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Day ...unknown... starting over...

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Friday, October 04, 2013

These last several days have been a wilderness for me. I allowed a few things to knock me off balance and have been floundering ever since. I wanted to post this because EVERYONE needs to know that people who seem to have it all together struggle, people who do epic things flop... There can be a feeling with those who are just starting out or are stuck in the early stages of their journey to look at us who seem to be far along and think that we are somehow invincible or that they are somehow deficient.

You will be happy to know that while you see the cool things from my highlight reel, there are many things in the everyday drudge of life that you do not see. The pack of M&M's at the gas station, the stress eating, the inner conflict from frustration with myself, the doubting. None of us are immune, it hits all of us hard and makes us wonder. It's the coming down from the high of a huge personal victory and facing the grind that makes day to day living tough.

It's the frustration that comes from being able to swim, bike, and run epic distances, beat myself into submission, pull miracles out of my rear end and yet seem totally incapable of putting one foot in front of the other. In the everyday business of changing your lifestyle there are no crowds, no cowbells, no thumping of finish line music. Many times it's just us, alone, facing our demons, the things that put us on the dark path to begin with. The weaknesses that patiently wait for us in the dark after we get done proving to ourselves that we are special and heroic in some way.

Long after all grows silent, the gear is put away, the medal has stopped swinging on the rack, and I'm done plotting my next adventure, they are there to welcome me back. Maybe I fill my life with adventurous noise so I don't hear them calling me, mocking me, bragging of every time they brought me down.

Maybe it is easier to face a distance than it is to face myself.

Maybe I have looked at my wall of trophies then looked in the mirror and had it strike me deep that in spite of everything, I am still fat.

It takes time to finish a journey and get to the business of maintenance and I understand that, there is nothing quick fix but after over 5 years, enough is enough. I marvel at those that have lost this kind of weight in a year or so.... It makes me feel that I have wasted a lot of valuable time.

Have I fallen into the ranks of ever trying but never succeeding?

Maybe in honesty there is salvation.

One thing I will never do is post a false front. People need to see this so that by my struggles they will know that they are not weird, dysfunctional, or are some how failing. So here it is my fellow campers, my underwear is flying proudly from the flagpole for all to see and by the twilight's last gleaming, someone else will probably be set up to take their turn in the morning.

That is what makes a place like this so special.

You can get a boatload of useful information and resources anywhere on the Internet. However, only on SP do you see reality, struggle and success. You follow people along and see not only their successes but also the afore mentioned "flagpole" moments and take heart that there are no big I's and little U's here. We are all in it together for the business of setting things right.

Someday, I will be a success story too. This is where it starts.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You ARE a success story. Being brave enough to be honest with yourself and not be ashamed to share this honesty with others is a feat that few of us accomplish. You are a beacon of inspiration and that is more than any number on a scale or measuring tape can offer. Thank you
    691 days ago
    The truth may not be pretty, but there is beauty in being honest. Thank you so much for sharing your truth, even though it doesn't feel so good to admit that you are human. You're still EPIC. emoticon
    986 days ago
  • v BECCA315
    I cannot tell you how much this meant to me. Thanks for sharing. Becca
    989 days ago
  • v JOE14250
    We all take ourselves to seriously at times. There really are no deadlines after all, only goals. We all can get caught up in what Albert Ellis used to refer to as musturbation.
    990 days ago
  • v DUXGRL1
    So many of us identify with what you said!
    992 days ago
  • v JMOUSE99
    Thank you! Very well written and emoticon
    992 days ago
    Robert, thank you for putting in to words what so many of us are feeling, but can't express. Your insights and honesty and willingness to share both your victories and the struggles will always be the main features of your "highlight: reel.
    Thank You!!
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    993 days ago
    You wrote what has been going on in my head, in variations, for a long time now. I can gear up and meet very challenging goals. But when it's all said and done... I'm still 20+ lbs from my stated weight loss goal.

    However, the longer I've been on this journey the less the illusive number on the scale matters. What matters is how fit I am, how far I can walk, or swim or bike. That I can take the stairs instead of the elevator most days.

    Thank you for sharing your entire journey. Not just the spectacular or even good days. One of the reasons I follow your blog is because you always tell it like it is while being encouraging.

    I'm also a very slow loser, very slow. Could I have lost it all? If I were perfect maybe. But we have to live as well as lose weight. The best measure I've found is can I do more than I did and how much weight have I kept off. I think my body (and mind) went into maintenance mode after losing the first 45 lbs (for 7 years now).

    I think I'm finally ready to face those last demons the ones who say I'm not good enough, smart enough, whatever enough to be healthy, strong and fit.
    993 days ago
  • v SBFT84
    Am I really a failure if I eat chocolate when I am not at my goal weight?
    Am I really a failure if I binge with my Shame Buddy Shifty ?
    Am I really a failure if I go back to Closet Eating and hide the wrappers?
    Am I really a failure if I don't lose as much weight as you did?
    Am I really a failure if I can't fit in my new, "skinny" clothes?

    I have pictures of my healthy self from last year, so I know that I was a champion.
    I have a closet of clothes that I can't fit into, so I know I was once a winner.

    I am not alone in this , and neither are you. We need each other, because you can't create a spark with only one flint or steel .

    We cheer the victories because we know how brief they last.
    We encourage the climbers who are building ladders to escape the deep pit of despair, because we are in the pits, as well. Some are just way deeper than others, and each one needs a new, custom ladder to lift us out of it.

    Thanks for your light, and know that I am still cheering for you as you make a detour from your path.
    Blogging is not the victory.
    Living is the victory. Health is the reward.
    994 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/6/2013 8:22:58 PM
    Robert, I'd LOVE to know how you managed to pull this out of MY head. I've been feeling like this for months. In MY words, I feel like a fraud. I do these things, I post blogs of these accomplishments, and yet, I can't get motivated to finish what I started. I don't tell the "whole story." The M&M's, the late night hotdog, the skipped workouts, whatever. I completely understand the whole "5 years is enough" attitude. People have lost as much weight as I have in a year, 18months, and it's taken me 3 1/2 and I'm STILL not done. I completely understand. But you ARE a success, because you HAVEN'T given up. Regardless of how long, or when you get to the finish line, you HAVE changed your life! I'm so thankful to know you.
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    994 days ago
  • v DEE797
    Thanks for sharing this with us. I know you will be successful... emoticon
    994 days ago
  • v LADYJ6942
    Oh so very true, thanks for putting this out there.
    994 days ago
  • v ANNMACP0212
    This was one of the best weight loss journey blogs I've ever read. Thanks for your honesty and for keepin it real you have accomplished so much and you will continue to inspire us along the way of you next steps.
    995 days ago
    You have accomplished a great deal, and you have so much more to do with your teaching classes. Your own personal weight loss journey isn't over. Is anyone's? Even if you are in maintenance, you are ever vigilent. So you are still "fat". So am I. So are a lot of folks here, but we're here for a reason, as you are. You can do it! I can do it! We CAN do it! Do what you know needs to be done, and tackle it day by day. That's how it gets done.
    995 days ago
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    995 days ago
  • v JUNEAU2010
    I would not say you're starting over. You have learned a lot, you have changed your life, you are changing your life. You may be starting anew, pushing a reset button or...but you are not starting over. Minor word changes but the inner message is important.

    This was a powerful blog, more so because of the growth behind it and the truth searing through it.

    You are a winner, a success, every day!
    995 days ago
  • v ELSAT137
    Thank you! I am right there at the same place. On top of the world last week and in the depths this week. I will keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually I will see that mountaintop again.

    Thank you again for your honesty!

    emoticon emoticon
    995 days ago
  • v FITFOODIE806
    Wouldn't it be nice if we got a little cowbell each time we resisted the candy temptation at the gas station?? It would make day to day life more fun :)
    I am always cheering for you Robert. And you know I think that you ARE a success story.
    995 days ago
    Oh, my! I don't think you are starting over at all! It DOES sound as if you are on the verge of a fantastic new beginning though, from the present starting point where you have worked hard to arrive! Keep going with this thought process of facing those demons-- identifying them, and then learning how to banish them! While we all appreciate your sharing your struggle with us, and we have learned from it-- forget about us for a little bit and focus on you-- you can win this battle. You are succeeding every day-- it's just that the circumstances of battle have changed due to where you have arrived! Stay with it and you will be on to a new kind of victory!
    995 days ago
    There is definitely a need for blogs like this I know there was a point when I would see people that hit their goals and think how together they were but what I didn't realize and what I am finding everyday is that there is no final goal, no magic date, no magic scale number, it is just me striving to be healthier than I was before. I am at a crucial point in my journey where I have lost enough weight that I can look at myself 50% of the time and see the athlete and then there is that other 50% where I look at myself don't like what I see and no matter how hard I tell myself I have come a long way it induces a shame spiral and the stare down with the M&M's. I just keep working on moving forward and I am looking at changing my goals away from weightloss at this point and back into fitness oriented goals because having weight loss goals has been counterproductive as of late for me. I'm going to do my best to maintain while I'm in Italy but when I get back home it is back to work.
    995 days ago
    I too, have been on my journey for 5+ years. Two years ago I was exactly where I wanted to be, but didn't realize it at the time. I got injured, then lazy and the excuses took over. I've been working my butt off for a month and the scale won't budge. It's frustrating, heartbreaking and exhausting, but here is what I'm learning:

    If you slip up, but get back on track - you're a success story.
    If you're honest with yourself - you're a success story.
    If you're consistent (80%-20% rule) - you're a success story.
    If you hate the thought of a workout today, but do it anyway - you're a success story
    If you hold yourself accountable - you're a success story.
    If you look at the past, and realize how far you've come - you're a success story
    If you meet your goals (no matter how long it takes) - you're a success story
    If you keep trying - you're a success story
    If you realize these changes you're making are a lifestyle, and you'll be living it in some form or another for always - you're a success story


    I'm raising my glass to the greatest success story I know of - YOU.

    Cheers, my friend.
    995 days ago

    I needed this today. I am floundering.. drowning actually, and I have friends that joined well after I did that I encouraged, they do well, pass me up, and are now in maintenance. While I wish them well, I sit here and wonder.. why them and not me? What did I fail at? I find myself comparing my journey to theirs, and wondering if their way would be better... (sigh)

    So much self doubt - which is probably how I got here in the first place.

    So, again, thank you - you are one of the ones I admire and I appreciate your honesty.

    995 days ago
    Your honesty is just what we need on this page. I've been struggling the last couple of months, and all the WooHoos and Let's Go Teams aren't bringing me around. I'm sorry you are in a low spot right now, but your candid self-assessment helps me understand myself. Hope you are back on your dream path again soon.
    995 days ago
    You are a success! And an inspiration and you sure help me keep going. I also find training for races easier than losing weight. Hang in there!
    995 days ago
    Robert thank you for posting this blog. It really does help us just starting or the ones who get frustrated with little to no results and fall again and again (me!). You are a success story! You've completed more than most would even think about accomplishing in the fitness world.

    It's ok that you're not "perfect" all of the time. It builds up your determination I appreciate the honesty in your blogs. You paint a true picture not simply giving the impression of always being a bed of roses. You help us see that even when you've been successful its still hard work and not everyday is going to be perfect.
    995 days ago
  • v KATHIC2
    I do much better with working out than eating. Eating healthy will be a life long, hate to use the struggle word, but it is what is, struggle. You have accomplished so much. You are a success story. Maybe it is not starting over, rather pressing onward.
    995 days ago
    Could it be that you love calibrating your race training more than you "love" calibrating how much you eat? Could it be that you love the excitement of learning to lift kettle bells more than the "excitement" of finding better ways to eat healthy?

    Could you have a low threshold for boredom? And figuring out food bores you?

    I have no way of knowing whether or not this is true. But I do know that you are a very real, very human inspiration to me. I accept you, flaws and all, as one of the best proofs of the fact that we can change.

    I thank you for that. And I wish you the very greatest of success in this, your last big battle.
    995 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/5/2013 7:35:35 AM
    You are a success story!
    But our story never finish with " they lived happily forever after! " lol

    I understand the frustration of thinking this is taking too long....I think the same thing sometimes.
    But then I focus on all that I accomplished and stop wishing it was different because its my journey and its ok to take the time I need!
    emoticon emoticon
    995 days ago
    Bravo... emoticon You know how when you cross the finish line you hear "Robert, YOU are an Ironman" ? Has to be the most amazing and fleeting feeling ever. And yet, THIS is real and you have put the raw, real deal out here waving in the breeze and you can bet that flag pole is rocking whitey tighties, colorful boxers, thong panties, granny panties and they all wave flippin' PROUD and successfully because they put it out there and shared it ALL! Robert, today and everyday YOU ARE AMAZING! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    995 days ago
    emoticon This is a a great blog. Yes, the day to day is hard because there is no one to cheer you on...but I think that all the training you did prior to your event was the day to day and you do that well. You have had a goal and you focus on that.

    As far as weight loss goes, no one's journey is perfect and there is no one right way to do it. I don't believe you've wasted time. This is how it is supposed to happen for you. We all need time, not only for our bodies to change, but for our minds as well. The emotional responses, habits that take time to change, the mindset has to adjust as we physically transform.

    You can do incredible things. Your body has done incredible things and will continue to do incredible things. Celebrate that, rejoice in the fact that you have done many amazing things with hard work. Even if you have not reached all of your goals, you can celebrate the journey and be proud of all you have done.

    995 days ago
    Yes! Too true. You say 'someday I will be a success story' but I think you already are. Even the people who we think of as successes have bad days. Thanks for this post!
    995 days ago
  • v CM_GARDNER78
    Epic - even in being transparent. Maybe even more so! Keep it up!
    995 days ago
  • v LADYBUG1943
    My favorite quote of all time:

    It doesn't matter how many times you fall. What matters is how many times you get up. It has kept me from beating up on myself many times.

    I agree with Barbara. You sound like a winner to me!

    995 days ago
    I think they call this life. We live from step to step, not from peak to peak.
    995 days ago
    We are human. We are successful most times and sometimes not. This is a great place to put it all out there and take the journey together.

    No matter how many times we need to, we keep hitting that reset button. No beating ourselves up!

    I hope you have a great weekend!

    996 days ago
  • v MSLZZY
    You are a success story in every way. You laugh,
    you cry, you win, you lose. You are human.
    But you inspire! Never doubt that you made
    a difference in someone else's life today! HUGS!
    996 days ago
    A VERY wise man once said, "Success is in what you do when the " WOOHOO" is all through. Never let it be said that you are not a success! You are my hero and a wonderful role model! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    996 days ago
    Every journey is personal, and we will always fall short comparing ourselves to others.

    I am finding great success with one of the Spark challenges. It has given me the motivation to do the small tasks (that we all know add up to the big weight losses). You'll find your way -- you always have and you won't give up until you win! emoticon
    996 days ago
    This is why you are so well loved, Robert. You are honest with your successes and trip ups (they are not failures, they are LEARNING EXPERIENCES).

    Tell those demons to take a flying leap, dust yourself off and start with making the next choice a healthy choice.

    You still ROCK. emoticon


    996 days ago
    emoticon I'm here for you.
    996 days ago
    There are a lot of wonders in the wilderness. Life can't be the same all the time. The grind will drag you down. It's fine to get lost once in a while. That's how you discover yourself anew. Best wishes, Glenn
    996 days ago
    Wouldn't it be great to be Epic everyday!.... but then Epic wouldn't be Epic... it would be normal. You are Epic Robert... just keeping working at healthy living and eating right and you will get there.

    996 days ago
  • v TINAJANE76
    Yes, my friend, we ALL struggle from time to time regardless of how together we seem, Popular Blogs we have and how long we've been around. This journey we've set out on is a tough one that's filled with lots of hills and valleys. As long as we keep riding them out and stay connected to our support systems here, we'll be sure to come out on top--and you will too.
    996 days ago
    Don't kid yourself, Spark-son. While you may feel like you're back at square one, you are STILL and always will be, a success story. As long as you keep on getting up and facing those demons... you are not failing. You are succeeding at the never-ending job of growing and learning.

    Trust me. My first "success" in my late teens was followed by failure after failure... and EVERY time I slipped after succeeding, I felt every bit the "fraud". Only now, at the start of my 7th decade on the planet do I realize that all those back-slides and re-addressing the demons do NOT make me a failure or a fraud... they make me human.

    And that it's OK to be human. Even when you're Epic! You have stated it well. People need to know that people who succeed do so by repeated failures. One of the things I most admire about you is that honesty. And it is one of the things that will KEEP you succeeding, and chasing after dreams and distances...

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    996 days ago
    Every success begins with step number one... keep on keeping on...
    996 days ago
    fortunately every new day and every new choice is a chance to derail the bad and make a better choice or find a new and better way to think about something. I gotten lots of great information and ways of thinking from SP.

    996 days ago
    You are already a success story and even in your moment of "weakness" you show strength, fortitude, and courage. The so-called goal weight, remember, is only a numerical assignation created to give you a direction on the journey. There are so many important things about the way you are today vs 5 years ago. You are FIT -- fitter than the MAJORITY of people who are already at their "goal" weights. You are LIVING a new and (may I presume) better life overall than you were 5 years ago. You are no doubt healthier -- not because of the weight that you have lost, but because of the sum of the good habits that you have incorporated into your life. Eating healthier OVERALL, exercising, journalizing your thoughts and feelings, opening up to new people, seeking new adventures on a regular basis... all of these things have combined to give you a QUALITY OF LIFE that is ENVIABLE. You will get through this rough patch. You may or may not lose more weight -- I don't have a crystal ball, and I don't know anything about your genetic makeup, medical history, etc. But, I do know that whether you hit that number or not, you are already ON2VICTORY.
    996 days ago
  • v TIME-4-TINA
    I also marvel at the people who can lose a ton of weight in one year. Sometimes I wish that was me, because I would be done by now. But then there are times when I realize that I lost the weight slowly, the right way. I also have to wonder how much depravation is involved when you lose so much weight in a short amount of time. If I had to deprive for a year straight, I don't think I would have been able to do it. I have to buy a bag of m&ms once in a while. And apparently, so do you.

    996 days ago
    you are not alone. so many of us realize that this is a daily battle, and all of us are in various stages of facing our selves.

    I think it's good that you put it all out there, good and bad. It means you don't shy away from sparkpeople when your healthy life journey isn't going the way you want it to go. You are willing to put it out there that you are facing hardship. Whether or you can see it, you are developing serious mental fortitude, which will help you be successful with your overall goals.

    as usual, i deeply appreciate your blogs. tomorrow is a new day. Make it a good one!

    996 days ago
    Tomorrow is a new day for a fresh start & a clean slate. I know you can do this. emoticon
    996 days ago
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