Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why We Fail

January, 2007 – Well, I’ve been preparing myself for this, and here it is. Just weighed in at 293.6. Pants are tight as can be. Exercise at an almost all-time low. Eating completely out of control. Let’s see if I’ve got what it takes to do right.

April, 2007 – Okay, this is a matter of life and death now. A person in the office upstairs died in their car from a stroke, a result of high blood pressure (my bp was crazy high when I went to doc for my foot). She was 48. Throw in my high level of stress and poor eating habits and I’m ripe to go down early. Yuck. Feel bad.

December, 2007 – Last night of the year. I’m at home with a wrenched back from playing ball yesterday. This is it. I’m really not doing very well. Feeling crappy. Eating terribly. Not exercising much. Not accomplishing much. I’m ready to get it going again. I’ve got to. It’s now or never.

July, 2008 – It’s on like a chicken bone.

April, 2008Been doing decent enough job keeping after it, but still eating (and drinking) too much. Think I’m ready to have a go at doing better.

January, 2009 So I’m starting over…

Starting… and then starting over.

Again and again and again.

People accuse me of making this weight-loss business look easy, but that’s because they don’t know that I’ve rammed my head into that brick wall more times than I care to admit. The dated blurbs above are some of my journal entries from a couple of year’s worth of failed attempts at losing my weight. I start with such fervor and focus and somewhere along the line, I simply lose my way…

Over and over, I’ve gotten a nice running start… and gone nowhere.

I’ve gone back to Square One so many times that I started listing it as my primary address.

I’ve overdone it with the do-overs, absolutely worn out the “reset” button.

I’ve committed myself and re-committed myself, but more often than not I’ve fallen flat on my face.

Believe me, I know what it’s like… but I also understand something else: there’s no shame in tripping up, no disgrace in falling down. It’s just something that happens to the best of us, to all of us.

And even if you mess it up a dozen times, a hundred times… even if you start each Monday with freshly minted determination and end each Saturday night with your arm elbow deep into an order of chili cheese fries… I encourage you to keep trying, to keep fighting the good fight.

Because one day that spark is going to ignite, and a rampant wildfire of inspiration and dedication will spontaneously embrace you, engulf you, consume you. It will singe your bad habits and scorch your doubts, and it will blaze a path to a better place.

I can’t for the life of me distinguish the catalyst that makes one weight-loss journey successful when so many before it had failed so spectacularly. I wish I could isolate and identify it when it goes missing, awake and arouse it when it lies dormant.

But I can’t. All I can do is keep trying, and hold on for all I’m worth when that spark does catch. Try to ride that lightning bolt all the way home…

I hope you’re on a solid path today, your bags packed with persistence and purpose. I hope you’ve got your heels dug in and your mind firmly wrapped around what you need to do in order to achieve your goals. I hope you find strength in your heart, hope and support from those around you and a plan that gives you every opportunity to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

I’ve seen enough lost causes and dashed dreams to last a lifetime; I want to see you make this happen.


  1. You are 100% correct. It's only when we stop trying completely that we fail. As long as we just keep trying there's a chance that this will be the time everything clicks.

  2. I needed to read this today. It's time for me to start over.

  3. I absolutely love this post. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great message. You are the one person you should NEVER give up on.

  5. YES! I wish I could shout from the rooftops that we all eff up, it's dusting ourselves off and getting back at it that MATTERS.

  6. This makes me think of my favorite quote

    Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but rising every time we fall.

  7. Why does this have to be so hard? I want so much to fix this...

  8. “Fall seven times and stand up eight.”

    Japanese Proverb

  9. Why is there no bowing smiley icon when you need it!

  10. Great post...You gotta dust yourself off and try again!

  11. We are only human.... but so were all the great ones... like Superman!! LOL j/k Sometimes the best feeling in the world is acknowledging that you effed up and turning it all around.

  12. Thomas Edison said "Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward...."

    We all make mistakes. Hopefully we learn from those mistakes

  13. Thank you. I needed this today.

  14. You are SO inspiring! And you crack me up! I, too, have worn out the reset button. But I did the same thing when I was trying to quit smoking. Tore up so many packs of cigarettes, stopped (and started) so many times. But one day 26 years ago, it took! And I never smoked again.
    Of course, I did just transfer the addiction to eating and gained 100 pounds. But if I could do it once, I can do it again.

  15. and it shines through. that you want US the great unwashed masses to succeed as you have.


  16. I like it when you are funny, but I LOVE it when you are serious.



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