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Part IV–Eat The Food



For the last and final part of this series, this is how we bring it all together. If you remember from previous writings, I am a visual thinker. I learn better from doing rather than reading. What you see above is what is technically called a Mind Map. Its usually used in a brainstorming activity. I’m using it a bit differently than that. This is what my picture of balance looks like. Yours may look very different. I know this looks very complex or a lot, but its really not. If you look at other so called “diet” programs they only look at the food or the exercise. But you can see it so much more than that. Which is why I decided to use this format. You could even include so much more than the above diagram even shows. But that’s a lot to get better at before I add more. I would love to hear what your mind map would look like. What is on yours that isn’t on mine?

There is this great philosophy / practice group on Facebook I follow called “Eat the Food” or ETF. I’m not going to do it justice but here goes.  The basic principal or so I gather is to quit beating yourself up for your food choices. Stop the pressure of dieting and break the negativity cycle. I know this sounds crazy simple, but its really not. Its very difficult to undo years or lifetimes of bad relationships with food and ideals. For example, I was out of town and I ordered a Crème Brule. I love the caramelized sugar on top. Well of course, someone who recognized me, kept staring and finally came up to me after and asked if everything was OK. She was clearly concerned with my food choices. Well would you ask that if you knew that I was counting that in my calorie intake for the day, did an extra 30 min in the gym, I had been waiting all week to reward myself with this one treat? Of course not. Now at the time none of that was the case, but I was trying to work on just being ok with my decision. I wanted to eat it. I loved the taste of it. I knew the dairy would make me bloat a bit for a day or so, and I wanted to just enjoy something. However my exercise of trying to be guilt free about a food choice was wrecked by someone who had no idea what they are talking about. Not caring and just enjoying your food by not being a victim of it is part of just eating the food.


Its all about balance. Not moderation! Moderation is limiting. Balance is just right. I had a very good week this week. Your positive encouragement has been a large factor. But I also got two great workouts in at @McHughAthletics, and was down about 5 pounds in 6 days. That feels so good but drove my eating habits again the wrong way. Granted most of it was sodium and water reduction. But I admit I ate a lot less the last two days because I was having success. Its just as easy to not eat anything than it is to eat too much. Balance. Now I am trying to make sure I get my calories in today.

You may ask too why I decided to limit myself to things like no caffeine, no wheat, no dairy and low sodium. A couple reasons. I love coffee but hate what happened after I missed a cup. The headaches were debilitating. I don’t care what anyone says, I get some of my water from decaf coffee. I love coffee. Hate the caffeine. As for wheat, I may or may not be gluten intolerant. All I know is that when I eat something with wheat my abdomen measurable bloats. Sometimes almost 6 full inches. It makes me hate myself, therefore I don’t do it. Sodium is the worst one. When you lose a lot of weight you have a lot of extra skin. Fat cells don’t go away, they just deflate. However they love to fill back up with water. When I have way too much sodium I bloat so much that sometimes clothes don’t fit. Plus again that restarts the cycle and I hate myself that much more. Dairy is sort of the same thing. I have some bouts of lactose intolerance, however cheese is one of the highest sodium and calorie things out there. See previous point about sodium. Smile Albeit wheat, sodium or dairy the bloat will go down but it gets worse before it gets better. It takes an upping of your water and extra hydration to get your body to normalize, thus causing water bloat on top of it. Therefore I just don’t do it. I don’t eat fast food, havent since I turned 30 which was several years ago. I will take part in wheat, dairy or sodium as long as I am choosing to do so knowing full well the consequences. There are some foods that are worth a few days of torture as long as you are aware. Food is just that… Its not good or bad. Think of food like guns. Guns by themselves are harmless they cant shoot themselves. But they can be used for good or bad, enjoyment (sport) or harm.

Before I wrap things up I had an idea while writing this. So many people have told me they can relate. Which I appreciate more than you know. But so many of you are so much better than me at your balance and keeping it off and should be celebrated for it. Now I can’t help you get on some reality weight loss TV show. After the Biggest Loser finale fiasco and some of the truths coming out of it, you may not want to. But I can help you be celebrated for your achievement and let you know your not alone either. I bought a domain name after that post called the I’m thinking we have categories like 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 200, etc.….when you click on that category you can either add yourself or see others who have lost that much weight. Maybe contact them if they so choose. I don’t know where it will go but I think I like the idea of it. (just give me some time to find a developer willing to donate some time Smile  )

As for me this has been a long therapeutic blog session. And yes I will do better to keep up here more because it has been so helpful. Thank all of you for your kind words, and letting me share. This kind of started out to stave off the reason if you see me out why I don’t look at svelte as you saw me at the end of the show. But I’m learning I don’t really need to do that. I’m learning a lot and sometimes faster than I can digest it. No pun intended. One of the things I learned from the man, Chris Powell, himself is – Action Conquers Fear. In the spirit of that here is a recent pic. Be gentle, I just jumped off the proverbial cliff.

Thanks again and keep in touch.



PS – That’s our new puppy Elsa. She is going to be HUGE. She’s only 16 weeks there. As for the facial hair, I’m trying it out. What do you think? Shave it or keep it? Smile


  1. Sheila Matson says:

    I look forward to hearing about, and sharing in your successful journey, Jason. Blessings.

  2. You look great Jason. I like the facial hair. Thanks for sharing all these updates. I loved watching your episode… (even though you frustrated me a little). I could see your frustration with yourself, and I guess it frustrated me. lol… sorry. Anyway, Thanks for being honest. This is a journey that we are on and it certainly has it’s ups and downs. Keep posting, it will help hold you accountable and the positive feed back will fuel your momentum. Anyway, even with your “set back” you have still come so far from where you were when the show started. You didn’t mention your beautiful wife in any of these blogs… how is Rachel? I have been on a journey of my own. I have lost over 120 lbs in about a year and a half. I cut out white carbs and sugar and exercise 5-6 days a week. A friend told me about EWL and I watched all the episodes I could on hulu. They are inspiring to just keep plugging along. Blessings on you and your family. Keep up the good work!

  3. Kelly Daniels says:

    Loved this series. I definitely struggle with a lot of the same issues. It nice to know your not alone.

  4. Becky Smith says:

    Hey Jason, this is great. I’ve been dying to ask you how you lost all that weight, but wasn’t sure how to ask. My husband and oldest daughter struggle with their size, and I really was touched by the part about the lady at the restaurant not minding her own business. I never thought about people being “victimized” by food choices, but that was a very vivid image. I wish I would have caught this before the last entry. Will there be another series, or will you continue the blog at all, with general updates? Good work, either way, and congratulations to you!

  5. I think your blog is great. I can relate too of the being hard on yourself issue. I did that for years. I lost almost 65 lbs the unhealthy way and when I started eating the weight came on and then some!! I got serious about 2 years ago. Lost 65 pounds the sensible way and told myself I’d NEVER get in the 200s again. Well here I am 225. So you gained a bit of weight back. You have the knowledge and tools to know what you need. Youll get there again. Just think if all the running you’ll do with the kids and puppy this summer. Keep the blogs and updates coming. Oh, and you have anyone from Brighton ,hartland or howell let me know. I’m looking for a workout buddy/motivator! Thanks. You’re an inspiration

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