Accountability

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.

Accountability

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.

A push…

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

Lesson learned!

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!

So Many Feelings

This was week 148 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.

So Many Feelings

Over the past few months several people have suggested that I watch a movie from last year called Brittany Runs a Marathon. They all told me that the movie reminded them of my journey. So I finally watched it this week.

A quick summary of the movie: Brittany is an overweight girl who parties too much and whose life is in kind of a shambles. She goes to the doctor and learns that she is in very poor health and she decides that she is going to make a change. She starts running, joins a running club and sets a goal to finish the New York Marathon. The movie follows her quest for fitness, for acceptance, for love and the ups and downs (physical and emotional) along the way.

I thought it was a fairly good movie with enough comedy to keep me interested but with a good story and some poignant points. There is are 2-3 scenes in particular that really stuck with me and I have replayed in my head a few times. I found some definite parallels between her journey and mine though some of the big things were very different. I mean more different than I am not a twentysomething female named Brittany and I have never run a full marathon. But you get the point.

What I wasn’t prepared for is the emotional reaction that this movie triggered in me.

I have talked before about the mental part of the weight loss journey. But the mental part of living a post weight loss life is definitely something that requires attention too. There are lots of emotions that still linger from the before time and from the transformation time. You never know when something is going to bring them out and there were a few parts of this movie that certainly brought them out for me.

So what’s my takeaway / ah ha from all of this? When you go through a very visible and impactful transformation be prepared to deal with emotions throughout and after the journey.

My Operation Melt journey has been a big part of who I am and it was my top priority for almost two years. I changed a lot about my life that had been there for over 40 years. That can’t happen without some emotions. My best example was standing in “Celebration Village” after my first Columbus Marathon half and crying in front of thousands of strangers because I had crossed the finish line – in the race and in my transformation.

The only solution to these emotions is to be patient with yourself and give yourself time to work through them. Don’t feel silly when they hit you (like I did), but expect that they will surprise you sometimes.

Pandemic Fitness

Don’t forget that I am also sharing my Pandemic Fitness Tips on social media at @OperationMelt and on the Operation Melt Blog at https://www.operationmelt.com/category/pandemic-fitness-tips/ to help give people insight into the small habits I am embracing to stay healthy.

Every day I am looking for ways that I can keep myself healthy (again, both physically and mentally) and ways to help other people do the same. As I have said before, I am hopeful that this leadership helps others get through this time as happy, healthy and productive as possible.

I hope you go out there this week and live your best life and show this virus that you are the boss of you!

Pandemic Fitness Tips #26

Living a healthy, fit life is about good habits that positively impact your body, your mind and your spirit. When a global pandemic hits and forces us out of our daily routines we have to make some changes and be even more deliberate about taking care of our fitness. I am sharing some of my new fitness habits and they will help you keep your own fitness goals moving in the right direction.

This week’s theme: how to continue to feel productive (a key component of happiness) despite being stuck at home.

Tip #26: out of control. There are lots of things that “might” happen that you can’t control. Focus your efforts on controlling things you can control and not on fretting about the factors out of your control. That is misdirected energy that you are taking away from being at your peak productivity.

Pro tip: practice good risk management. Risk management is focused on identifying those things that “might” happen and reducing the probability that they happen and the impact should they happen. For example, you don’t really have control of whether your company will decide to furlough you right now. All you can do is perform at your best and add value (reducing the probability) and having a plan and a financial safety net if it happens (reducing the impact). Risk management is one of the keys to peak productivity throughout your life.

I know life is different right now and almost every one of us is struggling to find our new “normal.” With some good daily habits this new “normal” can still be a fit life. Good luck and get out there and live your best life. Let’s defeat this virus together!

Read all of my Pandemic Fitness Tips in my Operation Melt blog at https://www.operationmelt.com/category/pandemic-fitness-tips/

Pandemic Fitness Tips #25

Living a healthy, fit life is about good habits that positively impact your body, your mind and your spirit. When a global pandemic hits and forces us out of our daily routines we have to make some changes and be even more deliberate about taking care of our fitness. I am sharing some of my new fitness habits and they will help you keep your own fitness goals moving in the right direction.

This week’s theme: how to continue to feel productive (a key component of happiness) despite being stuck at home.

Tip #25: plan but pivot. Plans are nothing but planning is everything. Plans are important in life to set your course for how you will reach your goals. But life also brings surprises and you have to be ready to adjust. Who could have predicted that we would all be in lockdown for weeks and many people unemployed due to a global pandemic? If you hold on too tightly to plans that are no longer appropriate for the conditions you are facing, you won’t be able to be productive. Build a plan, continually monitor conditions and then deliberately update the plan as needed. That is the core premise of #ProjectManagement BTW!

I know life is different right now and almost every one of us is struggling to find our new “normal.” With some good daily habits this new “normal” can still be a fit life. Good luck and get out there and live your best life. Let’s defeat this virus together!

Read all of my Pandemic Fitness Tips in my Operation Melt blog at https://www.operationmelt.com/category/pandemic-fitness-tips/

Pandemic Fitness Tips #24

Living a healthy, fit life is about good habits that positively impact your body, your mind and your spirit. When a global pandemic hits and forces us out of our daily routines we have to make some changes and be even more deliberate about taking care of our fitness. I am sharing some of my new fitness habits and they will help you keep your own fitness goals moving in the right direction.

This week’s theme: how to continue to feel productive (a key component of happiness) despite being stuck at home.

Tip #24: daily goals. Want to feel productive? Let goals make that happen. Set small daily goals for the things you want to accomplish each day. When you get to the end of the day look back at what you accomplished and instantly realize just how productive you were. Just don’t set overly ambitious goals or they will actually demotivate you and that is the opposite of what you want.

I know life is different right now and almost every one of us is struggling to find our new “normal.” With some good daily habits this new “normal” can still be a fit life. Good luck and get out there and live your best life. Let’s defeat this virus together!

Read all of my Pandemic Fitness Tips in my Operation Melt blog at https://www.operationmelt.com/category/pandemic-fitness-tips/