This post must seem odd coming off the heels of being nominated as one of the Top 50 Most Inspirational Healthy Tweeps, but I feel like a Big Fat Failure.
I'm not being falsely modest or humble, I'm just calling it like I see it.
Why do I feel like a failure? Well for starters I'm sitting here writing this post while eating Cheetos (something I haven't done in almost a year) out of a bowl as if it were cereal. But that's not really it.
Reason 1: My Big Brother's Wedding
I felt like a Big Fat Failure because, without singling anyone out, my family's health isn't the best. There used to be a time when we were active as a family, playing football in the yard, basketball, or even t-ball (with Catholic families it's easy to side two teams). But now? Not so much. We've slowed down a bit and enjoy good food/drinks too much/too often.
It just struck me while at my brother's wedding: how on earth can I be an inspiration to anyone else (hello internets!) if I can't get my own family on the right path towards health and away from all the co-morbidity factors associated with being overweight/obese.
There's no doubt that they notice the change in me but I don't think it's enough. They know I've lost the weight, but they didn't see it happen in real time. Sadly, I'm 250 miles away, too far to show them (by example) the day-to-day business of being more active and managing intake. You can't really discuss weight loss and healthy lifestyles once or twice a year over Thanksgiving dinner or at a funeral, can you?
Still, how can I possibly say I love my family members if I'm standing idly by while they are living such unhealthy lives? That first starts with making a judgment: "You are unhealthy." That never flies too well among family, does it? I'd intervene if I saw a family member with a drug or alcohol problem, but it's almost verboten to not talk about how many of my family members are overweight and inactive. And then secondly, how can one of the babies of the family convince the elders that I know better? ...that I can help them?
For right now the only answer I know is to be (1) present in their lives (2) honest about what losing the weight has done for me and (3) honest about my fears of losing them to preventable diseases associated with obesity.
Reason 2: Willful Stagnation
Now, I know I'm active and that I shouldn't look at the scale to judge my progress, but I should look at my actions to judge my progress. Well.... those aren't good either. I'm not exercising as consistently as I was back then. I'm not hitting my #GoTheDist targets. I'm not food logging. I'm seeing some of my trigger foods creep back into my life. I'm seeing my focus wane.
I know part of that is that I've been battling some recurring injuries -- my back (as always) has been giving me some crap from boxing, my knee (from running), and my shoulder (that was new!). I find it hard to have that much mental fortitude all the time with everything else going on in my life. The problem was that I saw it as a "get out of gym free" card. Not exercising because you're actually injured is a good reason to abstain from exercise, but not exercising because you've lost momentum or are afraid of re-injury is really the wimp's way out.
If you've ever met me, you know I'm not a wimp. But I'm a Big Fat Failure because I've let everything else get in the way of what I *know* to be something I want: to live a healthy, long, active life. I'm a Big Fat Failure because from the outside looking in, it looks like I've given up.
I know both of these things really fall under "Tend to Your Own Garden" theme-- e.g. work on your own life before trying to help/fix other people -- but, the thing is this: time and time again, I've come to realize that admitting my faults, showing my struggle, and renewing my resolve to fight is how I tend my garden.
[I contemplated a cheesy line about you all being my flowers, but you're all a bit more badass than that.]