I think that if you want to reduce your weight, there’s no magical solution, no one thing, that’s going to do it for you.  There has to be a comprehensive lifestyle shift that addresses the multiple variables that come together to affect how we eat, exercise, and behave in other ways that affect our weight.  So as I’m work through this experience, I want to talk with professional in various practice areas who can contribute.  Enter Candice Trudel.

Originally a nutritional scientist doing research in a lab, Candice moved on to open her own consulting practice, and she specializes in ayurvedic nutrition.  I found it really easy to talk with Candice.  No preaching, no lecturing.  Just a genuine interest in how to help people enjoy food while being healthy and happy.  She’s a pretty cool lady.

“You can’t out-train a bad diet.”

I don’t want to be in a position where I have to feel like I’m killing myself with exercise in order to offset what I’m eating.  That’s not a solution, for me.  I want to create a balanced lifestyle that supports my well-being, and that’s what Candice and I focused on talking about in this interview.

One neat thing that I had never heard anyone talk about before, which Candice refers to repeatedly, is the idea of “discovering your constitution.”  Recognizing that we really are all different, and there’s not going to be one diet or one exercise plan that works for everybody is important to recognize.  It’s easy to agree on that from an intellectual perspective, but a little more challenging to embrace in action.  Luckily, there are people like Candice in the world who want to help.

Follow Candice on Facebook.

Nicholas Spohn is a cool dude.  He was briefly a professional mixed martial arts fighter, built a successful real estate business, and now uses hypnotism, neuro-linguistic programming, and other modalities to help people create positive changes in their lives.

When Nicholas was visiting my home awhile back, I was telling him about my frustrations with my weight, and how doubly frustrating it is to know hypnotism, yet not use if for weight loss.  He asked me if I had tried the Dickens process, and then explained why he thought it was such a powerful experience to have.  In this interview, we re-visit that conversation and go deeper on the topic.

The important takeaway from this interview that will benefit almost everyone is the reminder that human beings are generally more focused on avoiding pain than getting pleasure.  If you struggle with your weight, this may seem counterintuitive to you, since you get a lot of pleasure from food, but if you can shift your thinking to see that you’re using the pleasure of food to avoid the pain of _____, then you’ll have a better understanding of your own situation.  What pain is it that you are really avoiding?  And if you used the Dickens process, how could you envision much greater pains that have come from, are coming from, or will come from the way you use food?  When you skyrocket that pain response, you might be able to break out of the comfort of using food the way your currently do.

Nicholas’ Facebook.

Nicholas’ Instagram.

Another week of weight gain, and while I didn’t always make good food choices while traveling, I still think this gain is more about stress and travel bloating than actual food intake weight gain.  The good news is that my busy annual tour is now officially complete, and I’ll be home more often, and can settle back into a routine.  The first thing that needs to happen is I need to drink more water. I’ve been absolutely horrible about my water intake.

I think it’s time to start exploring some new food recipes.  With all the traveling I’ve been doing, I haven’t been cooking at all, and I love to cook.  Normally, with fall approaching, I’d be cooking more comfort food, but I want to break out of that habit and cook some healthier stuff that is still comforting.

What’s your favorite source of healthy AND delicious recipes?

I spent the last week traveling around the country, performing stage hypnosis shows for colleges.  Lots of flying, airports and hotels, and driving rental cars to the performance venues.  It’s not helpful in terms of supporting good eating habits.  You tend to look for food that’s convenient instead of food that’s healthy, and the hectic pace is a bit stressful, which triggers more urges for crappy food.

Luckily, I’ve been doing this annual tour for fifteen years, so I’ve gotten better and better at managing those factors, and the results show at this week’s weigh-in.  I still can do an even better job.  I definitely had some times where I grabbed a cookie or had a drink with sugar in it.

It’s particularly important that I get to that next level of clean eating, as I’m now off the second steroid taper, and my itching has come back a little bit.  It’s nowhere near as bad as it was, and I want to keep it that way.  In fact, I want it gone.  In order to achieve that, I must manage my stress even better, push more water, and reduce the sugar and carb intake.

What are your favorite healthy, natural foods?

The week after the hypnotists’ convention, I began my annual “Back to School Tour” where I travel around the country performing stage hypnotism for colleges as they begin their new school year.  This is always a fun time of year for me, as I get to travel around, meet a lot of nice people, and be in the role of entertainer.  While it’s a really busy time, it’s not something that I think of as stressful.  There’s a definite feeling of relief as I’m at the point in the year where I really just focus on this one thing, and so my stress has definitely reduced.  I’m still on the steroid taper, and I feel pretty good.  Sometimes the steroids affect my sleep, so there’s a little bit of a negative factor there, but overall I seem to be doing pretty well, and it was reflected on the scale.  I’m under 300 pounds!

Obviously, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but there’s something about not seeing that “3” at the beginning of the scale read-out that has really lifted my spirits.  I realized, as I was reflecting on it, that it has been nearly three months since I started this project, and while I have lost weight much slower than I hoped, I have also gone nearly three months without ever gaining more than a half pound in a week, and that’s a pretty significant change in my old pattern.  For years, the pattern was to keep going slowly and steadily upward, and now I’m going slowly and steadily downward, and that’s a great feeling.  And again, to have done it without dieting, without aggressive workout plans–just by shifting my thoughts and awareness a bit–is pretty cool.

But there’s still a lot of weight to lose.

So now I find myself debating internally; do I keep going the way I’m going, or do I make a shift that somehow accelerates things, so that I don’t get too comfortable with the way things are?  One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that when I get comfortable, it never leads to anything good.  Shaking things up gets me to create new things, achieve new things, and keep growing.

I mean, at my current rate of progress, it’s going to take me three years to lose the weight I want to lose.  Not cool.  Clearly I have to adapt to some new strategies and practices, and create better results.

Well, the first week didn’t go quite as planned.  I did GREAT for the first five days of the week, with regard to my main objectives from the earlier post I wrote.  I got up most mornings and went outside and split firewood so that I was getting some activity right away, and that was awesome.  I felt more alert and energized each morning.

I also did a good job of managing my desk time and giving myself breaks when working on things so that I didn’t get stressed.  I finished my days with some time to unwind, and I felt good all during the work week.

It was the weekend that got me.

Actually, it was working on the weekend that got me.  I had three stage hypnosis shows in a 24 hour period: 3am, 10pm, and 3am.  Having two nights in a row where I was up all night and then getting home at 6:30 in the morning threw me off, and I made bad food choices.  Even though I didn’t feel stressed, it was if my body was in some kind of stress mode, being up all night like that, and I kept eating as a way to keep myself awake.  Then, when I finished that crazy period, I was exhausted and I spent the next two days recovering, which was entirely comprised of me chilling out on the couch.  No activity, and bad food choices continued.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost three or four pounds on the front five days of last week, and then put half or more of it back on during Friday and Saturday.  Luckily, there are no more all-nighter’s on the calendar, so I can get back on track and stay on track this week.

So, for this week, here are my three points of focus:

  1. Increase activity level another notch.
    The morning exercise was good last week.  Low-impact and easy to stick with.  I’m going to continue that habit this week, and add a walk in the afternoon.
  2. Drink more water.
    Last week I didn’t even track my water consumption.  I think it’s something I should start paying attention to.
  3. Start practicing self-hypnosis.
    Maybe if I had been using self-hypnosis last week, I would not have been so easily triggered to eat shitty food on the work nights.  I have an interview coming up with a leading expert in self-hypnosis this week, so implementing some of what I learn from him should be helpful.


It’s a shocking number to me.  309 pounds.

If you told me when I was 20 years old that one day I would weigh 309 pounds, I would certainly have dismissed the idea with total confidence.  I was overweight at that time in my life, but not obese, and I didn’t see myself as “one of those people.” Plenty of people carry some extra weight, but obesity… well, that’s a whole other thing.  Those people are gluttons, or weak-willed, or something.  I mean, how do you let yourself get to that point?  Surely you can see that there’s a problem, and if you don’t do something about it, then it must be a kind of willful sabotage, right?


But here I am.  309 pounds.  How did it get to this?  What on earth happens, that a person lets themselves get this heavy, this unhealthy?

I’m sort of at a loss to even write about it.  Has this happened in your life?  Is it weird for you to think about?