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Friday, October 11, 2013

I never thought the day would come when I would say this but I've been defeated. I cannot explain the process of what happened and at this point I really don't care. After several years of strength that seemingly came out of nowhere, undaunted courage, and grit that wouldn't quit, I finally tanked. Emotionally I collapsed and found myself so low I had to look up to see bottom.

I went for a long walk last night to try to clear my head. It couldn't have been a better night, temp was perfect, big orange moon, the smell of fall leaves, lots of stars. I wanted to just lay down on the trail and stare at the sky until I fell asleep.

It was there that I remembered a similar situation from WAY back when I was a young Airman. I just changed bases and my personal life was a total train wreck. I was in a strange place, didn't know anyone and felt VERY much alone.

I also just turned 21. Bad mix of personal issues and turning legal drinking age at the same time.

I walked into the Airman's Club and bought as much hooch to go as my meager salary could afford. I was not a social drinker, I drank for one reason. I drank to get hammered. I was going to go back to the barracks and drink myself into a total stupor and for a little while forget about my problems. To make myself numb. When it comes to drinking, being a hermit is a VERY bad sign, but that is my personality, I withdraw from life and wander in an emotional wilderness.

I sat there in my car with my newly acquired "medication" and stared at it. Is this what it has all come down too? I thought. So this is how life will be defined, Robert the drunk? The escape artist? There was nothing to stop me, no one intervening. I was old enough to make my own decisions and I was free to go back to the barracks and lose myself. No one would stop me, no parents and there was certainly no one on base that gave two hoots about me. This was all me and all boiled down to what I would choose.

After several long minutes, I gathered everything else and swallowed my pride and fear of what the reaction would be, and I walked back into the club to the man who sold it all to me and told him what the situation was and that I wanted to return them. Instead of surprise or sarcasm, he looked at me very seriously and said "Son, I'm proud of you, You did the right thing"

I heard the same voice speaking to me in these blogs....



There is no one to stop me from going away and quitting but to what end? I am not quitting the process, I'm giving up on myself just like I did back then and I didn't know where to turn. It is exactly the same cut and run reaction.

Also like back then, the choice is still the same. My problems were still there when I returned the liquor but I chose to feel the pain rather than numb it. I chose to face it.

Today I choose to face it.

That doesn't make the frustration or resulting depression go away, it just means that I choose to feel it and move on because when it comes to issues of weight, there is nowhere to go but up when you have a personality like mine.

Today I am still unmotivated. I look at my racing stuff and the things that brought such pride and a sense of accomplishment and I feel nothing. They are just so many trinkets from a time when I thought I had the answers. However, I am NOT those things, I'm just Robert.

Robert isn't such a bad guy and I am doing this because of him.

Obesity is a ruthless tyrant and I will not bend the knee no matter how tattered my battle flag is.

There really is no other option but pick up the sword and march.

March I will.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Robert, I have read your most current blog but decided to comment on this one. Your ability to recognize what happened to you as a young man and to connect that with now is an insight God has given you. Remembering that you have had to face depression issues and seek counseling earlier, this is a good step forward. Hold on to what you are realizing. All of you is valuable - your past, present, and future.
    997 days ago
  • v COO_KIE
    1010 days ago
  • v IMSMILEY88
    Hope each day is getting better! Sometimes we just have to plow on through until our motivation comes back to us!

    Thanks for sharing the links!
    1010 days ago
    Impact. I read this and was simply and fully impacted.
    1011 days ago
    Looking directly at a habitual thought pattern is the first step to healing. The 2nd step is to realize it is only thoughts and simply and gently smile at them with Love in your heart. Then the healing takes hold.
    1012 days ago
    Robert, you have a great supportive network here. Don't forget that every person that YOU support is there to support YOU. It is two way street. Always here to listen. And I would guess that every person above and below this comment is as well! emoticon We are all cheering you on! Maybe review your accomplishments? Who have you sparked? How have your family gotten healthier?
    1012 days ago
    So much familiar words... Keep on going! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1012 days ago
    I'm with you, my friend. I know exactly how that feels. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is the only option that matters sometimes, and it is not easy. emoticon
    1013 days ago
    I can so relate right now! I've gone from happily doing 'two a days' to really having to push to do...anything.

    if you are like me, your 'low' isn't so low that anybody else can even tell. I feel BLEH...down, down, down. But the one or two people I've confided in about my depression have been shocked.

    all I can say is, just keep trying.
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    1013 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/14/2013 10:50:42 AM
    I understand this very well. There are times like these that test what we are made of. Big hug.
    1013 days ago
  • v BLUENOSE63

    You are depressed my friend which is understandable! Look at this have been working out solidly for the last two or so years and attaining remarkable results. All that training has resulted in a huge spike in endorphins in your body for a sustained period of time. Now that you have slowed considerably in your activity, those endorphins are gone; so is the great feeling they produce.

    As someone who has dealt with depression on my life due to OCD, I highly recommend it is time to share your burden with a doctor and get a referral. There is no shame in speaking to someone who can understand your confusion.....sometimes problems are not of the "just get up and get back on the horse" variety. From reading your blogs, this sounds like one of them.

    Life is a constant re-evaluation I find, you think you have the answers and then......seems like you are back to square one. Its okay not to feel like racing etc right now....seems like there is something else going on here bigger than the exercise.

    Go forth and take the outstretched hand of help when it is offered.

    1013 days ago
  • v MISSLISA1973
    1013 days ago
    Remember that life is all about the small moments and not centered around major events. It seems that when you are training for some endurance event you've never done before you are in a "zone". I think trying to live that EPIC existence takes us away from the here and now. You mentioned the perfect weather for your walk, why can't that be EPIC in its own right? Why can't you be EPIC by celebrating life, your family and all the things you've accomplished? You have so much going for you. You've changed your life such that you have health, people who want to learn from you and hundreds that are inspired by you daily. How many people can say that??

    I know you'll continue on and sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. Just remember to not see your life as all-or-nothing. There are so many wonderful small details in the day-to-day. Don't miss them and celebrate everything.

    Remember that sometimes the most strength and courage are displayed by the small day-to-day things, not the major races or endurance competitions. Keep on, keeping on. Regardless of how you feel, you've got this. No doubt about it.
    1013 days ago
  • v BRADMILL2922
    The ups and the downs of what we are doing makes what we are doing REALLY hard! As I have discovered myself and as you know now, the downs of this journey can be much harder to get back up from than the feeling you get from the highs. It sounds to me like you are in a really big down, not defeated! If you were really defeated, you wouldn't end the blog with "March I Will".

    So, you are in a down that feels like defeat. Ok, but you won't let that define you. You have come to far, made to much progress, and accomplished things that you never thought was possible! Let that define you! You are not defeated, just discouraged...and I know you can recover from that!
    1013 days ago
  • v _JODI404
    MARCH on my friend. I'm here if you need me!!

    take care!! You DESERVE it!!!

    Thinking of you and wishing you the strength to press on, if even you fake
    it till you make it again.

    1013 days ago
  • v DUXGRL1
    Robert, we can all identify with this. I am almost 3 years into this journey, but still struggle, despite losing 57 lbs and looking normal now to the rest of the world. We just have to keep picking ourselves up when we feel that way, and keep trying. My own eating has been haywire for the past week and a half, including a couple of bad binges. But one thing that I have found is that if I am feeling unmotivated and I can just get back on track, one day at a time for several days, then a week, etc, the motivation comes from the momentum. That's what I am going to try to do. You can do this!
    1013 days ago
  • v JOE14250
    What are your goals for today? What are the ones for tomorrow?

    We need big goals for next year, but little ones the important ones!

    You haven't been talking goals lately.

    You will bounce back! Begin again!
    1015 days ago
  • v SBFT84
    I give a Hoot. I am so glad you blogged. When you have lost the motivation, you need Sparkpeople the most. I had lost my drive in January and haunted blogs and articles for a new spark. You were one of those sparks that helped keep me here, as I searched for the energy to carry on. Let everyone spark YOU while you rest, re-group, and re-define. When your New Victory calls you, you will recognize it. We are all cheering for you.
    1015 days ago
    The strength you show just by facing that this has happened to you and admitting it is incredible You are a great guy and an inspiration to many of us.

    I think we've all been there a time or two. Kudos to you for posting about it and taking that step
    I believe you will find your way, Robert.

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    1015 days ago
    You are inspiring through good emotions and bad. You have pulled yourself up before and I'm confident you are doing it again.

    Thanks for sharing such raw emotions!

    March on!


    1015 days ago
    I am glad to hear from you again. I was afraid when you were going on a spark break, as retreating from your support system when you are down, is somewhat a natural response, but it isn't a good response. As long as you are not giving up, you can still make progress. Let us know what you need, if there is anything you can use from us, your fellow spark friends/supporters.
    1015 days ago
    In the middle of the boring slog, when victory or even milestones look unattainable and far away, it's easy to lose motivation. That makes the slog tedious and difficult. I've experienced this not so much in the weight loss phase as in rehab.

    So what do you do? Either you quit, our you keep on slogging without feeling like it. If you choose to keep going, it could be weeks or months before you see something that looks like firm evidence that you're making progress. But eventually, the progress will be there and you'll reach a milestone that speaks to you and tells you that you did the right thing.

    Meanwhile, those of us who have had similar (though not identical) slogs through the unexciting ground of one foot in front of the other will tell you, take heart! The process of doing that long slow slog generates progress, even though the rate of progress may be so slow that you can't see it while you're doing it.

    Keep doing it anyway. Because you're worth it, and one day you'll look back and be glad you did.
    1015 days ago
    Hugs. Support. Understanding?

    I feel for you and was worried when I saw your Sparkbreak and facebook silence.

    I have been feeling quite defeated myself. Maybe I will send a private note and explain. I even wrote a blog but then deleted it. You are stronger than I am. I am tired of everything being so hard.

    But I will march on. Will you stick with me?
    1015 days ago
    Food has been my "medication of choice" for so long; it is damned hard to find another way of dealing w/life's challenges...

    You are an inspiration to us all, Robert - about the farthest from "defeated" I can imagine! Just look how far you've come...

    Hang in there & lean on us your SparkFriends for all the support we can offer...

    1015 days ago
  • v KATELOSS2009
    sometimes the journey is so long and the returns of our effort so much less than they were when we started out... it's easy to wear down, to slow down...

    maybe you don't give up, but maybe you change direction... maybe you find a different goal, like trying a new activity or perfecting a recipe for some exotic, healthy something...

    you know you can do the things you've done, but somewhere lies enjoyment... somewhere lies the smile of "that was really fun."

    maybe you keep doing healthy stuff and take up something new - pottery or knitting or woodcarving... something expressive... something cathartic.

    you are not alone in your trudging along - we may just be "virtually" connected, but I have every certainty that you have friends on here who would be there for a phone call... I can tell by reading some of the comments on this blog... you most certainly are not alone on the Base anymore...

    you are strong enough to not give up.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1015 days ago

    1015 days ago
    You don't have to win every battle to win the war. It's times like these that I focus on how far I've come. When you've done great things like completeing an ironman a marathon may not look like a gain. However, they all are positive things we can be proud of. Dieting may get old if we are always eating the same thing. We can still add stuff to our diets to change that. We may feel that in a large community like this one we don't make a difference, but we do. That's because everyone is different we all have different experiences and others on here relate better to well people they relate with or are similar too. Obesity is a needless killer it causes high blood pressure and limits life spans and can make active people lethargic. But it can be overcome in many different ways.

    Keep fighting the fight realize how far you have come what you're still made of. Doubt will always creep into our minds from time to time. But that doesn't change how far you have come or what you're made of.

    Slumps hit us from time to time, but they're temporary. Keep positive thoughts and you will be and continue to be a positive person.
    1015 days ago
  • v BECCA315
    Not defeated, just sidelined for a while. The magic will come back, namely because you know more than you did when you were 21. Becca
    1015 days ago
    Thanks I needed this. I've been in a slump for some time now and needed to read your words!!!!
    1015 days ago
  • v BLUEROSE73
    The strength you show just by facing that this has happened to you and admitting it is incredible. That strength will guide you in the right direction when the time is right. Don't beat yourself up about not feeling the overwhelming motivation to jump back on the wagon. It's hard work. And there are times we just don't want to. I have been following your blogs for a long time now. I know how proud of your accomplishments you are. Where you are now is temporary. I can promise you, there will come a time again when you can look at all your race swag and feel pride again. I'm not saying you will get back into racing - this may be the beginning of something new for you. The one thing I do know is whereever this journey takes you, you'll be ready to go, and you will give it your all.

    Be good to yourself right now. You are in some sort of transition. Focus on as much self care as you can while on this journey. Just don't forget - eating well, drinking water, and some form of exercise (even just that walk last night) are important forms of self care.

    Fight to keep yourself out of a depression. But if this is not a depression, don't fight the change. change can be scary, but it can also be amazing. Just be sure to not fall into the ugliness that depression can cause. Be sure to love yourself. Keep up your self care. And see where this journey takes you.

    I can't wait to follow your blogs to see where it takes you.
    1015 days ago
  • v _MOBII_
    I am a bit confused by your train of say you are defeated, but then go on to say that you are going to face your pain instead of running from it.

    That is not defeat, its courage.

    1015 days ago
  • v JORDAN1019
    1015 days ago
    Robert, you are an example to us all with your gumption, grit, and old fashioned stick-to-it-iveness. When the band goes home, you still have a lot to be proud of!
    1015 days ago
    Robert you just do not even know how VERY strong you actualy are. Even in your times of weakness you are strong and brave to face your issues...whether that means you need to go at it alone and away from the world for a while or you broadcast it to your extended family here to share with you and stand beside you. No one here thinks any less of you. In fact, i venture to say that you further prove to us that we can continue on regardless of our momentary circumstances.

    Robert, this time is but a moment in your life. We all have those times where we want to just sit in the middle of the floor and give up. Your track record proves that you've been at this place before, and guess what? You found what you needed to stand back up and get going again.

    We believe in you...even if you'd believe in yourself right now. It's ok to take a step back or to stand still and just breathe for a bit. Do what you need to do my friend to find yourself again. Until then just know taht we are all thinking about it or not we are family. And your family cares about you. NOT your weight or your accomplishments...but we care about you.
    1015 days ago
  • v RX_2_RV
    I stumbled across your blog. I admire the ability to share the struggles and not just the good times.

    Clearly, you have inspired, supported and motivated a lot of people here. Now it's your turn to accept the same from the SP community.

    Sending positive thoughts your way!
    1015 days ago
    You are ONLY one that I know who is talking so OPEN about your feelings, struggles and HOPE! You are an inspiration! I am with you. I get down all the time, want to close the world out BUT I wake up in am and I want to LIVE again! Life is Good and we need to STAY positive! KEEP your CHIN up! YOU CAN do it!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1015 days ago
  • v MARUKI52
    Been there myself so know what you are talking about but I didn't choose drink, it was/is emotional eating for me. You have done fantastically well and are a great example to everyone here and we, who have seen you achieve so much, know this is only a temporary situation and that you will soon pick yourself up and find the strength and motivation to carry on.



    1015 days ago
    This time, at least you are not alone with nobody who cares about you. You matter to me, to us. You have people who are proud of all you've accomplished, and who believe in you, even when it's hard for you to believe in yourself. I know that blackness that descends for no reason, that tells you it's all useless, the valley of the shadow of Death. You've been there before, and you know, while it may seem like an endless stretch of wasteland, there is a way through. No out, through. We're standing by with flashlights, lanterns, candles and friendly hands to see you through. You are loved.
    1015 days ago
  • v JACKIE542
    1015 days ago
    Well.....You know we have all been there...The way you are feeling right now.....The positive thing you did was to return the poison and move on....Another fantastic thing you did was to blog about it....Your wheels are turning, you are ready to get back on the motivation train.......Start back slowly and have a little fun with your exercising...Have you ever tried rollarblading? It shakes it up for me when I get bored/tired of my routines....Maybe you need a fun movie with a significant other or good friend......Or, another thing that sometimes cheers me up is a good cup of at Starbucks and a good magazine....Treat yourself to something special because you are special! (not food)! Hang in are WORTH your healthy journey! Hugs.. emoticon emoticon
    1015 days ago
    I've been there many times. Push forward..... that's all we can do.

    My favorite quote: Tough times don't last, but tough people do.


    1016 days ago
    Well said Robert. Keep moving forward. No matter how small the steps, they are still steps in the right direction. When I found myself in a similar place, all I could muster up the ability to do was to write down my food. It didn't matter what it was, I wrote it down. Slowly (and I want to emphasize, slowly), I would get the motivation to go for a short walk or eat a better breakfast. I spent several weeks like this and after awhile I found myself back to my "old motivated self." Keep your head up, you are awesome and you will get past this hurdle.
    1016 days ago
    I believe you will find your way, Robert.

    I am less than a week post-first-marathon, and am definitely feeling very unfocused without the framework of marathon training. I can do the exercise stuff, but my relationship with food is where my challenge lies. I need to learn that food is not to be used for medication, but rather as fuel. And I need to learn that it is okay - even good - to actually feel.

    1016 days ago
    One foot in front of the other. One healthy choice at a time. We're with you. emoticon
    1016 days ago
    I think we've all been there a time or two. Kudos to you for posting about it and taking that step. It's more than I've done at times. You are such an inspiration to so many people and I know you'll find your way back!
    1016 days ago
    Keep moving forward!
    1016 days ago
    You are a great guy and an inspiration to many of us. I believe that you can do whatever you set your mind to. I'm going to go out on a limb and express an opinion here about something I have observed about you. I say "out on a limb" because I don't know you, and I readily admit I may be off the mark here. Only you can decide whether what I say rings true. (Rings true, off the mark, out on a limb ... I'm certainly mixing metaphors if nothing else.)

    Anyway, here goes: I noticed how what happened to you after the 70.3 resembles postpartum depression. You have demonstrated that you are capable at throwing incredible amounts of energy and focus at specific goals. However, ultimately, weight loss has no finish line and you have to be happy and content when it is just another day and the reward is that you are thinner, stronger, and healthier. Maybe this is "the work" for you right now. But maybe not. Maybe this shoe doesn't fit (one final mixed metaphor) and in that case throw it away and please excuse me for butting in.

    For what it is worth, I have been so impressed and inspired by your journey so far.
    1016 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/11/2013 10:50:21 AM
  • v GRACE1054
    Robert is a GREAT man because he had the courage and strength to share his struggles with the SP community and I've no doubt that his courage and strength will inspire someone else who is on the verge of giving up.

    Thank you for your courage and strength.

    1016 days ago
    You've done it before and will do it again. emoticon
    1016 days ago
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