This is the success story of Scott, the man who landed the runner up spot in the 2023 Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle body transformation challenge. In Scott’s challenge essay that you can read below, he shares a lot of great advice, including the biggest secret that helped him achieve a 17 pound fat loss and burn off a huge amount of belly fat in only 12 weeks.
The aesthetic and number-based improvements were something he wanted, but they were not his prime motivation. What was his biggest secret to motivation for fat loss? At age 53, it was a health-first focus.
By focusing on improving his health and letting that become his main motivation, he achieved his goal of better health. The tighter abs came along with it as a nice fringe benefit.
Read on and learn more about his motivations, as well as his resistance training, cardio training and nutrition strategies that landed him a top spot in the Burn the Fat challenge.
– Tom Venuto, Burn the Fat Inner Circle Founder
BEFORE THE CHALLENGE
I’m Scott. I’ve been a member of the Burn the Fat Inner Circle on and off since 2010. I didn’t finish the first Burn the Fat challenge I entered in 2010.
In 2013, in my 2nd challenge, I placed in the top 10, and by the end of my 3rd challenge in 2014, I was in the best shape I’ve ever been since high school. Then 2020 happened, which for me was a trifecta of a perfect storm.
First, when Covid hit, my state locked down for a long time. I started working 100% remote and sat at a desk for hours per day.
Second, I turned 50 in 2020. I noticed a huge difference in how fast (or not fast) my body healed from things. Prior to that, I could pretty much drop weight just by altering my nutrition, but alas, that no longer was the case. And exercising was that much harder on my body.
Third, I started having lower back issues, and other joint (hip and knee) pains.
As I said, it was a trifecta of issues for me, and I gained the most weight I have ever gained. I started this challenge the heaviest I have ever been in my entire life. So, for me this challenge was not about winning, but about taking the steps to make positive gains with my health.
MOTIVATION FOR FAT LOSS
As I get older, most of my motivation comes from wanting to reduce and or avoid health problems.
It’s one thing to want to look good (which I do), but it’s a whole different ballgame when you’re dealing with health problems like back and joint pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and so on.
Wanting to be around a lot longer for my wife and family, and not be in constant pain, is the best motivation for me. I think it could be for a lot of people, if they would tap into it.
Since I’m a decade older than I was with my last challenge, and my body is in a different shape, I took a different approach this time around…
PROGRESS TRACKING AND FOOD TRACKING METHODS
First, I didn’t focus on body measurements. Instead, this time, I relied more on how I looked in the mirror and how my clothes fit.
Not to mention, my body fat testing skinfold calipers broke right before the challenge, so I was forced to measure body fat with my smart scale. I don’t think those body fat numbers were very accurate (especially given how my clothes now fit). Advice: don’t just depend on body fat testing alone – look in the mirror. Feel how your clothes fit.
I also didn’t weigh every ounce of food this time. Instead I used the portion size approach, being sure I was still getting balanced meals with enough protein.
I built up a spreadsheet of my favorite and most consumed foods, and that was a great reference tool that helped me always have a ballpark idea of my total calories and macronutrients.
There are also tools and calculators and the meal planner software on the Burn the Fat Inner Circle site that are helpful as well, both for the initial diet setup and for ongoing tracking. I will say that tracking exactly what you’ve eaten helps, because it keeps you accountable to your total overall calories for the day.
CARDIO AND RESISTANCE TRAINING
As I’ve gotten older and developed lower back and joint problems, my primary focus was on body weight exercises and cardio. I made heavy use of the Bodyweight Muscle workout from the Burn the Fat Inner Circle site. This helped me identify exercises that I could use to help me on my journey, despite pain I had to work around.
The body weight burn cardio workout was also an excellent resource. Both of these workouts have allowed me to get in great physical shape without a large investment in weights or a gym membership. I was very pleased with the results and happy to know that lifting weights isn’t the only way to do resistance training.
When I first started the challenge, I could only do 8 push-ups, but now at the end of the challenge I’m at 50 consecutive push-ups! And planks don’t hurt my back anymore. My stamina has increased, and I can jog up my stairs without pain.
What will I do different for the next challenge? I will most definitely join a team. There’s something about being accountable to others, and knowing there are others supporting you, checking in on you, motivating you, that makes a big difference.
Perhaps to me, this is the most valuable thing about the Burn the Fat Inner Circle.
The people who checked in on my journal this challenge to leave encouraging words or tips made a huge difference to me. It helped hold me accountable the commitment I made to see through to the end of the challenge.
I’m using this successful challenge as a kick-start to reach my ultimate goal of getting down to my long-term desired weight and body fat level, and more importantly, being able to maintain it. For me, I know that will be the biggest challenge – the maintaining.
TOP TIPS AND ADVICE
After finishing this last Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle challenge, I went back and looked at my previous challenge essays. It’s amazing how much the advice I gave myself (and to others) from back then still applies today. The fundamentals don’t change, though we can always make a few small tweaks to do even better every time. Here’s a summary:
1. Focus on your health and why it’s important to you as your number one motivation.
2. Read Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (then read it again)
3. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
4. Nutrition matters
5. Get moving (cardio AND strength training, and make it fun)
6. Get plenty of rest and recovery
7. Hydrate. Drink lots of water. Don’t drink your calories.
8. Hold yourself accountable, and find a support system (the Burn the Fat Inner Circle is a great place for that)
9. Forgive yourself and love yourself (you can choose to be your biggest supporter or your worst enemy)
10. And last, but certainly not least, have fun and enjoy the ride!
Don’t give up! I never completed the very first Burn the Fat challenge I entered on the Burn the Fat Inner Circle over a decade ago. Being older and (hopefully) wiser, it was easier to forgive myself and not get caught up in the “I messed up so I might as well [quit, binge eat, etc.]” mode.
I approached each day anew. I also focused on the choices/consequences mentality: every time we choose to eat something, or skip working out, it’s a choice. And every choice has a consequence.
Continuing to do nothing is a choice.
Or you can choose to enter.
You can choose to finish.
I’ve always loved motivational quotes, such as “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Say it’s a cliche if you want, but you can’t say it’s not true.
Take your shot. And if you miss the first time, forgive yourself and love yourself. Try again. Keep going.
Resources mentioned in this story:
Burn the Fat 12-week body transformation challenge
For details about upcoming Burn the Fat Challenge events that you can enter, CLICK HERE
Burn the Fat Feed The Muscle (Official Guide To The Burn the Fat Challenge) CLICK HERE
Burn the Fat Inner Circle
Social Support Community For All-Natural, No-BS Body Transformation CLICK HERE
Bodyweight Resistance Workout
Bodyweight Muscle 2.0 CLICK HERE (members only)
Bodyweight Cardio Workout
Body Weight Burner CLICK HERE (members only)
Tools & Calculators
Calorie and Macro calculators CLICK HERE (members only)