at least I am consistent at something?
“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”— Dwayne Johnson.
When I read the quote above, I realize why I do not look like Dwayne Johnson… Though part of me would like to blame some of that on genetics.
This is post number 1. Hurray. This is the beginning of my attempt to be more consistent and accountable. I hope you find some interest in what I have to say and stay tuned for anything I share in the future.
Over the years I have been consistent with some things in my life, but much of the important stuff has been inconsistent. When wise adults or super successful blog writers explain what one should do in their 20’s, consistency seems to pop up a lot. “Be consistent with saving. Be consistent with work. Try to gain a routine.” Well I just threw a lot of that out the window. I can say that I was consistent with fun, consistent with learning, and consistent with being inconsistent for most other things. Jobs were all over the place, my relationships struggled at times, and I was lost when taking care of my health. For the sake of this post, we can stick with my health.
The freshman 15 hit me hard… like freshman 25-30. It was brutal. After eating my emotions and struggling to recognize the fact that I was not ready for college, my body had gotten away from me and I looked like a hot mess. Soon after this I took time off from school, ended up doing development work in Jamaica for 4 months, and lived the island life. It must have been the water and jerk chicken, because I lost 40-50 pounds over that time frame. I felt amazing and it only took me about a year to gain most of it back. Sad.
In my early 20’s I went back to school, spent my winter weekends ski instructing and my summers working outside. These years at least kept me stable. This might have been the most consistent period of time I had in my twenties. I was still way too big, but at least I wasn’t getting bigger. Even after graduation I worked full time managing the children’s programs at a ski resort. I shed a little but maintained the status of xxl.
Since then I have had a personal trainer, I have gotten into weight training, I have done the ‘whole 30’, and tried some other silly “diets” that just annoyed me more than anything. Some of this worked amazingly well (see whole 30 combined with personal trainer and weight training) but I could not maintain the success and keep off the weight. You could say that I was frustrated.
A couple years ago my wife and I learned that we were expecting our first child. This was such an exciting family development. We both had always wanted to be parents and now was our chance. Despite the joy, this did a mental number on me. I thought about my physical ability to play with our kiddo and that I didn’t want to cut my life short because I can’t get my act together. So I signed up for a 4-mile race in the fall and gave myself the spring and summer to train. I had never ran more than 3/4 of a mile before, but I was motivated. I can tell you that running on a big body is not enjoyed by the feet, ankles, and knees. Despite the pain and struggles, I trained and ran a little over 2 straight miles in the race, and intervalled the last segment. This was the longest I have ever ran. I was and am super proud of that accomplishment. Despite this effort, I didn’t really lose any weight.
I guess what I am trying to show is that I was consistent with trying, but I was not consistent with how I tried to get healthy. I would try this and try that. I would see success, and backpedal. And the thing that dawned on me on December 1 was that I kept looking at activity. Truthfully, I am good at working out. I love the feeling. I like competing and sweating. I thrive off the feeling of my heart pounding. But on the flip side… I suck at watching what I eat. My true inconsistency is eating. I consistently suck at taking care of my intake. So there I was staring at the scale thinking “God, Ben… you need to start trying harder.” So I decided it was time to track everything. When I say everything, I mean everything. From my meals to snacks and from the Hershey’s kiss to the holiday cookies. I logged into MyFitnessPal and started at it.
Throughout this blog I will be posting about how this weight loss and health journey is going. I plan on doing weekly updates when I weigh in. I plan on talking about my meals and my workouts. I also plan on tackling other ways I try to be a better Ben. This could encompass anything from being a dad, spirituality, finances, and self care. Thanks for reading.