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Fat to Fit: The Dark Moments

131723611A month ago I would have told you how great I was feeling. I was coming off of 2 months of rest, dropping 20 lbs, and eating more healthy than I ever have.

I was running long runs keeping up with one of my old friends who is naturally quite a bit faster than I am. The few rides I did during my rest time I was keeping up with guys that usually dust me with ease.

I was feeling GOOD!

This morning was the opposite of that. I didn’t want to get out of bed (that rarely happens). I didn’t want to go workout (again, that’s a rarity nowadays). I felt heavy. I got on the scale realized I’ve added back few of the twenty pounds that I painfully took off in December & January.

On our Adventures for the Cure team ride Wednesday night (West Side Worlds)  I was dropped from the B group halfway through the ride. I wasn’t getting dropped at all at the end of last season. I went for a three hour ride yesterday morning at a very easy pace for me and I was exhausted even though that’s a walk in the park for me usually.

In a nutshell: I feel like crap.

I renewed my commitment this past week to get to a target riding weight by April 1. I was doing pretty well most of the week but my commitment to cut back on bad carbs ended with shoveling in two bowls of mac n cheese last night at Johnny’s in Roland Park (followed by two desserts). So much for my will power.

Some days I feel amazing. I am fit and getting fitter. I am light and getting lighter. I am swimming in endorphins and my mood is so good that even people I don’t employ or am related to like me.

Then there are days like today. No motivation. No will power. I feel like lying on the couch all day eating donuts and Doritos while watching mindless TV in front of the fire. The picture of fitness eh?

Fortunately this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been here before. The dark moments happen.

I don’t know why they happen. We are fickle creatures. More sensitive than we think. With so many different variables that affect our mood: emotional engagement, our perception of reality, our relationships with others and ourselves, other emotion, mental, sexual, physical and spiritual factors. On Facebook our status would be: “It’s complicated.”

I have found two things that I do when the dark moments come:

Recognize that this too shall pass. Ask me in a day or two and I’ll probably be feeling wildly different than today. The dark moments don’t last. If they did I would seek out professional help for sure. But generally I’ll get recharged and ready to go again in a day or so. Maybe less. Maybe more.

Don’t fight against the dark moments. There are plenty of times when the right response is to fight. Mile 20 of a marathon is one of those times. 80 miles into a 100 mile mountain bike race is one of those times. Fighting for extra reps at Coppermine Crossfit during an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) is one of those times. There are plenty of times when”fight” is the right response to a challenge.

But when I’m feeling weary, beat up, tired, off my game, and unmotivated I don’t fight that. I try to get some rest. I relax and let myself feel the exhaustion. I might eat a little more. I might indulge in something that i normally wouldn’t. I might watch more TV.

In these situations I try to relax and know the way forward is often through the dark moments. Tomorrow will be a new day with new challenges. I’ll be up for them.

Keep moving forward. If you need me I’ll be on the couch eating crap and watching TV.


p.s. Some of you have heard me talk about resistance. Sometimes when I feel the way I do I’d be suggesting the answer is to kick resistance in the teeth and push through the dark moments. Wisdom is knowing when to push and when to relax. Today I’m relaxing.

p.p.s.Sometimes it helps to put on the right clothing even when you aren’t feeling good:

Trophy Husband

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I am the CEO of Blue Ocean Ideas, a creative agency in Baltimore, Maryland. My job is to clarify the strategy and take care of my team. I am married to the beautiful Elise Rittler and we have four great kids. When I’m not at Blue Ocean Ideas or with my family I am riding a bike, running, playing ultimate frisbee, eating, or sleeping. There is a little more about me here.

2 Responses to “Fat to Fit: The Dark Moments”

By Tracey Poler - 4 March 2013

Wisdom indeed. I have not always used that wisdom – and when I haven’t I have been sorry for it. Good for you that you have deciphered when to listen to your body instead of making it listen to you. I find that days like this result in a powerful and fierce determination in the next workout. So – in the words of that wise man Kenny Rogers, “Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em…”.

By KristerDunn - 9 March 2013

Sometimes forward motion is just making sure you keep facing the right direction. Sounds like you can still see the right direction from the couch. It also reminds me that sometimes we need to be in the valley to rest up…there’s more hills to take… Glad you posted this. I don’t think we talk about that days that suck enough. Rest up in every way, my friend.

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