Pleasure or Pain? (Plus 10 Tips For Lasting Weight Loss From Those Who’ve Been There)

I have recorded this post in order to better serve you and hopefully make it easier for you to receive this message. I hope it proves to be helpful.


Who Are You Really?

In last week's post, I shared James' story. Ever since meeting him and seeing his transformation, I have begun to look at overweight and obese people differently. I find myself silently wondering “what do you really look like? Who are you really? Under all of that weight? Who is inside just waiting to come out?”

It consumes me at times, and I am passionate about finding ways to help people reveal their true selves.

Please know that I don’t say this to criticize fat people or to judge those who have weight they want to lose. I know full well the hold that sugar, salt and fat have on our taste buds and our brains.

I understand too well the insidiousness of food marketers whose only goal is to addict us in order to fatten their bottom lines. We are sicker and more depressed than we have ever been in the history of time.

No, I do not look at people with criticism, but rather with compassion and curiosity for what might be possible. I am an alcoholic and I understand first-hand the grip that addiction has on people.

All I have to do is not drink alcohol; we can't survive as humans without food.

Hell, I have gained and lost weight.  I struggle with not buying the cookie while getting coffee or ordering a pizza late at night while watching a movie. I crave chocolate and ice cream and chips and popcorn. And sometimes I succumb to the temptation. I say "screw it!" and go for the junk food that is normally off-limits.

I silently ask the same question when I am around drunk people. "Who are you really? Underneath that mask."

“Who are you really?” has become a question I can't help asking. If you've been following my story, you'll know that over the past 13 years, I have been working hard on answering it for myself. I am on a mission to help others answer it for themselves.

This blog is where I have started.

I can't wait to see where it might lead, and if I help even one person to hit their own "rock bottom" in order to push off and create positive change in their lives, then it has been worth it.

Is that person you?

Self Image & Body Image: The Intimate Connection 

I know that if people can just make that very difficult decision to put their health first and do what it takes to get themselves out of the pain and shame of being overweight and miserable because of it, that the whole world will open up to them.

The whole world looks different when we love the way we feel in our bodies. There is a freedom that can't be explained unless you've experienced it.

It is liberating and exciting and everything changes.

I have experienced this in my own life when I quit drinking, lost weight and started eating well and working out.

Self image and body image are so closely linked that we can't ignore the powerful connection between the two. So, although our body image shouldn't determine our self image, we can use the link to our advantage and know that the better we feel, the better we look, and the better we look, the better we feel...

Pain & Pleasure

We can use the principle of pain and pleasure in order to help us make choices that serve us, rather than harm us.

I have always connected with the way Life Success Coach, Tony Robbins, describes human motivation and behaviour.

Listen in as he teaches us how we can use pleasure and pain to our advantage in every area of our lives.

Creating A New Normal

Let's face it. Habits are hard to break.

In fact, as we've talked about, we don't even break habits; we replace behaviours.

Take James, for example.

He didn't just quit eating pizza and pie. He purged his environment of junk food and brought in healthy options.

He drank water all the time.

He stopped eating take-out on the couch at night, replacing that behaviour with having dinner at a reasonable time and going to bed earlier.

He joined a gym and challenged himself to a short-term goal. Once met, he set a new short-term goal.

He built a system for himself rather than setting one long-term goal of "losing 150 pounds", which would have felt too daunting. When our goals are daunting, we make excuses when we don't achieve them. We blame the goal and we go back to familiar territory...our old habits.

But he had to first hit that point where he couldn't stand to live the way he was living for even one more day. His rock bottom came in the form of a pizza box and an empty pie plate. He woke up and realized that he didn't want this to be his life for one more day.

For others, it is a health scare or, worse, a diagnosis.

For some, it is the death of a friend or a loved one.

For others, it is not being able to fully participate in their kids' lives.

One woman I spoke with admitted it was the financial burden it was placing on her family that finally got her to stop. She said she spent over $200 a week on the junk food that was killing her.

She told me about one night where she drove around the city from drive-thru to drive-thru ordering kids' meals at various fast-food places because she rationalized to herself that it was "cheaper".

That's when she finally stopped. After a night of driving around trying to fill the hole inside of herself, and only making it, and herself, bigger in the process. That was her rock bottom.

If you are someone who knows they need to change, what will it take for you to hit a rock bottom?

What I Know For Sure

And here's what I know for sure. It's perhaps the toughest part;

You have to believe that it is possible for you to achieve your dreams.

If you don't have buy-in from yourself, you will look for every excuse to fail. And it is extremely easy to fail. It is just about the easiest thing in the world to do.

  • Hit snooze instead of hitting the gym.
  • Forget to make your lunches.
  • Eat the doughnut.
  • Blow off your trainer to go for drinks with friends.
  • Grab take out.
  • Stay up late and eat the chips.

Hitting a rock bottom and then making the decision is just the first step. And it's a breeze compared to what's next. From then on, it's all about how much you believe in yourself, trust yourself, and how much you can count on yourself to follow through. And then it's all about the following through.

It is just about the hardest work you will ever do.

And the most rewarding.

Be honest, how many times have you said "That's it! No more!!! I am never eating this crap again! My diet starts tomorrow!" only to find yourself doing the same thing the next day.

I get it! I did it a million times when I was drinking. I'd get wasted and wake up hung over. I'd drag my ass through the next day trying to be productive but just praying for 5 o'clock to come so I could leave my office and go home to bed.

I'd promise myself I wouldn't drink again that night. And then friends would say they were meeting at the bar and off I'd go. Hair of the dog. "Ok, tomorrow I won't drink...I promise"...


TRUSTING YOURSELF to follow through by


CREATING A SYSTEM that supports that decision, you can create lasting change in your life.

Because that is what you want. Lasting change. Not to look good in a dress or an outfit for one night. Not just because you ate so much you feel sick to your stomach and can't imagine eating another bite. But because you want to feel great in your body every day for the rest of your life!

When you think it is too daunting a task, I want you to remember James.

Realize that it is possible. You can do it. Only you can decide.

I can help you with the systems, the recipes and ideas and plans, but it is up to you to decide.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

Learning From Others

I have researched people who have also lost a lot of weight and created a healthy lifestyle. Here is what they all have in common:

STEP 1: They used the pleasure/pain principle to their advantage. They made the one big decision that they no longer wanted to be a slave to their body and their cravings.

STEP 2: They immediately purged their environment by eliminating junk food from their home, setting themselves up for success. They also removed alcohol from their diets.

STEP 3: They joined a gym. Most met with a trainer at least a few times in order to learn how to use the equipment. The financial investment and commitment helps keep them accountable. The physical act of going to a gym replaces other unhealthy behaviours.

STEP 4: They told friends and family what they were doing so that they could build a support system that would help keep them accountable.

STEP 5: They drank water. Lots of water. Water hydrates the body, flushes toxins, fills us up, assists with cravings, and gives us something to do with our hands and our mouths.

STEP 6: They ate vegetables. Lots of vegetables. Veggies became their go-to snack. We can pretty much eat as many vegetables as we want in a day. They help with cravings and again, give our hands and mouths something to do. Cucumbers and celery are great to eat raw because of how water-dense they are.

STEP 7: They did NOT count calories or points or measure portions overly strictly. They ate real, whole foods and they ate reasonable portions, eating until just before they were full. They ate more vegetables than meat and they cut back or eliminated "white" foods (white potatoes, white rice, white pasta, white bread).

STEP 8: They indulged in a treat food once in a while so that they wouldn't feel deprived.

STEP 9: They were gentle on themselves if they faltered. They didn't beat themselves up; instead they got back on track immediately afterwards and didn't use the relapse as an excuse to give up.

STEP 10: They rewarded themselves in non-food ways when they reached short-term goals. A massage, a pedicure, a new outfit.


P.S. Have you made a big decision in your life? What has motivated you to do it? Please comment below and share your successes. 🙂

P.P.S. Please tell me if this post, and the suggestions provided, proved useful to you. Feel free to comment below if this post served you, and share it with others you feel it could benefit. Thank you.

P.P.S.S. Let's be friends! Connect with me on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. 🙂



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