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Stop the Excuses. No, Seriously. Stop.

I’m just talking to myself here.  I don’t want anyone to get offended at the tone of this post.  Just pretend that I am writing it to myself. [That way, we can all make more excuses for why we don’t need to listen to this message.]

“Wait.  You’re talking to ME?”

Yes.  And me.  I’m talking to you and me.

Stop the Excuses. No, Seriously. Stop.”

Forget “just keep moving forward” (oh, not really)… but here’s a new mantra.

The resolution month has passed, and you may or may not be holding up swimmingly with all your big resolutions.  I didn’t make any this year, so I am very proud to have made it through January accomplishing absolutely nothing spectacular.  In fact, I think I have probably started February much worse that I started January. And it’s probably because, while I don’t know that resolutions per se are required, it’s always good to have some sort of goal.  And I didn’t really have that.

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Then I read this article by Taylor Simon about “The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You are Still Overfat,” and after I wanted to punch the guy in his face, I decided that I would evaluate and listen to myself and how that article made me feel.

First, I loved his disclaimer.  I may steal it:  “In response to my use of profanity. Yes, I swear in here. Yes, I meant to. Yes, I know more words than curse words…. However, it is a blog. My blog. And I will write as I wish…”  

Fist bump.

I won’t recap the whole article.  You guys can read it, and you can be offended by his language and his tone (or laugh and enjoy it, your choice), but I did want to point out this part, which sort of slapped me in the head.  Here goes:

“In a mere two minutes I can tell you if someone will be successful in their quest… not just to fat loss but also to the rest of your health and fitness goals.

If you blame yourself – success.
If you blame everything else – no success. Period.

When I first talk to people I am not listening to the details of their health, fitness, and nutrition… All I want to know is whether a person takes responsibility for themselves or if they blame everything and everyone else.

  • You haven’t been successful because you made bad decisions. You ordered a pizza on a Tuesday night. You surfed Pinterest for an hour instead of heading to the gym to train. You bought a tub of ice cream to ‘have a treat’ while watching Downton Abbey…

            VS.

  • My significant other brought home pizza so I had that for supper. I had to respond to my friends third cousins’ post on Facebook to debunk the anti-vaccination people and that is why I skipped my workout. Everyone brought donuts to work to ‘indulge’ while we sat around and talked about Downton Abbey.

See the difference? I made the decision. THEY all MADE me do it.

You are responsible for yourself. Either take responsibility for your own life and actions or blame everyone else and everything else around….

So make a decision. Take care of your own life or sit around bitching how hard everything is and how everything is someone else’s fault.

It’s your life.”  

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Wow.  Yes.  Truth. I love that.

As my former coach used to say, “Makes me want to do pushups!”

And, actually, stopping all of my “excuses” was one of the first things I realized when I started my triathlon journey.  The way the beer jumped into my hands on a Friday night and the pizza leapt into my belly was totally my fault.  I owned that.  I owned that I had let myself go.  That yes, I was stressed out with work and life and young kids, but–it wasn’t their fault– I had utterly failed to hold myself accountable for who I had become.

I found triathlon.  And yes, It more or less “saved” me.

But then what happened?

Well, fast-forward four and a half years later, to today. (Zip zip zip zoo zoop… that was fast-forward sound, BTW).

Yes, I am a triathlete who has competed in tons of races, including two iron distances ones.  Yes, I am a coach-lawyer-comedian (snort)-mom-juggler and all those things, too.

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But those are lists of things I do.  I lawyer, mom, coach, juggle.  But who am I?

And there’s the rub. The problem comes down to who I am.

And I am a person who is also still making excuses!

I make excuses everyday that hold me back from being the best version of myself.  Not that best version of society’s version of me… but the best version of me.

I love food and beer and snacks and doughnuts and ice cream.  (NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM).

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And very often, I start my food binge with the caveat of, “Well, you can get your sh*t together tomorrow.”

Then I text my coach, “I will get my sh*t together.”  To which he responds, “Yes, sh*t getting together is good.”

[Then there’s tons of the poop emoji. Naturally.]LYw4POpF

Interestingly enough, it’s been almost five years of really solid training and I’m still fighting the food binge.  And that’s okay – that’s part of my journey, my story, my weaknesses.  I’m not ashamed of it.  Everyone has their things, whether they want to admit them or not.

I admit mine, and I don’t care.

My name is Meredith, and I am a hand-to-mouth addict. I love all things food and drink and snack.

The difference is, once I read that article, and spent some time really thinking about #WomenForTri and all the cool opportunities to bring women into this sport, I had a sort of “ah-ha” moment.  And it was this:

I don’t have to figure it all out.  I don’t have to have it all figured out.

But I do have to take responsibility.

So I made a committment to myself to take responsibility for my own self.

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To Stop the Excuses. No, Seriously. Stop.  To pause and re-group and re-frame my mind, my thoughts and my action plan.  I know many of you struggle with the same demons.  And some of you struggle with different demons.  But regardless, we all have things that are rattling our cages and possibly putting up perceived roadblocks to the better versions of ourselves.

And I’ve had enough.

And then I saw this poster on my friend, Yoda’s, Facebook page. And it was like, “clickety click.”

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Obstacles may come and go–but I’m certainly not going to let anyone or anything (snacks included) hold me back from reaching my best version.

What is the best version of YOU? What do YOU want to change?  And how WILL you change it–starting NOW–not tomorrow.

Because the time is NOW.

Let’s get our sh*t together and make this the best year ever!

#JustKeepMovingForward #PutDownTheSnacks #StopTheExcusesNoSeriouslyStop #GetInThePool

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21 Comments

  • Cindy

    February 10, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    #truth I love the article and the blog post. Thank you for always knowing how to put my thoughts down. It’s a relief to realize I don’t have to figure it all out right now.

    Reply
  • Carol

    February 10, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    yup … I am my own worst enemy and my own best friend. I know this, and your post reminded me. Back in the saddle with my best friend. It will be a bumpy ride …

    Reply
  • Sara

    February 10, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    This resonates with me. I am the only person holding me back. Every day I exercise- hard. And every day I make horrible food choices that negate all the work I’ve done. Thanks for posting. I don’t have to wait until tomorrow to start working on getting my Sh*t together; I started with throwing away my awful lunch and will eat the fruits and veggies I planned on eating but scrapped when my day got busy. I think we need some kind of SMB get your Sh*t together hashtag.

    Reply
  • Eileen

    February 10, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I’m constantly amazed at what you are able to do with your demands on your time. From someone who is doing things in the reverse (addressing my diet and weight first and now adding triathlon), my success on the diet/weight front was having a plan, not just an attitude. If I’m honest, I probably thought about being overweight every day of my adult overweight life. I had to use an organized approach, like you did with Tri (and what I’m trying to do now in that arena). Even after I lost the weight and tried to manage without a plan or accountability…it started to come back on. Just like not following a running/tri/whatever plan and losing that fitness. Good luck. It’s worth it!

    Reply
  • Nikki

    February 11, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Oh boy, yeah- In 2012 I started my fitness journey, 3 years later I have lost a total of about 15 pounds, and that is about it, I’m still a little over 200. I have done 5k’s, half marathon, trail races, etc. I’ve taken a break from racing (got tired of being last or close to last) and now I’m embracing strength training and yoga. I like the feeling of a good workout, but I also like a good meal-perhaps too much so. I know it shouldn’t always be about the weight, but I know if I lost some more weight, I could run faster and I would feel lighter-of course. Facing my food intake is something I’m addressing-I’ve been trying to use the concept of “crowding out”- meaning not out right denying myself anything, but replacing it with nutrient dense foods. It’s a challenge, but I want to “fuel” my body not “diet” it. Optimum fueling equals better performance I know-but practicing this, requires intent- just like you said. Poor food choices are my choice, plain and simple and I must choose to do something about it.

    Reply
    • Elena

      February 12, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      You seem to have a really good approach and a great attitude. You are being active and aware of your food choices and it sounds like you are making lasting change which is important. I was also running for the last couple years and just got kind of burned out so am reducing running somewhat and focusing on weights and yoga. I like it! Plus it pushes my body in a different way.

      Reply
  • Kate

    February 11, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    OMG! Are you living inside my head?! I had this conversation with myself yesterday. Mine kind of went like, “you need to get your shit together NOW. This weekly come to Jesus meeting with yourself is getting old.” No excuses….keep moving forward

    Reply
  • Leslie

    February 14, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    I’m glad that his article affected you in a positive way. What I can say for certain is that Taylor (the man that wrote this article) is a huge ass, and I know this personally because I used to train at his gym. He is just as offensive in real life as he is in this article.

    Reply
  • Laurel

    February 15, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Have you changed your main website? Every time I click for a new blog post, I keep getting 12 January, yet I saw this on your Twitter. Yes, I am addicted to your blog!

    Reply
  • Kate

    February 16, 2015 at 10:42 am

    I love this! Being responsible to ourselves is the key. We so often fear putting it all out there – pushing ourselves to the brink and committing 100% percent… because what if we do all that and we fail? But we all know, if we do all that we WON’T fail! I like to take things one moment at a time. When I don’t want to ride my bike, my Dad’s voice pops into my head, “You can withstand anything for an hour.” Or a week, or a day, or 30 seconds for that last painful sprint, whatever the case may be.

    Great way to start the week – thank you!

    Reply

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