I think this blog post is going to be very powerful for you.  I want to first say that the woman in her early 30’s that will be talked about in the blog post, she is one of the nicest and most amazing people I have met.  She has a warmth about her that radiates, and I am so excited to be part of her transformation.  She has given me permission to be brutally honest with her as well as let you all in on the conversation.  I am not going to give many details besides the age I have already said and that she is just into the morbidly obese category looking to lose around 100 lbs.

To make it 100% clear, this conversation you are about to see is genuinely out of love and not judgement or disgust.

Hi Dustin,

Attached is my food journal for the week. This is what I typically eat. I know I have lots of room for improvement. I do good all day but then at 530 when I walk in the door I raid all the kitchen cupboards. I eat my last snack at work around 300. Dustin I have thought about doing push ups or crunches but honestly when I walk in the door food is on my mind. I want to relax before making dinner and I guess I associate relaxing with eating. Any ideas or suggestions?

I think Saturday I’m going to go grocery shopping get items for the meals through Tuesday and have what we are having for dinner all set. I think that is my problem when I get home from work I don’t feel like cooking and have no idea what to make. I really don’t like to cook. I think I need to get over that. 🙂

I just wish I could carry how good I am during the day into the evening.

Day 1

Breakfast Advocare meal replacement shake (with fake sugars)  with banana blended

coffee with Fat Free Creamer

Snack Mixed nuts (salted and roasted)


Lunch Lean Cuisine-Sesame Chicken


2 Ghiradelli Squares

String Cheese


Snack Advocare Spark


Dinner Tostitos Chips (30)

Salsa 1/2 cup

slice of cheese

2 Tilipia (total of 5 oz)

1/2 can of sweet potatoes

4 Totino’s pizza rolls

1 snack size snickers


water 72 oz

Day 2

Breakfast Advocare meal replacement shake (with fake sugars)  with banana blended

coffee with Fat Free Creamer


Snack mixed nuts and an apple

Lunch lean cuisine- Chicken enchilada

1/2 can of sweet potatoes


Snack advocare spark

grapes string cheese


Dinner snack size snickers

snack size mms

tostitos and hummus 20 chips/1/4 cup hummus

diet coke

suddenly salad 3/4 cup (Betty Crocker pasta salad)

chicken breast 6 oz with sprinkles of pepper jack cheese

2 oreos


water 72 oz I’m trying I’m wearing a path in the carpet at work

to the bathroom 🙂


Day 3

Breakfast Advocare meal replacement shake (with fake sugars)  with banana blended

coffee with Fat Free Creamer


Lunch chicken breast roughly 6 oz

sprinkle of pepper jack cheese

suddenly salad 3/4 cup

2 Ghiradelli squares

Snack advocare spark

grapes string cheese


Dinner snack size snickers

tostitos (25) 1/4 salsa

Doritos (15)

Pretzels (10) with hummus

60% Venison/40%beef burger

slice cheese

1/2 cup mac and cheese

small slice of cheesecake

water 48 oz of water


**So disappointed in myself

headache bad day still no excuse

got up early and wasted it by eating

so bad Not happy with self

Day 4


Breakfast instant plain oatmeal

with sprinkle of Cinnamon

coffee with FF creamer


Snack mixed nuts


Lunch progresso light chicken soup

100 Calorie popcorn

90 calorie fiber one brownie

1 ghiradelli square


Snack apple

string cheese


Dinner 2 slices of dominos peperoni pizza

2 of cheesebread

diet coke

bite size tostito chips


water 48 oz


Here is my response:

You make a great observation about one of your issues which is associating food with relaxation. I think you see a problem with that, which is correct. For me, I have never put those two together. When I think of relaxing here is what comes to my mind: reading, watching tv, internet, Scrabble, writing, massages, and even cleaning.

There isn’t one right way to break that association, but try to visualize what is happening to you and your body when you use food as a relaxation device. You should see how it is destroying your body and making many parts of your life suffer. If you can create enough pain in your mind, it will give you a reason to change. Then you just need to find other activities to replace it with. I shared with you my list, but that is a personal thing that you will have to figure out yourself.

Ok, time to be lovingly/brutally honest with your food journal… it sucks pretty bad. I would give this a D+ or maybe a C- if I am in an extra good mood. I would disagree with the fact that you do well during the day.

I understand your mom never taught you healthy eating habits growing up. So realize that this isn’t your fault and doesn’t mean you are a bad person. 🙂 All it means is that you have been misinformed, and now you are about to be informed.

You are eating the typical American diet of processed food.  If you go back through your list make note of anything that is fresh.  Looking through it I find that the only two non processed things you ate were a banana and grapes.  Both of these fruits are some of the highest glycemic and I would recommend watching the portion size and frequency of them.  Lower glycemic fruits like berries, apples, and pears are much better for your blood sugar levels.

Next you should look to get protein in with each meal.  You are doing a pretty good job getting protein in with each meal, but many times you are eating highly processed meats.  Nice work eating fish like tilapia.  Fattier fish like salmon would also be good to add.

You seem to like cheese a lot, which is understandable living in WI.  I am not opposed to cheese, if your body can handle it, cheese provides a good amount of fat and protein that can balance out carbs.  But cheese is also high in calories and you are eating with pretty much everything, even when you don’t need that extra fat and protein.  A great snack would be a piece of string cheese and fruit, the cheese balances out the carbs from the fruit.

Betty Crocker and Lean Cuisines… the words make me cringe.  What I am about to say will pretty much guarantee no future sponsorships from these companies, but I am ok with that.  I don’t consider this real food.  I consider it prepackage, plastic crap, that is bombarded with toxic preservatives and chemicals.  Sure it might taste good, but there is very little nutritional value to it.  Take the extra 10 minutes or the extra hour on a Sunday and cook up a bunch of food and put it in containers for the rest of the week.  Then you can have fresh, high quality food that is still convenient.  Okay, of my processed food soap box.

Next it is obvious you like sweets a lot, chocolate, diet sodas, and candy.  The easiest way to get fat is to eat sugar, plain and simple.  I tested this theory out and for two weeks ate whatever I wanted, while still eating all my healthy foods I like to eat.  What happened?  I gained 9.5 lbs in two weeks.  I don’t have a magic strategy for ending your sugar addiction, although early next year I am partnering with another trainer who specializes in breaking sugar addiction to come out with a product that can help.  But I would say for starters just stop drinking soda, diet or regular.  The more you feed your sugar cravings, the stronger they will become.  One strategy that has been successful for some of my clients is going cold turkey for 3 weeks.  No added sugar.  After about 3 weeks your taste buds actually change and if you were to eat sugar again, it would taste pretty awful.  As for chocolate.  Eating a small piece of dark chocolate is fine.  Still high calories, but at least you are getting lots of antioxidants.

Nuts are good, just make sure they are raw and unsalted and make sure your serving sizes are appropriate.

Next to your chip addiction.  I have a soft spot for this one, because I too LOVE chips.  Nachos and lime chips being my favorite.  I really can’t say anything good about these.  High sodium, high fat, low carb nutritional value, and dangerous processed fats.  I try to save these treats for my 1-3 cheat meals per week.  But the problem I see in your journal is that every meal/day seems to include some sort of chip or snack included.


Here is her response:

That is very true when I come home and reach for the chips, chocolate or whatever is fast and easy I need to think about my hard work that I did that morning in boot camp, got my butt out of bed, and the affect that eating this bad food is going to undo all of my hard work and the bad that these ingredients are doing to my insides.


I like to come home eat and watch a little tv before I head into the kitchen to cook dinner. I guess I just want to relax after getting up early to work out, rushing off to work, working all day, heading home to cook dinner. That I just want to relax. As you said I need to break the association of relaxing, watching tv and eating food as one group. I need to separate out eating at least from watching tv and relaxing. Eating needs to be by itself.


I went grocery shopping today made my list of meals for the week. I bought some hummus that was made with olive oil (learned that from your book) cottage cheese (book). Actually I think I need to read the nutrition chapter once a week to keep it constantly in my mind. I planned my snacks this week, having an apple and cottage cheese. I also bought some sweet peas for my afternoon snack. I bought the hummus to go with my carrots. My biggest downfall is chocolate I crave chocolate, I always have something chocolate for dessert for lunch. Any suggestions there??

Dustin, thank you for being brutally honest, please don’t sugar coat anything, I need you to be blunt. I really liked the email that you sent out a little bit ago about friends being sympathetic, reasoning with you if you miss a workout or if you are eating bad. I can totally relate to that. So please tell me as it is. I’m ready to make a change.  When you emailed me and referred to me as morbidly obese, I started to cry.  I knew I was overweight, but I didn’t know it was that bad.  My friends and family have always said that I look fine and I don’t have to worry about anything, but they must have just been trying to be nice and protect me.

Yes our mom, she is a wonderful person. She grew up in the 50’s, 60’s where the wife stays home and cooks, cleans, all that stuff. I remember as if it were yesterday walking in the door when I was in grade school to the smell of homemade Chocolate chip cookies. Growing up there was always cookies, candy bars, mms anything chocolate in the cupboards. My grandma too on my Dad’s side everything was cream or meat and potatoes. I can’t recall much healthy food on either my mom side or my dad’s side. My grandma on my dad’s side lived on a farm and she cooked the meals for all the hired help and every dinner she had dessert, pie and ice cream. I remember eating over there a lot as a kid and helping on the farm, I honestly can’t remember ever eating a salad. Hmmmm, interesting. Sorry I’ve just been doing some thinking about how I grew up and my relationship with food. I think I may do some more thinking about that. I would say within the last 10 years our Mom has lost a lot of weight and has been trying to eat healthier as well. She doesn’t exercise and when she says she struggles with losing ten pounds, I tell her if she would just walk and get the mail. They live on a hill, that would be a good start. She has some health issues, not sure if it due to her eating of the last 68 years or what it is.

Here is my final response:

Wrapping up the food journal, I would basically encourage you to go and buy real food that only has one ingredient on the label.  Take time to preapare your meals, and avoid foods that have fake sugars.  You have no idea how much better you will FEEL once you make these changes.  You will be totally blown away.  Lastly, drink more water.  I was just talking with my mom over Thanksgiving and she does this thing where she drinks 48 ounces of water before she does anything else in the morning.  Now I am not saying you should do that, but if my 63 year old mom who weighs 115 lbs, can drink that much water before 6 AM, I think you can drink twice that much water throughout the day.  It just takes some time to get use to.  Carry a gallon jug around with you from the moment you wake up and make sure each day it is gone before you go to bed.

As for making you cry, I don’t feel bad for that because I think that was the best thing for you.  A wake up call.  Rather now then in 10 or 20 years when you are on your last breath.  I am guessing those closest to you are definitely trying to sugar coat things and make you feel better, but also many are probably dealing with their own issues and if they were to say that you have a health problem that would require them to look closer at themselves which makes them feel uncomfortable.

I have spent over 3 years pouring my heart and soul into this website.  I have over 450 videos and articles all FREE for you.  Here are a couple links that will take you to some of the transformations I have featured, many of which share their exact food journals.  I will also give you a link for all my nutrition articles.  Think of this as your college education.  I would recommend spending 30 minutes per day reading all these articles and videos.  It might take you a month to get through, but you will have more knowledge on the truth about how you should eat to be healthy then 99.9% of the population.

Transformations -> http://dustinmaherfitness.com/category/transformations/

Nutrition articles ->  http://dustinmaherfitness.com/category/nutrition/

I believe in you.  If you put as much drive and focus into your eating as you do in your workouts, you will lose 100 lbs, look amazing, have more energy then you will know what to do with, and then help and inspire those in your life who are struggling to live their best and healthiest live.

I look forward to being on this journey with you.

Question for everyone:  What advice would you give this woman?  Please share in the comments section below