Defeating defeat.

Berit wrote:

Sean, I love your blog, and I’ve only been reading for a short time, but I wanted to write in and ask for some guidance.  You seem to know your fitness stuff.

In college I was a knockout (I sent my college pic), but after getting married and having a daughter, my body seemed to just give up.  Now, I didn’t have the time to dedicate to exercise like I did when I was younger, but I never thought it’d go as far as I am now.  I’ve gained almost 100 lbs in 8 years (partially from baby weight that never came off), and as a result, I’ve become depressed.  My husband left me last year and I am miserable.  I try to exercise, but I just feel ridiculous and end up de-motivating myself before I even get there.  What do I do?  I am uncomfortable in my own skin.


Thanks for the picture Berit.  You were indeed an attractive woman in college.  You don’t look that tall, so I am guessing the weight gain seems worse than it is.  I gave a friend an old African proverb today as a way to inspire him.  It reads, “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”  You’ve got an enemy within and you’re defeating any hope of progress in your life.  You, not your weight gain, have become your own worst enemy.

Sometimes, giving up seems like the easier thing to do.  When everything seems to always go wrong, the fight inside can often go into hiding.  There are times when I am on the treadmill and I feel I can’t run another step.  It’d be so easy to just stop, but I ask myself, “What happens if I just keep going?”  Well, success happens.

Your health and well being is up to you.  You need to forgive yourself for what you have done to your body and move on.  Stop making excuses and start setting goals for yourself.  By setting practical and measurable goals, you’ll be able to measure progress and celebrate your “wins”.

I don’t know why your husband left and you didn’t answer my email about that, so I will advise you to move on from that.  You’ve got your health and a child to worry about.  If you like, you can even incorporate activities with your daughter into your fitness.  Running around the yard with a soccer ball, playing on the playground, jogging with a running stroller (if they’re young enough…don’t embarrass your daughter if she’s 8), and even swimming are all great activities to stay active.  As time goes on and she grows older, some gyms even offer childcare at low or no cost.  I take Olivia to the gym with me and she’s made many friends there.  She has a blast and I get a workout.

You have many options.  Stop feeling defeated and start believing in yourself.  Your future depends on it.