So, this morning while on the scale (which I use way too often), I was disappointed with the number that was shown on the digital readout. I really shouldn’t be surprised with the number given the way I have let my nutrition slip over the past few weeks leading up to the holidays. As some of you may know, I have been doing Insanity over the past 8 weeks and have been working very hard on my workouts. For the first 4 or 5 weeks of the program, I also worked very hard on my nutrition and dropped a few pounds, but over the last few weeks I have become more relaxed in my daily nutrition and the results have been as one would expect (no weight loss and even a pound or two creeping back in). However, even though I started out disappointed with the number, I did something that I always try to remember to do when I become disappointed with my fitness results or the number on the scale (which is not the best measure of your fitness anyway): I took a step back and reviewed my last few years of fitness and remembered my victories and then I made new goals for moving forward.
Here is what I found and I mentally wrote down at the time:
1) Last year (2009-2010 Christmas), I had just finished my first round of P90X (finished on Jan 1, 2010) and that was the first time in my life that I had ever weighed less at the end of the Christmas season and the triathlon off-season than I had at the beginning. I was in better shape going into my 2010 triathlon season than I ever had been at the beginning of any previous season. That was a huge victory. At the beginning of my previous 4 or 5 triathlon seasons, I had the daunting task of overcoming the weight gain and lost fitness that had occurred during the off-season…but not 2010!
2) I am in better shape and weigh less right now than I ever have going into a new year in my entire life including last year! I may not be exactly where I thought I would be here at the end of the Insanity program, but I have never entered a new year and a new triathlon season in this kind of shape. That is a victory and it means that I am set up to surpass all of my previous goals this year. Once again, I do not have to overcome a loss of fitness or weight gain at the beginning of this triathlon season…I can just move forward to bigger and better things! Two seasons in a row of entering the season in better shape than last year is a huge victory even if I am not as far ahead as I had hoped.
3) My 2010 triathlon season was my best ever. I swam faster (not as fast as I wanted to) and ran faster than ever. I finished in the top 10 of my age group in every triathlon I entered (including a 2nd place finish and a third place finish). I ran a PR 5K by over 3 minutes (19:30). I won my age group in two 5K races. I would have liked to have swum a couple of my triathlons at a faster pace and I believe that I am capable of that but what I am focusing on is that I am faster than I was before and that is a victory.
This coming year, I plan to step back up to long course triathlon (I have at least one half-ironman planned) and I plan to do my first full marathon. I may not have achieved every little thing that I planned to do in 2010, but I had many victories that are worth celebrating and have set myself up to have even more victories in 2011. Do I have the 6-pack abs that some other people that I know have? No. Can I consistently run a 6-minute mile? No. Can I swim as fast as some of the other swimmers that I know? No. However, I am fitter than I ever have been before, I am running faster than I ever have before, and I am swimming faster than I ever have before.
I highly recommend that you look back on your year or your last few years and remember the things that you DID accomplish and let go of the things that you didn’t. Maybe your list of victories is not as grand in your own mind as my list….or maybe it is even more impressive. The point is to quit comparing yourself to the guy next to you and look back at where you were and where you are now. Don’t compare yourself to me and my list of victories or anyone else for that matter. Compare yourself to you and your list of victories. Are you swimming better than you were before? Have you improved your fitness? Have you at least improved your knowledge of fitness and what it takes to succeed? Have you at least found something that you know will work for you if you just do it? Those are all victories. Find the victories, write them down (either mentally or on an actual piece of paper), and then move forward. You must keep moving forward!
Have a great 2011!