A person of sizable influence in my life inspired me with a comment a long time ago. I’m paraphrasing, but you’ll get the gist: ”Everyday, at the end of the day, I ask myself two questions. Did I get better today? Did I make the world around me better? If I can say yes to one, it was a good day. If I can say yes to both, it was a great day. If I can’t say yes at all, I need to go to sleep and refocus myself for tomorrow.”
Frankly, I never developed a habit of asking myself these questions. Until a recent conversation with a friend, I had forgotten the advice altogether. I believe every single day of your life is one where you make progress or you lose progress. I do not believe it is possible to stay the same. In a nutshell, everyday you either get better or you get worse.
For most of the past two years, I’ve made significant progress on my health, weight and fitness. Most days, I got better.
Then I started getting worse. About 6 months ago, it was only “slightly worse”. My eating habits have slowly worsened. There are no where near as bad as they were, but I’ve been giving myself a pass on many things. I’ve been getting less sleep (because of poor personal choices). So, for the last 6 months, my weight got slightly worse. BUT, I had been getting stronger and stronger in the gym. My PR’s were up and I broke some lifting barriers, finally. I’ve been slightly slower at some WODs but faster at others. It was if I traded bulk and speed for strength. I thought that was an OK trade-off. Unfortunately, it solidified, in my mind, that my diet was “JUST FINE.” I guess I thought I was still getting better despite the warnings I wasn’t.
The last 2 months getting “slightly worse” finally added up to “a lot worse”. The ill effects of losing my way are showing up readily. I’m slower, not quite as strong, and consistently finish in the back of the pack again. My weight is up (For those of you who were reading my blog during my initial 10 month journey to losing 80 lbs, I weigh the same as I did 2 and a half months before hitting my goal.) and my energy level is down. I’m still working out hard, I’m eating decent, but my bad choices are clearly impacting me over and over.
I could sit here and blame the holidays or the really busy season at work. Both very true. Unfortunately, I can look back and see a time where I had a new baby, a new job, and chaos in other areas too. Through all of that time, I maintained my healthy lifestyle, weight and performance. In other words, there ain’t no good excuse for my current situation.
If you are looking for an inspiring end to this story, I don’t have one yet. My track record suggests this could go either way, but I’m using Lent (even though I’m not Catholic/Methodist) to cut back on my worst vices and get back to improving again.
For today, I can say I’m better than I was yesterday… and the day isn’t over yet.