Failure doesn't come from falling down...

Losing weight is tough, maintaining at goal weight is tough, putting weight back on is tough. Each of these are different kinds of tough, I know as I've faced each of them at different stages over the past few years. Self-restraint can be challenging, motivation comes and goes and despite what anyone tells you (even your leader!), being disciplined is tough. I believe no one can be perfect all of the time. But for me, the hardest kind of tough is when you feel like whatever progress you've previously made is slipping away from you.

I know my weight is going to be something I will have to remain actively engaged with for the rest of my life. It's not like college where once you graduate you have your degree forever more and thats it. All you have to do is take your eyes off the ball for a short period of time and old habits can rear their ugly head. I had a weigh-in on June 2nd (the day after I ran the Cork Marathon) and I was 13st 5lbs. I weighed in on Tuesday (July 7th, one month later) at 14st 1lb. Christ! That's TWO STONE heavier than I was at my lightest in August 2013 and I'm right back at where I was at the beginning of the year!

Its like the Lough Ness Monster

In my head I'm trying to justify this with arguments like 'But I just ran a marathon' and  'I just cycled 180km around the Ring of Kerry' but if I dig a little deeper I know the truth. I have clothes that no longer fit, I'm not as fit or as fast as I was and while it's not all about the number on the scales, I know I've gone wrong. Unfortunately the only person we cannot lie to is ourselves, no matter how hard you try dress it up.

At every 'breaking point' (I've had a few of these points of frustration), I've had two options in front of me: Keep going or pack it in. I know I'll never pack it in as its too important. I need to go back and remember that every day (in every way) we make active choices that knowingly:

1) work towards what we want
2) go against what we want

Will I go for a run? Do I really need that muffin I just bought in the petrol station? Should I bring the dog for a walk even though its raining?

Yes there are a few cases in which your choice will neither positively or negatively affect your goal so I'm going to ignore them for now. I'm constantly struck by the talk Gerry Duffy gave in Kinvara a few months ago where he spoke of the mentality of a group of Olympic rowers who constantly preceded everything with the question: Will this make the boat go faster? If the answer was yes, they did it. If it was no, they didn't. Simple.

What I need to do is reset my previous weight/weight loss expectations, start tracking again, lose weight 1lb at a time, exercise one session at a time all with a common goal in mind. For me, this is the Berlin Marathon (end of September). Everything I do for the next 3 months will work towards this. I need a goal to keep me focused and on track, both from a weight and exercise perspective.

I'm not upset or going to beat myself up over my recent gain, I'm just feeling deflated and needed to get this off my chest. There is no shame in failing or tripping up after all 'to err is human'.  

Failure doesn't come from falling down... Failure comes from not getting back up


  1. I think the biggest thing that stalled me when I put weight back on was that "lose 1lb at a time" mentality. It seemed like such a slow way to get back to where I was - the initial excitement when I lost it the first time wasn't there. It's like an internal battle of wills all the time - but you know you're still a long way off from where you were. You have the information, and the knowledge, and the experience, and you know what will happen if you stick to your plan. You also know what will happen if you don't - I'm the type of person who goes for a 7k walk and nearly expects to be down a stone by the time I come home - but I suppose the biggest thing this time is PATIENCE. More than willpower, more than trying, more than dedication - patience. Patience for it all to come together in baby steps, for it all to add up slowly over time and make a difference. You don't need me to tell you you're going to get there, because you will. Good luck x

    1. Obviously we'd all like to lose it faster than 1lb a time but I'm thinking 'Whats the rush?' 1lb a week as progress and thats how you should see it to. The internal battle of will is always there, but when the ball is rolling in one direction its easier to ignore that voice!

      I hear what you are saying about expecting immediate results but I think being realistic is the single most important thing we can do as otherwise we set ourselves up for failure/disappointment.

      Thanks (again) for your lovely words Sharon x

  2. John you are such an inspiration and motivator and I personally love following your story. Everyone is entitled to have good and bad days, that's what makes us normal. You've done so well and are still doing well and you've got the tools to get you back to where you want to be. By September I've no doubt that you will be where you need to be for Berlin!

    1. Thanks Denise! Look at you too doing absolutely brilliantly. Thats what I love so much about following other WW/running blogs like yours as everyones story is different and seeing the strength and motivation others use helps me so much too! We'll be Mr and Mrs Clare yet :)

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