This morning, for the first time in more than eight years, I weighed in at 200 pounds.

I am not proud of this fact but it’s the truth. I own it. I got to this point through my own actions, not because some cruel tormenter force-fed me cheeseburgers and beer.

When I’m overweight, I tend to internalize the problem, which generally leads to a vicious cycle of overeating, shame, and self-loathing. While I’m older now and more aware of my mental processes, I still struggle with self-defeating thought and behavior. (This is exacerbated, of course, by my recent battle with depression. In fact, I suspect the depression has a hand in my life-long weight issues. The onset of both seem to be correlated.)

Being fat affects my self-confidence and self-esteem. I’m less likely to be social. When I do go out and see people, I’m less engaging (and I know it). Right now, my weight is actually hindering my work too. In April, I started a Get Rich Slowly channel on YouTube. My goal is to produce a couple of videos per month — but I’m not willing to put myself on camera at the moment.

In short: Like many people, I allow my physical make-up to dictate my mental make-up.

People are funny like that. We internalize stuff that ought not to be internalized. When we do, it becomes much more difficult to do the right thing, to make the changes that need to be made.

Take money, for instance.

Net Worth Is NOT Self-Worth

People allow their net worth to dictate their self-worth. This is true at every level of wealth.

At one extreme, you have folks like the guy in the video below who — because they’re rich — believe that they’re better than everybody else, exempt from the normal rules of society:

On the other end of the spectrum, you find folks who feel terrible about themselves because they’re buried under a mountain of debt.

In my personal life, I’ve seen tons of examples of how folks conflate net worth with self-worth. Heck, I’ve done it myself!

  • Back when I was trying to figure out how money worked, my debt made me feel like I was drowning, like I could not catch a breath. I felt miserable. I felt like I’d never amount to anything, as if my debt were an accurate measure of who I was as a person.
  • My father — who would have turned 73 yesterday — internalized money too. For most of my childhood, my parents struggled to make ends meet. Dad often told us that he felt like a failure because he couldn’t give us everything he wanted to give us. When the ladies from church brought us food, he was mortified. Mom and dad rarely had people over to the house because they were ashamed that we lived in a run-down mobile home.
  • More recently, my little brother (who, at 45, isn’t exactly “little” anymore) went through some rough times. A decade ago, he lost two homes to foreclosure. He declared bankruptcy. He moved his family to Seattle to make a clean start, but he couldn’t find work. “I don’t feel like a man,” he told me at the time, unknowingly broaching an interesting issue of gender dynamics. “I can’t provide for my family. My wife is the one earning money. It’s killing me.” (I’m pleased to report that Tony has managed to turn things around and seems to be doing well these days.)

In some ways, it’s natural that we internalize factors like our fitness and our finances. They are, after all, scorecards of sorts. When I weigh in at 200 pounds, that’s an objective reflection of everything I’ve done to my body during my 49 years on this planet. My net worth is an objective reflection of every penny I’ve earned or spent during my life.

Both weight and net worth serve as a scorecard for how well we’ve managed our fitness and finances, but they’re not complete measures. That’s why we use other numbers, such as BMI and muscle mass (for fitness) or saving rate and income (for finance).

Plus, it’s important to note that while for most of us, most of our weight and/or net worth is a result of the quality of our decisions, chance does play a role. Some folks are born into better situations than others. And some people suffer misfortune (or enjoy lucky breaks) that drastically affects their situation.

If I believe we shouldn’t internalize factors like weight and net worth — and I do believe that — what then is the alternative?

Moving From Emotional to Analytical

I think it’s better for our mental health if we do our best to approach these things analytically. This can be tough to do, I know, but to the extent you can temporarily set aside your emotions and feelings, you’ll have greater success at correcting the problems and feeling better about yourself in the long run.

That’s not to say that you should turn yourself into a robot. Nor am I asking you to suddenly become Sheldon Cooper. Instead, I want you to become more mindful and methodical about your approach to problems like money and diet.

This is issue — emotional vs. analytical — sometimes causes a divide in the world of personal finance. There are some experts who are wholly analytical and cannot fathom why people struggle with debt. They also don’t understand why you’d possibly want to pay off your low-balance debts first (using the Dave Ramsey version of the debt snowball) instead of repaying high-interest debt first (the optimal version of the debt snowball).

But, as I’ve said for over a decade now, people wouldn’t struggle with consumer debt if they were thinking logically. Asking them to make an instant leap from illogical to logical does’t work. We shouldn’t ask it of them.

Suboptimal (but effective) methods are a great place to start down the path toward better money management. In time, baby steps can lead to giant strides.

When I finally resolved to get out of debt in 2004, I took an analytical approach. I didn’t turn into the hyper-logical Spock of personal finance (ha!) but I did decide to run my budget like a business. I decided to become the Chief Financial Officer of my own life. That made all the difference. (For more on this, check out the Get Rich Slowly course.)

Breaking Free From Emotional Actions

Moving from emotional to analytical has helped others too. In her book Dear Debt, Melanie Lockert writes:

“The emotions related to debt can be so consuming and overwhelming that they actually detract us from making progress toward paying off our debt. For so long, I was embarrassed by my debt. I carried around with me, feeling like I had nothing to show for it.”

How did Lockert turn things around? “The one thing that changed my life for the better was changing my relationship with money and how I thought about it,” she writes. She shifted, as best she could, from emotional to analytical. “I began to take action instead of dwelling on disappointments and complaining…” She made plans. She followed through on them.

This same approach works for fitness.

In Breaking Free from Emotional Eating, author Geneen Roth (no relation) urges readers to develop awareness, and from that awareness to formulate a plan and take action. Just as I’m a fan of tracking your spending, she’s a fan of tracking your eating:

“Keep a chart of what you ate, the times at which you ate, and whether or not you were hungry before you ate. The importance of a chart is that it reveals your patterns with food exactly as they are and not how you imagine them to be.”

This is exactly what I say about expense tracking. Its value is that it lets you see what you really do, not what you think you do. It’s all too easy to lie to yourself — or simply to be blind to your habits. (I know that Kim and I eat out a lot, but if I didn’t track my spending I’d have no idea that we spend more on restaurants than groceries!)

Final Thoughts

Over the past couple of weeks, Kim and I have talked a lot about our fitness (or lack thereof). Neither one of us is happy with what we’ve allowed to happen. We’re both ready to change. We want to change together.

To that end, I’ve been working with a personal trainer for the past six weeks. I’m becoming accustomed again to exercising every day. After talking to several friends who have enjoyed great success with Weight Watchers, Kim and I are going to do the program together. And because I know how important it is for me to track my stats, I’m going to track my stats. When I do this, it helps me to externalize the problem instead of internalize it. Making spreadsheets encourages me to stay in an analytical mindspace rather than an emotional one.

The same things that help me with my finances help me with my fitness. In the past, I’ve experienced success only when I’ve stopped being emotional about eating and started being analytical. I track stats. I keep spreadsheets. I make plans. I accept mistakes as minor glitches and don’t let them derail my progress.

The bottom line? The more I’m able to move from emotional to analytical, the better I do with fitness and finance.

49 Replies to “Moving from emotional to analytical (with finance and fitness)”

  1. herman schwartz says:

    I hate to break the news to you but nobody really cares what you look like. When you make a video we’re listening to your words. We’re not looking at the circumference of your waist. You’re not a stud muffin. How much money are you wasting with a personal trainer? Weight Watchers is good but you can down load a free app called ‘My Fitness Pal’ and track everything that goes into your mouth including your daily exercising. You answer a simple questionaire, your calories, fat and carbs are pre-determined, you post what you eat. Want to eat more? Exercise more. The app links to your iPhone and tracks your steps and daily moves and recalculates how much you can eat. Plus there are free training videos on how to exercise.
    People are so vain. Unless you’re modeling clothes nobody really cares what you look like. Sorry to disappoint you. Ditto for your finances. We all know looks can be deceiving, especially in finance. Nobody judges anymore on your possessions. Get over it.
    And get back to making videos and cut the crap. You still look good in closeups. Cecille B. DeMille would be so proud!

    • J.D. Roth says:

      It’s one thing to understand intellectually that “nobody cares what you look like”; it’s another to actually live that, you know? 🙂

      • Ris says:

        If you have the money and it will help you, absolutely get a personal trainer and try out Weight Watchers. What works for some people (a free app) doesn’t work for others, etc. Good luck!

      • El Nerdo says:

        Ok, I missed this earlier— here’s a suggestion to get on with the work: make your videos about the subject not about you.

        In other words, get yourself out of the camera and post pictures, graphs, charts, infographics, etc.

        Personally, I don’t care for talking head videos. Waste of bandwidth when you could just listen to a podcast say the same thing.

        So— work on your appearance independently and make your video a video.

        • J.D. Roth says:

          Haha. I like this advice — I do! — but your suggestion requires WORK. 😉

          • El Nerdo says:

            Really easy on something like iMovie. Or whatever Windows equivalent you might have.

            Images don’t even need to move— you just have to change static images to illustrate what you’re saying.

            Basically a slideshow with a voiceover.

            (With cats, of course.)

            Easy! (Easier said that done, lol).

            But no, really. Mira:

            Basically, it’s an article that you write and illustrate like here, then read it outloud.

            Actually… you could turn any of these articles into a video.

            Hmmm… ok lol it was just an idea.

          • J.D. Roth says:

            Nerdo, I love this idea. Seriously. It solves some problems I’d been having with which direction to go with video. Illustrated articles! I like it.

          • El Nerdo says:

            ha ha, well, if you liked the idea here’s further thought:

            first you write an article for publication

            then you script and produce the same content as both video and podcast.

            takes a bit of tweaking obviously, but the main ideas and research remain, just the presentation gets adjusted a bit.

            conversely, when you interview someone you can post the interview as a podcast, then edit for publication, etc.

            you get the idea

    • S.G. says:

      I agree, I don’t care what JD looks like, but fitness is about more than looks. It is about being healthy and living a long life. It is also about depression, fitness fights depression in many ways, not just via a boost to your vanity when you look better, but also in giving you higher energy levels, increasing feel-good hormones, as well as a feeling of accomplishment.

      • Kris g says:

        I know what it’s like at this place point with your weight, as I also had a wake-up moment recently. (At age 50….)Something I found as a free alternative to Weight Watchers is the app itrackbites. It follows the same system as WW, but without the $20/ month fee! It has taught me how to make over my eating habits, especially my love of sweets. Highly recommend.

  2. Steveark says:

    Hey JD don’t listen to him, of course you are are a stud muffin with those rakish good looks of yours! It is normal for people to gain a little over time but with your focus and self knowledge and general will for success it is not going to be a big issue for you. My wife and I are in our 60’s and we run 18 miles a week and play tennis four or five times a week at a pretty competitive level so we don’t really have to do much else to maintain our weight. My wife is a fitness beast, fast and strong, I think trying to not look awful next to her is my main motivation!

    • Mike in NH says:

      Haha…sorry just cracked myself up thinking how “it’s normal to gain a little over time” is the fitness version of lifestyle creep 🙂

      • J.D. Roth says:

        Ha. It certainly is. And that reminds me that while I was composing this article in my head during this morning’s dogwalk, I wanted to talk about how exercise is the fitness version of income. Being overweight is the fitness version of debt. The crazy thing (to me) is that my recent weight gain — fitness debt — has come while I’ve actually been doing lots of regular light exercise — enjoying an increased income. Goes to show you that my spending (calorie consumption) has been out of control!

        • Mike in NH says:

          A lot of people say finance and health are not the same, but I’m with you, I see parallels everywhere in those two spaces. You touched on it briefly JD, but one of my long standing combo fitness & financial goals is to spend less on restaurants than I spend on groceries. Just flipping that script alone you get yourself a two for one benefit. One of our favorite hacks is if we were thinking of going out, we check the menu, and make the item ourselves instead. Saves us money, we get a reasonable portion size (as a kid who didn’t grow up with much I am a proud/founding member of the clean plate club), we know what the ingredients are and can adjust accordingly, and you still get the benefit of variety. Good luck with the trainer, just remember, you can’t outrun a bad diet.

        • El Nerdo says:

          Exercise is good for your health, but weight control is 80-90% diet.

          Good nutrition is where you make big bucks.

  3. Ross Williams says:

    Aren’t all decisions emotional? We make decisions based on our gut, we use reason to explain them. I mean, why do you care what you look like or what other people think of what you look like? And whatever reasons pop into your head are not the reasons that will cause you to lose weight. Because your decision to lose weight is emotional and it is by repeatedly resurfacing those emotional reasons that will sustain your effort.

  4. KB says:

    Hi JD,

    Every day, I start at 7am and walk 8 miles (also through rain, snow etc) and in the evening do 45 minutes weight lifting at home.
    I have been doing this for more than 10 years. It has become an embedded mechanical daily habit, something I just do, just like eating and brushing your teeth. Granted I enjoy walking whilst listening to music, podcasts etc but if you continue doing something for a while it becomes a habit.
    Regards, KB in UK

  5. Francis Bach says:

    You got back on track before and you could do it again.
    There are plenty of podcasts to help you develop a new eating protocol.
    Have you tried intermittent fasting? Not eating for 16 hours and then eating your normal 1800-2000 calorie dieting in an 8 hour window.
    The Concept is that you begin training your body to burn fat during the 16 hour period. Check it out.

    • Carolyn says:

      Any podcasts you recommend?

      • Sheila Ward says:

        Hah! I was going to ask if you’d read about intermittent fasting. Yesterday was my one year anniversary. I fast 18-23 hours per day. It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It’s also the best thing I’ve ever done for my health.

        Check out the IF Podcast (ifpodcastdotcom) and the OMAD (One Meal a Day) Facebook group ( Google Dr. Fung (The Obesity Code) Dr. Axe, and Dr. Berg, etc.

        I’m almost 53. I wish I had discovered IF many years ago. I feel better than I’ve felt in years, and I’ve gone from pre-diabetic to having all my numbers in the normal range. I have some arthritis in my joints and was taking Naproxen twice a day. I no longer take it or any pain medications. I have the energy and focus I had in my 20’s. I’m in menopause, so weight loss is slow for me – I’m only down about 25 pounds, but I’ve lost lots of inches with body recomposition. I’m down several sizes on the top and bottom. Seriously – the best thing I have ever done for both my mental and physical health. Intermittent fasting helps with LOTS of the problems we deal with, be they physical or mental.

        I will eat this way for the rest of my life.

        Check out the websites I gave you – read some testimonials. If I can answer any questions, please let me know via email.

      • Francis Bach says:

        Ben Greenfield Fitness, Mike Mathews, and the Model Health Show are my staples. Ben Greenfield is the most comprehensive. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting since December 2017 and finally got rid of the “inner tube” around my belly and successfully keeping it off.

    • El Nerdo says:

      NYT had an article last month regarding a study that shows limiting times of eating helps metabolism and all sort of things.

      Not from the IF approach, was done by a specialist in circadian rhythm, Dr. Satchin Panda.

      I’d beware of podcasts as some can be unscientific or extreme or trying to sell something. However— yes, IF helps.

  6. mf says:

    Hey, before you go to weight watchers, you owe it to yourself to look at, which does a great job explaining low-carb eating, and why metabolically it works better than calorie counting/exercise, and so much more. Since you are a discerning reader, you may in particular enjoy pages such as:

    Most of the information is absolutely free, and there are no ads — here’s an overview:
    In particular they have a two week intro eating plan for newbies:
    (They do have optional paid memberships, but being a paid member is not necessary to read the website or keep up with the postings and recipes, and so forth.)

    I know s o well the feeling of being insecure about putting myself out there due to weight. For years I just felt awful about failing at low-fat calorie counting. By contrast, low-carb has been one of the easiest long-term projects I have done, and additionally it has improved my mood and and sense of well-being, and has helped me reclaim my life. After my husband got diagnosed with diabetes, he reversed it and lost his belly by eating this way. (Initially I started out weighing and calculating everything, but now I just follow the basic principles and am still losing weight.)

    p.s. I hope I don’t sound like spam for some sketchy site — I am only a very satisfied reader, of what started as a blog by a doctor who had a passion for making people healthier. But if you don’t think this is a suitable comment for your site, feel free not to post it … but please do look at the links above for yourself before you reject it out of hand.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thought I’d point out:

      I’ve been on and off Weight Watchers for decades, the current version is actually pretty much limited-carb/lean protein/lots of fruits/veggies, and I don’t have to count a ton of stuff now. I lost most of my “bonus weight” without trying hard. Now I’m slightly below my comfortable adult weight.

      I hate paying every month, so I’m trying to move onto another app, while still keeping the new eating patterns going. Most other cheap apps are calories in – calories out. Apparently, the new patterns aren’t solid enough yet.

  7. BusyMom says:

    I am very analytical when it comes to money. In fact, I found it hard to do something not logical even though I wanted it more than anything else – All I wanted to do was leave my job without another offer, and it isn’t hard for me to find another job. The only thing I would lose was my negotiating foothold. I couldn’t do it.

    However, I don’t have any logical sense when it comes to my fitness. My weight has been fluctuating in a 50 pound window for the past ten years – the lowest point being 10 pounds over a healthy weight.

    I haven’t figured out how one is easy and the other is not.

    • J.D. Roth says:

      When I was married, I used to tell Kris that my life was like whack-a-mole. Out of fitness, finance, and friends, I could manage only two at once. The third got neglected. Actually, there are more domains to life than that — work, play, ??? — but the same principle applies. For some reason, I can’t maintain high intensity in every area at once. One or more always get neglected. I don’t want to make excuses, but I think my ADHD and depression have something to do with this. The key for me is to identify linchpin habits (I think I’ve written about them before) such as exercise and be sure to get them done FIRST THING every day. So, I get up at 5am to make it to the gym by six. I walk the dog as soon as I get home. And I do my best to get my GRS work done in the late morning. That gives me some slack in the afternoon…

    • arob54600 says:

      Man ditto, I am totally at ease with my finances. It’s something I enjoy, I love reading my blogs, I love crunching numbers and budgeting. Umm, I do not like looking at the scale, especially now I’m pregnant with our first child. I have no issues with planning money for maternity time off. I got a lot of issues (a mental block) with planning to loose that baby weight. Yikes. That’s scary.

  8. dh says:

    One thing is to stay away from things like Weight Watchers and Paleo Diet, which make money by playing upon peoples weaknesses (the desire for shortcuts and the fantasies of losing weight by eating sausage and butter). All the best-selling diet books right now exploit the weaker aspects of human nature. Michael Pollan really nailed what a healthy diet is when he said, “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.” This is all that needs to be known. There is nothing beyond it.

    • El Nerdo says:

      Generalizations like Pollan’s are the Hallmark cards of nutrition advice.

      I do terrible with a plant-based diet.

      Any time I’ve tried vegetarianism, veganism, and even eco-Atkins (because I do best with low carb meals), I end up feeling TERRIBLE.

      I’ll have the meat, thanks.

      • J.D. Roth says:

        Me too. I am a meatatarian. Kim is trying to change that, but just between you and me, it’s not going to work.

        • El Nerdo says:

          Try dumping the sugar the bread the potatoes the rice the oats the beans etc, and add some nonstarchy vegs to your meats and eggs, and you’ll drop the pounds in no time with zero hunger and no digestive issues.

          I’ve done keto and keto is too hardcore (but works as a good jumpstart). Paleo worked for me but it’s too expensive and somewhat arbitrary.

          Eventually with some experimentation you hit a reasonable heuristics when you DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

          Hey that used to be this site’s motto…

          Anyway I did what worked for me, yeah. Easy and no counting.

          But yeah, since time immemorial, cutting out starches (and obviously now our modern plague, sugar, “the cocaine of foods”) has worked without failure to trim the fat.

          Anyway, good luck counting portions if you can! If not… lemme now.

      • dh says:

        Well, Pollan’s advice is to eat MOSTLY plants, not only plants. You can still have meat. But if you study the healthiest, longest-lived people on earth, the people who suffer the least from all the western diseases and who live in the so called “Blue Zones,” you will find they eat a plant-based/Mediterranean-style diet, the staples of which would be something like: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, wild fish, yogurt, olive oil. You can of course eat other stuff, but the *bulk* of one’s diet should be what I just laid out, period, if your aim is a good health outcome. If you have an allergy to certain things, of course avoid them, but most people can easily eat what Pollan puts forth. Oh, and food is the main thing, not going to the gym. Weight loss is 99% food, 1% gym. Of course, everybody has this backwards.

        • El Nerdo says:

          I couldn’t eat like a Mayan peasant if I wanted. Since I don’t work like a Mayan peasant, all those starches have nowhere to go except my midsection. There’s only so many carbs the gym can burn.

          Same with the “wholesome” whole grain business— it’s the same as the refined grain with me: highly addictive, fattening, and makes me sleepy. Only whole grain I can handle reasonably is hulled barley.

          Beans, beans are good for your heart, etc. I like to eat them, but as a staple they KILL ME. No thanks.

          Last, I read that nobody in the Mediterranean eats such a diet: they like sugar and fried stuff. Apparently the term is a British invention about what a doctor thinks Mediterranean people eat in some fantasyland.

          Carb-packed plant protein wrecks me, unless I eat it like a condiment— a little dish on the side maybe.

          Meat and vegetables and a little fruit work best for me: I have leaner body mass, low blood pressure, and perfect blood numbers when I’m on it.

          Personal letters beat Hallmark cards.

  9. Accidental FIRE says:

    Health and fitness are very closely related, and the behaviors to optimize each are similar. Ignore the commenter who says no one cares how you look, because your health and longevity care. It’s rock-solid science that for men, carrying extra weight around your midsection increases your risk of heart attacks diabetes. I don’t want to die of a heart attack, and I’m sure you don’t either. That’s why we want to stay thin. To enjoy the money we worked and saved so hard for, and to live longer and more actively. Plain and simple.

    You have the discipline to get that weight back off. You’ll get there, just break down the problem and go after it!

  10. olga says:

    I’ve been yo-yoing for decades (not very wide, as I have a cut-off number from which I scare myself into action big time). And that despite the fact that I’ve run ultramarathons for a dozen of years inside that period. With age (and, um, menopause), “simply” exercising, especially at a lesser level than when I was competitive (even if still more than “normal” human) weight does creep up. Last August I had a hard time squeezing in my pants, and as a frugal person (a.k.a. link to finances) I refuse to buy new clothes. Period. I got angry this time, really bad. I adhered to MyFitnessPall – a simple tool, no money cost (again, that frugality), but I got OCD on it. What I liked about it (having tried all kinds of different type of diets before, and yes, they all worked) – there was no restrictions in terms of what kind of food to eat. I mean, you quickly realize which ones are more dense and less filling, but in general, if I want a slice of bread – I just have to exclude a salad. In 10 months I went from 19% body fat to 9% – and I wasn’t “fat” to begin with, so my 25 lbs drop was a big thing. I still log my food. I still exercise.
    Yes, I relate fitness to finances. I never was directly “poor”, but when I moved to US from post-Soviet Russia, I came here with $5, no job and no language, 2 kids and a student husband. Living in Soviet (and post-) Russia wasn’t roses and unicorns either. I don’t do spreadsheets, but I know exactly where my money goes to. Over the years, life improved drastically. Small steps. I am your typical “millionaire next door” – no windfalls, still a very modest salary, and no lifestyle to show anyone we’re doing more than ok in our bank accounts. I don’t track, but I didn’t get completely loose. I sill know exactly where our money go.
    I want to add a little about depression. I don’t have a clinical form, but do struggle with depressive personality, and life had thrown at me things I will not go into for the purpose of this comment, so cycles are deep. And interestingly, when I do feel low, controlling what I can – my weight (food intake and exercise) and money (making per hour and distribution) is what I do better. I rasp on it as a saving stick. At least something depends on my will!

    • Anne says:

      Yes, being in control of “anything” helps depression I have noticed. I straighten up the house, not that it is ever a wreck, but even a little more order makes me feel better.

      By the way, welcome to America.

      • olga says:

        Thank you! I also straighten out the house, file papers, move furniture pieces (there are not many, but I manage to rearrange a few we have)…:)

  11. Financially Free says:

    If you really want to change your lifestyle and lose weight I would advise you to dig deep into the concept of self image. Once you understand how to change your self image your physical appearance will be changed forever.

    This video has literally changed my life:

  12. Joe says:

    I’m nearing my all time high with weight too. It’s hard when you get older. Eating is a problem for us. We don’t snack much and rarely drink alcohol. But I eat a bit too much during dinner. It’s really not that much compares to other, but I have a small frame. So that’s not good.
    Work hard with your personal trainer and good luck! I’ll work on my weight too.

  13. liz says:

    Hey Mr. Get Rich Slowly I think you are very sexy!! A guy who knows his way around words and finances, plus cares about his health is very appealing!!

  14. S.G. says:


    I am not going to throw in my 2c on weight loss because a) each journey is individual, and b) I struggle with it myself so it’s not like I have much credibility.

    But I wanted to congratulate you for putting your struggles out there, not just sharing, but with a blog you put it out there for everyone to chew on and put in their opinion (often bizarrely militant). This is especially true when you are struggling and raw over the subject in the first place.

    • J.D. Roth says:

      Thanks, Shara. There are times that I’m tempted not to share stuff like this because it’s embarrassing, you know? But I know that ultimately it helps both me and others when I do share.

      • S.G. says:

        Yes. I understand.

        The internet scares me. In some ways it’s easier to be open because it’s relatively anonymous, you’re only sharing with your computer screen, and any responses are just text. But it’s also the whole world, whereas if you talk to someone face to face your vulnerability is only to that person. Therefore the internet feels less threatening, yet has the potential to be very dangerous.

        I have found that simply sharing just my thoughts online can leave me emotionally exposed. I have shared with you before my own tendency to get burned and withdraw from these chat boards. I can’t imagine sharing truly personal struggles. Plus, I have enough contradicting thoughts in my own head. I don’t need a few hundred people I’ve never met to add theirs as well.

        I think you have a supportive group here. I commend you for cultivating that and I wish you luck in your pursuit of healthy habits.

  15. Eowyn says:

    Hi J.D.,

    I appreciate you and your work a lot. You’re a smart guy, so might enjoy listening to other smart people talk intelligently, and in a science-based way, on this podcast about eating, exercising, body image: It’s smart, surprising, and makes an amazing difference in how you feel as you go about feeding and moving your body in ways that help you be truly all-round healthy. Since age 12 I have wrestled with health, weight, body image, self-confidence, exercise, with various versions of ‘success.’ I never ever felt any peace with any of it until I started to really internalize some of what they talk about on Food Psych. I’m 41. Sigh.

    Hugs and happy summer to you!

  16. Petra says:

    Hi JD… I’m glad to read that you’re human, like me. Makes you all the more likable. So… keep up the good work that you’ve been doing these last weeks, and good luck. I’ll continue to enjoy your blogposts. (Podcasts and vids are not my thing).

  17. big_guy says:

    When I read the first sentence “This morning, for the first time in more than eight years, I weighed in at 200 pounds,” I thought you were happy about it.

    Why? Because I’m 230 pounds and would be very pleased to weigh in at 200 pounds!

  18. Rebecca in MD says:

    I lost 60 pounds last year at age 60 using My Fitness Pal to log my food consumption and walking almost every day at least 5K steps (which you can track with your Health app on the iPhone. I also signed up for Healthy Wage, so when I lost the weight I earned $2,860!

    Check it out – – – you and Kim could make a nice chunk of change and it’s extra motivation.

  19. h says:

    you might want to take a look at overeaters anonymous. most people put in a dollar at each meeting, but you do not have to pay even that if you choose not to. it is similar to weight watchers minus the fees and weighing. it has helped a lot of people that i know.

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