“I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.”
~ Ken Venturi ~
|The younger "old" me at a hypertensive 250 lbs|
|Not as good as I'm gonna get, but I'm better than I used to be|
Same SHIrT Different Day!
First, let me explain the title and pictures. The picture by the lake is the only picture of me that I have from that period of my life, and it is a constant reminder of one of my personal battles. The other picture is taken wearing the same shirt years later, and minus many pounds. The title ties together the transformation my body has gone through and the constant reminder of what I must continue to battle not to go back to what I once was. Anyone who knows me should know that these pictures being displayed here contain no ego or arrogance. The unfair fact of the matter is that I can undo six weeks of hard work in very short order.
Similar to anyone who struggles with any form of self sabotage, it is sometimes easier to deal with failure than success. Unfortunately, for too many of us, there is a sense of familiarity with failure and disappointment. And the possibility of success brings its own fears and stress. This does not mean that we don’t want to be successful, but it may mean that we fear the expectations and unknown entities of not failing at least a little. I believe that many of us have the built-in excuses that are easier to reach for than stepping into unfamiliar territory.
I have been my own ongoing experiment for many years now. On the one hand, I am much happier with the person I am now compared to the old me. On the other hand, I am constantly frustrated by my self-inflicted limitations. On countless occasions I feel like I have been on the threshold of major personal growth and before I can stop myself I shrink back into safety. Why is it so much easier to encourage and advise others than it is to put the same ideals into effect for ourselves?
Let’s go back to self-sabotage for a minute. It really does not matter what our vice is; the behavior pattern gives us a safety net. When we fail we can jump into the net, when we succeed we can also jump into the net. This not only keeps everyone else’s expectations down but it keeps our own at a more comfortable level. The fact of the matter is that we have to want to succeed more than we want to fail. In this, I believe I may have made some progress because the level of regret and disappointment of a recent failure is much higher than it may have been in the past.
Another important aspect to remember is that people need to stop comparing themselves to others. Partially because in doing so we feel those we compare ourselves to are above us and therefore better than us; worse is when people feel the need to be better and in this case someone has to be worse off for you to feel good about yourself. When, truth be told, we are all dealing with and fighting our own battles, the extent of which most people know nothing about.
So when we know something is wrong or not good for us what makes us go back to it? We can blame society, marketing and many other possible reasons. I have noticed that when I give myself permission to slack on my nutritional guidelines or come up with reasons to back off on running or exercise plans, I slip into a spinning vortex. It is like something inside of me sees the open window and wants to get everything I can before the window closes again.
A recent example would be the six or seven weeks of strict nutritional guidelines I set for myself before my last race, with the prize of pizza and beer upon completion of that race. The mistake in the deal I made with myself is that it should have been contingent on successful completion of said race, but my subconscious left that part out. Then there is the convenient failure to complete the distance I set out for and, voila’, built-in reason to extend the free fall. I might as well get that Burger King, Chinese food, doughnuts, ice cream and whatever else before I straighten up. And if no one sees me have it, did it really happen? Much like any other addiction or weakness, yes, it really did happen and must be dealt with.
Why is it that I feel the need to put myself out there for all to read this and judge? Mostly because I hope that if even one person reads this and it helps them to make a couple of changes in their life so they can move towards a better quality of life, then it is well worth it. As you can see my journey has taken many turns and gone on for many miles, but it is far from complete. I will always keep this picture as a reminder or what was behind me and what lies ahead. I must keep moving on the road I am on because I already know where the other road leads.
If you are new to my blog, Welcome! And if you have been with me for a while thank you so much for keeping me company on my travels down life’s twisting and broken roads!