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, October 12, 2014

Helping Mrs. FogDog

Today I’m turning my attention away from me (just a little) and towards the wonderful Mrs. FogDog.  I don’t talk much about Mrs. FD, but everyone should know that I owe much of my current success to her.  For all intents and purposes, Mrs. FD takes care of all the food related activities in our house.  Shopping, prep, cooking, menu, it all comes from her.  I wouldn’t survive this eating plan without her which is why I want to help her…
Mrs. FD is also focused on improving her health and is doing the same plan as I am.  However, where my situation is pretty dire (I need to lose about 150 pounds), Mrs. FD started at 165 and only really needs to lose about 50 pounds.  Still lot's of room for improvement, but certainly not morbidly obese like I am.  In the first 6 weeks, Mrs. FD has managed to lose 15 pounds; an impressive amount for a woman of her size (actually higher percentage of weight lost than me).

However, week #7 wasn’t as kind to Mrs. FD as it was to me (she gained 2 pounds).  She confessed to me that this week she ate 3 king-sized candy bars; one for every time she went into a store during the week.  Additionally, she also admitted that she’s not keeping up with her water consumption (64 oz.).  Her biggest concern… that she’s going to drag me down with her... sends me a message that she thinks this is the beginning of the end of her weight loss ways.

We had a good discussion the morning after our weekly weigh-in.  Focusing on the candy bars, we quickly ruled out hunger as she had her snacks at the right times.  She’s not a stress eater like me, but what we did notice is that Mrs. FD looks for enablers to use as an excuse.  Last week was a great example; since I was “cheating” a little each night, it became a reason for Mrs. FD to cheat as well.  You can see the same thing with exercise.  Mrs. FD has a full schedule, but her schedule affords her some free time during the day.  She could easily make a commitment to exercise each day, but because I don’t exercise, it gives Mrs. FD an excuse not to as well.  Looking back through our history and you can see this pattern regularly show up… We do well for a while, I falter, then Mrs. FD falters more, then I fall apart and we end up back into our old routines.

We also talked about Mrs. FD’s future.  Unlike me who eats as a relief from stress, Mrs. FD eats out of boredom.  After being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, there are definite signs that Mrs. FD needs a new challenge.  To me, this is the stuff that she needs to put some thought into.  I think if she can find that path and establish a direction, the mental focus to be healthy will get easier.

I find myself in this quandary of trying to find a balance between helping Mrs. FD and focusing on my own well-being.  As I said Mrs. FD is a critical part of my plan so by helping her I help myself as well, but I can’t sacrifice my own progress in the name of helping her (A.K.A. the noble excuse).  We all have only so much mental fortitude, and this isn’t one of those “women and children first” moments.  Mrs. FD has to find her own way as we all do.  We can be part of each other’s support structure, but we also have to watch out that we don’t become enablers of bad habits (as we have in the past). 

What about you?  Do you have similar issues with your spouse or other member of your support structure?  How do you deal with it? This is new territory for us so I’d love to hear other perspectives.

-Stay Strong!


  1. My husband falls into that same pattern that if I go off, he sees it as a green light to go off. Whereas if he goes off plan I see it as a time he needs extra support. So, here's the thing; me helping him get back on track actually helps me keep my focus and it helps him get on track. YES, he does need to do it for himself (and I've had many arguments with him that he is not a baby and needs to get with the friggin' program on his own, it shouldn't be up to me to drag him out of bed to workout. That's not fair. I'm up, join me or don't, but I'm not your mother so grow up.

    That may sound harsh, but it's the truth. We're adults. As adults, and PARTNERS, we should be supporting each other's efforts to get healthier. But this doesn't mean doing it for them. I tried the strategy of saying that when I'm having trouble, maybe you can support me and help me get back on track, but he never does. So in the end, it really does just come down to you and you alone.

    My only advice is to have this entire conversation with her. Ask about where YOU can help her (is she overwhelmed figuring this food thing out? Maybe you need to step up and start helping with that, be an active part in that as her partner too, etc.) It would be sad if it's the end of her journey, especially because that will put your journey onto a harder track. It'd be much better if you could support her in sticking it out, and explain how important it is that no matter what you continue to move forward. She might falter, but weirdly enough when you keep doing the right thing in SPITE of them doing the wrong one, often the other person comes back around the bend and gets on board.

    My husband gets up and follows me to workout without my saying a word now. It took a couple on and off years, but that's how it has worked out now! :) And we share food prep.

  2. Thanks for the great comment! We have talked and I'm going to try to help more with the prep. On Sunday we agreed to just focusing on having a good week and we'll see where that takes us.

  3. My husband is not overweight and is a lot more active than me. He believes that exercise is the answer to everything, which we don't quite agree on, but basically he is very supportive. The problem is I am quite uncomfortable talking about my weight issues with him. It makes me feel guilty, because I know it affects him too when I am unhealthy and/or don't feel attractive. Also I feel like he can't do the weight loss for me, we've had all the conversations before, what is there to talk about? I try to avoid the subject.

    1. I think a lot of partners have that same situation where one is not overweight and the other feels guilty about not being healthy. It's hard to avoid. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Boy does this ring bells with a similar situation except hubster didn't have a problem - and it didn't have to necessarily be about weight. He always had in his head how I needed to do something - just do what he did and life would be perfect. The only problem is that his way wasn't my way...at all. Old military outlook - strict discipline - very black and white. It was unachieveable for me. And try as I might to do things his way - the only thing it did was make it worse for me, made me feel like even more of a failure, and I'd just lose hope.

    Finally, when I quit smoking in '02, I told him to leave me the hell alone unless he wanted to help me the way I needed help, not the way he thought I needed help. It was a turning point.

    When I decided to get the weight off, I again told hubster to help me the way I needed, not the way he thought I needed - look at ME. Again - it's been awesome and he's giving me the support I need, while leaving me to be successful.

    And while I'm omitting large bits, the moral is that you can't be responsible for Mrs. FD and she can't be responsible for you. Supportive of each other - absolutely; a cause for failure/success - not at all.

    The crux is finding out how to support each other without being co-dependent.

    Hey - will you add me to your blogroll? I'd appreciate it!

    1. I couldn't agree more; thanks for sharing your story.

  5. FD, what a great post. I have my bff/roomie who is dealing with several chronic issues that have contributed weight gain ( still better off than me) and I sometimes tend to not work out or do less because I don't want to make her feel bad. She has a hard time with trying to do more than her medical conditions allow her to. I think that your post has made me think about talking it out and trying better not to use her medical issues as a way for me to do less to "spare her feeing/". Some may not understand, but a person with chronic conditions that limit their life have a hard time "cutting" back and finding a balance between what they want and can do. Sorry my comment ended up being longer than intended. Thanks for your post!

    1. Thanks for the great comment; yeah this isn't just an issue about spouses, it has to do with anyone in your support system.

  6. My boy friends eats a lot. It's not easy for me having a meal with him, as I'm trying to maintain my weight. I'm thinking if we are even that compatible after all :((
    Great post & pic is sooo.... CUTE :))