About Fogdog's Weight Loss

Don't Focus on the Goal...

If you've followed this blog you know that I've struggled for many years with improving my health. I've finally reached a point where I've managed to maintain a small amount of success. Now it's time to take the next step, but I believe it requires a new way of thinking.

Instead of trying to get healthy, why not shift focus toward learning how to build healthy habits instead. Follow me as I try to teach myself how to Engineer healthy habits that will allow me to take my health to the next level. Let's see where this experiment goes!

Friday, March 26, 2010

30 Day Challenge - And the winner is...

First, a review of the rules:  The purpose of the 30 day challenge was to see who could lose more weight in a month; me or my good friend known as Big D.  The idea was to create a challenge that was tough, motivating, and also allowed both players to be in control of their own destiny.  The result was setting a goal of 15 pounds.  If both players lost at least 15 pounds, then whoever lost more received $1 (for bragging rights).  If however the goal was not met, then the loser paid $20 for every pound short of 15!  The stakes were high but as long as you lost 15 pounds, the most money you could lose was a buck.  Both me and Big D. had advantages and disadvantages which made it an interesting bet.  Could my family support and stable schedule beat out Big D's youth and his advantage of not already being on a diet (everyone knows when you start a diet you get great 1st week numbers)?  The answer was discovered at 7:00AM this morning...

My performance over the month was very good.  My wife helped me to remain accountable for ALL my calories and I learned that in the past I have grossly underestimated what I was taking in.  For the duration I held my calories constantly at 2000-2100.  I did go out to eat twice during the challenge but on both occasions I behaved reasonably well.  As far as exercise went, I did start to slack off a little in the end.  In week 3 I missed a few workouts, but only in the name of doing other activities that required exertion.  In the last week I caught a nasty chest cold and didn't workout one bit.  I should probably cut myself some slack because it was a really bad cold, but I do think I should've found a way to get some exercise in.  The lack of exercise in the last week really had me nervous, but there were some signs of doing well such as people noticing I looked thinner and being able to adjust my belt in one notch.

Big D's performance was also very good.  He avoided fast food completely and also only ate out a couple times during the event despite making 2 trips to visit his girlfriend in NY.  He ate several small meals each day, got plenty of protein, drank lots of water, and avoided salt as much as possible (I did actually give him some advice before we started and was happy to see he listened).  For exercise he walked his dog every day and went to the gym as much as possible to workout on a bike (he even went to some spin classes with his girlfriend when he was out of town).  At the start of the challenge he was walking 3 miles each day and by the end he was up to 6!  I was actually amazed at how much Big D. changed his ways during the challenge.

When Big D. arrived at my house this morning we both talked about how we thought we might come out.  I thought maybe I hit about 10 pounds.  I had been sick all week and felt extremely bloated like I might be retaining a bunch of water.  Big D. thought he might hit about 12 pounds but said there was no way in the world that he hit 15.  Then he accused me of trying to mess with his head and he mentioned that several people at work had noticed I lost weight.  I did truly think that I only lost 10 pounds (12 max).  We flipped a coin and I lost so he made me get on the Wii scale first...

Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board

FogDog Starting Weight - 288.1
FogDog Final Weight - 270.9
FogDog Total Loss on the 30 Day Challenge - 17.2 Pounds

You could have knocked me over with a feather!  Of course now Big D. was convinced that I had been messing with him (truly I was not), but he congratulated me on hitting such a high number. 

Next was his turn; after posting such a big number, clearly you could see he was really worried that he was going to lose...

Big D. Starting Weight - 256.4
Big D. Final Weight - 235.0
Big D. Total Loss on the 30 Day Challenge - 21.4 Pounds

The winner by 4.2 Pounds ... BIG D.!

To be honest, I was thrilled to see how well he had done, and was happy to give up the dollar.  I had told him a few days before that he deserved to win.  Don't get me wrong, I worked hard to lose my weight, but I was already on that path; I simply amped up my efforts.  Big D. made a total transformation and to me that was quite impressive!  More importantly, I think Big D. recognizes what he needs to do to keep the weight off and that's a victory in itself.

A Bite at a Time: From the Heart to the Mind, Inspiration and Motivation for Weight Loss

Although I lost the bet, I still have plenty of things to celebrate and I am thrilled with the results.  This weigh-in brought me a bunch of victories all at once:
  1. I met the 30-day challenge goal
  2. I hit my mid term goal of 275 and now get my reward (bring on the mountain bike!)
  3. I helped to inspire a friend to make some healthy changes
  4. I have now reached a weight that I have not seen since before my freshman year in college
  5. Finally (and this is the biggest one for me) I have now crossed over the half way point in my journey to 199!  I started at 349 a couple years ago so 275 was a big number for me.  I cannot, and will not be stopped!
So my hat's off to Big D. for a great race.  By the way, we've already started planning the next challenge and the first rule we decided on was when we weigh in, if our starting weight is higher than our current weight from this morning there will be severe penalties.

To my other friend DJ (whom I have a longer term bet with) I'll say this:

I might be way ahead of you now, but don't give up! All it takes is a spark to get it going again and I know you can do it.  If you need a little incentive, just start thinking about how much money you are going to owe me if you stay where you are at.  I'm going on vacation in Maine in July and if I can keep it going, I might just be stopping by your house to collect!

To all the rest of you out there, I hope this story inspires you to keep on going.  It may be hard and it may be slow, but the small victories are what keep us going.  Just keep chipping away at it and don't let the setbacks rule your journey.  If you don't give up, you too will get to feel what it's like to hit your halfway point.  Trust me on this, after hitting that mark, my resolve to see it through to the end has never been stronger!

Now I'm off for a vacation so I probably won't be back in the blog world until next weekend.  My goal is to not gain any weight while I'm gone and I will be resuming my normal weekly weigh-ins (and catching up with everyone else's blogs) starting next week.  Good luck and stay Strong!


  1. Congratulations to you both! You stayed the course which is the best any of us can do...

  2. Great Job! I had a few weeks of stand still . . . but then I started losing again too! I knew you would eventually pass me by.

  3. GREAT WORK and congrats to you both. Big D proved me wrong but I am very happy for the both of you. Fogdog thanks for the words of encouragement. As I have mentioned we started seeing a nutritionist and both J and I have noticed a difference. In fact over the month I lost 8 pounds, it would have been more but we took a trip out to Denver and we all know what vacations can do to a diet. You may beat me (although don't take this as a surrender) I will for sure minimize the damage and if your not careful I will for be pushing you before you know it. What kind of Mountain Bike are you getting?

    Last but not least I expect you and the family to stop by on your way through it would be great to see you all. If you wanted you could break up the trip and spend the night.

    Congrats again!

  4. You are both losers!!

    Great job, you both hit the 15lb mark and then some, you both stayed the course and you both made permanent changes!!!


  5. Hey Buddy.. wherya been?!? Thinking of you and hope things are going well!


  6. Where are you Fog Dog? I hope everything is okay.

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