The messages started slowly, but they have been increasing in number and frequency…
- “Come RUN with us!”
- “We miss you!”
- “Please come Saturday! We miss seeing your smiling face.”
- “Nick… anytime you want to go for an easy three mile run to get you started-up again, just text me. I’m open almost any night.”
My wife has joined in with her own words of concern.
- “You know I don’t care how much you weigh, but all of the dramatic ups and downs with your weight over the past couple of years can’t be good on your heart.”
Tamsin’s comment this morning was the final straw.
As I was getting ready for work, Tamsin was keeping me company and talking about how she was wearing her race shirt like daddy’s as I pulled on my ever tightening jeans. Then she asked, “daddy, are you going to run a marathon today?” I chuckled and told her “not today.”
Tamsin’s question stayed on my mind all the way to work. I’ve had a standing goal since I returned to the marathon distance in 2007 that I will stay in good enough shape to run a four hour marathon at anytime. Tamsin’s question hit me like a knock out punch from Mike Tyson because I knew that there is no way I could complete a marathon right now, especially a four hour marathon.
All of the kind messages of encouragement from my running family, my wife’s concern, and my little girls question, when coupled with my weigh-in at the gym today (I weighed in at 241 pounds. Up 50 pounds since June 30th) have become a much needed intervention.
I’ve had a good run in 2014. I started the year out strong going from 239 pounds on January 1st to 199 pounds in 79 days; eventually reaching a low of 191 in June. Then, on the last day of June, I fell and messed up my ankle during the Ragnar relay and my momentum shifted in the other direction.
I could take the time to feel sorry for myself having gained back all of the weight I lost this year, but I was fully aware of the path that I was on and did nothing to stop its progression. The best path for me now is to put my excuses aside and to start DOING THE WORK that I know needs to be done.
Speaking of excuses, the excuses I have used to justify my lack of working out and eating healthy are listed below. The truth can be found below each excuse in bold.
- I want to spend more time with my daughter.
- This is true. However, my boss let’s me take as long as I want on my lunch break so I can get my workouts in. The ability to work out on my lunch break for as long as I need destroys the validity of this excuse.
- Running just isn’t as important to me as it used to be. I have a wife and daughter now, and I am pursuing my career. These things take precedent over my running.
- These things do take precedent over my running, however, it is a LIE that my running isn’t important to me anymore. I have been running for 20 years now and it is just as important to me now as it was when I first fell in love with it.
- How much I weigh is not as important to me as it used to be.
- This is true, but it only goes so far. It used to be that my self-esteem was 100% tied to the number I saw on the scale or what waist size my pants were. This is no longer the case (progress!), however, I am not content to let myself go completely. My health is still very important to me.
If this “intervention” is going to work long term, I need to have a plan and a solid goal. I posted a few months ago about my lack of S.M.A.R.T goals. This time, I am going in with a plan. Instead, of one huge goal (i.e. lose 70 pounds), I will be breaking down my goal into phases. Phase 1 is listed below…
Phase 1 (November 24th – January 1st):
Track ALL Of My Food Intake: Use myfitnesspal.com and their app to track my calories in versus calories out. Enlist friends who use the app to help keep me accountable.
Weight Loss Goal: Drop 15 pounds in 5 weeks (I think this is an ambitious goal since it is the holiday season, but starting as a New Year’s resolution seems like another excuse at this point)
Keep My Workouts Varied: I will rotate between 100% cardio days (running and the elliptical) and 100% lifting days. I will not raise my weekly mileage by more than 10%.
Start Getting To The Bottom Of My Food Addiction: I’ve written about seeing a therapist for my severe anxiety in the past; I plan to schedule a session with the same therapist to start exploring the roots of my food addiction. I plan to do at least one session during phase 1.
As George Washington Duke said in the ever forgettable Rocky 5…