One Foot Forward

Today I destroyed a monument.

Let me explain.

While filling my Buick with gas this morning, I figured I’d clean out my car.  I opened the door and started grabbing the trash that had piled up in the backseat.  I’m not proud of this, but there were at least nine fast-food bags back there from the last couple of weeks.  A crumpled, greasy monument to my recent slothfulness.  It felt so good to grab them and stuff them in the garbage can.  To discard the proof of my lack of discipline; my disdain for physical or spiritual activity.  In a matter of moments my car was clean and fresh and I had a new confidence in my ability to overcome my desires to eat crappy food.  Conquerer!

Then I ate out for lunch.  And I just finished a Culver’s Snack Pack for dinner.

Tomorrow.

It’s always “tomorrow,” though, right?  ”This will be my last junk-food meal and then it’s oatmeal for breakfast, almonds and veggies for snacks, Lean Cuisine for lunch and a healthy dinner!  This crap is gonna rule!” we confidently declare.  If you’re like me, that enthusiasm usually doesn’t last very long.  Why is that?  Well, for me, I need goals.  And I need to be sold-out to them.  If I’m not all-in, I might as well not even try.  I’ll lose focus and determination so fast you’d think I never started.

But today I’m legitimately excited.  Why?  Because I went to the informational meeting for the inaugural Couch to 5k training program and run that my employer is hosting.  Starting next week, a rather large group of us will be training together three times a week with the goal of running a 5k at the end of August.  It’s a goal.  It’s exactly what I need.

It’s funny, though, because I’ve run a few 5k races already.  I ran a 10k, too.  Heck, I even ran a quarter marathon after barely training for it, deciding not to run it, and then being told the day before to run it anyway.  And I loved every minute of every race.  In fact, the other day I listened to Switchfoot’s Dare You to Move on my 10-minute afternoon break at work and I nearly took off running right then.  It brought back all those old feelings of training in the early morning, the cool crisp air filling my lungs.

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Me and the fam at Crazy Legs 2010

The truth is, though, I haven’t run since Thanksgiving.  On purpose at least.  I’ve gained about 20 pounds back.  My head is big and I’m not even on steroids.  It’s pathetic.  And it makes me really mad.  And honestly, I feel like it creates a domino effect of slothfulness in my life.  I don’t eat well and I don’t exercise and I don’t make time to read the Bible and I don’t keep on-top of our finances like I should and I stay-up too late and don’t get enough sleep and…the list goes on.

I feel like that’s about to change, though.  Again.  If I make good choices about what I eat (and keep a log) and make time to exercise and stick to it, I know things will turn around.  It’s a fact.  I’ve seen it happen before in my own life.  The dominoes will start to fall how I’ve planned them to fall, like this.  Seriously, watch that video.  A billion dominoes?  Girl, please!  Also, any video with “The Final Countdown” as the song bed deserves 1:34 of your time.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what will be playing as I cross the finish-line on August 23rd.

The question is: Are you stuck, too?  Are you a Sloth without a Chunk to Truffle Shuffle for you?  Are you upset with your lack of discipline lately?  It’s time to remember what breaks you out of that slump.  It’s time to set a goal.  Or to find an accountability partner.  Or to make a podcast to chronicle your achievements.  Whatever it takes to put one foot forward.  That’s all.  One foot.  A beginning.

The rest will come.

When you’re feeling stuck, what breaks you out of that slump and moves you forward?

  • http://TheInternet St. John Erik Adam Hjalmeby I

    Two Notes:
    1. I’m eating strawberry ice cream as I read this, but I feel OK about it.

    2. 1 billion dominoes: I literally gasped in the glory of the awesomeness radiating from that event.

  • jimmy

    Personally I find it more effective to eat the things I like but limit the amounts. I’d go crazy without an occasional cheese burger, but I need to eat them less often and make other wise choices. I also have been using an exercise ball to do crunches between calls at work and,when I can, I take long walks with Cheryl and Ozzie.

    Just wanted to share, crash diets don’t work for me and I’ve read how unhealthy they actually are.

    • Ryan

      I agree, Jimmy! Crash diets are short term fixes that cause long-term harm. Life-change is what’s really needed.

      And I just saw Cheryl and Ozzie out for a walk on my way home! :)

  • http://Www.mudbootsandpearls.blogspot.com Cherylyn Petersen

    Haha! That is awesome! Blessings on this new season!!

    • Ryan

      Thanks, Cherylyn! :)

  • http://www.twogomers.com Anthony

    If there are two hard and fast rules that I’ve gathered from any of our friends that we’ve met over the years that are naturally “thin” they are: just eat less and eat slowly. Our friend Bob eats nothing but junk but only eats a little bit of it and eats at an alarmingly slow rate. Even at thanksgiving E and I were headed for our 2nd and 3rd plate respectively and he was moving the food around on his still half full first and only plate. Good luck duder!

    • http://www.ryanhaack.com Ryan Haack

      Thanks, Tone!

  • http://www.twogomers.com Anthony

    Oh and definitely Jimmy is right, for a diet or as you said Haack “lifestyle” to work, nothing can be off limits. ie. No carbs, YEAH RIGHT! You’re gonna cave, and probably really quickly.