Wednesday, May 5, 2010

To Share, or Not to Share

Days until Marathon: 361
Weight: 273 pounds
Distance: 2.4 miles (jog/walk)
Total miles: 7.2

Every fat person has hefty goals (pun intended). Those goals always involve eating better, exercising, and losing a MASSIVE amount of weight.

No fat person ever sets a goal of losing 5-10 pounds.

Instead, we concoct a beautiful dream of someday walking around shirtless in the hot summer sun as we mow the yard. Proudly displaying our newly unpacked six-pack to all the neighbors and passersby.

Well, that's my dream anyway...

Unfortunately, I'm about 80 pounds away from even thinking about doing anything resembling "shirtless." I don't even shower shirtless anymore. Laundry and hygiene at the same time is multitasking in my book. Plus, I need a support bra just to start the mower without seriously injuring myself.

Fat people set mostly unreachable goals about every 20 minutes or so (heck, I've set a few since I started typing). Typically, in the excitement of the moment, we even take one or two steps toward achieving them: we eat a light lunch, we walk on the treadmill, we read up on the "all new" cabbage diet, etc. Shortly thereafter, however, we cave to uncontrollable depression/weakness/Pringles, and start over. This process tends to take about an hour, from start to finish, and occurs several times a day.

Big goals are the downfall of big people.

Often times, we husky-folk keep our fantasies of weight-loss to ourselves. Maybe we are shy. Maybe we are afraid that we'll fail and look silly to those we've told. Maybe we would like it to be a big surprise when we show up to work one day, 80 pounds lighter, and people shower us with compliments about how attractive we are...or maybe that's just me. At any rate, our silence tends to take the sting out of the impending failure. It also allows us to fail MUCH more easily.

Sometimes, we portly-people like to declare our intentions to a select few. Maybe we share it in order to bolster our courage. Maybe we are looking for a partner to support us along the journey. Maybe we need a confidant to grab an extra large pizza with when nobody else is around to ask us, "are you sure you want to be eating that?" Given a day or two, after the initial goal setting rush wears off, we stop talking about it, and it fades away. Weeks later, someone will ask, "how's the diet comin'?" and we'll respond, "oh fine," then kick ourselves for ever coming up with that stupid goal.

This time, I'm trying something new. I'm taking the goal sharing idea to a whole new level. I'm not just telling a few people around me, or just my friends and family. I'M TELLING THE WHOLE FRICKIN' WORLD.

I'm posting my run summaries on Facebook. My calorie intake is on my cubicle wall. I'm writing a blog, for crying out loud. I tell every person that I meet that I'M GOING TO RUN A MARATHON. I am forcing myself to think about and confront my goal every moment of every day, because I see it and hear it and feel it EVERYWHERE.

So, in 361 days, I will either be able to celebrate my accomplishment with a LOT of people, or I will experience a failure of epic proportions in front of every person I've ever come in contact with my entire life.

There's no half way, and for now, that's keeping me going.

1 comment:

  1. (Pete writing here under Jill's name)
    Ed, this is maybe the funniest thing I've read in months - as well as one of the most inspiring. I read it to Jill and after she stopped laughing, she said, "I wanna go and cheer Ed on!"

    RunnersWorld Magazine just had a story on a guy who did something similar to what you're doing. If you really want to let the world in - drop them a line and clue them into your blog! That's a column that people would follow.