Ever since I made my decision to move forward with a change of pace in my training (i.e. running less miles and engaging in more methods of training to be a more well rounded athlete), I have had significantly more time available to play with my daughter, socialize with the friends outside of my running family, and to think about the successes and failures that I have experienced over the past couple of years regarding my running and weight management. While pondering my successes and failures, I came to a realization that I should have come to a long time ago.

My running goals and the accomplishing of those goals over the past five years have looked like this…

  • St. George Marathon 2010
    • Goal =  Under 3:10 and qualify for the Boston Marathon
    • Result = Ran 3:08 and qualified
  • Boston Marathon 2011
    • Goal = 3:30 – 3:35
    • Result = Ran 3:31
  • St. George Marathon 2012
    • Goal = Run without use of a Garmin and finish under 3:30
    • Result = Ran 3:14
  • St. George Marathon 2013 
    • Goal = 4:00 or under (I was under trained and weighed 225 pounds, but did not miss any of my long runs)
    • Result = 3:34
  • Ogden Marathon 2014
    • Goal = 3:45
    • Result = 3:35

As you can see, every running goal I have set in the past five years has been successfully met.

My weight loss and management goals have looked like this…

  • Fall 2010 – Winter 2011
    • Gained 30 pounds (went from 180 pounds to 210 pounds)
    • Goal = Lose 30 pounds
    • Result = Didn’t lose the weight
  • Summer 2011 – Spring 2012
    • Gained 20 more pounds (weight gain since Fall 2010 equaled 50 pounds – my weight reached 230)
    • Goal = Lose 50 pounds
    • Result = Didn’t lose the Weight
  • Summer 2012 – Fall 2012
    • Lost 40 pounds (230 pounds to 190 pounds) in 16 weeks to run the St. George Marathon in under 3:30
    • Goal = Keep the weight off
    • Result = Gained all 40 pounds back after the race in October
  • Winter 2013 – Winter 2014 
    • Goal = Lose 55 pounds
    • Result = Gained 10 pounds – my weight reached 240 pounds
  • Winter 2014 – Summer 2014
    • Goal = Get weight below 200 pounds
    • Result = Went from 240 pounds to 190 pounds in 90 days with strict diet and exercise
    • Tore ankle ligaments in July and have gained anywhere from 25 to 30 pounds back (190 pounds to 220 pounds)

As you can see above, I have had a couple bright moments with my weight loss and management goals over the past five years; However, I have failed to keep the weight lost during those successes off, and in most cases have gained it back and more.

When I realized how dramatically different my pattern of success with my running goals was when compared to my failure to manage my weight, I had to ask myself why the results were so different when inside I felt like I wanted both things equally. It didn’t take much soul searching to recognize where I was going wrong. When the realization hit me, I felt like Bob Hoskins character Smee in the movie Hook…

My running goals have always been very detailed and have followed the principle of setting S.M.A.R.T goals. Whenever I set the goal to run a marathon, I not only document the what the goal is, but how I am going to achieve it. I keep a detailed journal of my workouts on running-log.com. I plan out what all my runs and long runs will be and what pace I will run during those runs. S.M.A.R.T stands for…

  • Specific – (Run the St. George Marathon in under 3:30)
  • Measurable – (Must be able to run 26.2 miles at 8 minutes or faster)
  • Attainable – (My starting fitness indicated that this goal was in reach. I had run a half marathon at a 7:10 pace to start the year)
  • Realistic – (Gauge how realistic my goal is by setting specific bench mark runs during training that build my confidence by demonstrating my growing fitness by surpassing a time bound goal like running a half marathon in under 1:35)
  • Time Bound – (I traditionally follow a 16 week training plan. The 16 weeks gives me time to build from my base fitness that is usually 30 miles a week)

My journal looked like the image below in September 2012 as I prepared to run the St. George Marathon in under 3:30. Notice the highlighted long runs on the right. I planned four straight Saturday’s of 20 mile plus long runs and executed a proper taper of my weekly mileage leading up the marathon.


When it comes to losing weight my goal has always looked like this…

  • Goal = Lose 50 pounds
  • How? = Workout more, eat less

Notice the difference in specifics? So did I. 🙂 I read about weight loss and weight management frequently because of my ever fluctuating waist line and it has finally dawned on me that the people that are truly successful with their weight loss and management long term PLAN EVERYTHING. I recently read Drew Manning’s book Fit2Fat2Fit: The Unexpected Lessons from Gaining and Losing 75 lbs on Purpose (I recommend picking it up if you have not read it). In his book, Drew detailed how he pre-cooked all of his meals on Sunday afternoon and Wednesday night. This not only saved him time, it made it so he never had to wonder what he was going to be eating at a specific meal. I don’t know about you, but I usually eat the worst at night when I come home from work and don’t know what I am going to eat. By the time I finally do eat, I usually pick something that is not that good for me because it is quick and I eat about 10 times more than I should because I am STARVING by the time I finally have decided what to eat.

I recently read a story about The Rock detailing how he had to eat 6,000 – 7,000 calories a day to train for the movie Hercules. The Rock let the interviewer take a picture of his fridge and it looked like this…

Slow Down

The Rock left nothing to chance. His meals were pre-made and he knew exactly what he was going to eat at all times. My brother, who is  body builder, did the same thing as he prepared for his recent competition. He even went as far as to pack a cooler of his own food to family gatherings so he would not be tempted to indulge in foods that would take him away from his goals. The results of his dedication to his diet and workouts are pictured below…

Matt Bodybuilding

Now that I have realized how much my diet goals and planning have been lacking compared to my running goals, all that is left to do is to get down to the business of setting a new S.M.A.R.T weight loss goal and getting to work executing my plan. I will be printing out and hanging the tried and true saying below on my fridge moving forward.

Matt Bodybuilding

I am currently deciding what my next weight loss goal will be, however, I can promise you that it will be S.M.A.R.T. and my meals will be PLANNED. Stay tuned!

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