The One Thing Every Fitness Success Story Has In Common

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I started my career in fitness as a personal trainer back in 2006. Since then, I’ve seen a lot of fitness success stories (and many failures, too). Most prominent among them is that I’ve witnessed thousands of success stories as an official judge for the many Burn The Fat Body Transformation Challenges at the Burn The Fat Inner Circle. Think of it like a healthy and natural (and sane!) version of The Biggest Loser that you do by yourself (i.e. without “trainers” screaming in your face).

Every time we’ve hosted one of these, hundreds of people submit an entry as a “challenge finisher” – complete with before and after pictures, progress journals, and perhaps most importantly, an essay. That essay can be about what they learned during the challenge, what was hardest for them, or how they achieved their transformation, among other things. And as a judge, I read every single one of them (and some of them several times while we’re whittling down the contestants to pick the winners). Yes, it takes awhile!

Over the years that I’ve been judging these challenges, I’ve noticed some recurring themes in each person’s story. And I’ve noticed those same themes repeated in other fitness success stories I’ve witnessed or read about. And today, I’d like to share one thing that they ALL have in common so that you can take advantage of it.

Here it is: in each persons life, before they become a “success story,” there comes a moment of reckoning.

That is, there came a time when they realized that:

a) I need a change,



Oftentimes, it’s because they hit rock-bottom. They feel horrible all the time and they hate it. They’re embarrassed about the way they look. They can’t do the things they want to. They feelĀ weak. Or, maybe they’ve tried and failed so many times before – with diets, workouts, New Year’s resolutions, etc. Or, it may even be because they were given a death sentence by their doctor (i.e. get healthy or you’ll likely be dead soon). But many times, they just slowly realize how lousy they look, feel, and perform. Or, that things aren’t as easy as they used to be. Or, something like that. Regardless, they know that something needs to change, and now!

So, call it an awakening, or a day of reckoning, whatever. This always happens.

The good news is that you can take advantage of this yourself BEFORE you hit rock-bottom or get the death sentence, and I’d highly recommend it! If you want to finally take the plunge and commit to a lifestyle of excellent health and fitness, then why not get a heads start? So many people wait until things get really bad before doing anything about it, when it would be much easier to start before that happens.

So, ask yourself, what’s it going to take for you to realize that you need a change and that NOW IS THE TIME?

Said another way, what are the personal reasons – the deep stuff – why you’re going to do this? What would make it worth your time, effort, and enthusiasm? What would be worth fighting for? Is it your family and friends? How about the potential for a longer, more enjoyable life? Independence? What’s your reason?

Figure that out, and like Teddy Roosevelt used to say, “believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

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2 Responses

  1. I’d have to say starting and doing was the easier part of transforming. I think the tough part about transformation is making it lasting. I think the more habits a person has to change the harder it is to continue maintaining those new habits. I also think a big factor is how long the person was in their pre transformation state. A lifetime of poor habits is tough to overcome FOREVER. Anyway, I’m sure I could ramble on about this stuff for hours :) I think putting yourself with people that you want to be more like is a huge help too :) I look forward to getting to hike with you this Saturday :) would love to pick your brain so might have some questions to ask :) Hoping you and the rest of the BFFM folks will help to inspire me to go further and also help my family to want more for themselves :)

    • I’m looking forward to it, too, Dawn! And don’t hesitate to pick my brain (or anyone else’s!) while we’re out there. I’m not sure if there’s anything valuable up in my brain cells, but I’d be happy to chat for a bit. And hopefully, I’ll be able to put at least one coherent thought together :)

      P.S. You make a very good point about making a transformation last – easier said than done. That’d be a good discussion topic, for sure!

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