View From Run

206. The Story Of My Potentially Broken Scale

206. I looked down in disbelief at what I was seeing. 206. It sounds more like someone’s apartment number than what my weight should be. 206! This scale must be broken… After all, I have already written a number of times about how I was finally committing to creating a better, healthier life for myself, and saying it makes it so, right? Apparently it takes more than words to make something so, which means I am back to the drawing board.

I make these commitments often enough that you’d think I’d have figured out how to work around my own mind at this point, but I haven’t. It took me 5 years to finally quit smoking, and if I’m being honest I still haven’t gotten the little voice out of my head. Exercise and healthy eating is proving to be an ever bigger obstacle for me, mostly because two of my favourite things are eating and sitting/lying down. I’ve also learned that trying to change too many things all at once is definitely detrimental to my end goal, so I am taking things slow.

That said, I have started alternating running and weight training 5-6 days a week and have lasted a month and a half so far, which is good for me. I even signed up for the 5K race in the Canada Army Run to keep myself motivated and I’m finding that I am actually excited about the upcoming adventure. I think the difference this time around is that I am truly unhappy with the way I look and feel most of the time. I’m achy, tired, my clothes don’t fit and there aren’t a lot of clothing places that cater to short dudes with round bellies. If I don’t do something now, I’m scared that I never will.

Most importantly, however, I have been having trouble keeping up with my growing children and that makes me sadder than all of the above reasons combined. I don’t want to be the dad that can’t play road hockey with his son because he needs to take a break every 2 minutes, or the guy who can’t practice a dance routine with his daughter because I am carrying too much weight to keep up. I refuse to allow my children to see me as this shell of my former self and am hoping that this time around, I can stick to it. If all that wasn’t motivation enough, my 6 year old son came running with me the other day and said “Dad, I love to come running with you because I like having daddy son time”. How do I quit after hearing that?

I don’t write this story so that you will shower me with congratulations or encouragement. I do it for a couple of reasons. First, writing and talking about it is a strong motivator for me. Also, I think there are a lot of people like me out there. People who start something with a strong passion for it, only to watch it fade away without a second glance. I want to show those people that failing once or twice or five times doesn’t mean it’s over. As long as you are breathing, you have the chance to make a difference in your own lifestyle and you should seize that opportunity. You know, YOLO, and all that stuff!

I have no idea what is going to happen with my latest attempt at creating a better situation for myself but I know that I am more motivated than ever and at least that is a step in the right direction.

14 replies
  1. SoberJulie
    SoberJulie says:

    This is such a BRAVE post! I can utterly relate, I hit the day when it was overwhelming as I read the scale. One day at a time you CAN do this my friend and I’ll be here cheering you on!

  2. Matthew Tully
    Matthew Tully says:

    This was a great post to come across Chris as I am on the same journey…..only 10lbs heavier @ 216..ugh. I’ve got hardly any clothes that fit anymore and well lets just say the ones that do are just not the way I want to dress. The biggest thing I lack is motivation in this area as once I’m up and out I don’t mind it at all and usually feel better for it. It’s funny how life does things like this to you as I can motivate myself to sit and write for hours or pick at a picture until it’s the way I want it. The thing is, it doesn’t work unless I’m here to do it and if I don’t do something soon…. well we know what can happen. Great job man, keep it up!

    • Chris Read
      Chris Read says:

      Thanks, Matthew. I find that the more people who ask about how my workouts are going, the more I want to do them. Otherwise you have to that embarrassing head down, “Oh, I haven’t done them in a bit…” thing. Good luck!

  3. Chiara
    Chiara says:

    Many people give up because they try to do too much at once and their body throws a temper tantrum over it. No one can make a drastic change overnight and make it stick easily. Making a few small changes at a time, then making more when the changes become habit will let the body get used to it before moving on. You can’t run a marathon or hold your breath underwater for minutes without training your body slowly over time, and making drastic changes quickly is similar. Try leaving 3 bites left on your plate at every meal. Get a pedometer and walk an extra 100 steps before sitting down to watch tv. Park at the back of the parking lot. Every small positive steps makes a difference.

    Also, check out a website like SparkPeople for tips, motivation, support, meal and exercise tracking, and support from others who are trying to live healthier lives, like you.

    Keep at it. You didn’t gain the weight in a week, so you can’t expect to lose it in a week. Create the healthy habits that will last a lifetime. You can do it!

    • Chris Read
      Chris Read says:

      Thanks, Chiara. I am definitely one of those people who try to do too much, too soon. This time around I am trying to do it right. Instead of doing random weights at the gym, I hired a trainer to develop a routine for my needs and so far, so good. Same with the running. I have a plan and it is working. Next up will be food…My nemesis!

  4. julie
    julie says:

    Hey Chris I know exactly how you feel. I feel that way too. I am starting up running again next month (third times the charm right?!) I am also doing lots of daily exercises but I found that when running at the same time I saw results. It was just too difficult to get up so early. Now I made a little facebook group of people that check in everyday when they exercise for accountability. It really helps! I have not missed a day yet! I think finding good habits and a good schedule for when you work out is key and you have to put yourself first with this one so you can be there to run and play with your kids and take care of yourself. Kind of like the smoking thing where it took me three fails/cheats to finally kick the habit. Some of us need more time and attempts to see how we can do this thing the right way. Stay strong, we are all in this together 🙂

    • Chris Read
      Chris Read says:

      Thanks, Julie! I tried about 7 times with smoking before I finally kicked it and this is probably my 5th or 6th time saying I am going to get healthier. This time feels different though. It’s like I have a different confidence about being able to pull it off. I’m guessing it’s the kids 🙂

  5. SimpleRyan
    SimpleRyan says:

    Hey wassup Chris…Ok..seriously… apt 206! That literally almost made me spit up the water I was drinking all over my laptop. LOL!

    And your son’s comment seriously almost made me shed a daddy tear. Now you DEFINITELY can’t quit. Time to man up for your son!

    I read this quote and I think it applies here: “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going”

    So you need to turn this into a habit. And the best way to do so is to just set small goals each day. Let’s use pushups as an example. You wouldn’t try to do 50 on your first day…but if you said to yourself “every morning, I’m going to take 2 mins and do some pushups. I’ll start with 10 and do one more each day” This would be a good way to start small. One pushup takes what..1-2 seconds. So you can definitely fit this in before you shower.

    And it’s not a huge goal, but starting small, and increasing by one each day is a good way to develop a habit that can stick with you forever. You can implement this with eating as well. For example, you could drink one more glass of water a day and one less glass of pop/juice, etc..

    I’ve been working out now consistently for about 20yrs. Now, it’s more like you said…just so that I can keep up with my kids and be a good role model for them. If you ever want any tips on how to stay consistent, feel free to ask. I’d be more than happy to help!


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