The Fat Burning X-Factor (Part 2): How to Unleash The Power Of External Accountability To Break Through Fat Loss Barricades And Create The Body Of Your Dreams
Note: Published in the private member’s Burn the Fat Inner Circle
Are you ready to unleash the full power of the fat-burning x-factor to create the body of your dreams? If so, then get your game-face on, because we are going to take accountability to a whole new level.
In part one, I explained how to implement internal accountability by using a personal journal, photos and even a blog during your physique transformation journey. I used all three in the first 42 days of my Mission 1 journey. I made more progress in those six weeks than I had for the previous six years.
In this second part, we are going to raise the bar by adding external accountability. I will show you, step-by-step, the awesome external accountability tools I used to blast through the fat-loss barricade once and for all, never to return to my former obese self.
Let me cut right to the chase and start by showing you proof of the power of external accountability. Below is my first 12 week journey divided into the 2 accountability phases.
As you can see, external accountability enabled me to build on the momentum I made in the first 42 days, to finish the job and make a full-blooded physique transformation.
What’s The Difference Between Internal And External Accountability?
Internal accountability is being accountable to yourself and making your goals “semi-public” in order to build momentum, while preserving your self-confidence in the critical early stages (because the “energy vampires” can drain your motivational blood if you’re not prepared to handle them yet).
With external accountability, we “go live” with our physique transformation goals and hold ourselves accountable by “announcing” our intentions and publishing our progress to many more people — even the whole world – in real-time!
Why External Accountability Works
There are two primary motivating forces for the vast majority of the human race:
1) Gaining pleasure (rewards)
2) Avoiding pain (consequences)
While these two forces are at opposite ends of the “motivation spectrum,” they are at the core of literally everything we do (or don’t do). This duality applies to all areas of our lives, whether it’s fitness, financial, relationship or spiritual endeavors.
As it relates to your transformation, external accountability works on this premise: The more people who know who you are, what you are doing and what your fitness goals are, the greater the “positive pressure” placed on you to live up your goals and intentions.
The “Double-Edged Sword” Of Accountability
As you may have realized, this type of accountability is a “double-edged sword”…by design. The rewards are great if you follow through and make a “total transformation.” When you succeed in front of others, you will gain an enormous amount of pride, self-respect and belief in yourself while inspiring others at the same time.
External accountability causes you to push yourself to achieve more in a shorter period of time than you ever thought possible. This is due to the added pressure of many people watching your progress and holding you accountable in real-time.
Another benefit of external accountability is the added incentive to continue your journey and take on new challenges after you achieve your first major goal. Many people have spectacular success in their first physique transformation, and afterwards, let themselves go completely. I know about this first hand. If I had employed external accountability during (and after) my BFL challenge in 2000 I very well could have saved myself 6 years of misery.
On the flip-side, external accountability has real consequences if you fall short of the goals you set and commitments you make. This is because your results will be seen in glaring view of all the people who follow your journey and check up on your progress. The pain of falling short while others see it happen is the “negative motivation” of external accountability. However, this is an essential part of the process, and some people are actually more motivated to “avoid pain” than to “gain pleasure”.
In essence, we are going to use the “carrot and stick” approach on ourselves! (positive and negative motivation)
*This is another reason why it’s absolutely critical you set “challenging, but realistic” goals at the start of your journey. If you are unsure about how to set “challenging but realistic” goals then I recommend you listen to part 2 & 3 of Tom’s Burn The Fat Show .
Hitting The “Go Button”
In part one of this article series, I mentioned that a strange twist of fate occurred during my first 12 week transformation journey: I actually wrote about this “external accountability” concept in my very first post in the Introduction Forum of Burn The Fat Inner Circle on December 21, 2006 (Day 43 of 84).
How cool is it that I am now writing an exclusive article on this same concept! More importantly, my post in the Introduction Forum was also real-life example of how to “go live” with announcing your goals and your progress. This was the first time that anyone (outside of my immediate family) knew what I was doing. I also revealed my blog, personal journal and daily progress pictures for the first time.
Within 3 minutes of posting an introduction I received a reply from John Bartlett who complimented me on my progress to date along with many more compliments from other members. Then Tom Venuto himself became aware of my progress and started checking up on my journal as well!
Needless to say, the pressure was on. I knew had to “walk the talk” for the next 42 days…in real-time. I drew a lot of strength from this “positive pressure” and hardened my resolve to make every single rep, set and workout for the next 42 days count like never before.
Harnessing The Power Of The Internet
The advent of the “public” Internet in 1992 changed everything. Never before in the history of the human race has it been so easy to connect with like-minded people all over the world. This revolution has accelerated at an even faster rate in the last few years due to the power and reach of “social networking sites” like YouTube , Myspace and FaceBook .
These “social networking sites” promote interactivity, friendship and discussion between members, which makes them ideal places to practice external accountability. I have personal experience documenting my physique transformation journey through these social networking sites via progress journals, blogs, videos, images, forums and networks.
While there are now thousands of “social networking sites” looking to cash in on this new craze, I have limited my scope to the “Big 3”: YouTube ; Myspace and FaceBook . These sites get the most web traffic by far and thereby give the “biggest bang for your accountability buck”.
‘Social Networking’ Site Review
Description: Myspace is an online community that allows you to network with people from all over the world via photos, journals and common interests. You can invite friends to join your personal network and search for “new friends” through the connections you make with other people.
My Experience: Myspace is the “grand daddy” of all social networking sites on the Internet and will by default give you access the largest amount of people (100 million members at last count!).
Pros: The vast majority of these friends are real people who have taken a genuine interest in my progress and often write personal messages to me. Therefore, the external accountability factor is massive as I am now held accountable to these people who continue to follow my progress through my blog, picture and video updates.
Cons: The major downside to Myspace is the occasional “comment spam” you get from “new friends” whose sole purpose for being on Myspace is to promote their own products and “questionable” services.
External Accountability Rating: 3/5
Description: FaceBook is essentially a “cleaner” version of Myspace with a specific focus on sharing your photo albums via social networks.
My Experience: FaceBook has recently gained a lot of ground on Myspace as the “hip new place” because of enhanced privacy controls and superior interface.
Pros : The Facebook design interface and privacy controls are vastly superior to Myspace . As a consequence, the quality of your communication with other people is much greater due to the fact there is very little “comment spam”.
Cons: Although there are fewer people on FaceBook, you will have to spend a lot more time and energy searching for the right people to connect with.
External Accountability Rating: 4/5
Description: YouTube is the “King of online video” attracting more than 70% of all video-based web traffic. YouTube allows people to easily upload and share video clips on YouTube itself, and across the Internet through websites, mobile devices, blogs, and email.
My Experience : The reason why people originally gravitated to YouTube was the ease with which you could upload and search for videos across every imaginable topic. I have used YouTube to document my ongoing physique transformation by making chronological videos that discuss my thoughts and feelings at that particular moment in time.
Weight loss video blogs are now extremely popular on YouTube and a natural fit to practice external accountability as you have a potential audience of millions. Since starting my YouTube RTP Channel on Day 70 (January 7, 2007) I have now received over 45,000 views of my videos.
Pros: As YouTube is the No.1 site for online video, this automatically guarantees you a huge potential audience of people who will follow your progress and hold you externally accountable. The other major benefit is that people can subscribe to your video channel and receive instant alerts every time you upload a new video.
Cons: Due to massive bandwidth costs YouTube videos are highly compressed which effects the quality of your video as it appears on the site.
External Accountability Rating: 4.5/5
To give you a real-life example of a video blog in action here is a YouTube video I recorded on Day 85 of Mission 1. As I stated in part 1 of this article series my goal for this mission was to eat a chocolate birthday cake while holding a six-pack (of abs NOT beer). See for yourself whether I achieved my goal!
The ‘Social Networking’ Dilemma
As awesome as these “social networking sites” are for practicing external accountability, there is one fundamental flaw each of them share. These sites require a lot of time and energy to attract like-minded , and supportive people to your profile. Also, due to the anonymous nature of some of these sites, they can also open you up to the “energy vampires.”
This is precisely why I waited until after I had already achieved some success in transforming my physique before I “went live” on these social networking sites. I recommend you do the same so you can preserve your self-esteem in the critical early stages. Let your own physique transformation progress guide you in deciding when to “go live” on these sites.
The Complete External Accountability Package
If these “social networking sites” aren’t the ideal place for you right now, then what is the solution?
How do you create the kind of “real” and “positive” pressure that forces you to take massive action on your physique transformation goals today?
How do you save time and energy by effortlessly connecting with like-minded people within a protected environment that values privacy and discourages negativity?
How do you set up a personal journal that documents your journey and encourages positive feedback?
How do you hold yourself accountable to your peers by uploading our progress pictures?
In short, how do implement external accountability RIGHT NOW?
Is there a way to harness the power of external accountability that already contains all the benefits discussed in this article?
The answer is YES! And you’re in it right now! You already have access to the most powerful external accountability tool on the Internet: The Burn The Fat Inner Circle.
As a member of Burn The Fat Inner Circle you can use of the most important external accountability tools I described in this article. How do I know? Well, because becoming a member of Burn The Fat Inner Circle on Day 43 of my own journey was the only accountability device I used (then I added YouTube not long afterwards).
Inner Circle External Accountability Components
As Tom Venuto discussed in his Fifth Element special report, the “missing link” for many people on a fat loss journey is accountability within a social support circle that includes your peers AND expert mentors. Below are just some of the external accountability tools you can use in the Inner Circle .
The Inner Circle Progress Journal forum allows you to document your progress through the written word. You also get the added bonus of being able to receive constructive and positive feedback from other members of the Burn The Fat Inner Circle Community. It’s the ideal place to connect instantly with like-minded people, and unlike a blog, you don’t have to worry about generating traffic because
This was my primary accountability tool for phase 2 of my Mission 1 journey. I uploaded progress pictures to the photo gallery every 14 days on my way to Day 84. This alone forced me to push myself every single day throughout my journey knowing that I would have to make meaningful progress every 2 weeks. Another powerful way to use the photo gallery is to post an “accountability statement” and “visualization picture” in the photo gallery as I used throughout Mission 2 . (a “visualization picture” is a photo of the ideal body you’d like to possess, or even a photoshopped picture of your head pasted on top of the body you want to have).
“Super Progress Journal”:
Since the inner circle progress journal forum allows you to upload your photos, you can combine a written journal and photo journal to create what I call a “super progress journal.” This is the approach I used throughout Mission 2 in which I uploaded daily pictures and progress reports in my quest for six-pack abs.
You can create your own “inner circle” of accountability partners by participating in other people’s progress journals and offering support and feedback on their journeys. You can even send private messages and connect with people one to one). Remember — it’s only a “circle” if you receive support and give back support in return. You will soon discover that the more you participate, the more people will reciprocate and visit your journal, thereby increasing the accountability factor.
This is an awesome feature which can only be found in the Inner Circle . You can hold yourself accountable to people who have already achieved success in reaching their fat loss goals. When I saw that Tom Venuto and John Bartlett were reading and even posting in my progress journal, this raised the accountability stakes even higher!
By now, you’re beginning to see how powerful external accountability can be using the Internet, and especially when you can do it right here, right now within our own Inner Circle . So, what are you waiting for? Start using the accountability principles and start creating the body of YOUR dreams!
About the Author:
Adam Waters is a NESTA certified personal trainer, Inner Circle contributor and a real-time physique transformation expert. Adam recently overcame 6 years of failed fat loss attempts to get into the best shape of his life at age 33. Adam has documented every day of physique transformation journey in real-time at his blog. This blog includes Adam’s exact weight training, cardio and nutrition plan along with daily progress pictures, video updates and tips on how to overcome adversity.