Saturday, January 23, 2016

Time For A New Challenge

So far this month, I've been following stories on social media about people making goals and their quest in getting there.

Most of the time, I'm pretty inspired, it's great to see people stepping up and getting out of their comfort zones. I especially have a couple of friends that I'm rooting for, and I hope they keep it up.

But I have to admit, I'm discouraged sometimes too. There are lots of people who are a lot further in their running or fitness journeys, and sometimes their happy photos of them doing something awesome while flashing their toned muscles and flat stomachs brings me down. I'm happy for them, and I'm glad they are sharing, but at the same time, I feel like a total slug compared to them, me and my big stomach, lame left arm that struggles to lift weight of any kind and a scale that still reads close to 240 pounds.

Yeah, I'm having a pity party, and I'm being hard on myself. I know that. In the end, I'm happy with my running and think I'm making a lot of progress, and I know if I just continue on this path it will pay off down the road.

In fact, as a sort of self-motivational speech, I created a podcast episode about it. You can hear it here:

The more I've thought about it, the more I realize that there are two things that stop us from meeting our goals:

*Ourselves. Well, duh, that's the most obvious, right? But it's true. Negative self talk and "falling off the wagon" are the fastest ways to destruction, but we do it. We are all so good at times at taking a bad day and letting it snowball into our lapsing back into our old ways. Keeping a positive frame of mind and focusing on little things turning into big things -- workable parts, as I call it in the podcast -- will keep us on track.


*Comparing ourselves to others. We all do it, I admitted that up above. It's really hard not to, given how it's in our faces more than ever before. The mistake we make is that we don't have the same life circumstances as others do -- whatever those may be -- whether it's time, motivation, resources...whatever.

We know deep down that social media is a collection of people's "greatest hits" but we won't really allow ourselves to truly accept it and use it as a filter for our own expectations.

It's like when Khloe Kardashian Instagrams a photo of her abs and someone thinks, "Look at her! She used to be heavy and now she is ripped! Why can't I do that?" What we don't realize is that Khloe's job is being Khloe! If you watch their show for 10 minutes you realize that none of them do real, actual work, unless their mom puts them up to it. Their job is cultivating an image...if that was your job you would look good too!

I think we all have to realize that we have "greatest hits" too, which are pretty freaking good! Why don't we try and record a hit of our own instead of trying to live up to someone else's?

For me, there is one more.

*The scale. Or as I call it, the bane of my existence. I'll be honest, I focus on that number way too much, especially when I'm not running. When I am, I tend not to think about it very much, but in the back of my mind, it's still there.

I know that number is just that, a number, but at the same time, that number is why I'm not getting any faster. And, since this is a bit of a confessional today, I think that number (and how I look because of it) is a reason why I don't get a lot of hits to my blog or podcast, or why I'm not one of the cool kids on social media, despite my best efforts. I'm a fat runner, who wants to hear what I have to say?

Sorry to be so down and brutal, but that is how I'm feeling the last few days (and no one except spammers in Russia and the Ukraine -- plus my wife, are going to see this anyway), the optimism I had a couple of weeks ago has changed. So, I have to change with it.

My mantra has long been this: control what you can control. The first two things can be easily controlled, I need to keep running, trust the process and stop worrying so much about others, or my place in the social media world.

The third is pretty easy too: I'm just going to stop getting on the scale.

Yep, you heard correctly. I'm creating a campaign, and I'm calling it the Six-Month No Scale Challenge. I'm going to stay off the scale until August 1. Instead, I'm focusing on getting better every day and making positive changes, letting little things add up to big things.

When August 1 rolls around, I'm going to get on the scale, look at the number, and live with the result. If you'd like to join me, that would be great! I'd look forward to the chance to work towards this goal by supporting others.

August 1 is 190 days away...let's get started!


  1. Just to prove that not only your wife, but other real people read your blog! And the whole weight thing is so on! I'm just about to start again (only getting ready for the MiniMarathon 5K this time), and I'm determined it's going to be about my health more than the magic number!