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!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Know Thyself

I believe that many people that are trying to lose weight fail for this very reason; they don’t adapt to who they are.  They buy a book or they join a group or they buy some “program” hoping to get an instruction manual on how to lose weight.  The concept is sound, but flawed to the extent that likely that manual you just bought wasn’t built exactly for you.  Knowing yourself means learning new things, but then adapting those learnings to meet your objectives in the most optimal way for you.
It’s been 3 weeks since I started my transformation to a healthier lifestyle.  These first three weeks have been great; I feel like I have truly started down the road to being healthy.  However, I’ve already started to notice things that just simply aren’t going to work for me.  It’s time to make some changes.  When it comes time to make adjustments you have to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.  There’s a fine line between knowing yourself and having an excuse to go back to some of your old unhealthy ways.
Over the last week I’ve taken some time to really think about what works for me and what doesn’t.  I think it’s important to analyze the situation before you actually make the change.  My first change is really a no-brainer; I mentioned it in my last post, I’m abandoning my morning meditation.
The Search for Perfection
I am my own worst enemy!  When I commit to something I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist and any deviation from perfection is seen as failure (no matter how small the imperfection is).  On the one hand it has helped me to be very successful in my career, but on the other hand I think it has been a source of a lot of my personal misery.  It is because of this I am abandoning my morning meditation.  There’s a ton of literature out there that touts the benefit of meditating for as little as 10 minutes each day.  I’ve been doing it on and off for the last 6 months.  There are times when I think it helps and other times when it seems pointless.  I’m abandoning it for now because when I don’t do it, it makes me feel like a failure on an otherwise successful day.  My goal right now is to lose weight, meditation can wait.
Did Someone Say “Good Morning”?
I am not a morning person.  Let me repeat, I am not a morning person in any stretch of the imagination.  Under my current plan, I’ve been getting up at 5AM and exercising.  I started with 15 minutes in the first week and I’ve managed to add 5 minutes each week after with the plan to get to a full 60 minutes.  The problem… did I mention I’m not a morning person?  I have to go to bed at 9PM in order to get 8 hours of sleep but unfortunately I just lie in bed and stare at the ceiling.  When the alarm goes off I just want to curl up and die.
Regular Routine and Fitting it all in
I chose the morning to exercise because it’s the only time in the day when I’m guaranteed to have time.  My job is not conducive to exercising at lunchtime regularly, and anyone with kids will tell you that days after work are filled with soccer, gymnastics, and music programs.  Because I’m a very structured person, I strive for a very structured workout regimen.  Doing it in the evening just didn’t make any sense.
Remembering the Past and Making the Change
When I restarted my blog the first time, I wrote a post called “My New “Radical” Exercise Plan”.  In it I wrote about changing my mindset and learning to fit in exercise whenever and wherever I could.  I went back and read that post and realized that I need to go back to something like it again.  I was also inspired by another blogger.  If you regularly follow weight loss blogs you know who he is [Check out his blog] .  I was inspired because this guy has a crazier schedule than I do, but he almost always finds time to do something in the name of exercise.  It’s not the same time every day and sometimes it’s just a walk, but he finds a way and he doesn’t get worked up when things change.  If he can do it, so can I.
Moving forward I’m abandoning my plan to get up at 5AM and workout to a structured plan.  Instead I’m just going to make a commitment to make an honest effort to do something in the name of exercise for at least 20 minutes every day.
Are These Changes Right?
As I said, I had thought about these changes for about a week before I made them.  I pulled the trigger after I missed a workout in the middle of last week.  I couldn’t make it up in the evening because I didn’t get home until 8PM and then needed to go to bed in an hour.  Since then I’ve been true to my word opting to do elliptical training after dinner during the remaining workdays.  I also played basketball with my daughter on Saturday for 30 minutes, and as of this writing (Sunday morning) we are getting ready to go on a 5 mile hike at a local state park.
Are these changes right for me?  No doubt, dropping the meditation is the right choice for me right now.  I hope to re-visit that someday, but I can’t fix everything all at once.  As for exercise, time will tell; it depends on how honest I am with myself.  I have no doubt that I made the decision for the right reasons, if I am truly serious about changing my ways, the exercise will happen.
-Stay Strong!


  1. Enjoyed your post as always! I agree that it's important to determine what is right for you and adjust accordingly. I've made the mistake before of thinking if it worked fir someone else it HAS to work for me.

    1. I think a lot of people do that. To be honest I think most of the weight loss techniques can be successful, but whether it works for you or not depends on who you are. Thanks for reading.

  2. Time will tell if the changes are right, but the fact that you put some serious thought to them is a step in the right direction. If you want it to bad enough, you will find the time for exercise. It already sounds like you are finding the time and if it includes the family all the better. You're doing well and I know you will have much more successes.

    1. Changing plans after analyzing = attempt at improvement
      Changing plans on the fly = excuse
      Thanks for following and your support!

  3. Yeah, if I had to get up any much earlier than my current 5:40, forgetaboutit. Let alone if it were to exercise. I shoot for 30 minute a day, most days. If I don't do it, well, whatever. Eating healthy is the biggest thing for me. some days I'll dance for an hour, some days it doesn't happen at all. I try not to beat myself up about it. Good luck!

    1. Your attitude is something I'm trying to adopt, but it's hard for me. The engineer in me requires everything to be well planned and rigid.

  4. I'm not a morning person either. 5am for me would be torture. Earliest ever was getting up at 6am to workout and that was for a 12 week program, so I knew there was an end:) You have to do what works best for your lifestyle and schedule.