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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day #86 - The Significance of March

As March comes to a close I wanted to take some time to reflect on the month.  I never really discussed it (probably out of fear of failure), but I sort of viewed March as a "do or die" type of month.  When I started this 180 in 360 journey I set 3 goals for myself... Quit smoking, Quit drinking, and Lose 100 pounds.  I've clearly made great progress on quitting smoking, and I've started to make good progress on the drinking, but until March I really made no progress on losing weight.

When I look at losing 100 pounds I figure the best I can safely hope to do is lose around 10 pounds each month.  Having made no progress in January and February, I only have 10 months left.  Knowing that it will only get harder as I lose more weight I felt like if I couldn't lose at least 10 pounds here in March then it was highly likely that I wouldn't make 1 of my 3 goals.

Yes, I understand that it would have still been physically possible if I didn't make it and I also realize the world won't come to an end if I don't get all the way there, but psychologically I think it would have really been a blow if I believed I couldn't hit my 360 day goal after only 3 months (and that's how I felt In my head anyway).

Thankfully I had a good March.  I dropped 11 pounds giving me the hope that I can still make it.  It's going to be tough, there's not a lot of room for error.  One really bad week could put me out of it, but I can't think that way.  Instead I have to keep pushing forward one day at a time.  March is over and it's on to April and (hopefully) another 10 pounds.  We'll see in just 30 short days, but for now, on to Day 87.

Stay Strong!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Day #85 - Refusing to Give In

As I suspected I awoke feeling like garbage.  I wore my CPAP last night even though my sinuses are clogged.  As a result this morning my mouth felt like it was stuffed with cotton balls.  Anyway, I got up and my very first thought was "no excuses". 

How often do you see a pro athlete proclaim that they couldn't get it done because they were sick?  Never, that's how often because they don't make excuses.  I decided that today I wasn't going to make any excuses.  Today I was going to act like everything was fine and I was going to push on.  In fact, I didn't even mention to anyone that I didn't feel good and I just plugged on through the day.  I don't even think anyone noticed.

I ate healthy all day and got my gallon of water in.  At lunchtime I went to the local park and walked for 1.5 miles.  I was breathing heavier than usual because of the congestion, but I still got it done.  When I got home I played outside with the kids before dinner and then worked on remodeling my bathroom after dinner.  It was a full day and I was successful.  Today I proved to myself that it can be done; I can be sick and be healthy at the same time!

A great Day #85 is coming to a close, I want a repeat on Day #86.

Stay Strong!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Day #84 - Fighting the Most Common Excuse

I've read a lot of blogs and I've talked to a lot of overweight people.  Without a doubt one of the most common times people make excuses about not doing well is when they are sick.  Being sick takes a lot out of you and you don't feel like yourself.  Quite often it usually results in doing things that we know will make us better (like eating poorly).

When I went to bed last night I suspected I was coming down with something.  This morning I woke up and I knew I was sick.  I don't get sick very often, but when I do it's usually a bad cold and I spend 2-3 days in a total fog.  I don't think today was the worst of it so I'm expecting full force sickness tomorrow.

Today was also my unrestricted day for eating so at least I didn't have to worry about that.  I didn't eat great and I didn't eat terrible either.  I did not do well on my water, but I had plenty of orange juice!  I was planning on working on my bathroom today, but being sick, I decided I would put my best foot forward for the week and spend the day resting.

The last thing I want to do right now is a lose a week of healthy eating and weight loss to being sick.  I know the next couple days will be rough, but I'm thinking of it as a test.  I want to come out the other side having stayed on my path despite being sick.  Remember, no more excuses.

On a different note, this marks 2 consecutive weeks without drinking...my success is building.

84 Days in the books, On to Day #85.

Stay Strong!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Day #83 - End of Month Results and a New Challenge

It wasn't until I started putting my numbers into my spreadsheet that I realized this was the end of my first month of tracking my weight loss.  January and February were all about smoking and drinking; March was all about the weight (and no smoking and drinking too).

This morning I was pleasantly surprised to see another 2.5 pound loss for the week.  I started the month at 348 and finished at 337... A very respectable 11 pounds lost so far!

I also tallied up my second week of scores on my "healthy living index".  My first week I scored 6.4; this week I scored a 6.9.  A little improvement, but more importantly, consistent with the previous week's score.

This month I really have felt like I've turned a corner.  I feel like I'm heading into spring and summer firing on all cylinders and I'm starting to get excited about what I might be able to accomplish... I think I might be starting to believe!


So now I need to turn to a new challenge for this week.  Unfortunately, Mrs. FogDog did not do so well this week posting a gain of 1 pound.  For the month she lost a respectable 3 pounds... a good pace for someone who only needs to lose about 40 pounds.  From the moment she got off the scale I could see she was discouraged.  She ate well all week, but last week she lost a bunch of weight and my belief is that her fluctuations are more about water.  Like I said she lost 3 pounds for the month.

Anyway, this event presents us with our first challenge... Staying the course.

This has been our pattern for as long as I can remember: We start eating healthier and we start losing weight.  Then one of us has a "bad" day and finds an excuse to do "bad" things (remember my trip to Chinese buffet this week?).  Usually we recover, but the from that one of us has a "bad" week and gets discouraged.  That person then proceeds to "drag down" the other person because misery loves company.  The other person joins in the spiral downward,  and a bad week for one then turns into a second bad week, but this time for two.  From there it just all falls apart and we end up back where we started and depressed.  Mind you, all of this happens on a subconscious level, it's not intentional sabotage.  One begins to sink and it becomes a convenient "excuse" for the other to follow behind.

So my new challenge for this week is to help Mrs. FogDog stay the course.  I need to not give her any excuses for having a second bad week.  I need to help her understand that the number from this week doesn't match the effort.  From a percentage-wise she's lost 2% of her weight where I have lost 3%.  She only weighs 160 and wants to get to 120.  that's less than a pound each week to hit her goal within a year.  My personal belief is that she should only weigh in once each month but you know how it is, especially when you have a husband dropping several pounds each week, you want to see results and it's hard to stay off the scale.

So this week we are going to break the cycle.  If I have to I'll be strong for the both of us and help her get past her discouraged feelings so that next Saturday she sees a better number.  We are both aware of the pattern which is the first step to beating it. 

Stay Strong!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Day #82 - The Sound of Breaking Habits

Do you hear that?  It's the sound of me breaking one of my habits.  I drink every weekend without exception; sometimes just a little and sometimes way too much.  Last weekend was the first weekend this year that I didn't drink.  It was hard; much harder than it should have been.  The habit was incredibly strong as it usually gave me a signal of the end of another stressful week.  It became part of my weekly routine and with it came absolutely no chance of ever getting control of my weight as even the hardest work during the week was quickly erased by a few bad choices.

Usually by noon on Friday I'm already thinking about having a few stiff drinks.  Today, not so much.  In fact, the thought of drinking didn't even enter my mind until I got to the barbershop after work (it's not far from the liquor store),  When I had that realization I felt a sense of accomplishment.  It's only the second weekend but the habit is already starting to fade.  I have no desire to drink tonight.

Even as I sit here typing and can hear all three of my daughters all fighting and yelling at each other  while Mrs. FogDog is joining the fray as well (I think I'll just stay out of it), I'm sitting here calmly realizing that I don't need a drink to feel better, I need to keep breaking bad habits to feel better!

Today was good end to my week; I finished it off by sticking to my eating plan and getting my gallon of water in.  Looking back it's been a pretty good week with only a few mishaps.  I weigh-in tomorrow and to be honest I am fearing the scale a little.  I earned about 1-2 pounds of weight loss but I'm fearful that I already saw this week's number in last week's 7 pounds.  Oh well, the number will read what it reads.  I also get to tally up my health rating points from the scoring system I created.  Yes, I can see some of you rolling your eyes, but I'm an Engineer; we love to come up with clever ways to measure things that can't be measured easily.  Thanks for all the support from the community, until then...

Stay Strong!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Day #81 - Being Honest with Myself

I often go back and read my previous day's post the next day.  It might sound weird, but I often do it to see if I still feel the same way today as I did when I wrote it.  I looked at yesterday's post and my first thought was "Maybe I was little hard on myself yesterday". 

I thought about it for a moment and then decided, I wasn't hard on myself, I was just being honest with myself.  that's something I've missed in the past.  It's amazing how we can delude ourselves into thinking just about anything.

I need to have some more honest conversations with myself.  As I continue to "wake up" from a long dream (or nightmare would probably be the better word) I'm beginning to see where I've managed to fool myself into a lot of things.

What makes this whole process interesting is that some of these "delusions" can actually start to become core beliefs.  For instance, I have this belief that I do not have time to exercise; that somehow, my schedule is unique and that I somehow busier than everyone else in the world.  You might laugh at this and if you and I were talking about it, I would probably say that I don't really believe that, but at my core I do because I can't figure out how to fit exercise in.  Since I can't figure out how, it must be impossible.

Beliefs are hard to break, you can't just tell yourself that you believe something else and it becomes so.  True change in a belief requires consistent proof.  In this case I need to find a way to fit in exercise and prove it to myself before I can truly believe it.

My toughest core belief to change will be about my ability to lose weight.  When I look deep inside I know I don't yet truly believe I'm capable of losing weight yet; I don't believe I will be successful.  In fact, there's a part of me that wonders if I believe that I don't deserve to lose weight.  I wonder why I would feel that way?

I push forward searching for that belief that I can complete this journey and be successful.  In order to do that I need to continue to be honest with myself.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day #80 - Accountability

In order for me to remain successful I must remain accountable for what I do.  I had more knee pain last night and this morning felt like a zombie.  I went to my miserable job (which only seems to be getting worse lately) and put in a miserable day.  All day long I fought temptation and I stuck to my plan.  I ate well all day and even got my gallon of water in before heading home.

As I left for home all I could think about was a bottle of Captain Morgan and a six pack of Coke.  I fought my temptation for the whole 30 minute ride, thinking of nothing else.  I tried my best not to make excuses, but something was going to give and I knew it.  I told my wife we needed to go out so I could get some supplies for my bathroom remodel and I wanted to get a brace and some heat wraps for my knee.  Ultimately while we were out we ended up going out to eat for dinner.

I could go on an on about how well I did at a Chinese buffet by only ordering water and eating almost exclusively shrimp and vegetables, but that would be me trying to rationalize or justify my behavior.  The truth is I suggested going to the store because I knew it would give us an excuse to go out to eat and my brain had already decided that going out to eat would be an acceptable substitute for drinking alcohol.

See how I did that?  On my 30 minute ride I convinced myself that for certain reasons (excuses) I needed a drink, but I shouldn't have a drink so instead I should go off my eating plan and somehow that now becomes an OK alternative.

All of this because I had a bad day and my knee hurts (excuses).  This might sound strange, but it's really the reasoning that my brain goes through that bothers me about tonight.  Had we just made a decision to go out for the heck of it I would have been fine with the choice (I really did a great job not pigging out at a buffet), but it's the whole rationalization thing that has me bothered tonight.  The point here is that it doesn't matter how big or small the bad choice was, it's the reasoning behind the bad choice that really needs to be fixed

When stress piles up with me I start to crack and I can only hold on so long before I run to unhealthy behaviors for comfort.  Why?  They don't really make me feel better.  It's this cycle that I've lived forever.  I need to find a new way to deal or I'll be back at this point again and again. 

So here I am, I made a bad choice tonight for a bad reason.  I shared it to help remain accountable to myself, but that's where it ends.  It does no good to dwell on it and it doesn't need to cause me further backslide.  I made a bad choice and it won't be my last; the day is over and it's time to move on.

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day #79 - Knee Pain

As I get older it becomes very clear that I will have knee issues.  For starters, my mom has had knee replacement on both knees due to arthritis and my grandmother has had both her knees replaced twice!  There is a hereditary component, but also add on to that I played a lot of sports as a kid and the fact that I have been severely overweight my entire adult life and the fact that I have started to see signs of arthritis should not be surprising to anyone.

I must have overdone it during my vacation week because I've been going through this strange problem.  My knees really don't hurt during the day, but then around 3AM I wake up because my left knee has a dull ache to it.  No matter how I move it or switch positions it just keeps on aching making it very difficult to fall back asleep.  I've tried every OTC medication for pain, but none stop it from happening.  It's frustrating because I already have enough sleep problems I really don't need something else waking me up.

I'm hoping that I've finally recovered from this as last night was the first night that I didn't wake up with knee pain.  My hope is that it was about all the stuff I lugged up and down the stairs while I was remodeling my shower.  There's still plenty to do, but all the heavy lifting is over.  Anyway today I'm just grateful that I got one good night's sleep.

Today was an OK day.  I was in training all day that included lunch so I chose to make today a normal carb day instead of tomorrow.  I ate more than I probably should have including the cookie, but no soda; I stuck to my gallon of water.  The rest of the day was right on plan for food.  No walking either I wanted one more day to rest my knees... I'm hoping I'm now out of the woods.

Stay Strong!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Day #78 - Measuring Healthy Behavior

With my new focus on trying to be consistently healthy I’ve been trying to come up with some way to measure my healthy behavior.  My problem has always been that I do well in one area, but then poorly in others.  How do you look at everything as one big picture?  The scale isn’t a true measure of whether I’m being healthy or not so what else can I do?  I’ve decided to treat this like a project at work…

The first step is to define the goal or objective; what will this project deliver?  I’m interested in measuring my overall healthy behaviors so I can see how consistent I’m being.  Since I weigh-in weekly I’m not so interested in day to day consistency as I am week to week so I guess it should measure my weekly healthy behaviors.

The next step is to determine the customer requirements.  Since I’m the customer, that should be pretty easy…
  1. Should be easy to do (no more than 5 minutes each day)
  2. Needs to capture all parts of healthy living, not just one or two areas
  3. Should be as objective as possible with little room for subjective rankings
To be honest that #3 criteria was pretty hard to overcome.  How do you rate your health without being subjective?  However, if you make subjective ratings, then you are always at the mercy of how you feel; when you are in a good mood you’ll rate yourself better and when you are in a bad mood you’ll rate yourself worse.

I decided to go with a points system.  I created a spreadsheet with a column for each day of the week (my week starts on Saturday when I weigh-in).  Then I listed out all the things that I consider important to being healthy.  I created a list of about 25 items that centered around smoking, drinking, diet, exercise, mental health, and a few “other” items that didn’t fall into a category.  The idea is that at the end of each day I would quickly go through the list and check off each item I completed that day.  At the end of the week I would go to my spreadsheet and mark all the points I earned and it would automatically give me a health rating for the week; a number between 0.0 (completing nothing) and 10.0 (completing everything).  For those math challenged individuals out there, the formula is:  Points Earned / Total Possible Points * 10.0

Some of the items on the list are the same, but just at higher levels.  For example, I can get a point for doing 30 minutes of light intensity exercise like walking.  I can get a second point if I do 60 minutes.  Points are given based on individual meals plus one for eating 4-6 small meals each day so I can earn 4 points each day just for following my eating plan.  A few of the points are subjective… one point for not losing my temper all day.  It’s not perfect, but at least it’s a start.

The next step was to test it out and see if the numbers seemed reasonable.  I filled in last week’s information expecting to earn about a 7.0 on my new health scale.  The actual result was a 6.4 which was a little low, but then I remembered that I really didn’t get started on this consistency thing until Monday last week and my week was setup for Saturday through Friday.  Had I done a little better just on those first two days the score would have been about 6.8 so I’m pretty happy with the scaling.

So now each week when I weigh-in and post I will also post my health score for the week.  Keep in mind the goal is not to get to 10, but rather to have a consistent score week after week (with maybe a little improvement over time).  I would rather be a 7-6-7-7-8  then a 9-8-1-6-3.  Remember, consistency over perfection.  How do you measure healthy behavior?

Stay Strong!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Day #77 - Incredible Achievement - Hail to the Hiking Queen

8 Year Old "Hiking Queen"
As an adult, the longest I've ever hiked in a day is 7.5 miles.  Mrs. Fogdog and I did it 12 years ago when I was 30 and we didn't have any kids.  I remember we were camping and by the time we were done we were all exhausted.  Even our dog (who was a puppy at the time) looked worn out. 

We love hiking in the woods and we do it quite often, but our typical hike is usually somewhere between 3 and 5 miles.  Once we started having kids it got a little trickier, but we got those backpack carriers.  We would let the kids walk until they got tired and then we would carry them the rest of the day (I always considered it an extra workout).  Once we had our third child, we started "rotating" them through the carriers, but from the point my youngest could walk it was clear she loved to hike. By the time she was 3 she stopped riding in the carrier even as her older sisters would beg for rides. 

As they have gotten older we've pushed farther and farther each year.  In 2013 we completed 5 miles and last year we completed a 6 mile hike.  Yesterday we decided to push the limit a little further.  We chose a 6.5 mile hike.  It was mostly level through woods and fields so we figured we had it covered.  As usual my oldest moaned about the distance but my youngest was clearly thrilled.

The one thing I didn't anticipate in this adventure was the horrible trail markings at the park we went to.  After 5 miles I was starting to question the decision.  My knees hurt and my two oldest were starting to get on my nerves.  My youngest still had plenty of pep in her step and was still running up hills (like in the picture above) to show that she is the hiking queen.

By the time we hit mile #6 I knew something was wrong.  Somewhere we missed a turn and we suspected that we were on the wrong trail.  If you've ever been in this situation, it can be tough; do you push forward until you can confirm you are on the wrong trail, or do you head back hoping to find something to put you on the right path?  I was pretty sure I knew where we went wrong but it was a mile back to confirm; we decided to turn back.  That turned out to be the right decision and we were able to find our way back onto the path.

By the time we got back to the car it was 5PM and we had walked 8.75 miles!  I was completely exhausted, there was nothing left in the tank.  My 12 year old dog looked like she could fall over at any minute.  The hiking queen showed no signs of slowing down and could have probably walked for another hour.

So we set a new family record for hiking yesterday; 8.75 miles.  That in itself was a pretty darn big accomplishment, but to me the real acknowledgement goes to my hiking queen.  My phone said that I walked 19,000 steps.  My youngest is 8 years old and takes 2 steps for every one of mine.  She hiked 8.75 miles or 38,000 steps and never once complained.  To me that's one incredible achievement for an 8 year old.  She inspires me to lose more weight so we can hike even farther some day.  I'd like to see just how far she could go.  Is there someone like that who inspires you?

Stay Strong!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Day #76 - What Consistency Can Buy You

I woke up at 6AM Saturday morning; I guess when you don't drink alcohol your body thinks it's just a normal day.  Anyway I got on the scale to see that I lost 7 pounds over the week and Mrs. FogDog lost 4 pounds!  I'm now back out of the 340's.

This is what consistency can buy you... consistent weight loss.  Yes, those numbers seem a little high for a week, but half of that is water weight so the numbers feel real good to me.  Now that I've managed to remain consistent day to day for a week, my next step is to stay consistent from week to week.

Remember, consistent doesn't mean perfect.  One night during the week I ate an extra 1 or 2 ounces of chicken at dinnertime.  I couple nights during the evening I was still hungry so I had a handful of nuts.  I even had ice cream Friday night, and I spent every evening after work on the couch.  I was far from perfect, but I didn't let those small, insignificant events give me an excuse to fall apart.

Interestingly, my proudest moment of the week isn't the amount I lost or the fact that I didn't drink last night.  It's actually the discovery I made about using my mood as an excuse to be unhealthy so much that it turned into a habit.  From that point on every time I felt like I was getting moody I reminded myself that my mood was not a good reason to go off plan because staying on plan or going off plan had no effect on my mood. 

Next on my agenda is devising a way for me to measure my consistency week to week.  Remember, this is about total health, not just weight loss.  The idea is that at the end of every week I should be able to tell how I did compared to other weeks.  The goal is to remain consistent from week to week.  I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, but I want to make sure it's something that's easy but also worthwhile.

As I mentioned yesterday, my top priority this weekend is to not drink.  I already made it through Friday night, I just need to get through tonight.  Today I plan to spend the morning working on my bathroom and then the family is going on a hike in the afternoon.  Normally we hike on Sundays, but today is going to be much warmer than tomorrow.

Day #76 is in the books... oh wait, no it's not as I'm blogging in the morning.  Day #76 is underway, wish me luck.

Stay Strong!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Day #75 - The Dreaded Weekend

Most people look forward to the weekend.  Not me, not this weekend anyway.  As the work day drew to a close I started to think about that familiar Friday night feeling... A stiff drink, some chips, and a movie.  Well I can tell you that didn't happen.

Instead we went to an art show.  The county school system put on an art show featuring works from all the public schools.  I couldn't believe how huge it was; I was really impressed with the amount of work that they put into the event.  My oldest had 2 works featured at the show so we made a night of it.  After seeing the art we celebrated the first day of spring with a trip to the local ice cream shop.  I got a single scoop on a cone... I don't think I've ever gotten a single scoop on a cone.

Anyway it was a fun night after a solid week eating healthy.  No eating out and sticking to my plan for 5 days (minus the single scoop on the cone).  I drank a gallon of water every day, and I also walked at lunch time 4 out the 5 days this week including 2.25 miles today at the mall.

However, the real test comes this weekend.  I will consider it a success if I can simply refrain from drinking any alcohol.  Healthy eating all weekend and a little exercise will just be gravy.  My thought is to just stay busy. 

I'm actually looking forward to getting on the scale tomorrow to see my weight.  I'm sure it's not a question of if, but rather how much I lost.  I'll report the results tomorrow.  I've now made it through 75 days of my 360 day journey; on to day #76.

Stay Strong!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Day #74 - Rock Solid

Short post tonight; I promised my daughter I would watch a show with her before she goes to bed...

Another rock solid day!  I kept to my eating plan, drank my gallon of water, and walked 1.5 miles at lunchtime.  Could I be doing more?  Yeah I could, but that's not what I need.  I need to keep this consistency each day and I need to ride it through the weekend.  Tomorrow is Friday and I'm already thinking about a good stiff drink.  It will be tough, but I know I can do it.  Day #74 in the books.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day #73 - Official Trend

You may have heard the saying "Two data points don't make a trend".  Statistically that's true, but Three data points does start a trend.

Today is my third day of trying to remain consistent.  I ate healthy again and got my gallon of water in.  I had a horrible day, but didn't feel horrible because I chose not to.  Feeling bad when things go bad is just another way that I find excuses to go off plan.  Not today.  The only thing I didn't get in today was a walk at lunchtime; it was cold and I only had 30 minutes so no time to go to the mall.  I can live with that.  I definitely have a nice trend going; a trend towards consistent healthy living

Today I'm enjoying my consistent healthy behavior, but I also have a watchful eye on the horizon.  Soon the weekend will be here and with it the desire to drink and then ultimately eat poorly.  I've been on this road before and it's real easy to get caught up on the shoulder and end up in the ditch.  This is where the consistent part needs to come into play.  It's OK if I'm not perfect over the weekend, but drinking alcohol and eating chips and dip Friday or/and Saturday night just puts me back at the beginning.  That's not consistency.

The weekend will be my first big test and I think I'm ready for it.  No need to worry about it right now though, I need to just focus on tomorrow.  On to Day #74.

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day #72 - The Bad Mood Habit

I woke up this morning in a bad mood.  It wasn't lack of sleep, it wasn't that I was jolted out of bed by screaming kids, I simply just woke up in a bad mood.  As I was sitting there on the bed I had a startling realization... whenever I try to do something healthy I end up in a bad mood.

When I quit smoking I was in a bad mood for almost a whole month (just ask my family).  When I tried to quit drinking a few weeks back I was in a terrible mood by the end of the week.  Whenever I go a day or two eating healthy I end up in a bad mood.

As I thought about it more and more, I started to realize that I've always ended up in a bad mood when I tried to do something healthy.  In fact, I can't remember a single time when it wasn't the case! 

So it got me wondering why?  I thought about this morning.  I wasn't feeling hungry or deprived when I got up.  I wasn't aching to have a huge unhealthy breakfast and knew I couldn't.  There was really no reason for me to be in a bad mood.

Then it hit me; it's a habit.  I've quit smoking and started diets a million times.  Time after time after time I would convince myself that I was miserable and should just give in.  Yesterday, I wrote about my top 5 excuses, but never really thought about my mood as my ultimate excuse.  Year after year of using my mood as an excuse has essentially trained me to associate healthy behavior with misery.

Have you ever said "I would rather be fat and happy than thin and miserable"?  I know I've said that many times before.  There's a problem with that though... I'm fat but I'm not happy; It's just another excuse.  In fact, there's no guarantee that I'll be happy when I'm thin.  There's no correlation between happiness and weight.  Weight is a physical measure and happiness is just a state of mind.

Fat people can choose to be happy or not and so can't thin people.  To some of you this might not seem like that big a deal, but this was one of those really amazing self discoveries that has me astounded that it took me 42 years to make this connection.  Granted my world isn't flipped upside down, but it's still a big deal to me.

Anyway, my mood improved quite a bit after that and I had another really good day following my eating plan, walking a mile at lunchtime, and getting my gallon of water in.  That makes 2 days in a row and I need to keep pushing for the consistency.  Now when I feel like I'm in a bad mood, I'll have to ask myself is it real or is it habit?

Stay Strong!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Day #71 - My Favorite Excuses

Today was a great day health-wise.  I followed my eating plan and I got in my gallon of water.  I also went for a 1.5 mile walk at lunchtime though it was a bit more muddy than I thought it would be.

In the morning when I left for work Mrs FogDog and I agreed "No More Excuses".  As I was walking at lunchtime I started to think about what are my favorite excuses...

Excuse #5 - It's The Weekend

It's not really part of the normal week right?  It's the weekend so it's OK as long as I'm back on track by Monday morning

Excuse #4 - It's a Special Occasion

Birthdays, Holidays, Vacations, they're all special occasions so it's OK to eat unhealthy.  Getting ready to start a diet?  Yeah that's a special occasion too as well as good report cards, sunny weather, and the rare instances when my kids actually behave for more than 1 hour.

Excuse #3 - No Time

This is my favorite excuse when we are out and about or going out to do something.  There's never enough time to pack healthy food.  If we are out and it's getting late there isn't enough time to get home and cook a healthy dinner.  If we are driving somewhere, there's no time to stop and eat healthy; we need to get fast food and eat and drive.

Excuse #2 - I'm Doing It For Someone Else

The noble excuse... Mrs. FogDog had a rough day so let me take her out to eat so she doesn't have to cook.  I hven't spent enough time with the kids so let me take them out to eat so they can have some quality time with me.

Excuse #1 - I Deserve It

My #1 Excuse and it comes in many forms... I ate really well all week so I deserve a break.  I had a stressful day at work so I deserve a treat.  I quit smoking 3 months ago so it's OK if I cheat a little with the eating, I've earned it.

No More Excuses

So now that I've identified my favorite excuses I can learn to identify when I'm trying to use them.  Weekends are still part of the week.  If you have 6 special occasions every month then are they really that special?  There's always time to be healthy or at least be less unhealthy.  I'm not doing it for someone else, it's really for me.  Good actions don't give me permission to eat poorly, what I really deserve is to be healthy and happy.

Those are my favorite excuses, what are yours?

Stay Strong!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Day #70 - That's Crossing the Line

Today was a beautiful day!  I woke up this morning (no alcohol = no hangover) to lots of sunshine and warm weather.  Since it was my last day of vacation and it was too nice to work inside we decided to take the kids for a hike.  There was a Virginia state park called "Leesylvania" near the Potomac River that we decided to check out.  It turned out to be an old plantation owned by Robert E Lee's grandfather. 

Crossing the Line
It was a great hike and I was able to get 3 miles in.  When we got done hiking the kids wanted to go to the shore line and skip rocks and then we saw a fishing pier.  One of my daughters and I decided to walk out to the end of the pier.  About halfway out I noticed a sign that said "Maryland".  Sure enough there was a sign facing the opposite direction that read "Virginia"; it turns out that the state line runs down the river and through the walkway to the fishing pier.  My daughter thought it was the coolest thing in the world and proceeded to cross the line multiple times.

Mrs. FogDog and I spent a good part of the day talking health strategy.  We decided to stick with carb cycling but agreed that we weren't going to count calories or measure portions.  We've done enough dieting in our lifetime that we know each day whether or not we are eating the right amount of calories and we know what a portion size is as well.  The deciding factor came from the idea that whatever we choose to do to get healthy has to be stuff that we could sustain forever. 

In order to stay on schedule with carb cycling, today was actually our unrestricted day.  I didn't eat great but I didn't eat terrible either.  I did introduce my kids to SPAM this morning and they hated it.

Lunch is already made for tomorrow, back to work I go.  Stress will be there, but this time there are no more excuses.  Day #70 is in the books and here comes day #71.

Stay Strong!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Day #69 - Crossroads

Yesterday I asked the question "Have I really changed toward healthy living or am I still making excuses"?  68 days ago I gave myself 3 goals to meet; Quit Smoking, Quit Drinking Alcohol, and Lose 100 Pounds.  At Day 69 I have only succeeded at one of those goals.

After some soul searching today I think I've reached an answer to my question but it's not a simple yes or no.  I HAVE changed, I've thought about healthy living every single day of this journey so far.  I AM committed to becoming healthier, and I know this really isn't optional anymore; I NEED to change.  However, I've also been making excuses lately.  I've been riding the "Quit Smoking" train for all that it has been worth and I've used that as justification to keep drinking and to not eat healthy. 

Even as I put forth effort to stop drinking, I started to use that as an excuse to eat poorly, and then when I started to eat better, I used that as an excuse to let go a little and drink one night. 

So when I ask myself if I've changed, I know the answer is yes because I can see the excuses for what they are.  I can look into the mirror and tell myself that this week was a wasted week; that I had a week of vacation away from the stress (my biggest excuse) and yet somehow I managed to eat poorly and drink alcohol (and as a result gain 1.5 pounds).  I can tell myself that it was a wasted week but at the same time I can put it behind me and renew my commitment.  I don't have to spend another week depressed about last week.

However, change is not enough, I need to add some resolve and I need to make a few adjustments

The first thing on my agenda is to view my progress based on all my goals.  No more riding the "no smoking" train, if I'm not smoking, not drinking, and eating healthy, then I am being successful.  Success in one does not give me justification to give in to temptation in another area.

Second, no more drinking on the weekends.  I'm a recreational drinker, but I've noticed that the recreational drinking ends up hurting my resolve when it comes to eating healthy.  The two are tied together; I cannot lose weight and be healthy if I continue to drink.

Lastly, I need to strive for more consistency.  It's amazing how quickly I swing from one extreme to the other, one day I can be perfect and the next day I'm completely off the rails for the entire day.  I need to work on keeping steady.  It would be better if I was consistently doing and average job than to be constantly alternating between great and terrible. 

So here I am at a crossroads.  I can continue to make excuses or I can learn from my mistakes and push forward.  The decision is an easy one to make; despite the ups and downs I have made progress and it would be a shame to stop here.  Besides, I've said it a few times.  Failure is no longer an option, I NEED to make these changes.  Day #69 is in the books, on to Day #70

Stay Strong!

P.S.- Happy PI Day!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Day #68 - Slow Progress or Excuses?

I spent a good part of today asking myself if I really have changed.  Other than quitting smoking 2 months ago I haven't really made any progress with improving my health.  I'm sure some of you would say that's enough, but lately it feel more like I'm using that one bit of progress as a crutch.

The one thing it feels like I'm missing is consistency.  I do well eating but not so good exercising, then I'll start walking each day but I end up going out to eat more at lunchtime.  On and off it seems to go with no signs of more "good" days than bad.  It's almost like each change gives me an excuse to do poorly in another area.  That's not true change. 

This week has been a great example of more excuses.  I haven't eaten all that great this week, but my rationale is that I'm working hard each day and getting lots of exercise.  Since I don't want to do too much at once it becomes OK for me to eat poorly because my physical activity has increased.  Sounds crazy doesn't it?  It's like that whack-a-mole game; you hit one and another pops up.

I'm starting to think that my commitment to change is moving too slowly.  I don't want to overdo it and burn out with unsustainable change, but right now I think I've gone to the extreme in the other direction, almost to the point of not moving forward at all.

As my vacation comes to a close I still have more to ponder about my progress.  I think it might be time to step it up just a little bit.  On to Day #69.

Stay Strong!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Day #67 - A Few Bumps in the Road

Another great night's sleep and today I was ready to put up tile.  As I began I realized that I was missing a few things so off to the hardware store.  Back at it again when Mrs. FogDog suggested a minor change in the design... back to the hardware store.  By the time I was ready to tile, it was already 1PM. 

I'm doing well with the eating, but I haven't been carb cycling.  I'm so caught up in my remodel that I'm just eating 3 meals a day and trying to drink as much water as I can.  I'm sure I've lost some weight with all the work I've been doing.

Anyway, I'm tired so it's off to bed, more tile work tomorrow.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Day #66 - What a Difference!

Last night I tried taking an Aleve PM to help me get through the night without waking due to joint pain.  I could not believe the difference in how I felt this morning!  I did wake up once in the nights with some knee pain but was able to fall right back asleep without it bothering me.  I woke up this morning and I felt great! I can't remember the last time I felt so good.  All the stiffness and soreness was gone.

I had read somewhere that joint pain and sleep can be a catch-22; you need good rest to help your joints to recover so the won't hurt, but the pain keeps you from getting the good rest.  From how I felt this morning I have to agree

I bought both the Aleve and the Aleve PM.  I figure I'll take the PM version when I really need some deep sleep and just the regular PM for the normal aches and pains.  I like that it's 12 hour so it gets you through the night.

Anyway, from the remodel side, I finished installing the backer boards and I went out today and bought the tile.  I'm all set to start tiling tomorrow; it's going to be a long day because I want to get it all done and let it all set for a day before grouting.

Though the remodel is going well, I didn't do so hot eating today.  Usually when I'm home it's easy to stay on target because there's nothing but healthy food here, but today I made several trips out to the hardware store including once at 5:30PM.  that was enough to convince my wife to stop and get pizza.  I only had 2 slices so I guess that's something to hang my hat on, but I really should be avoiding that stuff altogether.

All in all it's been a decent week, but in terms of my mental state it's been a great week.  I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I absolutely hate my current job.  Being out for a week has done wonders for my mental well-being, but the thought of going back to work on Monday makes my stomach turn.  Mrs FogDog and I agreed that we would fix our health situation first before moving again, so I have a little more motivation.  If I want to get out of here, I'll have to meet my goals!

On to day #67

Stay Strong!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day #65 - Some Eye-Opening Experience

The last time I remodeled a bathroom was about 8 years ago.  That would have put me somewhere around 36 years old.  I don't remember how much I weighed at the time, but it wasn't as much as a I weigh now.  These last couple of days have given me some perspective on just how badly my health has deteriorated.  As I'm sitting here my back is sore, my knees are sore, my legs are sore, my arms are sore.  Every time I sit for a 5 minute break it takes me 10 minutes after I get up to stretch all the soreness out of my muscles.  The simple truth... I feel like an old man.

Now don't get me wrong, the work I'm doing is pretty grueling.  Yesterday was demolition and then carrying everything downstairs.  Today was a trip to the dump to unload all that debris followed by buying all the shower materials and lugging them upstairs.  That would include 9 pieces of backerboard that each weigh about 40 pounds.  Lugging those bad boys upstairs had me wishing we lived in a single floor home.  There's no doubt the work I'm doing is hard on me, and I wouldn't mind some soreness, but this goes past soreness to the point of just feeling like I'm in constant pain.

Last night I had a terrible night's sleep.  Not because of my apnea, but instead because I woke up at around 2AM with knee pain.  No matter what position I was in, the pain wouldn't go away.  I'd start to doze and the pain would come back and wake me again.  Granted I'm working hard at home, but waking up due to knee pain is a fairly common occurrence for me these days.  I went to the store today and bought some Aleve; I'm hoping it will help me to sleep better tonight.

Having this opportunity to compare myself to the me of 8 years ago is a real eye-opener.  I was sore then as well, but not like this.  My joints didn't creak every time I moved.  Things got done faster and I didn't spend a bunch of time trying to figure out "easier" ways to do things to try to spare myself some of the work.

My eyes are open and as bad as I feel right now, I'm grateful for this opportunity.  For starters, I'm grateful that I still can carry drywall up a flight of stairs and that I can lift cement board into place, hold it with one hand, and screw it to the wall with the other.  I'm grateful that it's showing me that if I don't change soon, I won't be able to do those things anymore.  It might sound crazy, but I enjoy this stuff.  I love to remodel and I like to do things on my own; independence is one of my core values. 

I'll be in bed early tomorrow and hopefully get a good night's rest.  Fortunately, most of the heavy lifting is done now and the work becomes a little easier.  Day #65 is in the books, on to Day #66.

Stay Strong!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Day #64 - Missing a Baby Blue Shower

Ugly Baby Blue Shower
Have you seen this shower?  It's missing and presumed dead.  It was last seen hanging out in my master bathroom looking old and dated.  It's been known to consort with it's little brother; baby blue toilet (which is also missing).  If you find this shower, please do not call me.  Instead feel free to contact the 80's; I'm sure they would be happy to take a blue shower and toilet back.  If they do, please tell them to call me as I have baby blue tile that they can have as well.

You would not believe the amount of work it takes to get a one-piece fiberglass shower out.  I spent the entire day tearing the whole stall area apart and then I had to carry all the debris downstairs to my garage.  Needless to say I got plenty of exercise in, and I'm feeling it right now.  I also got all my water in without any problem; demolition always gets me sweating.

A really great start to my first day of vacation.  I'm working hard and I'm eating well.  On top of that it was 65 degrees and sunny today!  Most of the snow is gone and it's supposed to stay this way all week.  Tomorrow I go to the hardware store to pick out a shower basin and all the other stuff I need to prep the walls for tile.  One day at a time.

Stay Strong!
Where did it go??

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Day #63 - Some Monumental Exercise

Not a Cloud in the Sky!
What a beautiful day!  Almost 60 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.  I'm getting excited about spring.  Anyway, we have the in-laws visiting and since the weather was nice we took the opportunity to go into DC.  I got a lot of exercise walking around, first we walked to the Washington Monument (and learned that you need to get there really early to get tickets to go into it), and then we went to the National Air and Space Museum.  All in I think I walked close to 5 miles (and I was definitely feeling it at the end).

By the time we finished, it was 2:30 in the afternoon and I was starving since I hadn't had anything since breakfast.  My wife was smart enough to pack us lunches so we wouldn't have to stop somewhere to get fast food (thumbs up to Mrs. Fogdog).

I didn't get as much water as I should have today, but all in all it was a pretty good day.  I only ate 3 meals which is not really my traditional eating style, but I made do with a house full of family. 

The weather says it's going to be nice weather all week long and I'm officially on vacation.  Bathroom demolition starts tomorrow;  It's going to be a great week!

Stay Strong!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Day #62 - The Small Changes CAN Make a Difference

I couldn't help it, I had to get on the scale.  I had to get on to see what the little changes would do.  If you've been following, this week I chose to do nothing more than focus on eating only healthy food.  Nothing processed, minimal carbs on 2 out of 3 days, and plenty of water.  No calorie counting, no extra exercise, limited sugar (morning coffee only).  It's all part of the entire process I've been going through over the last 60+ days; try to make small changes and move the needle slowly.

So how do you think I did?  Well for starters I'll say that I followed my plan quite well.  It wasn't perfect and I did end up drinking one night and eating some processed chips, but for the most part I stuck to it.  The result...

Starting weight on March 1 - 347.8
Current weight on March 7 - 344.6

First Week Weight Loss - 3.2 pounds

I'm happy that my plan is working.  This last week I did not go hungry.  When I felt hungry I ate, it just had to be healthy food.  Did I eat more than 4 ounces of chicken at dinner?  Yes I did if I was hungry.  Did I go out to eat all week?  Nope, I went out for lunch one time and ordered a salad and water.  I have no plans to go out to eat this weekend either.  I stayed away from processed junk and drank plenty of water.

So what's next?  Well I'm on vacation this week and I'll be remodeling my bathroom.  I expect that I will be burning more calories than usual so I'm going to stick to the plan as it is.  My in-laws are here this weekend and tomorrow I'll get plenty of exercise as we are taking them into DC to visit the Washington Monument and I'm sure we'll get plenty of walking.  With the added exercise I expect I'll be able to lose some more weight this next week; maybe another 3 pounds.

Stay Strong!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Day #61 - Looking Back

Today I start a weeklong vacation!  I'm not going anywhere, the kids have school, but I'm going to start remodeling my master bathroom and bedroom.  The in-laws are coming to visit this weekend so I won't really get started until Monday, but then I'll be ripping out the old blue shower and toilet along with the 80's style baby blue floor tiles.  I'll take pictures along the way to show my progress; next week I should be getting plenty of exercise.

Looking back, this has been a pretty good week.  Not great, not bad, just good.  Originally I thought I would only weigh once a month, but I'm already curious so don't be surprised if I post my weight tomorrow.  Anyway, this week was all about getting back in the habit of eating healthy.  All week long I brought my lunch to work except for today, and when I went out today I ordered a salad.  As for water, I did really well at the start of the week, but trailed off a little in the last 2 days.  It wasn't for a lack of trying, I've noticed the more busy I get at work, the less water I drink and getting ready for vacation kept me hopping for the last 2 days.  Other than some chips and a little alcohol (yeah I know) last night, I was healthy all week long. 

If I do stand on the scale tomorrow I'm pretty confident I'll see a loss.  Day #61 in the books, on to day #62

Stay Strong!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Day #60 - 2 Months Down and More Snow

I can't believe I started this new journey 2 months ago!  Time flies when you're trying to be healthy.  It feels strange, in some ways it feels like I really just started.  I can't believe I've managed to post everyday as well, it definitely keeps me focused on my goals.

I'm thrilled that I made it 2 months without smoking.  Of all the unhealthy things I was doing, that was absolutely the worst.  I don't even think about smoking anymore; something would have to go terribly wrong for me to start again.  The drinking and the eating are coming along nicely, I have to keep telling myself (almost daily) that I can't fix it all at once and be perfect from the start.  I have good days and bad days, but definitely many more good than bad.  What really has me excited is that I've made it through my most depressing months.  As spring comes I will begin to feel even better and with some success at my back I will be unstoppable!


Today we got about 8 inches of snow.  For the DC area that is a lot!  Half of the people at my work left early or didn't even bother to come in.  As the maintenance and facilities manager I took the opportunity to get a little exercise and help my team at the same time; I went out and helped shovel sidewalks twice.  I'm really feeling it now, my back and legs are sore, but it felt good to help and it always helps to show the guys I'm willing to pitch in when they need it.

Right now I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the fact that I've managed to keep pushing on for 2 straight months.  I'd like to start thinking about the next month as spring is coming, but as I've said so many times, I'm just taking it day by day.

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Day #59 - The Search for a Good Walk

It was 50 degrees today; the first such day in a long time.  The warm weather along with my recent healthy eating left me feeling pretty good at lunchtime so I decided to take a walk.  I also decided that I would try to find myself a new place to walk when the weather finally turns better.  There's an unused section of road right near my work that is almost exactly 1 mile if you walk down and back.  While it's ok, it gets boring pretty quick.  I enjoy nature so finding a trail through some woods or something with scenery is preferred.

Anyway I did a quick check online and discovered there's a civil war park within 5 minutes of where I work.  I drove over at lunch time to check it out.  Unfortunately it was way to muddy and there's still snow all over the place, but it looks like it will be a decent trail.  Even better, it's a loop so you don't have to walk down and back (I hate down and back).  It's also 1.25 miles; I walk at about 3 miles/hour so I will have enough time to walk it twice during lunch and get 2.5 miles in. Now I'm excited for the weather to turn so I can walk this trail.

Since the trail was too muddy I decided to improvise and I walked in the major housing development that was adjacent to the park.  With all the looking around at the park I only had time to go 2 miles.  It was nice; Those that have been following would remember that in the beginning of this journey I was trying to walk at lunch time whenever I could.  That sort of fell by the wayside as I put more focus on the smoking and drinking.

All in all it was a pretty good day, my third with focus on eating just healthy food.  Another day in the books; on to tomorrow... Day 60 (and the promise of a big snowstorm!)

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Day #58 - Quiet Success

The last two days have been quite successful.  I've managed to eat nothing but healthy food and on both days I've gotten my gallon of water in.  It's interesting I read a lot of people that talk about struggles with drinking water, but that's never really been a problem for me.  My wife says I'm like a water buffalo.  I find that I have my best success comes when I drink a lot of water each day.  I've actually noticed that I can eat the same amount of calories from week to week, but see vastly different results depending on how much water I drink.

Anyway, I titled this post "quiet success" because that's how it feels right now.  No big hoopla about starting a diet, in fact I'm not even sure you call it a diet; I'm just focused on eating healthy foods.  No counting calories; it feels a little weird like I'm not really doing anything.  But I know I am; just after a few days of eating healthy I feel better.

Today was my second day of no carbs (except for at breakfast).  Tomorrow is a full carb day so I'm looking forward to getting a little more fruit in tomorrow.  The last time I did carb cycling I noticed I was a little tired by the end of the second no carb day.  Today is no exception; I fell a little run down tonight so I think I'll get to bed early.

Still hanging one day at a time, Day #58 is over; on to day #59.

Stay Strong!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Day #57 – My LEGO Tower of Health

When I was a kid I loved to play with LEGOS.  I had a big plastic tub of them and I would spend hours using my imagination to build great structures.  My favorite thing to do was build a tower; I built some really cool towers in my day.  In order to build a cool tower you need 2 things: Materials and a Plan.  You need to take stock of what you have available to work with and you have to craft your plan based on those materials.  I started many towers only to get halfway there and realize I didn’t have enough blocks to finish it.  The plan you create doesn’t have to be exact, and you can improvise along the way, but you at least need the basic framework.  Once you have your basic plan and parts, you are ready to put it all together. 

Even though today is day #57, there’s a part of me that feels like it is more like day #1.  The other 56 days have really been spent getting myself ready to build my tower, and today I’m finally starting to put it together.  That’s when the fun starts right?  You put the plan together and you got yourself ready for the big build.

When I look at past weight loss failures I see a common thread (besides the obvious that they all failed).  I notice that I never really took time to make a plan and take stock of my materials.  Usually it was just a spur of the moment type decision that I was going to flip the switch and instantly become a health nut.  My plan was always the same:  I’m going to track my calories, eat less than 2000 each day, and exercise for at least 30 minutes 6 days a week.  Does that sound familiar to you?  That certainly wasn’t a great plan and I didn’t even bother to check to see if I had the materials needed so ultimately I got halfway into the tower and then realize I couldn’t complete it.

Now when I talk about gathering materials needed to execute my plan I’m talking about more than something physical.  I’m talking about gathering knowledge about who I am and what will (and won’t) work for me.  I’m talking about gathering a little bit of confidence through some small victories and compassion through some failures.  I’m talking about gathering the mental strength I need to complete my tower.

For the first time, I feel like I’ve done what was needed to start building my tower.  I didn’t just dump out the box of parts and start building in random fashion, I took my time and prepared.  I’ve got my parts and my plan; time to start building!

[Photo: Flickr / Matija Grguric]

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Day #56 - The Time Has Come

I'm now 56 days into this journey.  I've done well and I've had setbacks.  I've managed to stay completely 100% smoke free for every one of those days.  The alcohol, well not quite as well, but I'm still trying.  I've posted on this blog every single day; something I thought wasn't all that important but has turned out to be highly therapeutic for me.  As for eating... well let's just say that I'm hanging on trying not to gain weight and go above 349 (my highest weight ever).

These first 55 days have also been about finding the mental fortitude.  I've spent a lot of time focusing on how I feel.  I've worked at shedding the guilt and learning to forgive myself for not being perfect.  I've also learned a few things... I've learned that although I can lean on others for support, I cannot rely on it nor can I blame others for not providing it (just because you need someone to support you, it doesn't mean they are capable of it when you need it).  I've also learned how to cool a hot temptation by distraction.  I've also created 2 visions of my future self; I've spent some time picturing myself 10 years from now if I don't change my ways and if I do.  When I have those hot temptations I try to pause and picture myself as the guy who didn't change.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Anyway, from the outside one would never know how much change I've gone through in 55 days.  Even my wife doesn't really see it, but I do, and that's really what matters.  It all stems from one simple commitment to make my health my number one priority for 1 year and to do it one day at a time.

So now I've started to crawl and I'm ready to take my first step walking.  I'm pulling all three of my goals together and putting complete focus on meeting them.  Just a quick recap of my goals:

  1. Quit Smoking - Complete
  2. Quit Drinking Alcohol - Work in Progress
  3. Lose 100 Pounds - Not yet Started
To be honest, I feel like I'm a little behind for reaching all my goals.  I really didn't anticipate the mental part of this journey taking so long to work through and I truly thought that quitting drinking would be a piece of cake. 

This morning I got on the scale...

347.8 lbs
This is essentially where I started on January 5th.  That's actually OK with me.  I lost a little bit of weight in the beginning but I knew it would be hard to sustain while not smoking.  Smoking is a stimulant and most people gain weight as your metabolism slows a little when you stop smoking.
I briefly thought about changing my last goal to just getting under 300 this year.  100 pounds is probably not too realistic, but 47.8 pounds in the next 10 months is very reasonable.  However, If I change my goal, I will be doing what I've always done... I will be selling myself short before I even begin.
No, I'm keeping my goals as they are.  If I don't make it then I don't make it, but at least I'll give it my best effort.
So as of today, I'll be focusing on all three of my goals at the same time.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm going to start by just focusing on eating only healthy food and following a carb cycle regime.  No calorie counting and no exercise commitment yet (though I will try to move a little more).  Still no smoking and still no alcohol.  It won't be easy, but as always I'll just take it one day at a time.  Here we go...
Stay Strong!