Sparking professionals to double output in half the time!  
Volume 14, Issue 1                       January 3, 2018                    $4.95

Welcome to this month’s EZine.

Mark Matteson
Freedom from FAT!
by Mark Matteson
Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist trade places.

It happens to 75 percent of the population. My weight gain was gradual. I only have to look at pictures of myself from age 35 to 45 years to see the expanding waistline and double chin. I gained five pounds a year for ten years. Sneaky. Gradual. Relentless.

I was a technician from age 18 to 28 years. I lived a very active life. I began in sales at age 29 and the next year I began coaching youth basketball. My habits changed. Instead of playing, I was sitting. Instead of climbing ladders I was doing paperwork. My metabolism was changing to be sure, but so were my habits. Have you ever heard these “ Rational Lies ” before?

We are big boned in our family! (Have you seen skeletons? Their bones are all the same size!)

It’s my metabolism. It goes right to my stomach! Ladies, insert “thighs” into this rationalization! (It’s your PORTIONS, NOT your metabolism, dude or dudette!)

The things we say to ourselves to make unhealthy behavior okay is astonishing, creative, and deadly. For Americans who are 60 pounds overweight, the chances of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and stroke increase by 60 percent!

Have you ever heard this phrase, “the jig is up”? I researched its meaning: A ruse or trick that has been discovered; the game is over; the time of reckoning is here! (A JIG is a sporty or lively dance.)

For me, the jig was up October 2, 2009. I was conducting a team-building seminar in Boston. I went back to the Marriott and went for a swim. Afterward, I stepped on the scale for the first time in years. It read 297 pounds! “What?! That can’t be! The scale must be broken!” (Rational Lie #1). I put my hand on the counter and eased onto the scale (like sneaking up on it gently would somehow change the outcome). It read 298! “What! That’s crazy!” (Rational Lie #2). I went to the front desk and asked for a tape measure. I put it around my waist. Forty-six inches! “No!” (Rational Lie #3). I sucked in my gut and tried it again. Forty-five and one-half inches! “Something’s wrong here!” (Rational Lie #4). I then made a big mistake. I went back to my room, took off my shirt, and looked in the mirror. I could hardly believe my eyes. I was fat!

When the police arrest you, they take two pictures: one from the front and one from the side (at least, this is what they tell me). When I looked at the pictures I had just taken, I freaked out! I was the fat guy in a little coat (think Chris Farley in Tommy Boy ). At that moment, the jig was up. The dance was over. The day of reckoning was here. A rising from deep down inside began to emerge like a volcano. I had not been this angry with myself since the eighth grade when I was cut from the junior high school basketball team. Like the five stages of grief, my reactions were denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance, and action!

I grabbed a 3 x 5 card and wrote, “I feel great at 258! I am proud of my 36” waist. I love to work out five times a week!” On the back of the card I wrote down five reasons I wanted this goal:
  1. My children would be proud of me.
  2. I would live longer.
  3. I would have a great seminar story.
  4. I would look and feel better about myself.
  5. I would prove to myself I could do it.

I made up five 3 x 5 cards and put them everywhere: on the dashboard of my car, in my journal, on the mirror where I shave, in the book I was reading, on the toilet tank in my home office bathroom. I began to say my #1 goal aloud 10 to 15 times a day with positive emotion. (We become what we think about.) It became my “Magnificent Obsession.”

During the next few months, a process emerged. I call it D.A.S.H. They are Four Steps to Change:

Every great accomplishment in my life began with a DECISION. This I would do, come hell or high water! This was going to happen no matter what! I committed the goal to paper. I attached deadlines ( how much by when? ) I set “waist goals” in six-month increments: “42 inches in three months!” “38 inches in six months!” “36 inches in twelve months.”

I asked middle-age men and women what THEY did to lose and keep the weight off. They told me things like:
I cut out bread.
I started walking every day.
I cut my portions in half.
I cut out sugar.
I bought a belt that reflected the goal.
I read books to learn what I needed to do (like Fit or Fat by Covert Bailey).
I joined a health club.

I wrote all these ideas down in my journal. I began doing what they did. What could I do? What am I willing to stick to doing?

I read every book I could find on the topic. I became a sponge for wellness information. I scoured the bookstores and Here is the short list of books I studied. Some of them I read more than once. They are:
> Body for Life by Bill Phillips
> Younger Next Year by Chris Cowley and Henry S. Lodge
>Fit or Fat by Covert Bailey
> The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
> The Game of Life by Florence Shinn
>Creating Health by Deepak Chopra
>Food Rules by Michael Pollan
> The Healing Heart by Norm Cousins
> Healthy Aging by Andrew Weil
> Superfoods by Steven Pratt, M.D. and Kathy Mathews

The “superfoods,” in no particular order are: beans (navy, pinto, and lentil), blueberries, broccoli, oatmeal, oranges, pumpkin, salmon, soybeans, green tea, tomatoes, turkey breast, nuts, yogurt (Greek, non-fat), olives, and spinach. I committed to incorporating these foods into my daily diet.
Certain disciplines and strategies emerged that were contrary to what I had done (or not done) during the past ten years.

Skip breakfast and work out in the morning first thing and wait an hour before you eat. You will change your metabolism.

Success comes in threes. The three things I committed to six days a week were P-Q-E: P ortions, Q uality, and Exercise ! P = Cut my portions in half. Q = Salad instead of fries, grapes instead of chips. E = Exercise. Walk four times a week. Swim three times a week. I started slowly and gradually increased distance, intensity, and duration.

Keep what works and toss what doesn’t. A new philosophy emerged. I went from living to eat to eating to live. I changed my relationship with food! I began to look forward to going to the gym. I made new friends and gathered more ideas about working out. I started lifting weights again (it had been 15 years). I took a yoga class. Before I knew it, I was working out six days a week for 45 to 60 minutes a day.

My adult children asked me to join them at the gym. Our oldest, Colin, said to me one day, “Dad, you look great. No food tastes as good as skinny feels. Keep up the good work. I am proud of you.”

The result? Three years later, I had a 36-inch waist. I lost 50 pounds of fat. I now had a new jig.

How about you? Is it time for a new jig in 2018? Is it time to add a WELLNESS goal to your New Year’s resolutions? A waist is a terrible thing to mind . My sincere wish for you in 2018 is you enjoy Freedom from FAT! If this 60-year-old guy can do it, so can you! The best is yet to come, especially if you are fit.
Publication Data
Mark Matteson publishes his Sparking Success EZine Street newsletter on the first Wednesday of every month. The next newsletter will go out on February 7, 2018
Book of the Month
Freedom From FAT: A Tale of Two Brothers  
By Mark Matteson
If you could only read one book on wellness, this is the one. This book has become my workout bible. It has everything you need to completely change your physique or figure. Inspiring stories, ideas, and chapters on food intake, everything. It really is the only book you need to begin a 90-day commitment. I have read it at least ten times. My copy is annotated, marked up, highlighted, and dog-eared.
How do you go from HERE to THERE? To achieve something you've never achieved before, you will have to do things you've never done before. What do you need to START doing? What do you need to STOP doing?— Mark Matteson
Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might as well put that passing time to the best possible use. —Earl Nightingale

To order your copy go to or contact me directly for your signed copy available Jan 18, 2018!!! Thank you. Let’s make 2018 the year you go from fat to fit and stay there!!!
Mark resides in Edmonds, Washington and takes great pride in the fact he flunked high school English. To watch Markʼs demo video, go to:  

Mark Matteson gives over 75 presentations each year. Book him now to secure the inspiring message that will spark your group's success! To watch Mark's demo video, go to: Call 206.697.0454 or e-mail him at
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Mark Matteson is an inspiring speaker and the author of the international bestseller,  Freedom from Fear . For over 20 years, Mark’s positive humor and peak-performance tools have impacted organizations around the globe, igniting personal and professional success for tens of thousands of people.

When you schedule Mark, his high-powered, highly entertaining message will be tailored to your specific group – your audience will enjoy the take-away message  you  want them to hear. Mark will leave your people feeling encouraged, energized and empowered. They will feel good about your event, and they’ll feel great about the future.