We’d like to introduce you to the overall winner of the women’s division in season 16 of the Burn the Fat challenge, Dianne Rose, age 52 years young.
Read on and you’ll learn about the champ’s nutrition, training, and mental strategies, in her own words as she wrote them in her winning contest essay from the 98-day summer challenge…
“Journey To My Best Life Too” – Burn The Fat Challenge Essay – Written by Dianne Rose
Sometimes victories are won in hours, like a football game. Other victories take much longer. Whereas the winner of the 2016 Summer Challenge was a quick study, I am more of a very slooooow burn..
I bought Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto when it first became available as an e-book way back in 2003. In Chapter 15 it states, “Read the following paragraph as many times as you need to until you get it. Understanding this distinction is the key to it all” (pg 260).
I learned how to log my numbers in Chapter 4 and began tracking them in March 2003. Yup! It took me me 15 years of reading it over and over to finally get it.
It’s difficult to describe how much the Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle Book has infiltrated my life. Without it I’m sure I would have gained more weight during two separate debilitating injuries in 2010 and 2014. Initially, I wrote a detailed description of those experiences and the resulting failures in three different Burn the Fat challenges, but it really doesn’t matter what happened except for what I learned.
As Venuto says, “You’re either moving forward or backward. Maintenance is an illusion” (pg 74).
I didn’t believe it was possible to move forward on my health and fitness goals when I literally couldn’t move. What I didn’t understand at that time was the rest of the opening quote from Chapter 15, “The secret to fat loss is not exercise… the ultimate secret to fat loss is achieving a calorie deficit.” (pg 260).
Exercise accelerates fat loss, and the lack of exercise doesn’t cause fat gain. The key was what I was eating while unable to move. But, that’s all retrospective now.
At the beginning of the 2018 Summer Challenge, those long years of self-sabotage, injuries and failures looked like a huge mountain in my path. I hadn’t posted any of my goals because why bother when I felt like I wasn’t going to make it to the end anyway. However, my plateau at week three and four sent me back to the Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle Chapter 6 (Setting Goals and Training Your Mind) and 18 (Breaking Plateaus).
Switching To Competition Mode
In the process of reading the book yet again, a light bulb went on! At that moment, a mental switch had occurred in my mind and I switched from what I would say was lifestyle mode to competition mode; I was going for my goal that I set 15 years ago!
Competition mode took focus and determination. It involved disciplined analysis of everything I ate, giving up eating out and birthday treats and passing the plate of brownies on to the next person. It involved giving up eating my favorite foods before bedtime and giving up alcohol and diet soda.
It involved getting up early every day to work out, even while on vacation, and adding another workout in the evenings. It involved reading the Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle book again and reading lots of challenge posts. It wasn’t an easy process, but I just followed the plan…finally!
One of my biggest challenges was my lean body mass (LBM) feedback. Early in the challenge, my LBM was slowly reducing, but it was less than .5lbs/week on average, so I wasn’t too concerned. But later in the competition, I saw a trend of losing significant amounts of LBM.
I went back to Chapter 5 and read, “If your LBM continues to drop week after week in any significant amount, you may have cause for concern” (pg 81). Now, I was concerned. The solution in Chapter 5 says, “Ultimately, you need to learn how your own body responds and then make adjustments. You must become your own expert” (pg 74).
I had to look at what I specifically changed in week #7 to determine why I was losing more LBM. I saw in week #3 and #6 that I didn’t lose LBM. Then I did a detailed analysis of my nutrient ratios and exercise routines during those weeks to see what was working. I discovered that I tend to go for the veggies and leave out the protein. So to fix that, I went to the advanced strategies on carb cycling found in Chapter 19.
In addition, I discovered when I do other exercise programs I end up with too much cardio, and not enough weight training. So, I put the other programs away and went back to TNB (“The New Body” workout from the book). By week #12, I could see the adjustments were working, my LBM numbers had improved and my weight was decreasing. It is still not perfect, but I’m getting better at understanding how food and exercise affect my body and LBM.
Breaking Plateaus And Reaping The Rewards
As the challenge progressed, I found what worked for me and intensified everything by utilizing at least one plateau breaking technique in Chapter 18 every day even though I wasn’t on a plateau. Then in the last week, I was so afraid of finishing this challenge and coming so close but not reaching my goal. That was just unacceptable! I didn’t weigh myself all week and focused on what I could do.
I engaged every plateau breaking technique (except eat more) every day and temporarily reduced my carbs. And… I blew right past my goal! I could not believe it! I thought the scale was broken! I lost 8.6 pounds in a week! I didn’t know that was possible! I am completely shocked at the effectiveness of those techniques!
Life for me now is so very different. I don’t recognize my body. I bought a new wardrobe and found I went from size XL to XS. My back, neck, knees, and ankles don’t hurt anymore. When I clasp my fingers, they don’t feel squished. I can bend over with ease. My new jeans don’t cut in at my waist. I can cross my legs when I sit.
My skin is so much healthier. I don’t feel nauseous anymore. After eliminating processed sugars, my hot flashes disappeared. I can finally wear my wedding ring! Ultimately, I am now the same weight I was when I got married and in better shape than I have ever been!
Transforming The Mind
Looking back over these last 98 days, my biggest accomplishment has to be the mental aspect of this transformation. As Venuto says in Chapter 6, The paradox is that the biggest secret to physical change is mental change.- (pg 87). He goes on to quote the book, Psycho-cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz (which I have read several times as well). “This mechanism (the human brain) helps you achieve your goals much like a self-guided torpedo…” (pg 92).
It finally clicked with me, after all these years, that my ‘torpedo’ had been programmed to seek out self-sabotaging behaviors. I was afraid of success and I have finally conquered that fear. Such short sentences but such a monumental discovery process.
The 15 years of mental struggle makes this a huge victory for me! You see, for me, these last 98 days is just the grand finale of a challenge that started 5,655 days ago on 3/03/2003 when I first recorded my numbers by Venuto’s instructions.
I am so thankful that Tom Venuto wrote such a great book, and that he sponsors these incredible community events! My wish is that Tom Venuto and all who help out at the Inner Circle know what an impact you are having on others.
I bought this program in 2003 when I weighed 155 lbs, eventually increased to 209 lbs and always wanted to get back down to my goal of 135 lbs. Even though it took me 5,655 days, I MADE IT! The words THANK YOU will never be enough!
Resources mentioned in this article:
Book (Official Guide To The Burn the Fat Challenge)
Burn the Fat Feed The Muscle CLICK HERE
The classic book on self-image psychology by Maxwell Maltz CLICK HERE
Training Program (TNB-28)
The New Body 28 (TNB-28): Upper-Lower 2-Day Split For Building Muscle And Strength CLICK HERE (members only)
Note: This workout is also featured in the new edition of the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle book
CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE BURN THE FAT INNER CIRCLE