You Didn’t Fail At Weight Loss

Enjoy this great guest post from Jamal who shares his weight loss journey at Big Man Shrinking.

The other day towards the end of the work day when attention spans are at an all time low, the probability of office pranks are at an all time high, and office chatter usually turns to the big 3 for guys: sports, women, and complaints that the women in our lives don’t let us watch enough sports, the topic somehow drifted towards diet and weight loss. I know right? Guys talking about weight loss?  I see that look on your face! The I-can’t-believe-you-drank-all-of-the-orange-juice-and-left-3-drops-in-the-carton-and-put-it-back-in-the-fridge look.

As incredulous as it sounds, we were talking about our individual weight loss philosophies, exercise routines, our success, and our goals.  Lots of fun was made of my over-sized 6xl shirt that used to be too tight and is getting too big for me to wear in public. For the record I wear it as a badge of honor no matter how ridiculous it’s starting to look! Anyway, one of the guys mentioned that he had a family member that gave up on trying to lose weight and improve his health. As someone who has attempted to lose weight multiple times and finally found some success, I was really bothered by it. So much so that I couldn’t stop thinking about it on my way home from work.

See, I know he’s not alone. There are so many people who have started weight loss journeys only to never finish. Once you stop walking the path to health and wellness it seems to take twice as much energy to start again. The psychological toll it takes  on you when you view falling short of your weight loss goal as “failure” can be debilitating and in too many cases we never pick ourselves up and get back in the fight.

I don’t know how many times I threw up my hands and said “I’M DONE” and ran to the nearest place of Bad Food (The addictive bad food for me is Pizza, General Tso’s Chicken, and Burger King’s Oreo Sunday that I swear is crack in ice cream form) and drown my sorrows. However, what changed for me, and I hope it changes for you, is that I’ve learned to “rethink” what happened on my previous attempts at weight loss, as well as what happens when I fall short on my current journey, as “feedback and results”. Nothing more, nothing less.   Once I see the feedback and results of my actions..instead of thinking “OMG I FAILED!!!” I’m learning to analyze and truthfully examine my approach and fine tune it.

Maybe this is the 15th time you’ve tried to lose weight. Maybe you’ve said to yourself “I can’t do it because I’ve failed so many times before”. I’m here to tell you that you didn’t fail. You got feedback and results.  Now repeat after me “There is no failure only feedback and results”. Now repeat it 2.3 bazillion times!  (Okay, that’s too many times… just do it half a bazillion!)

By mentally framing the results of your weight loss “shortcomings” this way my hope is that you use them as an opportunity to improve your journey. Maybe in the past your exercise program was boring and mundane and you need something more fun and spicy.  Maybe the incredibly strict 200 calorie a day diet was too much to bear and when you ate that 4th french fry it set you over the edge.  Maybe trying to do the Biggest Loser Cardio Max DVD was a little premature because you haven’t worked out in 20 years and you really thought that watching the show prepared you for those insane Bob Harper workouts. Or maybe your expectation that you could drop 200 lbs 15 days before your high school reunion was just a wee bit unrealistic.

Whatever the case may be, know that you are not a failure. Don’t give up your dreams and desire to improve your health. I know it’s a long journey, but don’t throw up your hands and walk away because you got some results that you didn’t like. Just retool, recalibrate, and go forward!

About Jamal & Big Man Shrinking:

I’m an IT Professional who tipped the scales at 491 pounds in December 2012. After months of feeling like giving up, I decided to do something about it and in Sept 2012 the Big Man Shrinking project was born. I’ve lost over 40 pounds so far but I’m looking for more! You can catch my lastest blog posts and videos at www.bigmanshrinking.comand you can reach me on FaceBook at Remember to stay focused and stay inspired!


  1. Outstanding Jamal! Stay on the journey and you will reach your destination 1 small step at a time. It is YOUR journey-do it YOUR way! Coach Brad

  2. Mike says:

    I’ve been following the Paleo/Primal lifestyle for the past few months and have been seeing a great deal of success. Please read about my story and the method I followed here:

  3. Kathy says:

    What an inspiring story! Thanks from someone who is trying to lose weight yet again, perfect timing.

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