.

    I think the reason I’ve never followed through to achieving my dream body is that I rarely put myself first. I’m always running around being mom, wife, worker, maid, etc. I’d feel guilty taking time to go to the gym, thinking I should be doing something with the kids. I’d try to eat healthy but there were too many times that I was too tired to make dinner & we had a quickie, but unhealthy meal.

    I’m really starting to feel the drain from all of this, and have finally realized that in order for me to be the best mom, wife, etc… I really do need to put myself first! And at the top of that list is my health & well-being!! By becoming a better ME, I will be setting an excellent example for my family, and will also help them on their path to eating healthy and exercise.

    Nothing is going to stop me this time! Why? Well darn it, I’M WORTH IT!! I am going to feel better, have more energy, be happier, love my life, love myself, enjoy every moment!

    Bring it on, I’m doing it this time, and my husband is coming with me, ALL THE WAY! Thanks for the motivation I needed Tom!!!

  • Melissa

    I think I blame the normal routine of my life (I’m a mother of 5 kids) and the fact that I have always struggled with my weight and self image for the setbacks that I have experienced in the past. I get so caught up with work and taking care of the kids that when I get home I’ll use some excuse to not always do what I should do. Or, I’ll tell myself that it’s ok if I don’t workout tonight…I’ll pick it back up tomorrow. And then, when I do start to get back into a workout routine I’ll get so discouraged when I don’t see the results that I think I should get. I’ll eat healthy and I’ll work out hard, but just don’t seem to see the results that I long for. I know that’s my issue, not putting forth the right effort where it counts….allowing things to get in my way and then feeling so low because I don’t do what I need to do. I’m trying my best to get myself in the right mindset….to try to take each day as it comes and to put forth my best effort to do what I need to do to be the healthiest and most in shape that I can be. It’s definitely a struggle…but something that I have to do for my well being any my happiness.

  • Meredith Flahan

    The only thing that has been holding me back is laziness, plain and simple. I’ve always been lazy, but I’ve not always had weight to lose. After having my first child, the weight is starting to build up. I just don’t like to sweat, be out of breath, or be tired. I also don’t like to shop for groceries, cook, or wait to eat. All this together leads to a sedentary lifestyle full of fast food. I’ve gotten away with it in the past, but those days are over! Of course I want to be a hot mom, but most importantly, I want to be a fun mom too! I want to have the initiative to plan fun events for my kids. I want to put together projects for them to do at home. I want to have the energy and patience to provide the most educational and fun environment possible. This cannot happen with my lazy habits. My goal is to force myself into action and kick my lazy lifestyle. Weight loss will hopefully be a fantastic reward for this change.

  • Denise D. Matthews

    I had brain cancer. I’m in remission but, I get terribble migraines. So far, the doctors have not found anything to stop the migraines. On the days that it’s not to bad I’m going to be burning the fat. Even if it’s real bad i’m still going to try.

    • Rachel C.

      Oh, Denise, I truly feel for you! I have been fortunate enough to not have to endure any form of cancer (God-willing, it will stay that way), but I have also suffered from debilitating migraines in the past! A few things I have done to relieve the pain are:

      1. Ask the doctor for prescription pain killers
      2. Take a good, hard, honest look at what triggers them (might not be as much as an option for you)
      3. Once you’ve seen what your triggers are, focus on noticing when the migraine first starts. THEN stop doing/eating whatever it is. Just get out of that situation. Drink some water and/or a relaxing herbal tea, take the pain meds if necessary, and go lie down IMMEDIATELY in that dark room of yours (it’s the only way the meds work for many). I’ve found that if I do this, even only a half-hour long nap can help.

      Of course, as stated before, I don’t have experience with post-cancer migraines, so this might not be relevant for you, but I truly hope that you can find some way to cope with the pain. It’s no fun feeling like a cleaver is stuck in your brain! (Oh, and if you prefer to do things the natural way, check out and see if they have any solutions for migraines. They’ve been able to help people out with lots of debilitating diseases! Good luck!)

      Hugs, Rach

    • randall

      Oh my, your challenges are compounded. Best of luck to you, I know you can do this FTW!!!

  • Jayme

    What’s been stopping me? To be completely honest, me. I can give you lots of excuses from having hypothyroidism to a being a busy mom with the lack of a good support system but it all boils down to one inescapable fact: I have been my own problem. The rest are all speedbumps, hurdles to overcome that are difficult but not impossible. I haven’t wanted to face the fact that this is not going to get better without a lot of hardwork, determination and focus on my part. At 5′ 3.5″ and 240 lbs, I don’t even want to face myself in the mirror and shopping for clothes is a nightmare. My turning point is realizing the example I’m setting for my boys. By staying this way, I’m unintentionally telling them that it’s okay to give up, it’s okay to settle for less. That horrifies me. Starting today I am changing my life. I will set aside time to work out. I will eat healthier. I will not stop until I lose the 100 lbs I need to. I will be a better example for my children.

  • jerry

    My best answer to your question, is probably the worst answer anyone can give, and that is time. Being a single father time is very valuable, and my time management is not the best in the world. I’m not in bad shape, but I obviously want to be in better shape, that’s why I am here. One hour a day, 3 to 4 times a week, and that seems like such a daunting task.

    • Elizabeth M.

      well two things I stopped to comment on: 1. I feel you. Single parenting seems impossible so often. 2. the entry time you have on your comment is my name in numbers. 217. Anyway, I noticed a year ago that if someone depended on me getting up early I can do it. So I can’t say that I have no time. I’m just sooooo not a morning person. But thinking I am not is keeping me as not. We have a choice to who we are. What I have decided is to slowly take over my life. Crazy as that sounds. I want to be a runner. So I am a runner. I just haven’t started running. But I am now a morning person. I’m writing this with intentions to actually be this in the morning. I have to get up at 6am for a slew of exams and xrays and stuff to depress me. But in the morning I will be a bright and fresh morning person. (wow never expected my comment to change myself so quickly…but I’m going for it…maybe this is why I needed to comment as well as give you encouragement.) I choose to be whatever I am. I have also experienced being dead tired and then thinking no I am not to counteract it and actually getting up from the couch and felt like a new person. It’s all in the mind. Which is the hardest for sure, but possible, very possible. Anyway, the whole point was to start choosing a time you want to give yourself whether it be before sunrise or during their playtime. 20 minutes a day is the gateway drug to being health and body conscience. Find 20 min. And already know that you are that person. Because…you really are. You can even teach your kids about what you are doing. My kids LOVE to workout. So days that I don’t feel like it I tell them to do it and then join them when I see how much fun they have. Hope it helps.

      • Kate M

        Jerry & Elizabeth, you both have my deepest admiration! I can’t imagine being a single parent, you are both rock stars!! What Elizabeth said about the 20 minutes made me think about another saying that I’ve heard that applies here too. The saying is from FlyLady, about housework; I’ll share the original and then change it to fit here…”Housework done imperfectly still blesses your family,” just like “Exercising imperfectly (less than an hour, or whatever you consider to be that great workout) still blesses your family–and you!”

        • Elizabeth M.

          hey!!!! That’s great! I never heard of the first one, which is also a struggle for me (cleaning the house) because it’s CONSTANT with boys. I have had to work up to it again through being conscious of what I am saying about it. I was such a great housekeeper (and much more fit and strong) till hospital visit after hospital visit and medicine tacked on to medicine and doctor after doctor told me to take it easy. So I let go of the need to have a great house and focus on kids and health. But I KNOW I can get the house in order AS my daily exercise AND do a few intense intervals when I have the energy. Thank you! Angels watching over us I tell ya! lol I am sure that vegan plus strength training with a daily dose of prayer and meditation equals lupus free. even if it’s only lupus free symptoms. But I also believe in the miraculous of being totally healthy with no trace of disease. God bless you ALL on here. It is so powerful to read every day. Keep the comments rolling!

          • Elizabeth M.

            I hit reply too soon….I think Tom needs some definite media attention on this. I feel like a revolutionary! You are awesome Tom! And that’s totally not to suck up and get the Maui Trip. I think there are many others on here that deserve it more. I already had the privilege of living in Honolulu, although I was way overweight. I know I will be able to experience surfing before I die, so in that I am happy. Bless you Tom. You really are a great heart and I have never respected and trusted someone online ever before you. I’m glad you are doing well with your passion for people and fitness. Saving the world, you are!

  • Mara

    Nothing stops me but me. I constantly look in the mirror and see my faults instead of seeing the positive. I am always comparing myself to other people (wish my butt, thighs, etc. were as little as their). Although they may wish that their abs were as ripped as mine! I work out hard every day, but I stand in my way. I don’t go swimming with my kids because I think I look fat. I don’t eat the same dinner as them. I won’t go out for dinner with friends because I don’t like to eat in front of people. Even though I know after I work out that I need to take in nourishment, it is extremely difficult for me since I just worked so hard to get rid of the calories to then put them back in. I sit on the edge of being almost eating disordered because I just can’t ease up on myself. I sometimes think it would be so much fun to just once not think about how many calories something has in it or how many calories I just burned or what can I do to make these thighs a little thinner. Do other people obsess about these things on a daily basis? So in short, they only thing stopping me from achieving my goal – and my goal is to be happy with myself – is me.

  • Jacky

    What’s really been stopping you from achieving the body of your dreams and why will you NEVER let that stop you again?

    Simply Me! That should have 90% of the answers. Can WE never let ME stop us again? We will have to learn to out think ourselves. A busy schedule is only busy because we allow it to be. The easy wrong over the hard right has become a pert of life. I am taking the wheel back, I am in charge of me.

  • Tim

    Motivation- I know what I need to do but never able to make the long term commitment to doing those things. I can do great for a month, but rarely more than that.

  • Ian

    My career is what has stopped me from being the fit and healthy college athlete I once was. I have dedicated a consistent 14 to 16 hours of everyday to becoming the best employee my company has, to outlast the recession and continue to thrive under the looming circumstances of the market wherein I work.
    Upon what I thought would be a deep examination of why I have put on 25 lbs of flab over the last year, I realized in seconds that my life is complicated, but not complicated enough to keep me from being healthy. What is a career without a life to carry it out with after all?
    My previous belief has held me back from excellence and allowed me to neglect the most important thing I have…. my body. I intend to get back on track and push myself to be the previous me!

  • wayne

    Something that stops me from achieving my fittness goals is the fact that there are so many fad diets and conflicting information on the best way to lose weight and keep it off. I am not going to let that stop me asgain because the truth of weight loss is simple. Eat fewer calories than you burn, be it low carb or low fat. I do beleive that high protein is efficient and will make sure I get enough in my diet, the rest I wont worry to much about and just count overall calories instead of tryiing to count carb calories, fat calories, saturatated fat calories, etc. Ill only pay attention to my protein intake and overall calorie.

  • Sabrina

    I hold myself back. I know I do it, and I make great plans to do great things, then I get lazy and fall back into habits without giving them enough time to gain strength as a habit.

    So I guess, to be blunt, I’ve been consistently lazy. What will change that? Me. I have to find the drive, and determination to DO, and not just WANT.

  • Randy

    What has always stopped me was the thought that I didn’t need to lose weight, I was doing okay. But after losing 55lb and all of the prescription meds I had been taking nothing can stop me. I don’t have to live that way and I realized I wouldn’t live long that way. I am determined now not only to keep the fat off but to get lean and ripped, something I have never been 5? years.

  • Gabrielle C. Pellemans

    Hi Tom,
    Throughout my fitness journey, I`ve come to the conclusion that one major factor that has always seemed to get in my way of achieving my ultimate goals is my mind set. I was raised under the perception that `thin` is accepted, but unfortunately, a few year span of time where I was growing into my own body left me with a little excess weight. I was never really in one place very long, and after being taunted and laughed out by both friends and family, I swore to myself I wouldn`t be that person. I couldn`t wrap my mind around a solid way of eating..keeping my metabolism elevated, because eating meant my stomach grew..even if it was temporary, and that made me look larger than my mind set deemed acceptable.
    Obviously it was a false belief that created a cycle of slow metabolic function. Thankfully, upon learning more and finally witnessing results, I managed to trade a permanent `thin` frame for a metabolizing furnace. I am still learning what foods and at what amounts I need to support my training, but I am finally able to feed the body I am creating instead of depriving it. Going on this journey alone, without support and preformulated data, it is a 1 day at a time journey.
    Another issue I have been fighting is ridicule and lack of compassion and understanding from those around me. Fitness is my passion, but no one seems to understand. I am constantly ridiculed for my strict eating habbits..not engaging in fast food or pizza night..and always preparing or holding out for my premade allotments for the day. It is hard to be happy about the one thing I have worked so hard for and finally started to be able to achieve, when I am told I look like a scrawny body builder..along with other negative labels. This has caused me mental strain…having no one to discuss or confirm my plan and training, understand it or to give me positive feedback for once.
    Regardless, these are the two biggest struggles I figured I would share.

  • Jake the Snake

    I have lost a lot of weight (80 – 100 lbs), many times. Last time, I found that I could no longer stay awake at the gym. After even a small amount of exercise I kept yawning. I had no energy, none. Starvation works, to a point, then your body beats you.

    This time, as I start again, I am working on the 5 meal idea. I am a 2 meal per day person. The change is very difficult to schedule as I am a creature of habit. It is a change I need to find ways to make. Need to get back to the gym too. I need to lose weight more slowly and evenly.

    Biggest myth: starvation works
    Holding me back: my diet sucks… quantity, quality, timing
    Why it won’t hold me back: Tough one, I think I will accept that it will slow me down. I won’t accept that it will beat me.

  • Martin

    What has been stopping me unfortunatly is motivation, I find it extremely had to complete a complete workout due to focus, BUT let me tell you Tom that it’s time for a transformation I have recently given up cigarettes after eighteen years ( with help) patches to be precise,but hey I’ve done it all the same.
    And so on to the next phase of my kick ass life change AGAIN hopefully with a little help this time from yourself.

    Here’s to new goals,
    Your friend

  • Elder de Faria Braga

    What is stopping me from geting the results that I want was a combination of factors.
    I am a lawyer with a routine that envolves a lot of business lunchs, a formal work environment and days with 12 hours of work.
    I start reading your book Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle and though that I had to deal with this problem just like any other case in the office:
    A) I found time: I started to workout first thing in the morning;
    B) I solved two meals with planning: the breakfast and a post workout meal. I realized that a have total control over this two meals;
    C) Lunch and Dinner – I decided to go with grill and salad. Almost all restaurants in São Paulo (were I live, in Brazil) have options of green beaf (almost all meat here is green) and salad;
    D) I ended up with two meals as a problem: one in the middle of the afternoon, the other at night. The one at night normally to be made at home, the other… well thanks god we have wey protein…

    It is working by now… And I am feeling better and more productive!

    Thank you for the great information

  • Erin N

    There is no question what was holding me back. I was simply being lazy and inconsistent. I’ve had all of the tools at my fingertips for a few years now; I just was not consistent with what I was doing, and I was not using the information that I had at my disposal. That’s really all there is to it.
    I’m not out of shape, but I know I could be better. It has totally been due to self-limiting and is all in my head. That’s all there is to it.
    I’m finally in a place where I’m getting my food together. It’s taken me a long time to get back here. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t get myself there. It feels good to be here now, and I don’t plan on looking back. Who knew it really was so easy once I got in a groove?? 🙂

  • Ann

    I guess two things come to mind. First I let other important things crowd out my exercise time and it’s hard to push myself (finances don’t allow for a personal trainer who would help me push).

  • BC

    That it’s just too hard and impossible to achieve the body I want and deserve.

  • Natalie

    Hi well nothing is stopping me only I can stop my self ! Nothing !!

  • Mary R.

    What’s been stopping me? Lack of belief in myself, and a whole lot of “I’m not worthy of (a) being healthy, (b) being happy, (c) being svelte”; at age 57 (58 in a few days) it’s time to put the lies to rest and to be my best. The RIGHT way, the HEALTHY way, the LIFESTYLE way. The ACTIVE way.

  • Mark

    My biggest obstacle was definitely myself. I’ve been working on and off for a while now, always mentally preparing myself to go for the gold, yet whatever progress I may have made, I diluted it with little white lies of supposed success, instead of staying firm and Relishing in what I accomplished. I love Taste and, sometimes without even realizing it, my appetite will spark, even though i may not be hungry, whenever the thought of a good taste crosses my mind and I’ll fruitlessly resist for a few moments only to semi-binge a few moments later. My self-control is definitely my biggest obstacle.

  • angela

    Dear Tom, thanks a lot for such an amazing program.I followed up all twelve Big Fat Lies lessons and i learned a lot from them. I am fat from birth, and have been progressively overweight all my life. At moment my weight is 134kg, height 1.60m.I dont know what percentage of body fat i have, coz i dont know how to calculate it. I really need to cut down coz i already suffer from athritis and much pain all over my body. Am not into any kind of exercise, how then can i start something seemingly so tedious as this?, besides, it looks like i will need some equipment, cant afford it. Help me Tom, please.

    • Shilpa C

      Dear Angela,
      It seems like a tedious process, but believe me, when you start exercising and taking control of your nutrition and start seeing the results, suddenly the tedium will disappear. Also, you do not need to have equipment to start. There are a lot of exercises that you can do without equipment too. And there are ways to measure your progress without equipment too. Please start now with what you have, and you will find that the rest will turn up for you. Don’t hold yourself back by telling yourself “I can’t start until I have ‘X’ in place.” Start now, with whatever you have already, and the rest will definitely follow. I will be praying for you.

  • Dana Varlan

    Commodity…the simple fact that it’s hard for me to mobilize and move.
    I know the theory, I applied it several times but I am lazy and I’d rather
    watch TV or play a game or, even worse, eat something unhealthy.
    Theory is nothing if not applied! I just need to move my ass :))))))))

  • Sarah

    Laziness and complacency.
    I am a stay at home mom to three young children. I sort of accepted the fact that I will never “be toned” because I have been through three pregnancies where I gained (and lost) 50 pounds each time. I have been able to lose scale weight easily, I have always been on the upper end of the normal weight range for my height but never been happy with how my body looks under the clothes. I was falling into depression, and could not figure out why, I live a fairly easy life, we are blessed with 3 healthy children and my husband makes enough money for me to stay home with them (which was always my dream) Two months after baby number 3 came I was satisfied with how I had managed to lose the weight yet again. However I still hated my body, but was too lazy and satisfied with where I was to do anything about it.
    Once my last baby turned 1, I started wanting another one, because I felt like something was missing. I didnt know what was missing, but after a few months of being miserable that I couldnt have another baby, I started drinking wine everyday and eating really badly. I put on 15 pounds in a few months, I was feeling worse, and more depressed and I could not understand why since I was living the life I had always wanted. Finally, at my heaviest and the most un-attractive I think I have ever been I decided I was going to make some changes. I started eating better, less calories, not as much wine, and light excercise.
    After one week I felt a lot better. I could not believe the difference one week of eating well and excercising made for me. Since February 2011 I have lost 27 scale pounds, 5 inches from my waist, and I am now seeing muscles I never knew I had! I have been researching clean eating and am now eating as clean as possible, with only a few exceptions. The weight I have lost is nothing compared to what I have gained! I have more confidence in myself and my abilities than I ever have, I play with my kids instead of sitting back with my wine watching them play, I feel like a better person, I am now truly happy and I have a new outlook. I am not on a diet, I always correct friends/family who ask about my diet. Eating properly and excercising is not a diet, it is a part of my life that helps me better enjoy all the blessings I have been given! I KNOW that I can tone up areas that I thought could not be toned, I see muscle definition all over my body and I love it! I want more of it, and no number on the scale makes me feel as good as finding new muscles, or taking my measurements and seeing the inches melting away! It has only been three months since I hit my breaking point and decided to take control of my body and I can not wait to see how it looks in 3 more months! I found your website and am very interested in your burn the fat feed the muscle methods!!

  • Vicki Hamblin

    In the past I have believed that I could never follow through on anything I would always start things up being really excited, but even then I can remember thinking to myself “This excitement isn’t going to last. You’re not going to be this excited for very long. It’s going to be hard to follow through. You probably won’t even finish.”

    Then – guess what? I barely ever finished. I always gave up on myself before I had barely gotten out of the starting gate. And no wonder, now that I know so much more about my non conscious mind thanks to reading Tom’s “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” book. When I read that, everything just clicked. Visualization has always been a strong part of who I am. I can see things very clearly, and vividly – and on some level have always recognized how important and powerful this is. However, I can visualize the negative just as easily as the positive and that’s what I was focusing on. Odd enough, I think I was focusing on that in an attempt to be humble, but instead I was just shooting myself in the foot and digging my own pit to fall into. No wonder I could never finish anything. Those were the exact instructions I was feeding to my subconscious and, just like it was supposed to, it was following my instructions!!

    My negative and limiting self talk and the beliefs about my abilities (or underestimation of them) are truly the only things that have been stopping me from achieving amazing results with my body. But no longer. Now that I understand how my mind works, there is nothing stopping me from programming it to be the most amazing, successful, result-achieveing person I can be. And I am aiming high when it comes to personal capabilities!! I am a finisher. I am going to achieve amazing results this summer and finally earn and possess the body I have always desired. I have all the tools now, all the knowledge about healthy weight loss, nutrition and exercise, as well as all the absolutely essential knowledge about how to program my mind for success and just… pure awesomeness – thanks to the BFFM program. With these weapons in my arsenal, there is no stopping this ball now that it has started rolling. I am unstoppable!! This is my summer!! I’m taking no prisoners ;).

  • Garth

    The path of least resistance has always been my problem. It was always easy to get started and stick with an eating program and workout schedule. It would not take long however for the part of me that prefers easy to hard, rest to work, cookies to carrots, to decide that it is WAY easier to do nothing.

    Why it won’t stop me again? Five back surgeries and two replaced discs. My nine year old daughter feeling bad about her body. I am a terrible role model. I finally realized the path of least resistance is not as easy as it appears. I know that you have to work hard for what you care about. (my daughter, my back)

    I care about doing better, I care about being in great shape. Finally, I am emotionally invested in my own path to a better life. That seems to make all the difference in the world.

  • Peter Neville

    I thought that if i hadnt gotten injuries, sicknesses etc over the years, that i would now be a machine.
    Having given that the harsh look it needs, i realise, that these were setbacks i should have worked around, for one thing, during an injury or sickness, i didnt lower my calorie intake to cater for the fact i wasnt training. I didnt try get some exercise done, nothing to strenuous but enough to encourage the muscle back to health and stay in decent shape, or when sick with a cold, try sweat it out with a little run, sick with something heavier i didnt try get out and walk a bit for fresh air etc that would help stay in shape and get better quikcer, i did none of these things, because i wanted the body without putting in the work when the going gets tough.
    Why this will never happen again, is recently i got a kick in the behind from my parents about going to college and working hard, even when sick etc, because life doesn’t wait up, and that has had a knock on effect in my training, I’ve tried to follow many mottos in my training but my latest has driven me farther than ever before, in all aspects of life including training, “I can sleep when i’m dead”. So why i wont let an injury or sickness stop me now, is because im too driven, i want it as much as ever, now im willing to work for it, even when im injured and the training has to become tedious and slowed down!

  • Abdu

    The reason is simple. it falls in one question how bad do you want it?. Nothing can stop any human being of achieving what he wants other than him self.

    I found a quote some where on the web which I added on my positive notes including some of the favorites in BFFM which keep me going back every time I stop.


    And this is what stopped me from achieving a WEAK DESIRE.

  • Betty-Anne

    What stopped me – I get to involved and do to much to soon – and my fibromyalgia then takes over and I cannot move. This time I am doing aqua-size (2 times a week 1 hr per visit) and Curves (3 times per week – 2 circuits – 1/2 hour each day) – to build tolerance – then I will add weights. I have lost 35 lbs without exercise – but have hit a wall – with the addition of exercise I hope to get over the wall and continue to loose. I want to loose 100 more lbs. 5’6” – 240 lbs – 63 yrs old. I have been a member for years and have all the eBooks now.

  • Rachel

    My limiting belief is that there is such a thing as “good enough”, and that I don’t have to work my hardest if I’ve achieved an semi-acceptable result. In my heart of hearts, I know this is full of, well, the stuff I scoop out of the cat box.

    I can trace this back to my childhood, where I spent considerable time trying to be average and to “fit in”. I was one of those child prodigies that everyone hates, but instead of letting my light shine, I chose to dim it down. As a result, I am in the middle of reinventing myself. I have lost around 60 pounds and have another 30 to go, and have waffled (Mmmmmmm, waffles!) about whether I should settle for being comfortably zaftig, since I am gray-haired, middle-aged, etc. It’s safe, it’s comfy, and I look okay. But life begins outside the comfort zone.

    So I am ready to commit to the final push in earning the body I deserve.
    It won’t be easy, but if I am wimpy enough to settle for mediocrity, then an energized “me” can whup that attitude in a nanosecond!

  • LuciaS

    I´ve always been fat..little fat girl..I was brought up with the belief I was fat..and I truly believed. When I became older I could not accept this “fact” and started to dance and train. I did a lot of trainig, I starved and had a lot of activities. In 8 months I lost almost 75 pounds..that was great feeling. I did it..I was a winner..however, only for a few years..Then I started to put on my weight once more, but I did not changed my habits..I could not believe! What was wrong? I am aware of the fact that firstly I need to love and accept myself regardless of my weight..I do not need to starve in order to be loved and accepted..I think that my unconscious mind has hold me back..I want to change it..I think I am ready to do that..I am ready to love and accept myself and to take this challenge for my body and mind transformation:) Thanks Tom for the contest..Lucy from Slovakia

  • Elizabeth M.

    Well that turned out to be an emotional ride of a lifetime. You certainly held up to your promise. So I will start with what immediately came to mind when you asked what’s really stopping me.

    It’s single parenting with lupus after years of abuse, trauma, recovery, moving states, making friends, starting over and over with my children in tote while trying to go through college…finally. It’s memories of bad parenting from my parents, bad memories of parenting my own children, and trying to be simple and focus on what I want the most and leave the rest for another life.

    What I want the most for myself is very different than what I want holistically. God comes first spiritually, kids come first physically (but run the gamut of emotional, mental, and even spiritual), then college takes mental precedence, dealing with lupus and now possible kidney disease is emotionally draining, and keeping a household under wraps without having a job is killing me with stress.

    One last big one before I move on. I am creative, innovative, gifted, and incredibly smart. The one thing I lack in follow-through is logistics. I just don’t know how to make the first step. It’s almost like a complete block in my brain. I barely budge, or I move only as far as I am competent with AND still interested in. My issue with longevity in any task is a big block. I’m as they say “gypsy blood” and I roam and experience new things. I get bored with things within a schedule, repetition, or cycle. I hate routines with a passion. Right now I am in battle between my mind and body. My heart and mind are totally overpowering my body.

    I keep telling myself I just need a trainer. Someone to tell me what to do so I don’t have to research and still feel unsure if I am doing the right thing. I need a trainer competent in my health issues, my belief system and my nontraditional personality. Now I don’t think anything is impossible. (I intend to fly before I die.) But that request is a hefty one, especially with zip funds to acquire such a person.

    BUT…as I was making all these heart wrenching calculations of what I allow to stop me from being muscle fit, I was interrupted. After some quiet reflection with God, I turned this back on and kept reading. Before I could even scroll down to the testimonies, I knew…I knew in my heart you were going to show me I am wrong. And I cried. I know in my heart too that I am wrong, but it hurts that once again I am off to the mountaintop, but only after the long, difficult, painful journey up. I’ve played superwoman most of my life and I’ve ended up with not much to show for it. I see this as another attempt to be superwoman, inspiring to others as I have dreamed, yet still afraid of furthering my illness and lessening my time with my two amazing, seriously amazing, not just being a mom, boys. I want more time. I want to adopt kids as long as I can in my life since I cannot have anymore. My health and my image are my deep desires for myself. But I sacrifice for the greater good. My body is like a battery each day I wake up. Some days it feels like I forgot to charge. Some days I wake up with half a charge and need a recharge before noon. Some days it takes all I have to get in as much as I can before recharging at noon and hitting bed early. But I want this. I believe in it. I see the people you have as testimonials and I cry and celebrate with them. I become connected to them because I am one of them that hasn’t broken free from the damaging thoughts…and sometimes the denial that I was diagnosed with lupus at 23, that my kids’ father really isn’t who I thought and who they deserve, that I’m penniless once again, and that I still am not sure of who I am. My 30th birthday is next month. I’ve been soooo happy about it. I want that feeling of entering through a new phase in my life. A healthy, active, and abundant life is what I see. And I thank you for the challenge that will transcend all that I thought into more than I ever dreamed. I’m ready. Please don’t let me down.

    • Kate M

      Elizabeth – I wrote my other comments to you without even having read your story–wow! You are an AMAZING woman! To overcome everything you have so far, wow, wow, wow!!

      About the job stuff, I definitely understand, I hate routines with a passion, I’ve been blessed with some time to think about it and work on what I really want to be working on. I hope (and will pray!) that you can do that too, even as life is hard without any money.

      You have to remember that really this is for you. Superwoman might be a result, but doing this for YOU will glorify God through you, because you’ll regularly be able to recharge your batteries to their full capapcity (love that analogy!).

      I honestly think that your 30’s can be this awesome decade, I have been enjoying it much more than I did my 20’s (I’m 32). It would be great if you would email me so we can talk more over email. katiemulinix at gmail dot com.

      LET’S DO THIS!!

    • Linda Miller

      Thank you so much Kate and Elizabeth M. for your beautiful words of wisdom. Elizabeth is my daughter’s name so Elizabeth M. would be her name and initial and that I don’t think is a coincidence because I don’t believe in coincidences. She is a beautiful little girl of 7 who is in the Autism Spectrum and is also Down Syndrome. I believe everything happens for a reason. I’ll let you both know that I have printed out your replies to me. That’s how much they affected me (especially Elizabeth’s.) I think about the fact that “the more is given the more is required” and that does scare me. I know that the Lord teaches that with love there is no fear but I fear my own inadequacies, not His Love, but I guess that’s an oxymoron because with Love there is total Trust and I guess I have more to learn about trusting Him than I do about fearing my own weaknesses. After all, we are all weak inadequacies without His love and mercy. Anyway, thank you both very much for your support and I am soooo looking forward to hooking up with you for this challenge. May God abundantly bless the both of you and your families. Love, Linda Miller

      PS: Isn’t Tom a card. This time he let us reply to one another and support each other rather than him having to respond to our comments. I almost feel like I should be in a petri dish! LOLOL HI TOM!

      • Elizabeth M.

        Thoroughly speechless in gratitude. What a gift for my desperate soul. I hope to thank you again later Tom for the miracle of fighting this disease to its end. I already know you are helping to pave the way for that final declaration of freedom from doctors, days spent in bed when my kids want to go play, daily medications, and the pain of being young but feeling ancient. I will have my life back…as sappy and sentimental as all that was…it is the truth. It’s tangible victory JUST because I was picked. It’s that first peek of light from an open window that has my name on it. My window of opportunity will not be wasted. Bless you!

  • Sondra Harrison

    The only thing that is really stopping me from having the body of my dreams is actually “excuses”! Everyone at one time or another makes excuses, “I will start tomorrow”, or ” I am over 40 and have children, I will never look like that”. Those are all excuses. Now, I can’t say that I am a slacker, I have competed before, I know the drill. But, I want to be better than I was last time. The only thing holding me back is believing that I can do it-stop making excuses that it is too hard, or I am too tired, too old, etc. It’s all about digging deep, believing that you can do it. A friend told me not long ago, “You only get one life, make it extraordinary!”

  • Whats stopping me? Its not even my love for food or soft sheets. Its an addiction to serving my lazy body, not making it serve me!

    That all goes into laziness in food preparation, emotional overeating whenever I “feel” like it and exercising or not depending on my mood.

    Talk about a silly way to live. Over the last year I’ve been making small changes. This summer I really hope to learn to buffet my body and make it my slave so that I can accomplish my dreams and goals.

  • Megan Mulvihill

    I never thought I was good enough not only to be thin, but to exist at all. I suffered severe childhood trauma for a number of years and psychological abuse as I heard over and over again “You’re stupid, fat and ugly and nobody loves you.” Eventually, I began to believe it and as the abuse continued without anyone noticing or doing anything to help me, just solidified it in my mind. That was the evidence nobody loved me right there. This story may be familiar to a lot of you who are reading it now. And even after so many years of therapy and life training the voice has gotten much smaller, but it is still there.

    Over the past month or so I have really begun to realize that I have been giving my abuser power over me by not taking responsibility for everything I have done to myself. There wasn’t someone with a gun to my head forcing me to overeat or stuff down my anger and sadness. I am now taking responsibility for everything I put into my body and the exercise I am doing. And that everything I do and have done have been MY CHOICE, nobody else’s. I know that is why I will start and complete this 14 week challenge and be extremely proud of my results.

    • Laurie

      You go girl! You have definetely inspired me. Can’t wait to hear of your success in 14 weeks and along the way!!!!!! Go get ’em.

    • Kate M

      Awesome, Megan! You have come sooo far and overcome so much, you can totally do this! I’m looking forward to seeing you throughout the next 14 weeks!

  • Heather

    My biggest limiting belief and road block to achieving my ideal healthy body composition is the thought that I’m not worthy of it. I have had low self esteem and disordered body image for as long I can remember. I was very overweight, and into the obese weight category and body fat % for almost my entire life. I lost 70 pounds in 2009 by taking up jogging (very slowly but surely!) and eating healthy food. I have been struggling with maintaining the weight loss since, and I am currently on a backsliding pattern of not exercising as consistently and eating larger portions than my body needs (emotional eating has always been a problem for me).

    In the back of my mind I always, always have that negative self talk going. Telling me that this weight loss is a fluke and I’m not meant to be a healthy weight, so why bother working at it? It’s very difficult for me to stand up for myself and to believe in myself and my past accomplishments. In order to be successful in losing fat and building muscle, I need to visualize my goals clearly and believe in them. I need to tell my subconscious that I am worth the effort it takes to increase my fitness and to maintain healthy body composition.

  • Helle

    I’m a 51 year old “girl” from Denmark, who stopped smoking after 35 years with about 20 cigarettes a day, my bodyweight was fairly normal.

    Used to eat healthy and exercise 2-3 times a week.

    In January 2007 I quit smoking, and for the next 2½ month I ate too much, and not only healthy food, my weight raised up and up, and I decided immidiately to stop eating the wrong food and do more exercise, but it did not stop my weight from going up, I began to eat less calories and exercise more, but my weight just kept up, untill I had gained about 15 kg, I was really scared.

    Went to my doctor, he found out that I had diabetes 2, and a year later he also told me, that I had another hormon discease. I got medication, but that did not stop my weight from rising, slowly my calories a day went down to about 900 – 1100 kcal a day, exercing 4-5 times a week, mainly cardio (zumba, running, inliner), the only way for me to loose weight was to eat less and less.

    Now I’ve been fighting for a little more than 4 years, and still I’m not down to the size I used to have.

    2 month ago I started lifting iron too, so far my weight have not changed, but I’m still hoping.

    I believe that most people can change the way they look, but most of them don’t, they have all kind of excuses, so that they can stay in the sofa, but I also believe that illness can have a big meaning for the very difficulty in loosing weight and having the beautiful body we all deserve, including me.

    Anyway, I will keep on trying, but I have to admit that my faith in me loosing weight is very weak.

    Hope it is possible to read my comment, I’m not perfect in spelling English more.

    Take care

  • Jeanette C.

    My past belief: That I cannot finish anything. That I am a good starter and a bad finisher. I believed, deep down (and maybe still do) that I would never really get to my goal, because I always quit. The last time I entered, I almost made it to the finish line. ALMOST. Then a small set back with the struggles of daily living and I gave up on my dreams and goals. I was so very close. And I quit – again.

    Actually quitting wasn’t my mistake. It was failing to start again.

    It shouldn’t have stopped me, but I let it. I was tired and It was easier to quit. It was too hard to do everything: work, family, working out.

    But it wasn’t really any easier. Because all I have been doing for months is kick myself for having given up again. Instead of celebrating my successes and hard work over the holidays, I let a few hard days at the job and finances get me down. I can’t even recall what the problem were anymore. Because, like all problems, they passed. If I had just held on a little longer I would have made it through and completed the challenge.

    This will never stop me again. I will not listen to the negative self-talk. I will practice my daily affirmations because the are POWER. I will practice them until I can recite them by heart. I will recite them until they are the only voice in my head. I will work the program fully. I will have my nutrition, my workout, and my mind focused on the goal. Only silver lining thoughts from now on. I may finish on my hands and knees this time but I will finish.

    And my commitment to my health will not end on day 96. I will continue to make strides daily. Even if my achievements are small, I will recognize that a week of small victories is the victory. A big victory when things are easy is not very impressive. It is making a leap forward when things are hardest, THAT is the real victory.

  • Lisa

    What has been stopping me is time and organization. The reason it won’t stop me anymore is that someone showed me I didn’t need alot of time, or space to get in shape. I started working out with someone during my 30 minute lunch hour at work. We go up and down the stairs in different intervals, do puch-ups, situps and other exercises. It has shown me that I do not need to join a gym to get my legs in shape (although I may eventually). The stairs are helping my cardio and legs. The push-ups help my upper body and back, and sit-ups are obvious what they help. I have worked out at the gym, but by having certain goals to reach certain floors, I have gotten in shape faster than I ever thought I could.

    The person I work out with teaches me all the time little things I could do. I know I need to work out longer than the 30 mintues, but for now, I feel good and am on my way to losing the 100lbs I need to.

    Regarding my eating, I feel good which prompts me to make an effort to eat fruit and veggies. I prefer to eat fruits and veggies (believe it or not), I just end up eating what I thought was convenient food such as fast food and quick processed snacks. I just have to change my habits to make sure, the healthier stuff is convenient.

  • Dianna

    Fear. Fear of success. Fear of failure, fear someone might look at me or might not look at me. Fear I might get too big and so on ando so on. I’ve live with negative voices in head most of my life, telling I can’t do something or I not good enough or not pretty enough. The voices are just lack of confidence and self destructive behavior, logic tells me. But man when that little voice is telling you how big your butt is, or no way you can lift that or what the heck to do think your doing entering that contest. I’d like to say I’ll never listen to those voices again, but that takes a lot of work which I’m more than willing to put in and have been for many a year. Thanks to Tom and his books I’ve learned much and hope to continue to learn and with those tools, the voices instead of shouting will becomes whispers.

  • Misty

    Twelve years ago I had the body of my dreams. I used to LOVE going to the gym every day after work. Then, life happened ~ I got married, had a few kids, put on the weight and started taking my body and health for granted. “I’ll go back to the gym when I go back to work” or “when the kids go to school” or “when my divorce is final”, etc, etc. I seem to always have an excuse to put my needs on the back burner or sabotage my efforts as soon as I started to see success. Why? I really don’t know. I can say that I’ve been unhappy with my marriage, I’ve been busy with my kids’ sports, that I am an emotional eater ~ all of which are true, and all of which are just excuses. I just turned 36, I have three amazing kids and a great job. I’ve run out of excuses! I want to be successful, I want my kids to be proud of me; heck, I want to be proud of me. 🙂 So, I am determined to make changes in my life, to make my health a priority and to NEVER look back. I am using this contest as the catalyst I need to improve my life. Life has no limits except for the ones that we create ourselves. I know this ~ now I’m going to live it. I wish the best of luck to everyone who is making an effort to transform their body & their life!

  • Linda Hillidge

    I don’t have a structured enough approach to my training routine.
    I train hard and passionately every day but do the same exercises
    without any real measurement or goal.
    Another fatal error being my eating plan begins well every morning and usually into lunchtime however when it comes to the evening any excuse to eat a hearty dinner with carbs which is the worst thing I can do.
    Now that Winter has arrived I need extreme self discipline exerted otherwise it will be tough to shed those unwanted kilos for the Summer months when my cycling events kick in.

  • What stops me is that fact that I have already made a significant transformation and hit a very serious plateau (even a slight back slide) and the inner voice says its just too much work and takes too much focus for what little return is left for me to gain. Yet, I am not near my BF% target, so I know there is a great distance yet to go … shut up little voice I am not listening!

    I will not let this stop me any more because at age 57+ I don’t have that much time left (yes, I know it is NEVER too late),but more importantly I am entering the field of performance coaching in business and life and it is an honor that I get to walk the talk. Additionally, my initial reason for improving my health was the pending birth of our first two grans children. With #3 on the way in September, I am reminded of the need to role model for them, my children and to ultimately be available to be actively involved in their lives for a very very very long time. My ultimate goal is to die young at a very OLD age.

  • Lisa

    What I believed in the past, that was stopping me until now, is 3 things:
    1.) I am neglecting my duty to the family by putting my needs before theirs,
    2.) I am being selfish by wanting to spend the time and energy it will take to reach my fitness goals,
    3.) the dysfunction of my family unit will escalate if I am not there to keep it calm.
    As a former collegiate athlete, I kept in shape all the way up to the birth of my 1st child. (Working out was part of who I am since the age of 7.) It was then that “new issues” developed as I became a stay at home mom, and it was at that point that I somehow found myself being suppressed, and at times even sabotaged at home from having a way to routinely eat healthy and to work out again. The beginning of my 16 year spiral downward.
    Losing that part of my life over the years has caused: a bout with depression, self medication with alcohol, and overeating to fill the void of losing that athlete in me.
    I STILL HAVE THE DESIRE to free my inner athlete trapped inside a defeated, self-abused body , and I AM TIRED OF SELF ABUSING, but am unsure of just how to work it all out.
    My beliefs of #1 and #2 are self-limiting beliefs but #3 is the one that is not. #3 is quite complicated because: a)it just keeps me dejected as well as: b)it is really as exhausting as a workout, without the physical exertion.
    I WANT to never let it stop my inner athlete again. I WANT to reclaim that part of my life.
    Just this week, I have teamed up with a colleague and we are in the planning stages of changing our eating habits, and cardio routines to start when the school year ends (teachers).
    The goal is to get a routine going over the summer and get a momentum going, as well as supporting and motivating eachother to dig in deep to pull out that (in essence: hibernating) inner athlete whom has been waiting for her turn, for so long.

    • Kate M

      You go, Lisa!! Free your inner athlete! I miss my inner athlete too–I’m looking forward to seeing her again this summer.

  • I have lost weight before but I always seemed to gain it back because of an appetite and craving for carbohydrates. My belief lately has been that if I did lose the weight that I would either gain it back again or constantly be feeling deprived, unhappy and hungry in order to maintain it. I just didn’t know what to eat or how to eat right. I did not want to feel miserable and hungry for the rest of my life, so I gave up. I was always either feeling bloated or hungry. I had no energy to exercise. I didn’t like exercise because of that.

    In the past, I have tried every kind of diet including low carbohydrate, high protein, low fat, high fat, etc. I just never found anything that worked that I could stick to. I lost faith that I could do it. I was unable to visualize it and I did not believe that I could succeed.

    I knew that there is no magic pill that will help me lose weight and get fit and I didn’t want to spend any more money on diet pills that don’t work. When I found Tom Venuto something clicked. Here is a person who knows more about weight loss and muscle gain than anyone and he is not pushing pills and drinks. I found that to be very refreshing and honest. I trusted him. I bought his book. I knew he had the secret, but I just did not apply it, because I did not believe in myself.

    Recently I tried his suggestion of eating according to my body type. I learned how to suppress my appetite with snacks and eating five or six times a day. It is working like a charm. I am no longer craving carbohydrates or feeling hungry or bloated. Because of this, I have renewed faith that I can now accomplish my weight loss goals without obsessing over food and without being tempted to cheat.

    Now I can turn my attention to exercise. I have, for the first time, gained the confidence that after I lose this weight I will keep it off with ease. I am so excited, I can’t wait! I now feel in complete control of my life and my body, only after two weeks of eating the right way. With this renewed confidence and knowledge, I am going back to re-read his awesome information packed “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle book” again an again to see what else I missed. From this point I am only moving forward.

  • edgars

    I was too laizy or too tired, but must change the habits.

  • Andrew

    Hello, one thing i find very difficult to do is create a calorie deficit, any tips on how this can be made easier


    • Keith

      Andrew –

      As BFFM teaches, the best calorie deficits come from burning additional calories, rather than severely contracting your intake. For me, commuting by bicycle is proving to be the best choice, as it gets me an automatic workout twice a day (3-4 days a week), and takes about the same amount of time as the train I used to ride (I live in Tokyo). Cycling is something I enjoy, so it doesn’t feel like a chore (most of the time). If you choose an exercise you hate (running for me) you’ll never stick with it. I also hit the weights 3-4 days a week to keep on the muscle.

      With that amount of exercise, I’m actually not reducing my calories at all (in fact, on days I bike, I have to increase them). This gives me the calorie deficit I need to drop some weight.

      Good luck!

  • PV Norton

    I am struggling to remember what success feels like. I can almost remember…even begin to taste it again…but, then it seems to allude me as I lose my focus.

    I completed 3 back-to-back Body For life Challenges several years ago, lost 55 pounds of fat, and gained some good looking muscle. But two things happened that changed everything:

    1. I found out I had Lymphoma.
    2. As my life revolved around fighting the cancer, I gave up healthy eating and working out.

    Looking back, I can see that I had approached my fitness goals with image-bites of 3-month challenges–not long term thinking at all. Instead of seeing strength training and healthy eating as my new lifestyle…my laser focus was on quick weight loss and looking good.

    I have been cancer free for two years now yet still struggle to get myself into the right mindset. For the past several months, I have been thinking about getting back into the gym and back into clean eating. I keep looking at my BFL book, journals and pictures. Yeah, I sure looked good–felt good too. But, I don’t get excited about it like I use to. I know it is not enough now. I have to approach this differently this time.

    I know I need a new focus and a new plan. I remember Burn the Fat from my BFL days and am going to read the BTF blog this week. I want to find what life is like on the other side of short-term goals.

  • PV Norton

    I am struggling to remember what success feels like. I can almost remember…even begin to taste it again…but, then it seems to allude me as I lose my focus.

    I completed 3 back-to-back Body For life challenges several years ago, lost 55 pounds of fat, and gained some good looking muscle. But two things happened that changed everything:

    1. I found out I had Lymphoma.
    2. As my life revolved around fighting the cancer, I gave up healthy eating and working out.

    Looking back, I can see that I had approached my fitness goals with image-bites of 3-month challenges–not long term thinking at all. Instead of seeing strength training and healthy eating as my new lifestyle…I had laser focus on quick weight loss and looking good.

    I have been cancer free for two years now yet still struggle to get myself into the right mindset to regain my health. For the past several months, I have been thinking about getting back into the gym and back into clean eating. I keep looking at my BFL book, journals and pictures. Yeah, I sure looked good–felt good too. But, I don’t get excited about it like I use to. It is not enough now. I know I have to approach it differently this time.

    I know I need a new focus and a new plan. I remember Burn the Fat from my BFL days and am going to read the BTF blog this week. I want to find what life is like on the other side of short-term planning.

  • Brian S.

    Pretty easy answer for me – I was lazy. Sit on the couch, watch TV, read, sit at the computer, play hours of Xbox lazy. No physical impediments, no lack of time or opportunity, just lack of desire. Fat & happy so to speak. Guess what though? I may have been fat, but turns out I wasn’t too happy.

    No more. No more fear of mingling with crowds. No more worry about embarrassing my wife & children. No more being a hermit, avoiding the local pool and parks. No more late night sweats, wondering how much longer I’d have to live if I kept leading that lifestyle. I quit smoking six years ago after almost 15 years of that disgusting habit, now I’m tackling this. And I’ll win, because if there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s losing. So, as I said, NO MORE!

  • Joania

    ME!! I am the only one stopping me from succeeding! I always manage to get in my own way. I recently (2 weeks ago) purchased the BFFM ebook and I am equipped with everything I need to succeed! Proper goal setting, training and nutrition!
    Coincidentally M.E. also stands for “Misguided Energy”!! The plan is to guide all of ME in the right direction!

    • Kate M

      Oh wow, what a definition of ME! But I love how you ended your statement — guiding all of ME in the right direction.
      You can do it!!

  • Riley B

    My excuse has been contentment with good enough and fear of the unknown. I’ve been athlete all my life and just finished up my collegiate career. I’ve started to slide as my level of activity dipped and my eating habits ballooned. I’m an emotional eater, but that never started affecting me because I would always “burn off” the excess because I was working out so much. Now that I’m not an athlete, I’ve added 15 lbs and it’s been a huge struggle. My excuses for now have been that my body still looks good compared to almost everyone else, so why bother putting in the effort to change. But just because my body looks good comparatively does not mean that I’m satisfied with how it looks. I want to have a better body, and it shouldn’t matter what it looks like compared to others. The second, is that I’m afraid that by really going after this, that I’m going to turn into fitness “Nazi” and that I won’t be allowed to have any “fun” because I can’t eat or drink anything not on my diet plan. But it was that “fun” mentality that got me into this state to begin with. I can still have lots of fun doing things that aren’t food related. Instead of celebrating with cake, celebrate with a massage or going out to a movie. No more excuses!

  • angela

    I was in the military for 8 years. Being a woman in the service it is a constant ‘need’ to constantly prove yourself. I have always thought of myself as never settling for second best. Seeing my single mom work 3 jobs while raising us, showed me you don’t ever make excuses, you do what you have to do to get the job done. I didn’t know any different that is what I was taught. That is what I try to tell myself every day. The one thing that has always haunted me was my weight. I was always on diets. Some really unhealthy but it ‘got the job done’- LOL! Now that I am a mom of two kids I realize now that I am not going to settle and put all the efforts needed to look but most importantly feel my best. I want to put on that bathing suit and be proud for once in my life. I work out every day at 4am, but I have those last stubborn pounds to go to see all those hard working muscles just pop! Please Tom pick me…..I’ll make you so proud. I promise!

  • Michelle S

    One limiting belief has been that I keep looking at food and alcohol as a way to express my freedom and/or reward myself. For example, I’ll go on a long hike or a long bike ride and celebrate with a beer or two which then loosens the inhibitions and too often leads to poor food choices. And then the rationalizing kicks in. Well, I just burned xxx calories, so I can eat this hamburger, or this pizza, or this popcorn, or whatever. And a little bit of food or drink reward wouldn’t be the end of the world. The danger comes when I get p.o.’ed and frustrated that I didn’t lose what I think I should lose for the week. And then the slippery slope of emotional eating begins. But food and drink don’t heal the psyche, and poor choices certainly don’t lead to fat loss. Instead of looking at an episode like this as a temporary setback, I’ve frequently viewed them as deal breakers and thrown in the towel.
    I resolve to no longer see food and alcohol as rewards. If I do choose to have a glass of beer or wine, I will own that decision and limit the amount. I will stop using alcohol intake as an excuse to make poor food choices. I will recruit my family and friends to support me in making good choices. I will burn the fat and shape the future. I will make choices that support the me that I want to be, rather than settling for second best. I will stop tearing myself down.

    • Michelle S

      Tom, pick me! 😉 I’ve read The Body Fat Solution on loan from the library and have read and re-read portions of BFFM – my husband bought it online years ago. It’s a lot of information to chew, and sometimes feels overwhelming. I’m currently 184#, down from nearly 250#. Still a ways to go, but it’s more in reach now. It’s a tough road, after years of yo yo dieting. And in the past weeks I’ve been struggling with loss of freedom issues with our choice to have a baby a couple years ago, considering a second pregnancy, and currently following a body fat reduction nutrition plan. I’m choosing to reframe the loss of freedom issues in a positive light.

  • my bigiest self imiage is being shame of the waight i have gain as i gotten older im not really a big person but im a pretty younge lady i jast dont’ed like having a big stomach some people say that im still pretty but with me i jast want’ed my stomach to be flat but i thank God each and every day for wakeing me up in the mornnings an that it could of been worse but it’s not….

  • Melissa Coleman

    Laziness and habit are my biggest obstacles. Sure, I have lots of excuses but that’s exactly what they are – excuses. My boyfriend loves to cook and it’s so easy to curl up with a glass of wine while he makes dinner. I prefer to exercise with a partner and my current boyfriend would rather valet park than walk across a parking lot so getting him to the gym is impossible. He’s very thin so there’s no weight loss motivation for him. My standard excuses – I’m tired after work; the dogs have been home alone all day so I need to spend some time with them; there’s housework to do (which I’m not going to do because I’m curled up in front of the tv with a glass of wine); I’ll get up early and do it in the morning (I’m not a morning person so that’s really not going to happen); the weather is to nasty to go out; the weather is nice so it’s a great time to sit on the patio with a book and a glass of wine. Whatever the occassion, I can fabricate an excuse to be lazy.

    In spite of my sweetie’s cooking, I am working on my diet. I’m taking fruit and yogurt for breakfast rather than grabbing a sweet roll from the snack machine, I’m eating more salads, vegetables and fruits and I’m encouraging J to fix healthy vegetable side dishes rather than his standard rice or potatoes. I’ve also purchased a juicer and I’m trying to curb my evening appetite with a healthy vegetable juice concoction rather than a glass of wine. Now if I can just remember that my hands and arms can do more than type on a computer or press a button on the remote and my feet and legs do more than just hold me upright while sitting at a desk or on the sofa….

  • What was holding me back was the belief that I’m not meant to be fit; that my body is comfortable at this weight and it is impossible for me to be slim. My weight is high for my height- I’m only 5 feet tall and I weight 130 pounds. I justified it by telling people- “I have a lot of muscle.” Then one day I did my body fat percentage- at 33% I am in the “overweight’ category. I couldn’t lie to myself anymore. I’m not big-boned, I’m not muscular, I might wear a size small, but I’m still overweight. I have been limiting myself by making excuses and justifications. The reality is that I CAN be thin and muscular, but it takes dedication and hard work. I am finally willing and able to do everything it takes to get the body that I want. In September I will be 32 years old, and I WILL be in the best shape of my life. I deserve it.

  • Manar

    It is very strange but I am afraid of too much attention. I am not fat but do not LET myself get to a weight I know I would look great at, not because I can’t do the work, but because I am worried about people noticing me.I believe that now that I’m a Mom, why attract this type of attention? I think I need to redefine what a Mom can be and what a Mom can look like instead of holding myself back.

    • Elizabeth M.

      Yes! I totally agree. I told my mom the same thing…I don’t want the attention. When I am thin I am beautiful (and trust me saying that is not easy). I have ALWAYS been approached by guys with wrong intent, even as a child sad to say. But I can’t hide who I want to be in fear of others noticing me, and maybe even hitting on me inappropriately. I intend to be thin and classy, not trashy. So hopefully it won’t attract the wrong attention and may just be the attention I have desired all my life. Respect, intrigue, and no hidden agendas. I say do it. I am reinventing as well. I can be a good looking mom who’s single and not a husband snatcher like I fear women will think. I hope to hear your victories! I will share mine!

  • Peju Makun

    What’s been limiting me from losing weight in the past? My mindset. The mind is a powerful thing. I have known that for a long time,yet it seems to overcome me still. The cycle is always the same. I diet,I lift weights, I do cardio…I lose a kilogram or two within 3 weeks. I feel encouraged. Suddenly, my weight starts to go up again and I become near paranoid. Nothing I do seems to make my weight drop beyond 2kg. And then I lose focus and start to tell myself that I will never make it to my goal weight because I’m a failure and my weight gain is proof of that. I continue to tell myself this till I stop trying totally. I’ve given up on myself again. I’ve been through this cycle 4 times in 7 months.I used to be very slim and shapely till I had my first child. Now, I’m battling with about 22kg extra I picked up during pregnancy and have been unable to lose since. It has affected my self-esteem,I am more comfortable going out when it’s dark outside than when the sun is up. I have stopped going to church and other public places where I am known because somebody would always make a comment. I am miserable. I worry about my size everyday. It’s like a curse.
    Why should it never stop me again? Ironically,my answer is the same as above. My mind set. Everything one hopes to achieve or carry out starts with the mind. If you can’t dream it first, then you can’t live it later. I am working on my mindset even now. It’s taking so much from me physically and emotionally but I’m doing my best. I try to look in the mirror and tell myself I am beautiful. It’s not easy, especially when the fat is staring you right in the face. I am usually very busy working at my desk all day but I try to lift 10kg weights or do squats once in a while. I think one of my main problems is finding someone who can tell me exactly what to do that would work. I hear conflicting advice everyday. But still I try to always tell myself that I can do it even if everything else around is screaming at me that I can’t. I’m trying to have faith in myself. I hope I’ll eventually lose weight someday. I have to.

  • Sherrie

    My limiting belief is the way I was raised.. My parents always said “people like you don’t do things like that”.. Anthing relating to fitness and wellness was actively discouraged.. I’ve come a long way, but it seems when it comes right down to it, I often seem to victimize myself and go back to those excuses I was brought up with. I know I CAN do this! I’m a mom with 3 kids now.. I NEED to do this, not just for me, but for my kids. I never want my daughter to go through these struggles. I want my kids to grow up only knowing a fit and healthy lifestyle!

  • Laurie

    Not believing in myself is what has been stopping me from getting the body I desire. When the results aren’t quick enough or a loved one makes a negative comment, it throws me into a tail spin to go back to my old ways.
    When you come to the realization that your worst enemy is yourself it is really scary. It is also very enlightening because “you do have the power to change it”. You have to be your own bestfriend. No one can make you do the work or stop you from eating the wrong things, except you. It is time to make the change and become the best friend that you could ever have or be.

  • Lisa

    I am a single parent with a full time job that is far from family oriented. So lack of time was one of my reasons. There was also the guilt of wanting to take what ever spare time I had and go to the gym rather then spend it with my son. I guess I also figured, whats the point I would never
    have that perfect body anyway so why bother becouse if I did lose weight it would just find it’s way back with some extra tagging along. I look at it now and believe that I repeated to myself whats the point enough that I truly believed it. I became my own worst enemy! Then I turned 40 in March at the same time my little man had to go away for school leaving me alone Mon thru Fri. I looked in the mirror at myself and said “you are too young to give up and you have no more excuses about time!” I started to recondition myself to think rather than whats the point to you can do this,you need to do this,you can look amazing! I still have moments of guilt for wanting to focus on myself for the first time in 14yrs rather than everything revolving around my son and work. But then I say you have to do this, you deserve it. I know that it will be a slow process but God how I can’t waite to see the end result!!!

  • Jeffrey Fortin

    The barrier I have to achieving my goals is not getting enough rest. For years I have been a binge eater and I have tried to use willpower to overcome it. That approach is doomed on many levels. What I needed to do is find out why I was binging. For me the answer was not enough sleep or rest. When I get tired, I look to food to fill a phycological need. It’s important to point out that I am not hungry. Hunger does not trigger my binging. I eat every 3-5 hours. But when I get tired I go for the old standbys, snack bars, cookies, chocolate candy, salty snacks, and of course ice cream.

    When I get enough sleep and take the time to get a nice nap in during the day, everything falls into place. The challenge is to get enough rest even when the pressure is on to fill the day with activity. I need to remind myself that doing more is actually disabling not enabling. It may allow for short term gains but the effect on my health far outweighs any benefits.

  • What held me back in the past is procrastination and settling. I realized that I’ve settled for a lot in my life and it was never anything I really wanted. I wasn’t happy being the size I was but I settled, I didn’t like the career that I had, but it paid the bills so I settled.

    And the procrastination, I’ll exercise tomorrow, I’ll will eat better tomorrow. Okay I’ll have just one more slice of pizza after this 4th piece (did I really need it?)

    My epiphany came on my birthday last year. I couldn’t fit my clothes, I didn’t have a job, I was depressed and feeling sorry for myself, trying to make other people feel sad for me. My mother and father both had operations and depended completely on me to take care of them. My sister couldn’t help there was only me. I helped every way I could and all they did was say thank you. What did I do? Made someone else feel better and I felt better. If I’m depressed and not healthy how can I help someone? You can’t.

    So I joined a gym, started working out with a trainer and lost 13lbs. I went to a body building competitions and saw women older than me with these amazing bodies, standing at their fist competition!!! That was all it took. I no longer wanted to look like I lost weight, I want people to see the muscles, I want to wear the bikini for the first time, I want to transform myself that people I’ve known for years walk past me because they didn’t know who I was.

    I work hard, I care, I’m the single mother of three and I want them to be just as proud of me as I am of them and I deserve the best!!! God brought me this far, and he didn’t do it to leave me.

  • What has been stopping me in the past, and will not moving forward?

    Simple, Me. I control my actions, and have let my weight go up and down consistently. The same ups and downs happen with me life, work etc… I am convinced all these issue’s derive from me, my atttitude, behavior etc… If I can be consistent with my weight, I can be consistent with anything and find my true joy in life. Which in turn will bring joy to others….

  • Patricia Thomas

    What has stopped me or at least hindered me in the past? Consistancy. Plain and simple. I have not been consistent and there is no one to blame but myself. I have seen what I could do and the changes I have made in dealing with my weight. I have gone from 253 lbs down to 184 lbs but it took me from 2001 till now to do it. The bulk of it was between February 2010 and May 2011 going from 217 lbs to 184 lbs.

    I can give all the same excuses that everyone else has but in the end it is just between you and your will to move forward no matter what. Now, why will this never stop me again? I got a glimpse of the future me and it is stunning! By the time I am 60 (in two years) it will be my new 30! My permanent weight will be 165 lbs and holding, standing at 5’11” I will make all the young men wonder what it is they might be missing by not courting an “older woman”! It’s no longer a need to be met, but a deep desire to fulfill my future self in the most healthiest way!

  • J. Howcroft

    I have never had anyone that has encouraged me or has believed
    in me. Even my husband so it becomes quite tiring when youre the
    the only one that believes in yourself. So today Im changing all
    that. I have never been that overweight until recently. We moved to
    a different city. I havenot found a job yet and I have ended up adding
    35 pounds to my weight. So today I’ve decided to do everything I need to lose weight. I feel better when I feel less and losing this weight
    has more to do with beginning to change the way I look at life.

    • Laurie

      Best of luck to you, J. It’s really difficult when your own family sabotages your efforts. Maybe you should move to a different city WITHOUT the unsupportive husband 🙂 (unless you have children)

  • What stops me is not implementing a consistent SYSTEM based up the BFFM principles. I did it consistently for 9 months, lost 40 pounds, then lost a week and six months later, I regained fifteen pounds and need to restart. I know that it works and I enjoy the results, now it’s a matter of creating a MINDSET and FOCUS.

  • Stefan

    My step mother always brings home unhealthy take aways that hold me back and I always eat them out of guilt.

  • Arvona

    50 and faboulous, well inside anyway but the outside needs work. Taking time for everyone else and somewhere forgot about myself. I have always been active with my children but would like to be also active with grandchildren. I had surgury 3 years ago and couldn’t exercise, did lose some weight but really would like more weightloss and to be toned up. Love to read about weightloss but never quite get there. I want more of a life style change and to be more active for the next 50 years. I was always was the taller, larger girl or women and sometimes just felt out of place. People will always say “you don’t look
    large” but then they take a picture and there I am taking up most of the picture. I would love to go into any store and buy what i want not not be limited to certain styles. I also agree with others that we are an example to others and being over weight is not a good example as a christian. God asks us to take care of the body he gave us and I haven’t done that very well. time to step up and be accountable for my weight. I am uncluttering my life and the weight is a big clutter of emotions and fears.

  • Mike garner

    I always thought i could do it with working out alone never worked on my diet but this is a new day

  • Steve E

    Here’s the funny thing my limiting belief was/in the past I had always put everyone else before me. I was the typical Al Bundy, very active in sports all thru out school and never had a problem with weight or gaining weight for that matter. I could down 6 items from a very popular Mexican fast food chain like it was nothing and it would have no effect on my weight. Then time finally caught up to me or shall I call it laziness? I ballooned up to my heaviest in my life 265 pounds of pure “goo”, now I am 5’11” so I am no giant. I finally had my moment shopping about 3 yrs. ago when I went to buy a pair of jeans and found myself purchasing a pair of jeans with a measurement of 42/32!!!! A little off balance with the waist TEN TIMES bigger than the length, at that time I decided to go on a mission and get back down to my fighting weight ( I guess you could say I was already at my fighting weight cause I cause I could not run from anything @ 265 lb haha). Now I am at 175 lbs. and 8% bf. The problem though is my lower abdomen with loose skin and I still cannot see my abs. I train 6 days a week with 3 25 min hiit cardio sessions and my diet is 93% clean ( I do need to live) and I believe Tom your program could help my transformation complete and help me in my quest to enter a fitness model show. That’s my story and I am sticking to it I do have pics of before and after

  • The only thing that I could honestly say held me back in the past was a sugar addiction. I was one of those people that was actually pretty active, dropped some weight but had never reached my ultimate goal because of my eating habits. Until the past 3 months I held on to the “belief ” that I could outtrain my eating.
    I am a mother of four and as a military spouse I took a look at the community. It felt like getting hit with a ton of bricks. Our communities are out of control on quick fixes or no fixes and disease. After detoxing off of sugar and processed foods, I still find it a struggle, but not something I cannot overcome.

  • Chad M

    I think everyone has many limiting beliefs that are very difficult to even become aware of, but the biggest limiting belief preventing me from achieving my body goals has to be that I will be miserable as a result of having to make tough changes. I really do think that explains mostly I haven’t done it. Because I have cut foods out, and been miserable. And I have done loads of cardio, and been miserable. And I have lifted lots of weight, and been miserable. And I have counted calories, and been miserable.

    But I also believe that that misery came not from the tough changes themselves, but purely from me. It was my choice to feel that way, really, wasn’t it? Couldn’t I have chosen to be happy and excited at every second of making these tough changes, and thus stuck with them at least long enough to see how it felt to achieve my goals? Couldn’t I have equated the tough changes I was making with the progress I actually was making and thus the goals I eventually would be achieving, and been thrilled about it every day?

    Of course I could have. And here and there, maybe I did make that choice, because here and there, I have achieved some positive results. But eventually, despite any progress, I stopped making that choice and chose to feel miserable from the tough changes, and feeling miserable is a virtual guarantee to stop you in your tracks from whatever you are doing.

    I hate the feeling of knowing that I am not controlling how I feel about a situation, and that is why I am committing myself to feeling the way I WANT to feel about tough changes that I know will result in positive outcomes – and the way I want to feel is good, excited, happy, thrilled, and satisfied. Choosing to be miserable about something that doesn’t really hurt you at all, and only helps you in the long run, and could result in a paid vacation to Hawaii is pretty dumb, isn’t it? And even if Hawaii is not the reward, achieving a major goal that few achieve, feeling unstoppable, being in the best shape of your life, having people look up to you and be attracted to you – well that’s pretty obviously more than enough of a reward too.

  • Amy Lyon

    For as long as I can remember, I was the “big” sister- not just in age. I was the one who was “big-boned”, “thicker”, heavier, etc. But when my family was telling me all these things in their feeble attempt to make me feel better, the words I really heard were that I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough or perfect enough…. and never would be. I remember at age 4 my grandma comforting me by making cookies or candy.
    As time progressed, and adolescence crept up on me, my once “thick” frame realized that curves and breasts were even better places to store fat. At age 15 (after being an earlier bloomer and listening for years to torment from now my family AND my friends), I developed bulimia. I would stuff myself with every form of food I could find, only to then hide and purge. I did a lot of damage to my body, and the physical symptoms (i.e. I now have no enamel on my teeth and a beautiful scar on the back of my finger from forcing it down my throat) finally got the attention of my basketball coach, who then talked to my father to get me treatment.
    I stopped the binge/purge cycle only to still have the severe depression based on a horrible body image. I was 5″10″ and only 140lbs but I still saw myself as the “fat” sister. One day, a boy I liked asked me why I didn’t look more like my “pretty, skinny sister”. Things got desperate at this point, and I turned to alcohol, drugs and even attempted suicide. But nothing at all could make me forget that I HATED myself and my body.
    This was 15 years ago… and a few more very traumatic experiences happened also, but I have finally come to terms with the fact that I don’t have to look like anyone else to be happy. I was given this wonderful body that does so many things- and has suffered so much abuse at my hands- and I need to treat it as best as I can in order for it to last long enough to see my children grow up and to enjoy my future grandchildren. I want to be energetic and athletic again.
    And the awesome part is that now when I look in the mirror, while I still see parts of my old self, I know that the new me is stronger, and continues every day, through every clean meal & every workout to get stronger!!
    This time I CAN and WILL achieve all of my goals- and once I get there, I’ll set another goal!!

  • Carmen Gaona

    When people are fat for the most part of their lives, it just becomes a habit, a lifestyle to be fat. They don’t know where to begin, even if they have the desire to change. And more than likely they don’t have anyone around to point them in the right direction. That’s how it has been for me. Always the fat kid at school, the fat girl at work, etc. I didn’t know where to begin. I was clueless.

    A few events happened to me in December that pushed me over the edge. The first, my daughter came up to me and said, “Mama, you’re fat!!” She laughed and then ran away. My jaw hit the floor. I couldn’t say anything because it was the TRUTH! A few weeks later there was a dance at church and I was going to bring some brownies for the snack table. As soon as they got out of the oven my mouth started watering and before I knew it I had chowed down half of the brownies I was going to take. I calculated that in those 5 minutes I had eaten over 1600 calories. I was pathetic!! I sat down and cried. I was tired of being such a pathetic woman, wife, and mother!! The next day I started running but quickly gave up. Then in January I found some weight lifting websites. In 4 months I have not only changed my eating habits but have lost 7 inches off my belly. I am so thrilled!! I came across your book back in March. It looks AMAZING!!! (I haven’t bought the book because I live outside the U.S. and currently don’t have a credit or debit card) The results of the members are amazing!! I never want to be obese again! I don’t ever want my children to be obese! I am teaching them how to have a full and active lifestyle and the importance of maintaining that throughout their lives. I WILL NOT leave my children motherless from being an obese woman!!

    • Keith

      I think that’s great! Keep it up! Weight lifting is one very key component of BFFM. Not to steal Tom’s thunder, but at a very high level, the book is designed around the premise that normal diets don’t work long term because by starving your body, you:

      1. Lose muscle, along with fat, lowering your metabolism
      2. Get into starvation mode, which also lowers your metabolism
      3. Diets are by their nature temporary, meaning once you stop and start feeding a body with a slowed metabolism more food, you gain back the weight (and more!).

      Therefore the BFFM method focuses on a few key points:

      1. Set goals
      2. Eat clean
      3. Eat 5-6 small meals a day to keep the metabolism revving high
      4. Lift weights to build metabolism revving muscle
      5. Burn the fat through cardio, including high intensity interval training.

      All of the above keep the engine running on high, and help burn even more fat, while all the time maintaining the muscle that is critical to avoid becoming a “skinny-fat person” (a person who at first glance looks thin, but actually has a high bodyfat percentage and low lean muscle mass).

      Anyway, that should be enough to keep you going on the right path until you can get the book.

      Good luck!


  • Diane58

    What’s holding me back? Follow-through. While I don’t outright quit, I cut back (on the workouts, not the food!) Or I over-work and hit injury points. Sort of a manic-depressive response to working out.

    Limiting beliefs — I am too old to do this. That feels more of a problem not that I’m 60. But I can still work out and still get a great body. I can get stronger and have a great time doing it.

    I’m starting a self-hypnosis program from Jim Katsoulis to help with the self-sabotage/quitting/putting it all off. I’m going Paleo on the diet — I just feel better with higher protein and higher fat and lower carbs. I’ll be listening to the self-hypnosis tape on loving the salad quite often, I imagine.

    I’m looking forward to having the time (I started to say making the time, but that is a negative statement) so — I’ll be having the time to do regular workouts. I already know that I feel great when I do them.

    Got my Total Gym set up and a beautiful area to walk in this summer. Plus three dogs to walk who love the exercise too!

    No reason not to have a successful summer and a prelude to a successful next 30 years.

    I did forget to pack my swim suit — so I’ll be figuring out just what to use for before and after pics this week.

  • Lisa B

    What has stopped me in the past has always been my belief that I couldn’t look good no matter how hard I tried. Back in 2003 I got involved with drugs and was hooked for 2 yrs. During that time I did lose alot of wieght (almost 100 lbs.) Since that time, I have put all that back on, plus had a second child (I had 1 already), and gotten married. I can’t say that I was depressed, not medically anyways, but I was at the point of not wanting to look the way I looked anymore. In March of this year, at 262 lbs., I did find something that motivated me to start living a healthier life. I have combined that with counting my calories, with a fair bit of success, and a lot of walking. The walking is usually on the treadmill but now that it is nicer it is easier to get outside and do it although the pace is not as fast. I don’t know how to keep track of my calories burned that way but do know when I walk on the treadmill. I am not a weight trainer and do not go to the gym, but I am actually really enjoying what I am doing now and am still excited almost 3 mths. later. What will NOT stop me anymore is the fact that I don’t want to look this way again. I no longer care about negative comments from other people and care how I feel inside. I want to look and feel better for me FIRST. I have lost almost 20 lbs just with the walks and counting. I am by no means close to being “DONE”, almost another 100 to go, but I am determined to do what I can for my health and to look better than I have EVER looked in my life.
    Your ezine does help keep me inspired as well and I look forward to reading more. Thank you Tom, your interview with Tom Nicoli came to me at the right time to keep me inspired and I am hopefully inspiring a friend of mine who is in a bit deeper water than I myself am in. I am taking this slow and steady and am liking the results that I can already see…. and feel. 🙂

  • andria

    Whats stopping me from achieving my goals – the answer would be me. I will not le me stop me because I control me. Everday I make the decisions. Therefore I choose to do the right things by me. I choose to eat properly. I choose top exercise regularly and with intensity. I choose to be reall honest with myself. So that I can help me to achieve my goals. Today I am telling ME that I can do it. I will do it and in the near future I will say that I have done it. The weight will be gone and I will be looking at the new healthier, ripped low bodyfat totally lovable version of ME.

  • Laura

    ok, a lot of things hold me back. 1) my social life stinks when I am dieting. my friends are relentless about going out and having cocktails 2) I have a sedentary job and I feel tired and lazy all the time 3) I really like to eat 4) sometimes I feel cheated…like why can’t I eat that? Why does everyone else get to eat that? 5) sometimes I just don’t know where to start 6) I hate working out alone and I can’t convince anyone else to join me 🙁 I’m a train wreck!

  • jill

    I hate to go hungry. I don’t want to eat meat, but I do eat small amounts of fish or eggs. I also eat beans and nuts, but I’ve tried protein shakes and I’m not exactly a fan. I have a paper back feed the muscle book I got almost 2 years ago at Indigo, but I haven’t read it. I want someone to hold my hand, point out the food to eat and when. I want someone to help me hands on. Years ago I lost 30 lbs (it was exhausting) and gained back more very quickly. I have a very physical job and lift 10 to 25 lbs all day, but still manage to eat more than I need. I want to lose 80lbs and I don’t want to be weak at the end of the day. Why try when I will only fail.

  • shannon

    What has really been stopping me is me. I have overcome many obstacles in my life intellectually. I graduated top 4 in my law school class while working and with a three year old child. I passed the California bar exam the first time… to name a few accomplishments… Yet.. I scan rooms of women and allow them to make me feel like I am less than them because I do not have a great body to show off. So…why do I continue this pattern of behavior? Simple: Fear. Fear I will be losing the one constant in my life, self loathing. Me and self loathing have become pals. We hang out and make up excuses as to why we dont go out to the salsa clubs or take risks…and the excuses are all…weight. If I let go of my buddy, I may have to face other factors holding me back and I wont have that pal to use any more.

    If I succeed I would not allow that best friend back in my life, self loathing, SL for short, because I will have found a new friend…self respect. SR for short. I will never be a twenty something Coopertone bikini model. All I can be is the best me. And until I break up with Self Loathing… I cannot be that best me at 45.

  • sean

    The thing that has really been stopping me from achieving the body of my dreams is I have a beliefe that I do not deserve it so I spend my time doing things for others instead of taking care of myself. I have been willing to ignore my needs and make myself “busy” meeting the needs of others. I will not let this happen anymore because it is my time now. I was laid off from work so I decided to change my life. I am back in school to become a nurse and just got a job in a local hospital. I am not happy when I look in the mirror and I do not like the way I feel and I have decided to change that. I am going to take the time I need to get my workouts in and I have already planned out my daily meal plans for the big burn challenge. I am embarrassed to say that I have owned BFFM for a couple of years but have not implemented its wisdom in my daily life. Although I have read it a couple of times now is the time to put those words into action and acheive the body of my dreams.

  • Robert Stehwien

    My weight problems are mental. I’m a poster child for the “The 7 Biggest Weight Relapse Mistakes” blog posts the other day. For me loosing weight and getting in shape is relatively easy, I’ve lost as much as 80 lbs in a diet/exercise program several times and definitely wasn’t skinny fat. I know what to do and can really focus on loosing weight with the right mind set. But then once the goal is reached I find it hard to maintain over years. My biggest problems:
    Relapse mistake #5: Dichotomous thinking.
    Relapse Mistake #7: Poor coping and stress management skills.

    I’d also add trying to jump back into the workout program I could do when I was in good shape, then stressing my back (old injury), and not being able to workout for a while.

    For the last 5 months my daughter has been in the NICU (newborn intensive care) and lack of time and stress has caused me to put on 40 lbs. Basically I don’t have the time to do the workout I think I should so I don’t (#5) and then I’m all stressed about that and my daughter so I eat things I know I shouldn’t (#7).

    I know the problem, just need to exercise the willpower to change. Right now that seems like more energy than I have (yes, I’m being self limiting).

  • I achieved my goal 8 months ago, so now i’m just in maintenance, yohoo!!! I feel like a winner, thank you for your advice and info, you rule Tom Venuto!! =)

  • Debra Seach

    Pure laziness & thinking its too hard.

  • Adrian Ditchburn

    I am searching within myself for the answer to your question, what’s been stopping you from having the perfect body? I haven’t had the desire for the perfect body. Sure I look at people that are lean and fit and I think to myself, now that is a great body but I don’t look at my own body and think what have you done to yourself? I have always been lean throughout my childhood and now that I am 40yrs old I have gained weight through the years due to the combination of a sedentary office lifestyle, no sport and eating high calorie foods. I have now just stopped smoking after 25 yrs and started to feel the aches and pains in my joints and have difficulty sleeping. All of which are affecting my confidence and courage. I have realised that over the years I have lost my mojo, and, I want it back. It must be the mid life crises everyone has talked about. So it seems that I am at the fork in the road whereby one way is – oh well, that must have been life, and the other is – no way hozae, I want more of that, and the bit that I want the most is the mojo, the quality, the confidence and the courage. So upon reflecting, it’s not so much the limiting belief that is holding me back, it’s just been the lack of desire until now. Looking forward, I can see that there are no obstacles in the way. I have the time, the desire, the knowledge, the frame and the opportunity to get back what I once had and to turn this ship around and start living a quality lifestyle once again. I want to be able to kick the footy around the park on a summer’s day without a shirt on; I want to see my abs and jaw. I want to spring out of bed, tackle any problems, make more money, be more successful in business and get more love and respect out of relationships and life. I want my mojo back and I am going to get it.
    Thanks Tom for asking me to put this in writing.

  • maria nati

    I’ve been overweight since I can remember. I have been dieting since my teens. I lost around 8kgs in my early twenties via Jenny Craig but it went back on very soon after plus a bit more for added measure. When I was 35 and after two kids, I decided that enough was enough and that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life being overweight. I joined Weight Watchers and lost 13kg and was the lightest I’ve ever been at 53kg (155cm). That was 10 years ago. I have kept the weight off mostly. At times, I can add around 3kg (the most was 7kg last year)but then I snap out of it and get back on track. My problem is that I am now a “skinny fat” person. My weight is within the recommended BMI but I am mostly fat and flabby with very little lean body mass. When I lost the weight 10 years ago, I did it with no exercise at all! I did it through diet only and I can tell you I was very flabby with excess skin afterwards – my breasts were like deflated stretched balloons!!!
    In January this year, I joined a women’s only gym and as I was not working, I was attending classes 5 mornings a week after dropping the kids off at school. When I went back to work in April, I can only go to the gym in the evenings 3 times a week getting home around 8pm. Although 5 times would be better, I am reluctant because I do want to spend two evenings at home with my family. This time, I aim to gain lean body mass. I want to lose 5kg first so am doing a mix of cardio and pump each session (around 1.5hours). During the week, I am so committed and focussed with both exercise and nutrition but I find myself reverting to bad habits on the weekend. It was really strange last weekend as I could actually “see” myself, like an out-of-body experience, eating without any restraint and although I was conscious of what I was doing, I was unable to stop myself – it was like a train crash! Tom, I didn’t have one cheat meal, I had a whole cheat weekend!! You have no idea how angry I was with myself come Monday morning. I keep asking myself WHY? WHY DO I DO THIS? WHY AM I SABOTAGING MYSELF? So your question has come at a time when I am asking myself the same question.
    The thing is I am not sure why at all. I think I may be afraid of going where I’ve never been before. Everytime I stretch myself outside my comfort zone, I seem to retreat back into it (even if its only during the weekend). I have a real Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde thing going on. Sometimes I really do forget about my aim of BFFM. The thing is I have really pushed myself in the gym recently and I have realised that I actually can do some pretty cool stuff and I won’t die from exercising, in fact I feel almost invincible afterwards. So it seems I’m doing the two steps forward one step back dance routine. Now how do I stop sabotaging myself and get moving forward at a steady pace? I need to think positive and squash the monkey on my back when she’s trying to sabotage me. I need to prioritise and plan my meals and exercise time and also spend some time thinking / affirming what I’ve achieved and where I still want to be. I think that sometimes I think too much and I should just get on with it rather than thinking of reasons why I can’t. I need to get in the right “head space” of cold steel determination! I need to be a woman on a mission – nothing and no-one (esp me) can get in my way! I can do it – I will do it – I am doing it!

  • Shelly

    What stops me? FEAR. When I start to notice a real difference in my body, I don’t know why, but instead of feeling excited, proud, ready for more, I become fearful: The changes can be unbelievable – Can I keep this going? What are people saying and are they watching me for failure? Of course the answer to the first question is YES! I am enjoying myself, I feel great, and I CAN keep going. The answer to the second question, unfortunately, may be yes as well. But, this time around, i’ve finally decided that no longer will I let opinions of others impact me in a negative way keeping me from what I want. If somebody is watching then maybe I will end up being a role model to them and double the success!

  • Sue

    Question: What have you believed in the past… up until now… that you thought was stopping you from having the body you always wanted?

    Answer: I was afraid to succeed. I discovered this while talking to a friend about fitness. She explained that she thought I feared succeeding. She explained what she meant and I thought about it for a long time. At first I thought the notion of a fearing success was absurd; after thinking about it for a long time I believe that she was correct.

    To succeed in my quest to get strong and lean my entire world would change. All my routines would change, my hobbies would change, my friends would change, etc.

    The needs/wants of others always outweighed my own needs/wants so it was easy to sabotage my own progress…someone needed me and they always came first.

    Now, I need me to succeed.

    • Sue H

      I realized that I didn’t have my last initial listed on my initial post as per the posting guidelines.

  • I have stopped myself from reaching my goal in the past because it seemed that my husband was never satisfied and always wanted me to lose just a few more pounds or tone up just a little more. I think that I have lost about 1000, yes one thousand pounds. Unfortunately it is the same 20 to 50 pounds over and over again. I would just about reach my goal and then I would either get so fed up with dieting and exercising or the event I wanted to attend was over that I would go back to my old ways of eating whatever I wanted and finding every excuse why I didn’t have time to exercise. I REALLY HATE THE WORD DIET AND EQUALLY HATE THE WORD EXERCISE!!!!! What I really need is to find a new and healthy lifestyle of eating and also find a way to enjoy exercising. I need to do this for myself and reach a goal that I am satisified with and start ignoring what anyone else says or thinks about the situation. I am 61 and would like to get fit and healthy so that I can enjoy the later years of my life. When I weigh less, my knees do feel better but I have never enjoyed the high that a lot of people who exercise regularly are always talking about. That is not what I am looking to achieve. I would like to lose weight, tone and firm up my body and finally enjoy doing this as a lifestyle and not as a shortcut for an event or to please someone else. I’m hoping that this will be an end to my yo-yo dieting once and for all.

  • GUESS I’m going to have to try harder. I do go to the ‘Y’ and do water aerobics, because I can do things in water I can’t out. Can’t get down on floor to do exercises. I’ve fallen and have broken both hips and fractured pelvic. Have had 3 TIA’s, have trouble getting around. Use rolling walker.

    I need to lose belly. Have no waist. Am 38-37-37.

    • Patricia – Water aerobics are awesome! I always feel like I’m not doing enough work when I’m doing them because I’m not sweating and feeling major burn (because I’m in the water, duh me!), but they are definitely great exercise!
      Can you swim laps? When I was able to do that, I didn’t push myself super hard, did a lot of back stroke because of back problems I had, but I got great arm strength and muscle tone.
      You can do it!!

  • Renn S

    I have never been ‘fat’ per say. However, I do have a good amount of fat keeping me from being the lean, muscular person I want to be. Over the last couple of years, I have been doing what can only be called a yo-yo diet. I lost 15 pounds, but I starved myself and ended up 20 pounds heavier than I had been before with really bad eating habits. As I consider this summer, and why I have not lost weight in the past, I am struck with several important reasons why my weight loss and transformation have been stopped in the past.
    First of all, I sabotage myself. I workout regularly, and eat well Monday through Thursday, but then I eat too much and eat the wrong things on the weekend when I am with my family, friends, and have less stress from school. Any gain I make during the week I destroy over the weekend.
    Secondly, I have the wrong mindset. I want to be lean and muscular with less fat, but I also think negative thoughts about my body. I think about all my thin friends who eat whatever they want and work out very little, while I workout consistently, eat better than they do, yet still weigh 20-30 lbs more than they. This mindset leads to me eating out of stress and not caring what I eat because I do not feel like it matters.
    Thirdly, I push off workouts during the week because I do not feel like I have enough time, or I feel too tired.
    However, from this point on, I will change. Starting this summer I will refrain from sabotaging myself by eating unhealthy foods I do not need or want. I will put away all negative thoughts of what others look like and concentrate on what my body needs and my own workout plans. My body image will be based on how I feel and how I look, not how others look or eat or work out. I will work out consistently, eat healthy foods in the right amounts all the time, and I will not bow down to peer pressure. I will confide in my family and not try to make it through on my own. I will plan for the present and for the future so that I will have a lean body for life and not just for one summer. I will make time for good workouts because those workouts are preparing me for the rest of my life.

  • Carrie MJ

    There are so many reasons why I have not achieved the body of my dreams. I’ve been fighting the pounds since birth, I think. I would do well for a while, then slip and gain it back. Luckily this time, I didn’t gain it all back, but I’ve lost my motivation. I think I don’t believe that I can really achieve my dream body. I have convinced myself that I will never be “skinny” or fit or muscular. I will always have a stomach, jiggly arms, and fat thighs. It’s genetics and heredity. I’m big boned. I wish more than anything I could get these detrimental thoughts and negative images of myself out of my head and just push through to my goal.

    I was watching the Terminator 2 this weekend. Linda Hamilton doing the pull-ups has always motivated me. That’s what I want to be able to do. I think I can do it. Achieve it. I just have to stop whining and get motivated.

    Part of the problem is time, but everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. I just have to be more creative in how I use my time to fit in my workouts. I’m scared to pledge to myself that this summer will be different because what if I fail AGAIN! But maybe this is what I have to do in order to get off my butt and work out! I can dedicate at least 45 minutes a day to exercise.

    • Carrie – You can’t be afraid of failing (I know, waaaay easier said than done!) because each time you’ve “failed” is just a way of teaching yourself what doesn’t work. Take the times you’ve “failed” and see what they can teach you. The pick yourself up and take those lessons forward, incorporating what you’ve learned.
      I know it’s easier to fade into the woodwork, I am embarassed myself by my lack of follow-through last summer and over the winter, but the only way I’m going to be my best self is if I power through my embarassment, take the lessons I’ve learned, and go forward toward my best self!
      You can totally do it!

  • Ashley

    My problem is all mental- I thought I wasn’t worthy of having a killer body. I thought I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t worth it, and I was “comfortable” with being grumpy and unhappy. But I finally realized that eating healthy would be beneficial to my family: I would be less grumpy and have a lot less mood swings. They need me to be kind and loving. And I know now that it doesn’t have to be all about superficial.

    • You are soo worth it! And think of it this way, your family is worth having the best you that you can be. Think about the dividends that will pay if you are happy and have fewer mood swings! And it definitely isn’t about the superficial, I’m right there with you, I always struggled because I felt that it was wrong to be so outwardly focused, but it’s totally true that you can have a healthy, strong body to serve your family better. Taking care of yourself this way is actually a gift you can give your family.
      I’ll be rooting for you!

  • Lynda

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit”

    This saying by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle says it all for me. Although I wouldn’t be considered overweight, the tail-end of an eating disorder still snaps at my heels and I still make poor eating choices. Entrenched bad habits are so hard to break but I know I have the drive and determination to achieve the healthiest body and sense of well being that I possibly can. I have been loosely applying the BFFM principles to my life over the past 6 months or so, and have found that they really work!!So I figure that if i give 100%, then a truly wonderful sense of peace and well-being awaits me…and I’m sure a holiday in Maui can only enhance this!
    I love structure and the BFFM approach gives me enough of a sense of control that I can truly form the habit of excellence to transform my body and life. Thanks Tom.

    • What a great quote! I need to put that up where I can repeatedly (haha!) read it. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Dawn-Marie Doland

    It’s my own fault I have not achieved what I was hoping to by this point, and that’s because I didn’t investigate and educate myself accordingly with regard to optimum physical fitness. I stumbled upon your website helping my highschool daughter answer what the 5 components of physical fitness were ( I could only remember 3). I now have your book, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle and have only completed 3 chapters. My biggest problem is my nutrition is all WRONG and has been for years and it’s why I don’t have the body I’m looking to achieve (YET). I work out at least 5 days a week, cardio, weight training, etc. (I’ve done P-90X no problem). If my nutrition was approached properly, I would have gotten better results than I did, which left me so discouraged because that program is HARD-CORE! I certainly don’t need to lose any weight, but I do want to transform my body composition. Now I can do it the right way and maintain it properly thanks to your book!

  • Charlene Newborn

    I had the body of my dreams, when I was in my teens up too my forties…then my job and life got stressful and In forgot all the great things I learned when I got my degree in Physical Education/Exercise Physiology. For some reason, I’m motivated too workout aerobically( 30-45 min.) daily on the elliptical or walking for
    an hour or more on Thursdays(my day off)…but I have no motivation too
    do the needed strength training that is soooooo needed!! How do I get there? I want my body back!!! I’m more than ready to do the work;’cause I know the overall benefits of being HEALTHY.

  • Nothing stands in my way anymore….if you get enough momentum, you don’t quit. If I quit, I stall for months…so just don’t quit. Make it a ritual, like brushing your teeth or balancing your chequebook. Be consistent and expect success! 🙂

  • robin

    The only thing stopping me was ME and not being willing to be disciplined enough to do what I know needed to be done. That will not stop me again because I am experiencing success in my weight loss journey, I am getting older (not younger-turned 55 Saturday-May 14th). I WILL be healthier into my ‘golden years’, and be here for my (now 15 year old son). I plan to live a long time, and live it in the best health I can! My goal is to lose 100 pounds, become physically fit and keep it off the rest of my life. I WILL maintain a healthy lifestyle from now on! It is a journey I am more than ready to stay on and maintain always.

  • Anna

    What has stopped me in the past… My mirror lied to me….. When I see my self in my mirror I feel I am normal not lean but not fat…. The only mirror that I dreaded was the changing room mirrors, I always looked big so I avoided them… New pictures of me… So just has old, lean pictures of me on the wall……

    What broke that misconception was a picture of my mom, my 1 year old daughter and me. I always told my mom she was very overweight and needed to loose weight. But in that picture my mother and me were almost the same size.

    But now I am afraid my daughter will be obese because she will learn my bad eating habits………. I love her a lot, so I am ready more than ready and nothing will stop me.

    • You go, Mama! You can totally do this. Part of my motivation is my twin daughters who are now 19 months. I don’t want them to struggle like I have with my weight, I want to set a great example, and I want to have the energy to keep up with them. You can totally do it! I’m rooting for you now, too!

  • Mimi D.

    What has stopped me in the past is trading the satisfaction of reaching a long term goal for the short-term “reward” of _______ (fill in the blank – just a “little” ice cream, one more glass of wine, relaxing after a long day instead of working out…). I will NOT let this stop me again because I know that those things I’ve listed are not “rewards.” The real reward – and the reward that will last a lifetime – is achieving the healthy, fit body I deserve.

  • Brad Sawatzky

    A wise man once told me if I wanted to accomplish something, write down my goals. Even reminded me a few times. Did I listen? No, I knew what my goals were, I didn’t have to write them down, or repeat them to myself twice a day. Did I achieve my goal? Nope. It was so easy to lose focus, and let one thing or another come before my workouts.
    When I read stories like Dougal’s, it really makes me stop and think. What do I have standing in my way?
    Not a thing.
    My goals are written down now Tom, and I’ll be posting them, along with my progress, on my Summer 2011 Burn page. You can count me in.

  • Jim P

    Many books have been written, awesome quotes published, or should I say re-published since I have found there are not that many “new” ideas that are not a bunch of hype. Like Jim Rohn learned from his mentor Earl Schoaff, and Rohn mentions in a few of his books including ‘Seven strategies for wealth and happiness”, there are about 5 words. “Fundamentals” is definately one of them. There are no such things as “new” fundamentals. Also, one of the greatest things I had to re-learn is ‘half a dozen things.” There are usually about a half a dozen things *basics*, fundamentals* that make up 80% or more of how things turn out. I actually, had to go back and re-read some of my business and success books after reading a few pages and seeing Tom Venuto quote some of my favorite people like Jim rohn, Chris Aceto, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Og Mandino, and so on. Tom, I must say, you have very good taste in who and what you study. All I can say is most of all these things I now realize have been around thousands of years… from biblical times as they are in the bible in one for or another. Just like “as a man thinketh in his heart… so he is” Wow, I cant believe how far off subject I got, but that point leads to on of the biggest barriers Ive had, that i would face, but WILL overcome. A major one is having to take medication for certain personal issues that make it hard to gain muscle, but make fat gain crazy fast. It was really depressing because I would eat better than most, work out harder and smarter than most, and the results were very very very slow and very disapointing. so, I would stop taking those medications and I would not even have the energy to get out of bed and eat, let alone get to the gym. But as I just wrote, “as a man thinks in his heart, so he is” I refuse to see myself as defeated. The power of believing in yourself, “the magic of thinking big” hint, and a consuming, burning desire with clear, vivid goals, helps to overcome the setbacks. It boils down to the power of your goals, how bad do you really really, really, want something? There are no excuses any longer, I have burned the bridge behind me, and have actually made some decent improvemtns in the last 2 months. too bad I didnt just now start the transformation contest and just start with a whole new outlook on what needs to be done. I’m simply not taking “no” as an answer. i know what I want. Ive made myself want it more than any obstacle I can possible have imagined, and will do whatever it takes to get to where I want to be.

    If you think you can, you will.
    If you think you cant, you wont,
    If you like to win, but think you cant
    its almost certain you wont.

    if you think your outclassed you are,
    youve got to think high to rise,
    youve got to be sure of your self
    before you can ever win the prize.

    life’s battles dont always go,
    to the stronger or faster man,
    but soon or late, the man who wins,
    is the man who thinks he can….

    Napolean Hill “think and grow rich” (I did not put it in parenthesis as, I quoted it from memory and am not certain I wrote it identical…. but I think you get the point.

    I love your motto, and that is exactly what i am doing and will continue to do. “train hard… and EXPECT success!”

    The power of positive thinking and expectation is a powerful universal law that attracts success and positive things, rather than push them away.

    good luck everybody! Remember, the only thing that you CANT DO…. is the THING you dont think you can do and are afraid to try

    • Jim P

      ps…. dont “try”… “do!”
      the word “try” is just a fancy way of “excusing failure in advance!” Either do it, or dont. thats what i had forgotten and regained, and its already drastically changed my outlook and life and will continue to do so.

      and pps… do it now. not “someday”. NOW! ‘the road to “someday” will always lead to the town of “nowhere!” Anthony robbins (probably stole it from his original mentor Jim rohn…lol)

      • Ooh, I like that explanation of “try”! Let’s DO this!

        • Chriss

          The only thing that continually holds me back is the loss of momentum and feeling like the price of giving up junk food is too high at times. I know how crazy that must sound but I eat well for 75% of the time and love to work out, but the rest of the time I fall into terrible eating habits, mostly way too much of all the wrong foods. All the experts say that the key to earning a great body is truly 90% nutrition and 10% training. I do believe this but have never achieved the body of my dreams because I don’t stick to my plans. I have made the decision to stop screwing around with my health, put my heart into this contest, and accept whatever I earn from it.

  • Sharon Boone

    The only thing that has stopped me in the past is…ME! I have worked hard to change my inner self talk. The negative self talker is gone. I have also learned, just like Tom says, the scale is only part of the story. When I lift heavier weights my numbers on the scale are higher, but my clothes are looser. When I did the Holiday BFFM challenge I listened to some advice that had me shed weight, I lost 17 lbs in the 8 weeks, but I felt so weak. I know that for me to have the body I want weight training has to be involved. I am so ready to rock this Summer Challenge. I know the sky is the limit. I am going to study BFFM and pre plan my meals . I am truly open to the process. I am also on a team with a group of awesome ladies.

  • Kila Macklin

    Tom, this makes me think long and hard and I seriously believe that I have limited myself by simply saying…next time, not enough money, family issues, loss of a loved one, school, work, whatever! It seems like ANYTHING that I COULD USE at that particular moment WAS my number 1 excuse. I am in pretty good health, I have completed a transformation before.. but I am back to being…the old me…Well almost. I beat myself up for not maintaining what I worked so hard to accomplish. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A FEAR OF SUCCESS? Seems weird but it is REAL to me. I should have, would have, could have!!!

    I will longer be a victim to “WHATEVER” my mind conjures up when I am feeling down. I live and I breathe so why shouldn’t I be in the best shape of my life for the rest of my life.

    I was victimized in August 2010. I suffered a terrible 3 way fracture to my hummerus. Per the doctors, I was only expected to be able to extend my arm within 20 degrees. I can straighten my arm almost completely…only within 4 degress! They call me a “go getter”, I call myself …”FED UP WITH EXCUSES!”

    I’m focused and NOTHING WILL stop me…and I am ready to GO…FOR LIFE.
    This is one battle I will enjoy fighting to the finish! Investing in ME!

    Kila Macklin

  • Sharon

    I have always had a negative self image of my body. I grew up in a family of six girls and was always the chubby one. That feeling has stayed with me throughout my life. No matter how small I might have gotten, I still held that image. I have always felt that I am “chubby” and no amount of workouts, exercising, and dieting would eliminate the basic non-toned look. I have always tried to work at staying in shape, working out, eating healthy and even taking supplements. I have never been able to develop a well toned, flat abdomen. I finally decided that I just have a super low metabolism and that I am destined to a “chubby” appearance. I was at the point that I had decided that I am now getting old and it is inevitable that I will be flabby, no matter how much I workout!! But after discovering the Burn the Fat program I feel there is hope!! After reading the book, I see how you approach the process both physically and mentally. I have had a very hectic work schedule for the last four years, making it difficult to workout the way I would prefer. This is changing and I look forward to being able to spend time on developing good, consistent workouts; as well as be able to follow the recommended diet.

  • Kila Macklin

    Excuses are tools of incompetence, they build monuments of nothingness, and those of us that specialize in them seldom amount to anything!

    Tom, I thought I would just add that FOR MY OWN BENEFIT! (If it helps someone else,,,then that is great too)

    (learned it in college … but have practiced using excuses most of my adult life….)

    Time’s up…no more!

    Kila Macklin

  • Stack

    “Tomorrow. I’ll do it tomorrow.”
    Apollo: “Damn it, Rock, there IS NO TOMORROW! THERE IS NO TOMORROW!”

    I refuse to let the time from now until tomorrow last the rest of my life! My tomorrow starts right now.

  • shannon

    I’ve been thinking about this all day…I guess the big, overlying factor is fear. but to break it down: the first fear is of course failure – I have very little confidence in myself that I can do this, that I deserve it, that I’m worth it… I heard a saying recently “it’s not wanting something it’s convincing yourself to do it” or something like that. That’s me – really motivated but sabotaging myself regularly. The second fear is because I’ve always been disproportionate, and gotten alot of unwanted attention because of it. I’m actually mostly happy that now that I’m fat, no one is google-eyeing my chest or making comments or hitting on me…you get the idea. Thanks for asking this question, it has been great to mull over today.

  • Monja

    I thought lack of consistent motivation and drive were preventing me from enjoying excercising. Dieting alone didn’t work, even joining a gym and working with different trainers didnt provide long term changes. I wasnt able to find the right combination for me to stop the yo-yoing. Every time I’d settle for what I was able to accomplish before my drive was gone, then wait to grow out of sizes before trying to remotivate myself. But focusing now on all the excuses I used on myself in the past seems counter productive and I’d much rather get to the ‘How’. RE-DIRECT ;o)
    I now realize that I never had all the pieces to my puzzle. What a difference re-programming my mind has made. Removing all of the negative talk and views of myself. I didn’t realize that I was sabataging myself. I am now aware and determined to control my mental attitude. I visualize where I want to be, how I’m going to get there, and how much fun the journey will be. I visualize my muscle ‘snipers’ taking out the target (fat cells). I am careful that my nutrition aides the snipers and leave nothing for the target to scavenge. Sore muscles just remind me that I’m adding more snipers to the fight everyday. I will triumph, and never again have to diet!

  • karen ferguson

    What’s stopping me? Major belief: it’s not possible. I can’t do it alone, don’t know how to push myself over-the top, and don’t know the program and what works. These add up to: Impossible.

    What I can do? I can, for once, put my belief of impossibility behind, take a risk, and do what I am asked to do: eat what I’m supposed to eat, do the wts as prescribed and get support.
    There is a part of me that is curious: what if it works? That would be so cool.

    • Kate M

      Thank goodness for your curiosity, because yes, it would be totally cool! Keep seeking out that curiosity.

      And you can get the support here. You can learn what you need to do one step at a time–just like the rest of us are learning.

      I’m rooting for you!

  • Colleen

    What has always been my barrier to success? Myself! I am a very busy mom of two and unfortunately put myself on the back burner way too many times. Yes my kids keep me busy, but the time I do get to myself I could be spending taking care of myself instead of sitting on my butt watching movies or something else equally as sedentary. I am only 31 years old and yet I feel like I’m 41. My daughter is 10 years old and I am the youngest mom out of her friends and yet they all look younger than me! Something is seriously wrong with that. My husband is a tennis fanatic and plays at least 3-5 times per week, I should be taking care of myself in the same way. I am excited for this challenge to start, it’s about time for me to start putting myself first. Look out world here I come!!

  • Jenny

    I always seem to get in the way of my own success. I know exactly what I need to do to accomplish my fitness goals, yet I constantly derail my own train. I can’t even really pinpoint the real reason that it happens… is it laziness? Is it fear? Is it just an inability to be disciplined? “There’s always tomorrow” I tell myself. But no, not really, there’s only today! I am determined to stop putting my goal date farther and farther out. I am tired of living with regret for what I haven’t accomplished. It’s time to kick my own ass and get it done already! I would really like to enter the body transformation challenge. There is something about competition that seems to spark a fire in me. Best of luck to all the contestants!

  • Michele Templeman

    What’s really been stopping you from achieving the body of your dreams?

    My husband never noticed or complimented me on losing 50 pounds and keeping it off for 6 years.

    Why will you NEVER let that stop you again?

    After gaining all 50 pounds back over the last 2 years I have learned that my husband’s silence is a gift as he also never complains or says anything negative about my weight gain. He loves me regardless of my weight a true gift! I am ready to do this for ME 🙂

    • Linda Miller

      Hi Michele! I remember you from the last challenge. How are you? I totally understand about the lack of support. Although my husband will tell me I am doing really well in the same breath he will tell me “don’t deny yourself” or “you have to enjoy yourself” etc. etc. So it can be quite the double edged sword. The idea is to not look to them for our affirmation or support because they may or may not understand or maybe even feel threatened by our success because of their own insecurities???? This is something I think I am slowly learning. We have this group here to look to for support and that’s why Tom does this. He knows nothing difficult can be done without any support. You can do this Michele!!!!! Make time to be a part of this great support group that is available to you. I know I don’t have a lot of time to be on the computer but I think I am going to MAKE time to be here because this is where I will draw strength to continue on. I hope this helps and I am praying for you and look forward to seeing you in the BFFM Summer Challenge forum soon!

  • Amy L

    What kept me back in the past was my lack of doing what it takes to get what I want. I wasn’t willing to stay on track and be consistent with good nutrition and challenging exercise regimens. Now, my mind and desire is in gear to do what it takes to get what I want. Good luck to all the Burn the Fat contestants of the Summer 2011 challenge!

  • Daisy

    I have always placed others first in my life. Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. would be first on my list. I never really focus on myself 100%. When going to the gym I usually do mostly cardio, and now that I’m over 50 years old everything is going south. I realize the importance of weight training how it transform your body but I need guidance. With the proper guidance in nutrition and exercise I can accomplish my goal.

  • Angela

    “Now, Tell me what’s been stopping you in the past and why it will never stop you again in the comments below! Comments are open. Blog contest is live!”

    What’s been stopping me?
    1. Self-deception. I feel good and am happy/confident. Image in the mirror doesn’t reflect what I see in pictures (the opposite of anorexics – I don’t see the obesity when I look).

    2. Self-discipline is lacking. Not sure if it’s mental, physical, or both, but apparently consistently living in a deficit of calories is tough for me.

    3. I’m short and small boned, and have a sedentary desk job. I don’t need a lot of calories in a day to “maintain” weight, but it appears that I can easily exceed the 1400-1500 needed to maintain.

    4. Social eating. See #3.

    Why the things above won’t stop me again…

    Good question. I get hungry thinking about it. The things above need to be stopped/overcome because I’m not getting any younger, or cuter, and I’m of an age that I worry about adult onset diabetes and heart issues (runs in my family). Also – I don’t like what pictures of me look like – i don’t see “me” anymore. Scary.

  • Laura Blanton

    All of my previous attempts at weight and fat loss have ended in utter failure for one simple reason: an addiction to sugar. I have an active lifestyle and a fairly decent metabolism, so as long as I keep my calories limited I can shed the pounds and the fat rapidly and successfully. In the 8 days since I discovered BFFM, I’ve realized that on a restricted calorie diet my tendency is to practically starve myself during the day, existing on low calorie, healthy snacks and really small meals, in order to have enough of a calorie deficit at the end of the day to fit in that bowl of ice cream. I’m hungry and grouchy all day, and although I have a ton of nervous, hyper energy, I have no endurance to do my job well. Because of all of these factors, my “diet” is always destined to fail. It’s never long before I allow myself a larger bowl of ice cream, or ANOTHER bowl of ice cream, or a handful of cookies to go along with that ice cream…and pretty soon, I’m back to my old habits again.

    This is the first time I’ve ever admitted to myself that I am addicted to sugar. If admitting the addiction is the first step to overcoming it, then I’m on the right path. Amazingly, since I started eating 5 real meals each day, I’ve been completely satisfied and haven’t even wanted the sugary snacks and dessert that used to be so important. I’m not even tempted. This program is going to work for me, because this time I’m making a complete lifestyle change, and dropping the sugar for good!

  • Erin D

    My lack of faith in myself has been my most self-limiting belief. I looked to others to tell me how to live my life. I looked elsewhere for goals; looked elsewhere for directions on achieving those goals that I didn’t honestly want for myself. I believed those who said I could never achieve the things I did truly want, and I believed those who said that what I had was “good enough”, and to work for anything more was misdirected. This outward direction has led me to 25 years of not achieving my goals.

    Through BFFM I have learned to eat, to set goals, to discover those goals, and to most importanly believe in myself. I believe that I can get what I want. I know the steps to take to get there, and I will. I have faith in myself now.

    I will not fail myself.

  • Holly

    What’s been stopping me? Well, I’ve been working to drop the pounds after a huge rebound after a Figure Competition and have been struggling with major metabolic damage. Along with a hubby and son who love high-calorie food (and having to cook sometimes 3 meals at dinnertime), the lack of results (that were very easy to obtain the first 18 months of exercising and competition prep) has been discouraging to say the least. I’ve also been through some very stressful times since 2006 which has caused adrenal distress. Lastly – the cost of healthy food, itself, is a great deterrent.

    • Holly B.

      Ooops, forgot my last initial and the rest of my text…

      It’s Holly B.

      However… I am a very strong woman who HAS made it through all of these difficulties that have caused the stress and physical problems… I am confident that I can succeed and I refuse to allow this excess weight to stop me from feeling AMAZING and looking great!!

    • Keith

      Time to put all of those behind. I did get stuck on your last line – that the cost of healthy food is a deterrent. I’m curious what you mean by this. I already live in one of the most expensive cities in the world for things like food (Tokyo), but find that healthy food is actually pretty reasonably priced. Chicken breasts, fish, fresh veggies, brown rice…In the States it seems even easier to come by reasonably priced healthy food, especially if you can find a local farmer’s market to buy the veggies. What sorts of things are pricey (it’s been a while since I’ve lived Stateside!).

  • I guess I could say that I blamed a lot of factors for how my body has changed over the past 10 years, but I’ve come to realize that they were truly nothing more than excuses based on a self limiting belief that I developed. I had some good ones, too. For example, my wife was having our first kid way back and I used that as an excuse as to why I didn’t have time to exercise. Then, I started a new manufacturing business that kept me extremely busy and on the road. I mean, who could possibly work out and eat right while living that life style? All the while there was the gradual increase in weight up to the point of obesity.
    Then, in 2008, my business basically died. The economy put a complete damper on everything in my marketplace and I went from 7 full time employees, a secretary and showroom to 1 part-timer in less than 6 months. You better believe that I started to eat more then out of sheer depression brought on by overwhelming stress. What was supposed to have been a business on track to be completely debt free by mid 2009 was left owing the government thousands upon thousands of dollars in payroll back taxes as well as defaults on loans which would have been paid on time had the economy not gone south.
    By that time, every yo-yo diet I tried left me feeling starved and deprived. After a week or two of going all out, I’d be back to my same old bad habits of starving all day and then binging at night after everybody was asleep. I came to self limiting belief that my metabolism was shot and I was finished; destined to be obese and unhappy about it for what was left of my short, pathetic life. I’ve gone back through your book and decided what I MUST do in order to be successful with proper weight management. Also, I want to be a much better role model for my kids, both of whom are extremely athletic. I want to be around to enjoy them and to be able to physically interact with them without the joints aching or without being totally winded all of the time. This time is different.

  • Sally C.

    I think whats been limiting me is my attitude. I always think that whatever I do will bring no results. I usually lose motivation after the first day of whatever new diet I’m on that leaves me hungry and tired. Also, I have really poor self image. Like whenever I look in the mirror, instead of thinking that my shirt looks good, I think that I look so fat in these shorts. Trashing myself for years now, has reduced my self esteem a great amount and it makes me think that now, nothing can help me.

  • Heidi Young

    NOTHING is standing in my way of greatness! Don’t you just love that feeling of invincibility when you are eating clean, working hard and seeing positive results? That cycle is pure motivation in and of itself. It seems like every once in a while I ‘forget’ just how that feels and getting a little ‘fluffy’ reminds me.

    Defluffifying with Tom and the Summer Burn challenge in 5-4-3-2-1!!

  • Alicia

    What’s been holding me back?

    Fear. Fear of trying to loose weight and failing and being heart broken. Fear of being unprepared when I hit a plateau and giving up.

    Motivation. I get all excited when I find something that I think will work for me, then when I don’t see the results fast enough my motivation fizzles and I give up.

    Being too busy. I always find something that is more important than taking care of my heath.

    Not having enough money. In this economy, money is extremely tight for me, so it’s hard to justify getting a gym membership because they are so expensive and I’ve always ended up wasting it.

    Was that really holding me back?

    The answer to all of my excuses is no. I’ve played softball my whole life and one of my favorite quotes is “Never let the fear of striking out prevent you from playing the game”. I’ve always adhered to that saying while playing softball and, until now, have let my fear of failing at weight loss prevent me from reaching my goals. Both excuses of lacking motivation and being too busy can be easily solved by reframing my thinking. The lack of funds is also just and excuse. There are plenty of free activities I can do like using my body weight as resistance and going outside for a walk with my dogs.

    Why will this never stop me again?

    By putting to use what I’ve learned in the BFFM program, my phrase “fear of trying to loose weight and failing” has turned into “excitement for weekly feedback to see what parts of my program I need to adjust so I can be a more efficient fat burning machine!”

    I turn to the success stories in the Inner Circle and pictures of fitness models for my motivation as well as my goal cards that I have achieved. I use visualization to picture what I will look like when I reach my final goal of a lean body like Erin Stern.

    I have reframed my thinking so that working out and nutrition planning are top priorities and don’t get pushed to the side. I put my gym membership and estimated grocery expenses into my budget so I am financially prepared and am not worrying if I can afford it.

    I feel I am prepared and confident to enter this challenge with all the tools I need to change my body and overcome any obstacles! I know I can’t be perfect all the time but if I strive for 90% compliance, I’ll be alright.

  • Roger N Bracken

    I’m not really sure what it is other than more time. I’m in school trying to finish a business degree and I work at the Y as a personal trainer. I’m trying to bulk up and get a tighter rectus abdominus at the same time and I hold around the 173- 178 range. I’m a good 6′ tall and I work out as much as I can. What else can I do to get a nice 8+pack ab region? It is frustrating. 🙁

  • Heidi Fairbourn

    Ok Tom, you asked for it.

    My limiting beliefs came from believing that beautiful meant making my 5’8” frame as small as I possibly could. I was chubby growing up, had terrible eating habits (my family ate out for almost every dinner) and I watched my mother yo-yo diet at 20 lb interval swings for most of my life. I grew up hating my body. I can even remember in the 2nd grade when I wore an umpire waist shirt and another girl in my class asked me if I was pregnant. My mom, trying to help of course, would take me to her weight loss classes while i was still in elementary school. But the message that food was an emotional comfort was probably the worst lesson I got.
    Anyway…. years go on, I am still hating my body. In high school, all my friends and short and skinny and I am tall and curvy. But I had discovered this great way to lose weight. I didn’t eat. Or if I did, and if it was not on my list of allowed foods I got rid of it. aka vomiting or laxatives. You know where this is leading.
    Well years go on and after 9 years of battling an eating disorder, I finally got the courage and desire to get the necessary help and giving myself time to heal. 3 years later, I am healthy and happy and just got married. Life is great. But… I still don’t have a healthy relationship with food. It is still an emotional crutch that I would like to get rid of. I now teach classes at a gym and am going to nursing school. But I want to be strong and cut and an aerobic bad ass. I don’t want to be skinny and I want to kick butt!
    So.. to answer your question, my defeating belief is that food heals my emotions. I am working to change that. My husband supports me and we talk about my progress regularly. I want to transform myself into the most powerful individual I can be physically, mentally, and emotionally. I know beauty does not come from being a specific size it comes from confidence and loving yourself. I also know that strength is not a trip to the gym or a 5 k, it is a lifestyle. Health and vitality come before anything else and I am willing to put in any and every effort to achieve it. I worked hard to overcome beliefs that almost ruined my life and now I am ready to replace them. Will you help me burn the fat and feed the muscle?

  • Melisa Zimmerman

    After struggling with my weight for most of my life at the age of 48 I am moving forward to burn the fat and feed the muscle and change my life forever. For years as a teenage girl my father made jokes about my weight. This began a continuous cycle of losing weight and gaining weight. In my life I have lost approximately 750 pounds and gained 850. But this time with the help of the Venuto program I will complete the final weight loss and body transformation of my life. I have lived with the limiting belief that I will never be successful at reaching and/or maintaining my weight. This belief is a BIG FAT LIE. I am able to reach and maintain my goal. the me I am today is not any where close to the me I will be at the end of this challenge.

  • Jeremy Dubay

    Let’s see. My (ex) wife didn’t support me. Work stress and available booze got to me. I never had the right program. Time was an issue. I couldn’t afford to go to the gym. You’ve heard them all and I’ve said them all. What was holding me back? The space between my ears. I never made the decision to be better physically and ultimately mentally. Only one person was to blame…me. I can counter all of those “excuses” with a legitimate answer now. I just refused to acknowledge it in the past. I can get support elsewhere. I can make healthy eating choices. I can exercise at home. there are programs everywhere, all of which can benefit in some way. Why won’t it affect me in the future. I want to be better every day…for my kids. I want to set a positive example that they will be able to pass along to their children and so on. I have things I want to do. I want to hike, I want to learn to ski, I don’t want to ride a cart when I golf. Little things that if I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to do. I’m sorry I’m a little all over the place, but I’m a little pissed at myself. It’s simple. As long as I’m better today than yesterday I’m doing what’s right.

  • Kathryn Gardner

    I’ve had six children and gained excessive weight with each one. Before I was able to get weight off from one child we were ready to have another. I spent years believing it wasn’t my fault I was fat. I worked hard between four and five I dropped pounds but gained again as I had the last two. Finally I had number six and knew for sure she was the last and for the last two years I’ve worked my tail off with diet and exercise to reach 156 pounds. I thought that would be enough but I know I haven’t given it every ounce of myself to attain life time fitness. I read BFFM and realized there was so much more I could do to reach my goals. With the knowledge of how to set goals and attain them I know that I cannot fail. My lack of planning, preparation and focus have held me back but not anymore. I’ve been handed a focus with the challenge and the knowledge and means with BFFM and it’s time to discover what the real me can do with all the right tools.

  • Scot Burns

    More than anything else, the thing that’s held me back has been a tendency to rest on my laurels.
    As a kid, I was the weak, skinny bookworm. I was a brainiac who aced tests and was always in the top classes at school.
    But I got lazy, and went from the smartest kid in the class to just another high school graduate not good enough for university.
    I got a 9-5 desk job. I traded my bike for a car. Traded my sport for TV time. Got married to a great cook…
    10 years later, 10kg (20lbs) heavier – which is a lot when you’re only 5’6″ – and a lot flabbier
    My Dad had always been overweight, same with my Mum’s brother (who everyone said I looked like).
    And every time I looked in the mirror and saw more scalp and more stomach, there was this voice in my head saying, “What did you expect? This is the way things are. Decline is inevitable.”
    Then the Biggest Loser came on TV, and I decided to enter a local contest and get back in shape. I came third in my age category and felt great. People noticed and commented and my ego ate it up.
    So I got qualified as a personal trainer and started training clients before and after work. (whoosh – there goes MY workout time!) Longer days, eating more, sleeping less, and drinking more caffeine…
    5 years later I’ve gone from 65kg (145lb) to 75kg (165lb), my definition is gone, and all the while people are still telling me how fit I am and how good I look! (talk about mixed messages!)
    I used to think of myself as the tortoise, but it turns out I’ve been the hare, fast asleep and dreaming of the good ol’ days!
    So my old limiting belief was “I’ve done enough”, and that’s not going to hold be back anymore because I’m relacing it with “I can do more”.

  • Joshua Wooster

    Lately my limiting belief has been time. I’ve been using it as an excuse that I just don’t have enough time to do what I’ve always wanted to do: Get in the best shape of my life and to at least see my abs while being healthy and not just skinny. I know now though that if I really did put my whole being into doing what I’ve always wanted to do, I CAN find the time. The time is there, I just have to use it wisely!

    Now that I work the night shift 12 hours friday through monday I thought that I just wouldn’t have enough time in between to get good rest, exercise and eat right by cooking my own healthy food. Instead I would just eat whatever I could whenever without thinking twice about what I’m really putting in my body and the consequences of it. However, in the back of my mind, I knew I could make the choice to change. My limiting beliefs have held me back for far too long. It’s now or never to take the initiative and make the best of my life!

  • Amy

    When I was young I saw a beautiful blonde bomb shell, as my parents went through a devorce I grew to 85 kgs from ages 6-8, Then as all that happened, happened(During that time I was raped, by family), I just kept going up, mum could not cook, Take out was her style. During the divorce mum had no money to fed us right so she tried to make up for it and over compensated. I was tripped by boys that thought it was funny to see a fat person fall, Stuffed my knees, I was called techno drone, and many other names, I was asked out and dumped, many times over, for guys to gain popularity, being fat, everyone knew me, being American(in Australia)gave me popularity, and unwanted attention, I tried to focus on guys I couldn’t have, so that I didn’t truly get hurt, I knew they would never feel the same, I carried that into my 20’s. from age 8-14 I remained 85kg, after that I just put layers on Platode between 115-120kg,until the age of 20, When I met a guy, whom messed with me mentally to the point people thought I was a mental case, Then the 2nd year in to the relationship, he slapped me, I was with him 6 years, he blocked me off from everyone, even family, saying they were all stupid & beat me when he felt like. So In 2006 I was a total of 168KG, Leaving him I lost 28Kg, I have tried every thing under the sun to loose fat, I am a heavy bone set woman 5 foot 9.5 inches, I am still 145kg, I am trying to tone my self, I came to the realisation, that people who are fat underestimate them selves, power and strength on has be hind the fat, just to carry one’s self is huge, so I have started daily exercises, I am eating well but I still have my day were i forget to eat, my problem Forgetting that I need to eat, it’s partly how I gained weight, mum feed me terrible food so I started in high school to compensate for the calories, I was eating by not eating at school, and if I was really hungry having an apple, this habit, carried on for many years, I have always had a low self esteem, I expect people to be shits and put me down, but I have high esteem when it comes to computers, I am a shy person with my work, even if I know I have done well, I am dyslexic, so I have problems saying what I mean, but I try. It’s easy to type it. I am a self confessed poet, it come from within, through hard times. I am a thin woman trapped by this large body, I don’t see my self when I look in the mirror, as it’s some one else is looking back, I feel beautiful, I just don’t see what I feel when I look in the mirror. I eat right, I exercise, but I not losing the weight. Emotionally, I have dealt with the issues, but it’s easy for me to look at the results and get depressed. My self esteem is holding me back.

  • E Acosta

    Honest words? Here they come.

    Life’s kicked my ass a few time these last 4 years. What limited me is the inability to deal with immense stress, I thought my life was my own, but it never felt like it. As the youngest child, unmarried, the rest of my siblings felt it was fitting I should take care of our folks. I saw my father through cancer illness and hospice, fighting me the entire time for his care. Last July someone totaled my car and pushed 3 discs out that caused incredible pain and inability to walk upright for almost a month.
    September that year, my brother died. Once again I was defaulted to the helm. Not that I didn’t love my brother, but, I felt mostly alone, unsupported and financially struggling. Got into greater debt to pay for his funeral.

    Needless to say I was angry and I turned it in towards myself. My sense of who I am or could be was never truly allowed to grow for many years. Didn’t have much of a moment to explore what I wanted to do. A life long conflict of- I am not worth the trouble- found relief in food, mostly. I just felt oppressed and stifled under family obligations. Self-destructive felt good. Refusing to feel pain again came in the form of eating whatever I wanted. Bigger conflict: Realizing being really fat wasn’t making me happy either.

    Life, like muscle-training can force you to grow. During my current low back re-hab with a trainer, I keep noticing how good it feels to use my muscles, to be extremely aware of their working, to feel the unison of one’s body employing all systems while training is a rush to the mind! And here is the crux. I want health and strength to reach my goals of climbing a couple mountains, explore the ends of my home state of California and feel vibrant and alive with a mind that will never quit it’s curiousity and quest for knowledge and truth.

    SO, here I am trying to get back the spark I had when I lost 33 pounds last year using BFFM. I enjoy working out, but am still missing that surge of motivation to get down to the final 25 pound fat drop. I need refocusing and finally, pull away from looking back at the emotional drains of my past. I need to look front and at what I can be with my own effort. I do really want to achieve this milestone in my life. 138-140lbs @ 18-20% BF. I’ve never been athletic or looked it. I still have the hope that I can achieve a fit strong and athletic body, even tho, I’m heading toward my 50’s. Just need a little push as I write out my new goals……

  • valerie

    What have you believed in the past… up until now… that you thought was stopping you from having the body you always wanted?

    I have believed alot of things about myself and none of them were good. I had thoughts like ,im fat ,im ugly, no one will ever love me, i dont deserve to be happy, im not good enough. I cant do anything. The only thing really stopping me is MY THOUGHTS.. it was never anything physical ,it wasnt anyone besides me. I stopped myself.

    Why will i not let that stop me anymore? Because i want to set a healthy exmple for my nieces ,nephews, my son, and everyone around. I desrve to be happy and i am a good person. I wont lie to myself anymore. I would never in a million years tell my family and friends what i tell myself so why do I? Old negative programming. Im done with it. From here on out i am making a change. I have done it before and i will do it again, the healthy way this time, coming from a place of self love and pride, not because of self loathing and fear.


  • aileen

    What’s been stopping me is my failure in the past. Been trying every exercise machines and different diets but nothing worked. This time I know I have found the right one. I purchase Burn the Fat Feed the Muscles E-book and I believe it’s the best.

  • George Kisirye

    my limiting factors are low intensity work outs, poor nutrition habits, work (drains me everyday). and especially my tummy, i wish it could just go away, funny is whenever i take five days without working out, i just feel the tummy growing big!! again after taking 7 days without working out i added 1/2kg! i think i have to involve my wife in the nutrition element otherwise she will keep feeding me heavy every supper which is not advisable…otherwise thank you for everything, you are a great guy, and your blogs are spot on

  • Risto

    What’s really been stopping you from achieving the body of your dreams and why will you NEVER let that stop you again?

    I think the number one thing has been bad nutrition habits (and poor knowledge about what to eat). A while ago I paid absolutely no attention to the food I was taking in — my post-workout meal was the chocolate “Twix” on most days. I just didn’t know that certain meals would be better for my body in terms of my physique (I didn’t care about the health part back then). Shifting my mindset was all I needed.

    Now that I’m much smarter and have better habits, I know that this is never again going to be an issue. I value my health and body a lot and am passionate about improving it continuously.

  • eng. prof

    Stress at work keeps me from reaching my goals. I stress munch,especially while grading, killing the workouts I have done during the week. I need to focus at work and get more efficient in my activities so that I stop stressing out. I also need to add more weight training 🙂

  • Chris Beard

    I can honestly say that the one factor that has stopped me from regaining my “early 20’s” body is, ME! I have devloped horrible eating habits and have used my career and family life as an excuse not to exercise regularly. I can honestly say that I am working on retraining or conditioning my brain to develop the “good” habits again. Its funny that I am now using my family as a motivating factor instead of an excuse. I realized that if I continue down the path that I am on, I will not be around to see my children grow up and give me grand children. The time is NOW and the BIG BURN is just the beginning!

  • Rebecca Kennedy

    It took me all day to come up with a true answer to this question. The obvious, easy answer is my really poor willpower. Unfortunately, it feeds into the real reasons that I put off losing the weight constantly. The first is simple, I’m afraid people won’t like me anymore if I am successful. They’ll think I’m doing it for the wrong reasons. They’ll think I’m doing it to be in with the “skinny crowd”, to look like the people in the movies or on TV, to brag about it to my friends, to fit into the clothes in the mall. I do have a small obsession with getting approval. I think it started when I was young and wanted to impress my Mom and make her happy.

    The second, is foolish, and way more dangerous. I think I have a feeling of invincibility. The diabetes tests haven’t come back positive so far, so I’m sure that little pack of M&Ms isn’t going to be a problem. My blood pressure is controlled (albeit medically), so those wings won’t be a problem either. I need to wake up and face that my “good luck” so far won’t last forever and I will be left to deal with diseases and the fact that I have two small daughters that I want to see grow up and have daughters of their own that I can play with and run after.

  • churchill olanya


    Problem slowing me from achieving my desire body figure have been alcohol.I take alcohol on daily basis and i believe this has interfear with my metabolism.
    My main goal this summer is regulating/reducing/stopping alcohol completely, this will depend on my set quaterly target.

  • I never think I have time to work out, never have time to cook a meal at home, never have time to walk to the store.

    But none of that is true. What could be more important than taking time for me, time to make and keep myself healthy and happy? I’m going to take the time for me up front. Everyone else who needs my time can wait until I’ve taken time for me. Just like in the “big rocks” principle.

    Thanks for all your great emails Tom.

  • Rachel

    I decided recently to not let anything stand in my way–of course, as soon as I decided that, I got a new job (yay!) with crazy hours (boo!). I’m working around it, but go figure; today I woke up with my sciatic nerve (from ballet) hurting so much that I can hardly sit. 🙁

  • Zachary Abelardo

    Throughout my adult life – I was always fearful of being overweight. I had a huge appetite, but was never willing to do the work necessary to be thin. In College, I got hooked on methamphetamine; it made me stay up all night cramming for exams, while keeping me thin…artificially. After College, my addiction took a turn for the worst and I became a homeless destitute. I could not keep anything at all. My marriage failed, I lost many high-paying jobs, from keeping “vampire hours” and I had no motivation for anything meaningful, except to seek out my next high.

    In 2006, I had breathing and heart problems and it turned out I was suffering from full-blown congestive heart failure(CHF)…a result of smoking and 22 years of doing meth non-stop. My doctor gave me three years to live, if I were to continue my ways. I finally made the life-changing decision to stop drinking, smoking and all drugs, on 11/04/2006. I simply had ENOUGH…of failures. My life was at a critical turning point. I was facing premature death, at age 42. I told my doctor I am not DONE living yet. I admitted myself to rehab, and never looked back. However, the seven months spent in rehab made me gain 82 pounds. This appalled me. I even considered going back to using…just to lose the weight, but my mother told me I would never come out of it alive. She is right. One day, I made the final decision to commit myself to do all the work required to look like Mr. Clarence Bass – my “Ripped” idol, since adolescence. It was during my internet research, I ran into your BFFM website. Tom, you have made my life worth living again. I took up mountain biking and all 82 pounds flew off me like a waterfall. I simply cannot believe a nice six-pack sat beneath all my fat. I have the abs and bulging veins I always wanted – but I am not quite done yet. I want to lose ALL OF THE FAT NOW. I want to be 7% body fat…just to show everybody if I CAN DO IT – so can YOU!

    • Elizabeth M.

      Thank you for your truth and your story. Man, I never saw that one coming. But it was needed. All I can say is I am impressed with your victory. I’ve known many meth heads, one being my father sadly, and I needed to hear a real story of overcoming. I believe my dad can…but it is good to know that it is done by someone I know their story. Please keep us updated. I am supporting you for this. I wish I could say more on here but I am not at liberty just yet. Love to hear from you. caegan217 @ gmail

      • Zachary Abelardo

        A big part of my full recovery is to help people accomplish what they cannot do by themselves…which also includes losing the fat. Best of luck to your dad – I hope my story inspired him in some way.

  • Nicole

    Growing up I always watched my older brother eat whatever he wanted and remain under-weight while my younger brother and I were more careful and stayed “chubby”.
    My younger brother is now fit and healthy and until now I have not been prepared to make the changes that need to be made to improve my health.
    I now realise I can’t keep blaming the “crappy genes” for the way I look and I can’t keeping pretending it doesn’t bother me. I figure if I can spend 4 years studing for my job I can certainly spend the next year ‘studying’ for my health. I want to start a family of my own and I want my children to grow up with a healthy lifestyle so this will all come more naturally to them than it has to me.

  • Sanjeev Singh

    I’ve tried different approaches in the past but none of them worked, because none of them had the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle principles. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve started and this time, it’s different. Part of the reasons I never succeeded in the past was lack of belief, aside from lack of proper knowledge. I think more than anything else, that lack of belief; that ‘I’m not so lucky to have a good lean physique’ mentality was my downfall.I’ve always been relatively fit, going on beach runs for 5km a day. But I never seemed to lose the fat entirely.

    This time I have the knowledge, thanks to Tom. And this time, I have the belief, again thanks to Tom – the goal setting exercise has set me on my path. I haven’t missed a day yet of my goals, and slowly but surely, I believe I’m getting there. Now, I know I can get that lean physique I’ve always wanted. Thanks Tom.

  • Shirley

    What is stopping me from getting that body I always wanted? Probably because I have tried different methods in the past that only worked for a while and then I hit a plateau. Of course, when I was younger it was easier to slim down when I wanted to. Now, it feels like work, another thing I gotta do. When life changed my circumstances, I was taught in a physical fitness class in college to adapt. So far, it has been getting harder and harder to adapt and easier and easier to put off exercising (the nutrition part I now understand better). So, what has kept me from getting the body I always wanted? Wanting it bad enough to commit. The past few years have left a mark on my body and it has started to be unacceptable for me to look in the mirror at myself. I feel uncomfortable in my old (smaller) clothes (tight) and with summer coming I have to make a decision: Keep buying a bigger size or not. I would like to not.

  • Bernie

    My wall is the fact that I get home in the evenings, have two kids to tend to (8yrs) and (2yrs) and have homework to do with the 8yr old. Many, many demands from the 2yr old. I still have to make dinner. And still have to study. Hubby does not assist and this leaves me busy until after 11pm even 12pm. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been someone who loves working out. My body allows me to build lean muscle very quickly. TIME – this is my wall. I have the BFFM manual and used it before I had my daughter but then went astray and now, after almost three years I am still battling to get rid of what I call the “tyre” around my belly. what also makes it hard for me is that I have Scleroderma and this causes my skin to become hard so, I have to work with this to get my skin to co-operate with getting it’s elasticity back to be able to shrink back. So this adds to my challenge. My promise to myself is to open that manual and get cracking to get myself firm, flat and lean.

  • upoko

    i am now a single mother of two beautiful children and my self esteem has somewhat disappeared, i was never allowed the opportunity to shine while growing up and while i was married and so like most mums putting myself first is not an option. But i really want to do something about my presence so i can get out there again and shine…..for ME!!! i know in the long run it will not only benefit me but my children will benefit from it too…

  • Bonita J

    My limiting believe is me. I am the only one stopping myself from achieving my goals. I always tell myself that I don’t have time because I work full time, run a household, have 2 kids who need time and attention, a demanding husband, ect ect ect. My husband is always telling me ‘look at you, get rid of that stomach, aren’t you embarrassed by the way you look ect’ and instead of doing something about it, I get depressed and eat some more. I tend to think that I’m not worthy of looking good… lack of self confidence or whatever the reason may be, I’m sick of feeling no good. I’m sick of being short of breath, tired all the time, having no energy, feeling worthless and crawling into a corner to avoid the world. I’m part of the world and want to feel like it. After reading the different people’s stories, I’ve come to realize that we’re our own enemies. I’m taking responsibility for my own life and will NEVER tell myself that I’m not worth again!

  • I usually achieve my goals having just completed my first Ironman Endurance event, however I can never seem to get below 15% body fat and to achieve a ‘fitness model’ appearance. I have recently changed my diet according to BFFM – never realising that I was actually consuming more calories than my body actually required. I am up for the Challenge to finally obtain a Dream Body in my late forties, despite years of ‘watching what I eat’.
    Thanks Tom.

  • Kim Thomson

    My whole life i have, like many others struggled with their weight. At my heaviest i weighed in at almost 224lbs. I was so sad on the inside with a happy go lucky exterior. I knew I had to take control of the situation and change my lifestyle as no one else could do it for me. I started my “diet” with the typical low fat, low carb, low taste nonsence and I started to go to the gym twice a week. This worked for a period of time and i lost 56lbs in my first year and I was over the moon to say the least.

    I remained at this weight quite happily for many years until one day at the gym I overheard an instructor saying to his training buddy “she used to be really fat but now shes only podgy” as he glanced toward me. To say I was upset was a huge understatement. For months I refused to go to the gym and instead of training I developed an eating disorder which allowed me to still lose weight without training. I was unaware at that time I was losing valuable muscle mass and as soon as I started to eat again my weight shot straight back up, once again I was very unhappy with my weight and apperance. So I started going back to the gym, a different one I might add! I was there 3 or 4 times a week for a few months. I became increasingly aware of the calories I was burning each day while training. I soon became fixated on burning at least 1000 cals a day and I developed what is now known as orthorexia. My weight plummeted and my health was in serious danger.

    After some research on the internet I decided to do a course on nutrition and re educate myself on the importance of the quality of food we put into our bodies and it changed my outlook on my health, weight and apperance.I was in the best health and shape I had ever been in, my 6 pack was coming along nicely as were the continual stream of positive compliments. It was nice to be the only girl doing barbell work at the gym. I had so much confidence and for the first time in my life I was body confident and I was happy with the reflection I saw in the mirror. I decided I wanted to help others feel better about themselves and I set up my own business. Last year I was on a high. I was helping over 100 people lose weight. I also realised the importance of having a positive outlook on life and the “can do” attitude. I was training people all over the UK on the importance of nutrition and positive attitudes, I also started to write my own book on the subject, life had never been better.

    In December 2010 I endured a huge personal blow which knocked me right of my stride. I let my business slip away, I stopped my book, I stopped training and started binging on junk food, I stopped going out and I have now become a recluse who does not want to leave the house. I have put on almost 20lbs and I do not like what I see in the mirror anymore. The thing which hit me last week was “get busy living or get busy dying” No point feeling sorry for myself any longer. I have turned my situation around and I have decided I will have that 6 pack I want, I will have a well defined back and shoulders to die for as well as strong toned legs and this is all thanks to the motivation I have recieved from the idea of this competition. I also know my whole life depends on this transformation. I cannot run my own business as a fatty nor can I help others with personal development if I myself do not practice.

    I look very much to working with you guys in achieving the body others deem impossible! Roll on bikini season 🙂

  • Sam Cottiss

    What has been stopping me is… my motivational reasons. Up until now I have always been motivated to try loosing weight for other people. Because the doctors tell me I am fat, because I want more men to find me more attractive or even because of the fat comments I used to get at school.

    I am a 21 year old woman who weighs a good couple of stone over weight but am a UK size 14 (I think that’s a US size 10,) I am not unfit and I have a good curvy shape to my figure, rather than carrying my weight all in one place. I am never going to be a skinny person, I am just not built that way but I have realised that it is other people that want me to be ‘skinny’ not me.

    So why should I try to be skinny or weigh a certain amount for everyone else. I want to be toned and shapely not built like a stick insect. I want to loose weight and gain lean muscle for me, to make ME happy, not every Tom, Dick and Harry who thinks I am a little bit overweight. I want to be at my full potential not at the middle of the scale but does that mean I need to weigh 10 stone and look like I need a good meal? No it doesn’t… It means that I need to be happy with my own body and proud to show it off.

    The summer of 2011 is the time I have decided to stop making excuses and start thinking about my hopefully long future. Why should I care what the scales say when my jeans are looser or my stomach is flatter? It’s time to look at is from a different angle and get toned for me… To hell with everyone else!

  • Christina

    Actually, nothing is stopping me. I’ve lost 20kg and I only have about 3 more to lose. I’m toned and fit. Your website and newsletters have been a great help as has your book.

  • Valencia Francke

    Hi Tom

    I think my own mindset and self sabotage is what stopping me from losing weight. Everytime I lose a few kilograms it’s almost like as if I get scared and lose all willpower only to put on the weight again. I’m in a comfort zone but very unhappy with my current weight. I’ve put on 10kg after my baby was born and she’s 2½ years old now, and I still carry the weight around.
    But after reading your blocks and seeing all the body transformations I really think your BFFM conceipt can work for me too! I’m not going to let this negative thinking and self sabotage keep me from being the best person and in the best shape I’ve ever been any more. I would really like to win one of your ebooks, that would be the best present ever!

    Valencia Francke (South Africa)

  • Amy Cole

    I alone have prevented myself from achieving the body of my dreams. I’ve been on the right path several times & have made great strides transforming my body & mind ( or so I thought) only to undo all of my hard work by not having a handle on how best to deal or cope w/ emotional issues & so I turn to food. I’ve only just recently gotten honest w/ myself about my binge eating & am choosing to no longer be out of control. My self worth has been contingent on my self image & body size. I will no longer be afraid to fail but will just takes the steps & train to be a healthier, happier me.

  • Marsha aka Sunny

    Fear. That is what holding me back. I came to this realization yesterday. I am letting fear hold me back in almost every aspect of my life. With weight (fat) loss, it is the fear that once I am “fit” then what? What if my life looks the same? Once I put all this effort into losing the fat, then I will have to be responsible for holding myself back (instead of my fat holding me back). I realize it is all mental. I have dreams that I want to chase. I see point b, but I stand on point a, too terrified to move forward. And I refuse to be immobilized by fear anymore!

  • Jane S

    What’s been holding me back is the belief that I can blame everyone else for what I do or don’t do. I need to truly believe that I am responsible for my own actions and that anything is possible. A lack of confidence in my own abilities has also always stopped me, leading to procrastination, feelings of worthlessness, depression. My staying power is generally lacking, I give up too easily. I am more likely to do something if it’s to help someone else. I have never been athletic or “well-toned”, I have put myself in a box and now it’s just a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    I will not be held back, this is my life and I have as much right to achieve my goals as anyone else. I am blessed with a healthy body, if I can just begin and keep going one step at a time I can do this. Hard work and discipline!!

  • Dip

    I’ve been limited by “fear of failing” which dates back from my school days when I used to be pressurised to be top of the class at everything. Over the years this has led to reacting badly to actual failings in life and I seem to have lost (may be I didn’t have it in me in the first place) the ability and the desire to push myself hard to get to where I want. I’m trying to get a self-confidence boost and rid myself of this “fat good for nothing slob” look but until I came upon your blog I didn’t think I had it in me to change.

    I’m now determined that I WILL change and change for the best (not for the better, if that makes any sense)!!

    Thanks, Tom. You’re an inspiration.


    Lost a lot of fat/built a lot of muscle when I started weight training. And to be factual moving heavy iron has really improved my physique. but the gains have stopped coming. The real reason is i dont pay enough attention to cardio and diet. I like getting under a heavy bar but I’m badly neglecting other pieces of the fitness puzzle. I find it extremely difficult committing to cardio/diet programs over the long haul. i know i need to be more consistent with my cardio routines but because i find it so borrrrrrring I’m hardly able to do so. I need to build the mental discipline to stick at it even though I think it sucks

  • Diana Alvarez

    Belief that was stopping me: Lack of willpower, fear of not being able to follow through, fear of failure.

    WHY that will never stop me again: I will never know what I am able to acheive if I don’t try. I am strong, I am a fighter. I have faced many obstacles in my life. I have survived. I have learned. I am a better person for each obstacle I have overcome. Acheiving my goals of a better me, mentally and physically is possible. Fear is not a determining factor.

  • Nicole K

    “What’s really been stopping you from achieving the body of your dreams and why will you NEVER let that stop you again?”

    Very thought provoking questions. I’ve been stopping myself from achieving my dream body. The negative self talk that I started believing after a disasterous marriage. When people that are supposed to love you, beat you down all the time, you start to belive them. I feel as though I deserve to be happy and healthy. That if I do achieve my goal and don’t maintain it, then I will have failed at something again. So instead I have been trudging along and not really living my life.

    I know that I am deserving. I have children and a grandson that I want to be around to enjoy and show them how happy life can be. I want to live my life and not waste it anymore. I know that God gave me this opportunity and at the end of my life, I don’t want to look back and think I could’ve done anything I wanted and threw it away.

    Thanks Tom for this opportunity!

    Nicole K

  • Chrystal C

    Wow, what a question! I have been wondering this in the last several months. What has prevented me in the past:

    Self doubt, not feeling deserving of being “normal weight”, afraid of becoming vain/proud, laziness!, denial, being confused with all the information out there about how to lose weight, not feeling attractive-so what’s the point, fear of the unknown, fear of loose skin, fear of keeping the weight off.

    Why these things will not stop me again:

    I want to use the BFFM techniques to help with motivation, self worth, seeing myself thinner. I want to be normal weight more than most anything. I will use my faith to help me too. I know that God wants us to be healthy so we can help others too.

    Thank you Tom!

  • mike masse

    Henry Ford opnce said’If you believe you can or can’t you’re right!” So my belief has changed with the motivational/inspiratiional stories of people from every size and backround have done the body transformation. But, it all starts with our thinking!

  • Chris

    I,ve spent a lot time in the gym over the last 10 years, yet I have not reached my true potential… Yes sometimes I reach close to my goals but never really get to that point where I reach the desired image of myself that I hold in my mind…
    I am rereading my copy of “The Holy Grail” (which i now regret not doing so earlier) as I am trying to part the seas of confusion on calories and the personal anxiety that i suffer when i need to calculate food values, This i find extremely daunting, and I realise that this is my personal stumbling block , this has been my weak link and if I can crack this part of my journey then I will succeed.

    My problem is that I don’t feel hungry therefore I under eat calories per meal , no wonder I get so light headed…. if only i can workout the true calorie value of my meals then i can steer my way through more confidently

    Nutrition really is the foundation to any training program … and it is my Nutrition plan that has been holding me back…

  • Elmarie

    I used to go on very low carb diets and keep it up until between 5 and 10 kgs from my goal weight – and then my fear of being successful and actually achieving my goal would kick in and I’d start eating like there’s no tomorrow and gain it all back. This time, however, I have chosen a program that I know will work for me, because I really love to exercise (and cannot give up carbs)and I know that I am going to feel such a sense of accomplishment and pride when I am done with this challenge. I am really looking forward to it!

  • Conry_SATX

    I have believed in the past that I never could have the body that I have always wanted because it was too hard to attain and no matter how hard I tried I would never be able to achieve it anyway. I equated freedom and happiness with eating whatever I want and equate eating healthy food with suffering, restriction, anger and deprivation. Generally I failed to make the connection when making food choices between what I eat and the impact it has on my body.

    I consistently tell myself that I am fat and unattractive and I have done this since I was 11 years old. When I start on an eating program I feel punished and deprived and restricted; I feel like it isn’t fair that I can’t eat whatever I want to. I tell myself that the exercise I planned for the day doesn’t need to be done yet, it can be done later, or that even tomorrow I can make up for what I didn’t do today.

    Eventually I completely abandon my eating and workout program, start gaining weight again and the negative self talk just gets worse. It’s a vicious cycle.

    I told myself for so long that I can’t have my dream body and dream life that I think my subconscious is suffused with that message. And it comes out in my self talk every day of my life, numerous times a day.

    Is it really impossible for me to get in the best shape of my life and love the body I walk around in? No.

    Is it restrictive and difficult? Depending on how I look at things, it may or may not be.

    While not being able to eat whatever I want every day might from one perspective seem unfair, restrictive and impossible to live with. However, from another perspective, though eating whatever I want every day seems like freedom, it actually imprisons me. It sentences me to life in a body that I am unhappy with and, if I continue eating whatever I want, to a body that will become fatter and more out of shape as time goes by. Eating whatever I want creates a cycle of never feeling satisfied and always wanting more food, even when I’m not hungry and even when I feel overweight and terribly unhappy with my body. And eating whatever I want ultimately is its own trap because it usually means eating junk food, not healthy food.

    Because I am prepared to change my way of thinking about myself and food completely. I will be mindful of the things I tell myself about 1) my body 2) what I am capable of achieving, 3) the purpose of food in my life and 4) the importance of meeting my exercise goals every single day. Through disciplined and daily use of tools such as affirmations, meditations and positive visualization I will re-program myself to send new messages to my subconscious that will replace the old negative messages.

  • Meenal

    I was never “that” fat :-).. When I was 25, I was 57 kgs being 5’1. Over 9 years, I just gained and became monstrous 82 kgs.. Last August, I joined a kickboxing class and I sustained 2 sessions..Just after 2 sessions, I ended up having real bad mid-cycle bleeding and I was horribly scared…I realized that I have messed up big time with my body and my fitness was way below zero. This shook me inside out and I was wondering what was keeping me away from thinking about being fit.Sheer laziness and availability of plus size clothes, till I had to shop T-shirts from men’s section and it almost made me cry.Now, I gym everyday and train hard..I have dropped 12 kgs but of course I am way beyond being 55 or 56..However, I am determined to reach there…

  • Rob L

    I’ve been watching my weight all my life. I was a fat kid from parents
    who believed food was the saviour for bad family life. I lost alot of weight as result of orthodontic surgery when I was 16. I have kept the weight off for most of my years, but developement of a good body has not
    been in the cards. I started the gym 2.5 yrs ago, with vigor, but as I have aged, I’m 51 now, my body does not keep up with my brain. I have one main vice, that I know is the cause for most of my problems, smoking. I have tried quitting several times, gained weight, and started again. I do want to quit, get healthier, and not eat out every fridge and food store I see.
    I feel young, think young, but am finding that the body doesnt want to cooperate.
    I also sometimes think, self image, or lack of, is a culprite, I look in the mirror at myself, but make sure I cover up with others around. Im not gross, but wish I could look, and feel better. Im not lazy, Im somewhat of a workaholic, but with age, I find myself slowing down.
    I’ve done supplements, and quicky pills, and spent some, not alot of money at GNC, but agree, that most of that stuff is crap and filler.
    As I said before, I have a long running gym membership, and enjoy it, but need to get through this “age thing” and quit smoking, an perhaps realize who I could be.

  • Waqar Ahmad

    Hi Tom,

    I am really impressed by your training program and i want to be a part of your contest. The answer of your question is “i want to transform my body but i get confused by different suggestions from my friends,books,websites,fitness trainer etc.Somebody says you should eat more to get muscles, somebody says you should start dieting to get six packs…i am confused!!! As i am an Indian and we have different food habits and busy work schedule, so i am looking for a perfect plan which can transform my body in 3 months without any weakness or injury..

  • L

    book should be be in hardcopy form…

  • Heidi H

    I exercise regularly – weights, cardio, stretching. I eat right most of the time. I won’t blame other things or people. Yeah, I’m 50, female, have a full-time job plus spend another couple of hours a week on a contract job, have a 3+ hour commute 4 days a week, 2 teenagers and a husband, no thyroid so I have to take a thyroid replacement hormone, am probably menopausal, blah, blah, blah. What’s holding me back is my head. I have never thought that the mental side was as important as it is. I don’t have negative self-talk, I gave that up a long time ago. I just am not spending the time visualizing, talking to my body, staying in tune with my body and mind. So, starting now, I will plan out my mental/spiritual time and activities, just like I do with my meal planning and weight training. I will take advantage of all that commute time, my first thing in the morning and last thing at night thoughts and visualization. I will explore any subconscious thoughts and beliefs that may be lurking and holding me back. I work hard at this, I deserve to succeed!

  • Deanne

    What is stopping me? That is a great question, and I seriously ask myself that everyday! 

    Me! I am physically whole. I have never suffered any debilitating injury or ailment, I am perfectly healthly. My mind however has been poison to my success. Fear has been my crutch. I seem to be overwhelmed by hatred for my lack of motivation which keeps me in a cycle that drives nothing but frustration. Self esteem plays a major role, self doubt as well. I know I have the capablitlity and ability to acomplish the goals I so despratly want for myself, however I continually sabotage myself from putting 100% of my effort in for a simple fear of failure. What if I do everything, and try as hard as I can, and I still am not there? What if it’s still not enough? What if I fall back? It’s almost like I may have the strength to get there, but what happens when I’m there? Will I have the strength to stay there?  I wish I knew the remedy for this continous cycle of self destruction. I feel like I am on the verge of a breakthrough. I’m on the edge of moving forward and reaching my potential and never looking back….What will motivate me? What will catapult me forward? How do I overcome the fear? What will give me the fire and passion to stick to this road ahead? I have found the lies that have stopped me, but now, how do I overcome them? Funny thing is… I know they are all lies that I have chosen to believe… I’m ready to move on from them, I’m ready to start a new way of thinking!

  • Micki Wells

    After thinking seriously about this question, I realized
    that the reason that I have not succeeded in the past is because I was afraid
    that even if I succeeded that nothing would change in my life.  So if I
    didn’t try, then there is still was the hope that something could change
    in my life. (isn’t it amazing what you can attempt to justify in your

    I have decided that I will succeed this summer because even
    if nothing changes in my life, I will have changed for the better. I have made
    the decision that I need to do this for me, not for what it might change in my
    life, personal, professional or otherwise.  I have to put myself first
    without worrying about how I think it might change my relationships because
    when I am the best I can be, then my life, personal, professional and otherwise
    will be the best it can be and that is what I need to happen.

  • randall

    I read the blog posts so far, much of which I can relate too. For myself, I have such a vast array of interests that consume time and energy including working two jobs. What I’ve realized since the last time I got excited with BTFFTM joining the challenge, old habits die hard. Secondly, my closest friends have some of the same bad habits that lead to unsuccessful results. Sad but true, I’ve limited my extra time to them and purchased weight equipment for home use. My eating has improved and my commitment to weight training has too. All postive stuff for each days challenge!


    • randall

      I had to chuckle at my issue with time as i sit on the PC reading the posts on this blog…… I should have said “the Interent” “facebook” “google” lol

  • Avin Molden

    Up until now I have lacked the motivation, I never gave it my ALL. I expected something for nothing. I have always been over weight so I just accepted it. I listened to people around me telling me “it’s just how my body looks and to just love what you got”. Well what I “got” it potential, what I “got” is goals that leave a pile a flab in it’s wake.

  • Stephanie Lowthorp

    Inconsistent training and calorie counting and/or just falling of my own wagon for a while…. My body has a set point, not a bad one by all means, but a point where it lingers or returns to when I fall off the calorie watch and strict exercise schedule. While it is not an unhealthy set point, it is not the athletic and lean and uber-healthy point I want to maintain. The bump in the road I guess is self-sabotage created, ultimately, by belief in lies (“oh, this little extra won’t hurt; I can afford to skip this day; I just really need some beer and chocolate and while we’re at it some french lathered in ketchup”) and losing touch with the actual truth about how much food I am consuming. I maintain regular exercise and health-conscious eating habits, MOSTLY, but ALWAYS is REALLY what it takes. Even maintenance requires a watchful and honest eye! I also don’t push my strength training hard enough at times. I would truly enjoy a serious training partner.
    Another serious problem I have is giving up before the magic starts to happen. I get disillusioned pretty quickly when I don’t see the results I want. I am 32 years young and have a chronic case of “lack-o-patience-itis” 😉 I’m going to plaster my walls with affirmative phrases and motivational pictures!

  • I always do well for a while and then run out of steam and have a hard time picking it back up again. I guess I blame it on being lazy, letting myself get bored, not having the focus to keep work deadlines under control, and sometimes getting depressed. But if I’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s that all of those things are a frame of mind, and they’re all under my control. (Even mild depression, since it’s not clinical in my case.)

    The dumb thing is that when I’m doing everything well, it feels so easy.

  • rosa

    I feel what is holding me back is my lack of discipline in my eating habits. I workout 5 times a week (weights then 25 min cardio) on non weight days I do cardio for 45-60 min. I take 2 rest days even if I feel like I shouldn’t. I have been lifing weights on and off for over 15yrs. I don’t see results so I stop going to gym for a few months at a time. Then I start all over again. I get discouraged.

    I have made some changes in the past few months. No candy at all. I limit the sweets but I still have them. I want to make the right changes once and for all to see the results I am after.

  • Anna

    What’s been stopping me in the past and why it will never stop me again ?

    After giving third birth, I find mysel in situation that have 25 kg extra. I droped it down duing last summer chanlenge , but mostly because of my willpower. After that I started subbotaging myself. I wanted to eat some specific food, more and more. I spent a lot of time in the gym, so I succed to maintain my weight, but I always subbotaging myself. This is the main reason why I can’t get myself to the next level. As for now I’m working on installing new habbits in my subcouncious mind and I already succed to illiminate several cravings.

  • Mindy

    I’ve been thinking about this question for the last 2 years!! What holds me back? Really, it’s me. Why? Fear?

    – It’s not the answer, but the journey to finding the truth that’s more important.

    I think the answer used to be loneliness – I always separate myself from the pack and then have to back up because there’s been no one there to share or to compete or push or to support. But now I’ve found a pack that runs with me, that let’s me lead, that pulls me forward when I fall behind.

    So now that I know that, the real question I have to ask myself is: What happens when I succeed? I’d rather find out by succeeding rather than speculate and getting caught up in the guess-work which would likely lead to fear and self-doubt.

    I have my daily, weekly, monthly, halfway point, and completion goals written out and taped everywhere. Supports are in place.

    Here I go –

  • Lynette

    I have been on a program of body transformation for a little over a year, and have not been able to build muscle despite my best efforts. So what is holding me back is a mystery at this point, which makes it so much harder to get past. I believe that I am pretty nearly 99% compliant with an excellent program of appropriate exercise and diet, and have had some really skillful health care to determine what might be out of balance in my body, but so far, we haven’t cracked the code about how to build muscle. I have only very recently been able to burn a bit of fat, but have lost some muscle along with it, which is a concern for this 115 pound skinny-fat hard gainer.

    • randall

      Can’t help think that your situation would be harder seeing you are so light weight. One of my friends started doing less reps and really pushing total weight which helped him. Naturally, hyperactive, it was tough for him, but he did see some results. Good luck!!! FTW

    • Linda Miller

      I see you have been on a program of body transformation but is it the BFFM Program? I like to lift weights and have been successful in putting on muscle when I want to but I also lift weight heavy enough to really work the muscle so that it will grow. In one of Tom’s latest emails he talks about rep ranges, weight and muscle growth. It’s probably a good idea to print it out and take it with you to the gym. That’s what I am going to do. Also, his last email talks about pre/post workout nutrition. That’s also one I am going to print out for myself. I wish you all the best and hope you gain lots of weight (muscle weight that is!) Take care and God Bless!

      • randall

        Linda, yes it was the bffm program, thanks for the tip. Good luck and God bless!!! FTW

  • My limiting belief started as a child that was molested and raped from 4-9 by a family member and male babysitter..then as i developed very young and was very atheletic i had a knock out body with huge breasts and the men wouldn’t leave me alone ..i couldn’t even go babysitting without worrying they would try to touch me driving me home after. So i decided to make myself fat then men wouldn’t want to touch me..that really didn’t work so well because most men didn’t care they only saw my over the years when i was happy i would excercise and loose weight then as soon as something went wrong i would start eating till i was bigger than when i started my diet. Then my mother and sister lost alot of weight and there skin hung so badly on there arms,legs and stomach it was scary as this is my biggest fear to loose weight but hate my body due to my skin streching so badly. I am 51 yrs old and 240lbs and know i have to loose weight for my health..but how do i overcome this fear..

    • Linda Miller

      Dear Susan,

      I am so sorry to hear what happened to you! Have you had counseling for it? So often with this type of tragedy, one can blame herself for the wrong done. I hope you know that you did nothing wrong and that you were a victim. But now you can live your life as though you are a commander. You get to decide what happens to you! If people (especially men) chose to disrespect you, you have the right and the duty to rebuke them and know that you are a child of God and no one has the right to treat you as anything less — no matter what weight you are. Sometimes we women need to understand that how we feel about ourselves at a higher weight won’t necessarily change when we are at a lower weight. It’s about what we believe about ourselves inside that emits the respect we deserve. The good thing about these challenges is that they really make you do some serious self analyzing and can produce some powerful introspection that you normally otherwise wouldn’t do. In other words, they make you look at yourself, at what makes you tick and help you figure out why you do what you do. As far as your fear of sagging skin, every one of us who have been moderately to severely obese have had to deal with this issue somewhere on our bodies but that shouldn’t be the deterrent that keeps you from becoming healthy and strong. The great thing about this program is you learn to put on muscle too! That I like because whatever sagging skin I do have left can at least partially be filled in with muscle. Who knows, you might just find your inner bodybuilder!!! I will be praying for your Susan and I do hope you decide to take this journey towards a more healthy, strong and secure you!!!! May God bless you!!!!

      • thankyou Linda and yes i did go to counseling for yrs and i have overcome a big part of this problem ..but it can be a daily battle ..and god bless you to 😉

  • Dee

    Negative thinking. I guess I’m scared to lose the weight and then gain it all back again, plus more. I’ve done this more than once in my life and I’m scared of this roller coaster. At the moment my weight has been stable for the last 4 yrs,but I am overweight. I work out moderately at the moment. It seems that every time I train really hard and loose weight, it lowers my metabolism. So when I don’t train as hard after the weight loss then the weight slowly creeps on again,which is very depressing. I eat fairly well and just recently decided to go Paleo. So that is my dilemma. I want this time to be the last time I lose weight and keep it off

  • Suzette Felthoven

    I’d say that my biggest limiting belief has been that my weight/body composition defines who I am. If my weight is up, I’m a bad person. If I’m fat, I’m not a lovable person. If I gain or regain weight, I have failed.

    I now know that this is NOT true! My body is a direct reflection of the choices that I make with respect to nutrition/exercise/sleep. I have the power because I have complete control over what I eat and how much I move; “failure” has been reframed to “feedback”.

    WooHoo! Looking forward to the 98-day burn!!

  • Fay Sedgewick

    I would have to say that laziness, self doubt and thinking I can get away with eating/drinking anything I want has been keeping me from accomplishing my fitness goals. It is so easy to make excuses and delay taking control. When I was 50 years old I trained diligently for 6 months and was in amazing shape. I entered a novice bodybuilding competition and did quite well. I remember how great I felt and wonder how the heck I could have moved from where I was to where I am 8 years later. Laziness and thinking that gaining weight won’t happen to me has proven to be quite dangerous and self destructive ways of thinking AND behaving.
    I don’t care how old I am I am going to take control over my body composition! I am committed and I am going to work very hard and be true to a program so that I can succeed. As I have read and now quote from Tom “Failure Is Not An Option”.

  • Linda E.

    What has stopped me? Procrastination, pure and simple. Always talking about it, but never putting my words into action or actually writing down a plan. It’s like trying to get somewhere without a map or a clue of how to arrive at your destination. I never had much of a weight problem until I was in my late 30s, and then I started gaining weight very gradually — only about 6 pounds per year — and I was in denial the entire time. Now, 12 years later, I’m 72-75 pounds heavier!
    Procrastination will not stop me again because I now have the tools that I need with the BFFM book (very detailed as to what needs to be done) as well as the Inner Circle support. I have never entered a contest before, and that alone will give me the motivation that I need because I want to have an awesome “after” picture! Do you have any idea how many “before” pictures I’ve taken? I know this won’t be easy, but I have absolutely no doubt that I can do it this time. 🙂

  • Margaret ME

    What has held me back? Never feeling like I had time

    What is different now? I am retiring, and have NO More excuses for not making time

    Why will I never let this go? I am 55, and want to live my golden years strong, fit and healthy.

  • Michelle

    I’ve been so afraid of my life changing, because I think it can only get worse from here, not better. I’ve been through so much physically and mentally in the last 10 years, and now I’m married to someone wonderful and supportive and have a great support group of family and friends around me. What could be better? I really can’t imagine it. People are already telling me I don’t need to lose more weight, even though I tell them I have 30 or more lbs. of fat to burn. I’m afraid to change because I don’t like people judging me, even if it’s positive or negative. I just don’t like the extra attention. This goes back to my childhood – I always thought I was fat. My mom had weight issues and a gastric bypass and I think that caused me to have body image issues at a very young age. I suppose I still have those issues. But it is nonsense! What I want is to feel amazing and not be self-conscious in a bathing suit. I want to be in amazing shape and have THAT become the norm. I don’t think I’ll be judged much if being in shape becomes the norm! It will just be who I am. Healthy, strong, and amazing. And no matter the circumstances, I’ll have great mental and physical health to better manage everything in life.

  • Barbara Manley

    My very first thought after reading that question was: Fear of Failure. I lack clarity,here. I have been working out consistently for at least 30 years! I have come close to feeling success..but I now think: I am 60 is this still possible? It’s that stubborn “can’t quite get there” mind-set!

    • Ema

      I beleived that it was geneticaly impossible for me be thin. After growing up fat, and my mother always telling me that I would never be thin, that thought stuck with me. Even though I was active, playing sports, hiking, mountain biking, I was never thin. When you hear something often enough its easier to just give in.

      I know better now. After reading BFFM and many of the blogs in the Inner Circle, I realize that I’m not alone. I realize it won’t be easy to achieve this goal, but now that I truly beleve I can change the way I look and feel, I’m ready to stop making excuses right now.

  • Daria F.

    What has always been stopping me is my mind. I’ve had a lot of family problems and personal ones so in the end I saw food as the only outlet. Just imagine how pathetic it is when you consider food as the best thing in your life and it’s just so difficult to give up the one thing that you THINK is making you feel better. Then after eating only because I didn’t know what else to do, I felt even worse. The worse I felt, the more I ate. I was getting more and more depressed because of my physical appearance and as a result, guess what, I ate.
    The first thing on everyone’s mind when they see me is “a fat girl” – that’s what I thought. I’ve never judged other people that way but from my point of view, that was all anyone could see in me: a fat girl and nothing more. It’s been such an obstacle for me in every way, especially when it came to social life. I didn’t want to go out of my house except when absolutely necessary. Day after day I grew more depressed and nothing held much meaning anymore. No one wanted to take the situation I was in seriously, no one understood how bad I felt. And again, I ate.
    It was such a vicious circle I couldn’t get out of.

    However, after finding out about BFFM I’ve started to feel better. Reading burnthefat blog is giving me so much hope (thank you, Tom); that feeling is so hard to explain. I’m finally seeing everything from a different perspective. I’ll do all it takes to get myself in shape and lead a healthier lifestyle. I believe I’m here for something more than just wasting my whole life sitting in my room. I want to be in control of my life (and eating as a matter of fact) again and, for a change, I feel like I’m really able to do it.

  • Rosine S

    What is holding me back from attaining a better physique and why it doesn’t need to…..

    Sugar – It’s tasty, but really isn’t helpful at all in building a better body. I can use other healthier modes of relaxation and ‘me time’ than eating sugary/fatty foods.

    Level of satisfaction – I’m basically good. Like my body. Just a little bit of fluff hanging on, but it’s because mentally I wasn’t ready to let that go. I need to be okay with a higher level of excellence and really see myself in a new light to have real/ life changing improvements, and my physical composition is only one piece in the quest for excellence. I can pull myself out of a mental/emotional and therefore physical complacency. Just need to get my mind around the essential attitude and gratitude shift. Constant striving is key to attaining progression. I’m coming to understand ‘endurance’ isn’t only for marathoners….. and it takes constant positive action – not merely hanging on for the ride of life.

    Family and husband – can be a handy excuse why I should kick my feet up and not try harder. If those around me don’t want to make the same improvements and have the exact same goals and standards – that’s gotta be okay. I can be a good example. I am still the one who is making something out of MY life, not them and I’m responsible for how I turn out. Responsibility – well, I guess I’m an adult now. I can start acting like one and step up to the plate. AND I can have a good attitude about it.

  • Vanessa

    I’m familiar with limitations, roadblocks, physical shortcomings, etc. Whatever you want to call them, I’ve had my share…degenerative joint disease, thoracic outlet syndrome which caused a major blood clot, rib removal surgery, shoulder surgery, and a major back strain–and all of this in the past two years.

    During that time I’ve entered three on-line body transformation challenges…the last two were Tom Venuto’s BTF challenges. I’ve finished in the top 10 female category and most inspirational category. My point is, that unless you are living a charmed life, there will always be challenges to overcome…whether they are mental, physical, or hectic schedules.

    I believe overcoming our challenges and personal demons is a lifelong process. It’s what makes us better, stronger and more confident in the long run. Personally, my physical issues are a constant challenge; but I look forward to these contests. This is when I re-group, re-access, and get back on track.

    At the moment, I’m going through some nasty withdrawal symptoms from going cold turkey off my prescribed hot flash meds (venlafaxine). Sorry guys…I know most of you cringe when you hear the words “hot flash”, but for some of us tortured souls let me just say ‘they really suck’. It’s like burning up from the inside out–like you might spontaneously combust at any minute. Sometimes I think my husband might come home to find a pile of ashes in my computer chair. lol.

    I could kick myself for not doing more research on this drug BEFORE I started taking it a year ago, but I was desperate and hormone replacement therapy was out of the question with my blood clot episode. So I buried my head in the sand, took the pills with relief from hot flashes for about a year.

    Then my doctor or insurance company denied my prescription and now I’m dealing with almost constant hot flashes and really nasty withdrawal symptoms that might last for months according to on-line sources. Okay, so lesson learned!

    Now it’s time to jump in to the summer challenge and give it all I’ve got. I may feel like crap every day right now, but working out and eating healthier can only help my situation. Time to stare down the demons and take control once again.

  • Kathleen Heinsberg

    My first response would be not enough time in the day. As a mother of two, wife and a full time career and a 3 hour commute each day. It is a challenge to not only find the time, but the energy to workout and prepare healthy meals.

    However, if I was truly being honest it would be lack of preparing myself for success and fear of changing what has become comfortable. Even though I desperately want to finally get rid of the weight, to be free from all of the negatives that go along with being overweight (dying of the heat in the summer, wearing covering clothes so no one sees how fat I truly am, the energy it takes to manage this body at the pace of my life, having to hoardf a specific style of clothing that looks decent because I am so limited in what I can wear, not being comfortable enough to try new activities for fear of showing anyone how weak I have become, not wnating to get on any rides at amusement parks just in case I might not fit and I could go on and on (i do fit, but the fear is there) etc.)

    Here are some other things that keep me stuck: the fear of carbohydrates! Everytime I make carbs an ok food group my weight goes up; Being so overwhelmed by what the latest research says I should be eating and doing; constantly looking for the cure to this issue and not finding it and then being so frustrated that it immobilizes me; I am so frustrated that I wish someone would just provide me with a specific program just for me. I don’t care about customizing, that can come later. Just tell me what to do, when to do it and oh yeah…I don’t want to be starving to get there!!!!

    Sorry for the rant… 🙂

  • Conrad Kriger

    At age 43 and now 270lbs, I have often pondered what is stopping me from having a body that makes me happy and feel great? I couldn’t seem to find a single, main reason. Overall, I’m healthy (no serious injuries), lack of motivation, lack of true desire, too busy, enjoy sweets, enjoy food in general (not strict with my diet); maybe I just never visualized my goal….and so on, but lately my weight/body definition has been getting to me; aches and pains, lack of energy and can’t do the things I used to…. NOW IT’s TIME TOO WAKE UP!

    Conrad K.

  • Ashley

    I limit myself by believing all the negative things that have been said to me. Your fat. Your ugly. Your a piece of sh*t. Who would want you. I have been in numerous abusive relaionships usually one after another. I’m still dealing with the emotional damage. My fiancé doesn’t understand why I say these things about myself, but I honestly believe them. I see no point in doing anything for myself.
    I try working out but things get in the way. Like work and weather and money.
    So I guess I’m more than a little limited.

  • Alexis

    My limited belief is I don’t care what I look like cus that takes effort and I am mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. I have no interest in myself and no desire to work hard on something that is not absolutely necessity. I have no drive when it comes to me. All my efforts go to taking care of my aged mother and managing her household while dealing with my own health issues.
    But about a year ago, I saw myself on a shuttle bus in Las Vegas. She was sitting at the front of the bus with her aged mother. She was tried looking, hunched over, overweight, poorly dressed with mannish shoes, gray hair cut extra short for convenience… basically, all her attention went to her mother. She abandoned everything unnecessary. Her femininity, her health, her self-expression. I was her. Exactly the same. And it scared the hell out of me.
    My mother will eventually die and I’ll still be this haggard, exhausted shell of a person if I don’t make an effort to change.

  • Amy G.

    I’ve been a prisoner of my own thoughts.

    I’ve limited my thinking to believe that I don’t have the time. Upon further consideration, I don’t have to stay up late and watch TV or movies from 8 ‘til 11. I don’t have to make family time about getting together to watch our favorite show, or to play a video game with the kids. I can be active with my children and show them the pleasures of life outside of the tube. And I mean OUTSIDE of the house, where the real world is. Life will go on if I don’t watch the next two-hour Biggest Loser show, living vicariously through the contestants. I will turn in early and get up earlier and definitely have the time to dedicate to my life and my body. I will never again allow someone else’s fictitious life get in the way of my own!

    I’ve limited my thinking to believe that there’s no way my body can look like THAT. THOSE people had the spare time – they must be housewives and/or could afford personal training sessions. My entire family is overweight and that’s my genetic disposition! Right?! Wrong. It hadn’t occurred to me that we’ve all been eating the same junk food and living the same inactive lifestyle. That our mutual lifestyles and poor nutrition contributed to our innate ability to store fat just as all other human beings are genetically disposed to do. I will never allow myself to believe that I’m genetically inferior when I know my body is capable of giving life and nurture to my beautiful children, of healing after catastrophe after calamitous injuries – it is an amazing machine! I will never again believe that it is impossible to be something I’ve never tried to be.

    I’ve limited my thinking into believing that I can’t live without my favorite foods. Per the above, I’ve discovered that these foods are bringing me down. Something I’ve temporarily enjoyed is coming at a great price. I CAN live without my favorite foods because I will not allow myself to favor something that is destroying my body. I will be an expert at nutrition and shop at the grocery stores with the confidence of a tiger. I will treat my body as the temple it is. I will nurture it and cherish it and, in turn, it will cherish me. How will I know? Because everyone, including myself, will be able to SEE IT!

    I will never again be a prisoner of my own limited thinking. I am liberated, I am strong, I am in charge of what I do and how I spend my time. I am a CHAMPION.

  • Lucile

    Because I was afraid when I saw my image in the mirror after 2 pregnancies……. I was afraid, because of the work I would have to do to get back in shape. I know how hard it is to get back in shape and all the work……. I have to do….. No it’s better, but since I realize that the only thing would stopping me is how people look at me, and since I admit that and after a long work I can think…… I don’t care about what they think, I’m right, and I want to be in the best shape of my life with defined abs, defined quads a good pairs of arms and shoulder ripper…… because even if I’m a woman, I’m a very athletic woman, (I do sport since I have 5 years old -and I’m 44 years old now) and now I’m ready to assume that !! Yes I’m an athletic woman, I like the fact to have muscle around my bones and not to be a skinny fat woman. I’m healthy, and I know that I can be a role model for people around me.
    So ready for the big change of my life !!!

  • Claire .S

    In the past, I was bullied for 10 years during school, by only the boys . Not because I was fat ( though I was , from the age of 3 onwards )I was bullied because I liked horses and horseriding ( I’m still trying to figure out why this warrants bullying anyone )
    This caused my self esteem to dissapear entirely. I simply went home every day and ate. My mother has always cooked large tasty meals, and I ate them including seconds. But they were ad always have been high calorie meals, and my portions were too large.
    I can’t lay all the blame on my mother, as I didn’t have to eat all of that food. As I entered my teens, I got larger and had to give up horseriding as I was too heavy for their horses and they had a weight limit. So then I got bullied for my size and acne.
    I have always felt worthless because of my size. No man wanted me, I had never had even a single date until I met my current boyfriend when I was 27 ( I am now 28 ) The only reason I have a boyfriend at all, is because I recently managed to lose 50 lbs by myself over the last 18 months
    I am proud of that, but I am having a great deal of trouble losing my abdominal fat, and fat around my armpits, back, and inner thighs. I walk a great deal, 5 miles home from work, I do 30 mins cardio in the gym, and 30 mins of various weights as best I am able.
    I have bought the BFFM E-book, but due to a severe problem with maths, I am finding it extremely hard to follow. I also cannot afford calipers to measure my remaining bodyfat, but I can tell you that I can definitely pinch arpound 2.5 inches from around my hip bone.
    I have gained muscle, and I am fine with that, but the fat sitting on top is seriously getting me down, as I am working so hard and really trying to follow the food plan as best I can. But the thought of doing all this hard work and knowing I am getting nowhere is killing me.
    I want to stop these thoughts, and gain control and understanding of the plan, in order to do my best to gain the figure I want. I have wasted my childhood, teens and most of my 20’s hating what I see in the mirror, and I want to stop that.

  • I used to be thin years ago, and after having long working hours, and back and neck injuries, aging, and other surgeries that I felt contributed to my gaining so much weight. I would look at my photos and think, “what happened to me? I used to be thin and now I am overweight!” I couldn’t see how I could get back to being thin again. I was not able to work out like I did when I was younger and after my last injury. I believed exercise after injures were a think of the past. Also I love to cook and enjoy my cooking and love to experiment with different dishes. We love to entertain, so cooking and baking is always involved. When I hurt with a flare up, I eat carbohydrates to go with pain medication (not often, but on occasion). I love bread! Augh! When I hurt, it is difficult for me to motivate myself to work out. Other reasons for not exercising in the past was my crazy schedule which I don’t have anymore. I used to work 12 hour shifts and sometimes no lunch breaks! Then eating at 9 pm at night when I got home from work. My injury ended working those shifts and even working for a long while. Thus less activity and more time to snack. Yikes! I believed that the several different surgeries in the past and that less activity and age caused my metabolism to slow down to nil.

    I think the main reason for not feeling I can be successful is fear of further injury and fear of pain. But I have found that I can modify exercises and even eliminate some that can cause a flare up. There are a lot of things I can do! I can exercise and I can modify my eating if I set goals. I can work with weights even if they are not as heavy as what other people use. I have been working out with small hand weights and it doesn’t hurt me, so I don’t need to be afraid of injury. I just need to have proper body mechanics. I will not compare myself with other people (this is where I get my self in trouble)and work with what weights I am able! If other people have had neck and back injuries too and were able to be successful, then I can too!

    I plan to set my goals to lose fat and build muscle! I will schedule in my exercises and weight training! I am ready. I have had enough of limiting myself. Time to go forward!

  • Sarah

    I never totally wanted to give up the security feeling of over eating certain foods. That´s what I could do for myself. I could stop the world, my problems, even myself and just be totally in that moment of my own time, deatched from the world, munching away infront of a movie.

    I do it in different way now by forcing myself to go to work outs or fitness classes. I usually hate the first part. I am not good enough, look awful and can´t do anything. I see the 200 lbs plus girl I once was in the mirror. I just want to go home, but I push through it and eventually come out feelig alive and strong.

    I don´t need to be sedated by food or be comforted by the sence of certainty that comes over you when you just munch away, and inevitably get bigger and bigger and have an even bigger need to escape yourself and your life.

    I start over all the time. I have managed to lose quite a bit of weight and add some muscle but I have struggled for years.

    A great fitness plan that you stick to like glue and like the happiness of your entire life lies in the balance will help me more than anything else.

    Would love to have a great training partner as well. Will ask Santa next year 😉

    A simple yet powerful plan where I lower my bodyfat and gain flattering muscles, with detals of diet and specific exersize dates with yourself that goes before after work with the buddies. Lastly I must find more ways to explain to the buddies: No, even one drink mess me up right now. I am in it to win it.

    I truly believe the willingness to sacrifice is the prelude to freedom.

    I lost my job last week and am in termoil/super stressed. Must still do plan. I am going to look different in just a few weeks.

  • Rocky Miller

    My limiting belief is that I feel at 50 years old, my time to get in the best shape of my life has past. I’ve done other challenges and I like to workout, but I can’t seem to get a grip on the nutrition part of the process. I really need to lose about 10-15 pounds, and replace it with muscle, but I just can’t break that barrier. This belief of thinking that I’m too old and not smart enough to figure out how to balance my nutrition, has held me back. I’ve let it hold me back, far too long. I need to adjust my diet constantly, like an airplane staying on course. I need to stop believing in a false idea, and do something, anything, as long as it’s positive. I will overcome this belief, not try, I will. I’ll try is no longer in my vocabulary, I will has replaced it. Thank you Tom, for this opportunity and the knowledge that is tried and true that you have wrote for myself and others. I will!!!

  • Bryn K

    Pure and utter laziness. Nothing more, nothing less. I do not have a good enough excuse. I have the perfect “situation” to be in absolute phenomenal shape! Even though I have two children (ages 2 1/2 and 1), that has nothing to do with why I haven’t reached my fitness and wellness goals. Both my husband and I work from home, we have my parents to watch our children at any time necessary, our business is not that busy (yet), etc. So, the way I see it, I am just too lazy…or should I say, I WAS too lazy.
    Now, I am determined, focused and driven. I have a clear, precise picture of what my body will look like and feel like within the next 101 days. With my new body and mind set, why would I want to go back to being a lazy slob?
    “Committed to success”
    “Committed to excellence”
    Bryn K.

  • Karen

    I could give you a whole bunch of reasons of why I can’t get into my best shape ever. I can even tell you I have no self confidence,that I do not believe in myself,and that I’m not worthy of any greatness all which in my mind are true. There is only ONE reason… me! I hold myself back. Only ME!

  • David Cheney

    I really love to eat, and I have a hard time seeing things to to waste. I will clean up what ever food is left by my kids and make sure that I don’t waste any of it. I also get lazy when I don’t see results right away, so I will just give up for a while. That creates the rolecoaster that I have been on for the last couple of years. I also don’t like trying to figure out calories for all of the food that I make for my family, because many of the recepies are made up without exact ingrediants.

    I have spent the last couple of months limiting the amount that I eat, even though it is not counting calories, and exercising more consistantly. I think that I have found a way to eat what I love and just be ok with eating one helping of the food that tastes so good at dinner. The exercise is harder to be consistant when I am on vacation or there is bad weather, but I am taking time to work on some of that even if it is just walking or doing some simple exercise each day, so I don’t have to start over. That has worked well for me the last couple of months, and I have made some signicant improvement.

  • Alexandra D.

    I came to live in Puebla, Mexico 15 years ago. I’ve just got my bachelor degree in Russia. That was me: recently graduated in physics, ex – captain of the faculty volleyball team and good looking girl, heading to the country where summer is all year around. And everything was perfect… except one little thing, I happened to be one of the few persons severely affected by the high, 2000 meters above the sea level impacted me tremendously. First weak after I arrived, I had troubles just to walk on the streets, getting dizzy (more when driving). I get adapted a little, but even though, for the first and second years, when I tried to do exercise (volleyball, steps, aerobics, even tae-kwon-do) I couldn’t do it, ending up throwing up at the end of the sessions. And then I stop trying. For the past 15 year I gained 40 kgs, slight depression and lost all my self-esteem.
    From time to time I was searching for the way to overcome my situations, but now when I watch back, I realize, that I didn’t have enough determination… and I needed someone to encourage me, to tell me “don’t give up”, “you can do it”, “I believe in you”… it is so hard to do it on your own. Due to the language barrier I haven’t find any friends here and lost contact with my old buddies in Russia.
    I found Tom Venuto’s site – and sign up for his free newsletter… The information I started to get was sometimes revealing and sometimes shocking. I realize that I don’t need to do intensive cardio (which is making me seek) to lose fat. Surprisingly, it’s enough with moderate cardio and a weight training, plus correct nutrition… I don’t have to be like that anymore, I really do can change… And I will… Of course some friendly push and “go team” can be helpful, so I decided to get in touch with my friend from the high school and she agreed to help me with my motivation. To my surprise, she just started a summer challenge for three month, in some Russian program on the internet, they started May 15, (I contacted her May 16, though it was late for me to enter there). But I still have a chance to enter here ( if I’ll be lucky in this blog contest and if Mexican residents can participate in The Summer 2011 Burn The Fat Challenge Body Transformation Contest). I want to thank Tom Venuto (thank you very-very much for your wonderful posts, which are eye opening and motivating).

  • Bob

    Dysfunctional goal setting has been keeping me from a permanent lifestyle change. I set out with a goal to get into shape, maybe join a contest, or have an event I want to look good for. I have never had the mindset that the goal is just one step of many to a healthy lifestyle. The goal has always been something to get to, or get through, and then I take a break from the workouts and the diet and end up back where I started. Life is a series of steps that can change directions unexpectedly. We all make choices at each step as to which direction to go based on where we are at that time. I have made the choice to revert back to the comfort zone of the past to the detriment of my health. I know I can do it because I have in the past, and realizing that it is my choice, and only my choice, I will choose to take a different path at the end of this contest than I have in the past. Time slips by very quickly, and the things we wish to achieve need to be worked on now. I promised myself I’d be in shape and stay that way by my 40th birthday. That was 10 years ago. I don’t want to regret not doing something I know I’m capable of. The time is now. Life is too short.

  • george ruth

    What was stopping me from having the body I always wanted?
    For me, it was sheer stubbornness, ego and a lack of education on my part.

    The ego part. At 64, I thought I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. Loosing 8 to 10 pounds was never a real big challenge …UNTIL NOW. When I saw the Christmas videos of me on the floor, playing with my grand kids, I realized I was truly fat and that BIG crack hanging out of my pants only confirmed it. I finally admitted to myself… I was OBESE and had to become serious about losing 40-45 pounds.

    For the stubborn part. I thought I knew how to loose this fat. Exercise and eat less combined with a diet program that worked for me in the past. Four years ago, I needed to loose about 20 pounds for a vacation. The low carb “A” diet was my choice. I bought the book and became a solid convert. The diet worked, I lost 15 of the 20 pounds for the trip. I could eat all the fat foods I liked and did not have to exercise very much at all! It was sooo easy!

    After the trip, I slowly began gaining the weight back. I stubbornly stuck to the diet plan, keeping carbs below 25 grams/day as much as possible. I was a NO CARB junky. This year, it stopped working all together!

    This led me to Plan B… aerobic exercises 3 X’s per week on my trusty treadclimber. For added insurance, I ate very few carbs and reduced my calories below a 1,000 per day. Only lost about 8 pounds after a month. My solution— increase workouts to 4-6 days per week, and increase time from 45 minutes per session to 1.5 to 2 HOURS per workout. Man, did I ach!!! After 3 months, my stubborn perseverance still did NOT pay off.

    Now for education. I knew I was up against a wall and what I believed would work had stopped! I spent hours on the internet trying to figure out what was wrong. I picked up tidbits of information everywhere but none told the whole story.

    Then I stumbled on Tom Venuto’s web site. Since then I read BFFM twice! It is absolutely incredible. Best of all, it told me HOW TO DO IT!!!

    I will NOT go back to my old, bad habits and incorrect beliefs because I now have the BFFM book! I intend to maintain a healthy body maintenance course from here on out.

    With the BFFM education, I realized why the weight loss methods I thought were correct led to failure. I now realize my body type and my age will require a level of exercise maintenance for the rest of my life. BFFM gives me methods to monitor and calculate exactly what is required. I am willing to put the work into this and am resolved to maintain a healthy body from now on.


  • G-na

    My limiting belief is that I am not worth it. I have been abandoned by every significant person in my life and it has left me distrustful of long term friendships/relationships and feeling unworthy of love or success.

    Also, when I was at a normal weight, I was immoral and am afraid I would return to that lifestyle.

    I also worked with a trainer when I was exercising and lost a bunch of weight before. My limiting belief is that I can’t do it without a trainer. When I was working with a trainer, I was doing it for the trainer also, not myself. So when I stopped being able to afford a trainer, I gained ALL 80# back. Now it seems too steep of a hill to climb as I know how hard I worked to lose that 80#, At the same time, I love working out and the feeling of leaving it all in the gym. so my mind is NOT my friend as you can see.

  • I’m just a few days away from age 80. I bouught your hard cover BURN FAT BUILD MUSCLE, which I keep on my nightstand along with printouts of many of your special articles from the website. I now eat the healthy foods you list, (keeping a careful log using the excellent program) exercise regularly at a fitness center, including many exercise in your book. My weight has gone from 225+ to 169 and my body fat percentage is 14.5%. (That’s in the excellent range for a 30 -39 year old.) No one out there even comes close to the great advice on nuitrition and exercise you give. Thanks – many thanks Tom!

  • Maria M

    In my past, I would not exercise boundaries with food, time, and my own feelings and thoughts. I have walked the road of self-deception and self-justification. I reaped what I sowed.

    My unfit body is not the fault of someone else and that blame-game is hard to give up. My excuses served as the reason for me to be lukewarm.

    I accept responsibility for what I have been given in this life. I choose what my actions say I believe.

    Now, what do I believe? That is the question.

    I believe I was created to love God with all my heart, mind, and strength and to love others as myself. Therein lies the battle.

    I thank God I have a friend in Jesus.

  • What has kept me from the body I want has been the overpowering desire for food. What is different now is I have a more powerful desire for the success in my volunteer work as a Back Country Ranger and the long gruling hikes can only be accomplished by loosing weight or more percisely “loosing fat”.


  • Melissa

    The biggest thing holding me back from building the body of my dreams is fear. Fear of failure, fear of hard work, fear of putting me first, fear of committing to something for the long term.

    I have met my fear head on and will not let it control me anymore. The biggest failure I can have is to not even try. The hard work needed to get the body of my dreams is not as hard as living a life in fear. Putting myself first now will allow me to be healthier and happier and more helpful to those around me. My final fear, the fear of committing to something for the long term, time is going to pass no matter what I am doing. If I’m working out, eating healthy and being active I will be enjoying myself instead of just passing time.

  • m.e. wagner

    Raising adopted teenagers and dealing with never-ending cross cultural issues. It is so exhausting. I have a hard time focusing on what’s best for me. Please help me!

  • Lisa M.

    What do I believe was holding me back? Excuses. I could always find an excuse for not working out on a particular day or why I was entitled to treat myself to a giant bowl of ice cream or an entire box of sugar daddies while I was at work. Turns out, incessant reading about diets and fat loss and sporadic exercise does not do anything- you actually have to work for it and quit making excuses for everything. In the past year I have maintained a 15 pound weight loss by finally finding a diet and exercise program that worked for me. The solution? Consistency and motivation. I won’t allow the excuses to keep me from achieving my goals because I now know what it feels like to me a fit, healthy, and energetic person. I plan to enter this contest not because I need to lose any more weight, but to decrease my bodyfat , to gain a few pounds of muscle, and to motivate myself to always strive for the seemingly impossible.

  • Tevita

    My limited belief is that my habit of over eating keep me fat, and inactivity, and not believing in myself, another limited belief is that I was looking for the fix way out.
    I believe that I will change my habit, and believe and see myself admiring by people on the beach and every where I go, faces will be looking. I see me surrounded and interview by people with my 6packs of pure muscle.

  • Cindy (Sydney, Australia)

    I’m not ready to give up eating sweets. I’m depressed about life. I’m lonely and only feel okay when i cook and eat. I don’t have a solid structured program to follow. i don’t belong to a gym, and i have limited equipment at home. I’m scared to give up what i currently DO do to control my weight, body composition etc. I don’t want people to dislike me and if i succeed i think they might. Ultimately I think my biggest problem is lack of self worth. Even though i believe in the right circumstances (ie mind set)i could do it, i don’t believe I’m worthy of the results. Pretty sad.

  • Deborah Reed

    In the past, I have stuck to mu nutrition and workout plan for awhile, for several months at a time even. There always comes a time when i seem to lose my way, I feel tired, worn out and just want to give up and eat everything in sight. All that changed when I read BFFM. It gave me “permission” to actually eat enough calories in a day to sustain my body instead of forcing my body to live on WAY too few calories – even as low as 500 a day for several weeks at a time. I am excited to build muscle and lose fat all at the same time!!! THIS TIME I WILL SUCCEED!!

  • Brian B.

    What has stopped me in the past……HMMMMM! Good question. I must admit it has been my lack of focus and determination and failure to see my dreams and desires come to fruition. I need to finally see an event like this come to a proper conclusion. I have started several transformation contests in the past and have never finished one of them. Not a very good track record. It seems like I began them all the same way; with such excitement, enthusiasm and energy. I eventually end them all the same; making excuses, finding a reason to give up and revert back to me old habits. This year it is going to change.

    THIS YEAR NEEDS TO BE DIFFERENT! I have been waiting for this contest for several months now and have marked this on my calendar….This is going to be the best year ever.

    I need to remain focused on the task at hand and clearly define short term and long term attainable goals. I believe this time is going to be different……I feel my age and lack of proper health maintenance taking a toll on my health and well-being. I see the signs and feel the affects of my increasing body weight (every year it seems.)
    I see others my age and older in the best shape of their lives and know that I too can do that. I just need to remain positive, focused and determined to see this transformation contest through to the end. The 2011 BFFM Transformation will be one that I finish and do well at.
    I will be a Champion !

  • Candra Kennedy

    My limiting belief is that I can never stick to anything. I start a program and do good for about three weeks, this it’s back to the same old routine of not exercising and eating anything I want. Everytime I say I am going to start again, something else happens that makes me not stay on track. I tell myself I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money to buy all the healthy food, I have other priorities. But I know I need to put my health first, especially since I have high cholesterol. I believe myself to be lazy and think I can get away with not eating right or exercising, because I “appear” to be skinny. My biggest problem is committment. I want to be able to stick to a program and succeed. But this start and stop cycle is never ending…

  • Sandy B.

    In the past, I have never really been able to own the fact that I could reach my desired goal weight. Specifically, I have not been able to visualize my physical goals. I have reached many other goals in my life, as it related to work and education, but I have somehow struggled with weight my whole life. I have spent countless hours, days, months and years denying myself of food and eating once a day, which is clearly not working. Somehow, it always felt good to be hungry as if denying myself demonstrated self-control.

    I am so tired of losing and gaining the same 20 to 30 pounds. Since purchasing burn the fat about two months ago, I have made remarkable gains (no pun intended) with eating regularly and being consistent with working out. I have written down my fitness (and health) goals and making them a priority in my life. I have made the decision to choose health over the comfort of food. For the first time in my life, I feel ready to take this journey.

    I wish you all success in reaching your goals!

  • Jeff A 2moros2L8

    what’s really been stopping me is actually two things.
    1st, PROCRASTINATION! “i’ll start tomorrow”, is what my “inside voice says”. i mean, just look at when i’m finally answering these questions.
    the final hour!
    second, and this is even more important, accountability. when i first got BFFM, i skipped right over this section, right about the time tom says, that it is one of, if not THE reason people fail.
    so no more procrastination! and i am holding my self accountable!

  • Jane Greer

    Two years ago I began following your blog and became a member of the inner circle after purchasing your Body Fat Solution book. I lost over 40 pounds and acquired a level of fitness I have never achieved before in my life, as well my dream weight and almost achieved my desired body fat percentage. I even completed my first triathalon. While maintaining that weight, I had to undergo bunion surgery. March was my one year anniversary for the surgery, and am still having pain issues with my foot, making my cardio workouts difficult. I have used that excuse for the 30 pounds I have gained back. I have been discouraged, depressed, and somewhat hopeless for this last year. Your continued challenges and reminders to take charge of the things that I can control, have rallied me agian.

    During the peak of my fitness, my best friend who was also trying to lose weight, felt threatened and jealous of my success, and it strained our relationship greatly. I still carry the scars of her critisim, and at times have placed our friendship over going through that stress again. However, if I were completley honest with myself, that too, was probably just an excuse I hid behind.

    Tom, I can lose the weight, I just can’t keep it off.

    THIS TIME, I plan to get fit and stay fit. I will turn 50 in December. I just purchased Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, and I plan to use that to help reprogram my mind as well as my eating habits. I plan to figure out how to live the rest of my life as a healthy, vibrant, and fit woman. I plan to use the inner circle and the resources it offers. I started my blog two years ago to stay accountable and plan to continue journaling about my journey.

    I pray this is the last time I have to go through this process. With your help, I know I can do it.

    Thanks for all of your great information. I appreciate your attitude towards helping others.


  • aileen

    what have been stopping me in the past are my past failures and pressure from others who knew I tried but failed. But now, i will not let them stand my way for I want to have my life back… and I know I have the right tool this time…BFFM works.

  • Carrie

    I often wonder how I got to be in this situation. Only a few years ago I was eating well, workikng out at least 5 times a week, slim, strong and feeling good about myself. And then along came a broken heart. Sounds daft!! But this one really went deep and since then i have used food to comfort me. Still alone and not wanting to take a chance again. If I am honest I know how I got into this situation I can count the chocolate, fried food, lazy days, i am under no illusion how I got to this stage. The tricky thing is how to get out of it. I guess my own self worth took such a beating that I find it hard to motivate myself to get back on track. Actually putting it down like this really sounds pathetic, and makes me feel very ashamed of my laziness and using food for comfort. And the reality is… food is no comfort at all!! Just makes me feel yuk! So… today I will start anew and maybe I can climb out of this state and change my habits. I remember how good I used to feel, and I crave that feeling….So, here I go, This time I will Make It.

  • Brenda Henry

    It didn’t seem to matter what size I was, whether I was a curvy size 18 or a humongous size 42, I was still not accepted. My life has been one of loneliness, no one knows the pain I go through every day. Do you even know how it feels to be told that “you’re un-employable?” I have dreams just like everyone else, I have accomplished most of them but losing this weight is the hardest thing for me to do!

    I’m afraid that if I lose the weight there will be no more excuses for me to use, I’ve become accustomed to my excuses, its safe hiding but it’s painful and lonely. Facing the possibility of accomplishing my one true dream is terrifying! I’ll have to face my greatest fear, the fear of rejection. It’s painful being ignored and rejected especially when it involves your true passion, your calling in life. For me, it was singing Opera. I lost the courage to sing when I was ignored by a teacher I respected and told to shut up by someone I loved. They made me feel as though I couldn’t sing and that I wasn’t even worth listening to. It still affects me even after all these years.

    I know we’re suppose to come up with our own solutions but sometimes the answer is staring us right in the face but it takes someone else to tell us, so I’m reaching out to everyone for a solution. How do I conquer this fear of rejection? How can I move forward with my dreams?

    • Megan Mulvihill

      Hi Brenda,

      I went through the same thing about 10 years ago. I developed nodes and then started studying with a teacher who destroyed my vocal self-esteem. I got to the point where I couldn’t even practice at home without bursting into tears. The best thing for you to do is to find a teacher who is very sensitive to your needs and will slowly help you rebuild your confidence. It took a little bit of time, but eventually I fell back in love with my voice and have worked for many years professionally as a Musical Theater performer all over the US. You will get it back and to hell with anyone who thinks you can’t work at a size 18. I lived in NYC and worked as an actress for many years at a size 18. Just don’t give up on your dream. I promise you it hasn’t given up on you.

  • Michelle

    The feeling of being safe is what has been stopping me from having the body I want.

    When I was in my early teens I was raped on two occasions and have since then felt safe being over weight as I dont draw attention to myself in the way of being attractive.

    I have since been going to cognectic behavioural therapy to help give me the tools to change my way of thought and now at the age of 36 I do want to be fit and healthy and enjoy my life but find that I am scared.

  • Matt M

    I’ll echo a lot of the sentiments here regarding body issue and lack of motivation. I’ve attempted the program in the past, enlisting the help of friends. However, when those friends didn’t provide the motivation or participation I thought they should, it gave me a reason to quit. I was relying on them rather than on myself.

    I lost my dad to heart disease at the age of 59, and most “normal” thought processes would have led people to change my life as I have the same bad habits. Quite the opposite happened with me and I consigned myself to the same existence and outcomes. It seems an insurmountable task.

    However, my biggest motivator now is my two kids, 15 and 12. I see the same lack of motivation, lack of self respect, and laziness taking over their lives and feel I have to do something to break the pattern that was established by my parents at a very young age. Hopefully, if they see me working and achieving success, then they will apply those principles to their lives as well.

    It won’t be easy. My habits are deeply ingrained. My struggles will not be in doing the work; rather they will be in training my brain to see the world differently.

    • Brad Sawatzky

      Hey Matt,
      Sorry to hear of the loss of your father. I lost someone very close to me in 2003 to lung cancer. At the time I was a smoker, and you’d think watching someone you love deteriorate day by day would be a major motivator to quit, but every time I left the hospice, I had a smoke going before I got to my car.
      That was 8 years ago, and I’ve been smoke free for just over 3 years now. Was it tough? Absolutley, still is sometimes. Was it worth it? Even more so.
      My point is as insurmountable as it may seem, stick with it man, you can pull it off.
      I’d be willing to bet your kids will notice.

  • Joe Kirshner

    I’ve fallen victim to the thoughts of “I’m not in that bad of shape”, “It’s just how society is these days”, and most of all “Why enen try? Every time you have success you just go back to old habits”.

    I am a married Police Officer and father of 6 children. I am only 5 feet 3 inches tall, but weigh an unhealthy 190 pounds. I have fallen victim to negative self talk like the statements above and am tired of making excuses. It’s long past time to make things right.

    Through the help and motivation of the 2011 Summer Challenge I WILL MAKE NEEDED CHANGES IN MY LIFE! I will also make it a lifestyle change that will keep me from going back to the bad habits that have gotten me where I am now.

    Good luck to everyone else. Let’s do this. Impossible is nothing!

  • Mimi Jakubczyk

    In 2007 I was just 20 lbs over weight. In May of that year I developed Hashimoto’s Disease and gained another 25 lbs. My doctor told me to just suck it up because that is what my life would be.

    I thought “oh hell no.” I’ve lost back to the 20 lbs overweight through cardio boxing and lifting weights and I know the way to a better life is training. Hard. All I need is someone to show me the way to transform that last 20 lbs.

    I’ve been reading BTF e-mails for a year now. The challenge is what will see me through.

    Yes, Tom, I’m in.


  • Barb B

    The thing that has held me back in the past is losing motivation after the 1st few weeks. I have gotten fit in the past. I have learned so much over the years since I first read BFFM. Only to get lazy and gain some of it back. My weight loss has never been on a deadline. There is something about having to do it within a time frame that kind of freaks me out, LOL. Not this time though. I am entering the Summer Fat Loss Challenge. I have already confided in over 100 friends so far what I am doing. I have spoken with several personal friends who will help keep me ‘on track’ and motivated. I have writen a nutrition and fitness program following principles in BFFM. I am ready to finally ‘win this contest’ and get the amazing body I want to have in the process.

  • Anna

    -Old habits
    -I didn’t believe or imagine I would ever succeed
    -I said I would change but didn’t alter my behavior one bit

  • Cathy Ngurani

    The reason why I have never taken up the challenge is that at this side of the planet (Kenya, Africa) we do not have the advantage of machines to measure the various requirements, fat mass, muscle loss/gain. The big names on recipes and diets have also always discouraged me.

    I am now determined to use the scale and mirror as I truely want to loose at least 5kgs. Not sure how many pounds this is but I will dedicate time and the resources available to me.

    Thanks a heap Tom for the encouragement.

    I love and cherish every article I receive from you though I have been a silent faithful to your wonderful advice.

  • I am overcoming it and within a couple week or so I have worked out my arms and chest better than before. Thanks to Tom.

  • Maricela Perez

    My limiting belief is …… Honestly ..I think it’s my self image ..
    I’m really hard on myself and have a difficult time accepting my flaws.
    I’m not at my best …Meaning I know I can do better ..

    I’m only 29 …I start comparing myself to all of the fit..strong people that I idolize ..and wonder why ..just Why can’t that be me ..
    Living with me must be very difficult huh LOL

    I’m realizing allot of things , but one sure POSITIVE thing about me is my dertimination to get what I want ..I don’t give up ..I’ve been batteling these last 15lbs Ive been trying to lose since 2006..and I have yet to give up ..I know everything I do is to make “me” a better person ..


  • Ronnie Banks

    What’s been holding me back: “I’m not fat. I’m OK the way I am. I don’t feel so bad. I could be worse. My husband doesn’t exercise why strive higher if he doesn’t? He’s happy with how I am right now. I am great at starting new things but I just can’t seem to keep inspired and motivated. Why start this if I know I won’t follow through.”

    Just being in the comfort zone has been holding me back from having the body I’ve always wanted. It will never stop me again because I’ve just raised the bar. I will not use my husband as an excuse to stay where I am. I’ve set my sights higher I aim to reach higher and I’ll never settle for mediocrity again! I want my family’s admiration and be an inspiration. The feeling of achievement and pride would be awesome!

  • Con

    Nothings going to stop me and absolutely nothing is gonna get in the way or break my train of thought, i will be the shape i desire no matter how long it takes.

  • Daniel

    Hey Tom,
    Great idea,it’s harder to ignore ideas and beliefs when you put them in writing. I have always believed that the people who prepared my food were in control of my caleoric intake, The wife and mother would do the shopping and most of the cooking, I occasionally grill. And then there’s the night’s eating out 2 -3 per month, lots of crazy fat filled meals at Outback or Caraba’s . Oh well finally everyone (new girlfriend – wife gone) and mother are interested in losing weight and eating healthier so nows my chance to get them all on the bandwagon and learn how to fuel the body to burn the fat. I’ve been a believer in the info you put out in the blogs and articles but haven’t been able to afford a membership and copy of your book this contest may help me rectify those problems. I know I can make the changes necessary even if the others can’t or won’t. At 52 I would like to get into better shape in order to enjoy my silver years instead of being like most Americans and struggling through it due to poor physical conditions and bad dietary habits. Thanks Tom for always doing your job well and looking out for us.

    Sincerely, Dan

  • J.S.

    This isn’t something that holds me back now, but it was something that held me back until October of last year.

    When I was in the Army I had a back injury. It took a couple of years to get through it, but by the time I was 20 I hardly even noticed it anymore. Every now and then I’d twist wrong or lift something incorrectly and I’d be in a lot of pain for a few hours, but that was the extent of it.

    Then, 10 years later, the pain flared up all over again. I had no idea why. I went to bed fine and woke up in excruciating pain. At first I thought I just slept in a bad position, but the pain didn’t go away…first for weeks, then for months, then for years.

    I went to several different doctors, had steroid injections done and those things with lasers where they numb the nerve endings, etc, but nothing would relieve it.

    I had been active until the pain started again, but I had to stop. I was biking as much as driving, but I stopped that. I had been jogging and walking a lot but had to stop that too. All of my physical activity stopped, and when it did my weight went up. I gained about 80 pounds and was absolutely miserable.

    Finally I decided that I wasn’t going to let the back injury control me anymore. I did some research on diet programs and stumbled across BFFM. I liked the reviews and decided to buy the e-book and apply the concepts.

    When I read BFFM everything looked great except for one thing: I didn’t think I could get into a gym. Finally I just said, “Screw it, I’m going to do it regardless of the pain.” I’m not saying that’s the right answer for everybody, I was just so tired of being over`weight. I talked to a personal trainer at the gym and he recommended swimming and exercise bikes for cardio since they’re low impact, so I started with that.

    Now, applying the eating concepts in BFFM and hitting the gym several days a week, I’ve dropped 55 pounds. It’s nice and steady, I’m not in a race. I’ve averaged about 8 pounds of body fat loss a month. I’ve also improved my eating habits drastically and am healthier than I have been in a decade.

    So for the people who don’t believe you can do it due to an injury, I hope this offers some encouragement. I don’t recommend trying to just push through a serious injury without talking to a doctor first, but fortunately it worked for me.

    Oh, and the back pain? I found some exercises in the gym that took it away completely. Exercising did what series of shots and pain pills and everything else couldn’t do.

  • Rachel

    Lets do this thing!!!!!
    Im IN ;-0

  • Tom Venuto

    THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who posted a comment. I appreciate you. The winners have been p osted. See if you won here:

  • Debbie Combs

    What’s stopped me — I love to eat, live to eat and don’t want to give it up. I try to eat healthy most of the time, but I have to be able to go out enjoy my food. I have no self-control when it comes to something I love!

    BUT, I’m not going to let this stop me anymore. I’m going to learn how to eat in moderation and still enjoy the foods I love. I’m also going to get back into my yoga class that really helped me lose and maintain my weight before. I do work out at the gym at least 4 days a week, but I have to incorporate yoga or my back kills me so this is something I’m going to do! Just need to get back into a routine, but one that does not become boring.

  • Sonali Dave

    my limiting factor is that i have no self-confidence. i always think that no matter what i try to accomplish, i will fail. this is what brought me down in my studies, my appearance, and everything else.
    i know what my weight gain comes from and i don’t know if i will be able to lose weight. i really want to, i have my whole life. i look a lot like my dad, who has always been very heavy-set. but i don’t see how this makes me so much overweight. i excercise regularly and eat healthy as well. i really want to be at a healthy weight,something that i have only ever dreamed about.

  • Jenna

    People fear the possibility of how amazing they might be…and with it comes the fear of if we reach our goals, achieve success, and still discover the limiting belief we’ve created of our ownself worth still stands–because as humans we’ve allowed it to–then we must failbecause we fear what our success would mean to the beliefs we’ve held dear for so long.

    It’s time to let them go. I’m ready to succeed, because I will no longer allow people, events, objects, or ideas to validate my existence and myself worth. I love myself as I am, and will love myself through every step of the journey,

    I AM enough…I WILL succeed and let go of limiting beliefs. And the objects and things I need to get there along this journey become available as I need them.


  • Natalie F.

    What has stoppped me in the past? – not being committed, not being focused. Most of all being frustrated, paying attention to eating well and exercising and none of the hard work pays off. Then the attitude of why bother exercising and eating right if not a pound will budge. Having a busy life with family and work and then taking the time to work out but getting nothing accomplished is depressing. It makes me want to say why the heck am I wasting my time for no results. Frustrated in that knowning that in the past I have been in shape, I have made great strides and accomplishments with exercising and eating correctly. Now just seems like nothing works. I am not against working out hard and eating right and making right choices if I see results but when results do not come I say the heck with it and want to throw in the towel, I will just be over weight and out of shape the rest of my life.

    But somewhere deep down inside me there is this little something in me that just cannot let it go. There is this little something in me that just cannot completely give up. It just keeps stirring back up and saying come on give it a try, come you can do this. It is like a burning in my soul that just knows I cannot give up, it knows I can get results, it knows I can be in shape, it knows I will feel so much better and be so much healthier if I do not throw in the towel and give up. Now if i could just let that burning in my soul grow to a full blow fire full of desire to do the things I know I need to do.

    Now how do I not let these issues stop me again? – well that is the question now isn’t it. Obviously if I knew how to keep myself pressing on and doing the things I need to do to transform my body to be in better health I would just do it. Instead I am stuck in this always looking for answers and never finding any. I am stuck in this give it another try and I do and still see no results.

    I am just weary of working, working and working and like the mouse on the wheel just never seem to get anywhere.

    I want transformation and I want to be healthy but obviously I need help!

  • Andre Ras

    Hi Tom,

    Wow, what a thing to sit back and consider….
    I’ve always wanted to be athletic – like my brother, but then again, we’re only half brothers. (maybe…., i convinced myself, he just had the better genes…)

    From the earliest age I can remember my parents joining a weight-loss community, trying the diets and pills, and sensing their discontent and dissatisfaction with the results, and with life in general. I learned to believe that weight control must be really hard. Or else, why did my folks fail at it after so many attempts?

    One of my most humilating moments as a child was when (in first grade) my friend told me I couldnt ride on her horse because i was too fat! it was a horse for goodness sake! not a greyhound!

    It was by the summer break of third grade (age 8) that I decided to go on a diet…. and years of suffering followed.
    When I graduated HighSchool and got a job not much had changed, with my first paycheck i bought some diet pill that was being advertised on television, and since then a lot of other things.

    My most limiting belief is one that has taken root and infiltrated ever part of my life, whether carried over from my parents, it is still my belief. Ive always told myself that I CANT DO IT. IT IS TOO DIFFICULT.

    I’ve lived in fear, and a heap of distructive behavior that manifests in a host of self-sabotage. From binge eating, fueled by crazy emotions, self hatred and loathing, and the killer that is procrastination.

    My perfectionist nature has led to me feel that if i wasnt assured success – to not even attempt it, or to procrastinate and skirt the issue without dealing with it.

    My person has suffered, as i’ve blamed my parents, genes, surroundings, brother, as Ive waited on the perfect time, the right moment, January 1st, Monday Morning, after this cold…

    But now. It wont stop me anymore. Damn it man, I’m almost 30. No one controls my life anymore, its just me. I plan my time, push the grocery cart, pay the bills. I am in charge and I say it stops here.

    Crap, even if this had to be submitted by may 17th, at least I’ve had the chance to really think about the issue, that something so dibilitating was really a subconscious belief… I chose to believe it, and now I can choose to believe otherwise!

    Thanks Tom
    (sorry its late)
    Next Time!
    South Africa

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