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!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Day #237 - Staying Accountable

I know I haven't been around lately, but I wanted to put a post out just to keep myself accountable.  My numbers are below...

Day 1 Starting Weight- 347
August 1 Weight - 318
Current Weight - 308
Weight Lost in August - 10
Total Weight Lost This Year - 39 lbs

Obviously it was a good month with 10 pounds being shed.  I've settled in to this new lifestyle of eating low carb and avoiding sugar.  When I started this change I was afraid that maybe I was a sugar addict and that any small amount would send me right back on the old path.  It turns out that's not the case for me as I've had small amounts of sugar here and there in August.  Each time I was not compelled to simply abandon my plan and easily went right back to it the next day.

All in all I'm in a pretty good place right now.  In July I had fallen off the wagon with the smoking but recently I quit again and switched to vaping.

As for the alcohol, I barely touch it anymore.  The need to drink on the weekends just isn't there.

Mentally I feel great.  I might not get to 100 pounds this year, but I'm definitely on the right path.  Someday I'll get there!

Stay Strong Folks!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Day #210 - Surviving Vacation

The scale might say I put a couple pounds on during vacation, but I know the real story...

I just got back from a great vacation.  I traveled up to the northeast to visit family this last week.  The vacation was great, and despite having to drive 14 hours to get there and 14 hours back, it was nice to get away for a while.

Traveling always poses challenges when you are trying to eat right.  However, if I had to grade myself on how well I ate during the trip I would have to give myself a solid "A".  I avoided sugar entirely during the trip and I did not go over my carb limits.  The only area where I could have done a little better was drinking more water.

I'm thrilled that I did so well, especially given the amount of opportunities I had to eat sugar.  During the last week I celebrated my 43rd birthday followed by my daughter's 12th birthday just 2 days later.  In the last 10 days I was exposed to birthday cake and ice cream 3 times!  The first was on the night just before we left.  My daughter researched low carb cakes and made me a low carb cheesecake for my birthday.  I had 1 slice at only 10 carbs!  The other 2 times were regular cakes served with ice cream; I passed on both occasions and never had a second thought!  What's more, I never even considered having cake; I just wasn't interested.

So now I'm back from vacation and ready to take things to the next level.  As I said in the beginning the scale says I put a couple pounds on during vacation, but I suspect that's just water retention since I didn't get enough water.  I expect that in a few days that weight will be gone.  In August I want to lose 15 more pounds.  This will get me very close to dropping under 300.  I will be back to update my progress from time to time. 

Stay Strong!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Day #196 - Flipping the Switch

Starting Weight - 347
Weight Last Week - 324
Current Weight - 317
Weight Lost Last Week - 7
Total Weight Lost This Year - 30 lbs

For the first half of the year I only managed to lose 10 lbs.  The best thing I can say about my first six months was that I managed to not gain more weight.  However, in the last 3 weeks I've managed to double up on what I had lost so far adding a surprising 20 lbs to my total.  7 more lbs last week and 20 lbs in 3 weeks, obviously I'm thrilled.

I've been thinking about this post all week, trying to come up with some way of describing how I'm feeling since I totally gave up sugar and started eating a low carb diet.  It's really hard to share because I've never really felt this way before... EVER! 

After the first week of sugar detox it's like a switch flipped inside my head.  A switch that's never been touched before, something that lay dormant inside me with cobwebs all over it.  My appetite... gone.  My cravings for certain foods... gone.  These two things alone are great, but it's even more than that.  My concentration is improved, I'm doing better in my job.  My outlook has improved, I'm not seeing my mood go up and down as much.

To all of you out there who have written about the evils of sugar, let me apologize for how I used to feel.  I used to read those posts and think that it was all wrong... that anything was OK, even sugar, if it was in moderation.  I never realized how sugar had such a hold on me, not just cravings for more sugar, but overall cravings and appetite for even non-sugar foods.

As a testament to how this switch has flipped, let me share with you some information about my last 3 weeks...

In the last 3 weeks I have lost 20 pounds.  I have not felt deprived in any way and have not had a single craving (after sugar detox).  During this time of losing about 1 pound per day I have gone out the eat 3 times...  The first time I went to Chinese buffet.  I ordered water and stuck only to non-breaded items, vegetables, and meat.  Any of the dishes that had a sweet flavor were skipped.  I walked out completely satisfied, not needing dessert.  The second time I went to a burger joint for lunch .  I ordered a big fat juicy burger with bacon and an egg on top, but instead of a bun I got it on a lettuce wrap.  Instead of fries I got a side salad.  The third time I went out, we went to a steakhouse.  My daughter wanted ribs so bad but they don't have them on the kids menu.  I ordered a rack of ribs to split with her and we split the sides; she got the mashed potatoes and I got the side salad, again, picking out the croutons.  Rolls came out early on and it was no issue to watch everyone else have them, I just munched on a few peanuts.  All this and I'm still losing weight week after week.

With each passing week I see just how much food used to consume my thoughts.  When I woke I used to think about getting a nice big breakfast and no sooner than after breakfast was over my thoughts would turn to what I had for snacks or what I wanted to eat for lunch.  I used to think about food all the time.  No so much anymore, food is starting to become an afterthought.  I'm not bored with what I eat, but at the same time, I'm not excited about food either.  My trips out to eat were more enjoyable because of the people I was with and the discussions we had; the food was not the main attraction!

So this is the best I can do to explain where I'm at right now.  I can't promise this approach works for everyone, but it certainly seems like I've found my path.  I still have a long way to go, but my confidence is very strong that I can get there going in the direction I'm going.  After next week I go on vacation and I plan to continue my losing ways right through it.  When I return I will go after my next challenge... getting more exercise. 

Stay Strong!


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Day #189 - Phase I Complete

This morning I stepped on the scale after 13 days of low carb and no sugar...

Starting Weight - 337
Current Weight - 324
Total Weight Loss - 13 pounds
I'm not sure I can describe how I feel right now.  I'm shocked, elated, relieved, cautious, and hopeful all rolled into one!
I have been on a million different diets.  On some of them, I lost a big chunk of weight in the first week, but that was always water weight and the second week usually ended up being a letdown.  Never have I ever lost this much weight over the course of two weeks.
What's more startling to me is that I feel great.  No hunger, no feelings of deprivation, no cravings, no lack of energy; all the telltale signs of a "diet" are missing from the picture.  I feel like I could continue on this path without fear of burnout.
I've read a lot of literature on the evils of sugar.  I've always held the belief that anything is OK as long as it is in moderation.  I'm not so sure about that belief anymore.  Even though I never considered myself a sugar addict, I am now questioning if sugar wasn't the primary source of all my mental woes when it came to overeating.  Did it cause cravings?  Not just cravings for sugar, but cravings for more food.  Did it make me irritable and cranky when I didn't feed the addiction?  I know the first 4 days of no sugar were a nightmare for me, but since then no withdrawal symptoms.
I'm starting to convince myself that no sugar is helping me with the mental aspect of my weight loss while low carb is forcing my body to burn the fat stores I have. Whatever the cause, I can say the effect is that I feel incredible right now!
So what's the next step.  That's easy, I'm going to continue on this same path.  I could continue to stay at 20g of carbs and I think I would be fine.  However, the one thing I feel like I'm missing is fruit.  According to the Atkins program I could now go as high as 60g of carbs and still lose weight, or I can stay at phase I and continue to lose weight faster.  I'm only using Atkins as a guideline so I'm going my own route.  For the next 2 weeks I'm going to target no more than 30g of carbs.  This gives me 10 carbs more than what I'm currently doing which means I can probably have one small piece of fruit each day.  I won't be able to have all fruits, some are very high in carbs, but at least I can get a few.
My goal for the next 2 weeks is to lose 7 more pounds putting me at 20 pounds lost in the first month.  After that I go on vacation in Maine for a week and that will be my first big test of my resolve.  Wish me luck.
Stay Strong! 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Day #182 - A Change in Plans

In my last couple of posts I talked about a major mental shift where I wanted to stop focusing on diet and instead focus more on just living a healthy lifestyle.  I could almost feel the eye rolling from the blogging world as I published that post.  Well here I am a few weeks later and I'm happy to say that those weeks were not a disaster.  I stuck to my new plan and truly enjoyed it.

I've been doing well, eating reasonably healthy with a few splurges here and there.  My mental state has been strong.  I didn't get that job in Wilmington and I actually felt a little relieved that we didn't have to move again so quickly.  All in all it was a pretty good 3 weeks.  The only problem... I didn't lose any weight.

I knew that going away from dieting and instead just trying to be mindful and make good choices would slow my weight loss down.  I kind of thought that maybe I would lose about 0.5 pounds each week and it would slowly creep down over the next couple years, but after a month, I went from 337 to 337, exactly 0 pounds lost. 

Not losing any weight was a little surprising, but that alone wouldn't be enough to get me to change my mind, I'm as happy now as I've been in a long time so what if I'm not losing weight.  However, a trip to my new doctor helped me change my mind...

2 weeks ago I went for my first physical in this new area.  I found a great doctor to be my physician and when we met, I also found out he specializes in bariatric medicine.  I got my cursory physical, but we really spent a lot of time talking about the history of my weight.  I told him everything about my successes and failures all the way up to my current mode of just trying to be healthy and keeping a strong mental focus and awareness.  Although he didn't really roll his eyes, I could tell by the look on his face that he wanted to.

The doctor told me that he likes someone that's a little overweight to lose weight slowly over time in order to reduce the risk of just putting it back on.  It made sense to me.  "However", he continued, "you are not just a little overweight, you are SEVERELY overweight."  He told me that I needed to start seriously dropping pounds and he was giving me 6 months to show some serious progress.  He told me that my best approach would be an Atkins style of eating; no sugar and highly restrictive on carbs.  After that, if I didn't get anywhere he said the next step would be to talk about weight loss medications, and failing that, we would next discuss weight loss surgery options.  It was a little dis-heartening to have someone shoot down your plan, but I pride myself on not dismissing other people's opinions just because they are different from mine.

I went home and spent the next couple days thinking about what the doctor had said.  Atkins? That is one diet that I never tried.  Back in the 90's I remember a guy at work who was doing Atkins and I can remember him sitting down at break end just eating nothing but 10 slices of bacon.  I remember telling myself that Atkins had to be the most unhealthy diets in the world and that I would never do that.  It's funny how certain events can mold your perception because up until now I've never really considered Atkins to be a healthy choice for weight loss.

I thought about my current plan and situation more, and then it came to me... There's nothing wrong with my mindset, it's just the timing is off.  The mindset I've been carrying around for a while now is the mindset I will need to have AFTER I lose all this weight.  Once the weight is gone I need to practice mindful eating and won't need to weigh myself all the time.  After I lose the weight I need to stop worrying about counting things and instead just focus on being healthy.  My current mode is that of someone who is on a maintenance plan!

So I got the Atkins book out at the library.  I don't particularly like the book, but the science behind it seems reasonable, so 6 days ago Mrs. FogDog and I started the Atkins Phase I plan.  This first week was brutal, I had headaches, I was tired, and at times felt a little nauseous from cutting sugar and carbs from my diet.  Fortunately, and as the book promised, that has now gone away and I feel much better.  Tomorrow is my first weigh-in and I am hoping to see a really good number.

So now my plans have changed and I find myself back at putting a serious focus on dropping pounds.  At the start of the year I made a goal to drop 100 pounds.  That's probably not going to happen given that it is now July, but my goal is to go back to the doctor in 6 months 50 pounds lighter. 

I'll keep blogging periodically to show my progress; wish me luck.

Stay Strong!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Day #160 - Evolution

When I started this process 160 days ago I knew it would be hard to change.  I knew there would be challenges, ups and downs, and the occasional setback.  What I didn't expect, however, was a complete change in the way I approach losing weight. 

This is an expansion of my last post in which I declared that I'm done focusing on losing weight and instead I am shifting my focus to living a happy, healthy life.  Though the difference can appear subtle, but it's fairly significant from my mental perspective.

Here's a comparison of my old and new way of approaching the problem:

Old Plan - Focus on losing weight
  • Carb cycle 6 days a week - Eat 6 times a day with no carbs on "low" days and some carbs on "high" days
  • Unrestricted day on Sunday
  • Drink a gallon of water every day
  • Weigh-in every week and record on spreadsheet
  • Blog every day for accountability
New Plan - Focus on being healthy
  • Try to avoid processed foods and refined sugar
  • Try to eat a wide variety of foods that I enjoy
  • Eat only when I'm hungry; stop before I'm full
  • Practice awareness eating and slow down
  • Drink water when I'm thirsty
  • Weigh-in once a month
  • Blog when I have something to say
Under the old plan I ate as part of a "regimen" whether I was hungry or not.  On my unrestricted day I inevitably would eat way too much, trying to get it all in before another 6 days of restriction.  As I got to the end of the day if I didn't have all my water in then I started drinking it faster to get it all in.  The only measure of my success or failure...the scale.  When I didn't feel like blogging, I did it anyway because I said I would.

It just wasn't working, I wasn't happy, I had to try something completely different.

I've been following this new plan for the last 10 days and I feel great.  I feel like a weight has been lifted off me.  I might not lose weight as fast this way, but I'll be happier through the process. 

More to come

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day #150 - I'm Done Trying to Lose Weight

Today marks the end of 5 months of focus on improving my health with 7 more to go!  So far I've managed to quit smoking and drastically reduce my alcohol consumption.  Today I add something new, I'm going to quit trying to lose weight!

Yes you are reading correctly, I said that I am giving up on trying to lose weight.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm overweight and I recognize that I need to lose close to 150 pounds.  I haven't stopped caring about my health and I have no intention of staying at my current weight, I've simply decided to shift my focus.

My entire adult life has been spent focused on trying to drop pounds on a scale.  I've tried weight loss plan after weight loss plan.  Some have been successful (for a short while) and some have been total disasters.  Ultimately the one thing they all had in common was that eventually, whatever weight was lost came back and in some cases a few pounds more.

The best way to solve a problem is to focus on, and eliminate the root cause.  For years my focus has been on losing weight, but in reality, my weight isn't my problem.  My weight is the result of the problem, not the problem itself.  I've spent so much time trying to fix the effect instead of focusing on the true problem.

So what is the true problem?  The true problem is that I do not treat my body with respect.  Because I do not treat my body with respect I am overweight, I have sleep apnea, I have knee pain, etc. 

So why don't I treat my body with respect?  Well, that's what I need to focus on.  For one, I don't think my life is fulfilling.  I also don't deal with stress real well.  There are probably a great number of things that I need to work on and hopefully in the months to come I will identify them and work on getting better.

So what do I mean when I say I'm not going to try to lose weight and instead focus on treating my body with respect?  It means that I will no longer spend time developing restrictive eating plans to follow or exercise regimes.  It means that I will no longer obsess about what the scale reads and I will not zone in on just one measure of my health.

I'm trying something new; my belief is that if I can focus on treating my body with respect and fix the things that cause me to abuse my body, then the weight (and all my other health problems) will begin to take care of themselves.  I know this might seem a little hokey to some, but is it any crazier than trying over and over again to lose weight only to end up with the same result.  

In the days ahead I will post more details about where I'm going.  Your welcome to come along for the ride... who knows where it's going to end up.

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Day #149 - Impressive Trip Home

I'm happy to be back in Virginia!  The business trip was terrible and all I wanted to do was get home.  I mentioned in a previous post that I bought an audio book for the trip, it was called "What are you hungry for?" by Deepak Chopra.  I wish I could say that I highly recommend the book, but I can't.  It was OK in the sense that it really got me thinking through the trip, but I struggled with the fact that the author chose to do the audio (with his fairly strong Indian accent) and the book felt like it jumped around.  There were 2 sections that I really enjoyed and 3 sections that I just didn't care for at all.  The first part of the book put a lot of focus on understanding that a lot of times we don't eat because we are hungry, but rather, because we are missing something in our lives.  I enjoyed that section.  There was also another section dedicated to stress and stress eating coupled with awareness eating (and living). The rest of the book jumped around a little and it spent way too much time focused on the different "tastes" as well as the healing power of certain spices.  Unabridged didn't help either as the author often would call out all the foods from a list, something that would have been glazed over if you were reading instead of listening.

As I said it was successful to the extent that it got me thinking about myself and I'll be posting about some changes I'm going to make in the coming days.  I've already began to work on these changes which included my eating on the trip home.  I was able to stop for a coffee at 10AM and NOT get a bagel or donut.  Under normal circumstances I would, especially since it was on the company dime, but I wasn't hungry.  Lunch turned out to be a great Cobb salad and fruit bowl.  No junk food, no sugary drinks, and no dessert.  Dinner was equally well handled and I'm eager to get rolling again and get back to my healthy living.

Tomorrow marks the 5 month point of my journey.

Stay Strong!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Day #148 - Mobile Post

This is the first time that I've posted from my mobile phone. I'm going to keep it short, because this is kind of difficult to do. I am on the road and away from my family, not a whole lot of fun. I have done well eating and trying to drink water oh, but I could also be doing better. I hope everyone else is doing well

Stay strong!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day #147 - What Are You Hungry For?

I'm off to NY, leaving right after I post this.  I got myself a couple of good audio books, one is called "What are you hungry for?"  It's supposed to explore the real reasons behind what you eat.  I promise when I get back from my trip (Wednesday) I'll write a review. 

Stay Strong!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day #146 - Say it Isn't So!

When my eyes popped open first thing this morning I knew... I forgot to post yesterday!  For 144 days I posted at least something, it wasn't much sometimes, but always something.  What's strange is that I really simply forgot.  It wasn't like I had an incredibly busy day, I just forgot.  I got home late from work and then we watched a show with the kids and I ended up going to bed early because I was tired.

It's kind of a pointer at where I've been lately with my mindset.  I'm not doing bad with eating, but at the same time, healthy eating isn't really on my mind like it was just a month or two ago.  I've been doing a lot of deep thinking, but it's not about health, it's more about me and my life.

I'm not going to get too worked up over this, it was bound to happen.  I'll be traveling next week and my schedule will be very hectic.  There might be future days when I simply can't post.

On the bright side, I got on the scale this morning and saw that I lost 1.5 pounds for the week.  As I said, I'm not doing bad, I'm just not dieting like I usually do.  Come to think of it, maybe this is how it should be.  Maybe I just need to be better than I was and make slow changes over time to get where I want.

As I said, I'll be traveling to NY tomorrow and won't be back home until Wednesday.  It's a 6 hour drive each way so I was thinking about downloading an e-book or two for the ride.  Maybe something about health and happiness.

One last note, I got a phone interview next week with the facility in Wilmington NC.  It's a big promotion opportunity and an absolutely great place to move to.  I don't think I have a great chance; it's a pretty big step to a different division, but even if it doesn't go well I'm still happy where I am.  We'll see how it goes.

146 Days in the books, on to 147.

Stay Strong!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Day #144 - Taking a Page From My Daughter's Book

My daughter has been playing recreational soccer since she was in pre-school.  This year she decided to try out for the competitive travel team.  This was her first time doing something that was not guaranteed success; only 12 players get selected.  They had three sessions and she attended all of them.  After her first session she was confident as they spent a lot of time demonstrating their footwork and shooting skills, two things that she does quite well.

The second practice was a different story.  Most of the session was a scrimmage on an extremely small space.  Most of the time was spent watching kids try to out-maneuver each other in very little space or defenders just kicking the ball as hard as possible because the opposite goal was only about 20 yards away.  My daughter prefers to play position in open space and she tends to shy away from hard kicks so she struggled.  After practice she had a meltdown because she thought that she wasn't going to make the team.  I told her that she basically had two choices, she could shake off the bad practice and do her best in the last session, or she could just give up.

Session #3 went much better, and she even did well in some of her weaker areas.  Tonight we got the call that she made the team!

I took her out to celebrate and made sure to point out that part of the reason why she made it is because she didn't give up.  Funny how I can coach her to keep on fighting but it's a struggle to remind myself sometimes.  I've been going at it for 144 days.  I've struggled some; especially in the last 40 or so day, but I still haven't given up.  I hope I can get to the end of this year and see the same success my daughter saw today.

Congrats Liz, I'm very proud of you!

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Day #143 - Crazy Schedule

Short post tonight, as it's already after 10PM.  From work to soccer to a music concert, I wasn't home until 9PM and did not get dinner.  I did eat a bagel when I got home; not the best choice, but not the worst either.  I got my gallon of water in and stuck to my eating plan (except for the bagel).  More tomorrow.

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Day #142 - Back to it After a Holiday

I was right back at it today after the Memorial holiday.  I got my gallon of water in and stuck to my eating plan.  At lunchtime I went for a 2 mile walk with a friend.  It was super hot and humid today and so I was dripping with sweat by the time we got done.  After that I managed to do something I rarely do... I turned down going out for lunch with my friend. 

He didn't bring his lunch so he suggested we stop somewhere quick on the way back from our walk.  I told him I would stop wherever he wanted but I was fine (I had a packed lunch waiting for me back at work).  While he went in and got some food, I used the time to run my car AC and get some of the sweat off me; my shirt was soaked.

I did have a little extra at dinner, but given the rest of the day I think it was a pretty good one.  #142 is in the books, on to #143.

Stay Strong! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Day #141 - Character Flaw

I know how to lose weight... 

I've read countless books, articles, and blogs about losing weight.  I have been on a ton of different eating plans.  through trial and error I have discovered how to take off my excess pounds, and I have lost weight on many occasions.  In my adult life my weight has been as low as 260 and as high as 350 and everywhere in between.  

I am motivated to lose weight...

I'm 42 years old and most days I feel exhausted from carrying all this bulk around.  My knees are showing early stages of arthritis; I already suffer from knee pain at night.  My kids are entering their teen years; there's still a lot I need/want to be able to do with my family.  I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

So I am motivated and I know how to do it, so how come I don't lose weight???

This year has been all about shifting my mindset and smashing perceptions that are not real.  Today I might need to smash another one of my perceptions... that I have tons of character. 

Character is something that you have no matter what anyone else thinks.  Character drives you to do great things, it helps you to deal with the tough situations, and it defines who you are.  Naturally we all think we are full of character, but the reality is that most of us don't have nearly as much as we like to think.

For years I always assumed that it must be some missing piece of the weight loss puzzle that kept me from dropping the pounds.  I explored the mental and the physical looking for that one thing I was missing.  The truth is, it's not the weight loss puzzle I need to solve; I need to improve my character.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I have no character.  What I'm saying is that one part of my character, the part about keeping commitments, is very weak.  I have a hard time staying committed to anything for too long.  I may have been with the same company for 10 years now, but in that time I've worked at 3 different facilities.  I don't stay committed to any one location for too long.  The same goes true for personal development, I make a commitment, but can rarely stick to it for any meaningful period of time.

I say my ability to keep commitments is weak but I know it's not non-existent.  For starters, I've been married for 17 years so I know it's possible for me to make long term commitments.  It's just something I need to work on.

I don't like admitting that I lack character, but it's something I need to do if I'm ever going to improve.  141 Days down; on to Day 142.

Stay Strong!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Day #140 - Seeing the Impact

Today I got a lot of work done in the bathroom.  The tiles are all cut out and ready to go n the floor.  I wish I could say I did well with eating but that wouldn't be true.

Though my mood is much improved and I generally feel better, for some reason I'm still struggling with weight loss.  Today I was thinking a lot of my struggles has to do with not being able to see the impact from my eating...

If I decided to quit my job today, it wouldn't take long before I would run out of money.  If I didn't find a new way to make money very quickly I would likely lose my house and my family would suffer.  In this case it's very easy to see the impact of my decision to quit my job.

However, when it comes to not eating healthy, the impact isn't so easy to see.  Does that candy bar after lunch cause me to have a heart attack 3 years from now?  Does the extra helping of mashed potatoes keep me from living a quality life?

I think that's a big part of the problem; each individual choice on it's own doesn't have a significant impact, but all the bad choices together can be significant and possibly life threatening.  It's hard for me to frame it this way, I tend to look at each action as it's own individual choice with it's own consequence.  The truth is it's not the individual actions that hurt, it's a sum of the whole. 

Stay Strong!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Day #139 - Bathroom Remodel Phase II

To start, I got on the scale today and weighed the same as last week???  I was a bit surprised, I thought I lost a few pounds, but I did have some salty food on Friday so I might just be retaining some water.  I'm not too concerned, I know that I did a pretty good job all week.

It's Memorial weekend here in the US.  Since we went to the beach last weekend, I'm using this weekend to start the next phase of my bathroom remodel.  Our master bathroom has the shower and toilet in one room and then the vanity is in a "hallway" in our bedroom between the shower room and closet (see the pic).  That doorway on the left is the bathroom area I finished two weeks ago and the right doorway is the closet.

Today I started working on this area.  I'm ripping out the carpet and vanity and putting in new tile, new vanity and then I'm going to build a wall that separates the vanity area from the master bedroom.  That will close off the master bathroom completely from the bedroom.

Today I got the vanity and rug ripped out and put cement board down.  Tomorrow I'll lay the tile; it's the same tile I used for the shower walls so it will connect the rooms.

Anyway today was a good day for me, I did well eating and I got a lot of exercise.  The weight might not be coming off as fast as I would like, but I like where my head is right now.

Stay Strong!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Day #138 - Keeping My Promise

It's late and I'm tired, but I promised that I would put something out here every night.  Sorry but this all I got tonight.  Tomorrow is weigh-in day.  Stay Strong!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day #137 - Keeping Committments

My daughter is trying out for travel league soccer.  This is a big deal to her; it's the first time she's had to take a risk of being rejected.  It's a big deal for us too, it costs $1500 and is a 10 month commitment including weekly practices (two), strength training, and Parisi (Speed training).  Youth sports has changed a lot since I played!  Anyway, my daughter has been very nervous about it even though we've told her all that matters is that she does her best.  Because of her jitters, I made a commitment to her that I would be there for all the tryout sessions even though it means I have to leave work early. 

Today was session #2 and wouldn't you know it, we had a major issue at work that required my attention and was going to run well into the evening.  After seeing my daughter in session #1 I wasn't all that concerned as she picked up some confidence, so I considered calling home to see if it would be OK that I didn't make it.  Then as I though about it, I decided "No, I made a commitment and I'm going to keep it". 

I told my boss that I was going to have to leave for a little while but that I would be willing to come back.  He wasn't thrilled, but he agreed to cover for me and in the end I didn't have to go back because the issue got resolved without me.

On my way to soccer I started to think about just how easy it was to keep this commitment to my daughter, and I wondered why it's so hard for me to keep commitments to myself.  What's the difference?  A commitment is a commitment right?

I guess part of the answer has to do with it being OK to disappoint yourself but not OK to disappoint others.  No, that doesn't seem right.  Maybe it's because you're the only one who knows about the commitment so it's OK.  No that doesn't seem right either.

I think the problem is this... Maybe when we make a commitment to ourselves, we really don't consider it a real commitment.  Might sound crazy, but for me, at least, I think that's my problem.  To me personal commitments don't feel like real commitments that I make to others.

So I guess I need to start thinking about those commitments as real; maybe then I can do a better job keeping my commitments to myself and not ending up disappointed.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day #136 - Do We Really Help Each Other?

There are times when I read other blogs and get inspired about things.  I love to see different points of view as it helps me to expand my own knowledge and sometimes helps break through my perceptions.  However, there are also times when I read other blogs and I just shake my head.  Some are full of excuses, others have rationales as to why things aren't going well.

So what do I do when I read someone making excuses or I think they are being full of it?  Usually, I roll my eyes and then move on.  Sometimes I offer some encouragement, but very rarely do I call that person out.  I used to, but then I started to see just how defensive people get.

Now I'm not claiming to be perfect and I can make excuses like the best of them.  However, if you go through all my blog post comments, you will rarely find one that calls me out.  You'll see a lot of platitudes and you'll see lots of encouragement, but when did we all stop calling a spade a spade?  Are we really helping each other by sugar coating the truth?

If you are reading my blog, then please feel free to call me out when you think I'm full of it.  Don't be afraid to hurt my feelings, I'd rather be offended and learn something then have people try to make me feel better.  I'm also going to try to be more honest with my feedback; I apologize in advance if that bothers you, but you know what they say, feedback is a gift.  You can choose to accept that gift or you can choose to send it back.


Another strong day; 2 mile walk, stuck to food plan, but only half my water.  I'm actually looking forward to getting on the scale on Saturday.  Stay Strong!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Day #135 - When You Pause To Think About It...

Another strong day; I'm thrilled to be walking at lunch time again.  Despite being very hot and humid today I got 2 miles in.  I also followed my eating plan and got my gallon of water in.

Today I was thinking about all those times in my life when I stop to think about something...just for a brief moment.  You know what I'm talking about?  When someone asks you to go out for lunch and you pause and convince yourself that it would be OK.  Or someone tells you about the doughnuts in the break room and you pause for a moment and ask yourself if it would be OK to have just one.

I can't speak for anyone else, but my days are filled with these moments.  On good days I don't allow any excuses.  On not so good days, well, you know.  The problem with these moments is that over time my resolve weakens so if I have too many of these moments, I end up caving in. 

Today I made a decision that might just help me out a little.  Whenever I have to pause and think about something, the answer should automatically be "NO".  If the answer was yes, I wouldn't have to stop and think about it, I would just know that it was OK.  I got to try it out today when the plant manager offered to buy me a soda.  I thought about it for a moment, after all it's the plant manager offering to buy me a soda.  Then it dawned on me that I was trying to justify.  I thanked him and then said I was trying to cut back and drink more water.

Think about it, then next time you have to stop and think, maybe you already have the answer.

Stay Strong!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Day #134 - Technique or Resolve

Today I got back to my healthy eating ways.  I stuck to my eating plan, got my gallon of water in, and went a for a nice walk at lunchtime.  More importantly, today I felt like eating healthy, an important component that I've been lacking.

Yesterday I wrote about my trip to Virginia Beach.  I love riding in the car, it gives me time to think.  Mrs. FogDog and I talked about getting back at it and how we should approach it.  Should we go back to counting calories?  Measure everything out again?  Abandon carb cycling and go to something more balanced each day?  As we were having that conversation it just suddenly hit me and I said to Mrs. FogDog "It really doesn't matter!"  Of course she looked at me a bit puzzled so I went on to explain...

I had a friend in college that weighed over 300 pounds in high school.  Before he got to college, he managed to lose 100 pounds in 10 months.  When I asked him how he did it he told me that he decided that he didn't want to go away to college as the same fat person he had been.  So he decided to lose weight, but his technique was a bit peculiar.  Every day he drank almost 6 liters of diet soda and he ran or walked at least 3 miles a day.  Obviously he tried to eat healthier, but the diet soda and the running/walking were his primary plan. 

He told me that because he drank so much soda, he was never really all that hungry anymore.  I remember telling him that it was the worst diet I had ever heard of and his response was "It worked didn't it?"  It's nearly 20 years later and he's still thin.

I thought about my friend yesterday when we were driving in the car.  It wasn't his technique that got the weight off, it was his resolve to lose the weight before going away to college.  It was then that I had that realization that if you have resolve to lose weight, the technique doesn't really matter.  Conversely, even if you had the miracle weight loss cure, it would do you absolutely no good if you didn't first have the resolve to lose weight.

I'm convinced that if you have the resolve to lose weight, any technique will work for you.  Some might not be the most healthy, and some might cause you to take a little longer, but with resolve you will eventually lose weight.

On the other side of the coin, there are plenty of people out there who have had gastric bypass surgery to reduce the size of their stomach so they can't physically eat too much food.  This surgery is highly effective, but yet somehow some people manage to gain back their weight.  When I first read stories about people who regained after surgery I was astounded.  How was it even possible?  The truth is, without resolve any plan is doomed to fail no matter how good it is. 

I explained my thoughts to Mrs. FogDog and she understood.  Instead of focusing on our technique, we need to keep focusing on our mental state; we need to maintain our resolve or it just wouldn't matter. 

Of course this doesn't mean that we have no plan, we still continue to focus on eating healthy, unprocessed foods as much as possible.  We still have an unrestricted day at the end of the week and we still try to drink plenty of water and get some exercise.  However, what's more important is that we keep supporting each and try to maintain our resolve to be healthier because without that it doesn't matter what we put in our mouths.

Stay Strong!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Day #133 - Perception

This morning we woke up and decided to take a day off an do something fun.  At 7AM we packed the kids into the car and drove 3 hours to Virginia Beach.  The water was too cold for normal people, but my kids are far from normal and so they spent the day swimming in the ocean.

On the way back we went through a little town called Mineral.  The only significance about this town is that I have an aunt that lives somewhere in Mineral.  I don't really know her well but she and her husband are archeologists and I remember her sending me coins from all over the world when I was a kid.

The only reason why I bring this up is to prove a point about perception.  As I said I don't my aunt and her family very well, but I know they are fairly well-off financially.  Having lived here in the DC area for a while I know there are a lot of small towns in the area that are very affluent.  Houses cost in the millions of dollars and when you drive through these little towns you know instantly that you could never afford to live there.

I had never been to Mineral even though it's only about 1.5 hours from my house.   As we drove through the town, I was surprised to find it nothing like I thought it would be.  My perception was that since my aunt had money that she would live in one of those affluent towns.  Instead, this town was quite rundown reminding me of some of the towns I lived near way out in the back woods of Maine.

I started to think about just how wrong my perception was, but also I started to think about why I even had this perception?  Where someone lives doesn't make them who they are, neither does having money.

This whole thing got me thinking about what other false perceptions I might have when it comes to myself.  How often do I think I should eat just because it's a certain time on the clock?  Why do I assume that food will make my stress go away even when I know it will only make it worse?

I'm sure you've heard it before, "Perception is Reality".  If that's so, then maybe it's more important to fix our perceptions.  Hope you all had a great weekend.

Stay Strong!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Day #132 - Getting Back Into The Game

I got on the scale this morning to see that I didn't gain any weight.  I was a little surprised, I didn't eat real well this week and expected to see a couple extra pounds so I was happy with breaking even.

I'm sleeping better and my mood has improved.  My knee pain is greatly reduced and I've rested it as much as possible.  I think it's time to get back into the game.

The key ingredient is my mental focus.  If my head isn't in it, I won't succeed.  I'm going back to the basics; focus on getting through each day.  I have to keep reminding myself that food doesn't make me feel better, that food isn't the answer to my stress.

132 days ago I started a journey.  When I started I knew it would very hard and that I would be tested.  I didn't expect some of the things that have happened to me, but hey that's life right?  When I started I told myself that the most important thing, the one thing that mattered more than anything else, was that I did not give up.

And I haven't given up!  There were a couple times when I felt like it.  When I look back there were more than a few posts where you can almost see me starting to give up.  I still have another 228 days and I want to make each one of them count.  More to come as I get back at it...

Stay Strong! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Day #131 - A little Off

It's been a few days since I got my cortisone shot in my knee and was able to actually get some sleep.  I still feel a little off, I keep waking up very early in the morning and then after lunchtime I feel like I can barely keep my eyes open.

I suspect part of the problem is that I haven't been eating well.  When I don't get enough healthy food I can really feel the difference.  I also haven't been drinking enough water.

I did decide to try taking SAM-e for the next month.  For those who don't know about it, it's supposed to improve mood, help with joint pain, and improve liver function.  It's not cheap, it costs about $1/day to take the dosage they recommend.  In Europe it's a prescription drung, but here in the USA it's considered a natural supplement and not regulated by the FDA.

Mrs. FogDog and I talked yesterday about getting back on the weight loss focus.  It's not that we've been eating like pigs, but we just haven't been eating healthy choices.  For example, tonight we had grilled hot dogs for dinner. 

The weekend is upon me and without the bathroom remodel I need a new project.  I guess I can start working on the adjacent powder room.  131 days down, plenty more to go, but for now I'll just look toward tomorrow.

Stay Strong!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Day #130 - Interesting Development

Today I learned that the company I work for has a great opportunity in a great location in NC.  This presents an interesting dilemma as I've only been at this location for 18 months.  Typically you don't ask to apply for a different job until at least 2 years.

However, this is a great opportunity in a great location on the coast.  My best friend said I would be a fool not to at least ask so I think I will.

Sorry for the short post, but I still need the extra rest.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day #129 - Recovery

Another good night's sleep and another step towards recovery.  I wish I could say things are completely back to normal, but I still feel annoyed at the world.  I'm not sure if it's my job, the weeks of sleep problems, or what, but lately I've just had a very short fuse. 

At work I've written some great emails.  You know those kind, the ones that people talk about for weeks.  Fortunately I've pulled myself back each time and refrained from actually sending them out.  I'm so tired of people putting up roadblocks and creating more work for others.  What's interesting is that no one is really pushing my buttons, I'm just tired of watching certain people take advantage of the good nature of others.  I think I might be at the wrong facility. 

Anyway, It's getting late and I want to get caught up on some more sleep.  129 days down; on to day #130.

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Day #128 - 5AM Feels Like a Record

Last night was my first after having a cortisone injection.  In the past 4 weeks I have not been able to get more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep without waking up with knee pain.  I was told by a few people (both in person and on this blog) that I shouldn't get my hopes too high because it can take a couple days to kick in.

Well, I went to bed last night at 10PM and slept straight through until 5AM; A full 7 hours of sleep! After 4+ weeks of sheer misery, this felt like a sleep record.  I woke up thrilled that I made it through the night, actually it was more like a deep sigh of relief.  My hope is that my life will now start to get back to normal.

Now it wasn't actually a perfect night.  Somewhere at around 4.5 hours I pulled my CPAP off in my sleep and I must have been restless because I was still very tired today, actually more tired than yesterday.  After lunch I closed my office door and hid out for the afternoon because I was in an awful mood and didn't want to have to deal with anyone out of fear that I would just go off on them.

I've also been reading up on SAM-e and trying to decide if I want to try taking it.  It's fairly expensive; it would cost me almost $1 each day, but if it helped with my arthritis and my mood then it would be worth it.  It's funny, we used to give it to our dog a few years back (recommended by a vet because my dog was having liver problems) and I never had a problem spending it on her, but now that I consider it for myself it feels too expensive.  Why do I feel that way?  Anyway if anyone has experience with SAM-e, I'd love to hear about it.

On to Day #129 and hopefully some normal.

Stay Strong!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Day #127 - Taking 800 Pounds Off

For a little while now I've been struggling with severe knee pain at night.  The pain has caused me to lose a great many hours of sleep over the last 4 weeks and my weight loss has come to grinding halt as a result.  I've done my best to not let my knee be an excuse, but that hasn't stopped me from losing my momentum.

Since then I've been looking for something, anything to use as a catalyst to get me back on track.  Today I might have found it...

This morning I had an appointment with an orthopedic specialist.  The guy was great and we had a conversation about my knee pain and my x-rays.  The good news is that there is no signs of major damage and he suspects it's just an arthritis flare-up.  He gave me a cortisone injection that he says should allow me to start getting some decent rest again.

The bad news... I'm 42 years old and have arthritis in my knee.  I'm too young for regular cortisone injections so he told me I could only have one.  I didn't realize the injections actually accelerate arthritis so you can't just go on forever getting injections.

The doctor firmly believes that my lack of sleep is preventing me from healing properly from this flare-up; this one injection should make me better and then I have to just take care of my knees. 

After he gave me the injection we talked about what I need to do moving forward.  In a nutshell my only option is to lose weight.  There are no pills, no treatment, no special exercises; nothing, but to lose weight.  He told me that when I go up and down the stairs I'm putting 8X my weight onto my knees.  If I can lose the 100 pounds I'm shooting for, then that would mean 800 pounds less stress on my knees!

So step #1 is to get a good night's sleep tonight.  Then I get up in the morning and start fresh toward taking 800 pounds off my knees.  127 Days are in the books, on to Day 128.

-Stay Strong!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Day #126 - Before and After Photos

I hope that someday I'll be able to post before and after photos of myself, but for now this will have to do...

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there.  My gift to Mrs. FogDog, a finished Master Bathroom Shower Area:




 Stay Strong!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Day #125 - Hope

Yesterday I had my follow-up visit to the doctor regarding my knee.  I found out my x-ray showed some significant degeneration and I've been referred to an orthopedic specialist.  To my surprise, I was able to get an appointment very quickly; Monday morning to be exact.

I was also given a strong pain reliever so I have hope that tonight I'll get some good sleep with less pain.  It might not happen but I can hope. 

Stay Strong!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Day #124 - Anniversary

Sorry folks, I won't be posting much tonight.  Today is my 17th anniversary with Mrs. FogDog.  17 wonderful years with the person I love.  I might not be everything I want to be but days like these remind me that I have plenty to be happy about.  I wish you all well and I'll be back tomorrow night.

Stay Strong!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Day #123 - Getting The Magic Back

I've lost that magic and I don't know how to get it back.  I can do well for a few days and then I fall flat.  This has happened to my countless times in the last few weeks.  I don't know what happened or exactly when, but I can feel it.  I don't want to eat healthy, I don't want to hold myself accountable, I don't even want to post at night.

I don't feel guilty about it either.  I just simply don't feel like being healthy. 

The good news is that I don't feel like smoking or drinking either, so for now I can still be proud about those things, but I can't be proud of my eating performance, especially today.

So what to do?  Nothing.  There's nothing to do.  I'm going to keep trying to do the best I can whether I feel like it or not.  If I only do well 1 day each week it's better than none.  If I can manage 2 days each week then that's better than 1 if I can manage... well you get the picture. 

I knew there would be ups and downs, but to be honest I didn't expect any downs that lasted weeks.  Of course why not?  I had several weeks of great behavior and performance, it only stands to reason that I should have some extended down periods.

On a side note, thanks to those who suggested a food diary and the weather for my night time knee pain.  I hadn't though of either of those things.  Here's to better days, on to day #124.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Day #122 - Rough Night, Strong Day

I wish I could figure out the cause of my knee pain, or, at least what makes it better or worse.  Last night the pain was much worse than it has been.  Most of the time now I wake up once or twice with knee pain, I get up, walk around, and then go back to bed.  Last night the pain kept coming back over and over again.  There's no rhyme nor reason to why some nights are bad and some are not.  Strike that, I'm sure it's something, but there's no pattern that I can figure out.

Anyway I was tired today, but decided right from the start that it would not be an excuse.  I had a business lunch that I had to go to and we had Chinese food.  I got shrimp and veggies.  I also had some fried rice and a spring roll (today was my high carb day so I was ok with that).  My usual Chinese fare is much more unhealthy so I felt like today's lunch was good compromise.

3 solid days in a row, I feel a trend forming.  It's great to be back at it, consistently eating well and now starting to feel well as well.  122 are now in the books, On to Day #123.

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Day #121 - Toilet

When my kids were little, you could simply say the word "Toilet" and they would giggle.  I'm not exactly sure why but it's just one of those things I remember from when they were little.  For the record I don't miss those days.

No today wasn't about getting the girls to giggle, today I actually installed a toilet in my bathroom.  Those of you who understand a bathroom remodel would know that installing the toilet is just about the last thing that needs to happen before you are done. 

I'm excited to almost be finished; I promise when it's completely done I will post some before and after pics.  I still need to buy/install a shower door and then it's just the accessories (toilet paper holder, towel rack, etc.  The project is definitely nearing a close and I should be done sometime in the next couple weeks.

Another good day on the eating front.  I got my gallon of water in and stuck to my plan all day.  I did eat a second helping of ham at dinner time, but other than that it was quite the perfect day.  On to Day #122.

-Stay Strong

Monday, May 4, 2015

Day #120 - Or is it Day #1?

I hadn't really noticed the days creeping up, but today marks 4 months since I started this journey.  I've had high points and low point but the thing I'm most proud about... I'm still here and I'm still fighting.

Today was my first day back at trying to eat healthy and lose weight.  It's been a little while; I actually treated it a little like it was back to Day #1.  Of course wouldn't you know it, the facility I work at had a catered barbecue for lunch!  Yes, another company function that I had to fight through.  I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Around 1PM someone asked me why I didn't get any food and I told her I was trying to eat healthy and there was nothing healthy on the menu (except for fruit cup as a dessert).  This person (who is also overweight) said "Yeah I'm trying to eat healthy too, but what are you going to do?" Then she walked outside; I saw her later at her desk with a plate of unhealthy food that surpassed anything I've ever been able to accomplish at a buffet.  I smiled and I though to myself "What am I going do?  I'm going stay strong.  I'm going lose weight, and I'm going to win this battle with obesity".

I ate well all day, sticking to my plan and drinking my gallon of water.  My mother-in-law is in town and my daughter baked her a cake.  I did extremely well having only a sliver.  A very strong Day #120, on to Day #121

-Stay Strong! 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Day #119 - Back to Basics

Another good night... only woke up 1 time with knee pain.  Words cannot begin to describe how I'm feeling now that I can sleep again.  I still have a way to go to get back to feeling 100% but for now I'll take what I can get.

So now I'm ready to get back on track with my healthy eating.  I did some damage over the last two weeks; I won't be able to get those weeks back, but I can get back on track right now.  To get back on track I'm going right back to what was working for me.  I'm going back to carb cycling, two low carb days for every high carb day plus my one unrestricted day.  No calorie counting, and no measuring portions; I know what healthy eating is. 

For now I won't worry about the exercise, I want to get back on track slowly and I don't want to risk re-aggravating my knee again, but occasionally I will walk again at lunchtime as it helps clear my head and keeps me in the game.

Better days are ahead for me, I can feel it.  The re-start begins tomorrow morning.

Stay Strong!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Day #118 - Turning a Corner

I've now had 3 nights in a row with "reasonable" amount of sleep.  I'm still waking up at night with knee pain but it doesn't hurt nearly as bad as it did before.  I'm completely off pain medication and I'm going to take it easy this weekend.  I think I've turned a corner and hopefully my knee problem will heal itself.

That's good because the last 2 weeks of April have been horrendous in terms of eating well.  I'm not making excuses, but when you feel exhausted all the time it becomes very easy to convince yourself that "it's okay" to eat unhealthy food.

This morning I went back into the dungeon to see just how bad these last two weeks have been.  If you remember, last week I refused to weigh because the Wii scale wouldn't take my weight.  I had similar thought today, but decided that I was just avoiding seeing how bad the results were. 

Ultimately things aren't quite as bad as I thought... Over the last 2 weeks I've gained about 5 pounds.  I can live with that; I have to live with it because the weight is there.

So now here I am, finally on the mend and taking a hard look at my options.  Assuming my knee continues to heal and I can get some sleep.  More to come tomorrow, until then...

Stay Strong!

[Photo: Flickr / Jlhopgood]

Friday, May 1, 2015

Day #117 - Two in a Row...The Big Test

For two consecutive nights I've managed to sleep most of the night.  Last night I only woke twice with knee pain; the second time was 4:30AM so I just got up and went to work.  I'm still probably only getting 4-5 hours and it's not the best quality sleep, but it's better than some of the other nights.

Tonight is the big test; yesterday was my last day on the pain medication.  Tonight I will find out if my knee is actually getting better or if it was just being masked by pain medication.

I haven't said much about my eating because I have nothing good to say.  In fact, if I hadn't committed to posting everyday, then by now I would have gone 2 weeks without a post.

I will write more tomorrow when I have some time, wish me luck tonight. 

Stay Strong!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Day #116 - All in the Definition

Last night I actually got a good night's sleep.  Of course "good" depends on how I define it.  By good, I mean that I only woke up 3 times throughout the night vs 5-6 times.  I still feel worn out, but last night was a little more mild in terms of pain.  I slept on a different, more firm bed to see if it would help, but it's hard to say if that was the difference or I was just so tired it didn't matter what I slept on.

I'm keeping this post very short as I still need more sleep.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Day #115 - Desperate Times

Last night was the worst since my knee has been acting up; I might have gotten 3 hours sleep... maybe.  Clearly whatever is wrong with my knee is not healing on it's own so I'm starting to feel like this is a desperate situation.  I'll have to go back to the doctor again, though given my last visit (no idea, let's take some x-rays) I'm not expecting anything more than just to pay more money for more tests; probably an MRI next.

In the meantime I'm trying to explore other possibilities.  I've noticed my lower back is a little sore on that side, maybe it's a nerve thing?  I've stopped keeping my wallet in my back pocket and tonight I'm sleeping in a different bed just in case my bed (which is old and lumpy) might be causing the problem.  Maybe I should see a chiropractor, but I hate going there because I always feel like they are trying to sell me on regular visits.  What do you think, could my knee pain be coming from my back?

Short post tonight so I can go to bed early; I need 10 hours to get 5 hours of sleep these days. 

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Day #114 - Saying No

Today was OK.  Not great, just OK.  I got my water in, I ate a healthy breakfast and a healthy dinner.  Notice I missed lunch in my accolades.  My best friend invited me to go out to lunch for Mexican food.  Do you remember yesterday and the lunch fiesta at work?  Suffice it to say, my BFF knows exactly what buttons to push and he pushed the right ones today. 

I don't blame him, that would be an excuse.  I agreed to go; I made the decision.  If no one asked me today I would have been perfectly fine eating the lunch I brought, but I have a hard time saying no, especially to my best friend.

I'm not down on myself for today because, unlike last week, going out to lunch didn't mean the rest of the day was blown and give me an excuse to just toss my plan out the window.  No, I went home and continued on as if I was still on my normal daily routine.

Day #114 is in the books.  I would trade just about anything for one undisrupted night of sleep.  I look in the mirror and I see that same guy I used to see before I got my CPAP; I look tired and run down.  Maybe tonight will be the night.

Stay Strong!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Day #113 - Fighting the Fiesta

Today the facility I work at had a Fiesta celebration for lunch.  Holy Crap Enough Already!  I can't believe it, it's like an endless calendar of work related celebrations.  In the last month there was a cookie celebration, an ice cream social, a breakfast recognition and now a Mexican Fiesta. 

When you are trying to stick to an eating regimen these events are hell. First you have the sights and smells.  That alone is enough to get your mouth watering.  Then you have the people passing by your office with plates of food talking about how good it is.  Great, why don't you just shove some in my mouth and force me to chew.  And then finally there's always at least one or two people that need to know why you aren't participating.  Then you have to explain to them that you brought your lunch and are trying to eat healthy only to get a puzzled look like "Why isn't this food healthy". 

The truth is, you or I could participate in these events if we only knew how to stop.  I could easily get 500 calories of healthy food and skip the dessert, but I don't have control to stop (and I know it).  So instead I have to avoid these things like the plague.

The great news is that I was successful today despite being exhausted (yes I still have considerable knee pain with no signs of improvement).  I ate the lunch Mrs. FogDog packed me and I got all my water in.  No exercise, but plenty of walking around as it was a very busy day.  After the meal there were tons of leftovers just sitting in the cafeteria.  Every time I walked by I thought about just grabbing one cookie.  It took all I had today to stay out of there.  Each time I reminded myself... no more excuses.

Today was a good step back on the path, I hope Day #114 is just as successful.

Stay Strong!

[Photo: Flickr / Horia Varlan]

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Day #112 - Unrestricted vs. Unhealthy

Today was my unrestricted day.  That should not be confused with an unhealthy day.  I started my day with 2 Bagels with some peanut butter.  6 Days a week I eat oatmeal, blueberries, and 2 hard boiled eggs, so I never feel guilty about bagels on Sunday morning. 

From breakfast straight up into the master bath to grout the tile floor.  I'm getting close to done now so I'm motivated to push through to the end.  I worked hard all morning and by 1 PM I had finished grouting and had finished my gallon of water as well, thank you very much.  Lunch was a simple leftover meal with some grilled chicken and rice with some veggies mixed in.  Nothing unhealthy about that. 

After lunch it was a trip into town for more remodel supplies.  We stopped at a store for a couple snacks.  OK I got a root beer to wash down my packet of almonds; probably the worst thing I had all day.

Home for dinner; Mrs. FogDog made pulled pork barbecue and macaroni salad.  I had only one pulled pork sandwich and a bowl of macaroni salad.  It was delicious and I wanted more, but only had a small second helping of the salad.

I probably had less calories today than any other day this week.  I also got plenty of exercise working on the remodel and I got my gallon of water in.  Just because it's an unrestricted day it doesn't mean I have a license to be a pig. 

I'm excited for tomorrow morning as it's time to get back on track.  Today was a great start!  112 Days down, plenty more to go, but let's just look towards Day 113.

Stay Strong!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Day #111 - Exceeding the Limits

As I suspected, I got on the Wii scale and it said "You've exceeded the weight limit".  This means that I gained at least 1.5 pounds since last week,  Even though I knew it was coming it still hurt.  As I mentioned yesterday, I won't go weigh myself in the basement again.  If I do, then in my mind I've accepted that I'm not ready to take the next step toward getting under 300.  I am ready, I just hit a bump in the road.  So now I'm motivated to get "it" back this coming week.  By "it" I mean my Wii Scale, My commitment, and My Focus.

I'm always talking about taking it day by day.  Well at least for the next few days I'll actually be taking it meal by meal.  What's interesting about last week was that I ate healthy breakfast everyday of the week and my first snack was healthy too.  What killed me was lunch, I went out for lunch 4 of the 5 workdays.  After lunchtime failures it was that much easier to not do well in the evening because in my mind the day was blown. 

So is the world coming to an end for me?  Hardly! In 8 weeks I've still managed to lose 5% of my bodyweight.  I've also been smoke free for 111 days and have not had a drop of alcohol in over 40 days.  So when you put things in perspective, having 1 week where I gained a little weight pales in comparison to the whole focus on improving my health.

I'm keeping my head up because last week was only one small battle lost.  The war can still be won, but only if I choose to keep fighting.

Stay Strong!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Day #110 - From Complacency to Loss of Focus

I have to get on the scale tomorrow.  What's worse, I suspect that my Wii scale will not allow me back on again.  Sorry, but if that happens I will not be going down into the dungeon; I'll just have to wait until the following week.

There have been a number of things that have happened to me over these last 2 weeks that I could use as excuses.  I could but I won't.  I am owning my poor performance; simply stated, I got complacent after having some success.  That complacency very quickly turned into a loss of focus and once I lost focus I just couldn't seem to get it back.

It's easy for complacency to set in after a short time.  I'm sure you've been there before, everything is humming along just fine so you bend the rules a little.  Nothing happens so you bend them a little more.  The next thing you know, you've completely let things go for "a while".

There's actually a part of me that hopes the Wii scale doesn't work tomorrow because I know I didn't earn a loss this week.  Getting bad results might be just what I need to snap me back into shape.  There's still plenty of fight left in me.  Last night I questioned whether I have really changed.  I know in my heart the answer is yes because if I haven't changed I would have given up by now and I probably wouldn't even have the courage to post.  Time to face the music on Day #111 and regain that focus.

Stay Strong!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Day #109 - More Pain Arrives

It's bad enough that I'm still struggling with pain, but now Mrs. FogDog is right there with me.  Yesterday she rolled her ankle out in the yard and now she can barely walk.  The doctor told her it's just a bad sprain, nothing broken, but she'll be hobbled for the next couple weeks.  As for me, I'm still battling the knee pain at night, but it does appear to be getting better; I only woke up twice last night with knee pain instead of my 4-6 times each night.

Of course this isn't helping us to get the ship righted, we are both still struggling.  I won't say we're doing terrible, but again we're not doing great either.  I would be amazed if either of us lost any weight this week.

This last week really has me beginning to question if I really have changed.  After about 6 weeks of hard work I can now feel my resolve slowly slipping away.  So have I changed or was I just telling myself that in hopes that I could hang on longer before falling on my face?  If I'm serious about my health then I need to put the excuses away and get back to it:

My knee hurts at night - Got it, so why does that keep me from eating healthy during the day?

Because I'm tired all day from not getting good sleep - Ok, that makes it harder, but not eating healthy also makes me tired; maybe that's why I feel tired.

Yeah but I'm also not exercising out of fear that my knee will get worse again - Great, how long are we going to milk that excuse?  I didn't realize that all exercise requires vigorous use of the knees.

Ok, but Mrs. FogDog is hurting now too so we both enable each other to eat junk to feel better - Mrs. FogDog knows just as well as me that eating junk food only makes us feel better for a short moment to then be followed by feeling worse about doing it.

Fine, but we've struggled for almost a week now, one more day won't hurt - Yeah it won't hurt, but it won't help either.  One more hour, one more meal, one more day, one more weekend, one more...

I have to go now,  I need to continue this conversation with myself in private.  Day #109 is in the books; on to 110.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Day #108 - Wobbly

There are times when you are just humming along and then there are times when you fall into a ditch and lay there for a while.  I'm in neither of those spots right now.  Instead I'm just wobbling around like a top getting ready to drop.  I start to get back on track and then something small throws me off just a little. 

I've said before that I'm kind of an on or off type of person, I don't do moderation, but yet that's where I am right now.  I got my water in and I ate a healthy breakfast, and a reasonable lunch, but then we had pizza for dinner.  I got plenty of exercise in yesterday cutting wood but today I haven't done anything.  Yesterday I didn't get much accomplished at work, but today I went at it and got a ton accomplished... you see?  Very Wobbly.

I guess it's better than laying in the ditch, if you're wobbly then you still have a chance to straighten it out.  Hopefully I can do it on Day 109.

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day #107 - Chainsaw

I wasn't in a particularly good mood today, probably because I'm still not getting very good sleep.  I ended up going out to a free lunch and didn't do nearly as good as I should have with my water.  When I got home I decided the best thing for me was to get outside and wreck some stuff.

So I grabbed my chainsaw and went into the and and just started cutting things down.  It was kind of therapeutic and I actually feel a little better now.  Tomorrow is another day, today wasn't so good.

Stay Strong!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Day #106 - Fighting the Temptations

Today was all about fighting temptations.  The facility I work at had a celebration breakfast for everyone.  I showed up at work to all sorts of delicious breakfast food setup in the break room.  I Love breakfast food!  Sausage, bagels, omelets loaded with cheese and meat, I love them all.  It was very tempting to get something, but I managed to pass on all the food.

Unfortunately that was not the end of my temptations today.  After the breakfast celebration the catering group left behind all the food that wasn't eaten.  That included a big tray of bagels, muffins, and another whole tray of sausages.  I can tell you that every time I walked past that break room I thought about getting me something... just a little something. 

I made it through the whole day and got home to hear Mrs. FogDog talking about her cravings for chocolate... specifically German chocolate cake!  Fortunately there isn't a store around here that makes a real good German chocolate cake, so we shrugged our shoulders and moved on.

I got my water in and stuck to my plan all day long.  At dinner we had ham and cabbage and I probably ate a little more than I should.  Who am I kidding?  I ate my normal serving and then had a second helping.  If that's the worst thing that happens to me this week I'll consider it a good one.

Day 106 done... on to day 107.

Stay Strong!