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I was watching a sitcom this morning at the gym while I was doing my cardio workout. It’s a show called Modern Family, and I was turned on to it by a friend of mine. I think the show is very funny and at the end of each episode, they have a bit of a summary of the featured topic. I find that the summary can be pretty poignant.

This morning’s show was called “15%”. It revolved around a gay character’s lifestyle being accepted by his old school dad. At the end of the show, the story was wrapped up with the gay character expounding about how people don’t really change except for 15% of themselves. He said he didn’t know if people can change, and that people “are who they are” give or take 15%. That 15% was how much they can change if they really want to.

People tell me that I have made a HUGE change. I don’t think so. I am not sure about the percentage being huge, but I think the concept is right. I think I only made a small change. I don’t know how many people can make huge changes that are ingrained in their personalities. I would argue that I didn’t really change who I was, just how I viewed things. I think I had the determination in me all along. I would also argue that everyone has that same potential.

It’s not the losing weight that’s hard. The human body is pretty amazing. Losing weight is just machine mechanics. If you short your body calories, you will lose weight. The body will respond and make adjustments to use reserves. It’s the determination and focus it takes to diet that’s hard and it’s letting yourself be miserable.

I heard one time that you really learn most of everything you know in the first 5 years of life. You learn to speak, read, social customs, and you develop your personality. Your education and creative thinking happen before you are 30. If that’s the case, I was lucky to learn something over the last few years. And that was a lesson about life. You could call it karma, fate, or whatever you want, but the lesson was this. There are certain things in this world that suck. Some things are not going to change and you can’t fix them. The best thing to say about these kinds of things is, “Yep, that sucked” and then move on. You acknowledge it and get past it. Thinking about it, talking about it, and grieving over it is just wasted.

That’s the best way to describe a diet. They suck. Who wouldn’t want to not worry about what they eat? I would love to live on corn dogs and Ho-hos. But I can’t, and that sucks. It’s best not to think about it all the time, and just move on. That has been a philosophy that has worked for me. I don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about it. Thinking about the misery is just going to prolong it. Best to get it done, and move on.

In the past, I would obsess about the bad things in life. I think that’s what made dieting so much harder. It was having to think about how bad it was. I learned this lesson about 5 years ago, and it worked for me. Maybe that was my 15% change. I am about to move past the bad and look for the good. With direction and determination, all things seem possible. Keeping the positive thought doesn’t hurt either.

Paul

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