This was week 149 of my Operation Melt journey that started with my goal to escape obesity and lose over 100 pounds in under a year. For more than two years I have been sharing my journey to both keep myself accountable and to help you as you work to crush your own goals.
Make sure to tell me what you think via the Contact Me link. While you are at it, please consider purchasing a copy of my book Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds In Under a Year.
As you can imagine a journey like mine teaches you a lot about accountability. This week I discovered that I still have more to learn.
I embarked on a journey to lose about a third of my bodyweight and I did it for me. At first I didn’t even tell anybody I was doing it. It would have been so easy to fail because nobody was holding me accountable but me. And I was used to putting myself last and letting myself down.
This is when I learned how important measurable goals are to me for accountability. If I am working towards a goal and can measure my progress it seems to be easier for me to keep myself accountable.
Training for something is a great way to keep yourself accountable but what happens when those things suddenly go away?
Taking my foot off the gas…
This weekend should have been my next half marathon with the Cap City Half Marathon. I had lots of goals for what I wanted to accomplish during this race and was making good progress towards those goals. I had other races queued up ready to help me reach those goals.
At the same time I was also working with my trainer at the gym to build strength to be able to do unassisted pull-ups. I was making great progress and had gotten down to around 80 pounds of assistance after starting way, way higher than that. I was getting very close.
Then, seemingly in the blink of an eye, that all changed. We all fell under a stay-at-home order and races were cancelled or rescheduled. The gym was closed. Suddenly all of the goals I was training for were on hold and all of my external accountability systems gone.
The result has been that I took my foot off the gas a little bit during this pandemic time. It wasn’t bad by any means; I stayed super active and very fit for sure. I was chasing week over week personal records in step counts and distances. I continued to maintain a big calorie deficit despite allowing myself to do more grazing and eating more calories. But I was offsetting with lots of exercise usually in the form of walking.
While I was maintaining a fit life I wasn’t pushing myself. I wasn’t holding myself accountable to improve my performance. I was just a little bit in neutral and just living.
Not training for any upcoming races let me slack off a bit on running. I got to a point where I was only running one time per week and let myself make excuses – it isn’t warm enough, it might rain and so on. And that one run per week wasn’t all that long or fast. Plus I haven’t even touched the at-home workouts that my trainer created for me.
Last week the universe sent me a message.
A friend of mine who is just getting back into running after taking time off after a hernia surgery is using an app to help get him back into running shape. He has been sharing his progress with me as a way to both keep himself accountable and because we like to stay in touch and bond over running. He is just progressing past the 5k run point in the app and is moving onto the 10k. He is pushing himself and really killing it.
My friend and I were in a text conversation after he had just finished a particularly aggressive run. That is when I volunteered that it had been almost a week since my last run. I told him that I want it to be warmer so I would be more comfortable.
Then he called me out on my excuses, in his own creative way. He texted me back: “Me too. But get your ass out there! If a grey old fart like me can bundle up and huff up the hill like the little rhino at the end of the Jumanji stampede, it’s a no-brainer for you!”
He’s right, I am letting myself make excuses and not pushing myself just because I am not training for some race or other goal. Ok universe, I heard you loud and clear. Time to sweat and move myself forward!
Get back out there…
I decided to start holding myself accountable to run at least 10 miles per week starting this week. And I made good progress already.
- Last Saturday: 6.11 miles at 9:46 pace
- Monday: 7 miles, 10:55 pace (but that pace was artificially skewed by technology issues)
- Wednesday: 1.61 miles, 9:39 pace
- Wednesday: 3.11 miles, 9:44 pace (yep, 2 runs that day)
- Friday: 3.12 miles, 9:25 pace (participated a virtual 5k)
- Saturday: 3.33 miles, 9:33 pace (decided I wanted to run a 5k per day for the weekend virtual 5k)
- Today: hoping to do a 3rd 5k if the pouring rain stops or just slows
Sometimes it just takes somebody giving you a little push to get you back on track when your accountability slips. The lessons I learned this week are not to let lack of external motivators be an excuse, to be on the lookout for messages that give you that little extra push and to make sure that I am being that message and push for others.
We are getting close to the finish line on this pandemic quarantine so let’s all make sure to finish strong!