First Challenge Completed

It’s a lie

I don’t know where it started, just know I am firmly caught up in it. Lies.  Hard to break free and hard to see the truth.


Lies??  What can you mean?

Simply put, we have been lied to, and even lie to ourselves. Hey, I didn’t start it, unknowingly I am firmly caught up in them too.

There is a little box we pay homage to. It controls our life, it controls out thoughts. We cannot escape it. Starts with “You are too fat, you need to lose weight.”

I get up every morning and perform a typical morning ritual. Head to the bathroom, “go”, then step on the scale. I need to find out what is my “true weight”?

This is where it all begins.  The ultimate lie – true weight.

I have been following this paradigm for many years. We are led to believe similarly. “If you are 5 feet 8 inches high you should weigh 152 – 172.

Really?  I haven’t seen the sunny side of the 170’s since junior high school.

A friend of mine recently told me “I weigh 240, I need to get to 200 and I will be right where I need to be.” I think he has been lied to as well.

If I need to get down to 170, what if I get rid of an arm?  How about ½ a leg? My weight will be “in the numbers” now where is my health? OK, Yeah, this is an extreme example, so where am I going with all this?

We are tracking – and measuring ourselves – to the wrong numbers.

I know I am, and many others are, a slave to the little white box that gives us the magic number every morning.


I tried to stay away from the scale for a week. Start weighing myself only once a week. I did it for one week. Didn’t make it…  I cheated and checked. Not once but twice.

I had an extremely difficult time making the shift from tracking weight daily to weekly.

This is only ONE number of a number of factors that determine health, fitness and my overall well-being. So why am I so tied up in this? – Because of the lies we have been told and are now telling ourselves.

We need to start tracking “health”. This comes by utilizing other tools and changing what we focus on. The biggest factor (for me) is body fat percentage.  Huh?  What?  How the heck are we going to do that?

There are a few ways to measure body fat.

  • Scales that send electronic pulses that measure resistance within your body.
  • Body fat calipers.
  • Taking measurements. While this does not measure fat, per se, it does give us an overall measurement of size. When compared with weight, we can get a sense of our progress.
  • Mirror – do we like what we see? – And the alternative, pictures.

We still need to use a scale to use as a data point. We just need to understand that what the scale tells us is only a piece to the health puzzle. We need more data to get a better picture of our overall health, fitness and progress.

So now where am I going with all this?

I have been on a fitness journey for 4 ½ months. I started back in October and have been pretty diligent on keeping up with my program. Overall I am doing very well.

My main issue? I keep going back to that great big lie. The little white box I step on every day and I find it the toughest part to overcome.

Each morning I weigh myself and see where I am at. Each week I measure myself and get a better, more informed (more data = greater detail) answer. Trying to overcome the short term information (daily weight) in support of the long term data (weekly measurements) is the hardest part.

During the past few months I happened on a resource that I had used previously. Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. This is a program by Tom Venuto, which works to change the way we approach health and fitness – fat loss instead of weight loss. Wow, what a concept.

This is a fairly simple concept. Is it easy? Hell no! Simple – yes, easy – no. (There is a big difference between the two).

Last October and pretty much through the end of the year, I only kept track of weight. The numbers went down and life was good. I started to hit a few bumps – plateaus – and such along the way. Overall things progressed nicely.

The beginning weight was easy. Now comes the true challenge.

Oh, did I say challenge?

Somewhere in December I was reading an email from Tom / BFFM team and heard about a challenge he was setting up.  Two challenges really.  28 day and 98 day challenges. Four weeks and 14 weeks respectively.

The first one was to “start good habits”. If you do something long enough (4 weeks?) you will create a habit. This habit can transform into a lifestyle change (14 weeks) which will invariably cause a transformation.

I entered the challenges and performed the beginning ritual of taking measurements and taking pictures. I really wish I would have done this back in October.  I had already lost a bit of weight by this time and it would have been nice to see the true beginning / end. Even with this in mind, my pictures and stats still show I have a long ways to go. Still have opportunity for improvement.

I will not go into great detail as to what the overall program is about. I will mention that there are key aspects to the system.

  1. Nutrition
  2. Strength Training
  3. Cardio Training
  4. Psychological – goal setting
  5. (read the book)

I have truly begun my fitness journey. Although I have started the challenges mid-stream, I will work to complete to the best of my ability.

The 28 day challenge is coming to a close for me today. Unfortunately, I did not fair as well as I hoped. I ended up with a sinus infection / bronchial issue this past week and was out of the gym for a week. I did keep on track nutrition wise. Having a few “cheats” has made me well aware of how much progress you can lose by cheating if even just a little, ok maybe a bit more than a little J.

Even with the minor setbacks, I still did well.

For the 4 week period, my end result was good.

  • I lost 1.7 pounds total weight
  • I gained 1.56 pounds of lean muscle
  • I lost 3.26 pounds of fat

The next few weeks will see an even greater attention to detail. In the beginning, I could “waffle” and get away with it, not so much anymore.

Another key paradigm shift – I need to eat more. Say what?? More? Yes. I am continuously below my set threshold for calories. This will kick my body into starvation mode and cause my energy levels to drop. I need to keep my metabolism kicking at full gear. I also need as much energy as possible to keep the workouts effective and continuing.

I have specific goals to reach. Getting to these goals will require heightened awareness and execution. I will reach my goals and already have a few more in the works. There will be a continued focus on progress and success.

This is my fitness journey. I do not see and end, just an ever changing set of goals.

Enjoy the ride!

With Peace and Love, -Dennis




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  1. Penny on February 12, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I hear every word your saying, and have felt so much of this myself. Being short, its very difficult for me to manage my weight. If I don’t stay conscious of my eating habits and my exercise program, it does catch up with me, then I get on the scale, and get discouraged. I was weighing myself once a week. Recently I have started weighing myself on Mondays, then again on Fridays, because weekends can be tough. But by doing this, I can see whether I have lost or stayed the same during the week, then know what I need to do to get thru the weekend.
    Weekends are tough for me because I head to a household that has junk food… sweets~ my downfall. At my home, I don’t buy the sweets. If I need something sweet, I buy jello or puddings.

    You have come such a long way. Don’t ever get discouraged. You look great!!!

  2. Andy Bosse on February 12, 2014 at 9:11 am

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. “Health” isn’t a number on a scale, but a physiological and psychological condition. To address the latter, put your scale in the attic for a few months and forget about it…..and the former, just eat healthy as much as you want and stay active. As you said, it is simple, but not easy. Keep the faith.

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