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    ITSMATT   13,972
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You Won't Like This Post

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

(I'll warn you up front that you might not like this post. Feel free to walk away right now. I won't be offended, honest.)

The scale goes up.
The scale goes down.
But it mostly goes down.

And it will do that if you are trusting in the right process and are committed to making the change in your life.

Perhaps you are having difficulty losing weight. That is not an uncommon situation. Ask yourself these three questions:

1. Do you have a reasonable and thoughtful net calorie target to hit?

If you are using something like to arrive at this value, I think the answer is going to be yes. The calculator here is good. Now I've posted an exhaustive post on how I arrive at my net calorie target value so I won't rehash that here. I'm not always successful hitting that but I try to get close. Sometimes I'm a little below that target for the day. If it is around 100 calories short at the end of the day, I don't sweat that.

If you don't have that net calorie target, you're going to have difficultly losing weight. How do you know how much to eat? You can't go off of feel, I believe, because if you're like me, you've been overeating for years, maybe decades. It takes less than 5 minutes of your life to figure out that number. Take the time.

2. Are you being honest and exact in your food tracking?

So you have a net calorie target. Great. Are you being honest with yourself in what you are eating? Are you being careful to get as close an estimate on your food intake as possible? Notice there's an implied "You are tracking your food." here - you can't analyze what you don't measure. We are terrible estimators. Studies show that we are horribly bad at guessing how many calories or how much fat or carbs or sodium is in a given plate of food. Take the time to measure things out. It doesn't even take 5 minutes. Soon enough you'll be really good at measuring things.

And more importantly, are you being honest? Maybe you had 6 cookies today and are embarrassed by this. You need to track it anyway. You are not alone here. Changing habits is hard. Want to feel like you are not alone? I've blown it before and done boneheaded things like stop on the way home from work and get a big soft pretzel and two - not one, but two - bags of licorice and eaten it all on the way home. Not proud of that but it is reality. Track that food. You'll never learn from the mistakes you make and try to sweep under the rug.

3. Are you trusting the process to work?

It's easy to get frustrated because of unrealistic expectations. It's easy to get frustrated when you feel like you are not progressing at the rate you think you should. Stop that nonsense. Either you trust that the process will work or you don't. Look - giving up is what you've done before, I bet. I know I have. You have to give it time.

Remember something - you didn't put this weight on overnight. Why would you think it's going to come off overnight? That's just silly. Don't be silly. Be committed.

If you can answer "yes" to these three questions, great! Keep on doing what you're doing!

If you answered "no" to one or more of these, you've got a decision to make.

Is this going to be the time things are different or is this just another halfhearted attempt to lose the weight?

I'm going to meddle a bit here. You might not like this part. I warned you... there's still time to walk away.

Do you recognize that your obesity is killing you? KILLING you. It is putting stress and strain on your body. It is clogging your arteries. It results in diabetes. It results in heart attacks and emergency heart surgery. It results in blood clots. It results in excess wear and tear on the joints and bones. It is diminishing your life. YOUR LIFE, folks.

Do you care?

Have you given up? Why? Why would you give up on something that can absolutely be accomplished?

Look, there are kids right now in Memphis, Tennessee at St. Jude's who want more than anything to live. Through no fault of their own they find themselves at death's door. Doctors and researchers are doing everything they can to find a cure to save these kids. And the sad fact is that some of them won't make it despite the extraordinary efforts being taken. They are doing whatever it takes to save a life. Fighting diseases that are difficult to fight. Fighting diseases that are difficult to cure.

And there you sit. Shoving that donut in your mouth and having a pity party about how it is too hard. How you don't have the willpower. How you can't do it.


(I told you you might not like this part.)

Look, you can change your life - CHANGE YOUR LIFE! - today. You have the ability to do this. You have the ability to improve your health. A tiny percentage of you might - MIGHT - have a legitimate medical condition that is causing your obesity. The rest of you - including me - are this way because of choices made. Take ownership of your obesity and your life. Take responsibility for your actions.

Stop it now. You can change right now. RIGHT NOW.

The question is... do you even want to?

Look, I'd love to be able to make that decision for you. I'd love to be able to keep you on the straight and narrow. It's just not possible. You've got to do it yourself.

Unlike those darling precious kids in Memphis, you and I can change our lives simply by having the commitment to do so. By "keeping calm and carrying on", as the saying goes. By caring about ourselves more than about that crap food we're shoving in our mouth.

Why wouldn't you want to be healthier? Why wouldn't you be committed to do it?

Maybe you think you aren't strong enough.

That's ridiculous. You're strong. Stronger than you think.

Is weight loss hard? Yes, absolutely. But you know what? It is something you can do.

You can change your life starting today.

The question is... will you?

You might not like my posts. You might think I'm being an opinionated jerk. Honestly, I think I'm dead on about this. I don't shoot from the hip much. And this post is written as a reminder to me primarily and to you if you happen to read it. You might not like that I don't coddle you much in my posts. Tough. You need to hear it straight just as *I* need to hear it straight. I'm trying to encourage you to save your life. If you're offended or frustrated by what I write, ask yourself "why?".

Make it a great day!


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SURVIVOR61 11/29/2012 8:23PM

    Like everyone else has said you are right...Everything we do is a choice, smoking, lying, being rude and over eating among other things. Even making too much out of the old southern flag. There are far to many things for us to worry about in this world ,for us not to step up and be accountable for what goes into and out of our mouths. It would be nce to make this particular blog printable for our refrigerators as constant reminders of those choices. As like you said, look at those beautiful children that don't have a choice...when I think of things that people waste so much of their time on like this sensless debate over that flag, it just kills me, why not put their time to more use by raising money for the children who are sick, over weight, going hungry and homeless or are abused. Even raise our awareness like you did with a wake up call, it's a Choice and be Honest, Use the Tools here on Spark People, they work if you commit yourself.... are we ready to commit our selves is the question?
Keep up the good work.......

Comment edited on: 11/29/2012 8:24:57 PM

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KAKONOLADY 11/29/2012 7:40PM

    emoticon I dont measure as much but I try to be truthful no matter what I put in my mouth!!! It seems to be working so far now if I stall...then out will come that measuring cup again!! Thanks for the tough love!! It is great and motivating!!! I will do this and have also learned that the scale is a seesaw and as long as it goes down more then up than I am winning!!! Have a great day and keep blooging-Crystal

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LJOYCE55 11/29/2012 7:36PM

  Good post - thank you.

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TRYTRYAGAIN10 11/29/2012 7:22PM

    Great blog! Sometimes everyone needs a little tough love and I think that if people are offended or disagree with what you are saying then they probably aren't being honest with themselves.

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FIFTYFOUR2 11/29/2012 7:13PM

    Thanks for the kick in the ***

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THOMASINA57 11/29/2012 4:16PM

    Love, Love, Love your blog!! I used the food tracker from the get go and it showed me just where I was over eating... I also learned to measure the portions and bingo.. I lost weight each and every week and accomplished reaching my goal in 7 weeks. I thought it would take me all winter!!

I hope alot of folks take the time to read your blog! It's honest and what people really need to hear! Well Done!

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SANDRAPSKI 11/29/2012 3:42PM

    Well done! For your next "kick in the pants" (I suspect it takes more than one to keep us all going) perhaps you could fit in the excuse, "I can't diet - every time I do I gain weight." That's a story heard in our household for quite a while. Funny thing is, one of us noticed that even if we don't "diet" we gain weight - imagine that!

So now we have one person who is losing weight and becoming more fit every week (albeit at a slow pace but down 7 pounds is down 7 pounds) and one who is watching the scale inch up. Hmmm...

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CLAUDEM1 11/29/2012 3:37PM

    Thank you, Matt. Great post! I think I'll print it out so I can fully digest what you said. Direct and honest.


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COUGARZ4LIFE 11/29/2012 3:21PM


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CAMAEL100 11/29/2012 3:13PM

    I actually REALLY liked this blog! I do believe we all need a kick in the A** every now and then to remind us how lucky we are to have the choice to improve our lives.

Well said!!

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AMANDACOETZER 11/29/2012 3:03PM


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ALEXESQ33 11/29/2012 2:50PM

    I needed that, thanks!!

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NEVERGIVEUP 11/29/2012 2:37PM


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KENAZFEHU 11/29/2012 2:10PM

    Well, you called it.
I didn't like that post one little bit.
Truth hurts.

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TERRIH8118 11/29/2012 2:00PM

    Great post. Dead on. Puts some of the excuses I've used to shame emoticon

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MAMAOWLS 11/29/2012 1:56PM


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EVELYN12590 11/29/2012 1:53PM

    emoticon It's so true!

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ANGE2429 11/29/2012 1:33PM

    great post. what an eye opener. thank you

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CINDYAST 11/29/2012 1:02PM

    emoticon Thanks for the wake up call. Appreciate it.

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RAINBOWCHARMER 11/29/2012 12:58PM

    Can't argue any of the points made.

I made excuses for a long time, and you're right - it was only me that had the power to change my life and turn things around. But sadly many people never seem to find that reason that is good enough to make the change. It's hard work. It requires dedication and sacrifice. But it's so worth it.


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AMARILYNH 11/29/2012 12:51PM


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KIMPY225 11/29/2012 12:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHELBY897 11/29/2012 12:50PM

    I used to hate the people who attended weight watchers with me who would state each week "I don't know why I gained" - of course you do! It's that extra serving of cake, that bag of M&Ms, etc. I am overweight (by a lot) but I also know how I got there and what I need to do to not be overweight. I accept the blame, as it should be, and also accept that it will not magically go away, it's going to take work and a lot of it.

Thank you for reminding us all that this is truly a choice - do we want to work hard to be healthy and happy or take what we consider the easy way out and continue to be unhealthy and miserable.

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LEIELD 11/29/2012 12:34PM

  This is great!!

I agree - why cry and procrastinate and in a year you will wish you had started - begin and in a year you will be so happy you did!!

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STRUMERCAT 11/29/2012 12:30PM

    Great post! It's all about instant gratification versus focusing on the big picture. Keep telling it like it is.

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KIMBOLEAN 11/29/2012 12:23PM


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CAT-IN-CJ 11/29/2012 12:19PM

I love it! And Thank You for stating it so clear and concise.

I have to admit, I've been so turned off by the pity parties I stumble onto.
There are a host of excuses we can hide behind to 'validate' all the reasons we DON"T succeed, but there's only one way to do it . . . and that is JUST DO IT. Two steps is better than NO steps.

Good for you for being brave enough and caring enough to post a good healthy dose of tough love.

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IAMAGEMLOVER 11/29/2012 12:16PM


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JAS9096 11/29/2012 12:06PM

    What a great post, thank you for sharing it!

P.S. I did like it ;)

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BARBANNA 11/29/2012 12:05PM

    We all need a lecture! Thanks for opening my eyes!!! emoticon

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PANDORABERRY 11/29/2012 11:34AM

  Thank you so much!!!! I am definitely in adgreement with you on this! It is up to us to make that change!!! Yes we can!

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GRANDAD09 11/29/2012 10:45AM

  It's not my fault, the spoon made me fat.

Great blog! No excuses!

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KJELLYBEAN15 11/29/2012 10:34AM

    Great post! emoticon

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GALINAZ 11/29/2012 9:56AM

    thanks for the kick in the pants. I AM RESPONSIBLE

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MCHILSTR 11/29/2012 9:53AM

  Great post, Matt - I've just recommited to the end goal, after having languished for a year in half-way there land. Opinions shared don't make you a "jerk" - they make you a contributor!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 11/29/2012 9:45AM

    I don't just LIKE this post. I LOVE it! I've just added you as a friend since we are on the same wavelength. I've become concerned that there are too many excuses being made for the supersizing of America and efforts made to mask it as well. Keep telling it like it is.

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PRINCESS1309 11/29/2012 9:22AM


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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 11/29/2012 9:18AM

    You are SO RIGHT!!! It's time to stop being a baby and be a grown up. Thank you.

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BOOKAPHILE 11/29/2012 9:13AM

    You don't pull your punches...Good for all of us to hear! Thanks.

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634MEG 11/29/2012 8:18AM

    just got back from the gym, having my coffee and logging in...this is just what i needed to read to keep the rest of my day on course! thanks!

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MUSOLF6 11/29/2012 8:18AM


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AJB121299 11/29/2012 8:14AM


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NANNABLACK 11/29/2012 7:52AM

    LOVE IT! This is the first blog I have read that has said some of the things I think about!! It's a very honest look at the way we live. THANK YOU!!!

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ILOVEJIM851991 11/29/2012 7:51AM

    nice kick in my butt emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1935MARY 11/29/2012 6:54AM

    If anyone is offended by this then they don't care about themselves . I for one needed this. I feel like this at times , matter of fact in the last few days. I remind myself about the good report from the doctor . You are right I didn't get fat over night and I want get thin over night. My granny used to say if it is worth having, it is worth working for. Thanks for this . I am adding you to my friends so I can read your blogs, You have motivated and inspired me, Thank you.

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LIZAPO 11/29/2012 5:39AM


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JER-BER 11/29/2012 5:26AM

    Agreed! It is helpful to have "reminders" such as this in order to keep me on track. Thank you for the blog, it's a great boost! emoticon emoticon

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YESCURLYCAN 11/29/2012 4:59AM

  You are right, I don't like it; I LOVE IT!!! This was a great blog. I sincerely hope that everyone can take away something from this. emoticon

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HEARTPROCLAIMS 11/29/2012 3:13AM

    Great encouragement and honesty! Thank you!

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ANNASGOALS 11/29/2012 3:10AM

    Well said Matt! Thanks for the reminder I like the honest, the reality of how it is. There is no magic bullet but a daily commitment to do what is needed to take the weight off!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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