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Excuses, excuses, excuses...

Is it me, or just the posts that I happen to read? I have read some pretty creative excuses for falling off the wagon, overeating, and not succeeding at learning to eat healthy and exercise 3 times a week.

People are pretty lazy. That is my perspective.

I am at the top of the list. I have a million excuses for not losing and maintaining my weight. Since last year, I am up over 20 pounds. Seriously, I have lots of good reasons - I mean excuses. Currently I am considered a chronic pain sufferer and I have been going to pain management. I just read this article about pain vs motivation/depression. I am doing my best, but it has been hard - harder than before.

Even the one committed to cardio has excuses (and motivation issues).

I had a heart trauma in April '11, and what I heard afterwards was this: 57% of those that have had a heart attack don't even continue to take their medication after the first refill! Worse, almost 80% make no significant lifestyle changes!

If you are telling yourself there is some reason you cannot lose weight or can't get cardio in, you probably won't!

I don't have time. - If it was going out to dinner you probably would. Look you have time for lots of things, you need to schedule it. If working out is not in your calendar, it is unlikely that you'll win at this game.

I still have time. - You may be young enough where your food and lack of exercise is not a problem, but for most it doesn't work forever - especially past 40. Yeah, I know about your grandmother that drank a case of beer and smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, only ate fried food, dated 5 men at a time and lived until 145. Let me know if you make it.

Everyone in my family is fat. - Why is that? Could it be diet and exercise?

It's a cheat day. - Get out your stones and excuses about shaking up your metabolism blah blah blah. The truth is that cheaters are in the group of roller coaster dieters, from which nearly all of them eventually gain back the weight they lost the other 6 days a week.

I have kids. - Yeah, so take them for a run. I take my 11-year-old walking, running, riding bikes, rollerblading, every chance I get. We plan vacations near bike trails so we can ride. When she was a baby, we just put her in the front pack, or bicycle trailer. My YMCA has kids care as well.

I'm too busy. - Well, health is a choice; it might be time to make it.

The dog/kangaroo didn't eat it. - If you are full at the restaurant, you'll be tempted to eat whatever you bring home before lunch the following day. If that is the case, leave it.

I don't know what to do. - I don't know about you, but most of us here do not have degrees in health and nutrition. MFP is a good guideline for the amount of food, and balance of what we call macros: carbs, protein and fat. Here's a tip, if it is low-cal junk food, its still junk food. Cardio which is truly healthy is when the heart rate goes above 120. This requires walking at 3 mph or possibly higher.

It's too hard to lose weight, I've already tried. - You are correct, and you've proved it. That is why you need to forget dieting. You make changes you can do for the rest of your life.

I can't afford healthy food. - I will agree that a variety of healthy food costs more. Here are some tips for saving money. Drink only water, it's free. Many grocery stores have fruits and veggies that are discounted because they are past fresh: we buy 6 apples for a dollar, 2 peppers for half a buck, and 3 bananas for even less. Over all we find them to be a good value. Brown rice is the same price as white and far better. You'll be eating less, usually 3-4 ounces of meat or fish. You can buy packaged ham and cheese in bulk and freeze it. The same is true for some fruits and veggies. Frozen food isn't horrible, and most canned food can be rinsed to reduce sodium content.

It's too late.  - I'm already _____ years old. - Yup, and tomorrow you be that plus one day. I don't get it.

I'm afraid of failure. - I have met a few folks on MFP that have a lot weight to lose (me I was close to 100). It is a daunting task, and it takes time. Read the Success Story forums and friend those folks who have done what you need to do. I find it inspiring. On average, those that work at it can lose 40-100 lbs in a year. (Yes, I am sure there are some with medical reasons who cannot and I am not talking about them.)

I'm afraid of success! - Being obese for a long period of time becomes a way of life. We set up our enablers, buy cars, furniture and even our personality changes to accommodate our physical state. I sat with a guy the other day that could not fit in the booth at a lunch place. It was sad. Then he ordered a 3000 calories steak bomb.

My significant other doesn't care why should I? - Most mature adults are smart enough not say "I would love you better thinner!" I suppose there are some that have spouses that like them in an unavailable state, but for the most part, our health is our concern. Losing weight has many benefits other than just looking and feeling better.

I can't exercise, there's no place for me to walk/run. - We need to start where we stand. The goal is eating well, and getting in three 30 minute cardio session a week in which we get the heart rate over 120. You can walk in place, by home gym resistance bands, and an array of other things. I bet you can find a treadmill on Craigslist for cheap!

I love to eat. - Yup, me too. I am just enjoying eating better, and less.

I do a lot of traveling for work and find it hard to stick to my weight loss plan. - It is not an easy task to eat out all the time, but many places I have stayed at had a refrigerator and a grocery store nearby.

I've heard that running puts me at risk for knee problems and arthritis later in life. LOL, that's BS. But you can try swimming, use the elliptical or riding a bike.

I Have Bad Knees (bad ankles, bad hips, bad a$$): From here it looks like they can get you back and forth from the store, the bathroom and the refrigerator.

It's just one. - One breakfast muffin is equal to two 30 minute cardio sessions.

It's the holidays. - So? The Bermuda Triangle: Thanksgiving Christmas and New Years. (Or Memorial Day, the 4th and Labor Day.) Flag Day, the dog’s birthday. There are lots of holidays!

I don't cook my own meals. - It's hard to control what others do. I made an agreement with my wife over what I was willing to eat each week. Communication helps, and filling up with a large snack before meals is also another option. If you eat half a bag of baby carrots, you are probably not going to chow down on the fried chicken.

I Have Slow Metabolism: Right, and if your body was a car, it would be in reverse. Personally, mine hit a speed bump at age 40 and broke the steering column.

My Parents didn’t Teach me How to Eat: - Are you kidding, have you looked in the mirror? You are probably good at eating, in fact very good! For God’s sake, birds manage to get south.

It’s Vacation: One of my personal favorites, lots of eating out, and lying around (actually that sounds more like work too). Staying in the hospital is not a vacation.

I Don’t Like Healthy Food: Let me know when the pity party is over. Trust me; you are not going to like heart failure either.

It’s Emotional: WTH? It’s food, nothing else.

I Can Eat Anything I Want! Apparently.

I’ll Start Over Tomorrow: It’s here, now what?

Water Makes Me Gag! Well I guess it’s a good thing you are not a dolphin.

How about you, can you share some your most creative excuses for staying the way you were?

Disclaimer: Look, there are people who have legitimate medical reasons for being where they are. However; if you can get out of bed, you can probably begin to exercise. Seeing as diet is probably 90% of weight loss, you can make better choices.

A quick health update. 2 months post surgery my pain level has dropped from 6-10 with nauseating flares, to 3-6 with occasional dizziness and nausea. At least I am not in bed almost all day. The neurosurgeon said< "This could take as long as 2 years to heal. And... Let's face it, you may never be pain free. We'll do everything we can to keep you comfortable."

Thanks for the votes, comments and friend requests, I very much appreciate them.

Sounds Like Life to Me

This is a small collection of life lessons - well the ones that I could remember today. There are a lot of others in the file, the problem is getting them out.

- Even idiots think they are above average drivers.

- It sucks when you are in an argument and realize that you are wrong.

- Sarcasm is most useful when followed by a smiley. :)

- Folding fitted sheets is better left to professionals.

- Pretending to understand seems sufficient with most people.

- Forgetting is easier after however old you were 10 years ago.

- If you always put your keys in your left front pocket, when you lose them, first ask your spouse.

- I wish Google Maps had an option for avoiding bad neighborhoods.

- Never do anything you don't want to explain to the paramedics.

- The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

- Learning cursive writing was a waste of time and I would like my grades changed to Pass now that it is optional.

- Bad decisions often make good stories.

- Never put off till tomorrow what you can avoid doing all together.

- We never really grow up. We just learn how to act in public.

- You will never find anybody with a compelling reason for observing Daylight Saving Time.

- You should not confuse your career with your life.
- Losing weight is easier when you are young, but most folks can't imagine being 20 years older or 20 pounds heavier in front of a plate of cookies.
- The currency of good relationships is time together.

- No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it way too seriously.

- Success is life is measured by not dying.
Tell us about something that you have learned from life. 

Thanks in advance for the votes and comments, you are truly awesome supporters! And if I decide to do a TV show, I hope you are my first audience.

Week One, Starting Over

I made a commitment to get going on a healthy lifestyle again. It has been a week. Except for the wedding on Saturday, I have been doing pretty well. You know, I am easing in to it.

I am caught in the place between doing what I am supposed to and not seeing much in the way of results.

Because I am not new to this, I am not delusional about how much work starting over is. I need to take care of my whole being, not just my body. I will say, when the body feels good, it's a lot easier to be emotionally and spiritually healthy.

Life in general isn't easy. It's just that some things are worth it.

Yesterday, I had a some nuts for breakfast. I had an apple at snack time, avocado and tomato salad with pineapple salsa (dressing) for lunch, and two small homemade chipotle shrimp tacos for dinner. Then there were a few strawberries for dessert.

It was a good food day.

I wish the effing MFP app worked better and I would probably log it. I'll get there. I am off to a good start. 2 cups of coffee and a some nuts for breakfast today. I am cutting out eggs, keeping the carbs low, and keeping flesh to a minimum. I need to lower my cholesterol and blood sugar.

So far things are better in the blood work department.

I am still running. It is just three miles, three times a week. I am the slowest I have ever been since I started running in 2011, post congestive heart failure. A 14 minute mile is still a mile. Who knows if I will be back to running 21 minute 5Ks. 

In my mind, I am still am.

I have started back to lifting weights, too. It started with recovering my shoulder after surgery in March. I have added some new exercises. Just simple stuff like curls, reverse curls, flies, and presses.

I should look like the Hulk by 2090.

Spiritually things are pretty good. I haven't found a new church that fits me, yet. For now, I keep looking, pray, and find a lot of peace being out on the water in the boat. I have been in contact with some of my faith friends from various places; their phone calls keep me going.

I am right where I am supposed to be for this season.

Creatively, I am writing and playing guitar. It is frustrating, but I am doing it 15 or 20 minutes a few times a week. I am using my brain and spirit to capture moments from my imagination.

It is probably a good thing it is just a few moments.... 

Emotionally, it has been a lot tougher. I really did intend to be 100% after neurosurgery. There have been a few tears. I wrote this yesterday.

"This has been my life since I woke up August 13, 2018. I have had 4 ER visits, a pile of steroids, painkillers, pain relievers, Botox, anticonvulsants, chiropractic care, PT, dry needling, massage, 3 spinal injections, and 2 major surgeries since March. I have seen 6 neurologists, 2 neurosurgeons, an ENT, an oral surgeon, a physiatrist, and a PCP; totaling over 100 appointments.

Surgery has reduced my pain from virtually nauseating and unbearable to mildly debilitating. The nerve damage was severe enough that it could take another year or even two to get the maximum benefit - or possibly not.

It’s always easier when you can take a drug or have a procedure and be well in a few weeks time. Chronic pain is sometimes invisible to even the most educated. If you see me out and around, it’s because I am handling it."

Starting Over Again

Today I am starting over, again! It's the first time since I joined MFP in 2011 that I need a total overhaul of my lifestyle. I am really tired of getting up and feeling worn out, depressed, fat, and lazy.

It sucks.

I had a self assignment to get running, writing, and music back in my life. Today I am adding in food. I need to get this back under control. I am up 25 pounds and I hate it. I miss running and it makes me depressed. 

I miss being creative, I guess I am bored.

Sure, I have a lot going on. Doesn't everyone? I know there is no perfect life. Something is always off the rails - work, food, relationships, kids, and in my case, health. I have had my share for sure.

Yesterday I had my yearly colonoscopy.

It was my fifth one in 7 years. It is under anesthesia, therefore you need a ride home. I arranged that with a new friend in the area. He lives a few minutes from the hospital which in turn, is a few minutes from my home.

I got there promptly at 7:30, one half hour early as requested.

After the nurse asked me my name, she the asked where my ride was? What time will I be done, I asked?

"We can't begin until they are here." she said with a bit of a pissy attitude.

Well, she must have forgotten that I haven't eaten for 48 hours, not to mention I was up at 2:30 am to sit on the toilet for 3 hours. "What, you mean I need a babysitter? "Seriously," I retorted?

"We can't start until your ride is here." she said.

In my nicest Jesus-flipped-over-the-tables-of-the-money-changers  voice, I said, "Well, that is BS!" and dialed my friends phone number as I walked out into the hallway.

I came back in and sat down. I was going to be 90 minutes until my buddy could get there.

The nurse came out to ask if I was ready and explained they couldn't start until my ride was there. "It's cool, he's on his way." I said without looking up.

The snippy receptionist asked when my ride would be there. "On his way." I said while messing with my phone. 

The head of nursing came out to explain they couldn't start looking in my ass until my ride was there. "I know, I need a babysitter. I was advised." I said after her speech. (The papers and phone reminders only said I was supposed to have a ride, not that they had to be there during the procedure.)

The receptionist said they could do this without anesthesia. "Are you kidding? Hell no!" I replied.

"I can't even wipe myself without meth," I thought to myself.

The anesthesiologist came out to talk to me. She apologized for the delay. Then she asked me when my ride would be there. "As soon as possible. I'm sorry I can't fix this." I replied.

They started taking others before me.

I thought maybe I should be nicer to people who were going to stick stuff up my butt. I just couldn't do it. Maybe I would regret this day. I looked around the waiting room and thought about all those normal people prepping. It made me nauseous.

Finally my buddy showed up. They whisked me off to pre-op and stuck me in a bay. 

The nurse (and everyone else knew I was mad) so they all played nice. "That's a really awesome tattoo you have," he said. (It's a dragon and a tiger on my forearm.)

"I got it after my first assassination." I said without making eye contact. "I am just kidding. I got it after I ran the Tokyo Marathon."

Things moved along pretty quickly and I could feel the Propofal taking effect. It's a little game I play. I hang on to consciousness as long as possible. The last thing I remember is the nurses butt in my face as she turned around to adjust the classic rock.

Finally I am in recovery!

Another nurse start's talking like Charlie Brown's teacher. My buddy is there. Things start to become a little clearer. The nurse says she can take out my IV and I can get dressed and leave whenever I want.

She peels the tape from my arm and comments on my tattoo.

Then places the used tape on the sheet right over my crotch. I was at a loss for words. I was going to tell her about my tattoo. But this what came out. "Why are you putting tape on my crotch?"

My friend was laughing.

Just then the doctor came in to say what he found. "Just one polyp, and I doubt it is cancerous." I thanked him. Inside I was sooo very grateful to be colon cancer-free.

My gratitude was interrupted by a tug on the sheets above my man-parts. The nurse was removing the used tape.

When I woke up this morning, I started doing things that are hard for me right now. Writing this blog was one of them.

Things 3000 Days Has Taught Me

I have been at this journey for well over 3000 days. And in some circles that makes me an expert. :P There are a few observations I have made about where I am at in all this. I am also endlessly amused at the some of the stuff people believe about weight loss, running, and exercise in general. I believed some of that stuff too.

Uh oh, here he goes. Time to report him to the blog Nazis!

Here is what I am seeing:

- You feel fat after you eat and you feel thinner after you exercise.

- People are not allergic to water; they are often addicted to sugar.

- If you spice up your plain food, the dogs won't eat the leftovers.

- Runners don't care if their dog has diarrhea, they run with them anyway.

- The best way to lose the last 10 pounds is liposuction.

- Once they can see it, men look at their junk a lot more often then they realize.

- A new purse isn't going to change the scale.

- The scale going down is not an indicator of fitness.

- Sucking it in doesn't work on bingo wings and love handles.

- Endorphins are the nectar of the workout gods.

- Spilling a $6.00 energy drink is the adult equivalent of a child loosing a helium balloon.

- Turn off your flash, and put away feminine products and sex toys when taking success and progress pictures in the bathroom.

How do I know these things? I wrote a book about it.

Thanks for being on the journey, for your friendship, and your support. David

I Have a Lot of Work Ahead of Me

Yesterday I had my follow-up with the neurosurgeon. He is very pleased with the healing of the incisions and all the surgery appears to feel and respond as expected. He is also pleased that my pain levels are down from 7 to 3 with NSAIDs and Tylenol.

My progress is right on track.

It has been a crazy track - a entire year of debilitating pain. The surgeon said I had severe compression similar to a whiplash patient. I have not been able to work as a software engineer or do anything which requires critical, detailed, or logical thinking. Not even drive. I have gained 25 pounds due to inactivity, medication, and poor food choices.

I mean I now live in the south!

The doctor said I can run and thought it might be good for me. Good for me?! It is good for everyone who knows me! I did sneak in a 3-miler the other day. Some of it felt good. It did make my head throb. In any case, I will be running no matter what it feels like.

Seriously, do you know anything about me?

As far as my cognitive abilities, they are also improving. I have picked up the guitar after a very long time. I will be trying to work on my book to engage the mind a bit more.

And there is always Jeopardy at 7:30!

Today is the first day the I go shopping where I will be making a serious effort to get this weight under control. I am still taking the Gabapentin which is of the devil, but I need the nerves in my head to heal.

Today I am making a meal plan and going for a 3 mile run.

This condition has made a real mess of my life. The doctor is fine if I work. Currently I don't have a job. I am still spending quite a bit of time resting. I still have chronic pain which makes it hard to focus; although it is better. I am sort of stuck between short-term disability, long term disability, and permanent disability.

I certainly am grateful to be feeling better, but I am not sure what the next move is.

Oh right, make a food plan and run 3 miles.

Today I Don't Want to Be Strong

My 15-year-old is visiting for a few weeks and we are having fun. We've been to the beach, the bookstores, the art museum, the Oceanfront, Waterside, the Mermaid factory and the Grilled Cheese Bistro! We have also done a lot of boating. Out there in the sunshine, watching the coastal scenery, looking at the dolphins at play, spotting blue heron, egret and bald eagles - and she is great at making peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

It has been nice. She is a good kid - and a bit like her father.

Me: Charlotte, don't be a smartass.

Charlotte: I am practicing to be your successor.

I was listening to the radio with her and that song came on; What Doesn't Kill You Still Sucks - or whatever. I was all set to sit down and write about something other than a health condition. I was going to open a can of my finest smartassery and have some fun.

Getting up without a "that" headache has been good.

The first few days are exciting post surgery. I mean, morphine is exciting! Not having a 7-level migraine is good. I admit it, I am struggling to be positive. When I had my knee repaired, it was surgery + healing = cured. It was pretty much the same with the shoulder repair I had in March.

In 2011 I used this blog to get through congestive heart failure.

I was afraid my life was over in so many ways. I thought I might just sit in a chair taking medicine, being depressed, waiting to die. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was also afraid.

Not running (hoping to be cleared on Monday) has taken away my antidepressant.

Each time I have had a major health issue, I made a goal. After heart failure, I ran the marathon, and after cancer I ran the World Majors. Now that I am working through occipital neuralgia, I wanted to make another goal.

I was thinking about running 50 half marathons in 50 states.

Then I sat here and thought of all the work that would take. I am still not sure I am/will be cured. Everyday that goes by and I have a headache, even the kind that can be managed with Tylenol, I am afraid I won't get better.

The neurosurgeon said it could take a year to see results.

Meanwhile, I have not worked in a year and I don't have a job. I am still waiting to see where I stand with disability. At the moment, I am still unable to work full-time. I can barely keep up with my kid on vacation.

Today, I don't feel like being strong, having faith, or whatever it takes.

I just need to get back to running... hoping everything will fall into place after that.

How A Year Can Change You

Today marks 1 year the migraine-like headache had me in the ER. They thought it was a stroke. I can’t begin to describe the scorching pain. They gave me torodol, fentanyl, and Zofran that day.

I would be hard pressed to count the number of times I was in a hospital in the past year.

There were four ER visits in the first six weeks. Then I had four ER visits in a single week in March. Add to that, two kidney surgeries, a rotator cuff repair, and nerve decompression surgery not even two weeks ago. Let's not forget MRIs and injections.

It has been a long painful year.

I had to run a calendar report for disability and there are over 125 doctors appointments in the past year. My wife is on a hugging basis with the anesthesiologist at Bon Secours Hospital. We have a favorite nurse at Chesapeake Regional, and one of the PAs at Sentara Princess Anne made us crack up. Her sense of humor makes us smile every time we think of it. I am greeted by first name at the orthopedics office and the drug store.

I am hoping this chronic pain journey is coming to an end.

Despite all the health related stuff, I have made the very best of this year. I moved to the waterside and bought a boat. It is a life-long dream come true. I ran Tokyo and finished my World Majors Challenge.  There are thousands of great moments with my wife, kids, and friends.

I am blessed!

Post Op Day 11: The 3 surgical incisions are healing nicely - a little itchy but good progress. The really bad headaches which seem to stage themselves as a brain injury, are pretty much gone. The chronic tinnitus is pretty well gone as well. I am assuming the sleep apnea has also diminished. I am sleeping better and no reports from Ruth. My shoulder is back to 95% usefulness and with a little pain doing various tasks.

That leaves the disc issue in my upper spine.

It has been aggravated by the surgery. The doctor said it should calm down by week 4. I certainly hope so. I have had enough pain for a lifetime. The good news is that the cervical pain, to some extent, responds to Tylenol and Motrin. I am about 75% right now with pain levels around 3 or 4.

That is so much better than the daily 6 or 7.

Managing Emotions and Fitness

Some days I don't really know about life. I have taken a few hits since I first joined MFP in 2011. I suffered congestive heart failure that year. It's a big deal. You know it took 8 months to recover and a year to complete Couch to 5K. I am glad I ran even if the doctors told me never to run.

Running helps my emotional state.

In October of 2013 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I am still working through the treatment options for that one. I have been on active surveillance. I have an MRI on Thursday. I am praying nothing new show up. In 2014 and 2015 I was diagnosed with Basil Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. In 2015 I had a small colon tumor removed. In 2016 I had two more tumors removed. I am back in for a check up in September.

Cancer sucks.

Last summer, I was diagnosed with occipital neuralgia. It really sucks. The chronic migraine has made everything more difficult. I have been out of work for just about a year. A whole year! I have worked since I was 14. Except for a few stints of unemployment, I have worked for over 40 years. I have to schedule runs and be very careful about what I bring home to eat. I gained 20 pounds. At 220, I am still not at 300!

As of today I have been 100% successful in not dying from difficult times.

I am glad that I had those 8 months recovering from heart disease to lay a foundation. I weighed my food and logged every dang meal for well over 3 years.

I have gone back to that a few times.

I still don't have cheat meals. God knows there are enough days in a year where I can't control the menu. I still don't eat a lot of things from fast food to pretty much anything containing lots of carbs.

I still stick to the Superfoods. MORE HERE

I have decided to live. A few years ago I wrote: "If I were to make a list of the crap that has gone down in the last few years I would probably shoot myself before I finished writing it. Today, I am focusing on my progress not my history. I have lost almost 80 pounds and went from a wheezing-fat-old-guy to a slimmer, fitter runner."

Sadly, my blood work isn't looking as good as it did some years back.

I have been experimenting with some diet changes. In fact I am thinking of giving up eating all together... The weight/diet/fitness thing is tough. I am working towards a much more plant-based regimen.

As a runner I have overcome a lot.

Most of it was mental. I just didn't think I could do anything. I even had medication and doctor's opinions to bolster my excuses. I found a hundred reasons to quit, and only one to help me succeed: a better life. How I feel at the end of a run is the only reward I have. It's not the bling, the cheering, the personal accomplishments, no, it's how I feel.

I remember when a 5K was about as daunting a run as I ever thought I could face. I ran it. I took my stupid tumors to the starting lines of all six World Major Marathons.

My new chapter in life, married, living on the water, is nearly prefect.

For now, I am living life on purpose. I have been for a while. You know, planning to do things I was putting off, and putting off things I was planning. I still say "I love you" more and get a second goodbye kiss from Ruth. You look up friends you haven't seen in a while. You shut out the people that minimize your feelings by saying, "It's early, at least you won't die.", "My dad had that an he was fine." or "My uncle had that an he died."

I will report back in after my neurosurgery next week.

For today, I am praying and living in the moment. Tomorrow may never come, and I don't know if I've "got this." I don't know if I will win against the Big-C or not. I don't know if neurosurgery will cure me. I just know that I am looking forward to being with my favorite woman, hugging my kids, catching a little sunshine, getting out on the water, and letting the things of God swirl around in my spirit.


Dedication vs Willpower, What Will You Do?

If this journey was up to willpower alone, I'd be 400 pounds by now! There were a bunch of things I tried to lose weight. I tried not eating, eating diet meals, shakes, fads, and I thought of vomiting it back up too.

I just don't have willpower.

Basically I am addict. I smoked too much, drank too much, and ate too much. I couldn't fix any of that. I was lucky enough to enjoy sports until I was in college - then I switched to drugs and rock music.

Maybe that was just a generational thing. :)

I tried quitting all kinds of things I started. I just couldn't hold on for too long. And I am pretty strong-willed. In the end, I failed miserably. I always quit quitting.

Even prayer didn't seem to work.

So how did I get out of the willpower trap? I became dedicated. Willpower says I won't _______. Dedication says I will _______. I identified the things that I should be doing instead of concentrating on what I shouldn't be doing.

I stopped making excuses. I stopped giving myself permission to fail.

Instead of dieting I dedicated my efforts to changing my lifestyle. I changed my relationship to food, drink, and even exercise. Dedication is a commitment to doing. Willpower is a frail attempt to fight off cravings.

David's Top 10 list of things he is dedicated to:
1: Portion Control - I got a food scale, smaller plates, and smaller food tubs.
2: Reading Labels - even though I don't log daily anymore (I did for years), I read a lot. Truthfully, I don't buy too many things that even have a label.
3: Running - I run 3 days a week, sometimes 6. I do body weight strength training and stretch daily.
4: No Cheat Days - There are enough holidays and special occasions to make for some tough food choices.
5: No Junk Food - I do not keep anything junky in the house. If I go for a special occasion or treat, it's out, and it's over and done with.
6: Organic/Whole Foods - I eat mostly fresh fruit, veggies, and nuts I still eat canned beans and an occasionally artichoke hearts or olives.I am not 100% plant based, but I am moving in that direction. The carbs are killing me.
7: Weigh In Weekly - No better ways to keep an eye on things.
8: Water - lots of water!
9: Bacon - It's my favorite. A world without bacon is boring. So I eat nitrate free from grass fed pigs. It's a treat from time to time. I would add that a lot of protein has been essential to my weight loss journey.
10: Regular Check Ups - it seems that the doc is a solid partner for my weight loss and that helps keep me on track.

I do login here every day to see what everyone is up to. I used to be dedicated to it, but now it is one of my daily routines.

Thanks for the votes and comments!
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