Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"From Fat To Finish To Fat": A Story Still Being Written

If you have read this blog any time in the last five years, you are probably already familiar with the basics of my story. I was a skinny kid and a lean Marine, but afterwards, eating and drinking without exercise began to take its toll on my body and my health. Then I started exercising, eating right, and running, and things got better.

I was this guy:


Who became this guy:


Who then took part in this documentary:


I officially became Runner 12 (and unofficially Captain Awesome). I appeared on my own page of Runner's World Magazine. And I walked a red carpet at the film premiere. 



So, this is another great story about someone who set goals, worked to accomplish them, and lived happily ever after. Right?

Wrong.

Because over the last year, I did nothing as I once again became this guy:


By July 19th, 2015, my weight had ballooned back up to 235 pounds. And for whatever reason, that was my line in the sand. It was time to take control again and start making better choices.

So I did.

It's now August 5th, eighteen days later. In that time, I've started my training program for the Revel Canyon City Marathon, stopped eating junk food for every meal, and already dropped ten pounds.

And now, again, I'm this guy:



And my long-winded point? I have a few.
  1. As long as you draw breath, you are taking actions that either move you along towards your goal or push you farther away from it. Choose wisely.
  2. It's easier to stay in shape than to get back into shape.
  3. It's never too early and it's never too late to stop making bad choices.
  4. Some days will be good, some will be bad. Don't beat yourself up over a mistake.
  5. Even the most fit athletes in the world have a bad game. Or a bad run. Or a bad swim. It happens.
  6. Don't compare yourself or your progress to that of anyone else. Focus on you, your goals, and your strengths.
  7. If you need help, ask for it. Maybe you want a running buddy, or a gym partner, or just a friend willing to listen as you vent. Whatever it is, if you need it, don't stop until you get it.
  8. Reward yourself along the way. Life doesn't sit on hold while you reach your goal, so celebrate the milestones.
  9. Dream big. Sign up for that new, longer distance. Or a triathlon. Or a trail race. Do something different and challenging.
  10. Remember that you are worth the effort to build a happier, healthier you. It isn't about reaching a goal weight, or hitting some arbitrary BMI, or even setting a PR. It's about being good to yourself and enjoying the rewards that come along with that.
My story is still being written, and I have no idea what might be coming next. But I do know that I am in control of me, my attitude, and my choices. And I'm going to keep being awesome.