How they lost 100 lbs or more was the subject of a recent Burn the Fat newsletter. Email flooded in after that, from readers who were inspired by hearing about these huge body fat losses and before/after transformations. I was inspired too. But sometimes I think we focus too much on the almighty scale and body fat percentage and forget about something even more important…
Health is what psychologist Abraham Maslow called a deficiency need, which means that when you’ve lost it, getting it back is the only thing in the world that matters.
Unfortunately, two corollaries to this theory of human motivation are:
1. Most people won’t lift a finger to improve their health until something bad happens (they have to hit “rock bottom” to change), and
2. When you’ve got your health, you tend to take it for granted.
That’s why we need constant reminders to keep our focus on health and keep health right on top of our list of life values.
As you remind yourself of the importance of your health every day, it also pays to consider how you define it.
Fitness and transformation icon Shawn Phillips, author of Strength for Life, says that if your definition of health is merely the absence of disease, then subconsciously, the mere absence of disease means you’ve achieved your “goal.”
Therefore, you feel no motivation and no need to move above and beyond that and strive toward this definition:
Health: “A life of ABUNDANT energy, vitality and strength.”
We NEED these reminders.
That’s why I get such a thrill when people send me success stories that are not just about the scale and body fat percentage, but ALSO about health and what that new-found health has done for a person’s life.
A Before and After Success Story You Don’t See Every Day (But Should)
For example, this success story comes from Burn the Fat reader Craig B:
“Tom, I visited my Dr. today and he was stunned at the change in my blood results. Check out this before and after:
HDL (good cholesterol)
VLDL (bad cholesterol)
Total cholesterol/HDL ratio
(I dropped from 2X average risk to less than HALF average risk!)
(I moved from High risk to Low risk.)
I have burned 34lbs of fat and put on 7lbs of lean muscle.
I have moved from 40% body fat to 32.9% (My scale may be off, but I am hoping to verify those body fat % measurements with a dunk test during my next visit to S.F. or Portland.)
The doctor, in short, was blown away with the results.
I have tried Atkins, Protein Power, Lindora (medical weightcontrol), each of these over the years and probably too many others to mention. Never have I felt this empowered and well armed with information and insight.
When I was not getting the results the math would have me believe, I had the tools and community support to explain what Beta Blockers do to cardio and metabolism then took that insight to my doctor and he has reduced and changed those meds.
I am now off statins all together as of today!
I have a ways to go to reach my final goal of 10% body fat,but I have the tools and I can accomplish it. I am, as you suggested, putting the date when I achieve it in pencil,but the 10% BF is in ink. I will get there.
It is amazing how empowering feeling good and controlling your blood chemistry through nourishment (both physiological and physical) and being consistent with the hard work in the gym and changing to a new lifestyle.
Thanks Tom – you are helping a lot of people, clearly. I will be telling anyone about the book and Burn the Fat website that has any questions or looking for answers.”
Gaining muscle and losing fat is nice, but what could be better than gaining muscle, losing fat, getting stronger AND feeling your health, energy and vitality skyrocket!
As Craig shows us, tracking your health improvements, not just what you weigh, gives you another source of tremendous motivation and a feeling of empowerment.
You realize that you are in control of your body. You are the maker and master.
One final thought: It’s a misconception that the “bodybuilding” lifestyle is in some way not healthy or doesn’t dramatically IMPROVE your health
Nothing could be further from the truth, as Craig’s results prove. Craig was not just doing aerobics – he was pumping iron and feeding the muscle, not starving himself.
If you do ANY kind of resistance training, you ARE a “body-builder.”
When you do NATURAL bodybuilding, you’re also a “health-builder.”
It’s about looking great AND getting healthier. That’s how I do it – naturally – and that’s how I encourage you to do it too.
Train hard and expect success,
Author of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle
Author of The Body Fat Solution
Founder & CEO, Burn the Fat Inner Circle
PS If You have a body fat AND health transformation success story, I’d love to hear about it; post below or e-mail me
About Tom Venuto
Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural (steroid-free) bodybuilder, fitness writer and author of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle: Fat Burning Secrets of Bodybuilders and Fitness Models (e-book) and the national bestseller, The Body Fat Solution, which was an Oprah Magazine and Men’s Fitness Magazine pick. Tom has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Oprah Magazine, Muscle and Fitness Magazine, Ironman Magazine and Men’s Fitness Magazine, as well as on dozens of radio shows including Sirius Satellite Radio, ESPN-1250 and WCBS. Tom is also the founder and CEO of Burn The Fat Inner Circle – a fitness support community for inspiration and transformation