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, January 31, 2015

Day #27 - Productivity Feels Good

So let me start with reporting that I gained 3.8 pounds this week.  My weight is fluctuating up and down each week so I'm not getting too worked up over it.  This week was more about mental heatlh than it was about physical.

Today was a wild day.  I've moved on to painting daughter #2's room; the process started today.  Now it would have been easy to put off the plan until tomorrow because we had so many commitments to make today.  I had 2 basketball games and 2 team picture events (at different times and at different locations from their games).  I had an hour here and there to work on the room until 4PM when everything was finally done.  If I wanted to get her room completely painted I needed to get the trim painted today so that I can paint the walls tomorrow. 

I'm happy to report that I managed to get the trim painted.  It took me and Mrs. Fogdog until 7:30PM, but it's done.  I'm thrilled that I didn't let all those commitments derail my plans and I worked hard to meet the goals I set out for the day. 

The other nice part about staying so productive is that I tend to eat less.  I didn't stick to my normal eating plan, but I also only ate 3 meals today.  I could have done better with water but I also coud have done worse.

Anyway, this was not my best week from a weight loss perspective, but I really do feel like I made a lot of headway with my mental state.  Day #27 is in the books; on to day #28.

Stay Strong!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Day #26 - Fearing the Void

My daughter sucks on her fingers when she sleeps.  We tried several things over the years to get her to stop but with no luck.  We already know she will need braces, but the dentists said we have to first break her of the finger sucking habit.  Yesterday they installed a device in her mouth that keeps her from being able to suck her fingers.  Honestly I didn’t realize such things exist.  It was exciting to her to get the device and she couldn’t wait to show it to me or to demonstrate how she talks a little funny now (kids get excited about the strangest things).  However, last night was a different story when she was trying to go to sleep and she realized she couldn’t do something that she had done every night for the last 6 or so years.  She was incredibly upset and it was very difficult to get her to calm down and go to sleep. 

I’m sharing this story because it is a great example of what I call “fearing the void”.  There’s no physical addiction here, it’s all mental.  My daughter’s struggle last night was all about trying to figure out how to fall asleep without the thing that comforts her the most.  Once we took that away from her there was a terrible void that she did not know how to fill. 

As I thought about my daughter, I began to draw similarities in my life: 

  • I used to smoke as a way to get away from a stressful situation.  Without cigarettes how would I deal with those situations?  How would I socialize with my smoker friends if I didn’t have that thing in common anymore?
  • I drink on weekends under the rationale that it’s my “grown-up” time with the Mrs.  The truth is that it’s more likely that we drink on the weekends because we don’t have anything better to do and it gives us an excuse to eat junk food and be lazy the following day.  We’ve been doing this for so long, If we don’t drink in the evening then what else are we going to do? 
  • We go out to eat out of shear boredom than anything else.  These days nothing even appeals to me, but we still do it.  What would we do with our time (and extra money) if we didn’t go out to eat all the time?
  • Quite often I eat junk food as a coping mechanism for being depressed even if the act actually causes me to become more depressed afterward.  We all feel down at times, how will I deal with those situations if I don’t have junk food?

It’s interesting; we do a lot bad things to ourselves to fill voids in our lives.  We know they are bad for us yet we still do them because we fear those voids.  Yesterday I mentioned that I didn’t realize how many demons I had to face on this journey.  This is exactly what I was talking about, when you force yourself to look into those voids you start to surprise yourself with what stares back you.  For example, I’ve now come to realize that I don’t deal with stress as well as I thought.  Once I took away some of those unhealthy things I would do to relax, I started to see that I wasn’t so good at dealing with stressful situations in a constructive way.  This is causing a lot of my ups and downs right now as I find ways to deal.

I’m beginning to understand why this type of journey is so hard for people.  It forces you look in places you don’t want to look and see things about yourself that you don’t want to see.  It’s like you spent your whole life looking through a mirror only to discover that it was one of those distorted mirrors you look at yourself through at the carnival.  This is the part of the journey that is the most essential and has to come first if you want to succeed.

-Stay Strong!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Day #25 - Almost Missed

I was crawling into bed getting ready for an early night when it dawned on me... I didn't post today.  So here I am keeping the commitment I made to myself and spending 15 minutes to get a post out today.

Yesterday I said that I hoped today would be better.  Well it was better, but not by much.  I didn't eat very well or get my water in, but I did feel a little better mentally.  It's become clear to me that I've got a lot more demons to work through than I originally thought.  When I started I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I guess I never really put it into perspective... When you can't quit there's nothing left to do but deal with it.

It reminds me of when my oldest daughter was just a baby.  Mom went out for a much needed night off.  My daughter screamed her head off most of the evening.  I changed her, I fed her, and then I sat there and held her while she continued to wail.  I was frustrated and didn't know what to do and then it was at that moment that I realized all I could do was accept it.  I couldn't quit, there was nothing left to do but sit there and take it.  No problem to solve, no way to make it easier, just accept it for what it was and hang on until it got better (and of course eventually she stopped crying).  It might sound strange but that was a defining moment in my life when I learned sometimes you have to be patient and just wait it out.  Months later I completely re-defined my investment strategy with a more long term focus and it's performed all the better for it.

A little off topic there, but that's how I feel right now.  Quitting this change to a healthy lifestyle is not an option so each day I'm trying to do my best and I just have to accept it.  I'll face each demon head on (some of which I don't share on this blog) and I'll keep pushing forward.  The days will eventually get better.  People have endured much harder times than what I am going through right now.  Today was better than yesterday, and hopefully tomorrow will be better than today. 

I can't believe it's already been 25 days.  On to Day #26.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day #24 - Better Days Ahead

It's been a rough day; I hope there will be better days ahead.  I did fine through part of the day, but ended up going out to lunch and getting a big burger with fries.  I only got about half of my water and no exercise.  I feel tired and worn out; I wish my mood was better.  Anyway I'm just trying to hang on till tomorrow.  I'm working from home, so I'm going to sleep in and get a little extra rest.  Day #24 is in the books, I hope tomorrow is better.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day #23 - Eating Well Despite Mental Struggles

I can't remember ever being in this type of situation... I'm eating well, but just can't seem to get excited about being healthy.  Today I stuck to my eating plan, drank my gallon of water, and even walked my 2 miles at the mall.  You would think that all would be right in my world, but it's not.  For some reason I'm doing what I need to do, but I'm not "feeling it".

Yesterday I made it through the entire day without problems... only to eat a bowl of cereal at 9PM.  Same tonight, I've made it all day long, but I already know I'm going to have a couple drinks and relax to a good movie. 

Maybe this is good enough for now.  You know, hang on until I feel better.  It could still be the quitting smoking thing, but I'm starting to feel like that excuse is getting old.  I don't know, I guess I just have fight through it... I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually.  For now, I'm just going to do the best I can.

On to Day #24.

Stay Strong! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Day #22 - First Sign of Improvement

As some of you may know we are getting slammed here on the east coast with a big snowstorm.  Here in the DC areas we were mostly spared, but the weather has been pretty miserable all day.  I could have just stayed hidden in my office during lunch, but I knew what I really should do... head to the mall. 

I did my normal 3 laps which was about 2 miles.  Today's walk was my first that I noticed some improvement.  I could feel myself moving just a little faster and there was a little "bounce" in my step.  I finished a couple minutes early and there was really no pain or swelling.  After 3 weeks I'm starting to feel better!

The rest of my day was good; I kept to my eating plan and I got in my gallon of water.  I'm also starting to feel a little more productive at work, I think the doldrums from not smoking are fading away.  Dinner is in a few minutes and my goal is to make it through the rest of evening with no more than a cup of green tea with honey.

This morning on the ride in to work I started to think about what "future me" would be doing each day.  As I mentioned on the weekend I'm looking for a way to measure my progress each day so I thought I would start with asking WWFMD (what would future me do)?  I'm already starting to work through the kinks and trying to stay as objective as possible.

Day #22 is done; Time to focus on Day #23.

Stay Strong!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day #21 - Measuring Progress

After completing my first 20 days it dawned on me that I really don’t have any way to measure my progress.  When you look at what I’m trying to do, my changes are so much more than just what the scale tells me.  I’ve had my ups and downs already; I’ve had some great days and some not so great days.  But how can I tell if I’m making progress?  How can I tell if I’m improving as time goes by or just stagnating at the same level? 

This is the year that I have chosen to make my health top priority.  I set out with 3 specific goals; Lose 100 pounds, Quit Smoking, and Quit Drinking.  But these are long term goals, how do I measure my progress towards them?  More importantly, there are so many daily factors that can impact my yearly goals, how do I capture that stuff.  In order to meet my goals I also have to keep my mental focus.

Sure I have my scale and weekly weigh-ins, but I could go on a starvation diet for 30 days.  During those 30 days if all I focus on is my weight then I would say that I'm doing great. 
I need something that will tell me how I'm doing each day because that's what I'm focused on; one day at a time.  I need some method of "grading" myself each day (objectively).  If I can record that grade everyday then I should be able to see some sort of a trend.
So that's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to develop a system of grading myself each night and then recording it.  In order to be successful I figure the system needs to meet these criteria:
  1. It has to be objective - subjective grading won't work because it can be influenced by how you feel each day.  No, the grading has to be designed such that if I graded myself and my daughter did, we would come out with the same score.
  2. It has to be quick, easy, and require nothing more than a pen and paper - If it's not quick and easy I won't do it
  3. It has to have room for growth - Based on how I'm doing right now, I should be scoring probably around 50%.  That way as I grow, my score will have room to grow as well to show me the progress
I think what makes this process tricky is that item #3.  In order for me to design something with room to grow, I need to know what my future me should be doing each day.  I have to take some time and think this through. Expect me to write more about this later in the week.
Today was my unrestricted day so I won't go into much detail about how I ate.  Another big milestone though, today marks 3 weeks of no smoking; 3 weeks is the milestone when they say your cravings have reduced considerably.  I've still got a long way to go, but I take stock in what I've achieved so far.  Goodbye Day #21 and my first 3 weeks; let's head into week #4 and Day #22 with a bang!
Stay Strong!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day #20 - Getting it Done

My daughter's room is complete!  I spent the rest of today finishing up all the little things including putting some cool dinosaur decals on her wall.  I've posted some of the pictures below.

Today I got on the scale for my third weigh-in.  I'm happy to report that I lost 4.2 pounds bringing my three week total to a little over 10 pounds!  I'm happy with the result; it nice to have a less than perfect week and still come out with a decent loss.

Anyway, I'm going to keep this post short as we have family movie night.  20 Days down, on to Day #21.

The Big Reveal...

Before - Ugly Gold Everything
New and Improved
Ugly Track Lighting and Gold Ceiling

New Ceiling Fan

Happy Daughter

More Decals for the Dino Lover

Stay Strong!




Friday, January 23, 2015

Day #19 - Junk Food Vampire

Today is the day when I finally broke through and made it through the whole day without feeling worn out and without eating unhealthy foods.  I wish I could say that about Day #19... but I can't.  I seem to be stuck in this never-ending cycle of great behavior by day and not so great behavior by night.  I'm starting to think maybe I'm a junk food vampire!  Still, I did eat healthy all day and got my water in.  Then we went out for dinner.  Just a burger, cheese fries, and salad, but certainly not what I should be eating. 

It's hard for me to continue to post day in and out about how I'm not eating healthy for the entire day, but I committed to blogging everyday no matter what.  I might have to change my blog name again to something like "The incredible snail journey" but I'm not giving up.  To be honest, and I know this is going to sound funny if you've ever read some of my old stuff, but I think this is the most successful I've ever been with losing weight.  Not by the scale mind you or by how well I'm sticking to my diet, but rather the simple fact that I haven't quit and don't have any plans to. 

I'm a black and white kind of guy; the light switch is either on or off.  In the past I would always start off great and for as many as 8 weeks the pounds would fly off.  Then I would have a bad day...and the switch was flipped.  From that point on it was only a matter of time before I was completely off the diet; usually in less than a week.  If you don't believe me, go back and look at some of my old posts.  Those big gaps in time... you got it, completely off the wagon and in the ditch. 

It was always like I was waiting for that first failure.  You know, that first failure that gives you an excuse to cheat a little more, then a little more until finally you have enough failures to give you an excuse to give up altogether only to come back 6 months later 30 pounds heavier.

This time I'm not in that mode.  This time it's more about making as much effort as possible each day.  This time the day ends and tomorrow starts all over again no matter how well or poorly I did.  This time 75% of the time is better than 50% and that's better than nothing.  The mindset is there, this is real.  It might take me 5 years, but I have to keep going, there is no more quitting.  Tomorrow I'm going to write a little about how I can measure my progress, and, oh yeah, I have to weigh in too!

Day #19 is in the books, time to focus on the big #20

Stay Strong!   

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day #18 - Just One Day

This morning I got up and I said to Mrs. FogDog, "Just One Day".  I told her that we should try to have just one day of good eating behavior, one day of making sure we exercise, one day right this week.  She agreed and we set off to have one good day.  I was confident that we could do it, but one good day is turning out to be more elusive than I originally thought.

The day started just fine, we had our usual breakfast, oatmeal with blueberries and a couple of hard boiled eggs.  I got to work and life was actually pretty good, I got stuff done.  I ate my snacks when I was supposed to and I got my gallon of water in.  I even walked 2 miles at lunchtime with a friend. 

I mentioned yesterday that I've been struggling right around 4PM.  Today, I was fine, I felt good all the way through the day.  I went home and had an early dinner because one of my daughter had basketball practice and the other gymnastics.  The dinner was very healthy and within my eating plan; no problems here.  I was back out the door and on my way to basketball practice and thinking about how I was going to share my success in tonight's post.  Then it all ended abruptly...

About halfway through basketball practice I could literally feel myself start losing control.  It's the same thing I've been feeling lately towards the end of the day, kind of worn out and irritable.  I'm not sure if it was all the kids there yelling and running around like lunatics or what (I hate it when parents bring siblings to practice and then just let them run wild) but my patience was going fast as well as my self control.  On the way home I started thinking bad thoughts.  "How about a cigarette?  Maybe a drink or two when you get home?"  When I got home I asked Mrs. Fogdog if she would make popcorn for me and kids.  I ate a huge bowl of popcorn followed by a bowl of cereal.  So much for my one day.  Mrs. Fogdog immediately caved as well with her own bowl of cereal.  Part of me thinks I ate the cereal because I know it's Mrs. FogDog's weakness and I didn't want to go down in flames alone (another topic for another day).

I'm a little disappointed, but at the same time I feel like it could have been a lot worse.  I didn't smoke or drink; I ate some popcorn and cereal.  Is that really all that bad?  95% of my day was great, but it's that last 5% that I'm still thinking about.  Day #18 is over, time to shift focus; Maybe day #19 will be that one day!

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day #17 - A Trend to Deal With...Or Not

I've noticed a trend in my habits lately and I'm not yet sure what to make of it.  I'm doing well all day long.  I'm eating right, drinking lots of water, and trying to get some exercise during my lunch hour.  I've done a great job not losing my temper at work even though it seems I get tested daily.  I'm controlling it and the thought of smoking rarely enters my head anymore.

All is great... until about 4PM.  It seems like sometime around 4PM each day I lose all my motivation.  I stick it out for the rest of the workday and head home only to be ready to raid the fridge or talk the Mrs. into going out for dinner or biting my kids' heads off for no real reason.  Today was similar; great day until I got home and then we went out for Chinese.

What I'm trying to decide is this... Am I expecting too much of myself this early in my journey or am I making excuses to do bad things at the end of the day.  I've read before that we only have so much willpower each day, am I reaching my limits each day?  Or is that total bull that I am using to justify not sticking to my plan? 

To be honest, I'm a bit of a cynic and usually pretty tough on myself so my instinct tells me I'm just making excuses (and I probably am).  However, I'm trying to think about things differently and take an approach that's not my usual "Suck it up!" attitude.

As I thought through the dilemma it dawned on me that the answer here really doesn't matter.  It doesn't matter why; all that matters is that it happens.  If it's because I am running on empty at the end of the day, then all I can do is accept what I've done and try harder tomorrow.  Each day should get easier as long as I stay committed.  If I'm just making excuses, then all I can do is accept what I've done and try harder tomorrow. 

I guess my point is that there will be excuse days in my future and days when I just run out of willpower.  They will happen no matter how hard I try to not let them happen.  There's really no point in wasting energy trying to figure out why; keep that energy for tomorrow.  Day #17 in the books, Here's to a brad new Day #18!

Stay Strong! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day #16 - What Am I REALLY Afraid Of?

The facility I work at is on the end of a dead end road.  It's part of an industrial complex so there's a half mile stretch of road that essentially goes nowhere.  This is good because you can walk the road to the end and then back to my facility and it's about 1 mile.  Since it's right at the plant you don't lose anytime traveling, you simply just go outside and start walking.  Many folks at the facility do this quite regularly.

I never walk the road near work.  Instead I get in my car and drive 10 minutes to the mall and walk there and then drive 10 minutes back to work.  I do this because I don't want people at work to see me exercising.  Why not?

Today I faced my fears and decided to walk near work.  I went out and did 3 loops; almost 3 miles.  As I was walking I felt nervous.  I wondered , "why am I so afraid to exercise around people that know me?".  It's not that I worry about what they think about me, I tend to not worry about what others are thinking as you have no control over that.  Then what?  Embarrassed?  No, I don't embarrass that easily.  Then it hit me, I'm afraid of being seen as a failure... in the future.

You see, if people I know see me working out then they know I'm trying to lose weight.  It becomes instant accountability; If I don't lose weight then down the road those people will see me as a failure.  As time goes by people will notice that I'm walking less and less and that means I must be giving up.  I'm not afraid of what people think right now, I'm afraid of what they will think when I fail.

Ludicrous isn't it?  This falls into that same category with me always trying to predict the future and plan for it.  People will see me as a failure (when I fail in the future) so better not start now or at least keep it a secret so I can fail without anyone ever knowing.

I know this is crazy, but it sure was real today when I had to force myself to walk.  I had to tell myself that no one I work with really cares whether I succeed or fail in my journey.  They're just co-workers with their own things on their minds.  I'm not the center of everyone's universe.  Today was a good day in terms of facing my fears.


Pretty good day sticking to my eating plan... and then I had ice cream in the evening (oh well, I'm not perfect).  I did get my gallon of water in and I didn't smoke.  I got almost 3 miles of exercise and I'm feeling pretty good despite being a little sore from all the work over the weekend.  Day #16 is in the books; bring on Day #17... One day at a time!

Stay Strong!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day #15 - Being Fat Makes It Tough

At 6PM I sat down and took satisfaction knowing that I haven't worked this hard on a weekend since we moved here in July.  I got everything done except for the electrical.  Since it will only take about an hour I'm just going to leave it until next weekend when we put up stencils, decorate and completely finish the room (I'll post pics next weekend)

While I was painting I was think just how hard it is to paint when you weigh almost 350 pounds.  Bending over, stepping up on a step over and over; it takes a lot out of you when you have all this extra weight.  After 3 days of performing moderate manual labor and I'm beat.  If I had a manual labor job I would be toast!  Or would I?  There are plenty of overweight people with blue collar jobs, would I be able to adapt somehow.  I remember when I was in college I worked my summers at a lumber mill sorting 2 x 4's all day long.  The first week was tough but then I adapted and it wasn't such a big deal.

That's the nice thing about painting; it gives you time to think about things.  I started thinking about all the other things that should be easy, but are tough because I weigh close to 350 pounds.  For instance, it's a struggle for me just to get shoes on and get them tied.  Going up and down stairs is no picnic anymore and getting into a car requires a little extra effort.

As I travel on my new path, I'm trying to be more aware of my present state.  It's important to recognize those struggles we face every day; we tend to adapt and then these struggles just become part of our everyday life.  When  they become part of our everyday life, they become acceptable.  That's not something I want.

-Stay Strong!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Day #14 - Burning Calories the Old Fashioned Way

I burned a lot of calories today... I worked really hard.  I bent over, I twisted, I got on my knees, I got back up, I got on my knees again.  For 2 days straight I have been working incredibly hard remodeling a mustard color room.  Today I installed a brand new ceiling fan to replace some tacky track lighting.  I also painted all the trim, mounted all the new door hardware for 3 doors, and finished the first coat of paint on those doors.  I can't remember the last time I got up and down so many times in a day; I hate painting trim.  I feel exhausted and sore, but I also feel pride.  Pride that I'm not just laying around for another three day weekend.

It's funny, as I was working today I couldn't help but think about how easy our lives have become.  In the old days, people didn't get on their horse and buggy and ride in to town to find a Gold's Gym and hit a treadmill for an hour.  They worked! they worked hard every day.  They walked where they needed to get.  They pushed and pulled and lifted on the family farm.  They didn't have to worry about being overweight because they burned a ton of calories everyday.  Oh how soft we've become.

Tomorrow I have to finish painting the doors, the walls, and install all new outlets in order to call the project complete.  It's going to be tight but I'm going to do my best.  Sorry for the short post but I promised the family a movie tonight.  Hope you all are having a great weekend.

Stay Strong! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day #13 - Just Start Already!

I weighed in today.  I'm going to totally gloss over the fact that I gained back half of what I lost last week.  It's not that I'm ignoring it, but rather, I'm happy with my overall progress during the week and I know how much my weight can fluctuate since I drink so much water everyday.  I wouldn't call my eating this week great, but I wouldn't call it horrible either.  One of the things I told myself is that I won't beat myself up or carry guilt about my performance so I'm just letting it go.

Instead I want to focus on something that I did today that has me feeling great.  I started painting my daughter's room!  I've been living in this new house since July and until today I haven't done one single thing to it.  My youngest daughter lives in this hideous cave painted entirely mustard!  I'm not kidding and I have the pictures to prove it. 

Anyway, since I've been here, I've found ways to waste away all my weekends.  Most of the time it involved just laying around watching old Netflix movies and eating bad food.  This morning we got up and I was reading an article in Men's Health that was talking about procrastination and how the best way to stop procrastinating is to stop waiting for inspiration and just get started!  Once you get momentum it's amazing how you keep going.

I stood up and declared that I was going to start working on my daughter's room.  I went upstairs and began making a list of all the materials needed.  We went to Home Depot and got everything we needed (my daughter picked a bright yellow for her room, bye bye cave).  I had to stop for a while in the afternoon because the girls had basketball games, but I'm happy to say that I've cleared out the room, replaced  all the electrical switches and outlets (yes they were painted mustard as well!) and painted the ceiling (which was also a lighter version of mustard).

We have Monday off so my goal is to get the room done by the end of the weekend.  I still have to paint all the trim and doors (all mustard), walls (you guessed it), and install a ceiling fan to replace some ugly track lighting.  I promise when it's all done I'll post before and after pics.  It feels good to be doing something again!

So a recap of my progress after 2 weeks:

  1. Still not smoking
  2. Not great with eating, but 6 pounds lost so far and eating better quality food
  3. Drinking a gallon of water every day
  4. Starting to do more around the house and exercise 
  5. Starting to read more as well
Stay Strong my Friends!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Day #12 - Good and Bad

The week has been a mix of good and bad.  When I made the decision to try and change multiple things about me at once, I knew that inevitably some things would go better than others.  Above everything else, I told myself I need to refrain from smoking.  If I can refrain from smoking and lose weight as well, that much the better, but even if I can keep from gaining weight while I quit smoking that would still be an accomplishment. 

This week I came out of my funk but I struggled a little with eating.  I'm still smoke free which is great and I can say that after 12 days the cravings are becoming rare.  However I've slipped a little here and there with food; mostly in the evenings.  I have managed to keep drinking water, but I suspect that when I weigh in tomorrow I will see myself giving back some of those 12 pounds I lost.  No worries though, it's a long road filled with bumps.  I can't get all worked up over a few minor bumps here and there.

-Stay Strong

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day #11 - The Value Proposition for Healthy Living

Those that have followed this blog for a while know that I tend to look outside the normal weight loss world and instead try to draw parallels with other factors in life.  Take business, for instance; there are a lot of rules, concepts, standards, and philosophies that hold true for more than just business.  The concept of finding the value proposition is a great example.

In its simplest form, value proposition is the determination of the value something provides with reference to the amount of effort required to get that something.  In other words… “how much value will I get for the effort I put into it”.  Sometimes the value proposition is a no-brainer; If I spend a million dollars today on something that saves me a million dollars every year then that’s a pretty attractive value proposition.  The value (million dollars saved every year) far outweighs the effort (million dollars spent one time).

Where it can get dicey is when the measure of value doesn’t match the measure of effort.  For example, If I invest 1 million dollars today I can reduce pollution at my facility by 25%.  That 25% reduction of pollution can increase the company reputation, it can keep the company from violating state and federal laws, and maybe it can become a marketing tool to help sell more product.  However, It’s pretty hard to put dollar amounts on those things so it’s difficult to determine the value proposition of the project.

So why am I blogging about value proposition you ask?  Good question.  I think that one of the reasons why people struggle so much with eating right and being healthy is because they don’t understand the value proposition of being healthy.  It’s very difficult to see the value you get from a healthy lifestyle for several reasons:

  1. The value of a healthy lifestyle is hard to measure – How do you measure improved quality of life 10 years from now?  How about measuring how much better your life is from having made good decisions because your brain was running on all cylinders?  The truth is people struggle with what they can’t measure.
  2. The value of a healthy lifestyle starts off small and grows exponentially over time – Sure by living a healthy lifestyle you feel good today, but the real value grows exponentially over time.  This is very similar to investing for retirement (and people struggle with that as well).
  3. The value of a healthy lifestyle comes mostly in the forms of avoidance – Avoidance is something people tend to ignore.  When you buy something on sale you tell people you saved $25, but that’s not really true.  In reality you didn’t save anything, you avoided paying an extra $25.  You will avoid costly medical bills when you are older, you will avoid an early death (hopefully), you will avoid unnecessary pain and suffering.  Just like the thing you bought on sale, you’ll still have medical bills, but you’ll avoid paying full price.
  4. The value of a healthy lifestyle only improves the odds; it’s not a guarantee – You can live a healthy lifestyle and still have a heart attack at 30.  You can smoke your whole life and never have a single problem with your lung function.  Healthy living doesn’t guarantee anything but improved odds.  Your chances of having better quality of life when you are older go up if live a healthy lifestyle but it’s not a guarantee.
So if it’s hard to see the value of a healthy lifestyle what can you do?  There’s no real answer here, you either value healthy living or you don’t, but here are a couple tips that can help you put that value into perspective:

  1. Look at others – Take a close look at some of the older people in and around your life.  Can you pick out the smokers just by sight?  How about the overweight folks, do they look like they enjoy moving around?  Sometimes just observing others helps to recognize what you might have to deal with down the road.
  2. Look at the Dollars – It’s great that we have so much information right at our fingertips, but how often do we use it?  Do a couple Google searches on the costs of medical care for older Americans.  Did you know that medical bills are the #1 cause of bankruptcies in the US?  Think about it, you can invest 20% of your salary every year to retire early only to later have to use that money to pay for your heart attack because you didn’t value your health
  3. Go into the future – Try to picture yourself at 60. How many prescriptions will you have?  Will you need a cane? A Walker? A mobile cart?  How will your quality of life be; will you be in constant pain or will you have total mobility?  Will you be able to travel and enjoy life?
  4. Go back in time and make a decision – This isn’t as effective if you are still fairly young, but for those of you in your mid 30’s or older take a look at yourself right now and then look at who you were 10 years ago.  How much has your health declined? What decisions would you have made differently knowing what you now know?  Now here’s the kicker… if your health has declined that much in the last 10 years, then what do you suspect will happen in the next 10,20, or 30 if you maintain your lifestyle?
That item #4 really hit home for me… 

10 years ago I had absolutely no underlying medical issues.  I would visit a doctor once every three years and they would tell me that despite my weight and my smoking I was in relatively good health.  I could run (albeit not well) and I could hike with kids on my back.  I could get on my knees without any pain.  I was very strong!  I had myself convinced that my health would not be a problem.
Fast forward 10 years and life looks a whole lot different.  I take medication for blood pressure.  I have to wear a CPAP at night due to sleep apnea.  If I sit for more than an hour, it takes me about 50 steps when I get up just to get out all the stiffness.  I can’t run at all and a 5 mile hike with the kids leaves me sore for days.  Though I weigh the same as I did 10 years ago, my clothes sizes have gone up because I’ve lost a lot of muscle and replaced it with fat.  I shudder at the thought of what I’ll be like 10 years from now.

Though you can never undo the past, it’s never too late to value your health.  If you can understand the value proposition of a healthy lifestyle then you will be motivated to make the changes needed to secure that value.  It’s not easy, but it can be done and I’m sure if your future self could go back in time, they would thank you for valuing your health.
Stay Strong!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Day #10 - Right back at it

If Day #9 was less than perfect then Day #10 made up for it!  For starters I woke up in a great mood despite staying up later than I wanted last night.  My eating was right on and I got all my water in.  I even managed to get 2 miles in at the mall; something I haven't done since last Thursday.  All of this and still no smoking.

It's amazing what a difference one day can make.  I'm definitely starting to feel much better from the healthy eating and the withdrawal effects from quitting smoking are almost gone.  It's interesting, most people haven't realized that I've quit yet.  In past attempts everyone knew it because I was pretty much a jerk, but this time I've gone out of my way to not let no smoking be an excuse to act like an ass.  So far no problem though I've had to bite my tongue a couple times.

To be honest, If I didn't lose a single pound in the first month but managed to stay quit on the smoking, then I would be happy.  The fact that I've already lost weight (though not a guarantee that it won't come back) while I'm quitting is just a bonus.  I keep telling myself to remember that it's the long haul that I care about, not just a few pounds this week or that.

Day #10 come and gone, bring on Day #11.

-Stay Strong!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day #9 - Not A Perfect Day

This is going to be a short post as I'm tired and want to go to bed early.  Not my best day, but no guilt because things happen.  Like yesterday, I had corporate visitors at work so no walk at lunch and lunch was brought in for us.  Also like yesterday I didn't do to bad eating only my sandwich, a bag of chips and a cookie.  I got my gallon of water in and I chose not to bring snacks knowing I was going to have lunch from Panera.

The day was fine, but I think my mistake came from not bringing snacks.  By the time I got home I was starving and I only had 5 minutes before having to bring my daughter to basketball practice.  I had about 4 ounces of chicken and some veggies before rushing back out the door. 

The 5 minute dinner didn't stick with me and I was starving yet again when I got home from basketball.  That's when I broke into the leftover Chinese food.  I was so hungry I ate it cold; probably about 500 more calories than I should have.

Some takeaways here?  First, I need to bring my snacks even if I know I'm going out to lunch.  I do my best when I eat every 3-4 hours and it does no good to skip just because I had more calories earlier in the day.  Second, I need to keep the temptations out of the fridge.  The Chinese was from Sunday's unrestricted day; I should have tossed it out.  Lastly, I need to forgive myself and get right back at it.  Tomorrow's Day #10 and it's a new day to start fresh.

-Stay Strong!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Day #8 – Just Another Monday

I promised myself I would post everyday even if I didn’t feel like it; today is one of those days.  Not a bad day in terms of being healthy, but not a stellar one either.  I forgot that we had corporate folks at the facility today and tomorrow.  This means working lunches and no time to go walk.  I managed to get all my water intake in and I ate reasonably at the lunch.  The problem is that today is supposed to be a low carb day.  Hard to do when the lunch is sandwiches and chips.  I guess I could have just picked the meat off and skipped the chips, but I didn’t.  I probably could have skipped the oatmeal cookie as well, but I didn’t.  Afterward I told myself that not every choice has to be perfect and then I let it go.  In the afternoon I skipped most of my snack due to high calorie content at lunch and instead just ate my vegetables.

My mood is greatly improved from last week.  Whatever funk I was in has passed and I take great pride in recognizing how I felt last week.  More importantly I told myself that it would pass (and it did) and I didn’t let it become an excuse to avoid being healthy.  Now I feel better and I didn’t waste a week feeling sorry for myself.

Day is in the books; on to Day #9

Stay Strong!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day #7 - Those Magical Moments

My generation was the first to grow up with regular doses of TV.  As a teen in the 80’s I was quite accustomed to magical moments.  You know what I’m talking about right?  Your typical 80’s movie involved things going totally bad.  Then, just when it seemed hopeless something magical would happen, something that no one expected, and then everything was instantly better.  I’m sure some of you are nodding your heads as you think back while others have no idea what I’m talking about.

I brought that up because I believe that TV has really altered many people’s perception of reality.  Life doesn’t have anywhere near the amount or intensity of highs and lows as TV does and quite often everything doesn’t just work out in the end. 

Media is around us everywhere now and not just TV but social media as well.  Again with all this media, I think people get distorted views of what reality is.  Even so-called “Reality TV” is incredibly distorted; it has to be.  Why in the world would anyone watch normal life, they can just do that at home for free.

I believe that I’m one of those people with an altered perception.  I always feel like there should be more to my life; like I’m never doing enough.  I’m also waiting for those “magical” moments where things can’t possibly get any worse and then instantly everything gets better. 

This is something that I’ve discovered about myself and it’s important because happiness and excitement come from within and take perception into account.  Quite often we feel unhappy because our current state doesn’t match what we perceive it should.  Ever see someone who appears to have it all but seems unhappy?  Why?  It’s because in our reality they have it all but in their reality they are missing something.

Mind you, this is not a “be thankful for what you have” type of thing, but rather, “Be mindful about how you perceive yourself and your surroundings”.  You might just be making yourself unhappy without realizing it.

All in all, not a bad week.  I’m beginning to come out of the funk I’ve been in and I’ beginning to take stock in my progress over the week:

On the positive side:
  • 12 pounds lost
  • No smoking
  • Stayed mindful of how I was feeling
  • More walking than I’ve done in a long time
  • Maintained my commitment to my health despite being in a lousy mood
Areas for more growth and opportunity
  • Had a few drinks Saturday night
  • Another wasted weekend with very little accomplished
  • Still could be doing more in the evening after work

7 Days in the books, on to day 8 and the start of another week.

-Stay Strong!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Day #6 – First Weekly Weigh-in

1/5/15 Starting Weight: 346.4 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 346.5 lbs
Current Weight: 334.5 lbs
Period Weight Loss: 12 lbs

Total Weight Loss: 12 lbs

A great start with 12 pounds in the first week.  I could feel that I lost weight, but even I was surprised at how much.  I wish I could say that I did lot today or that I’m feeling better, but I’m not.  I did manage 1 mile on the treadmill this morning and I ate well and got my gallon of water in.  However I’m still in this funk that even this big loss hasn't pulled me out of.  Mrs. FogDog and I decided we could have some chips and dip tonight with our movie.  I think we’ll probably have a few drinks as well.  I know I shouldn’t but yet I still would like just a couple hours to kick back and relax.

Day #6 in the books, tomorrow is an unrestricted day for eating and I’ve waited all week long just to have my morning bagel with peanut butter.  On to day #7 and the completion of my first full week.  12 pounds lost and a week without smoking is definitely a great start.

Stay Strong!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Day #5 - How I'm Doing Vs. How I'm Feeling

People ask you all the time how you’re doing.  This is especially true if they know you are trying to change something about yourself.  I get that question a lot from my friends and so far my response is the same… “I’m doing really good!”, and that’s the truth!  I’m smoke-free for the week and I’ve managed to eat healthy and exercise to boot!  When I stand on the scale tomorrow I have no doubt it will show a pleasing number.  I’m living to the commitment I made 5 days ago, what more could I ask for?

Gee I don’t know, I was kind of hoping that in the process of keeping to my promises, I thought maybe I would feel better.  Unfortunately, how I’m doing isn’t exactly the same as how I feel.  While I’m doing great focusing on living a healthy lifestyle, I absolutely feel like garbage at the moment.  I’m depressed, I have no ambition to do much and I’m struggling to find motivation to do anything other than keep to my promises about my health.

Fortunately for me, I recognize how I feel and I know that it’s only temporary.  Making changes in your lifestyle often trigger moods and I know that I just need to keep pushing through until I feel better.  I know that quitting smoking brings out the worst in me and the last time I quit I was told by someone that they liked me better as a smoker.  I’ve made it a point to not use my lack of smoking as an excuse to be a jerk. 

We all have a limited amount of mental fortitude each day and mine is at its limit.  Between eating right, exercising, quitting smoking, and not being a jerk about it all, I just simply don’t have much left each day.  I’m OK with that because I know it is temporary.  It’s already getting easier to exercise each day and the cigarette cravings have begun to subside.  I know that soon enough I’ll have a little more energy to burn and it will allow me to do more.  I just got to ride it out until I feel better.

It’s this mindfulness of my feelings that gives me hope that this time will be different.  I still don’t believe in myself yet, but I hope that also changes with time.


So far I haven’t mentioned much about my alcohol consumption.  Typically I’m a weekend drinker so clearly I’m nervous as we come into my first weekend.  Mrs. FogDog and I agreed to abstain this weekend but we’ve said that before and ended up drinking on Saturday night.  Come to think of it, we’ve said that before and ended up drinking on BOTH Friday and Saturday night.  To be honest, I’m sort of glad for the crappy mood because I don’t really feel like drinking.  I might not get anything else done this weekend but at least I’ll be sober in the process.
You would think I would be looking forward to the weekend, but I’m more nervous about the weekend than I am the work week.  During the work week there’s not a lot of idle time.  Between the job and carting the kids around  too their activities there’s not a lot of opportunity to get myself in trouble.  Not true with the weekend.  We have a basketball game on Saturday afternoon but other than that my weekend is wide open.  I told Mrs. FogDog she should put together a list of things she needs me to do so I can keep myself occupied.  Otherwise, I could end up on the couch all weekend stuffing my face with things I shouldn’t.
Another successful day;  I didn’t smoke and kept to my eating plan and also met my water goal.  I didn’t go to the mall to walk at lunchtime and instead opted to bang out 2 miles on the elliptical at home after work (didn't quite get to that!). 

Day 5 is in the books, time to face my first weekend and a weigh-in tomorrow morning!  On to Day #6.

-Stay Strong!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Day #4 - Busy Day

It's going to be a short post tonight; I had 2 basketball practices to go to after work and didn’t get dinner until 8PM.  It's 9PM and I'm ready for bed.

Another good day as I kept to my eating plan all day and then just had a couple cookies in the evening.  I hit my water target and walked 2.5 miles at lunch time.  Again, no smoking!

I’m starting to feel a little better and actually got some work done today.  I think the smoking withdrawal is beginning to subside.  I can already feel that I’ve lost some weight.  Obviously the first week is mostly water, but I can feel it regardless.  One more day and I’ll be weighing in on Saturday morning.

Day 4 is in the books; On to Day 5!  I promise I'll write more tomorrow.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Day #3 - Why Not?

I woke this morning convinced that it would not be a good day.  For starters I had a hard time going to sleep last night.  Despite feeling exhausted and going to bed early, I just tossed and turned and when I woke I felt like I had gotten very little sleep.  As I rolled out of bed, my second cue for a bad day showed itself; my left knee was swollen and it was hard to walk around.  I told myself “no way I’m going to be able to exercise today!” and I was OK with it.

However, as I was riding to work in the morning, I began to question a decision that I made 5 hours before I really needed to.  Why not exercise today?  I made it to my car didn’t I?  I made it into work, why can’t I exercise?  As I worked through the process I came to the realization that my knee hurting was just a convenient excuse to not exercise. 

I decided to go to the mall again.  I set out to do as much as I could at whatever pace I could do with my sore knee.  I completed 2 laps (about 1.5 miles).  Half as much as the day before, but 1.5 miles more than I originally planned; I was thrilled that I did it.

As I was walking I started to think about all the other “why not” moments I’ve had lately:

  • I can’t quit smoking AND lose weight at the same time… Why Not?
  • I can’t go to the mall to walk… Why Not?
  • I can’t survive on 1800 calories each day… Why Not?
  • I can’t Quit Smoking, Quit Drinking, Lose Weight and still be happy… WHY NOT?

When I look back at other failed attempts at improving my health I see a lot of excuses for why I couldn’t do something.  In order for me to stay committed, I need to keep asking myself “Why Not?”


Another pretty good day.  I stayed on my eating plan with the exception of having a second cup of coffee after lunch (in the hopes that it would help me get through the day).  Today was a hig carb day so I got to enjoy some fruit and didn’t feel as hungry as usual.  I also drank my requisite gallon of water and as I mentioned above I walked about 1.5 miles.

I also hit a milestone today… it takes 3 days for you to flush the nicotine out of your system.  As of today my body is nicotine free!  I still feel like crap from the withdrawal, and I’m not getting anything done at work, but I’m hanging strong and I know that eventually I will start to feel better.  Day 3 is in the books… On to Day 4!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Day #2 - A tough realization and a dose of reality

I never really thought of myself as one of those extremely overweight people.  I’ve been big my whole life but I always managed to be able to do the things I wanted; my weight didn’t really slow me down.  I remember when biggest loser came on and I made a comment to my wife about how big those contestants were.  She turned and said to me (not in a mean way) “you’re almost as big as they are!”  It was kind of surprising to hear that… I never really saw myself as morbidly obese.  It might sound weird but I always just considered myself a little overweight and I always believed I carried my weight well.

As I look back now I realize that it was more about me lying to myself so I wouldn’t have to admit that I had a problem.  I refused to accept that I couldn’t lose weight, I refused to accept that my eating was out of control.  I was only slightly overweight and all I needed was about 6 months of hard work to pull myself into shape.  I could do it anytime because I had the mental fortitude to take on such a task and I was physically strong so I could keep my metabolism revved and lose the weight quickly.

I think I started to accept reality when I turned 40 (2 years ago).  At close to 350 pounds I was morbidly obese.  I could be any one of those contestants on “The Biggest Loser”.  Over the last couple years I haven’t been able to do all the things I want.  I’ve withdrawn more and more from life as I spend a lot of time hanging out on the couch watching TV.  There have been some times in this past 2 years where I simply gave up and stopped trying to lose weight and stopped monitoring my progress.

This is my new reality… I could literally lose 150 pounds and still be at a healthy weight.  My skin will never go all the way back.  I don’t “carry” my weight well and there’s nothing special about me that makes me any better off than others of my size.  I am morbidly obese!

Day 2 really had me thinking about just how big I am and how poor of shape I am in.  I had another great day with my eating plan and with drinking water.  Knowing that not smoking is taking a lot out of me I know that it would be extremely difficult to find the strength to exercise at the end of the day, so again today I went for a walk during my lunch hour.  It snowed last night so walking outside wasn’t going to work, so I drove over to the mall and walked there.

It was a little uncomfortable for me to walk at the mall, but It was my only option.  I walked 4 full laps around the mall which ended up being almost 3 miles in about 50 minutes!  I’m proud that I walked again today even though it is what is reminding me about just how out of shape I am.  After just 3 miles of walking my knees hurt, my back hurt, and my feet hurt.  By the time I got back to my vehicle I could feel my fingers beginning to swell a little (not sure why).

By the time I got back to work I was beginning to feel stiff and sore everywhere… all from just a 3 mile walk at lunchtime.  Indeed I still have a long way to go!  Another plus, I was smoke free again today.  All in all it was pretty good day.  As predicted I was too wiped out when I got home to do anymore exercise so I’m glad I got it in during the day.  I had to cook dinner so I made fajitas for the kids and then a fajita salad for me since I can’t have carbs today.  Tomorrow is my first high carb day and I’m excited to have some fruit!  2 days in the books and 358 more to go!

-Stay Strong!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Day #1 - A Good Start

The hardest part of any journey is having the courage to take that first step.  Today I did just that!  I made a commitment to myself that I would dedicate 2015 to making my health a priority; today I finished day one.  Like most days, today wasn’t perfect, but I can honestly say I gave it my all. 

I followed my eating plan well and drank my gallon of water.  I did end up eating a couple extra cheese cubes later in the day because I felt really hungry, but still I managed to do very well with the diet.  I also managed to get a 30 minute walk in at lunchtime.  I knew that I would be exhausted by the end of the day so I went out at lunchtime and just walked.  Nothing super fast; I’m just trying to move around a little more.  Sadly, I could feel it in my back after just 30 minutes I was already feeling a little tired out.  Man I’m really out of shape.

Normally I don’t try to fix multiple things at once, but I made a commitment to focus on my health so today I also went smoke free.  It definitely made the day very tough.  If you ever quit smoking you probably know that those first few days are just physically exhausting.  I barely got any work done in the office and I ended up leaving early and went home to rest.  I wish I could have been a little more active today, but for the next week I expect that I will be quite tired without the cigarettes as a boost.

I’m off to bed early and I am excited to have made it through the day.  On to tomorrow.

-Stay Strong!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year, New Title, New Me

It’s been a while since I posted.  Simply put, I fell apart again.  I got on the scale this morning and I’m right back where I started… 346 pounds.  I don’t feel guilty about it and I’m not depressed, it is what it is.  I am responsible for my actions and I am responsible for getting myself out of this unhealthy trend. 

I’ve been on vacation since Christmas Eve; that’s a lot of time to think.  I feel like 2014 was a bit of a turning point for me in terms of my mental state.  I made significant progress with being in tune with how I feel and I’ve learned to forgive myself for not being perfect instead of carrying around a bunch of guilt.  With that said, my physical health has not improved at all.  In fact at 42 I’m starting to feel the toll of being unhealthy.  I’m tired all the time!  On weekends I can’t make it through a day without getting some kind of a nap or rest period.  When we go somewhere that requires any amount of walking I get tired out within the first hour and then spend the rest of the time walking from rest spot to rest spot.  This is not what I expected to feel like in my 40s and I shudder at the thought of how I will feel in my 50s.

With my new mindset I’m ready to take my next step.  I’m dedicating this entire year towards making my health my #1 priority.  I changed my blog title to match my new commitment.  Over the next 360 days I’m going to do a 180 and turn my health around.  It’s going to be tough and there will be plenty of failures along the way, but with each failure I will pick myself up as fast as possible and get right back on track.  I’m setting 3 basic goals for the year:
    1. Quit Smoking
    2. Give up Alcohol
    3. Lose 100 pounds
My plan is fairly simple:

  • Go back to carb cycling – I’ve had a lot of success with this eating style so I’m going back to it.  I get carbs every day at breakfast and then it’s carb free the rest of the day for 2 days.  Every third day I’ll have carbs and Sundays will be an unrestricted day.  I’m targeting 1500-1800 calories each day, but I won’t be counting; I know what 1500-1800 calories per day looks like
  • Target 1 gallon of water each day – I’ve had plenty of success with this, so no need to change that formula
  • Walk, Walk, and Walk – I’m in my 40’s, I weigh almost 350 pounds, and my lifestyle is very sedentary.  Right now my focus is on moving around as much as possible and walking whenever I get the chance.  When I get a little more stamina I’ll move to cardio and strength training but right now walking is probably all I can handle
  • Weigh-in once a week – If you’ve read my blog before you know I’m not a big fan of weighing in.  However, as much as I don’t like pinning my goals to a number on a scale, I know that right now I’m not mentally strong enough to forgo this ritual; I need it to stay accountable.  I’ll weigh-in and post my results on Saturdays
  • Post a blog entry every day – I’ve never been much of a daily blogger, but I want to try this out because I think it will help me to establish a regular routine.  They might not be long, but I want to post something each day to help me keep my commitment.
  • Quit Smoking… Cold Turkey – Smoking is 90% mental and 10% physical.  With the right mindset I can get through the first week and then it gets a whole lot easier.  The challenge for me will come after the first few months when you start to let your guard down.  If I slip up, I need to get right back up and remember my commitment to my health
  • No more alcohol – Mrs. FogDog is with me on this so I have support
  • Fail properly – It’s inevitable; If I go into this thinking there will not be hard times and that I won’t slip up once in a while then I fail before I even start.  What’s important for me is to accept that I will have failures.  When they happen I need to do the following:
    1. Acknowledge the failure
    2. Identify the cause
    3. Forgive myself
    4. Move on
  • Take it day by day – I have my goals for the year, but this journey is a day-by-day battle.  I’m not going to focus on the end result as much as I’m going to focus on what I need to do today.  I focus on each day the results will come on their own.  The final result can’t be known until the end of the year; no point in dwelling on it.

Sounds so simple right?  Anyone who’s had any kind of success with improving their health knows that this will be anything but simple.  It’s going to be one of the toughest years I’ve had to go through, but it beats the alternative of sitting around on December 31st thinking about how I wasted another year and how my health has deteriorated that much further.  I’ve made a promise to myself that 2015 will be the year that I make my health a priority.  It’s a promise that I intend to keep.  I’m going to do a 180 in the next 360!  Day #1 is tomorrow; wish me luck!