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!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Letter To Myself - It's Time!

Dear FogDog-

Wow! Has it really been almost a year and a half since your last failed attempt at weight loss? So much has happened since then that I’m surprised you want to try again. Do you realize that the last time you posted on this blog…
  • You lived in a different city
  • You had a different job
  • You drove a different car
  • You still smoked
  • You didn’t know you had severe sleep apnea
  • You had just turned 40
  • You were committed to starting another (failed) journey to lose 100 pounds
I went back and read your post called “starting over” that you made after your first failed attempt at weight loss. You talked about those couple of years as “dark times”. Things haven’t really gotten much better have they? In fact I think it’s safe to say things are worse now than they’ve been in quite a while. Sure, you managed to quit smoking 3 months ago, but at what cost? At the moment you are pretty darn close to 350lbs, you are miserable, and completely exhausted with life. Your job is stressful and not particularly fulfilling so your weekends are spent “unwinding” with a bottle of rum. Your kids don’t understand why you never play with them, and you seem depressed almost all the time. Can things get much worse? I’m amazed that you would even want to try again; you know that you are bound to fail!

But wait a minute; I also see that you are not the same person as before. Something about you is different but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s all those books you started reading about positive psychology. Maybe now you are starting to see that you need to focus within yourself instead of always looking for external fixes. I think those books have helped but I don’t think that’s it.

Maybe it’s all the reading you’ve been doing about being healthy. I know the book you read by Chris Powell seemed to really get you motivated. I’m sure it had something to do with his mental approach to losing weight. No, I think that book was helpful, but I’m not sure that has made you a different person either.

I guess it could be all the health problems you have now. I bet you hate wearing a CPAP at night. My guess is that taking medication for high blood pressure isn’t much fun nor is the constant aching in your knees and feet. I’m sure those things would be enough to motivate you to get healthy.

Or maybe it’s just all of the above; I don’t know for sure, but whatever it is that has changed in you, I can see it very clearly. I saw it 3 months ago when you simply “decided” to quit smoking. You just stopped and even when your best friend gave up and started smoking again, you kept going. No tricks, no gimmicks, you simply decided it was time to quit. You didn’t let anyone influence you and your determination was unwavering. I can see you are now ready to do that again, only this time with losing weight. I think after almost 16 months, you are finally ready to pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and start again. Actually, I don’t think it, I know it!

Since I can clearly see you are sincerely ready to give it another shot, I wanted to take some time to give you some advice:

  • Face your fears! I know you very well; I know that one thing you are afraid of is that if you succeed at losing the weight your excuse for being unhappy will be gone, and then you will have to deal with whatever else might be out there. That might happen; losing weight is no guarantee to make you happy. You are going to have to face this fear and all those other ones that you aren’t quite ready to share yet.

  • You need support! From a very early age you taught yourself that you shouldn’t need to rely on anyone to get by. I think you did that so that you wouldn’t have to deal with the feeling of being rejected when you need help. While it might have helped you to become highly independent, it has also made you closed off and incapable of asking for help from anyone. That needs to change. Reach out to your family and friends. Reach out to the blogosphere and find new friends that share your goals. You won’t succeed if you think you can do this one on your own.

  • Help Others! You’re a smart guy, you’ve read a lot about being healthy and you’ve fought obesity your whole life. Something happened when you started volunteering in youth sports; you discovered that you actually like to help others! Share your story (good and bad) with anyone who will listen. Keep blogging and stay engaged with the community; it will keep you engaged with your battle.

  • You need to keep your word! You’ve promised this before; you’ve said you would change your ways. Every time you promise and then fail to live up to it, it eats away at your soul. No crazy commitments this time, only promise to yourself the things you can realistically achieve.

  • Get ready to fail! It’s going to happen and you know it. This journey will not be in a straight line so you need to be able to forgive yourself when you fail. This isn’t a “free pass” to be used when things get tough. You need to hold yourself accountable, but when you fail, you need to figure out what happened, forgive yourself, and then pick yourself back up as quickly as possible.

  • Give yourself permission to succeed! Yes, you will fail from time to time, but you also need to allow yourself to succeed. I still don’t know why you don’t feel like you deserve complete success in life, but you do. You deserve happiness and success as much as anyone else.

  • Lastly, and most importantly, you need to BELIEVE! Even with all the change I see in you, I’m still not convinced that you truly believe in yourself. I think there have been so many failures, that it’s almost impossible for you to see yourself at a healthy weight. This won’t work if you don’t believe in yourself. YOU CAN DO IT!

That’s all I’ve got for you. I know you are planning on starting your journey on September 1, so you have 2 weeks to get ready. I wish you the best of luck and I’ll do my best to help you stay on the path.

Mark (A.K.A Fogdog)

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