Welcome to my weekly Operation Melt update where I share progress updates from my continued fitness journey and the important lessons it is teaching me about life.
A Moment to Brag
May I please have a moment to brag? Ok, some of you may think that this entire site is me bragging, but that’s not the case. I want to talk about my story for a second.
My story is impressive! I lived a life of obesity from the time I was a child until after age forty. Then, after reaching three hundred and twenty-five pounds, I made a decision to change my life.
I set a big goal, or a BHAG for you Jim Collins fans. I was going to lose over a hundred pounds in under a year despite not knowing how to do it. Bigger than that, I was going to lose the weight my way and was not willing to give up things that I liked so it all had to fit into my plan.
I turned to the things I knew to achieve my goal: project management and data. I lost twenty-five pounds in the first six weeks of my project and just kept going. I just melted away, which led to the title of Operation Melt.
I reached my initial goal of losing one hundred pounds in just nine months but didn’t stop. At the pseudo conclusion of my sixteen-month journey, I was one hundred and thirty-one pounds down. I had also become a runner and finished my first half marathon just fourteen months after weighing in at over three hundred pounds.
In addition to the weight loss journey, I also started a blog to help people and wrote a book to do the same. Plus, I built confidence and really transformed my life.
But, that was then.
I know my transformation was impressive. I have heard that from many people who followed along and supported me through my journey. I am also impressed with myself. It made me feel really good hearing all of this support and knowing so many people were impressed by me.
Importantly, this happened at a time in my life where I really needed that validation. Sometimes you get what you need, right.
I am now more than two years past the point where I reached my weight loss goal. I lost a job during my journey and am now in my third job since I started my journey, so I have had two new sets of coworkers since starting my journey.
Between the job change, the world changing from COVID and a variety of other factors that I might discuss in a future post, I have lost many friends. This means that many of the friends I have now are different than when I went through my journey.
All of this means that I am meeting lots of people. These are people who didn’t know me before I started or during my journey. Those who have stuck with me through the journey are likely burnt out on hearing about it too.
This means that my journey is no longer impressive to most of the people in my life today.
The Al Bundy Effect
If I continue to assume that people are going to be impressed by the journey that I completed long ago I risk becoming Al Bundy.
For a little background, Al Bundy was a character in the sitcom Married With Children, he was the dad of the family. He was very unhappy with the turns his life had taken. He was a star high school football player and believed he could have been a college and pro football star. But a broken leg ended his football days and he was stuck in a life he hated. But that is just setting the stage and isn’t 100% relevant to my point.
Al Bundy always looked for the opportunity to tell people about his high school accomplishments. He was proud that he scored four touchdowns in a single game. He knew that was impressive in high school and still bragged about it every day at least twenty years later.
Al Bundy was trying to impress people he met by living in the past and hanging onto his past accomplishments.
If I continue to think that my impressive weight loss journey will still impress people today as much as it did when people watched me melt away I am just Al Bundy living on my four touchdowns in one game. Yes, some people will still be impressed, but it is in the past and nowhere near as relevant as it once was.
Highlight Reel vs. One-Hit Wonder
It is great to be proud of our accomplishments, we all should be. We worked hard to accomplish big things in our lives and they are important. Nobody can ever take away the accomplishments that make us proud of ourselves.
But we have to make a choice about our biggest accomplishments: highlight reel or one-hit wonder?
A one-hit wonder will have a single big accomplishment and try to build their lives in that one event. They are the Al Bundys of the world telling everybody about their four touchdowns in one game. They live only in the past and may not accomplish much after their one big hit.
The other option is that our accomplishments can become part of our highlight reel.
A highlight reel shows the best moments for an athlete (usually) and the best athletes have a long highlight reel. The long highlight reel is because they keep having new highlights all the time. They don’t rely on a single accomplishment as the highlight of their performance or career.
Choosing the highlight reel approach is harder for sure, it means we have to keep producing additional highlights. This means we need to work hard every day to keep growing, developing and performing. This is uncomfortable and it is definitely hard to do.
While creating new highlights is hard, it is also rewarding, helps us to live our best lives and is continually impressive. It also keeps is from always living in the past and lets us control our inner Al Bundy. That’s totally worth it in my book!
What choice are you going to make? Are you going to work hard and achieve a new personal best or are you going to live off those four touchdowns in high school football?
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Learn more about how I used project management as a tool for success in my weight loss journey? Pick up your copy of my book Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds In Under a Year.
About Operation Melt
Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform that to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives. My vision is to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.