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, February 28, 2015

Day #55 - Unhealthy Weekend

I hat to say it, but this weekend is shaping up to be one of the most unhealthy weekends I've had in these last 54 days.  I don't know if it's because I'm pushing to add focus to healthy eating on March 1 or what, but Friday night and then today have been less than stellar.

It's not like I'm doing anything differently; before I do something unhealthy I stop and think about it, but for some reason that hasn't been enough to get me to stop.  My brain simply says "yes, we want to do this".  I'm not going to go into all the details; the more I discuss, the more I start to dwell on it and also start to feel guilty.  We all have peaks and valleys and today I was in a valley and fell into a pit! 

The nice thing about my current journey is that it's one day at a time.  Day 55 might have sucked, but I start fresh with Day 56 tomorrow.

Stay Strong!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Day #54 - Busy Saturday and Prep for Carb Cycling

This is going to be an incredibly short post...

I have a ton of things to do tomorrow including 2 playoff basketball games, 1 regular basketball game in a different location, battle of the books with child #3 and finishing up my daughter's bedroom.  Everyone's going to bed early including me. 

It was a pretty good day despite a crazy start.  My best friend wanted to go out to lunch so I guess I could have done a little better, but we both agreed it was the "last time" for a while.  He's not overweight but he's a bit out of shape and wants to get back on the bandwagon as well.

On to Day #55

Stay Strong! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Day #53 - A Promise Kept

My oldest daughter does gymnastics.  I  really don't care for it; I have a hard time with any sport that has subjective scoring, to me there should be a clear winner not a winner based on a judge's opinion.  Regardless, my daughter loves it and so I support her.  All season I haven't been able to go to her sessions because it conflicts with my other 2 kids' basketball practices, but I promised her that I would come to at least one session.  Today was that day that I kept my promise...

I have to admit I was quite impressed, not just with my daughter's progress but also at how fit the girls looked.  You could see muscle tone on all of them.  They were flipping and flying and I really couldn't help but be in awe at watching them do things I couldn't even come close to doing.  It got me wondering where I went wrong...

When I was a kid I played sports almost year round.  I played hockey in the winter (my favorite), then on to baseball in the late spring/summer, and finally football in the fall.  Even when I wasn't playing sports we were outside running around, swimming in the summertime, and riding bikes everywhere.  I was husky as a kid but not fat (at least that's what mom told me).  I was also very muscular and strong!

What's interesting is that I can't quite put a finger on any defining moment that sent me on the path to morbid obesity.  My parents divorced when I was a teenager.  It was rough, but I don't recall turning to Frito Lay for support.  Being forced to move to another state just before my senior year in high school was also hard, but I adapted quickly.  Again I don't remember turning to food for support (though I remember eating a lot of fried tater tots when I went home alone after school).  Going away to college (both times), dropping out (the first time), Moving to NY, Moving to NC (A big adjustment!), kids, new jobs; I really can't point to any one of those events and say "That's It!". 

No my trip to where I am today has been a long steady journey.  Sure there have been a few ups and downs along the way but it's really been a consistent ride toward an early grave.

What's so amazing is how easy it was to not see it.  Yes, I knew I was overweight and needed to get in shape, but it never really seemed all that bad and I always viewed it as one of those "one time deals" where I would just focus really hard for a while and it would all get fixed.  Again, I was strong and the weight would just melt off (and there's actually some truth to that as I tend to lose weight easily when I set my mind to it).  There was time to do it; I just needed to make the decision (after this last trip to McDonalds).  Well, it never happened and now I sit here at 42 and realize that all my free tokens are used up.

There is no more "optional" in my book.  When I think of continuing on as I have in the past, all I can see is a life of misery and an old fat guy riding around in one of those scooters because he can't walk anymore.  Not a pretty sight.

Maybe I should go watch my daughter do gymnastics more often!  53 Days down, on to Day 54.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day #52 - Healthy Eating Kick

It was only a few days ago that I was writing about needing to get started eating healthier.  At the time I just felt plain lousy! I was sluggish and my brain just wasn't working right.  At one point I drove right past my turn to go home.

Fast forward just a few days of eating healthier and I can literally feel the difference.  I didn't even change too much, mostly just tried to get more fruits and vegetables and drink a little more water, but the effects of healthy eating have started to kick in.

I've noticed as I've gotten older I can feel a big difference if I don't eat right or if I don't get enough sleep.  I wonder if it's because you become more in tune with how you feel as you age or is it simply that there's not much of a difference when you are younger; you can just ride through it?

Regardless I definitely feel better after just a couple days and I'm really excited to get back to carb cycling here at the end of the month.  Final preparations are being made and I'm interested to see how this first month will pan out since I won't be counting calories or focusing on portion control (or even weighing myself for that matter). My thinking is that I might not lose a ton of weight, but at the same time it would be difficult to maintain or gain weight if I'm eating too much spinach or if I choose to have an extra 1/4 cup of oatmeal in the morning with extra blueberries.  I'm pretty sure I can stuff my face with healthy food like baby carrots and not end up feeling lethargic and bloated.

Out with the old (Day #52) and in with the new (Day #53).

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Day #51 - The February Effect

I made a commitment to post something on my blog every single day of this 360 day journey.  Some days it's tough to think of something the write about, but I always manage to get started and then things just flow from there.  A lot of times I get my inspiration from other blogs.  Someone writes something that resonates with me and gives me an idea worthy of writing about.

Lately it's been hard to find that inspiration; I've noticed a lot less blog activity over the last few weeks.  In January I had all I could do to keep up with my blogroll everyday, but lately I only see one or two new posts each day.  This actually doesn't surprise me; I call it the February effect.

In January everyone starts out all gung ho ready to make this "the year".  By the end of the month, many of those folks have already stopped blogging permanently.  You would be surprised at how many blogs you can find about weight loss that started and ended in January never to return.  But it's not just newbies; I've noticed even some veteran bloggers tone it back going into February.  I think it just has to do with the time of the year.  For those of us in the United States it's nearing the end of winter.  In most of the country it's drab, dreary, and cold.  You can almost feel the mood in people's posts; it's time for winter to end!

I've lived this phenomenon myself; in 2012 I restarted bogging in December only to make it to March in 2013.  I'm not criticizing anyone, mind you, just merely an observation 

What do you think?  Have you noticed others are blogging less?  Are you? Why?  We each have our own journey to follow and none are alike.  If your journey only calls for you to post once in a while, then great, I will still follow you and enjoy when you do post.  For me, I've discovered I kind of like the rigor of having to post every day; it forces me to think about my health every single day.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Day #51 down; on to Day #52

Stay Strong!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Day #50 - I'm Tired of...

I'm tired of being out of breath every time I go up and down the stairs

I'm tired of feeling exhausted at the end of every day

I'm tired of feeling worn out

I'm tired of having no energy to play with the kids

I'm tired of laying on the couch at the end of every day

I'm tired of working on my house for 6 hours only to be sore and lame for the next 6 days

I'm tired of...

I'm tired of being tired all the time!

I've reached day #50 in my journey and simply put, I'm tired.  My energy levels have been low for a long time now.  I chose to put some focus on quitting smoking and drinking before losing weight.  Those were important wins that I needed to do first, but neither one of them has helped me with being so tired all the time.

I know what I need to do... I know how to get energy.  I need to eat healthy food and exercise.  I'll feel better just from doing those two things.  Additionally, eating healthy food and exercising will help me to lose weight which will also give me more energy.  I need to start now because I can't take being tired all the time.

The time has come to add some serious focus on losing weight... and not feeling so tired all the time.  At the beginning of March I'm going to begin carb cycling again.  At first I'm not even going to worry about portions; I'm just going to focus on eating healthy food.  I'm going to do my best to avoid these things as much as possible:

  • Pre-processed/Packaged Foods
  • Processed Grains
  • Refined Sugars
  • Salt

I'm going to focus on trying to do these things as much as possible:

  • Drink Lots of Water
  • Eat Whole Foods
  • Eat Lots of Vegetables
  • Eat Plenty of Fruits (On High Carb Days)
  • Eat Lots of Small Meals Throughout the Day
Pretty simple right?  Who needs a complicated plan?  I need to exercise as well, but we're going to take this one stage at a time. 

Hard to believe that it's taken me 50 days to get serious about the weight loss piece, but truthfully, it's exactly what I needed to do.  This journey is all about building the foundation that will help me to be successful long term; not just another flash-in-the-pan diet.

50 days down and plenty more to go.  On to day 51 and the preparation for my weight loss focus.

Stay Strong!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Day #49 - Sometime in August

Today marks a full weekend without alcohol!  Mrs. FogDog and I were trying to remember the last time we went an entire weekend without a single drink.  By our best guess we think it was in August very shortly after we had moved in to our new home.  Really? 6 months?  What was the point?  Yeah it helped me to relax a little, but it's not like smoking where I had a physical addiction... or was it?

I've always told myself that it was merely habit and I still think that way, but maybe there was some physical need in the background.  I haven't noticed any irritability or struggle with not drinking this weekend, but I certainly thought about it a couple times.

Anyway, physical or just habit, the weekend ritual has been interrupted.  Now What?

I mentioned a few posts back that I was considering a hardcore March on the weight loss front.  I was thinking going for the gold and trying to lose 30 pounds in 30 days.  Like all my decisions about improving my health I decided to think about it for a while before making a decision.

After giving it some thought I came to realize that 30 pounds in 30 days was "old me" thinking.  You see, everything I've done so far has been highly beneficial toward my overall journey, but none of it has provided and physical or outward change.  30 pounds in 30 days would give me the "hey look at me" activity that would shock some people. 

Who am I trying to impress anyway?  I don't need to put on some display of weight loss ability.  For starters, it's not sustainable, just go back and look at my history of going all-in only to burn out afterward.  No, I don't need that right now, right now I need another step in the right direction.

I am going to restart my carb cycling in March because I found it be reasonable to do, but I'm not going to add more exercise than I'm already getting.  I'll weigh myself at the start of the month and my goal is to simply lose 10 pounds by the end.  That's a respectable number without making me feel like I have to be perfect everyday.

Anyway, Day #49 is now in the books.  I can't believe that I'm already up to day #50 tomorrow.

Stay Strong!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Day #48 - Hanging Strong and Staying Busy

It's Saturday night and so far no alcohol this weekend.  I'm hanging strong and feel pretty confident I'll make it through the weekend.  Right now we're getting hammered with a snowstorm.  We have 8 inches of snow (a lot for the DC area) and now it just turned over to sleet and freezing rain. 

I'm actually happy with the storm; it keeps us from going out and wasting money and eating junk.  We were prepared for it, so we got everything we needed to stay busy today.  I'm on to daughter #3's bedroom; we painted all the trim and the ceiling so it's ready to have the walls painted tomorrow.  After that I cleaned up a desk with some restoring polish.  It's a Land's End desk that retails fro $750.  We bought it at a Salvation Army for $70.  Add in a light bulb and the polish and all total I spent $80 and it looks almost like new.

$70 Desk Restored

After painting and desk restoration I turned to the storm.  A good hour of shoveling was a great workout.  I went back out again after dinner for another half hour right when it turned over to freezing rain.  Tomorrow it's supposed to turn to straight rain so I hope all my shoveling pays off and my driveway ends up completely clear for Monday. 

Anyway, I'm doing well but at some point I need to start thinking about weight loss.  One day and one thing at a time!  Day #48 is in the books, on to Day #49.

Stay Strong!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Day #47 - The Perfect Excuse

I had it!  I had the perfect excuse.  Yesterday I had to do something that totally ruined my day. It was the perfect excuse to have a drink... or two... or ten.  I got myself a bottle and set myself up with some tortilla chips and dip.  It was 8:30PM so I was ready to put the kids to bed and was all pumped to forget the day in a deluge of Rum and Cokes.

The problem with my perfect excuse... it was still just and excuse (and I knew it!).  I sat there for 5, 10, 15 minutes going through a battle in my head (at one point my wife asked me if I was going to be alright).  "It's OK, you couldn't have anticipated what happened today"  I told myself.  "It's still just an excuse", was my reply.  "Let's just do it tonight and start fresh tomorrow".  "How many times have you said that one?".  "I want a drink, I deserve one".  "Go ahead, but you're breaking your commitment"

I wanted to drink really, really bad and I had the full bottle sitting right there in front of me.  I had already forgiven myself for something I hadn't even done yet... but I just couldn't do it.  I made a commitment and I need to try to keep to it as much as I can.  I might fail on another day, heck I might fail this weekend, but for today I'm not going to give in.

So I didn't!  I invited the kids to stay up and watch a little TV and ate some chips.  Then I went to bed having never opened the bottle.

Now you might think I woke up in the morning and felt oh so wonderful and just beaming with confidence from my success on the previous night.  Nope, just another day, time to start all over.  Yes I'm proud of myself, but that doesn't make my journey any easier from here out.  It was just 1 win in a 360 day war. 

I'm sitting here tonight faced with the same dilemma; there's still a bottle of alcohol right in front of me and I have another choice to make.  I might not make it through tonight either, but tonight is a little different.  As I try to resist tonight I can tell myself that I've done it before and I can do it again.  One day at a time.

Stay Strong!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Day #46 - Darkest Day

This is going to be a very short post... today I had to do something that no manager enjoys doing, EVER.  Out of respect I'm not going to go into any details, but suffice it to say that I am incredibly depressed at the moment.  I saw this coming at the beginning of the week but it really didn't hit me until it happened today.  I'm going to hang on the best I can, but this one is going to be tough to get through without some struggle.

Stay Strong!  I will try to do the same.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Day #45 - My Own March Madness

Today was just another stressful day.  There's no doubt I'm a little more short tempered at work since I quit smoking.  Quitting drinking isn't going to help either.  You know what though... I really don't care.  I'm not going to smoke or drink or overeat just so I'll be more likely to spare people's feelings.  To be honest I'm starting to wonder if I was a little too nice to people and most took advantage of it.

Anyway, not what I really wanted to talk about.  I know that I'm taking this journey day by day, but I couldn't help to think forward a little towards March.  By March I will have quite smoking for almost 2 months and I will have quit drinking for several weeks.  If I want to have a chance at 100 pounds lost this year (my third and final goal) I feel like I'm going to need to add more focus to weight loss.  So far I'm trying to contain the damage while I focus on the smoking (and now the drinking), but I have to start sometime.  So far I've only lost about 5 pounds.

I'm thinking about dedicating March towards getting back on my carb cycling diet.  I figure if I go hard all month I could probably drop about 30 pounds especially since I'm taking a week off during the month to remodel my bathroom and bedroom; activities that will require some hard physical labor.  I also think it's a good time as spring begins to show signs of coming and my mood generally improves when that happens. 

Like the rest of this journey I'm actually thinking things through instead of just making arbitrary decisions.  There are some pros and cons to doing my own "March Madness":

Potential Benefits

A successfully 30 day stint could jumpstart my weight loss and help carry me through the year.  30 pounds (or even close to 30 pounds) would be noticeable and help boost my confidence.  Additionally, shifting focus away from smoking and drinking could be a welcome distraction and adding exercise to my already busy routine could prove to be a stress reliever.  I have no big projects or travel plans so the month of March would be a good one to start.

Potential Drawbacks

Even if I'm successful, it could backfire on me if I feel burned out afterward and go right back to eating like a pig.  I might lose a bunch of weight in March only to gain it back and get depressed in April.  Also, I have to ask myself if I'm ready to add the weight loss burden.  Worse than not losing weight would be if I fell off the smoking wagon in the process.  That would hurt me mentally right now.

March might be a little too soon, but then again I might be giving myself excuses and not pushing it a little.  I know that I do much better when I get out of my comfort zone.

Anyway, I still have another full week next week to think about it.  Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Day #44 - Birthday Girl

Today is one of my daughter's birthdays; she turned 10 today, a full decade old.  Her age reminds me of just how quickly time can escape us...

My oldest daughter will be twelve this year.  I can remember when I first found out my wife was pregnant.  I remember thinking about how things would have to change because now I would have a family to worry about.  I remember thinking about how I was going to change my way; quit smoking, lose weight, and get in shape.  I remember how it was imperative that I succeed.

I remember 10 years ago when my second daughter was born.  I remember how I felt guilty that I still hadn't lost weight.  By then I had actually quit smoking and managed to stay quit for almost 5 years, but I was still far from healthy.  When daughter #2 was born I decided that I was going to change my life and finally lose the weight.

When my third daughter was born 18 months later all bets were off.  Life was incredibly crazy; we had just moved to NY a year earlier and I was depressed with living back up north.  Everything was changing so quickly and it seemed like there was never any time to focus on healthy living...

That was about 9 years ago and here I am now still in the same boat.  Over those years there were several attempts to get on track with varying degrees of short term success.  All during that time I always thought I still had plenty of time to fix things before I got too old and then it would get much harder to do.  In a blink of an eye I now find myself at 42, and yes, it's harder now.

For starters, age just plain slows you down. My metabolism is lower and I definitely feel the effects of carrying all the extra weight over the years.  In addition to the effects of old age, it's harder now because I have even less time.  When the kids were little you had to constantly keep an eye on them.  I remember thinking that it would be easier when they got older, but now that they are there's soccer practice and gymnastics and battle of the books and on and on and on!

Yes it's my daughter's birthday today and that has me reflecting on my last 10 years.  If I could have them back I would like to think I would do things differently, but I can't have them back so I have to accept myself for who I am right now.  However, what I can do is ask myself this question..."When I turn 52 and my kids are all adults, will I look back over the last 10 years with regret, or will I remember 2015 as the year that I started to change?"

44 Days down and many more to go, but for now I'm just going to focus on Day 45.

Stay Strong!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Day #43 - Feeling (Awesome) Tired

I'm feeling incredibly exhausted right now... and I love it!  Today was a holiday for me (for the record this is the first facility I've worked at that got President's day off).  Anyway I took the opportunity to repair the monster hole that was in my ceiling.  You remember it right?  It was the hole I created when I fell through the ceiling and miraculously came out with just a couple scratches.                                                                      
In case you forgot what it looked like you can see the picture HERE  

Anyway, after getting the drywall and wood and lugging it all up to the second floor I reinforced the area where I fell through, got the drywall installed, and then went back up into the ceiling (facing my fear) to lay out all the insulation that had fallen out of the ceiling.

I love these kind of days... where you push yourself really hard and you get something big accomplished.  Every day that hole sat there was another day that reminded me about falling through the ceiling.  Even though it really didn't have anything to do with my weight, it's still an embarrassing thing to me so the sooner it gets fixed the sooner I can forget.

I swear if I was a construction worker I would be thin.  I can't believe all the lifting and climbing and twisting and turning I did.  I'm sure I'll be a little sore tomorrow.  Sometimes I think I should just go ahead and remodel my entire house.  I love doing the work and it's better than a workout because when I'm done I see instant results.  Who needs a treadmill when you can use a sledgehammer and carry drywall around the house.
A great day #43 is in the books, on to Day #44 and my daughter's birthday!
Stay Strong!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Day #42 - The Next Big Step

I mentioned yesterday that I think I'm ready to take the next big step in my 360 day commitment.  As of today I'm giving up alcohol... completely.  When I started this journey I set out my goals to lose 100 pounds, give up smoking, and give up drinking.  To be honest, when I made those goals I really didn't intend to give up drinking completely, but rather cut back on my weekend drinking with Mrs. Fogdog.  I also thought it would more or less just happen as I focused on losing weight, but after these first 41 days I think it will be best if I commit to abstaining completely and I think I should begin now.

To explain this decision to change the order of my plan you first have to understand my drinking style...

As far as social drinking goes with friends, I am completely normal.  I can go out and have a few beers or when the in-laws come my father-in-law and I can enjoy some wine.  I never have too much, I never have to worry about driving home, and you can count the number of times I do this over a year on one hand (I don't have much of a social life with 3 kids).

However, Mrs. Fogdog and I have a "ritual" that typically involves drinking on the weekends.  We get a bottle of rum, a couple bags of chips, and some dip.  After we put the kids to bed, we throw in a movie, eat junk, and drink Captain Morgan Rum and Coke's until we get good and buzzed.  This has become our "habit" and we've been doing it for as long as I can remember; even before we moved here last year.

Depending on how stressful the week goes, there have been weekends when we do this both on Friday and Saturday nights and of course there have been some weekends when we didn't do it at all.  However, I would say the number of times we do it both weekend nights outnumbers the weekends where we don't do it at all.

Now mind you, we're not talking about falling over, passing out drunk like you might have done in college (I know I did), but definitely enough to drink that I wouldn't think about getting in a car and driving anywhere.  Neither of us displays any of the major signs of alcohol dependence, as I said it right just feels more like a habit.

Now the reason why I've decided to give up alcohol completely has to do with these last 41 days.  Mrs. FogDog and I have noticed that over these last 41 days we've started to drinking more than we have in the past.  I believe it's starting to become a replacement for my not smoking; my way of dealing with stress.  Essentially I'm trying to be proactive; quit drinking now BEFORE it becomes a real problem.

So here we go, into Day #43.  My first real test of this new commitment will happen next weekend.  I have to admit, it feels really good to be making these changes; for the first time in a long time I feel like I'm on the right track and making real progress toward overall improvement of my health.

-Stay Strong!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Day #41 - Some Weight Lost and a New Commitment

I weighed in today to find that I lost another 2 pounds!  I'm happy that I can post a loss even if losing weight isn't the primary focus (at the moment).

This is going to be a very short post, but I did want to say I'm getting ready to make the next big commitment.  I believe that I might be ready to completely give up alcohol altogether.  The decision has been pretty much made, but I want to sleep on it one more night... Just like smoking I don't want to make this decision arbitrarily; it has to be firm.

On to Day #42.

Stay Strong!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Day #40 - Perspective

I like my new "one day at a time" approach.  It makes it much easier to reset after a bad day.  No regrets, no looking at the difficult challenges ahead, simply reset the day and go.  I have noticed this approach does bring a lot of frequent ups and downs though, but I've realized it's really all about perspective.  It's not like I'm succeeding really well one day and doing terrible the next, but yet my perspective changes based on my mood.  Yesterday I felt like I was doing a terrible job this week, but today I feel like the week went quite well.  Nothing really changed except my perspective.

If I can keep reminding myself it's about my perspective then it stands to reason that I can choose what perspective to use.  Even if I'm in a bad mood I can tell myself to keep things on a positive perspective.

Tomorrow I weigh in; I'm not expecting a big loss, but I think I should lose something as I've done pretty good eating.  My water intake was a little off late in the week so that might hurt.  Monday is a holiday for me, so I get to enjoy a nice 3 day weekend; I'll be rebuilding the ceiling I fell through so I should get plenty of exercise.

40 Days of my journey are now behind me.  From a long term perspective that's one ninth (1/9) of my total journey this year.  However, as I've said from the beginning it's not about the whole trip, it's about tomorrow.  On to Day #41.

-Stay Strong!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day #39 - Why Isn't it Ever Enough?

39 Days ago I quit smoking cold turkey.  In that same time I've managed to not gain any weight and have actually lost a few pounds.  I've even toned my drinking back as well and I can feel that I'm much more aware of how I feel both when it's good and bad.  So why isn't it enough for me?  Why do the voices keep coming back to tell me I'm not doing enough; that I haven't really changed? 

If you can't tell from the first paragraph I'm a little frustrated today.  My day started with the stress of hearing my wife and oldest daughter arguing before I even got out of the shower and the day just got more stressful as it went on.  It's these stressful days when the voices show up to tell me I'm a phony and that the change isn't real no matter how hard I try to "fool" myself that it is.

Maybe it's not real, maybe next week I'll stop blogging and just give up again like so many other times.  Maybe the voices are right.  But then again, maybe they are wrong.  Maybe I'm doing the best I can and that's just going to have to be good enough.  Maybe I'll find a way to deal with my stress.  Maybe I'll stick it out for these 360 days.

No insightful stories today, just some honest truth about the thoughts going through my head.  My kids are still fighting as I write and my wife is yelling at them as well, but I made it through the day without smoking, drinking, or going on a binge.  Screw you voices, I'll fight you again tomorrow on Day #40.

Stay Strong!

Day #38 - Eating Out

It's 5AM on February 12th.  Technically speaking I didn't get a blog post up yesterday, but that's OK.  I went to bed early knowing I would get up and post before work; I was too tired to write and didn't want to just leave another short post like the day before.

Yesterday I did a fairly decent job with the exception of lunch.  For some reason when I go out for lunch I struggle with control.  It's almost like feeling deprived of something and I don't know when I'll  get to go again so I better enjoy it.  Don't get me wrong, I don't go hog wild, but I definitely order and eat more than I need to.

I wonder if any of you are like me when it comes to eating out.  Do you treat it like it could be your last time at that restaurant and so you better eat as much as you can?  Or how about this one... When I choose my order, I choose based on highest price because my brain makes the assumption that the higher the price, the more food I'll get.  Ever do that?  I've literally looked at a menu and thought "Gee that item looks delicious, but this other one is $3 more so it must be more filling or you must get more".  Does that sound crazy to you? 

Then of course there's always the buffet restaurants.  What overweight person doesn't seek those out regularly?  I have to admit, I've done a lot better avoiding those places lately.  I have told myself that if I'm going to go out to eat, I would rather have a good meal than mass quantities of mediocre food.  Once in a while the family and I will go to Chinese buffet, but it's much less than we used to.  When the kids were younger I would rationalize that buffets were great with kids because the food was cheaper than a regular restaurant and since the kids were so picky they had a lot to choose from.  It's amazing how we rationalize stuffing our faces huh?  Trust me when I say no buffet has ever made a penny off me.

One surprising thing about me when it comes to going out to eat is that I never order dessert.  It's not that I don't want to, but rather I can't bring myself to pay those outrageous prices.  Besides, I can stop at the grocery store and pick up a whole cake for the price of a couple slices... more for the money (see a common thread here).

For the longest time I told myself that in order to be successful at losing weight I would need to just avoid going out to eat.  I've begun to realize that philosophy just isn't realistic.  Going out to eat should be limited, but when I do, I need to not treat it like some once-in-a-lifetime celebration and instead just treat it like any normal meal.  Maybe if I don't treat it like it's a big deal it won't be.

38+ days in the books, here's to a bright morning on day #39.

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day #37 - Another Strong Day

This is going to be a short post; I'm tired and I want to go to bed, but I committed to myself that I would post something every day.

Today was another strong day for me.  Most days I don't even think about smoking anymore.  I got my gallon of water in and stuck to my plan all day.  My only "treat" was a little bread at dinner.  Today is a no-carb day so technically it was off-plan, but if that's the worst I do each day, then I think I'll be just fine.

I seem to be feeling a little better each day and I'm noticing that I'm getting more done at work as well.  I think all the change is starting to settle in.

37 days down, plenty more to go, on to Day #38

-Stay Strong!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Day #36 - No Turning Back

I realized today there may be no turning back.  I'm committed to this change and even if I wanted to give up I don't think I could do it easily.  Over the last couple weeks I've been a on and off here and there.  I've mentioned a couple times that I've been surprised how easily I was able to get right back at it after having a failure; something I've always struggled with.  I've reached the realization that these momentary lapses in judgment recently are really more about fearing change and trying to hang on to my old habits.    

Have you ever gone back to something only to find that you really can't go back to it?  For me I think of it like my old college days.  After about 5 years of being out of college I got together with a bunch of old college buddies.  I remember how some of us were married, some had kids, some were still living at home, and some had actually gone back to school.  Like most college buddies we tried to re-live some of those glory days, but we couldn't go back.  No matter how hard I tried, it just wasn't the same anymore. I had responsibilities and a little more common sense as well.

I also remember that in addition to not being able to go back I also realized I didn't WANT to go back.  I liked my life the way it evolved, the things I did in college were fun but they weren't appropriate for my adult life.  I actually felt bad for one of my friends who was still living life like he was in college; refusing to change.

As I have become more aware of how I'm feeling lately it has become clear that the last few weeks really feel a lot like trying to re-live my unhealthy days.  When I was younger, I sacrificed healthy living in favor of focusing more on my career and starting a family.  It's not that I couldn't have been healthy while doing those things, it just wasn't a focus for me.  Now that I'm in my 40's my career doesn't seem as important.  My kids are still important, but they are quickly approaching those teen years and I want to be a good role model for them.

These last few failures have not been satisfying in any way.  The junk food just didn't taste right; the alcohol didn't really help me relax, the lazy afternoon nap on the weekend left me unfulfilled.  The change has happened to me and to be honest it probably happened some time ago and I just didn't realize it (or refused to accept it like my old college buddy).  I'm a different person with different priorities and healthy living has become priority #1.

Day #36 was great day, but it's over.  Time to look toward Day #37!

Stay Strong!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Day #35 - Sore But Mentally Strong

I woke this morning to quite a bit of soreness all over.  To make matters worse I got a horrible night's sleep on the couch so I feel exhausted as well.  Still, my mental resolve is strong. 

Mrs. Fogdog and I spent some time talking today.  For starters we had to make a decision about what to do with the master bedroom.  Since I now have a gaping hole in the ceiling, I'm going to have to do some serious construction work.  With that it made sense to move our bedroom downstairs into our dining room until the repairs are complete.  Also, we had made some plans to remodel the master bathroom this year as well.  Since the bedroom is vacant, it makes sense to just go ahead and do the bathroom at the same time.

We also talked about our terrible record with dining out.  We go out occasionally during the week, but when the weekends come, we sometimes tend to go a little nuts.  Essentially we are trying to get to the root of why we can't get it under control.  I don't know how many times we've said we need to stop only to do it again the following weekend.

What makes it worse is that we don't even enjoy it anymore.  It's not like Mrs. Fogdog just needs a break and we go out for something different; we typically only go to a handful of places for the same old food.  Even our kids are sick of going out to eat!

Anyway, today I think we dug a little deeper than usual and had a great discussion about this topic.  We lead pretty boring lives and I think sometimes we go out to eat just out of shear boredom.  Mrs. FogDog agrees and we told ourselves that we need to just accept that many of our weekends are going to be boring.  We shouldn't be going out just because we are bored with staying home and we need to find ways to spice up our weekends without resorting to food.

It was a great talk and I feel like this could end up be a good week for us.  However, I'm not looking at the whole week; my focus is just on tomorrow

I mentioned above that my mental resolve is strong; I say that because I can feel myself getting sick of my old habits.  I'm sick of drinking alcohol, I'm sick of watching TV and doing nothing around the house, I'm sick of going out to eat, and I'm sick of carrying all this weight around.  Over the last few weeks attempts to "hang on" to my old habits have not been successful; the temporary high I used to get doesn't seem to be there anymore.  I'm definitely ready for this change.

Day #35 is over, on to Day #36

Stay Strong! 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Day #34 - Lucky That I'm Not Seriously Hurt

I find it incredibly ironic that in yesterday's post I wrote about people looking for signs or trying to create some "drama" before they actually get started losing weight.  What you are about to read is completely true and happened to me today.

What you are looking at is the left side of my master bedroom... well what's left of it anyway.  That giant gaping hole in the ceiling?  Yeah, that's where I fell from 8 feet up; no joke.  Those black things at the bottom; those are the kneepads I was wearing, and that's where my wife found me sitting there wondering what the hell just happened.

Take it back to this morning when I completed daughter #2's bedroom and started on daughter #3's.  The first action was to install a ceiling light in a room that only has a wall sconce.  In order to do that?  Yeah you guessed it, it meant going into the ceiling. 

Now keep I mind I've done plenty of home renovations and I know what I'm doing.  I'm a Maintenance Manager in my job so I know that safety always comes first.  I also know I weight nearly 350 pounds so you can bet I'm extra careful when it comes to going into the rafters.

I had to enter the ceiling from my closet (just left of the picture).  When I looked around in the ceiling I noticed someone had created a walkway to the middle of the ceiling and then there was another walkway down the middle of the house.  The walkway down the middle ran across the ceiling joists.  the walkway out to the middle ran parallel.  My fatal flaw... Assuming the walkway out to the middle had support.  As I crawled out onto the walkway all was good (the wall in the left of the picture was under me.  Once I got a few more feet out there I was able to stand as well as hang onto some support beams.  I was one step away from the middle walkway when everything gave way and all came crashing down.  All the grey stuff you see is blown-in insulation.  The boards you see are the walkway out the middle which I now know was only held up on one end by the support wall.

So at this point you're probably wondering how I'm doing?  Miraculously I have nothing more than a couple scratches on my stomach and another on my elbow.  No blood, no broken bones, no serious injuries.  I laugh now, but the first thing I did when I stood up was move my hands all over my body looking to see if anything was sticking out of me (or into me for that matter) because under that pile of stuff is all my tools and painting stuff from the other bedrooms I've been working on.  There's even some paint cans and a large toolbox under there; I am truly amazed that I did not get seriously hurt!

Anyway the room is not livable, so tonight we are living on the couch.  We managed to clean up the insulation but that's only the beginning.  Tomorrow we're going to move the bedroom into the downstairs (dining room) where we will live until I can get everything taken care of.  I'll write more about it tomorrow, right now I just want to sit back and thank my lucky stars that I'm OK.

Day #34 went out with a bang.  On to Day #35 (thankfully)

Stay Strong!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Day #33 - Where the Heck is That Corner?

I'm waiting... I realized that today.  I've gotten control of the smoking and drinking, but for some reason it feels like I'm still waiting to turn the corner with weight loss.  Mind you I'm hanging on and doing just enough to keep from gaining weight, but I'm clearly in this waiting mode like I'm expecting some grand sign to show me it's time to get serious.

Have you ever experienced this before?  It's like you need some sort of life changing sign to tell you turn things around.  It certainly would make a great drama wouldn't it?  You could tell the story of how you went into a restaurant and the booth you sat at collapsed.  You were so embarrassed that you decided to change right then and there and you lost 100 pounds over the next six months and then competed in a triathlon and won!

Now doesn't that sound so much better than "I decided I didn't want to be unhealthy anymore so I worked hard over the next 2 years and slowly learned how to change my life permanently"?  I don't know what it is that causes us to be so pre-programmed to need to create drama in order to get going.

I thought about this on the ride home from work.  Where's the drama in deciding on day #34 to get back on track?  Where's the defining moment that drives me to the finish line with 80's feel-good music playing in the background and my high school crush professing her love for me?

At the end of the day, losing weight is like the true path to getting rich; it's a long slow process and there's really no story to tell at the end... you just did it.  I realize this, so why am I still waiting?

Day #33 is over and the weekend is here.  One day at a time, on to day #34 (and no drama).

Stay Strong!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Day #32 - The Effects of Anger

I was ticked off before I even walked out the front door!  That's one of the perks of having a company phone with email on it; you get to be annoyed any place, any time.  I saw the email while I was eating breakfast (a healthy 3 eggs with a little cheese, onions and peppers in a tortilla wrap).

I'm not going to go into details of the email, but I will say I've never worked somewhere where there are so many people who act as roadblocks out of fear that others will look better and therefore make them look bad.  Sometimes I think I'm back in grade school.

Anyway, regardless of the reason, I stewed all the way in on my 30 minute ride to work.  When I got in, I didn't bother to pour myself some water like I usually do, I simply took off and buried myself in some work.  Those that came to talk to me got sour responses and attitude before I closed my office door again.  No morning snack and by the time lunch rolled around I just wanted to go out and vent to my best friend.  I finished the day with no water consumption and a fully packed lunch riding back home with me.

There is no doubt that I let my anger derail my day completely.  Why??  As I drove home it occurred to me just how stupid it was for me to use this event as an excuse.  An event mind you that no one really cares about except for me.  Instead of just shrugging my shoulders at the stupidity presented to me in an email, I chose to go on a mental rampage.

There's a part of me that whispers "it wasn't what happened that made you fall, you were just looking for some excuse".  To be honest, that part of me may be right.  Failure can be attractive because once it happens you don't have to make an effort anymore.  So did I wake up this morning and start looking for an excuse, any excuse to go off the reservation today?  It's possible, but truthfully it doesn't really matter why, failure is failure.  Either way I have to learn to deal with it... I need to not let those little things get to me so much, and I need to stop looking for reasons to go nuts.

Today I get a big 'ole FAT "F"... But tomorrow is another day

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day #31 - Moderate Success and Lots of Thought

I'm up and then I'm down.  Today was one of those days where I did Ok but I'm having some mental struggles.  Some of it is coming from my job.  I'm having a hard time staying motivated at work.  I'm trying to decide if it's temporary due to all the changes I'm trying to go through, or is it because the changes I'm going through are changing me and my lack of motivation is now an indicator that I'm not happy in my job?

That's the trouble with change; it's hard to know what's real and what's just temporary feelings.  I have a lot more thinking to do on this journey, but I'm confident that I'm heading down the right path.  The fact that I'm beginning to ask myself these questions is a sign that I'm beginning to change.  It might not show on the outside yet, but I can feel it.

Short post tonight, I want to get some sleep.

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Day #30 - A Look Back at My First Month

Hard to believe I started this journey only 30 days ago.  Sometimes It feels like it's been a whole lot longer.  After all this is only the first of 12 months for this commitment; there's still a very long way to go.

If all I had done so far was manage to quit smoking, that would have been enough.  However, I've managed to quit smoking and lose about 5 pounds at the same time.  Given that most people gain weight when they quit smoking, I fell like this is a monumental victory!

In addition to quitting smoking and losing a little weight, I've also managed to put a lot of effort toward maintaining my mental fortitude. I believe I've truly begun to accept that my way of life is changing and that quitting this new path is no longer an option.  I am truly astonished that I had quite a few "rough" days and found myself picking myself right back up the next day and continuing on.  No guilt, no beating myself up; just acceptance of the situation.  This is definitely a different way of feeling than I have in the past.  I've seen some things in me that are scary, but I realize that I have to face them head on.  The fact that I'm even noticing this stuff is a victory in my book.

I also managed to keep my promise and post something every day.  I will be continuing with that trend as it really forces me to think about my health every single day.  I can't just "hide out" when I'm not doing well; I need to share both in good times and bad.

Could my month have been better?  Yeah, they can always be better.  I could have drank less alcohol for starters, and I'm certainly capable of losing more than 5 pounds in a month, but a person can only change so much so fast.  Ultimately I know that I did the best I could and that's good enough... It has to be good enough.

Anyway I feel like I'm starting to believe in myself (I don't fully believe yet).  This could very well be the year that I do that 180 and start heading in the right direction.  I've been waiting for the book "The Marshmallow Test" from the library and I just got it today.  It's a book about self control; I'll be sure to share what I learn.

30 Tough Days are gone in my Journey.  I'd love to say I'm looking forward to the next 330, but as I've said so many times I'm just focusing on one day at a time.  Bring it on Day #31.

-Stay Strong!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day #29 - Multiple Blog Posts Going

It's day #29; one day shy of a full month of focusing on health.  Today I only walked a mile during lunch.  It was a bit warmer today so my friend and I decided to walk outside near work.  Unfortunately as we got walking it became clear that although the temperature was OK, the wind was not.  We only did one loop (about 1 mile) and then stopped. 

I used to rest of my lunch time to write a little for tonight's blog post.  When I got home from work I spent some more time writing for a blog post, but under a different topic.  Right now I have several blog posts going under different topics.  None of them sounded right; they really don't express what I'm trying to say so I decided to put them aside for now and just write.

I followed my eating plan today and got my water in.  I've mentioned it a couple times; it feels strange that I can have good weeks and then bad weeks but not give up.  A very good friend of mine is also putting focus on his health.  He doesn't really need to lose weight, but he's quite out of shape and has also quit smoking along with me.  We were talking about how we haven't fallen apart yet and one of his comments was "Maybe it's just our time".  Though I can't speak for him, I can say that for me there's no maybe about it.  2015 IS my time!

Stay Strong!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Day #28 - Super Post

This will be a short post as the Superbowl coin flip is about to take place.  Today was a great day that actually started last night.  Last night was the first Saturday I can remember in a long time that I didn't have a drink.  Saturday night is my night to relax; I do so last night, just without alcohol.

That small victory really carried through this morning and I hit the ground running and was able to get daughter #2's room completely done.  No pictures this time, it wasn't as dramatic as the last one, but it definitely looks great.

Good eating today, basically just three normal size meals.  Lots of water as well, though on the weekends I add a little juice to my water for just a little flavor.  The game is about to start and I can sit back and enjoy the game knowing I worked hard today. 

Super Day #28 is over, time to get ready for another week beginning with Day #29.  Hard to believe almost 30 days in the books.

Stay Strong!