You only fail when you stop trying

Those are some wise words from my Uncle Tom. We were walking somewhere and he asked if I had started smoking again. I shamefully confessed that yes, I had. He said, “Well, you’ll try again. You only fail when you stop trying.”

If I’m remembering correctly, that conversation occurred about 6 or 7 years ago. I attempted to quit smoking several times after that, never with any success that lasted more than a couple of weeks . . . until January of 2010. Today, I’m almost 20 months cigarette free (okay, I did slip up twice . . . to be fair, I was drinking and there was a smoke shop next to the bar, but each time I lit one cigarette, realized how gross it was, and got rid of the rest of the pack).

This post isn’t about smoking or quitting smoking. It’s about trying and continuing to try no matter how many times I fall because, like my Uncle Tom said, I can only fail when I stop trying. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that around this time last year I was in the midst of a weight loss endeavor. I think I was even doing fairly well at this point.

And then I crashed. I could run though all of the reasons I crashed. Some of them were related to stress and mild depression. Some of them were just related to laziness. But even in my crashing, I’ve learned and grown. I know where my difficulties lie and that makes it easier to combat them.

I’ve been talking a lot lately about getting back on track (and my friend Sharon’s awesome success definitely helps with the motivation!) and I have been doing little things that have helped (I’ve lost a few pounds over the last couple of weeks), but nothing substantial. This morning I woke up with a very clear-cut determination and so I’m ready to try again.

I have a tendency to overwhelm myself with goals and tasks. I set the bar so unreasonably high that there’s no possible way I’ll reach it and then when I don’t, I just let everything fall apart. I’m really trying not to do that this time.

I found a great website this morning – Everyday Health – and it has a food and fitness journal that’s super easy to use. Since I spend more than half my waking hours sitting in front of computer, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

I’ve had a great day today. I ate really well and my energy levels were higher than usual. I’ve even had 10 glasses of water so far today (that’s a big deal for me)! I have a diet iced tea addiction, so I made myself drink a cup of water before every cup of iced tea!

I have a lot more to write about . . . or maybe vlog about (I tossed that idea around before and I’m kind of digging it again), but I just wanted to get some of this out now . . . commit it to internet-land . . . accountability and all that jazz.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I’m working on one day at a time. But I know success is inevitable as long as I never stop trying.

Photo Credit


10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by susieklein on September 13, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Yay you! I right with you on the weight fight argh! I will check out that site. But the real YAY is for not smoking in 20 months, THAT is so hard and even though we’ve never met I feel very proud of you. My 26 yr old son started smoking at about 15 and quit about 2 years ago, even had to give up watching Mad Men because it messed him up! Ha!


    • Thank you 🙂

      I started smoking when I was 14 and the only other time I was successful quitting was when I was pregnant/breastfeeding. As soon as Abby weaned, I started smoking again!

      I’ve never seen Mad Men, but now I’m going to have to watch it 😛 . . . For me, it was work. I was working in customer service and I used to semi-jokingly say that my smoking was more for the benefit of my customers and co-workers! It wasn’t as difficult to quit when I wasn’t working there anymore 🙂


  2. Those are some wise words. I am similar in that I set the bar so high. But that’s a great mindset to have – to know that you cannot have failed altogether unless you’ve quit trying altogether.
    Good luck this time. For me, I know that if I can read things that are helpful that really helps to keep me on track. For some reason, reading has always been the way for me to process things and make changes. I’m wishing you success each and every day, Dayle!


    • Thanks, Anne 🙂

      The two things that have always helped me were accountability and measurable success. I really hate the whole scale thing, but watching numbers go down (even if it’s slowly) helps motivate me a lot. I just need to be careful of those times when it doesn’t go down and remind myself that it’s not the only way measure success!


  3. Woohoo! I am so excited and I am here to motivate you along the way! I remember reading about you taking these steps before and feeling so inspired by you but feeling like I didn’t have the motivation to do it myself. I have tried and given up myself in the past. The first time I was 320 pounds and I dropped to 250….after being stuck there, I just gave up. I stopped caring and did whatever I wanted because I felt like there was NO hope and it was unfair that others could eat what THEY wanted but I couldn’t so I made excuses. And I gained it ALL back plus some and I felt so ashamed when I realized what I had let happen to myself.

    Something just snapped in my head almost 2 months ago and I made up my mind to just change my eating and drinking habits for good and I realized it’s just a fact of my life. I will ALWAYS have to watch what I eat…maybe it seems unfair but the feeling I have been getting from eating differently and knowing I am losing and will have a better future has made it all worth it. I still have temptations, we all do, but I know that I can’t get down on myself if I decide to give in a little at some point. For now, I am fighting it as hard as I can and I think it’s awesome that we can motivate each other through this journey! 🙂


    • Yay for motivation buddies!!!

      I completely relate to the whole lack of fairness in how some people can eat whatever and be fine. I’ve seen super thin girls who eat like horses and never bother to exercise. It drives me crazy. But you’re right . . . it’s just a fact of our lives that we can’t and life isn’t always fair!

      You’re also completely right about not beating yourself up for giving in a bit. I think it’s very important that we remember we’re human and that we just have to keep pushing forward! 🙂


  4. Posted by Karen Garnica on September 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Dayle, I remember what my kung fu teacher said when I went back to school at age 29, “either way you will be 31 in two years” think about this – one pound a week – 52 weeks a year – 52 pounds off, which would be an accomplishment for anyone. less one pound every two weeks – 26 weeks minus 26 pounds, either way you will be a year older. I loved this blog. Karen


  5. Well, that’s the spirit 🙂 I have the goal to lose 22 pounds, but don’t know where to start… afetr so many diets. I’m going to take a look at this site to see if they can help.


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