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Not a Fan… of Me.

The Expert and I were watching Sunday Morning today and we ended up watching a snippet interview on Cher… it was fascinating.  Of course, Cher, is fascinating – love her or hate her.

One of the things that struck me during the interview was these few lines:

The interviewer stated, “My sense is that you’ve always kind of underestimated your own voice.”

Cher responded, “I’m not a huge Cher fan.”

Wow.  Even Cher doesn’t have it figured out.  Go figure.


Okay, my family was in town. I didn’t eat all of these. But it’s kind of a tradition to hit Dutch Monkey Doughnuts and have a picture with the delicious. 🙂

I had a conversation with Coach Monster awhile back, and I said, “If I have three great weeks out of every twelve, then I am succeeding. I am moving forward.”  For what ever reason, I appear to be incapable of really constant change.

“I am not a huge Meredith fan.

Then, the Expert and I had a great coversation on Friday night.

“Why do you and I beat ourselves up?” he asked.  “Why, do we say, ‘We suck. We ‘only’ ran 5 miles.’  There was a time when you and I could not run at all. You used to wear sweaters in the summer, for the love.  And now we swim and bike and run – and sometimes all in one WORKOUT… yet, we beat ourselves up about it. We can’t even see the progress.”

I nodded. I agreed totally. I wasn’t going to beat myself up any longer.


Well-loved cycling shoes.

Well, we woke up on Saturday morning to head to the lake for a swim and bike.

In the car, I grabbed my gut and said, “Look at this disaster.”

The Expert looked at me.  “Yep. You are a disaster. You are about to do a three or four hour workout. You suck.”


“I am not a huge Meredith fan.”

I’m not sure why all the negative self-talk creeps in.  I try to keep it down.  But then…. maybe I don’t really try. It’s a way of life. It’s what I am accustomed to doing:  being shitty to myself. Yay me. 


The Expert and I had a great swim with a friend …then we rode 30 miles.  In the pouring rain. On a route that, at one time, almost killed both of us. It’s tough.

A miserable, challenging 30 miles. The Expert was chased by two dogs for about a mile. (Oh, and did I mention….a flat?) ….And yet we did the ride. And it was good. Poor us. 


As I am a week away from my third 70.3, Augusta, I am not “ready.”

But when is anyone actually ready to travel 70.3 miles by water, bike and feet? The whole thing is silly anyway.  It’s entirely too many miles to go without bus, train or car.  So starting from the premise that this is an amazingly difficult challenge anyway—- my attitude about me in this race has changed.


I am not “in shape” for this race.  But I started triathlon because it changed me —because I love triathlon.

So I am going to go do the race and LOVE it. I will hug the SBM Army members on the course. I will smile and enjoy the day. I will have a great race no matter the lessons I learn. (And lawd knows, there are always lessons. Always.)

I will be a huge Meredith fan.”


Disclaimer: I realize that I write A LOT about food… and self-loathing… and food…. and food… and self-loathing.  I also realize that I am immeasurably blessed and that some of you don’t like to read about stuff I write.  I am just fine with that.  Just please realize that you are not forced to read anything on… not a word.  I write for those who care to be encouraged… who want to know they are not alone. Those who might battle the same weariness, addictions, fears and hopes for their lives, their families and their triathon dreams.  The day that SBM stops being a forum for encouragement, laughs and resource for beginners… I will stop writing.  So please realize the purpose of “all of this.”  And realize that tearing others down is a bloody stupid waste of time.

Love to you all. 🙂


  • precious

    September 22, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    i love i can relate to you! i totally love you and yet we don’t know each other irl. you just rock! your family rocks! you show that you CAN have goals, and attain those goals being a working mom [and not a super skinny athleticly (is that a word?) gifted]. it makes us see that we CAN do it – just believe and keep moving forward. you have taught me so much, and when i started this crazy year – not knowing how to swim (literally) or ride a bike (literally), YOU have shown me i can. and i’m not 100lbs. and i enjoy food ( a lot) and drink (a lot) and yet, i can enjoy triathlon!! thank you for that! and i will say, i’m scared to death of riding in the rain, so for that my friend, you get a gold star on the training log for today’s ride. 🙂

  • Sharon Michalik

    September 22, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Such true words. I am struggling with half marathon training right now and beating myself up regularly. I’ve done four half ironman events for goodness sakes but can barely run five miles right now at a 12 minute pace!!! I am not being a fan of myself but who knows, maybe self love will be more motivational than self loathing!!!!

  • Laura Gaylord

    September 22, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Meredith, I can totally relate to you, and I am the same. I obsess about food, exercise, and do the same self-loathing especially when I don’t do everything I set out to do. I am glad to see that I am not the only one and it helps me to realize that we all need to be kind to ourselves. I am also a mother, veterinarian, clinical nutritionist in training, weight-battler, exercise-procrastinator, and half-marathoner. You inspire me to keep going and not to give up, so please keep the posts coming. Thank you!

  • Beth

    September 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    You are learning the lesson that is difficult for all of us to learn — every race doesn’t have to be a PR or even a “race.” We can just go out and enjoy the experience. It’s very difficult for many of us to do, but isn’t that what it’s really all about — celebrating the ability to do it?
    Best wishes to you this week.

  • Betty (Good)

    September 22, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Hey I think you are doing a great job. I really enjoy your blog, mostly the humor you put on it 🙂 I’m fighting my own demons myself this weekend, after years of taking care of others (long story) I went and bought a bike. Just to put things into perspective, a little background: I did my first duathlon with a heavy steel MTB that I got at Target, then I rode this same bike for about 6-8 months with a bunch of road bikes. One day I got me a used aluminum bike that was too small for me. Finally my awesome cycling buddies pitched in and got me an aluminum Cervelo road bike, she has been my baby since then. Now over 3 years later I went and got me my first carbon bike …another Cervelo. Heart racing, body shaking and sweat running down my face. Am I really doing this? Yup. I did it. I deserve it. Do I feel guilty? Yeah… but I think I will get over it. Today was my first ride with this bike and it was SMOOTH. Keep it up mom. You will do great 🙂

  • Lindsay

    September 22, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Last week, my cycle coach asked me what inspired me to want to do an Ironman and I told her “Swim Bike Mom.” It takes a lot to break old habits, and self-loathing is the hardest one to break. You have a lot to be proud of, just in your own accomplishments, but I think that an even greater accomplishment is how much you inspire people. You have inspired me since I googled what to wear for a triathlon and came across your post My First Tri: What in the &#^! Do I Wear? Thank you for being my inspiration.

  • Missie

    September 22, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    U r awesome! Yep food is good! Very very good! Yup u beat urself up. Shit happens. We all do it! But we learn and we grow. And thanks to u many of us do it together! We r human. There will b many days we only wanna eat (or drink). Many days we don’t wanna workout. Days we feel or ate fat. And then the days we pound the pavement, got in our skinny jeans and in general rule the world!!! U rock girl!!! Enjoy this ride!

  • Kathy Bruinooge

    September 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Wow!!! Hit the nail !!!! Why do we all insist on all or nothing? I haven’t gotten to that level but that’s ok… I have lost 65 lbs and done 4 sprint tri’s in one year…. So I’m a better person and will continue to work on myself with the knowledge that life is to be enjoyed… Beer and sugar included!!!! But within reason… I am truly living life and enjoying it !!!! Thanks for the great words…. They ring clear for me!:)))

  • Amy

    September 22, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I was just sitting upstairs having a conversation in my head…about my addiction to food, my frustration that I am like a Hoover Vaccuum when I see any dessert, the fact that I riutinely feel like a failure… get the picture. Then I read this. And I remembered that I’m going to walk 60 miles for breast cancer awareness in three weeks, that I quit my job so tat I could find more balance in my life, and that I ran last week for ten solid minutes without coughing up a lung. Thanks Meredith. I am a huge Meredith fan. Because you remind me that I’m not alone. Xoxo

  • Sue C

    September 22, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I am training for a half marathon and have never run more than a 5k (and that was with some walking). The negative self talk creeps in on every long run (I’m up to 4.25mile). One week I’ll run the entire thing without stopping the next I can barely do 2 miles without a walk break. Why am I doing this I ask? I’m clearly not good enough to do a half. But then I look at the big picture…several years ago I couldn’t run down the street w/o passing out and now I’ve completed 6 5Ks and a sprint tri. Thank you Meredith for your encouragement. I love reading your posts…keep it up!

  • Ally

    September 22, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I am a big SBM fan and your blog is refreshing and real. In fact, it’s the only blog I follow. Ignore the haters, they are clearly more unhappy with themselves than you, me and everyone else that can relate to your words. I, myself, am not “ready” for my second 70.3 Augusta next weekend. I’ve been beating myself up tonight because I feel like I didn’t swim, bike or run far enough this weekend. Or any other weekend for that matter… 😉 (At least that’s how it feels!) But, I’ll try to take a cue from you and love this race because I will give it my best – whatever that may be! Best of luck to you on Sunday!!!

  • Ali

    September 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Sports psychology is cool. That said I will offer the disclaimer that I am a SwimBikeMomShrink. I have had to do my own searching of late. I did my first sprint a year ago and was hooked. I have made the investments- $, time, training. I lost 30+ lbs. but for the life of me I can’t complete another Tri. And it truly has been out of my hands: swim cancelled due to lightning, mechanical during an XTerra, swim cancelled AND got sick. So here we are at the end of the season, I haven’t been in the pool for 3 months up to yesterday. I had in essence Quit Tri because I felt like a fraud. And then I found one last week. So with 10 days to train, I slapped down my $100 (virtually thanks to on line reg) and I’m going for it. At this point I think if I finish and can do all 3 events, it’s a victory. Never mind that thunder storms are in the forecast. I guess my point is, Thank You. Thank You for a place to whine like this and be understood. And to know that what WE experience is the norm, not what I read in LAVA & triathlete

  • Laura Chevalier

    September 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    When I was 14 I went through a depression and spent a week in the hospital for a suicidal drug over dose. The turning point for me came when a high school counselor asked me “What are YOU going to do about it?”. (I’d just gotten done listing all the reasons why I shouldn’t live.) That questions was very empowering. I made the decision that I was going to find a way out of the depression, that I “wasn’t going to be a problem child my whole life” (my exact thought). And I did. I still ask myself that question “What I am I going to do about it?”. I get to choose how to respond, to choose what goes on in my head, etc. Reading this post made me remember this. You get to choose what goes on in your head and how you respond to the ups and downs of life. You are a powerful woman – inspiration to many.

  • Angie

    September 22, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Thank you for writing this particular post! I had a horrible weekend running and I am NEVER a huge fan of ME! I get inspiration from so many people and to see the “human” side of the Ironman you…it’s refreshing! It is comforting to know that I’m not out here alone!
    Thank you for continuing to inspire us….and find that huge fan of YOU!

  • Emma

    September 23, 2013 at 5:28 am

    I like to read your stuff – because it makes me realise that I am not alone in my struggle to like myself as I am, that many of us underestimate our own worth and ablities… Thanks, you are an inspiration!

  • Melissa

    September 23, 2013 at 8:58 am

    feeling the same … I’m not a Melissa fan right now. Even as I approach my biggest weeks of Ironman Florida training and step up to toe the line in Augusta on Sunday … don’t feel ready (although I am) don’t love me (although I’ve changed a lot and kicked some major miles and changed bc of Triathlons). I needed this post!

    See you Sunday!

  • KM

    September 23, 2013 at 10:15 am

    This post is exactly why I read your blog. You are so authentic and you put it all out there. Marriage problems, food problems, weight struggles, injuries, etc, etc. It is so good to know there are other athletes out there who are just one bad day away from a large pizza, a six pack and a good hide in the closet. And yet, you keep getting back up and getting out there and moving forward. I will never be a world class triathlete, or even an Ironwoman, really, never. But, I can get back up and move forward. Thanks for keeping it real.

  • Emelie

    September 23, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I registered for Racine 70.3 this week in large part because I have found your stories and your candor to be incredibly motivating and powerful. Thank you.

  • Carla

    September 23, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I love your honesty. I struggle everyday with food, work, life balance. I obsess constantly about food, and body image. Keep writing what you are writing because it is encouraging to see real normal people doing what you are doing. Oh, and I am a huge Meredith fan! Be kind, always.

  • Laurie

    September 23, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Thank you so much for this blog – you really encouraged me today and I needed this message. You are a blessing to us all. God bless you this coming weekend. Have fun, laugh a lot and celebrate like crazy. You’re awesome!

  • CrystalB

    September 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    SBM, I just wanted to say thank you. For posting these thoughts and all your previous ones too. It is because of you I finally started swim lessons (at the ripe old age of 32) and decided that Tri doesn’t have to be on the Wish List Bucket List, it could actually be on the Do It Bucket List. And this past weekend when I had my swim lesson I was lamenting the fact that I hadn’t been swimming in over 10 days. Then I swam a whole length of the pool (which I had never ever done on my own). It was rough because I proceeded to have asthma attacks the rest of the lesson, but it was amazing because I know I did a whole length of the pool! I need to quit the self-loathing as well, so thanks for the reminder.

  • Sara

    September 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I am a huge SBM fan and cant wait to get to Augusta to meet you! You have been so inspiring and I look forward to reading everything you write. I was stuck inside on a spin bike for my last long ride last weekend because of thunderstorms. So best thing to do was to get out your book and read the race report AGAIN! I think the most important thing you do for me is make me smile! 🙂 I think everyone of us in the SBM Army can relate to you and have had a same experience as you. I have physically done all the work to get to where I am at today but YOU have given me the mental strength to do it all! I am not real sure where I would be without all of your advise, stories, etc. I will be proudly wearing my SBM Tri top this weekend in Augusta!!

  • Emily

    September 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Really appreciate your honesty. No one has to read, we all make choices. I choose to check in with you every day…..just started Tri’s this year, thinking about half Ironman next year and so, so, so tempted by Ironman. Thank you for your blog

  • Andrea2

    September 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I was catching up on a back issue of Triathlete magazine yesterday and read an article about triathletes who are perfectionists (whaa?? say it ain’t so!) and how it can work for or against you. You can embrace the challenge to be your best self OR you can be driven by the fear of making mistakes. Even if you end up with the same physical strength, the latter comes with all the self-doubt baggage. 90% of the time, I’m latter camp. I am pushing against my own “I can’t.” Just like craving the ooey-gooey off-limit cheese because “I can’t.” I set up these strawmen in order to have something to push against. In fact, I find when I get to the point that I believe I can, I self-sabotage back to the place where I’ll have something to push against again. Mind games, pure & simple. Maybe I’m projecting and that’s not at all where you are but it was starting to sound a little familiar. GOOD LUCK and HAVE FUN at Augusta. I’ll be racing my first HIM just up the road in NC on the same day so I’ll be thinking of you!

  • Anna Stedman

    September 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I love you because you are REAL. not like a fake model on the cover of a magazine. Not a Barbie doll.
    We are all imperfect and struggle with this stuff. Thanks for not being a fake. I am a big Fan of Meredith because you are willing to be REAL. Looking unto Jesus, because He is perfect !!!! =-)
    Anna in Cda Idaho

  • Ryan

    September 24, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I am happy you decided to do the 70.3! I have done plenty of races in the “not ready” state and I always figured I was better off than the thousands of people who didn’t do them at all! Good luck to you!!!

  • the_amp

    September 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Meredith, first of all, I have been reading your blog for months & months. YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION. Your honesty, your humor, the goodness that comes through in everything you put out in this blog. I do the beating myself up thing as well; it’s high time I became a real, 24/7 fan of myself. Related: I did my very first (sprint) tri on 8-24 of this year, and started to beat myself up because I didn’t finish in 2 hours or less (my goal), but I keep stopping myself on this train to no-good-place by saying: hey, I’m FIFTY TWO years old, last year I couldn’t run a mile, really couldn’t run more than a few minutes without stopping to walk, and even as late as 10 days before that tri was freaked out by the OWS and thinking of just bailing. And here’s where YOU come in: I emailed you in mid-August and you gave me some really good advice about the OWS. It helped. I FINISHED. I did another race, on 9-15, and improved my time in the OWS by like 7 minutes! Meredith, please realize this, try to absorb this: you are that person: your book, your blog, your example, give so many of us a virtual compatriot, reassurance, hope, a needed laugh and/or kick in the pants — all of this and more. So: let’s ALL become fans of ourselves — not occasionally but CONSISTENTLY; not just when we’ve done our workouts or eaten healthily, but also — *especially* — when we haven’t, when we’ve fallen down or fallen short, or whatever it is. Love and gratitude to you and the whole SBM “army”.

  • Cindy S.

    September 26, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    You’re awesome, Meredith! I hope you and the Expert kick some 70.3 butt in Augusta this weekend and have fun doing it! I’ll be thinking of you (as I sip my sangria from the patio of my 3-br villa in Cabo). But, I’ll still be thinking of you!!! Stay Calm and 70.3 On, Sister!

  • Carly

    September 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    First time reader-I really enjoyed this piece! Triathlon is my love and I often wonder if beating myself up is actually the fourth sport in this crazy game. It’s a privelege to do what we do but it doesn’t always feel
    that way!


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