One of the best ways to succeed is to model successful people. Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel, you copy a winning formula that already exists. This can short-cut your trial and error learning curve by months or even years. The problem is, where do you find a role model? Who do you trust? Whose advice do you listen to? If the success you want is a better body, then who better than a body transformation contest winner? (like the amazing champion you’re about to meet…)
With another Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle challenge coming up soon, I figured it would be a perfect time to call upon our last year’s champions to pick their brains and find out how they achieved body transformations so amazing that it won them the title of Overall Burn The Fat Champion.
Today I’d like you to meet Hannah Mauck, Season 1 Burn the Fat Challenge women’s champion. Hannah slashed 12 pounds, and burned off 6% body fat in just 7 weeks.
You can’t help but be amazed at the results you see in her before and after photos. But what the pictures don’t say is that Hannah is also a mom of three, ages 5, 3 and 1. She made her contest winning transformation even while taking care of her children, over the busiest time of the year, with the most temptations (the winter challenge ran from Thanksgiving through New Year’s!)
That really puts her achievement into a whole different perspective, not to mention it kills any excuses you might have about family obligations getting in the way.
We interviewed Hannah after her win and pulled out her top body transformation tips. Whether you’re planning to enter our upcoming summer Burn the Fat Challenge or you just want some body transforming tips for your own personal use, this advice is pure gold!
TOM: how do you think you pulled off such a great fitness transformation while you were managing a family and what would be your advice for other parents who might be worried about getting their pre-baby bodies back or who are concerned about not having the time to work out or make healthy food with kids running around?
HANNAH: Thinking I didn’t have time was exactly the reason I was in the predicament I was in, health and body-wise, in the first place. But when I found your Burn the Fat book and I read through, it really clicked with me. I knew that I could do it in a manageable amount of time.
All your techniques – the tracking, the accountability methods and the planning of the meals and workouts actually led me to having a lot more time, because I was more organized and I wasn’t trying to put something together at the last minute. I knew exactly what I would be doing and when I would be doing it.
Also, losing weight and spending the time working out has given me so much more energy and brain clarity, that actually, I have more free time. I’ve been able to get more done by investing time in working out. Not having time is not an issue once you actually focus on your goals. As far as getting my pre-baby body back, my body is better than before I had babies. So that’s not an excuse either.
TOM: It seems like you were pretty meticulous about what you were eating. How closely did you track your calories or your macronutrients, the grams of the protein, carbs and fat? If I read your journal right, you used some kind of electronic device to track everything. How did that work for you?
HANNAH: I did track pretty closely. I didn’t even know what a macronutrient was, by your definition, until a couple weeks into your program. Then I realized that was important. I started putting that data in and that really helped me to see where my downfalls were. It leads to a lot of accountability when you have to enter food.
Using the iPod for tracking was really great. I got that idea off the Burn the Fat Inner Circle forums, where somebody else was using a program on their iPod. It’s really convenient, because you can have it with you all the time and you can enter your data right away and you can actually make adjustments throughout your day by what you’ve eaten or haven’t eaten. That was really helpful for me.
TOM: Obviously, you got a lot leaner, so that revealed the muscles that might have been there already, but you definitely showed more muscularity in your after picture. This is where you can really help us out. You can help the “greater cause” for us: that is, convincing women to lift weights, when they think they’re either going to get bulky or unfeminine. What do you have to say about that now?
HANNAH: It’s not an easy task for women to put on muscle and you don’t look bulky even after you do. But I would also add that we all have different body types. Some of us are going to work out and we’re going to stay looking tall and lean and slender. Others are going to work out and we’re going to be a little bit more muscular naturally.
I think everyone should just embrace their fittest body and learn to be comfortable with their body type, whether you’re a little bit more muscular, or you’re more of the ectomorph or leaner type. I think my body type is a little more mesomorph – It’s a little easier for me to gain muscle, but that in no way added any bulk. We just become a little more defined.
The muscle showed once I lost the fat. But none of my measurements were bigger than before I started the challenge. So it did not, definitely did not add any bulk.
TOM: Some people get overwhelmed with the amount of information in the Burn The Fat book, let alone the huge archives we have at the Burn the Fat Inner Circle. Even though you were a relative newcomer to our community, you went right to work and picked it up so fast. What’s your secret? How did you learn all this so quickly and put all the information into practice so fast?
HANNAH: I think the key for me was timing. I stumbled onto an ad of yours on the internet for Burn the Fat, then very shortly after that, you announced the Burn the Fat Challenge over the 2009-2010 holidays. I felt like my babies were old enough and I just needed to get busy, so I was mentally very ready for a change at that point. So I do think you have to be ready to change. .
Then, enrolling, and being involved in that challenge was really the key for the implementation. The holiday challenge was 7 weeks so I didn’t have time to just say, “Oh, I’m going to read that later” or “I’m going to do that later.” I had a goal and a deadline and a challenge so I had to focus and read it and do it now. I think it was really the challenge that helped me to implement everything so fast.
TOM: You said that you had days with low energy and days you felt really hungry. That’s going to happen to just about everybody who has their calories reduced for fat loss. So what did you do, either physically or mentally, to stay on your eating plan even when you were hungry, and stay on your training plan even when you were tired?
HANNAH: One thing is I would tell myself that I’m in charge of myself, so I can have anything I want, as long as I wait 30 minutes. A lot of times, just delaying that instant urge to put something in my mouth would be enough to either make it to the next meal or realize I didn’t want it. Another thing was that being around kids and food all day long, I had to tell myself I wasn’t the garbage disposal. That may sound funny, but when you’re picking up food all day long, it’s easy to finish off the kids’ portions of this or that. So I put a halt to that and it really helped me. Drinking a lot of hot tea was another way that satisfied both my sweet tooth and cravings for other things.
As far as being tired, sometimes it was just mental and I pushed through it. I really saw a reward and felt more energy from just getting up and doing the workout. Other times, especially as a mom, I think you have to listen to your body and sometimes you need sleep. There were nights where I was up all night with a sick kid. The next day, I just allowed myself to sleep, or have a nap. That really helped with being able to recover and stay on track, because if I got overly tired, I was not able to make good judgment decisions, as far as what I was eating. Sometimes you just need to sleep.
TOM: In one of your very first challenge journal posts, you wrote, “Blechhh. I can’t believe I posted those pictures.” I know that posting before pictures takes a lot of courage. A lot of other women – and guys – in the challenge felt the same way, because I heard it from so many of them. People asked me, “Do we really have to post pictures to be in this contest?” So I’m curious: Looking back, how do you feel about having posted your before picture, when you can now put it next to your after picture?
HANNAH: At the time, I definitely thought I was insane. That’s not the type of thing I would have ever done or considered doing at that point. The pictures were almost what made me not do the challenge. But now, I feel like that was invaluable and I totally understand that requirement today. Measurements and numbers are great, but they’re hard to believe in your head. Being able to actually see the change in your body in a picture – that’s totally invaluable. I wouldn’t be able to believe the numbers without seeing the picture. The picture also really kept my feet to the fire. There was no way to hide what you really looked like with the pictures right there.
And the difference between pictures and the mirror??? HUGE. I can’t really even explain that. Something happens when you look in the mirror that does not happen when you look at a photograph. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know how our brains fool us that way. But I could look in the mirror all day long and not see what I can see from a photograph.
TOM VENUTO: For anyone who’s thinking about entering the next challenge and they’re terrified to take their picture and post it in the website, what would be your advice to them – coming from someone who felt the same way, but did it anyways?
HANNAH: I completely sympathize and I understand how hard it is. But it really is invaluable and it’s the best way to really admit where you’re currently at and to see the milestones you pass and be able to see the changes in your body. It’s definitely invaluable.
TOM: Our summer transformation contest is the big one – 98 days across the entire summer, but our winter contest only ran from Thanksgiving to the first week of January. You came down 6% body fat in those 7 weeks. To put that into perspective, for most people, it would take 12 weeks to drop 6% body fat. About a half a percent a week is typical fat loss. How did you get results that were so far above average and what is your advice for other people who want to make a “results not typical” transformation?
HANNAH: The first thing would be the goal setting techniques from your book. The goal card really helped me – just having that written down goal, instead of some vague idea that I needed to improve, kept me totally focused. Second was using feedback from measurements and actually tracking my progress numbers and being accountable to others on the forum. Third was the pre-planning of when exactly I would work out and what I would do, and menus that I would follow.
TOM : Do you think this whole Burn the Fat challenge changed your perception on how much you can transform your body in a short period of time, as in our 7 week challenge?
HANNAH: Absolutely. I had no idea it was possible. I’ve always looked at those ads, showing pictures of people changing and I thought like that was just a huge fake. I thought it really wasn’t possible and that it would take at least a year to see visible changes of long, hard, hard work, and that has always been a deterrent for me. So knowing that I can put in a concentrated effort for a certain amount of time and actually see visible results is really encouraging to me.
I feel like you could probably advertise the next challenge by saying that if you just finish the challenge and stick to your goals, you will achieve the untypical results, the above average results. Because so many of the finishers did, just by having the accountability of a challenge like this that you don’t have doing it alone. So many of them worked so hard and lost so much weight or changed their body composition so much. It was just amazing to see.
You can get more information about the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (BFFM) program at:
“Contest Central” for the Burn the Fat transformation challenge will once again be hosted at the Burn The Fat Inner Circle:
I would enter, but I already used your program with RTP to lose 50 pounds on May 1st!!!
Bring on 98 day challenge WOOHOO (So excited)
Hey -That’s really fantastic, and thanks for sharing stories like Hannah’s. Great transformation, and it’s refreshing to see people taking responsibility and making a change when already a few people would have spotted some excuses to make for her.- Kids- Post pregnancy- Can’t be helpedEach of these excuses would by themselves be enough, so again, great job Hannah!
I recently purchased your ebook. I still receive emails. I would like to take the challenge. Where do I start with your ebooks? When does the challenge start?
Hi Laurathe burn the fat challenge starts registration on May 24th, 2010 at http://www.burnthefatinnercircle.com. The registration deadline is May 30th, 2010.if you have the burn the fat, feed the muscle ebook, that is the BEST place to start, and reading that prior to the May 24th start day is your best betcheers!tom
This is amazing! I love what youre doing with this!I can’t wait for this challenge. let’s get ready!!!Thank you so much!!!Patty
Im interested in entering the challenge, but i was wondering, I already purchased your burn the fat ebook but lost it in a computer crash. how can i get a replacement burn the fat ebook? my computer crashed right after i bought it. i have emailed you guys but didnt hear back.have a great day.
Roger, we can replace a lost ebook any time. If you clicked “reply” to a newsletter, we may have never seen your email; all you have to is contact customer service from the burn the fat website here http://www.burnthefat.com/contact.html and they will take care of you. See you in the transformation contest!
Dear Tom,I am currently in a place where I think this challenge could give me a jump start in continuing with my program but I have to admit that I am a little scared. Why, I’m not sure but my life is not your normal hectic “mom’s” life. I have two children with Autism and my daughter is also Down Syndrome. We have therapists and appointments constantly and that doesn’t include all the stress and confusion surrounding school issues. I find myself very overwhelmed and depressed most of the time. I am usually pretty good about my program but have hit a wall due to extra problems with the kids. I was very impressed with Hannah’s success and a trip to Maui would be the perfect get-away for my husband and I but I just can’t seem to allow myself to commit to a challenge. I almost feel paralized and that I will be thinking too much of myself and won’t have the time needed to care of my kids let alone taking away precious time from my husband and I. Can you please offer me a one or two line piece of advice that might help me. Thank you so very much and God Bless you for all you do for people.
Tom,I’ve been looking for the right Transformation Contest to enter and this is the one! These “contests” keep me accountable and motivated! FYI, I took part in first RTP that Adam Waters had assembled and it was pretty cool but maybe a little convoluted for me! Anyway, I look forward to it Tom, and thanks!Rick
Linda, perhaps consider doing it FOR your children. If you have children or any people in your life with special needs, you not only need to be there for them, you need to be there fully in mind AND BODY. this is why you have to be “appropriately selfish” at times and put yourself first – because if you dont have your ownhealth and energy and vitality how can you help, serve, and love others?if youre overwhelmed and depressed thats all the more reason to start moving. hannah’s example should inspire you and there were others like her. I will post more success stories – you will see.this is NOT necessarily about winning a contest. In our survey, twice as many people said they were doing this for personal motivation and accountability than the # of people who said they wanted to win a maui vacation or other prizes.heres how id recommend you approach this: Set a couple goals you CAN achieve: you will set health and fitness goals for yourself, you will start the 98 days, you will finish the 98 days and you will finish with personal improvement.That much, you can do… anyone can do it.My very best to you.tomps You should also merely look at the 98 day challenge as a launching point of a new lifestyle — it does not end after 98 days- it just gets you started.
I am so looking forward to this! If there is anyone out there contemplating buying Burn the Fat, I have to tell you that it really is the gift that keeps on giving because Tom Venuto provides you with a wealth of very valuable and free information on a regular basis!
I am so excited about this challenge! It is awesome having the transformation contest as additional motivation. It’s only another week, but I cannot wait. Thanks Tom.
Hi Tom – this challenge is exactly what I need. Thanks for this. I am 5 10″ and I need to lose approx. 20 lbs. So I was hoping to do the challenge and over the next three months reach my goal. Do you have a specific diet I could follow – some examples – I try and exercise for 1 hour per day. Anyway, if you could suggest anything that would be great! Thanks very much
were looking forward to the challenge toothe official nutrition program for the challengeis burnthe fat, feed the musclehttp://www.burnthefat.comthats the complete nutritionprogramif you want some ideas of what foods thatmight include, one of my previous postson foods for fat loss programs might be helpful:http://www.burnthefat.com/list-of-top-10-weight-loss-foods.htmlcheers!
I am so ready for the challenge Tom! I am a mother of 2, ages 3 & 6, I work full-time, and we have tball/soccer a few evenings a week….so I found it really tough during the last challenge to find that balance. But I’m not ready to give up, I’m ready to refresh my commitment to ME. ‘I have time for anyting I’m committed to’! That is a quote I got from you that I have to keep repeating to myself! I’ve got my husband on board for support and encouragement and I am ready to ROCK! I can already see myself on the beach in a bikini!!Thank you for doing these challenges and all the support you send via email….your ebook was by far the best investment I have made for my health. As mentioned earlier, it’s a gift that just keeps on giving!! With continued ebooks and articles to further our knowledge in health and nutrition! So THANK YOU for your constant support and encouragement!
Hannah, you are such a yummy mummy! OMG!Anda
Tom,I own the Burn the Fat book in hard copy adn receive your weekly emails. Am I eligible to enter the contest?Also… hannah mentioned tracking her diet on an i-pod. How do you do that??THANKS!heidi
hi heidi.yes, as mentioned at the bottom of my blog post, youre eligible for the contest.re: ipod, now that i think about it, she might have meant iphone.. not sure, i know for certain that the iphone has nutrition appscheers!tom
Hi Tom,I own the BFFM book and receive your weekly emails. Thank you! This challenge is exactly what I need.Friendly regards, Charmaine Grobler
I love fitness challenges. They keep me motivated. I did a couple thru work and managed to lose 35lbs already but I have such a long way to go. Can’t wait to start this one!!!
Hi,I bought your book a month ago ,am I suppose to get an official invitation for registration to the challenge ?Thanks.Sue