Continuous Improvement... Stop focusing on the finish line.

Have you looked at your photo album lately?  The one with all the pictures of you as a baby, all cute and cuddly... untainted by an obsession with weight and diet?  What pictures are on the pages after the baby pictures?  I'm willing to bet its not a picture of you in a coffin or a bunch of people standing around at your funeral.  They're more than likely pictures of you growing up - a face smothered in cake, a proud trophy wielding soccer player, a high school graduation.  A landmark birthday party, maybe?  Age 5.  Age 13.  Age 16.  Age 18... these pictures mark the big events in life's journey.  There was always a "what's next" that we used to look forward to.  It struck me this weekend that for some reason, the focus for growing - doing more - getting better - we have completely lost that when it comes to our health.  In this time of little work and the desire for instant gratification, we focus on the finish line, the end game, the grand finale.  "When I get to my goal weight... "  When you get to your goal weight, what?  Then what?  The journey is over?  It struck me this weekend that we get all wrapped up around "before" and "after" pictures...  "After" should be an ongoing evolution of change - change for the better - a continuous improvement - a kaizen.  YOU sitting here at present day: THAT is a current state of you...  a moment-in-time "after", if you will.  But it is only a moment in time.  We should strive for more.  I don't ever want to focus on one final "after" picture ever again, much like I don't ever want a picture of my own funeral - that is the only point in my entire state of being that I will no longer have the freedom to improve myself.  My goal - my own personal goal is to spend the rest of my life's journey doing everything I can to improve myself mentally, physically, nutritionally, and faithfully so that when I do reach the final finish line... I will know I've done everything I can to keep improving myself to be the best I can and go out with a very satisfying bang.

So what's my point?  Why am I wasting your time with this blog?  Because I want you to come along on this journey with me.  I want to know that you, much like me, won't be satisfied with losing 20 pounds and then gaining 30... just so you can continue to focus your energy on losing weight.  Let's lose weight, let's get our eating habits nutritionally sound and stabilized, and my most favorite - let's start training.  For something.  A 5K?  A 10K?  The CrossFit sectionals?  A triathlon?  

I was a marathoner once.  I also used to weigh 147 pounds.  And so often, I would look back and think "wow - I looked so good"... but when I REALLY look back, I realize there were always components missing.  My nutrition was lacking.  Cupcakes burn off really fast running 26.2 miles.  My legs weren't nearly strong enough and I was never really trained well enough to go fast... only to finish.  So I'm giving up on looking back and I'm giving up on focusing on one finish line.  Its time to put the puzzle together - and start the journey to a lifetime of continuous self-improvement.

I saw this magnet this weekend and for a brief moment, my inner little voice shrieked "THAT'S ME"... until my sound solid stable self insisted that there is nothing worth going back to.  Instead - I WILL be as thin as all my life's choices make me.  And now that I've seen the hard-core haunches on those hottie CrossFit champions, being thin is nothing worth wishing about.  Just sayin'.
Week 1 of my journey -
Goals: get out and start moving.  At least five days this week, I am going to move my body.  (its a challenge to not want to go out and force my way through a 20 mile training run, but just getting out and moving is a vast improvement over my "current snapshot")

Where will your first week take YOU?

1 comment:

  1. it's been a while since you posted this, but i just found out about your blog today. i can tell you that a) we have plenty of pictures of the two of us eating horrible things (BURGER STREET ANYONE?!) and b) every time i look at them i think "man i thought i was so fat back then!"

    so my point is...good on ya; i look forward to reading the rest of your blog!