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    ITSMATT   13,972
10,000-14,999 SparkPoints

15 Weeks

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fifteen weeks ago I began.
I began changing my life.
Doing things differently.
Taking Control.

It has been an exercise in retraining my brain.
In creating rules as an alternative to the default.
The default habits which have been burning into my brain from years of actions.
Actions that were not healthy.
Actions that reinforced bad choices.
Choices that reinforced actions.

So I created rules to change that.
To break that cycle of reinforcement.
Rules such as:

ďI donít eat at McDonaldís anymore because most everything they have is high in sodium, fat and calories.Ē


ďI donít eat at Burger King anymore because Burger King is one of the restaurants where I ate while I regained 32 kilograms.Ē


ďI weigh and measure my foods so that I know what Iím eating and so I can better estimate when Iím in situations where I cannot weigh or measure my foods.Ē


ďI determine how much I eat and what a reasonable portion size is - not the restaurant.Ē

These rules are rules I can live by.

I have no special affinity for fast food restaurants.
Like most things in life, Iíd go to them because of habit.
Not because the food was amazingly tasty - it isnít.
Not because I actively thought a 1400-1700 calorie lunch was reasonable.
It was just habitual.

You can say ďWell, you know Matt you could eat the blah blah blah salad at that fast food place.Ē and youíd be correct but Iíd likely not end up getting that because of the triggers that those fast food restaurants present.


The fact of the matter is, however, that I value my health more than I do that stupid double whopper with cheese.
I value my knees feeling better way more than that sausage, egg and cheese biscuit at the golden arches.
I value better sleeping due to less snoring and less fat around my throat more than those bags of fries and onion rings.
I value my reduced foot pain over those frosty milkshakes.
I value my increased wardrobe due to clothes fitting more than some fried chicken sandwich.

And I donít miss any of that crap fast food, quite honestly.

Will I have a burger?


I can guarantee you that Iíll go to Five Guys and enjoy a burger with my wife sometime.
We like Five Guys but we rarely go there.
And when I do, Iíll budget for those calories and Iíll enjoy it.

But the daily stops at McDonalds and Burger King and Wendyís.
Those... those are a thing of the past.

My body feels better.
My mind is stronger.
My clothes fit better.

I write that weight loss is hard all the time.
Because it is.
It takes hard work and dedication.

But it isnít impossible.
In fact it is quite possible.
And what it takes is a commitment to the change.
And a willingness to make incremental improvements.
And a focus on what matters.

I can tell you of a number of accomplishments over the past 15 weeks.

1. Daily tracking of what I eat
2. Daily hitting my net calorie target
3. Daily good decision making
4. Creation of rules and daily reinforcement of those rules
5. A return to exercise due to a reduction and general elimination of foot pain due to plantar fasciitis
6. Incorporation of the kettlebell and medicine ball into my workouts
7. Addition of a resistance and strength circuit into my workouts
8. Doing the Bob Harper ďAnything But BalanceĒ and 60 minute cardio DVD
9. Expanding my diet to include new foods like avocado, kale, spinach and brussels sprouts
10. Increase in the amount of fruits and veggies consumed each day
11. Plank increasing from 12 seconds to 32 seconds and more to come!
12. Fitting into several clothing items which were too tight back in November.
13. Increased self esteem
14. Exercising with my kids
15. Sleeping better than I have in a couple of years

Oh yeah... and Iíve managed to lose 18 kilograms in the process.
39.7 pounds for you feet and pounds folks out there.

Thatís pretty good, I think.
A loss, on average, of 1.2 kilograms per week.
Thatís about um.... 2.6lbs/week.

Iím getting closer to my target 1 kilogram per week, so Iím happy with that.

Weight loss is absolutely possible.
Iím certainly no superman and just as flawed and vulnerable to triggers and slip ups as the next person.
Whatís that mean?
It means that YOU can have similar success.

And I think that is really cool.
Donít you?

Make it a great day!


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CHERYLL1949 2/22/2013 1:25PM


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BRENDA_G50 2/21/2013 1:31AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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INTHEGAP 2/20/2013 9:13PM

    Wonderful work, Matt. Your list of accomplishments is fantastic. I've been on program since Nov 1 and I sure haven't lost anywhere near what you've lost. Oh well *sigh* at least I HAVE lost. :)

I had to laugh when I read 'Five Guys' because I was working on my response while I was reading and I was going to say 'but I still have a Five Guys burger every so often". So, we are on the same page, there. But Five Guys isn't your usual 'garbage fast food' place. ;)

I don't go to ~ and don't miss ~ the usual slop and vomit type places that you mentioned. I do get drive through salads at Wendy's though because I like them, they are fairly fresh AND I still hate my own homemade salads.

You are doing amazing ~ keep up the fabulous work. emoticon emoticon

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SMOKINGUN 2/20/2013 7:09PM

    Very interesting blog. You have put my thoughts into your words very eloquently. The actions you are building to guide you into the future is what I hope to achieve. Just need to be stronger. I rarely go to fast food as I used too. Convenience is not worth the taste. I used to think I craved fast food but in reality it was just habitual. Keep doing what you doing!
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EMMACLAIRE5 2/20/2013 4:18PM

    emoticon on your consistency leading to a weight loss like that - you are totally rockin' it, Matt!

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CLPURNELL 2/19/2013 5:38PM

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KTREK32 2/19/2013 4:01PM

    I like the idea that you had said about making rules for yourself I have not made any rules for myself where I have actually written them down I know what I do not want to do but I never thought to write down rules tonight that is the first thing that I am going to do is make a list of rules for me to go by. Thank you for your great thoughts you are very inspirational and your blogs really make me think I look for your blogs every day thanks for sharing


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GINGERHAWK 2/19/2013 9:47AM

    Pretty good? That's really darn amazing! Not just the weight loss (which is spectacular!) but all the changes you're seeing after the first 15 weeks of your journey. Congratulations!

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SUGAR0814 2/19/2013 9:23AM

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ICBNIC 2/19/2013 9:03AM


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DEBRA0818 2/19/2013 6:45AM

    After wandering around with some vague ideas about how to go about losing weight, I finally hit upon the rule that works best for me: 3 meals, zero snacks, 1 day at a time. For some reason, I have never been a big meal eater, and even confining myself to 3 hasn't changed that, so, though it started as a Lenten observance, I have stumbled upon the "weigh" out for me. I also gave up diet soda which has made a significant difference.

I'm all about the rules -- I think they increase my freedom!

Looks like they've had quite an effect on you too! Great job!!!!

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DOVESEYES 2/19/2013 12:54AM

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JPONCIN 2/18/2013 11:21PM

    You're doing a great job, Matt!!! :)

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MAMADWARF 2/18/2013 10:45PM

    Well done matt!!!

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DARLY55 2/18/2013 10:21PM

    Very well said Matt.
You have a great plan and an attitude to match - that's a winning combination emoticon

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DIET_FRIEND 2/18/2013 9:41PM

    Keep on sparking!

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DALID414 2/18/2013 9:16PM

    You're SO right about fast food being a habit and NOT tasty. I had stopped drinking soda and found the burger and fries were WAY salty. Then I cut out the fries, which makes you very aware of whose burgers are good and whose aren't.

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CAMSEDGE 2/18/2013 8:51PM

    Great perserverance. I love the increased wardrobe...

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TRAVELGRRL 2/18/2013 8:28PM

    Creating "rules" is an excellent strategy. It reduces the stress caused by indecision. Congrats on your success so far!

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BOOKAPHILE 2/18/2013 8:19PM

    I'm happy for your progress and the insights you shared. Your status updates have been so pleased with the just finished or upcoming workout you have planned that I'm encouraged to try various things so that I can look forward more to mine as well. Thanks for sharing with the community!

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MYRTLE811 2/18/2013 7:57PM

  Well, Matt you are certainly on the right track! Good for you for weighing and measuring what you are eating and for losing almost three pounds a week. You are determined and have a plan and guess what? You will get where you want to go.
Keep on keeping on. Congratulations

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