“I Unconditionally Yield to Change”

This is the first in a 9-blog series on Tony Vassallo’s “9 Pillars of Permanent Weight Loss.”  You can check his website out here:  Tony offers a weight loss support group that meets weekly.  He’s a chef and nutritionist, and this “Man on a Nutrition Mission” has himself lost 130 lbs and maintained it for 6 years!

He’s also created an awesome cookbook called “Weight Loss Never Tasted So Good,” which you can purchase on here:

So, what is surrender?

I used to box.  I wasn’t a particularly good boxer, but I did it anyhow because I loved the workout.  I could hit hard: really hard!  But I wasn’t fast.  I couldn’t seem to bob-and-weave my way out of getting hit when it really mattered!

I am about 190 lbs.  My boxing coach at the time was a professional boxer, and was 150 lbs.  I knew better than to get in the ring with him for anything other than basic padwork and footwork.  He’d have crushed me in about 15 seconds.

I was surrendered to the fact that he had me beat even before the fight started.  I was smart enough to know my limits, and what would happen if I tried to engage him on his own terms.

In 2001, obesity had me beat.  When I was faced with the possibility of dying many years before I had to, I knew that I needed to make a choice.  I was 255 lbs.  I should have been 160 (my weight when I am not bodybuilding).  My doctor was concerned.  My family was concerned.  My back was aching.  My blood sugars were too high.  I was headed for trouble, and at age 36, something needed to be done, and it needed to be done soon.

So, I surrendered to a process wherein I lost a total of 95 lbs of body fat.  I knew that I was beat at the eating game.  I knew that, were I to try to lose weight AGAIN the same way I always had in the past, I’d continue to get the same results.  I’d lose the weight for a time, and then gain it back.

What did I have to surrender to?  

I had to surrender to the fact that this time it would not be just a “diet.”  Changing how I ate for a short time, and then going back to my old habits, just wasn’t working.  I had the evidence, after all: I’d lost and gained weight dozens of times.

I had to surrender to the fact that this was more than a mere “lifestyle change.”  This would require an entire paradigm shift for me, a new way of thinking, and an entirely new relationship with food.

I had to surrender to the fact that there were certain foods I needed to stay away from, PERMANENTLY.  I couldn’t seem to control or moderate them.  I had to accept that a time of mourning and grief would be required for letting go of these, my comforters and friends.


I had to surrender to the fact that I was not a normal eater, and that I never would be.  That I would need to maintain certain disciplines, one day at a time, in order to maintain my weight loss, and to sustain a healthier lifestyle.

Tony himself admits that he was not fully surrendered to his weight loss process at first.  Neither was I.  I lost all my weight knowing that I would go out and eat a huge cheat meal the day that I hit my target.  My weight loss coach told me not to, constantly reminding me that “I just don’t eat that way anymore,” but I didn’t listen.

For me, it would be another 6 years before I fully surrendered to what I needed to do in order to maintain my new lifestyle.

Surrender can be immediate: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”  Or it can come over time, in bits and pieces.  Pain helps the process: the more I hurt, the more likely I am to either quit trying, or to surrender to change.  For me, giving up wasn’t an option, and so change I did.

How about you?  Are you thinking about stepping in the ring to try the game again the way you always have?  Has your way ever really worked?  Or are you willing to surrender, even just a little bit, and try something new?  What are you willing to do to lose your weight?  How far are you willing to go?

Tony’s group can help.  Call him at 416-829-5728, or e-mail him at to learn more.  Exercise is a key component to weight loss, and I can help you there too.  Call me at 647-677-6025, or e-mail me at  I’m a personal trainer in Mississauga and in the GTA, and I also offer weight loss coaching and life coaching services.

Remember: surrender doesn’t have to happen all at once.  It happens with the first step, no matter how small.  Are you ready to take the first step?  The choice is up to you.