This has been a good week. There is a lot of buzz about the 3M Positive Impact Award I received, and about the South Beach Triathlon I will be doing with my quadriplegic friend Kerry Gruson in our ThumbsUp project. And so it seems like a good time to eat some humble pie, and let go of another project that hasn’t gone according to plan called #SixPackMami.
I decided to set a short term goal of getting a a six pack because it was something I never had. And after Ironman Florida, all of a sudden the impossible became within my reach. I also needed something to tide me through while I figured out my 2014 triathlon goals. I had trained so hard for my November Ironman that I was the most fit I had been in my life. I was afraid I was going to take too many steps backwards in the off season.
I worked with a nutritionist and trainer at Fitness Together, and low and behold, I started getting results.
Yet the only fast track to a six pack is through a draconian diet that neither I nor my trainers wanted to put me through. I did train at Fitness Together twice a week for months, my arms and abs were more toned than ever, and I was able to follow the dietary guidelines they gave me. Yet the results came slowly, and I grew impatient and unfocused.
It took years to gain my belly fat, it wasn’t going to go away in a month or two. I knew that but my triathlon calendar began to get exciting. I signed up with Kerry for South Beach Triathlon, a half ironman in May, a family cycling trip during the summer, and I was selected with Got Chocolate Milk to represent Team Refuel at Ironman Arizona. These goals make getting a six pack a bit harder. To train for triathlons like this, you need to eat to maintain your endurance, yet it’s the same endurance building that “eats” your muscles.
And food is my biggest issue. I can follow a tough training plan, hammer for hours in the beating sun, lift weights and endure planks. But limit chocolate? Or bread with butter? That is difficult for me, and in time my motivation has dwindled if not totally faded.
My friend Orlany Carolina did set her mind to change how she looked and entered a bikini competition. I’ve seen her progress on Instagram and Twitter and she put in the hard work it takes. She made it her mission, and this week she will compete. I just don’t have that drive. At least not for this six pack goal.
When I lace up my running shoes, I sit in the bathroom floor in front of a full length mirror. I can see how I’ve changed, both physically and mentally and I am okay with that progress. I don’t need it to be perfect. Progress is good enough.
And right now, I don’t need more pressure. I have enough in my life, enough challenges and dreams that I would do well to let go of one. Especially such a hard challenge as getting a six pack has to do with diet and my relationship with food rather than something I just can swim, bike or run away.
I am just not willing to give my diet that extra push that will make a difference. I’d rather give that extra push to something else.
But I have learned so much about nutrition and training that I am not throwing all of that out of the window. I plan to stick to it, just not be so strict. Soon enough Ironman training will start up again, and I will be hungry ALL THE TIME.
And you know what I am going to do when that happens? I am going to eat. And armed with everything Fitness Together taught me, it should hopefully be a smoother journey.
Do I consider this a failure?
In a way I do. It’s a goal I set but didn’t see through. But I’d rather let go of it than drive myself crazy trying to obtain it. Life is too short, and this is not a battle I want to die for. You cannot know success without failure, and I am not ashamed of making mistakes. So I will focus on my big week ahead, on the recognition of the 3M Positive Impact Award and the challenge of racing with Kerry in ThumbsUp. I will look at #SixPackMami as something that perhaps, one day in the future, I will go back to and then really give it all I’ve got.
How about you? Have you ever let go of a goal? What led you to do it? Do you consider it a failure?