014: Are You Ready For Change

by John Bukenas on March 1, 2013


NEDAwareness Week – February 24th to March 2nd

Silence Binge

  • This year’s NEDAwareness Week theme is “Everybody Knows Somebody” because awareness of eating disorders is certainly spreading. Last year, NEDAwareness Week registrants spanned all 50 states and 30 other countries. We hope to have another record-breaking year in 2013, and have everyone commit to doing just one thing!
  • The aim of NEDAwareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses – not choices – and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.
  • NEDA asks everyone to do just one thing to help raise awareness and provide accurate information about eating disorders. NEDAwareness Week participants can choose from a huge range of ways to get involved: Distribute info pamphlets and put up posters, write one letter for Media Watchdogs, register as a Volunteer Speaker or host a Volunteer Speaker, post information on Facebook or arrange interactive and educational activities such as a meditation and yoga event, panel discussions, fashion shows, movie screenings, art exhibits and more. As an official NEDAwareness Week participant you can be involved in any way that works with your schedule, resources, community, and interests.These events and activities are vital to attracting public media attention – on local, national and international levels.
  • National Eating Disorders Association

Are You Ready For Change?


  • I guess my first question is, “Are You Ready For This?”
    • To lose weight you have to change.  Change your eating habits, change you exercise habits, change your basic perception of what you eat, when you eat, how much you eat, and why you eat.
    • I use to think that all I needed to do was figure out what I wanted and plan to “Git R Done.” But it’s not that simple.
    • If everything was alright with your weight you wouldn’t need to change, right?
    • For the longest time I waited for that miracle pill, or maybe someone would come up with a procedure just to suck out all the fat and I wouldn’t have to change a thing.
    • Because I loved to eat, and I loved to eat high carbohydrate, high fat foods.  That’s the good stuff, right?
    • Ice Cream tastes better than broccoli, Pizza tastes better than grilled chicken breast, and pudding tastes better than a cucumber.  There I said it.
    • The problem is your body can’t burn all those calories, but the body is also like the government at tax time.  It want to hold on all those calories even if it doesn’t need them. It turns these calories into fat.  And if the body is good at one thing, it’s storing calories as fat.
    • So there comes a day that you look in a mirror or you look at a picture of yourself and say, “Oh my God, am I that fat?”  Of course the answer is yes.  “I need to go on a Diet.”
    • So you want to change.  But do you know how?
    • And did you know that there are basically Six Stages of Change?
    • James Prochaska identified six stages which characterize any behavioral change. Understanding these six stages of change can help you achieve your goals.

Step 1: Precontemplation:

  • Precontemplation is the period you are in before you realize you need to change.
    • When you tell yourself you are the healthiest fat person in the world
      • It’s not an issue
      • I can still do everything I want.
      • I can still walk, run a little, work, play with the kids
      • Yes I sweat a lot but I drink a lot of water so it has to go somewhere.
    • Basically you are in denial. And that is not the river that runs through Egypt.
    • You are living with a problem, but you refuse to acknowledge the problem
    • Others can see the problem, but not you.  It’s not that bad, you can handle it.
    • But then things start to happen.
      • You can’t do everything you could do before.
      • You can’t run anymore.
      • You can’t play with the kids.
      • You can’t get up off the floor so easily
      • You start to notice that they are making movie seats a lot smaller and restaurant booths are getting smaller.
      • The the places you use to be able to walk to with ease now become a struggle.
      • Or you see a picture of yourself and you can’t believe you have gained that much weight.
    • Before you can move to step two you need to be willing to consider that there is a possibility that some things might have to change.
    • Because the cost of maintaining the problem behavior is greater than the cost of changing that behavior.
    • At that point you are ready to take step two.

Step 2: Contemplation:

  • Once you’ve moved out of Precontemplation, you are willing to understand the truth about the problem behavior or situation and consider the alternatives.
  • Contemplation is the learning stage in which you gather information.
  • You examine the pros and cons of the various options available to you.  You honestly assess all of the costs and benefits of allowing the situation to continue.  You also look at the pluses and minuses of doing things differently. You become fully informed.
  • Some people go back and forth between Precontemplation and Contemplation for a while before they are ready to move ahead.  My friends Dan and Vanessa Hayes from the Simple Life Together Podcast calls this back and forth “Analysis Paralysis”  You are ready to move to the next stage when, on the basis of your analysis, you embrace the need to change.

Step 3: Planning:

  • Once you have committed to bringing about a change in your life, the next step is to figure out how to do it.  You plan your behavior change.
  • You identify your goal.  You research the various ways you might achieve your goal.  You enlist help.  Often people show up for coaching when they reach the Planning stage, knowing that a coach can help them clarify their goal as well as the steps they need to accomplish it.
  • Once you have formulated a workable plan, you are ready to move into Action.

Step 4: Action:

  • You implement your plan in the Action phase.  This phase can be seen as an experiment in which you learn which parts of your plan work and where the unforeseen obstacles lie.
  • Circling between Action and Planning is an inevitable part of the change process.  No plan is perfect.  It is essential to view any problems which arise as an opportunity to improve your plan.
  • Once your action plan is proceeding smoothly, you are ready to move into the most challenging stage of all.

Step 5: Maintenance:

  • Most people enter the Action stage filled with enthusiasm and excitement.  There is a sense of euphoria as they begin to see positive change and experience the benefits that this brings.
  • It is much more of a challenge to maintain that change.  As you move further from the negative experiences created by the old behavior, it becomes easier to minimize their costs.  Temptations arise which can be difficult to resist.
  • Maintenance is the long haul during which old habits are being replaced by new ones.  Lapses are common during the Maintenance phase.  It may be necessary to return to Planning or even to Contemplation to remedy these lapses.
  • Some people who lapse in the Maintenance stage get so discouraged that they return to Precontemplation.  Don’t let this happen to you!
  • When you understand that change rarely proceeds in a straight line, you can recognize a lapse as a normal part of the change process and get quickly back on track.

Step 6: Transformation:

  • Once the new habits have replaced the old, manipulative behaviors you can consider yourself in what Prochaska labels the Termination phase.  I prefer the term Transformation.
  • In Transformation, the desired change has been accomplished.  With the new behaviors established, you are no longer the same person.  You couldn’t imagine going back to the old behavior patterns. You have achieved your goal.
  • Understanding the process of change will help you achieve your goals and make your good life better!  If you would like to learn more about the six stages of change, I heartily recommend Prochaska’s book, Changing for Good.


My Progress 

  • My last weigh in was 405.1 pounds,
  • Right now I am at
  • Still in the Lifestyle 180 program and I’m still anxious about making it through the whole plan.
  • There is reading, planning, cooking, logging food, posting in the forum, and exercising.
  • And I wasn’t much on exercising, but I am now!
  • I talked last week about accepting your failures and boy for some reason when I make a statement like that I seem to be put in a position to walk the walk.
  • For some reason I was stalled.  And My Coach David Greenwalt sent me a message and took me to task.  And Honestly, I thought I was doing everything right, but I was not having results.  And as the Coach says, “It’s Always the Food.”  So I put my trust in his process.  I am logging every bite.  I am pre logging my food.  I log what I will eat tomorrow today.  And for the most part, I am eating one ingredient items.  I eat Chicken, not Chicken sausage.  I eat whole foods.  The only processed foods I’m still eating is salad dressing and salsa.
  • It’s tough when you believe you are doing everything right and you fail.  But I am looking at my process.  I will not give in or give up.  I will do better.
    • If you want to check out the Leanness Lifestyle University go to Let’s Reverse Obesity.com and click on the link and since I’m an affiliate you will get the same low price and I will receive a commission that helps with the costs of producing this podcast. Now do me a favor, if you are not 100% committed to losing weight don’t join.  It’s not for someone who is wishy washy.  This plan is not easy, it take commitment, but it is going to be so worth it.  But if you are ready, I highly recommend the Lifestyle 180 Program.

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  • I have 13 reviews so far and they really help me move up in the rankings of other shows that deal with weight loss. Please don’t be shy.  I would love to say I’m up to 20 reviews by the next episode and you could help me reach that goal.
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Legal Disclosure:

Let’s Reverse Obesity.com and the Let’s Reverse Obesity Podcast are meant for informational purposes and do not constitute medical, nutritional, dietary, therapeutic, or any other advice. Any information on this site or in the podcast reflects John’s or his guests views and experiences only. You should always consult with a medical doctor, nurse, or other certified health professional before starting any diet, exercise, or any kind of health plan.


Brad H
Brad H

Hey John---great show!  All the preperation and effort sure does show.   I am always encouraged when I here about your progress!  Good Job!  Brad

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