Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rise to the Challenge

This is hard work, isn’t it?

Day in and day out, battling against all types of temptation, against time and apathy, against the inner demons that would see you fail in this quest to remake yourself.

Each day is its own unique challenge, that’s what I’ve found as I’ve baby-stepped my way through nearly a year of eating a little less, eating a little healthier and making exercise a daily part of my life.

Some days I feel like I’m on top of the world and that continuing my good work will be nothing short of child’s play. Every meal satisfies me, every workout invigorates me. I do not question my plan or myself. I make my way through the day with pride and with purpose.

I am on track.

Those are the good days.

Then there are the times where I wake up wondering when the inevitable backslide is going to happen, when that messed-up part of my brain will begin dragging me back into the abyss that I’ve fallen into time and time again.

I get hungry and feel weak. My workout feels like slogging through wet cement. I wonder if I’ve got the strength, the stamina to keep doing what I’m doing.

I feel lost, alone, afraid.

Those are the better days.

Crazy kookoo, huh? They’re the better days, because I work my way through those miserable patches, and I wind up a little stronger in the process. I get through those dark days and I realize that there’s no stopping me now, no quitting on this journey. No going back this time.

I am on a great adventure.

I don’t know how things are going for you right now, but I suspect you’re having the same mix of good days and not-so-good days as I am. Times when it seems easy as pie, times when it seems tougher than nails.

I encourage you to take the good times as they come and marvel at just how good they can be. Rejoice in the empowering sensation of saying “no” and pat yourself on the back for all the good decisions you make during the course of a day. Celebrate the incredible feeling of a well-earned sweat or a mini-goal attained.

As for those rough times? Grit your teeth and get through them with as much grace and good will as you can manage. It doesn’t have to be pretty, doesn’t have to be textbook. Just stagger through it as best you can and keep in mind that no one… and I repeat, no one… gets through this without suffering setbacks and detours.

It just doesn’t happen.

I firmly believe that we will make it to where we’re headed. I know I will, and I suspect you will, too. We’ve simply come too far to turn back, experienced too much to be satisfied with giving anything other than our very best effort.

No matter what kind of day it turns out to be, I have faith that we… you and I … will make it through it just fine.

Be strong.

Have faith.


Note: There's still time to get on the First Ever Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit Giveaway. I'm giving away $100 to the commenter that can convince me he or she will use it to make an impact on his or her weight-loss journey. Click here for details.


  1. "I suspect you’re having the same mix of good days and not-so-good days as I am." - YES!!!

    It's a struggle right now, Jack - I gotta tell you. Thanks for the reminder that we all go through it. I haven't been handling my stress very well this week; I feel like I'm starting on a backslide. I have to find my toeholds. I have to keep climbing.

  2. It doesn't have to be perfect. Perfect is unsustainable. Great post.

  3. All I can say this morning is THANK YOU! Your post was just what I needed this morning!

  4. "Easy as pie and tough as nails" - that pretty much sums up my journey thus far. I can coast through weeks at a time, and then struggle to get from one second to the next without eating something I don't want to...

    Great post!

  5. The funniest thing about the good days, is I realise now I'm managing a few more of them, how much I'd missed them, and how good they make me feel. Different good to giving in and eating whatever the hell you want - more satisfying too. I think I know what you mean about it feeling great to drag yourself out of the bad patches. Now just remind me that the next time I hit one!

  6. I can relate to the feeling that they bad days that you make it through are even better in the end. When you do well at something you're naturally good at, it's hard to get super excited about that. But when you fight your way through something that seems nearly impossible, that is something to be proud about! Kind of makes the battle worth it :)

  7. EXACTLY what I needed to hear this morning!

  8. What a great post. We have come to far haven't we? I love it!

  9. It was helpful for me to read that those who have successfully lost a lot of weight and have kept it off still have bad days but are keeping on. It's so weird how it's so easy some days and so hard other days. From this, I take away that I can still make it even though I have to battle through hard days. Thanks for that.

  10. What a great post to read this morning!

  11. I just keep saying (and working on) "Progress not Perfection". It keeps me sane.

  12. Wow, this was a great post. I think we all go through the ups and downs and they make us stronger. Thanks for the reminder.

  13. I needed this post right now. Thanks, it's good to remember it won't always be easy and that hard times can teach you a lot!

  14. Tonye passed this entry on to me and I so needed it! My weight loss/health journey is still so new. I started in January, exercise every day, 30 Day Shred AND a cardio workout every day, getting up an hour early to exercise (something I could have never imagined in my life), and yet days like today get me down. No weight loss for nearly a week (and no slip ups) and I am beginnning to wonder if it is all worth it. Then I read an entry like this, and it gives me strength and hope. Thanks!

  15. Thank you. Great post. I'd like to share one of my favorite quotes:

    "In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeoning of chance, my head is bloody but unbowed." - W.E. Hensley

  16. My day revolves around my exercise and my food intake.


  17. I have to say I like the less-silly. AWESOME post. The tough times make us stronger.

  18. I guess we are all going to have our problems...
    Anxiety, depression, fear, self-doubt.
    But I don't want to be a fattie doing it!
    At least I know this!
    Losing weight won't change anything except the number on the scales.
    It won't bring back self-esteem - it won't "save the day!"
    But it sure won't hurt!
    And it's easier to find your self-worth when you have a lighter load!

  19. I'm getting fit right along with you now!

  20. You know how to tickle my funny bone and shoot me between the eyes.
    Both are needed.
    Both are appreciated.
    This is really good.
    Thank you.

  21. I struggled for years with this, and still have days that are harder than others, but somehow accepting that it would be a long, slow process made a change for me. I now know I'm going to be actively managing my weight for the next few years (probably forever, but that word scares me, so for now I focus on the next couple of years).

    Over a few years I'll go on vacations, have birthday cake, go out to dinner, etc. I will also keep actively managing my weight, hopefully losing another 30-40 pounds in the process.

    Since I accept long-term active weight management & that there will be temptations & detours on the way, I don't need to stress about the daily ups and downs so much as long as the big picture stays clear in my mind & in my actions 95% of the time.

    Nice post, I think most of us feel this way from time to time, but you said it quite nicely.

  22. i really liked your reminder about marveling about all the good days, jack. i totally forget to do that and it's important for my self esteem to remember how far i've come.

  23. Jack, I'm back to say I've given you an award. It's worth it because it will create a whole blog post for you! Come pick it up!

  24. The good days, the bad days, and the ho-hum days. It's all part of it. I just try to take it one day at a time. Log victories as often as I can, and try to shake off the slip-ups as quick as I can.

  25. I was training for my 10k the other day and I realized that I don't hate the hills as much as I used to. When I was out trying to run, I used to ask God why he put so many hills in my jogging path. Now I thank Him for them- He gave me the strength and determination to overcome them.

  26. So true, Jack! This is a great post. I have to admit, I like how you mix it up: some funny, some serious, some encouraging.

    We do need to celebrate the good days--with a great memory, not with a great pizza! :_)

  27. Great post..we all have to take the good days with the bad days....realize no matter what, you are giving it your best. The best you you can be. That is most important!

  28. Great post Jack- Thanks! :)

  29. Sometimes it's nice to know even the most successful people have bad days. Makes you seem human :)

  30. Yesterday was my day to wonder if I had enough stamina. I'm sure there will be other days too. I made it through yesterday so that gives me hope that I'll be able to make it through other challenging days when I'm not at full capacity.

  31. Great post as usual! I was just telling my dh the other day that it isn't fair that losing weight is so much work and effort for the two of us. I get angry at the thought of it being a life-long battle. I wish I had been programmed at birth to know how to deal with food without having to over think it or work at it.

    Meh! It is what it is and all I can do is my best! I'm trying. And seeing other people like me in the same situation really does help. Thanks!

  32. We've all been there Jack. And I think the best thing is knowing that everyone DOES have good days and bad days. It makes you feel much more normal - and much less of a failure. In fact ot makes you relaise you and everyone else is only human.

  33. Here's hoping your good days will outweigh your bad days!

  34. I think I read somewhere that if you are op 80 percent of the should be okay.
    So aim for a hundred....hit maybe 85.
    there you go.
    I think if you don't allow yourself to make will be okay.
    It's when we turn out mind off...deliberately that the trouble begins.

  35. I could've sworn I commented on this earlier. What I meant to say was: Good job. This post really helped.

  36. if every day was a good day life would be boring :-).

    Every day is a struggle but I think if you take it one day at a time it's less over whelming.
    Once again Jack, great post!

  37. Hard headed determination... that's what I'm calling it now. When those food demons pop up, when going to the gym seems just too much... I remember that I'm worth it and back peddling now is just unthinkable. I'm stubborn... I'm gonna do it and I look to you and say "Look at Jack! He's doing it!" ;)

  38. Grit your teeth and get through them with as much grace and good will as you can manage. It doesn’t have to be pretty, doesn’t have to be textbook. Just stagger through it as best you can and keep in mind that no one… and I repeat, no one… gets through this without suffering setbacks and detours.

    Jack, I love ya! So real! I love these posts where you try NOT to be funny.. although I love them all!

    I tell people all the time, I know you don't want to hear this but it takes hard work, eating healthy & life long to do this. They don't want to hear it but that is the way it is. Everyone can do it if they just get real & put in the hard work.

    Thx Jack!

  39. How is it that I always find jewels like this on my really bad days? Must be divine intervention. I was sitting here crying after not getting paid for the 2nd week in a row, wondering how in the hell I'm going to pay my bills or even put gas in my car to get to the gym, had a big fight with Dwayne (thanks to my mood) & had him tell me he's not coming over this weekend, wanting to eat everything in sight so stuff down the sadness...and then I come here and read this. Thank you for the encouragement Jack, and for the reminder that one day, this battle will have been worth ALL of the bad days.

  40. Last week was a breeze--I wasn't hungry, and I had trouble even eating enough. This week, on the other hand, I can't get enough to eat. I keep wondering if my body is trying to make up for last week.

    So currently I'm in the "not-so-good" days.

  41. What can I say that has not already been said...

    Well, Pickles are just salty cucumbers. I did not see that in your comments!

  42. Oh Jack,,, dont you worry about hurting my feelings... I know you are a joker and every comment you leave on my page I always laugh, so dont worry about the joke you left today. You are a great guy with a great way of picking people up and putting a smile on there face. I appreciate it. Oh and by the way,,, I am strongly considering changing Obadiah's name to Mr. Sh*t Head. *wink*

  43. Yup. Them days of time and apathy still roll around. I been at this 4 years. So, I feel more secure that I will be all right and keep going. I beleive I can, so I will. :)

  44. 1) Thanks for the comment over at my blog

    2) Thanks for today's post

    3) Yesterday was a not so good day

    4) Today I ran c25k week 6 day 2 while smiling.

  45. Rise to the challenge. That's something I do every single day. The good days and the bad days have things for me to learn from. It's all about keeping the goal in mind. It works for me.



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