Greetings Fellow JSFers: As this is my first post, I'd like to introduce myself and explain my motivation for starting this journal, but before I do that I want to extend my gratitude to all the contributing members of this community for all the time, effort and knowledge that you tirelessly offer. I'm about to turn 48, married with two children, and own a successful business. I have always been in “good shape”, especially when compared to many of my peers. Like many of these peers, however, I started to put on a few extra pounds and about a year ago I reached the point where I was disgusted enough with myself to start a program to lose the weight. It was during my research of how to lose the weight in a healthy manner that I stumbled across this website and I am sure glad that I did. I've learned a lot and have found inspiration from many JSFer's as you chronicled your fitness journeys. During the course of my readings I've recognized how we each have a similar goal, to get healthier, and that each one of us has certain particulars to our situation that are an advantage compared to the general forum as well as particulars that makes achieving our personal goals more difficult. One of the advantages I have is that I own my own business so I have more latitude during the day to exercise. Another is that I don't have any of the monetary concerns that many younger forum members have. I'm not referring to big macro issues like funding my children's college, paying the mortgage, etc., but to my ability to always have a home that is stocked with clean food as well as the financial resources to pay for a gym membership without any hardship. Another structural advantage of mine is that I manage my business from my home so I am able to prepare all of my breakfasts and lunches; in fact it would be a hassle and waste of time and money for me to go out for lunch. Another advantage that comes to mind is that I (most of the time) truly do like to exercise and, with one major exception which I will address shortly, I inherently like to eat clean. Accordingly, when I made the decision to become healthier, there was no tremendous disruption and change from my prior habits. Of the disadvantages that are particular to my situation, the first one is my age. As I wrote above, I always been in decent shape and people think I am at least five years younger than I am, but the aging process really does slow one's body down. My recovery time from injuries is substantially longer than it used to be and I find that I am getting injured more often than I used to. Just as my age brings with it certain advantages and disadvantages, so does owning my own business. I have more time flexibility than the average person, but I probably work more hours per week also, so sometimes finding the time to exercise can be problematic; I do make it a priority, so I rarely miss a session, but sometimes I have to get quite creative to squeeze it in. Another disadvantage that I have is that I drink too much alcohol and lately I have been drinking far too much. Were it not for this, I would easily have met all the health goals that I've set for myself during the past year, but I just can't seem to turn the corner. I stop the imbibing for a few days, sometimes a couple of weeks, but I then derail myself. It's incredibly frustrating and I'm truly surprised about how much trouble I'm having trying to eliminate my weekday at night drinking. This is the primary reason that I've started this journal; I'm hoping that if I start posting to the forum I will have additional incentive to stay with the program. I've been writing a journal at home, but since I'm the only one that's reading it, there's no outside accountability. Even if nobody except me actually reads this, I'm hoping that me knowing that someone could be doing so will be enough to raise my diligence and have me reach for the glass of seltzer instead of pouring myself a scotch (or gin or whiskey or vodka or beer or wine). I know what to do, I just have not been able to do it for a sustained amount of time; it's very humbling and frustrating. Two days ago marked the start of another attempt to get healthy. The process originally began on April 5, 2005 and at that time I was carrying 190 pounds on my six foot frame and my body fat percentage was probably around 20%; when I bought a set of calipers and tested myself for the first time on May 5, 2005 I was about 19%. The scale this morning read 177.4 and my body fat was about 12%. During the past year my weight has been as low as 171 and my lowest body fat readings were in the low eights. I don't really think that I was that low; I've felt for sometime that my bf% readings were too low, but just as long as the number kept dropping then I was satisfied. As you can tell by where I am now versus where I was when I was more committed, I've had some regression. Not anything that I can't overcome, but the numbers have been moving in the wrong direction for a while now and it's time to start moving them downward instead of upward. Thanks to all who have read this and thanks to all who have contributed to the forum.