#OctGTD: Balance

First of all, I want to thank all of the #OctGTD participants who got their mileage in to me this Friday.  If you haven't done so already please email me your total distance for October 1-7.

I wanted to talk a little bit about BALANCE.

By-in-large this is a cardio/endurance challenge.  Please do not forget to do your strength training, your core training, and/or your food logging.   I would love to hear your stories of how you're incorporating the #OctGTD challenge into your cross-training routines and all-around wellness plan.

Many of you (and I won't rat anyone out here) have emailed me or DM me on Twitter saying that you're disappointed in your mileage tally (sick, not motivated, injured, etc.), or that you think you bit off more than you can chew.

I'm not trying to be unkind, but seriously I don't want to hear it.

First and foremost:  you should NEVER feel guilty for listening to your body--even if it says "we need to sit this out for a week."  If you are sick/injured, figure out how to get yourself better and then we'll worry about the miles, okay?  #OctGTD, no matter how awesome it is, is not worth risking your health and well-being.

For those of you who think you bit off more than you can chew, I'm happy to adjust your miles.

But has it ever crossed your mind that it's okay to come up short in the challenge?  It's okay to not reach your mileage goal.  It's okay to get to the end of the month and come up shy.  This is the lesson we all have to learn:  it is okay to set goals and make plans and not be able to complete them 100%. 

Was your intent there? Was your heart in it? Did you commit to yourself and the goal?  These are things you should be able to answer for yourself. 

In school, failure was anything under 65%.  In life, we draw that imaginary line between success and failure. So what if you pledged 100 miles and only ran 80. You still ran 80 miles. Would you have ever thought that was possible?

Likewise, if you're blowing your mileage out of the water because you set the bar so low, what does that say about how you feel about yourself? Are you selling yourself short in other places in your life? 

The thing is this, my friend, this challenge is more than just October.  This is the rest of your life. 

We can't always fudge the numbers.  Sometimes we have to take a step back, reevaluate, and come up with a new plan.

When you set your own goal and came up with your own reward, theoretically you considered (1) your ability, (2) your schedule, (3) and your commitment level.

So if after one week things aren't looking too good, where are you falling short?

If it is your ability/fitness level:  this should be a LOUD wake up call.  I've said time and time again that weight loss is NOTHING without health gain -- and fitness is a part of health.   How can you use #OctGTD as a starting point to improve your own fitness?  If you are only focusing on the mileage and ignoring strength training, this is also something to be mindful of.  You should want your fitness to apply to your whole body.

If it is your schedule:   I love the Nike ad "Someone busier than you is running right now."  I know you all have busy lives and wear many hats.  You need to put yourself and your needs first sometimes.  It might mean you have to be creative or communicative, but it is possible.  The people in your life want you to be healthy and happy.  Let them know how they can help.  If you want it badly enough, I'm positive you can make it happen.

If it is your commitment level:  I will say this as many times as you need to hear it.  You are not letting me down. You are not letting anyone else down.  This is about you and the promises you make to yourself.  If you aren't keeping those promises, what does that say about you?

You have 3 more whole weeks to dig deep and figure out who you want to be when this all ends.
Do you want to be the person who meets challenges head-on or do you want to be the person who sits them out?

An aside directed to someone who shall remain anonymous, but this is applicable to many of you as well:

You do not need to "earn" your food through exercise.  You shouldn't feel like you have to burn off dinner by going to the gym late at night.  If you are doing these things, you haven't learned a thing.

The gym is not a confessional where you go to absolve yourself of dietary sins.   Your exercise and meal choices should be plans that work with each other and are informed by the other, but are not emotionally connected or dominated by the other. 

Just like it's okay to come up short on mileage, it is okay to have one day where you consume more calories than you expend.  That does not constitute a failure.  On a habitual basis you will feel it, but it is not physically bad nor should it make you feel like you're a bad person to put food into your body, especially when it is asking for it. 

Pay attention to the trends.  Pay attention to your behaviors.

Take a deep breath and try to figure out why you went over your calories (were you just that hungry? were you being mindful of the situation?) and then come up with a plan to handle those situations in a matter-of-fact manner.

Again, this is more than just a one-day challenge.  This is the rest of your life.  Be kind to yourself.


I love this: The thing is this, my friend, this challenge is more than just October. This is the rest of your life.

Great post - it is hard to think long term but any improvements you make in your eating or exercising will be with you for life!


I love what my dietitian and her speaking partner (BL Season 5 at home winner, Bernie Salazar) talk about -- making small changes that you can maintain for life.

For instance I can't give up ice cream, but I can choose one without tons of crap in it, and I can eat it in moderation.


very good advice ! it's ok not to be perfect dream to fly so you can soar..if you always shoot for the moon even if you fail you still land among the stars


Thanks for the advice! I sent you my mileage on Friday but it isn't on the spreadsheet. I'll resend it to you.


This is just more proof of why I *heart* you!


Your blog rocks!
I really appreciate this blog because it was what I really needed to hear right now. I wish it wasn't so late in to October because I would have totally done #OctGTD but I'll have to start documenting my runs again. Thanks for being awesome!


As a fat guy who is still early on in the timeline of me weight loss I know that doubling my previous efforts was going to require a lot of work. I posted on my blog that that it wouldn't be called a challenge if it was easy.

The earning your meal thing is something I always used to fail on. "I totally earned a footlong sub today". I've finally started to see food as fuel to my next workout. I can feel like garbage and have a bad day if I didn't eat the way I should. The days I eat well and crush the water I feel like a really fat gazelle.

great post. keep up the good work.


I love that line, "the gym is not a confessional where you absolve yourself of your dietary sins."

I feel like people are doing that more and more and it makes me a little sad inside.

It shouldn't be a punishment it should make you feel free and good and healthy.

Whenever I get done running and wash off the sweat, I feel so good and clean!


Misty: falling on your ass is also okay, so long as you stand up, brush yourself off, and keep at it.

Brigitte: we should be all set now.

FGCR/A: I <3 you too. I also <4 you.

NathanAlbert: I'm glad you like it :) You can still participate in #OctGTD. I mean, what do you think you can do in 3 weeks?

JP: You're right -- it's a challenge because it requires us to find the strength from within (mentally and physically) to keep on going. I used to do the same, sorta. Run 10k, eat a chicken/spinach quesadilla. And then I'd wonder why I hit a wall at 201lbs. I know the days when I'm going to put in a large caloric expenditure. I adjust accordingly. I try to look at all my calories (eaten/expended) as a week-long thing, not a daily thing.

Sava: It makes me really sad to see people do that as well -- that they didn't plan (from the start on the day) to enjoy things. It just kinda shows how haphazard we all are at times when it comes to our diet and emotions toward food.

I'm with you -- when I shower... ugh... so good. Now if only i had a full time masseur....


Great post, girl!


Hmm,I needto do this for the rest of my life? Be healthy? Be happy? Be capable of awesome things? Ok, I am good with that. More miles, coming up :-)


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<3 Robby