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All-Natural Health & Fitness Secrets Newsletter #48

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Fitness Renaissance Newsletter Issue #48
In This Issue:


  • What’s New, What’s News
  • Editorial & Opinion: The Excuse Buster, By Tom Venuto
  • Ask Tom Question of the month: What the “skinny guy” must do to gain muscle mass
  • Article of the month: 7 Keys To Permanent Weight Loss Success, Part 1, By Jeremy Likness
  • Monthly motivator: Can You BELIEVE it, by Vic Johnson
  • Quotes of the month




We’re changing our name!

Effective with this issue, the monthly Fitness Renaissance newsletter will be called, “Tom Venuto’s Natural Health & Fitness Secrets Newsletter.”

Why the name change? Well, in order to better serve all my readers, the subject matter of this newsletter will be aimed at a general fitness audience, including beginners, with interests in the areas of weight loss, health, fitness motivation, nutrition, weight training and cardio vascular exercise – the all natural way.

A few months ago, I created a new site ( for men and women who are interested in bodybuilding, hard core weight training, developing muscle mass, physique competition and advanced weight training and dieting techniques.

Naturally, of course, you are welcome to subscribe to both newsletters and visit both websites (they are both free), but by changing the focus of each site, I hope to be able to provide my readers with the information that is most appropriate to their interests and experience levels.


Blogging has been all the rage over the past year and has even grabbed major attention in the offline media including coverage in Forbes and a recent cover story in Business Week magazine.

In case you’re not familiar with blogging yet, essentially, a blog is an online diary with some neat technological enhancements.

Because a blog is an online diary, it has (among other purposes) become an ideal way for thousands of men and women to record their personal fitness journeys from fat to fit, and hundreds if not thousands of fitness blogs have been launched in the past year.

Several months ago, I decided to hop on the BLOG BANDWAGON with my new website

For the past four months I have blogged nearly every single one ofmy personal workouts as well as my fat burning diet and personal experiences on my way to returning to bodybuilding competition after a 4 year layoff from the contest stage.

Over the past two weeks, I “completed my mission” and competed twice and have posted all the results on my blog, including new photos.

If you’re a bodybuilder or just a fan of bodybuilding, be sure to go see the latest bodybuilding news and info at:

Another great new blog for anyone interested in fitness and fat loss is Jon Benson’s 10 in 10 Challenge.

Many Fitness Renaissance readers are familiar with my friend and colleague Jon Benson as the creator and co-author of Fit over 40: Role Models For Excellence At Any Age (co-authored with yours truly).

The 10 in 10 challenge is Jon’s latest endeavor so I’ll just let Jon explain it in his own words:

“The 10 in 10 Challenge is based on the simple strategy of shedding 10 pounds in 10 weeks, or 1 pound per week every 10 weeks for a long as you need to shed it.

However, there is a twist: we’re seeking fat loss, not weight loss.

My goal with The 10 in 10 Challenge is three-fold:


Education will come by means of my experience as a fitness professional and my own past struggles with obesity. Motivation through the tearing down of the “myth of the Superman”—I’m every bit as real as the next guy or gal. Some have greater challenges, many have fewer. We’re all in this together.

Through the liberation of body fat, a mere 1 pound per week (sometimes more, sometimes less, but averaging 10 pounds every 10 weeks for each 10 pounds you need to discard), a liberation of life, spirit and motivation to excel will occur. I’ve seen this countless times, and I want to see it with each and every one of you.

Remember: I’m going through this process myself. I did not purposefully gain weight in order to take it off again like some have done to sell books, fyi. My results may be a bit more dramatic than most, but please bear in mind that I’ve been in bodybuilding condition for a long time prior to my 16 months of virtual inactivity.

The rate of progress is not important! As long as you keep “10 in 10″ in your mind and in your goals, you’re batting a thousand. For those of you who are in more of a hurry…why? Plan to be somewhere else in a year? Good—then you can be exactly who you are, where you are, and over fifty pounds of fat lighter in that year. You’ll either do that, or you’ll gain about 2-6 pounds over the same year statistically speaking.

You will also find yourself forever liberated from the concept of “dieting”. Why engage in something 95% people fail at? Why not learn from the 5% who haven’t failed, but succeeded massively? That’s what I’ve done, and I’m here to pass it on to you.

Education, motivation and liberation. That’s the mission of 10 in 10.”

So there you have it – two awesome new blogs to enjoy – and there’s enough “Backblog” in these two new sites to keep you busy for a while!

Train hard and expect success all-ways,

Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS
Bodybuilding & Fat Loss Coach


By Tom Venuto


By Tom Venuto, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

Mark Twain once wrote, “There are a thousand excuses for failure, but never a good reason.”

After being in the fitness industry for the last 17 years, I must have heard at least a thousand different excuses for not training consistently, for not eating properly, for “trying”, but not getting any results, or for not even starting at all. I’m telling you, I could fill up an “excuse encyclopedia” with all the lame excuses I’ve heard!

Do you know what an excuse really is?

An excuse is when people rationalize (“ration lies”) to themselves to uphold their current belief systems, to avoid taking risks, to avoid the fear of failure or making a fool of themselves, to justify failure to take action, to provide explanation for why something “cannot be done,” to let themselves off the hook to escape personal responsibility and accountability or to avoid the hard work and “growing pains” it takes to achieve personal change and success.

If you’re a chronic excuse maker, you will never reach a high level of success in your fitness endeavors or in life until you break this habit.

Fortunately, there is hope, and help for “excusitis,” and it’s called “THE EXCUSE BUSTER.” It’s a simple method that I’ve used and you can use too to squash those rationalizations once and for all.

All you have to do is ask yourself the excuse buster question:

“Has there ever been anyone, anywhere at any time who has experienced the same limitations, obstacles or challenges that I’m currently facing, but has gone on to successfully achieve their goals anyway in spite of them?”

By helping you find COUNTER-EXAMPLES or ROLE MODELS, the EXCUSE BUSTER question reveals the truth: What anyone else has done can be used as proof that you can do it yourself. It shows you that Whatever excuse you had for not achieving your goal does not hold water… you have been “rationing lies” to yourself!

What’s most astounding is that A SINGLE COUNTER-EXAMPLE or just ONE GOOD ROLE MODEL is often all it takes to instantly, completely and permanently shatter an excuse or self limiting belief that may have been holding you back for years.

Let me give you a great example.

Many years ago when I had just started college, my friend and workout partner, Steve, had decided to take the plunge into competitive bodybuilding.

I had already been training for five years (I started when I was only 14), and I wanted to compete too. I talked about it all the time, but I was making all kinds of excuses for why I couldn’t do it. Such as:

I had a small business to focus on, I had a girlfriend and social life, I was in college taking five classes, I didn’t have enough muscle mass yet (had to train a few more years to get bigger), I had recently injured my back, etc, etc. (believe me, I had a LOT of excuses!)

WELL… Steve went on to compete and at the age of 19, he won his first competition: the Teenage Natural Mr. America title. I didn’t compete because I was too busy making excuses.

You should have seen him – he looked AWESOME! I had never met anyone who had developed a body like that at such a young age. And he did it 100% naturally (absolutely NO steroids!)

As you can probably guess, that was the single spark that lit a motivational bonfire under my butt!

But it wasn’t just the fact that Steve competed and won that motivated me. It was the fact that he had all of the same obstacles that I did, (and then some), yet he didn’t let that stop him. He overcame, competed and won, and that’s what “blasted” my own excuses out of the water.

Steve was in college too; except he had six courses, compared to my five.

On top of his full academic schedule, he also had a part time job as a foreman/manager at a textile factory.

He had also recently gotten married and although he didn’t have kids yet, but he did have three dogs to look after!

Steve even had a bad knee from a high school football injury which required surgery and forced him to drop off the varsity team. Even that didn’t stop him. He trained around it.

So what was MY excuse now?

All the lame excuses I had “conjured up” as reasons why I couldn’t do it instantly evaporated because someone else had proved that it could be done under the same circumstances.

I said, “If he can do it, I can do it too.” The undeniable proof was right there in front of me.

It’s no exaggeration to say my own competition training started the very next day. The following season, I was onstage and my competitive bodybuilding career had begun at the age of 20.

Since then, I have 28 competitions and numerous titles under my belt as a natural bodybuilder, but one thing I never did and will never be able to do is become a teenage bodybuilding champion like Steve simply because I was too busy making excuses to even try.

How did Steve do it? Very simply, he didn’t make excuses or look for reasons why it couldn’t be done, he asked himself HOW CAN IT BE DONE and then he did what it took. He was out of the gym, finished with his training, showered, dressed and on the way to work or class before most people were even out of bed!

What excuses are you using to justify why you haven’t achieved your fitness goals yet? Too busy? No time? Family commitments? Can’t afford the gym membership or food? Single mom? Long hours at work? Too old? Poor genetics? Too much traveling? Injury? Going to school? Don’t know how to exercise? Don’t know what to eat?

Think about your excuses, and then ask the excuse buster question: “Has anybody else with the same challenges or obstacles as you gone on to achieve their goals in spite of them?” If you are being honest with yourself, you will immediately recognize that there are people all around you who not only have the same difficulties, but who have difficulties far greater than you have ever experienced who are succeeding in spite of them.

If you can’t find an example or role model, I bet I can help you… I’ve seen people overcome odds that appeared almost insurmountable.

One great place to look for role models who prove it CAN BE DONE is in the ebook, Fit Over 40, (, which is filled with people who proved that age, (among other challenges such as injury or illness), is not an acceptable excuse or a barrier to success.

If it’s confusion or the lack of “how to” information that you feel is holding you back, then the BURN THE FAT, FEED THE MUSCLE system is a guaranteed way to get past the “I don’t know how” excuse.

Rest assured, you can transcend nearly any obstacle and transform yourself. You can look for proof that it CAN be done or you can look for proof that it CAN’T be done. It’s all a matter of finding the right role models and asking the right questions.

Your friend and coach,

Tom Venuto, CSCS, NSCA-CPT


Lewis Wolk of A to Z Fitness.Com recently came up with a great idea. He decided to ask 10 of the internet’s top trainers and bodybuilding experts for their best kept secrets of gaining muscle and losing body fat and to compile the answers into a brand new ebook.

When Lewis asked me to be a part of this project, he confronted me with the BIG question on which the entire book is based: “What is the best way to gain maximum muscle and lose maximum fat in only 30 days?” When I first heard it, I have to admit, I didn’t like the question. You see, I’ve always believed in a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of philosophy, not an “overnight muscle” or “lose 30 pounds in 30 days” type of mentality (which usually reeks of fads, gimmicks and scams).

However, EVERYBODY wants results as quickly as possible and no one wants to waste time on diet and training methods that don’t produce. Although you can only achieve so much in a single month, the truth is, the first 30 days on a properly designed training program, supported by sound nutrition in an optimally “primed” (and not over-trained) body, will always be the period with the greatest results. After that, your results start to level off as your body becomes accustomed to the old routine.

So I decided that this was a question that deserved an answer and I agreed to write one of the chapters in Lewis’s book. I racked my brains for weeks to come up with a program that would produce the most muscle growth in only 30 days. What I developed, I named the “30 day growth spurt program.” Why did I call it a “growth spurt” program? I guess you’ll just have to read it to find out.

Will this program turn you into Mr. Olympia or pack 20 pounds of muscle on you in a month? Of course not. In fact, I confront – head on – the issue of false muscle growth claims and I teach you how to set a realistic, but ambitious goal for gaining muscle. Although I’m not promising miracles, I’m confident that if you follow the nutrition and training protocol to a T, you will experience some of the best progress you’ve ever achieved in such a short period of time.


Dear Tom,

I don’t really have a problem with body fat. My goal is bodybuilding and my problem is gaining weight. I read your information on body types in chapter 5 of your book and it was very interesting. I am definitely an ectomorph (skinny, small frame) body type. I am getting good results gaining about 1 to 2 pounds a week, but I’m pretty skinny so it’s going to take years to get where I really want to be, but that’s fine, I’m patient and determined. My question is, can I use all the guidelines in your BURN THE FAT ebook for gaining muscle mass or do I need to do anything different?


7 Keys to Permanent Weight Loss Success, Part 1
By Jeremy Likness

Terrorists are aptly named because their tactics are designed to strike fear into the hearts of the people. This fear is often irrational. Many people bide their time suffering anxiety over the next unlikely attack while falling prey to a monster that kills more people every week than those murdered on September 11th. This killer has no hidden agenda and destroys without prejudice. Those who are unfortunate enough to meet this nemesis often suffer prolonged pain before eventually succumbing and “giving up the breath” as death was described in ancient Egypt.

What could possibly be so terrible? In the year 2000, the leading preventable cause of death was tobacco. Only a few decades ago, doctors and priests would smoke during commercials and share their favorite brand of cigarette. Today, there is a stigma associated with smoking because we understand the link between tobacco and death. Unfortunately, there is a new competitor who is rapidly gaining ground. This competitor claimed thousands lives in the year 2000, and was the second leading preventable cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Who is this deadly threat to society?

Poor diet and lack of exercise.

Surprised? Thousands of people die every day due to poor eating habits and lack of regular exercise. The death certificate won’t mention their favorite fast food combo meal or the fact that they would rather watch the latest golf tournament than take a stroll through the park. Instead, one of the many degenerative diseases that have been conclusively linked to nutrition and exercise will stake its claim over another life.

Society spends more time and energy worrying about violent threats than dealing with this leading cause of death. While the popularity of products and services designed to address the situation is growing – in fact, the health and wellness industry is en route to become the next trillion-dollar industry according to economist Paul Zane Pilzer – the rate of obesity, overweight, and conditions related to poor diet and lack of exercise such as type II “adult onset” diabetes is increasing. In fact, adult onset diabetes is now being diagnosed in enough children that most medical professionals simply refer to it as “type II.”

Perhaps one reason why this epidemic is so hard to combat is that people are focused on the solution as a product or service, rather than a process. To quit smoking, many people receive counseling, join groups or follow systems because it’s not as simple as tossing the last pack (the author is one of the fortunate few who was able to stop smoking “cold turkey” but found it far more difficult to overcome his poor eating habits). Overweight and obesity is a condition related to behavior and patterns that have taken years to create, so the notion that some magic product will suddenly undo the thousands of days of programming is absurd. Successful, permanent weight loss is a process, not an event.

During a recent seminar that I conduct, participants explored the concept of just how powerful the mind is and how this relates to losing fat. After a serious of powerful exercises, they were asked to create an action plan based on what they learned in order to successfully lose fat and keep it off. The result of this workshop was seven keys that addressed what most diet programs or weight loss systems do not: the fact that fitness starts inside.

Here, then, are seven keys to permanent weight loss success that start on the inside.

Key #1: Be Positive

You’ve probably heard this one before. It’s a popular cliché. In order for it to work, however, you have to move beyond a catchy statement and integrate this as part of your life. In order to truly “be positive” you must start with an understanding of the mind. Your reality is perception, and perception is influenced by your thoughts. Thoughts create reality. What you think about expands.

A good friend and client of mine was a pilot for many years. After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, he was out of work. He went through a period of extreme grief, pain, and anger. His health suffered. It wasn’t the money that struck such a powerful blow. It was something else, a mistake many people made.

You see, my friend’s reality could be summed up with this statement: “I am a pilot.”

Can you see the danger in this? He defined himself by what he did, not who he was. By losing his job, he lost his identity. In reality, he was there all along, but his ego kept getting in the way of finding his true self. He had to learn how to let go and be himself, and define who he was on his own merits, not by his actions, level of success, or how others perceive him.

Many people who are overweight create the same situation. Most will create the statement, “I am fat.” Of course, the desire to lose weight might exist, but if your definition of self-worth is based on the amount of fat you carry, what happens when it’s gone? If you’ve lived with “I am fat” for months or years, who do you expect to become when the fat is gone? This subconscious fear of losing your identity can sabotage your process.

What we think about expands. If you focus on the fat you carrying, or the difficulty you have losing weight, then expect more of it. Expect more fat, and expect a difficult time losing the fact. On the other hand, if you focus on releasing the fat, on your success and the process, then this is what you will receive more of. The fat won’t go away overnight. However, if you spend just one day eating healthy foods and exercising – even if it’s just taking a short walk – would you consider that to be an improvement? Could you call that a “healthy day” compared to your previous habits? What if you decided to be, “I am healthy,” and give the fat some time to let go?

Be positive means be realistic, and focus on the positive progress. Focus on abundance – get more of what you wish to receive, instead of thinking about what you don’t want.

Key #2: Forgive yourself

Forgive yourself already! ENOUGH!

You are only human. Whatever decisions, choices, or even mistakes resulted in your current position, get over them. Successful people recognize that in life, there are no mistakes or failures. There are simply undesired outcomes that offer a learning experience. Most people operate from the realm of “what if” and live either in the past or the future. You decide that past failures dooms you to repeat these mistakes in the future, or you struggle with the concept of “what if” and contemplate a future that is pure fiction. It doesn’t exist.

Get real. Live in the present. As long as you continue to dwell on your mistakes, you are simply creating elaborate excuses to share. You can continue to beat yourself up, or do something about it. So what if you were a binge eater? So what if you knew you were going to gain weight, but gave in anyway? Those were all choices that happened in the past. You are in the driver’s seat. You have a brain. You also have the power to control it. No matter how difficult it may seem, you can choose to be different. It only takes an instant to change your mindset. Dwelling on the past is only an excuse to delay the process.

The first step is to forgive yourself. Remember that forgiveness is not an event. It’s a process. It takes time. You’ve spent a long time telling yourself you are bad, lazy, fat, ugly, or other nasty things that just aren’t true. You can continue to do the same thing, or recognize that for things to change, you must change. One easy way to do this is to simply stand in front of the mirror several times per day, look yourself in the eye, and say out loud: “The more I love the way I am, the more I am the way I want to be.”

Does this feel silly to you? It’s not. That discomfort you have isn’t because you’re doing something stupid … it’s because you’re not comfortable with you. In fact, the more excuses you make to not do this exercise, the more reason you should. You’ll find that, over time, you will become more comfortable with who you are. Soon, you’ll look forward to greeting yourself. Eventually, you could even learn to love yourself again.

Key #3: Stop making excuses

If you’ve already talked yourself out of the exercise described in Key #2, then you need to read this and go back to it.

Do you feel that bulge in your pocket? No, not the one with your wallet or makeup kit tucked away. I’m talking about the one you carry around with you all of the time.

To learn more about the victim cards we all carry around with us, listen to the fifth CD in my 5-CD Lose Fat, Not Faith Audio program

In a nutshell, everyone faces challenges. It is popular to define ourselves by comparing what we have with someone else, but in the end, you can’t please everyone. I’ve heard every excuse in the book.

“I’m too old.” I’ll show you an 80-year old bodybuilder.

“I just got out of heart surgery.” I’ll introduce you to a man who lost dozens of pounds after quadruple bypass surgery and improved his healthy tremendously.

“I’m too overweight and out of shape.” Listen to my interview with Rob “Former Fat Guy” Cooper who lost almost 400 pounds of fat.

“I’ve had too many children to get a flat stomach.” I’ll show you pictures of women with half a dozen kids who win trophies in figure and bodybuilding competitions.

“I work two jobs and go to night school.” I’ll share the story of a woman who was working full time, studying to become a fitness trainer, and teaching her husband how to walk and talk at the same time (he was recovering from brain surgery) while losing over 100 pounds.

The fact is there are always excuses. Instead of wasting your time and energy finding one that sounds good, why not just admit you’re not up for the challenge? Ultimately, you must make the decision to change. If you’re not ready, then just admit it. Stop feeding us the sad drama and save it for someone else. Find someone else who wallows in their excuses and you can have a grand time exchanging all of the reasons why you’re not going to change. The rest of us, we’ve got a different plan. You see, we all carry the same victim cards, but we’re not going to play them. Instead, we’re going to stop being a victim and get on with the business of doing what we set out to do.

Part 2 to be continued next month



Discover the 10 most common Fat Loss mistakes people make. Almost everyone has made at least one of them, and most people have made many of them! Jeremy Likness reveals these common mistakes and how to overcome them, in a powerful new one hour audio…


Can You BELIEVE it?
By Vic Johnson

“Belief is the basis of all action, and this being so, the belief that dominates the hearts or mind is shown in the life.” – James Allen (Above Life’s Turmoil)

William James, the great psychologist and writer of the early twentieth century, said, “Belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that will guarantee the success of any venture.” You will rarely attempt something you don’t believe possible and you will NEVER give 100% of your ability to something you don’t believe in.

One of the best known stories about the power of belief is about Roger Bannister, the first person to run a mile in under four minutes. Before his accomplishment it was generally believed that the human body was incapable of such a feat. Bannister, who was a medical student, held another belief, however. “Fueled by my faith in my training, I will overcome all obstacles. I am brave! I am not afraid to face anyone on the track. I believe this is not a dream. It is my reality.”

As soon as he broke the barrier, belief about the feat changed and his record only lasted 46 days. Within two years more than fifty people also ran a sub-four-minute mile. Thousands have done so since and today it’s not uncommon for it to be done by a talented high-schooler. What happened in 1954 that hadn’t happened in the previous 6,000 years of humankind that allowed Bannister to achieve this? Did the human body change so that this could be done? No. But the human belief system did!

Perhaps my most favorite story about belief has a twist to it. Cynthia Kersey wrote about George Dantzig in Unstoppable: As a college student, George studied very hard and always late into the night. So late that he overslept one morning, arriving 20 minutes late for class. He quickly copied the two math problems on the board, assuming they were the homework assignment. It took him several days to work through the two problems but finally he had a breakthrough and dropped the homework on the professor’s desk the next day.

Later, on a Sunday morning, George was awakened at 6 a.m. by his excited professor. Since George was late for class, he hadn’t heard the professor announce that the two unsolvable equations on the board were mathematical mind teasers that even Einstein hadn’t been able to answer. But George Dantzig, BELIEVING that he was working on just ordinary homework problems, had solved not one, but two problems that had stumped mathematicians for thousands of years.

How many great things could you achieve if you just “believed” they were as easy as they really are?

Some years ago I was listening to a friend of mine speaking to a business audience and she quoted a teaching by David Schwartz from The Magic of Thinking Big that rocked my life. She said, “The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief.” Now that was the first personal development book I ever read and I’ve read it at least 20 times since. And I’m sure that I had heard that concept many times before that night. But it so impacted me that I wrote it down and must have looked at it a hundred times or more in the thirty days after that.

I spent the next few months focused on strengthening my belief in myself and in what I wanted to do. I took to heart what Wayne Dyer wrote in You’ll See It When You Believe It: “Work each day on your thoughts rather than concentrating on your behavior. It is your thinking that creates the feelings that you have and ultimately your actions as well.” So I worked each day on my beliefs by constantly affirming myself using written and verbal affirmations. The years since have been an incredible rocket ride.

Lest you think it’s that easy, you should know that I WORKED HARD on my “belief thinking.” The work dominated my life at that time because I was determined to change my beliefs. And it’s a lot like physical exercise, the more you do the stronger you become. I love what Emmet Fox wrote: “If you will change your mind concerning anything and absolutely keep it changed, that thing must and will change too. It is the keeping up of the change in thought that is difficult. It calls for vigilance and determination.”

Quite frankly, that’s where most people miss the boat. They either half-heartedly try to change their belief systems or they don’t stick with it long enough. Wallace D. Wattles, wrote “There is no labor from which most people shrink as they do from that of sustained and consecutive thought; it is the hardest work in the world.” And yet it is the “sustained and consecutive thought” that is the first and primary labor of achievement.

Nightingale-Conant says Napoleon Hill is considered to have influenced more people into success than any other person in history. And his most quoted line from Think and Grow Rich describes the power of belief, “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Just believing that statement, truly believing it deep down inside, is a bold step toward living your dreams.

Lisa Jimenez, in her great book Conquer Fear! writes, “Change your beliefs and you change your behaviors. Change your behaviors and you change your results. Change your results and you change your life.”

So how do you change your belief system?

1. Prepare to win. Nothing will strengthen your belief system more than knowing you’re prepared. His pre-race training was the key to Bannister’s belief that he could achieve his goal. Remember his words, “Fueled by my faith in my training, I will overcome all obstacles.”

2. Take control of your thoughts. It’s your choice what you think about. Think success and that’s what you get. Think failure and that’s what you attract. To help in controlling your thoughts, make it a habit to affirm yourself. I had a box of business cards with an old address that I was going to discard. Instead, I flipped them over to the blank side and wrote affirmations on them. I had two identical sets, one for my car and one for my office. Throughout the day I would read my “flash cards” aloud. (If you’re in your car, only read while you’re stopped for a traffic light ?).

3. Re-evaluate your situation. One of my mentors, Bob Proctor, teaches that “our belief system is based on our evaluation of something. Frequently when we re-evaluate a situation our belief about that situation will change.” And when you re-evaluate, spend more time looking at the positive side of your circumstances. In Why Some Positive Thinkers Get Positive Results, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale quotes “one of the wisest utterances I have ever heard in my lifetime,” “Never build a case against yourself.”

4. Don’t worry about “how-to-do-it.” One of my early mistakes was trying to figure out how I was going to do something before I’d believe I could do it. Start by believing you can do something and the “how-to” will follow. Dr. Schwartz, again in The Magic of Thinking Big, writes, “Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figuring ways and means and how-to….those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.”

Interestingly, Dr. Schwartz wrote in 1959, “Currently, there is some talk of building a tunnel under the English Channel to connect England with the Continent. Whether this tunnel is ever built depends on whether responsible people believe it can be built.” Even though they had no idea of “how-to-do-it” at the time, enough “responsible people” maintained a belief in this project and we have the famous Chunnel today.

5. Finally, you must act. The New Testament writer said, “Faith without works is dead.” Until you act you’re not committed and belief is not cemented. As Goethe wrote, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.” And your action and commitment will be greatly rewarded, for as he goes on to say, “Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”

What great challenge lies in your path today? Do you sincerely want to overcome or accomplish it? If the answer is yes, then CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Can you believe the magic is really in YOU!

Recently I was dramatically impressed by a passage in The Message of a Master by John McDonald. To me it sums up the reason why most of us don’t have the belief to succeed: “The cause of the confusion prevailing in your mind that weakens your thoughts is the false belief that there is a power or powers outside you greater than the power within you.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

Vic Johnson (vic @ is an accomplished author, speaker and founder of four of the hottest personal development sites on the Internet, including, where he has given away over 200,000 eBook copies of James Allen’s classic book.


Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.

-Napoleon Bonaparte 1769

“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”

- Arthur C. Clarke

“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work. Work is not a curse; it is the prerogative of intelligence, the only means to manhood, and the measure of civilization.”

- Calvin Coolidge

“It’s a strange thing, you have said it thousands of times I am sure…you will never know what you can do until you try. However the sad truth is, that most people never try anything until they know they can do it.”

- Bob Proctor


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