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A truly AWESOME post by guestblogger Mr.Q... if this doesn't motivate you on a Monday I don't know what will... x
 It's not the size of the dog in the fight, 
it's the size of the fight in the dog! 
by @quinlivan

It has been 23 weeks since I re-joined Weight Watchers, and I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that it has changed so much inside me. I received my 7th Silver 7 a few weeks ago – yep, nearly 4 stone gone! Today, I had 2.5lbs to go to my next Silver 7. When I stood on the scale I was down 1.5lbs (yay) but I was still disappointed. 1lb off my 8th Silver 7 was all I kept telling myself.

I left the meeting feeling deflated because of that 1 bloody lb that was still clinging on – that 1lb I had just assumed I’d have lost. Another life lesson learned: To assume is to make an ass of you & me. I left the meeting with this odd feeling of disappointed in myself but by the time I arrived home (5 mins later), I had re-evaluated everything!

Let’s rewind back to August 2012 when I weighed over 19st – the idea of losing 4 stone weight sounded as challenging as climbing Everest. I was comparing photos of myself recently. The one on the left was taken at a family christening in August (about 3 weeks before I started on my weight-loss journey). The photo on the right was taken at my better half’s birthday in January (hence the cake in the photo).

A few people have asked me: ‘How are you doing it?’ and ‘What’s the secret?’ which is actually quite difficult to answer because there isn’t a single thing that I can attribute it to without discussing my entire thinking on any form of goal-setting.

Here comes my philosophy (on life):

Life is a staircase. Regardless of what step you are on, you always want to be a few steps ahead. Taking career for example: I have friends who know what they want and go get it. One friend in particular is so confident of her own skills that she pushes herself and will go for a job interview despite having a job that she already enjoys. Why? It keeps her on her toes.

When I think of my career, I know where I want to be but the end point is so far off/out of reach that I don’t know how to get there. The solution: Take it one step at a time!

This is how I approached my weight-loss. I started off with my birthday as my target. It was over two months away so I set myself up a nerdy Excel chart and plotted my weigh-ins against my target weight-loss (2lbs a week). As long as I was weighing in under my target, I was on track and the end goal was in sight. My goal was to be 2 stone lighter by my birthday. I didn’t set my goal by picking the weight I wanted to BE on my birthday – rather how much weight I COULD lose by my birthday.

Take a 2lbs-loss a week approach (which Weight Watchers promise you will lose per week if you stick to the plan) – This is something that has helped me immensely and if you are interested in doing something similar I would be delighted to share mine with you. From my chart below you can see my Target Line (dotted red) has a red x every 7 weeks (7 x 2lbs = 14lbs). My target is REALISTIC. As you can also see from my chart, my weigh-ins were recorded weekly (blue line) and my line swerves up and down close to the target line at a couple of points.
The important thing to take from the chart is this… Even in those crap weeks where you are up or the weeks you feel you have worked so hard yet only lost ½ lb – this chart was always be there to remind me of how far I had come AND that in the grand scheme of things – I wasn’t willing to throw all my hard work out the window over ONE bad week.

This chart is my life saver! Going back to my ‘Life is a staircase’ motto – I hope you can see how it actually is. Whatever step you are on – and whatever step you want to get to - don’t set yourself unrealistic or unachievable goals, as not reaching these won’t help your motivation. By having a better understanding of every step on the weight-loss staircase, you’ll know where you are at all points along your journey!

This leads me on perfectly to my second tip:  Break every goal into sub-goals. I don’t know if you can remember back to my first post on Skinny Doll but I said I had climbed Croagh Patrick with a gang from work last June. I was the only one of the 26 of us who didn’t reach the top. In fact, I didn’t even make it halfway. That was crushing. Here is a post from my Facebook when I was still on Croagh Patrick:

What did I do… Once, I started losing weight – I decided to tackle my mountain again. And on December 30th (which was wet, windy and absolutely freezing), this happened:


I made it to the TOP of Croagh Patrick! It was hell… It was so cold I couldn’t feel my fingers for half the trip. I fell/slipped so many times I lost count. The difference this time over the last time I tried was simple – I broke my journey into smaller stages. Instead of just walking until I got too tired or wanted a break – I would set myself a smaller goal like picking a marker (a rock or a tree) and once I would get to that location, I would treat myself to a rest, a cigarette or a snack!

I can’t look at the big picture when I am wrecked, that is what put me off and made me call it a day on my attempt last June. By seeing the climb as a series of successive markers, I made it slowly but surely up to the church that sits at the top of the mountain.

I have applied this same approach to my weight-loss. My original milestone was my birthday, then once my birthday was over I set the next milestone as Christmas. My next milestone is Paddy’s Weekend in March. The reason I picked these as my milestones was so I can reap the reward waiting for me once I hit them.

I have never set myself large numerical goals such as ‘I want to lose 5 stone’. Instead I’ve set milestones along the way to break the giant journey into smaller ones that I can see coming in over the horizon as opposed to ones off in the distance. By planning in the shorter-term with a long-term approach to weight-loss has helped me get to where I am now – standing 8 steps closer to my goal. I often look back down the stairs to where I have been though, just to bring a smile to my face.

I was recently clearing out my wardrobe and I found a shirt I had stuffed in the back since last summer. I tried it on over the weekend and just wanted to show you the difference…  

Tonight on my drive home from the meeting I remembered something… It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Be honest with yourself; set yourself realistic goals broken into milestones along the way. I am still in the middle of the fight *shakes fist at that 1lb sitting between me and my next Silver 7* and I know it’s going to continue to be difficult but I also know I have the fight within me to keep fighting. Not to use that overused cliché but I honestly can’t sum it up any better: If I can do it, you can too.


  1. Fantastic post :) well done Mr Q.
    Your before and after photos are inspirational :)

  2. This was a great post to read, loved it. Very motivational, its making me reassess my weight loss goals and how I am going to achieve them. I love the idea of life being a staircase, its so true and so easy to forget. Good luck with reaching that 8th silver 7 this week.

    1. Thank you Sarah! I have found this has worked so well for me. It is easy to get disillusioned so by having a chart to look at, the more challenging weeks (the ones where you feel you have worked your ass off and then are down 0.5lbs or worse... up!), you can see the bigger picture and it helps stay on track!

  3. So inspirational! What a great idea that life is like a staircase.... We all want to skip a few steps to get to the top but each step is a milestone in itself and we so often forget that. Great to read about someone elses story..Congratulations on how well you've done!

    1. Thanks Jojo! :) We WILL get there, just remember to its one step at a time. Like I said before, we are already on the road and that is something to be proud of... I spent long enough ignoring my weight issue, now that I'm on the road, I'm already 15 steps ahead of where I was 6 months ago!

  4. Awesome post, you are very inspirational. I love the idea of the chart. Well done you, you look fantastic!
    Fi. X

    1. Thank you Fi! Let me know how you get on :) It is honestly what has made my weight loss journey so much easier this time round

  5. Wow what an inspiration.
    I have always looked at the bigger picture and pretty much always failed.
    Right I'm of to plan smaller steps one at a time on my stair case.
    Many thanks

    1. Thank you :)
      I can share the Excel sheet if you want which automatically updates the graph so you don't need to be an Excel wiz to get the same effect.

  6. ive just come home from my ww meeting, phil said to read your so glad i did!! it's really inspiring, i think sometimes we forget how far we have come, well done!! im one pound away from goal and i feel like ill never get rid off that one pound!!but your right take one day at a time, thanks for sharing your journey, catherine

    1. Thanks Catherine :) All we can do is take it day by day week by week. One thing I have learned is that any "bad" day/week can easily be undone. That's what keeps me in check when I sometimes have a up/same week

  7. My ww leader posted a link to your blog Well done on such a great achievement you will get your next silver seven at next weigh in & by the way you look fantastic keep up the great work & before you know it you will have your gold card


  8. John
    you are a true inspiration! they will have to think up a new word for the motivation you inspire! Thanks for sharing your journey - means a lot. C U in class

  9. Well done you!
    Queen of the North.


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