We all do it.
The first thing we do in the morning after we get out of the shower. We look at ourselves in the mirror. Immediately self doubt and loathing sets in.
“Look at yourself!”
“How could you let yourself get this way??”
“You’re such a loser!”
Constant self doubt gets in your ear, and it stays there throughout the day. You start off great … because Rick woke you up to your pitiful excuse for a body, and you eat a sensible breakfast, if any at all, and it is still there when you eat lunch, so you grab a salad with tuna, maybe a bowl of broth based soup, and a liter of Fiji Water, and you gulp it down by 11:00 AM because you are starving, all while never leaving your desk. Good boy. Rick has been quieted for the moment. You’ve done good, boy!!
And the 3:00 hits and the hunger comes. It’s too early for dinner, or anything heavy … what to do … what to do. Well, since it Christmas, all of your well meaning co-workers have brought in cookies, cake, candy. One cookie won’t hurt right? Right? So you scarf one down, because, as everyone knows, if you eat it quickly it doesn’t count.
There’s Rick again … sitting on your shoulder … sneering his little sneer … laughing at you …
“You are so pathetic … you sorry ass bastard!”
And so it goes .. day after day … the scenario continues to play out over and over and over again. You lose 3 pounds, then gain 5. You lose 5, then gain 3. At the end of the year you weigh exactly what you did to start the year. In my case, 255 pounds. Yes I have gotten faster on the bike. Yes I can swim 2 miles without stopping. Yes I can complete a marathon. And YES I still weigh 255 pounds.
You’re constantly being told to stay positive.
IT’S MUSCLE JOHN!
MUSCLE WEIGHS MORE THAN FAT!
But the truth of the matter is that if you continually burn more calories then you take in, you should lose weight, and I don’t. There has to be something else going on.
Self doubt has been a constant companion of mine my whole life. Rick has been in my ear since I can remember, telling me I suck, that I can’t do something, that I just need to stop. Recently I have been able to ignore Rick, but he is still there, usually popping up at the wrong time, like as I take my first stroke during Ironman Florida. I wish I could make him go away completely. My training partners have been great in reminding me constantly of how far I have come. I have never heard one discouraging word from any of them, but Rick is a resourceful bastard. He stays silent when he’s amongst others, and then pops up as you step on the scale in the morning.
“What the Hell do THEY know!” he whispers. “Look at that fat ass staring at you in the mirror! There’s your proof!”
Positive thinking is the key, and I know this. Continually telling yourself over and over that you are getting better. That a three pound fluctuation is not always a bad thing. That the fact you are running 1:30 slower than you were a year ago is not a reason to give up. Reaffirming each morning that you are OK with how you are AT THAT MOMENT. Over and Over and Over and Over.
Eventually the negative facade cracks, and it’s not until something cracks that the light can start shining through. And once that light starting coming through, the cracks get larger and larger until all that’s left is light.
Yes … I AM a FAT SLOW TRIATHLETE
And I WILL be reckoned with!