Three Years of Going Nowhere

November 7, 2010 · 15 comments

I’m on the road sitting in a hotel room, reflecting on where I am at with my weight loss journey. The sad truth is that I am about where I am at where I started, if not a little worse, more than three years ago. True, that wasn’t truly the start of my journey but it was the start of blogging about it and at first it really seemed to help. In fact just a month later I would write a post called 4 Reasons You Should Be Writing a Weight Loss Blog, and I meant every word of it. I just spent some time reviewing my posts from that first November three years ago and it was a little startling to remember how much weight I had lost by then, just a few months into it.

I suspect a lot of you (or really, the few of you still left out there reading this) are saying “Hey John, how about you get away from the computer and go for a run?” and you would be right. But my great fear is that if I don’t continue to be public about my struggles (or success) that I’ll go off the path and not get back on. And least by writing here there is an easy path to trying again, and again and again. But maybe I should consider it. Heck, if I could afford it I would seriously consider taking a year off from work and just doing nothing but exercise.

But that’s just a cop out, an excuse that it has to be so difficult that I would have to quit my job. The truth of the matter is that I could easily find a couple of hours a day to exercise even while working and if I did that I am confident I would lose weight. So why can’t I just do that?

It has been a long time where I have even been able to string a couple of great days together. I’m going to try this week. Come Sunday I am going to weigh myself and post a weekly summary like I used to. Maybe that will be the start of a change.

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Cynthia November 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Well, just remember, you are NOT alone! Heaven knows, when I started my blog, I was all gung ho and losing weight and then whoops, gained it back. Lost it again, gained it again. Back and forth, and essentially, more like four years of no progress, other than that I’ve kept the first 20 pounds I lost off. Certainly, my blog got really quiet during the lapses!

Maybe you should try something like what I’m doing, as in find some reward you want and apply that to exercise. It could be as simple as getting to watch a favorite TV show *IF* you do some exercise or it could be earning $$ credit towards something you want to buy. I’m rewarding myself with $6 towards ebook purchases if I get off my butt and do a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise 3x per week. I also reward myself with $10 towards ebooks purchases if I lose a pound.

Yeah, it’s not the prescribed method of just loving yourself enough to do the work to get healthier, but it’s a start. Sometimes, one just has to make the start and find incentive to continue it long enough to really make it a true habit or lifestyle. It’s not only been working for me, but my husband is also doing it and he’s buying music CDs with his credit money. He just tightened his belt another notch today.

Mind you, we are only about 7 weeks in… and maybe there’ll come a point when the reward is not enough to keep us on track. Or maybe, maybe this time, we’ll both go the distance.

You CAN do this! You are already heading in a better direction with your meals, and I know that probably wasn’t easy for you either.

John's Weight Loss Blog November 8, 2010 at 5:52 am

I appreciate your support Cynthia, thank you!

Ed November 8, 2010 at 8:25 am

Keep it up, keep at it…its not the destination but the journey. Think not as to whether you met your goals, but what you have learned on the journey. There lies the value!

Angie November 8, 2010 at 9:11 am

I can truly emphatize with your situation. It’s frustrating, it’s scary, it’s heart rending, it’s depressing, it’s on-going, it’s a sucky situation. I wish you much success this week and am thinking positive losing thoughts for you (and myself :-) ). Have a great week.

Oh and you know soon I’ll have that “no job all the time in the world to exercise” experience thrust upon me - I’ll let you know how it works out.

Angie November 8, 2010 at 9:13 am

I spelled empathize wrong - but i think you know what I meant…

John November 8, 2010 at 10:52 am

Hi John,
Thanks again for posting my article. Anyways I have been scanning some of your posts and have yet to see what I am going to suggest. Do you actually enter your food anywhere? I know you are writing down what you are eating and taking pictures (which is awesome) but have you actually counted the calories on a day to day basis? Do you measure portions? I know that you have lost a ton of weight before so you were obviously doing something right but just though I would offer this advice. I use a website called it is like $9 a month but it will help you track your calorie intake and allows you to make pretty graphs and such.

Also I just wanted to touch on what you said about exercise. Two things, first I think the most important thing about exercise is making it part of your life. It has to become part of your routine for it to become constant. Personally I bike to work and lift most days of the week followed by hockey whenever it is scheduled. It just creates a routine that is much easier to follow than saying I will go 2-3 times a week.

Secondly, exercise is important for weight loss but it is not a must. During the beginning of my weight loss I badly hurt a finger and needed surgery, I was unable to workout for 5 weeks, over that time period I lost 16 pounds. The trick is when you dont workout, you cant eat as much. I am definitly not saying dont workout, but I am saying it is not holding back your weight loss.

Anyways, this could have been an email I guess, but I tend to write a lot, best of luck.

Mark November 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Try to think about it this way- Writing about exercising doesn’t mean you will necessarily exercise but exercising first makes it easier to write about exercising. What I mean is, focus on the exercise and writing about it will be easy. A weekly summary is a great thing to do. You can talk about your progress at the close of each week. Readers can then see how you deal with the ups and downs of exercise and I think that can be very motivating to others.

Cynthia November 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm

The other thing… sometimes we rely too much on the idea of “formal exercise”. You know, running, gym, weights, that kind of stuff. But it’s just as important to find ways to be more active and on your feet moving while not engaged in formal exercise. So that might be a place to start as well.

Lately, though I really don’t much like yard chores or housework, I’m starting to embrace them a bit more, simply because I know it is keeping me burning calories. Cooking and food prep also do that. (I put music on and boogie down when I am in the kitchen.)

Start small, work up. It’s hard to change the habits of a lifetime in a blink.

julie November 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I took 1.5 years off, exercised a bunch, lost 50 pounds. In the 5 months I’ve been back to work, gained 10 back. Actually, I gained it back the first 2 months, been holding since. I eat too much to take it off, but I still exercise a LOT. Exercise just isn’t enough. I’m considering writing it down, but realistically, I can tell when I’m eating stuff that isn’t conducive to weight loss. It really comes down to motivation and planning, at least for me.

AndrewENZ November 8, 2010 at 6:13 pm

To be honest you were one of my inspirations when I started my blog. Andrew is getting fit is a homage to John is fit. I got my blog name from you.

And it actually hurts to read that you haven’t made much progression from back when we started. I know I still haven’t mastered the eating but I have made exercise a habit.

I think you need to go back to the beginning and start small. Choose one thing to improve and stick with it for a week. Maybe no soda - something easy. Then choose another thing. It’s all about little choices that add up.

Having said that, you’ve got to want it. I think that you just don’t want it badly enough. You’ve got to want it enough to change your ways.

John's Weight Loss Blog November 8, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Thanks for the positive thoughts Ang, I’ll pass the same your way regarding your job search. Good luck!

John's Weight Loss Blog November 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Thanks John, I do think it all starts with calories in, that’s for sure. I have tracked calories before via, and in general I stopped once I had a pretty good feel for what made a good day or a bad day. Trust me, when I miss it’s usually by a wide margin - knowing for sure a piece of bread has 60 calories versus 50 isn’t where my problems are! It’s just a level of discipline I couldn’t stay up with.

I’m hoping the photographs keep me honest.

John's Weight Loss Blog November 8, 2010 at 9:19 pm

I feel the same way regarding the daily logging as I wrote above to John - like you said, you know when you are being bad. Good luck getting back on the path! Indeed, I think planning is key.

John's Weight Loss Blog November 8, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I’m so proud of you for your success during roughly the same period in time Andrew. You are right, I may not really want it enough. I don’t know how I couldn’t, but I must not if I’m not willing to do all of the things I know I need to do. Right? Doesn’t make sense I would do that but I think I am. So frustrating. And here you are running marathons. Damn you! :-)

Seriously, I love watching your success. It gives me hope among all the other people who started at the same time as us who have fallen off the face of the blogging earth.

John's Weight Loss Blog November 8, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Thanks for the comments everyone. I can see I’m really going to have to implement threaded comments at some point.

I really didn’t want this to be a “woe is me” post and I certainly don’t want this to be that kind of blog. So I’m going to try to keep this kind of stuff at a minimum. Will be easier to do if I have some success again.

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