You are not doomed to stay fat

By John McGran

Since I resolved to change my life for the better in 2017, I have leaned on the simple, yet extremely powerful Serenity Prayer on many occasions. You’ve probably heard of this prayer. For those of you who haven’t – or for those of you who’ve forgotten the words – here it is:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I told you it was a simple prayer. But read it again and think about what it’s telling you. This advice can help you with everything from annoying co-workers to annoying extra pounds. While you CAN’T change the pain-in-the-butt guy at the desk next to yours, you CAN change your weight.

I believe a higher power has helped guide me to a better place the past three years. I am happier, healthier and lighter since embracing this higher power. I am also enjoying much more serenity in my life. You can, too.

Accepting what you can and cannot change sounds simple yet it is such a great tool for those of us trying to eat better and maybe drop a few pounds in the process. We can’t magically change the foods that fill the shelves of our local grocery store. And we can’t force the fast food giants to offer only great-tasting, healthy fare.

But we can change our eating patterns and our frame of mind.

Let me introduce you to a dear friend, Matthew Anderson. B.A., M. Div., D.Min. Mathew became my spiritual expert and super-popular columnist during my years as editor-in-chief at, once the world’s largest internet weight loss company. His insightful online courses included Eating to Kill: Why You Want to Be Fat.

“The hard truth is you might continue to be overweight or even obese until you die,” Matthew once wrote for me. “The stats show that most people (about 95 percent) who are currently overweight will probably be overweight five years from now … and 10 years from now… and so on.

“Losing weight and keeping it off is an extremely difficult task. You know this and so do I. It is so difficult that most people finally give up and just eat.” 

There are exceptions, however.

Like me, Matthew is an exception to the “stay fat until you die syndrome.” You can be like Michael and me. We’ve gotten fat, struggled with our weight, but then we found a way to drop the weight and keep it off.

So, how can you become a weight loss exception like us?

Matthew says there are three things you need to do.

Face the truth: If you do not change you will be fat until you die!

“You know you should get rid of that fat but instead you just hate yourself for being a failure at weight loss and then you eat to feel better,” he noted.

Turn your “should” into a “must!”

“This is a simple but powerful statement from motivational expert Tony Robbins. He is completely correct about this. A should, in my experience, is most often a nice idea that you have no intention of doing. It sounds good but action never follows it. A must, however, always produces action. You must eat every day. You must drink water every day. You must take a shower every day (well, at least I hope you do).  You know what the musts are in your life and you know you can count on yourself to do them. If you want to live in a healthy body IT MUST BECOME A MUST.”

Grow up!

“One big reason most overweight people stay fat is that they refuse to grow up and accept that maintaining weight loss is often difficult. The child in them runs the show, gets annoyed that this is hard or uncomfortable, and soon gives up. Children in adult bodies will never lose weight and keep it off.  NEVER. Face this truth and you will be half way to weight loss success.”

Yes, Matthew was never one to shy away from in-your-face advice. While what he says at times may be hard to swallow, his approach has proven successful for thousands of men and women who’ve read his columns or books or have had the pleasure of sitting down with him for one on one counseling sessions. I am proud to say I have done all three. I’ve also shared great beers and cheese steaks and a few lousy games of billiards with my dear friend and former co-worker.

Healthy living is the ultimate mind game. You need to get your head in the game. I’ve found the best way is through a reliance on my higher power. The Serenity Prayer has proved to be a fantastic tool – one needed to tighten my stinking thinking when my resolve and outlook on life get a tad too loose.

No one has to go through their life’s journey alone. I urge you to do a little soul searching as you start your journey toward wellness.

Strive to accept the things you cannot change. More importantly, acquire the courage to change the things you can, starting with you.

Since 2000, John McGran has been the top content man for four national diet and wellness companies, including,, Diet to Go and He’s worked with dozens of lifestyle experts schooled in the fields of nutrition, diet, fitness and the psychology of wellness. He believes his higher power has helped him use what he’s learned to drop weight and keep it off.