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!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lose Weight, Be Happy... or is it Be Happy, Lose Weight?

When you picture yourself as a thin person, what do you see?  If you’re like me you are probably doing something cool like kayaking down a river or barreling down a mountain on a bike.  Regardless of what you see yourself doing, I’ll bet you anything that vision of the new, thin you includes being happier than you are now.  I often wonder if that’s true; will becoming thin actually make you happier?  To be honest I wonder if we have it backwards.  Maybe becoming happier will actually make you thin!

Think about it for a moment; how many times have you told yourself you would be so much happier if you could just lose the weight.  If that’s true, if you truly believe that in your heart, then why don’t you just do it?  We all want to be as happy as can be so why wouldn’t we just eat right and exercise and watch the weight fall off?  There are only 2 possible reasons: We either don’t know how to or we don’t really want to!  I’ll leave it up to each person to decide which answer fits them, but I’m pretty sure I know how to lose weight and my guess is that you do too.

By this point you may have already dismissed this article as craziness, but if not, let’s keep going.  Let’s assume for a second that I’m right and you don’t lose weight because you really don’t want to.  My next questions would be… “Why don’t you want to lose the weight”?  Maybe, just maybe the real reason is because deep down inside you know that the original source of your unhappiness still exists and if you lose the weight you will be left to deal with it?  In other words, you think you want to lose weight, but your subconscious doesn’t want to deal with the real problem so you actually sabotage yourself.  Crazy, isn’t it?

Think about it, the formula for losing weight isn’t really that hard… but life is.  Like alcohol and tobacco, maybe eating has become a coping mechanism for other issues in your life.  It becomes a comfortable and convenient excuse; you’re not happy because you’re overweight, but you will never lose the weight because you’re so unhappy.  It becomes a vicious circle from which you can’t escape.    

Now I’m not suggesting that if you somehow found a way to be happier now, that the weight would just magically fall from your body.  It’s still going to take hard work and determination, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to be happier while you do it.  I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that I get more accomplished when I’m in a good mood.  What if that good mood stuck around longer?  Wouldn’t it be easier to lose weight?

I’m sure not everyone follows this pattern, but I bet you that there are quite a few people out there that do.  Spend a little time thinking about it; is there something in your life that’s making you unhappy?  Maybe you could work on that while you try to lose weight.  What do you have to lose; if I’m wrong but you try anyway, the worst that happens is that you are a little happier while still struggling to lose weight.  However, if you don’t try and I’m right you could very well end up right where you started, still unhappy and overweight!


  1. Oh that book looks interesting. Have you read it? Food and feelings talk has been around a long time now and people are really starting to see the connection. I used to think it was a bunch of rubbish, but I can now see some of the reasons why I turn to food. Do I think I'll be happier when I lose the weight? Most definitely. Why? Because I will be able to do things better and will feel more self-confident and be more comfortable in my clothes. Will it solve my problems? No they will still be there, but I will see the weight "problem" as one less load to carry.

  2. Heven't read it yet, I have my wife looking for it at our library. I'll let you know when I get it.

  3. I like the way you think. Good Luck to you! :)