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I know EXACTLY how you feel. Best.
Don’t worry, everyone gets fat when they get married!! 🙂 You’ll get back on the wagon and get back in fighting shape in no time.
Peter thanks for the brutal honesty and reminder that we control our own health. I’m back at the heavy point too after losing over 30 pounds in 2009. I did a 150 bike ride that year, a triathlon and was feeling great. For me eating well and working out is a lifestyle. I realized in 2003 when I ran my first marathon that diet was absolutely everything given my metabolism. I guess I’m not angry enough but I need to get my ass in gear.
Good luck and I’ll follow your progress. Maybe an accountability partner may help. Lord knows I need one and a gym rat to work out with.
I wish you well, and thanks for calling it like you see it.
You travel a lot so it IS harder to stay on track. Maybe if you go more slowly this time, really try to change your habits, it will stay off. Seems like last time you lost it kinda fast. Slow down, bring healthy snacks with you everywhere, make sure you walk or do some activity everyday. You know all of this, I’m sure, but a reminder that it stays off better when you truly change your habits never hurt. And you need a “treat” from time to time, just make it a small portion and don’t eat treats before you eat a meal cause you’ll overdo it.
You are already on the road to wellness. You have done it before and will do it again. Best wishes on the journey.
Thanks for sharing man! And I agree – sometimes we can push ourselves to a one-off goal, but changing an entire way of living takes…well…a lifetime. I did the same thing once where I ate well and lost weight but didn’t really change the way I lived my life…so feel free to go at it a little slower: oddly enough it seems to get longer-term results if you don’t go 200% drastic. (But then, “200% Drastic” or “0% Screw This” seem to be the two ways in which you work! So, I guess it’s back to drastic!!)
Couldn’t agree more.
By the way, accountability is a key thing. Why don’t you schedule a status update that tells your fans: “Please Check with me if I’m still going to gym/eating healthy. This message was scheduled on nov 2012… I need YOU to hold me accountable. Please post to my wall and ask me if I’m following through! Thank you”
Lol, you can be sure people WILL check on you. That could work wonders.
Another thing is to write checks to a political party you hate and tell a friend to deposit them there if you don’t go to the gym.
Well… this is some advice I need to tell myself more.
ha, love these! so smart…
Peter – I am sharing this article with a few friends of mine. I recently posted in my newsletter about cartooning (http://eepurl.com/qhsf9) a quote that I thought was outstanding:
Rather than saying “I don’t have time for something,” say “it’s not a priority to me” and see if that changes your mind about anything.
Get after it!
Oh, Ben…ouch! That’s getting added to my lexicon today…and I’m going to (fondly) hate you, every time I say it. Excellent advice.
I know exactly how you feel, Peter. I’ve also had other priorities and gained weight in the last few years — after a couple of periods of being in pretty darned good shape. I try not to hate myself, because that isn’t productive in terms of helping me eat better or exercise. I’m still working on finding the motivation and lifestyle changes that will start (and keep) me moving in the right direction. It is a challenge, for sure.
I completely understand feeling angry about going back to an old habit. Every time we go to the US, I gain weight and stop working out. I promise myself each time that I’ll do it differently, but only once has it been otherwise. (Btw, have you read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg?)
And kudos for taking responsibility for yourself, because that is the only way to change something you don’t like, but I think it’s ok to be gentle with yourself too. Bc it’s not like you spent the last year sitting on a couch complaining about Honey Boo Boo. (Or 50 Shades… take your pick.)
a choice in each breath. a life long journey. take it slow. and do it like you make every plane to make every engagement you make. put in your schedule. gently. when in nyc and where you travel schedule a work out, yoga, sweat, personal trainer session. And you ‘know’ how to do this. so it is keeping your word around it, and have someone to support you in this that it is on your schedule. Where you are make sure there is food that supports your figure. The restaurant you choose to eat at. Prepare to have the food at home and on you to support you in being well nourished. to start.. Moksha Yoga on 6th avenue and 10th street, has $40 unlimited month for first time students. yoga with a sweat and manageable class for all levels.
I’ve been having the exact same issue. Actually, on the exact same timeline. I decided this week to “get back at it.” It’s hard. I hate it. But it’s gotta be done. Good luck!
Bravo, Peter, for leading by example. We are often our own worst enemy, but it takes a brave (wo)man to admit that. You’ve inspired me to be “1% better” starting today. Kudos!
On the upside (there has to be one), your wing loading probably makes your canopy way more fun this year than it was last year 😉
I go through the same thing — its why I continue to sign up for triathlons, not because they are crazy fun, but because the only thing that gives me the discipline to work out on a (sometiems semi-)regular basis is knowing I’m going to either hurt-like-hell or look-like-an-idiot come race day if I don’t get my ass out of bed early for the ride/swim/run/whatever. Sticking to the the full distance triathlons helps with that (because you can totally pull a spring or even a half out of your ass, but not a full!)
You’ve done it once before, you can do it again. I’m about to embark on my 1/2 marathon journey as I’m starting from scratch after having my baby girl 7 weeks ago…and trying to fit into a wedding dress by April.
Head up and and head on!
I survived marriage without damage to my waistline but since I’d been fat before I met my wife I knew exercise was essential to staying thin. What killed my waistline was the birth of my kid and having my wife say, “You have essentially an hour a day of free time. You can spend it running (I’d been faithfully doing 8 miles/day) or spend it with the kid.” Last day I ran was the day before the kid was born. I love the kid like mad, but I’d love to be slimmer too. So it goes.
Buy a baby jogger and talk to the kid. Mom might enjoy the break from both of you (and I mean that in a nice way.)
Great post. Admitting it’s our fault is hard. It took me 4 years to admit it to myself and to my wife. I’ve lost 30 pounds in the last 4 months and I’ve been running 4 days a week. It feels awesome. But I realized that I couldn’t set short-term goals or I would quit when I reached them. I had to come to the realization that health is a lifelong commitment. When I shifted my mindset to this, it changed my entire view of living a healthy life. I blogged about this idea a little bit here: http://johncade.com/whats-your-personal-health-paradigm/
Losing weight takes consciousness, which you now have! Have gone from 430 to 340 over the past four years, and am on the journey to 250. Conscious about everything I eat and have been waking at 5:30 AM to do time on the treadmill. Still walking, soon back to lifting, and someday will be running! Just stay conscious, Peter! We all have better health inside of us!!!
Good for you. You’re a smart guy with the ability to make a change – you did it before. Your ability to communicate with a lot of people probably motivated many of them to get healthy last time. The fact that you slipped shows you’re human, and you’ll motivate more as you do it again.
Peter, I know from experience what it takes to put yourself out there in such a real and raw way. Thank you for sharing your current reality with those who care about you, even if we’ve met you only once. I hope you’ll keep writing about your experience with food and exercise, for better and for worse. It’s your proven path to success.
The first step in 12 step programs: “We admitted we were powerless over our addiction (add your personal addiction here)– That our lives had become unmanageable.” Personally I fight like hell to do it on my own. Only to come to the painful realization life is a group effort.
Peter you put in the hard work… and thought that was it. But it is like business, you don’t stop after your first customer it is a lifestyle choice. Get an action partner and make a public commitment and ask for support.
I have faith you can do it… You have proven yourself again and again.
I understand where you’re at Peter. Trust me. So this time, having dropped a ton, I’ve added to my plans maintenance for the next 2 years.
Losing weight is about changing one’s lifestyle, not just changing habits. I so totally relate to your experience and efforts – having lost and gained hundreds of pounds throughout my life. I may not be the best example of success. But what I do understand is that to lose weight and keep it off, one must find a way of eating and exercising that becomes a way of life – not just changing habits in an extreme way to lose weight, only to find that the weight slowly creeps back on once we get back to what’s real. What’s important today may not be as important tomorrow if other things get in the mix. However, if we can eat and maintain healthy movement that fits into a daily or weekly routine, then we may be able to stay on a road to success, even if at times we have to re-navigate our way. Thanks for sharing your story Peter!
Peter – this issue is so relevant. My “weight problem” is more of a “wait problem”–waiting for the right time to move forward with my writing projects, sending out completed MSs etc. It’s the same thing – The Problem is Me. Thanks.
I HEAR you! So well. About realizing that we are responsible for where we are. About not having the time (or the energy) to train or work out being a bullshit excuse. IT IS. I know what it’s like to be that angry at myself. And would venture to say that getting past the anger and being nice to yourself is how you’ll get through this even faster. Took me years to learn that. I’d love to see you take up your 10% blog again, or create a new one for us to follow you closely in this. If it feels right for you. That and think about doing a 70.3 in 2014. 😉
Thanks for this post, Peter. I understand your perspective and often take a similar hard line with myself but I have some concerns about the black and white view of taking full responsibility for something you’re unhappy with. Clearly you are not alone in your struggle with weight and our culture is not particularly helpful. As a dietitian, recovering alcoholic, and meditator (and someone who has kept off almost 50 pounds of excess weight for the better part of 20 years) I am aware of the importance of acknowledging challenges and practicing mindfulness, being aware of what’s happening in your body and mind in order to make skillful choices, whether related to diet and exercise or the million other things that end up having an effect on your weight in the long run. Wishing you luck and am more than happy to connect about mindfulness and weight issues. ~Jenna (http://drinkingtodistraction.com)
Thanks for the wakeup call—I’m in the same boat. (Metaphors, consider yourselves mixed!)
Sorry to hear you’re unhappy about your weight. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of advice/recommendations, but I would feel wrong if I didn’t suggest checking out the Paleo diet. I’ve been doing it for 2+ years and it’s incredible. So easy to stick with. Not an everlasting struggle like other diet/weight loss plans. Try it for 30 days and I guarantee you’ll never look back.
Best of luck!
Amen on Paleo and other low carb – sugar makes me bottomless-pit hungry, but eating red meat and veggies and I never feel those pangs of hunger. For the first time in my life, I really feel in control and at peace with food.
You rock for putting yourself out there – LOVE it! I feel you and support your striving for a healthy lifestyle! You rocked it before, and that taste is still with you. You’ll get it again no doubt.
Great post, Peter. Lori and I were in the same boat so to speak in June and decided to change our lives. It was tough, but you said it perfectly – when the (fat) person in the mirror is at fault, it’s time to change. Now our eating habits are healthy, we have lost close to 30 pounds combined, and we will be able to live longer and be with our son. Good luck, you CAN do it for real this time.
My best friend has a similar story, and I’m wondering if you have any advice for motivating/helping her get back to eating healthy and exercising. I really want to see her happy with herself.
She has always struggled with her weight and lost about 90 pounds last year and was really into eating well and working out (she even did a triathlon) , but now that she has a new job in a high-power position, she is back to almost zero exercise and little control over what she eats. I truly believe that physical health goes hand in hand with mental health, and I want all the best for her.
What do you suggest we do to hold ourselves (and others) accountable? You’re right in that the change must start with YOU and within.
So you’re mad now, let it go. Take responsibility and get back to loving yourself, your workouts, your wife, your life. None of us make great things happen while we are angry or someone is angry at us…it’s even worse when that person is all one in the same. Take a look in the mirror and see all that is good and worth making time for the gym – Y-O-U! Love!
Well now you know what your incentive is. Once you’re back in shape, and I have no doubt you’ll get there, anytime you are tempted to hop off the wagon, remember how you feel now. You don’t want to get back to this physical and emotional state again, do you ?
I’m with you brother….
I was down below 180 pounds at the beginning of the summer. That was the least I’d weighed for at least a dozen years. The only reason that weight initially came off was stress from a REALLY CRAPPY job. That job came to and end, and nine months of unemployment came with it. Still, with plenty of yard work and bikes rides both on and off the trainer, I managed to keep the weight off when I very well could have bloated out of shape simply out of laziness or depression.
Then, I let it all slip away. I could blame vacation or a new job, but the onus of why I’m now well above 190 rests completely on me.
Peter, I want you to publish this powerful and insightful essay as an
OpEd someplace. It’s universally relevant and packs a purposeful punch. And it’s time for a new book, man. Are you working on it? Want to talk? I’d love to see you publishing more and would be delighted to facilitate in any way.
Great post. Personal accountability is where it’s at in all things, from your own health and appearance, to your marketing and communication plan. I was inspired to start down the road to better health and eating based on your original blog! Perhaps the extreme nature of your goals was part of the need to release after it was done? Certainly the stress of a wedding contributes to that feeling of a pinnacle. But as you suggest, these are just excuses. I suggest embracing the life-long challenge with a more moderate goal, and also creating accountability TO others — an actual group that meets is the very best, but a virtual version of that can work too via social media or blogging if that is easier for you. Take it one “good habits” day at a time:) Thanks for continuing to inspire with honesty. –Beth
I think the concept of “manning up,” forcing so much perfection and being so damn hard on ourselves is a huge part of what perpetuates our culture’s multitude of problems in health and happiness. Why not trying being gentle on yourself, working a little less and taking care of yourself a little more? It’s what people in less sick and crazy cultures do…and having lived in one of them and adapted it to my life in the U.S., it works. I’m a much happier, self-loving person. How about a little self-compassion, allowing room to live a human life and not be perfect all the time? I’ll be at the gym at 5:30 today, and YES, that always makes me feel so much better. But you won’t hear me publicly decrying myself on busier or less disciplined days. It’s ok to be…you know…a normal person, no matter how extraordinary you and your work are.
Don’t want to sound like a hater, but I can’t bring myself to join the Peter Shankman Adoration Society. You got married, then gained previous weight back and then some. Wow. Boo-hoo.
Yes, accountability and personal responsibility. We get it. But when people are without water, shelter, heat, electricity, etc (Exhibit 1 – NYC/NJ) it puts self-important stuff like this in perspective.
How about a post on perspective?
Actually, you are a hater. And your comment is cheap. THIS IS PETER’S BLOG. A place where he’s entitled to write about whatever he wants and to share his innermost thoughts and feelings. Not sure why you felt the need to wag a finger at him for being candid and honest about something which has been and always will be a huge personal struggle for him. Comparing this, as you say, “self-important stuff” to the catastrophic devastation of Sandy is ridiculous and unwarranted. It’s one thing if Peter somehow downplayed the suffering of those affected by the hurricane in this blog but he’s done absolutely nothing of that kind. Conversely, he’s tweeted and Facebook status updated about helping those who are in need and has donated time and money against the cause of Sandy. So instead of asking him to write a post on perspective, perhaps you should think about it yourself.
If you can’t take the heat get out of the blogsphere, Mrs. S. Or turn the comments function off. People have a right to disagree with the author and the author’s kin. We all have problems and Peter has every right to write about whatever he wants on his blog and we have a right to disagree. In fact, “pityparty” wasn’t overly rude or vile. Just expressing his God given WRITE.
Please tell me you spelled “write” wrong deliberately. Please. For the love of all things good.
Thanks for the comment, anonymous. You’re welcome to say whatever you like, just as I’m welcome to write whatever I like. However, your severe lack of facts, knowledge, or intelligence on the situation greatly diminishes any credibility you may have. Well, that and the fact that you’re anonymous. I didn’t even see your comment, until my lovely wife brought it to my attention.
Anyhow, if you’d like a list of other blogs to read, since you obviously shouldn’t be reading this one, I’m happy to provide. Just ask.
Oh – Meant to add – If you click on the “How to be taken seriously,” category, you’ll find a link to about 30 or so blog posts I’ve written in the past two years, all offering help on how to do things better – including have perspective. But like I said before, you won’t notice that, since you’ve shown complete unfamiliarity with the subject on which you’re attempting to comment.
I despise anonymous commenters but love your wife for jumping all over the lowlife. Go Get ’em!
Really like the article Peter but no need to get aggressive with those that criticize your viewpoints. Just makes you look petty.
Who’s getting aggressive? I’m stating a point, much like everyone else.
Actually, how ’bout YOU write a post on perspective on YOUR blog, troll? Then all of the zero people who care about your opinions can read it and leave you encouraging comments. Or, you could spend the 30 seconds you spent typing this comment donating to Sandy victims instead, if that’s so important to you.
When we start playing the game of “Your problems don’t matter because other people’s problems are worse,” nobody grows, learns, or benefits. Peter doesn’t get to bitch about his weight because Sandy victims don’t have electricity? Okay, then Sandy victims don’t get to bitch about not having power, because people in parts of Africa have NEVER had working electricity. And those people in Africa can’t bitch either, because people in Syria can’t even go outside without dodging sniper bullets. And the Syrians don’t get to bitch either, because there are parts of the world where children are kidnapped, raped, and forced to become child soldiers. Eventually we get to the person with the worst problems on the entire planet, and only THAT person is allowed to complain. Right?
Or we could play a different game, and learn from the fact that all of us who have the ability to comment on this blog are incredibly fucking privileged individuals who need frequent reminders from ourselves and from other people to be grateful for our blessings and to take responsibility for our failures. I like that game better. Although it doesn’t lend itself as well to comment trolling…
Who’s the troll now Jelena? We can learn from Shankman or we can learn from Shankman’s naysayers! Listen to everyone’s opinion and make up your mind but allow people to express themselves. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.
Nice job making another account to defend yourself while covering your tracks with a positive comment about the post, “pitypartymuch.” Dude, if you want to concern troll, do it right and build a full-fledged extra persona and keep it on the back burner for when you need it. Lazy trolling is so 2002.
You are so hot. Measurements please.
Peter, your situation is not that unusual for folks who take such a dramatic change to reach their goal. The upside of your approach is that you learned a lot about how your body will respond to nutritional and exercise changes. And while the 10% goal was laudable it may not have been the most sustainable (likewise your diet and exercise regimen to maintain it). Shooting for more moderate goals in a more sustainable way (one that you can share with your wife) may be your best bet to reaching your ultimately objective – long-lasting health.
It’s not entirely your fault. If you give up carbs in your diet you will ultimately regain the fat you lose. Carbs are necessary as fuel and to keep you from feeling sluggish. But you have to keep burning them off. Sisyphus, etc. Bon courage!
Oh, darlin’. First, let me love you for being brave. Second, now that you know, let the dead past bury the dead and start from here.
I’ve gained and lost and gained and lost and gained, dieted, belonged to gyms, done yoga, walked, eaten macrobiotic, Atkins, raw foods- and I’m still here with my habits, my attitudes, and my weight/health, embarking anew on eating well, getting activity that’s good for me, and sleeping enough and well enough that I am refreshed when I wake.
It’d be so easy to just.give.up. Whine, moan, eat, and let it go. Done it before. Know how it works. But this being alive thing? It’s all on-the-job training, and who knows what I’ll learn this time that will help me keep doing what I want to: to be an always better nurse; to live long enough to see my grandson graduate from college; to keep creating an awareness in nursing practice that nuclear guardianship is part of community health nursing.
So, I have a question: May I join you, or would you join me, in this on-the-job training part of living called “being healthy”? I could use the company, and someone to look over at, from time to time, and raise a glass of water to.
I’ll remind you of something you wrote in a previous blog post, and something every single one of use needs to remember every day – I WILL NOT QUIT. It was your post-Ironman blog post, detailing those excruciating last miles when every fiber in your body and cell in your brain says STOP! But your inner fortitude says, “believe in yourself, you can do it.”
Only you can fuel the fortitude. You CAN do it. I’m telling myself that too, as I come off an injury and try to train for another marathon. My inner fortitude is the only thing standing between me and the finish line.
Don’t quit. Your life is your marathon!
Well said, Peter. I appreciate the bravery in this post!
“We have met the enemy and he is us,” – – Pogo, aka Walter Kelly, Cartoonist. Peter – thank you for your transparent post. You just gained some major respect points in my book! I am a fellow struggler. Yo-yo dieter and exerciser. I have great days and terrible days. It’s gotten to the point when I meet people it actually runs through my head, “hmmm – the last time they saw me was I fat? Or fit?” Dreadful and embarrassing I know.
I always say and believe this with all my heart – It’s easy to get that weight off, but keeping it off – – that’s another matter!
I have to know there are a whole lot more out there that have this struggle than just you, me and Oprah!? So – maybe you have your next calling – – to get people to be honest about this struggle. To inspire yourself and others (and ME!) as to how to get out of this trap of our own invention!?
Thoughts!? Dianne – who is in a semi-good place right now with all this but is about to catch a plane to Vegas for a weeklong biz trip!
Thanks for the candor, Peter! We all have something we wrestle with. I
think what this points to is something few of us want to accept: You
can’t do it all. In this uber-multi-tasked world of ours, we foster the
illusion that you can do everything, be everything, be everywhere,
accomplish everything, and the result of all that inane thinking is a
bunch of exhausted, unhappy (and perhaps overweight) people.
If you want to have a life worth living (as opposed to one where you’re
going balls-to-the-wall 18 hours a day), with enough time to make a good
living, and HAVE the free time to enjoy it, something’s gotta give.
Period. Seems simple on the surface, but in this pressure-cooker culture
of ours, where being considered a “player” means working yourself to death (or to
overweight), it takes courage to say, “Screw it; I don’t give a s–t
what the world thinks about my choices, or whether they think I’m not
‘serious.’ I”m going to live for me, and my family.”
Oh, and here’s a newsflash; the world is actually spending an alarmingly small
amount of time thinking about you. And the day you get that will be your
own personal Independence Day.
peter, as always, thank you for your candor. i admire you. warmest, tricia
It’s so hard to be in control and to love yourself enough to do something about your weight. I have not found the answer either, but I think if you keep trying you will soon be where you want to be. I believe it’s like trying to quit smoking – if you do it enough, one of these times it’s going to stick. Hugs.
Peter, you’re awesome either way. Stop beating yourself up.
you inspired to write a post about it. Thanks!
motivational mindset: http://lotsofbiz.com/emarv/2012/11/motivation-a-response-to-peters-blog-post-when-the-problem-is-you-peter-shankman/
You are completely right! It’s all in the mind and how you think about it. I was doing really well, and I had an obstacle that appeared. I then let it slip. I’m now back on that mental mindset again. It happens to the best of us all the time! Please know that admitting it is the biggest step! Good luck! You inspired me with your plan! I’m now going to try and keep that mental mindset through the holidays!
I was lamenting my fat, flabby de-conditioned condition a few months back and, after listening constructively, Peter Shankman said “Dude! the best thing about each new day is that it’s fresh chance to start over” You’re not defined by the past Peter and failure is an integral part of success. Use today’s fresh start wisely.
Peter – you’re not alone. I call myself a ‘repeat offender’ because I once lost 49 lbs and then put almost all back on again, over a long period of time. I was making better food choices, but I wasn’t exercising enough, wasn’t watching portions well enough and wasn’t tracking or getting that accountability you mentioned. Lost it all again and so can you! I haven’t read it yet, but you might want to check out David Kirchoff’s new book (CEO of Weight Watchers), as he travels all the time too, as you do. I know you can do it, you just have to wrap your head around it again and sometimes that takes finding the right motivation.
You know, I think we beat ourselves up about this stuff too much. I spent my lifetime being really thin until I got asthma and went on medication. Now that combined with menopause…and wine…and yummy food…and suddenly at 49 I am significantly larger. I was one of those irritating people who could eat anything and stay thin. Now I am not. On one hand, yes, it’s my fault. On the other, my body chemistry has shifted and it’s harder to lose weight. I could sit around being sad, but I don’t have the energy for that. I’d rather focus outward.
I’m not thrilled about this larger, fluffier me, but I have decided that I am not stressing out endlessly about my size. My teen age daughter needs a role model who embraces herself at any size. So I’m learning to love the curves and pondering ways to decrease them without going to extremes. I agree, we have to take responsibility for all of our choices and the consequences of those choices and the reactions and choices we make as a result of the consequences.
On the other hand, maybe we should all just lighten up a little bit. Perhaps instead of extreme dieting and extreme bounce back, a little moderation might be the more prudent and long term successful path. You look great either way. Give yourself a break. You didn’t shoot a puppy, you gained a little weight.
You rock, Peter Shankman. That is all.
kudos. now stop wasting time and get back on that bike! thanks for the admission. now we know superman….just isn’t. we all have our challenges…best wishes in re-prioritizing. YOU CAN DO THIS!
Aw Peter, don’t feel so badly…most if not all of us have a physical attribute we dislike that we have struggled to change for many years. I think you are so used to excelling at so many things that you are being extra hard on yourself about not excelling at this. You already accomplish like 500% more than the average human being, so it makes sense that some things you will accomplish at peak performance and then other things you will accomplish with a bit of struggle–you have taken on a lot. By all means attack this problem with renewed vigor, but also don’t be too hard on yourself. Yes, we must all man up and have accountability for our actions…but we must also be compassionate with ourselves when we slip up.
Good news is … you’ve lost the weight before, and you’ll do it again. Good luck!
There are three lessons I work to get over to my kids (ages 14 and 11) – If I can get them to understand these three things, I feel I have done my job
1) There are consequences to your actions – sometimes good consequences, sometimes bad
2) If you want to get better at something, practice
3) Life is not fair, deal with it
You’ve gotten over the biggest hurdle, Peter. Taking 100% responsibility is the key to making big changes and you just did that – Congratulations! I know you’ll get back to where you want to be again!
Peter, the first year of marriage is full of adjustments and takes a lot of physical and mental energy. You’re creating new habits, so some of the old ones, even the good ones, fall by the wayside. Now you’ve (almost?) got that first year of marriage behind you, you can re-focus on healthy eating and fitness. Don’t beat yourself up. Just get back to those good food choices and get back in the gym. You don’t have to push yourself like you did before. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. 🙂
Peter, good for you to take responsibility for how you look and feel! That’s the premise for building anything lasting in your life. Sounds like you’ve learned from your mistakes, so move on, and get yourself back in shape – again!
So much about weight-gain and lethargy have to do with something called “sub-clinical malnutrition”. Sub-clinical malnutrition means you have no disease related condition but that you are affected. In this instance the body is simply not getting, or not absorbing, enough nutrients from food which results in a constant need to eat (usually “cheap” sources of energy like simple carbs) as well as a lack of energy for exercise. This lack of energy will show up as psychological resistance.
There are so many reasons we become malnourished – low gut microflora called probiotics, inflammation, food allergies, low stomach acid (which has identical symptoms to excess stomach acid), stress, poor diet, coffee (which depletes essential minerals) etc.
I have found, in working with my clients, that rather than seek the cause (chasing symptoms), begin to flood the body with the highest quality nutrients possible – this includes a raw greens powder that includes a broad spectrum of probiotics like Vitamineral Greens, as well as green juices, superfoods like goji berries, bee pollen, and fish oil, and eliminating or minimizing things that antagonize the body like coffee, alcohol, processed foods, and medication.
I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t feel accountable, but I am saying that very few overweight people are overweight simply due to their habits. Their habits are often driven by hidden factors. Clear up the hidden factors and self-discipline becomes exponentially easier. Don’t clear them up and you begin a wrestling match with your body’s primal needs that you simply can’t win.
There is a video called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” you may enjoy.
Best of health to you Peter!
Thank you for sharing! When we know what the problem is, its so much easier to make the necessary corrections. You can do it!
Thank you for your brutal honesty, Peter. I can say that most of us have fallen off of some bandwagon and struggled to get back on; I have been struggling for almost 8 years with a challenge which stares me down every morning. Like you say, it’s down to me. We get to decide when the rubber hits the road.
If you don’t mind, I’ll piggyback onto your realization and offer a challenge: With a loving heart. let’s do one small thing positive thing differently today, for ourselves; then tomorrow, and see what kind of a reasonable goal sheet we can compose to achieve manageable, short term goals. Beyond that, then we’ll talk 🙂
Just simply this…I love you Peter. All the time, no matter what, even though we’ve ever met. I love you and send you a hug.
Peter, it is journey getting and staying healthy. Don’t beat yourself up. Take note and move on. I’m currently on the same journey as you. And it is a bumpy one where I’m transforming my relationship with food and activity. Anything worth it is really hard. But you can do it.
I applaud your courage in admitting this, David. Hey, when you are in LA, come see me for hypnosis. I’ll be HAPPY to give you a session gratis! Dr. Nancy Irwin
I feel you. Thanks for sharing…
Love the accountability. This would be a much better world if everyone took responsibility for their actions (or lack thereof). But a word of advice – stop being angry with yourself. It’s a total waste of energy. Use that energy to make the changes you want to make. I recently found a mantra I truly appreciate (from The Rite Headquarters’s Facebook page) Good Things Come to Those Who Work Their Assess Off and Never Give Up.
Please keep us updated.
It’s harder, Peter, because once you do it (and it IS hard), it’s so tough to climb that mountain again. I’ve been there and am there again, myself. Don’t beat yourself up. Just put one foot in front of the other and get going. You’re not a failure when you fail; you’re a failure when you give up.
Nice job Peter. I’ve shared this article with some folks in my life who tend to point fingers and lay blame for everything wrong in their lives. Change starts from within!
Peter, have you considered less intense workouts and diet that are easier to maintain in the long-term? Running a few miles a day; not training for marathon. Eating healthy 5-6 days a week, eating whatever once or twice. This small stuff makes a big difference. Stick to a low-maintenance, somewhat enjoyable diet/exercise plan instead of the all or nothing that you describe in your post. (Granted, you strike me as an all or nothing person who thrives on intense experiences, so maybe easier said than done for you.)
I gained 15lbs last winter for a variety of reasons (despite exercising every day), and now I have just 2 lbs to go to be at my “happy” weight. No matter how much you know about being healthy, it is INCREDIBLY hard to get the motivation to lose weight. Your readers can certainly hold you accountable, but I found writing down what I did every day – what I ate and when, how much exercise I did, how much alcohol I drank – helped. Good luck, Peter! I know how it feels to hate your body – you can do it!
We’ve all been there. It takes guts to make a change when the status quo is so much easier. But when something bothers you enough, you change it. Good luck, stay strong, and remember how good it felt when you were rocking the triathlons. You will again…if you want to.
Peter – your Year to 10% inspired my Less of Me 2011 campaign, and I’m happy to repay the favor.
Here’s the good news:
You know YOU CAN DO IT – you are still fit, functional and healthy. You’ve done this before, and none of the fundamentals have changed.
You know WHAT WORKS – Over your year to 10%, you saw what delivered results and what was an exhausting waste of time. You know what workouts motivate you, and which are a beat-down. You know what foods satisfy you, and which just make you hungry.
You know YOURSELF BETTER – you understand your food triggers, your temptations, your rationalizations. You can see an exuse coming a mile away – and can sidestep it!
Now, the tough love: This will always be a battle. There is no magic bullet, no new status quo, no new magic setpoint. We’d love to think that once we achieve the new, lean, fit you, that we can eat with reckless abandon and hold our gains.
Need a place to start? Keep it simple – goal, formula, inspiration, measurement, results
My goal: like Kevin Spacey’s character in American Beauty: look good naked! (also in clothes, on the beach). Be seen as a fit person. Have a good amount of vitality – strength, energy, endurance. (no marathons, ’cause that’s just crazy).
My formula (your mileage may vary): low carb (red meat, eggs, butter, vegetables, and a little fresh fruit, no sugar, no starches), weights (bench, squats, deadlifts, curls), interval training (spinning, tabata). Pullups, situps, pushups. (hundredpushups.com and twohundredsitups.com have great training plans)
My go-to inspiration: Gary Taube’s “What if it’s all been a big fat lie?” (article) and Dr. Robert Lustig’s “Sugar: The bitter truth” (video). These keep me fervently believing in low-carb. (I believe that your results are mostly 80% of what goes in your mouth. Exercise makes you strong and have endurance, but isn’t the silver bullet for weight loss)
My measurement: on the scale, every morning, logged on my iPad. Even when I don’t want to. Fearlessly looking in the mirror after I shower. Which pants fit.
My results: At least 35 lbs consistently kept off, cholesterol down 100 points, never hungry. Levis 514 Straight Slim with 32 waist. And a 46th post-workout shirtless birthday photo that can happily call the “after” picture.
Peter, you aren’t alone – and I know the feeling of helplessness and despair and self-loathing all too well. I know I’m only a cheat, a binge and a lazy week away from being where you are today. It sucks to find yourself where you are today.
But dammit, you’re Peter Shankman. You can do this.
Peter – your Year to 10% inspired my Less of Me 2011 campaign, and I’m happy to repay the favor.
Here’s the good news:
Now, the tough love: This will always be a battle. There is no magic bullet, no new status quo, no new magic setpoint. We’d love to think that once we achieve the new, lean, fit you, that we can eat with reckless abandon and hold our gains. We can’t. Never turn your back on the fire – it will re-flash on you.
My formula (your mileage may vary): low carb (red meat, eggs, butter, vegetables, and a little fresh fruit, no sugar, no starches), weights (bench, squats, deadlifts, curls, kettlebells), interval training (spinning, tabata). A little running. Pullups, situps, pushups. (hundredpushups.com and twohundredsitups.com have great training plans)
Stop changing your diet. Change your mind.
Peter, it’s great to vent. And I understand your anger at yourself. May I suggest an exercise to put it all in perspective? Ask yourself if you’d be this angry with a dear friend who’d just gone through the same sequence of events.
That’s right, you wouldn’t be angry – you’d be compassionate, and might even offer constructive advice (like some of the advice you’ve received below from compassionate online friends). Can you try to give yourself some of that same compassion and understanding? It might help you relax and focus better on what you need to do to restore your health and appropriate weight.
All the best, Peter. I enjoy HARO and I enjoy your blog.
Get out of my head, we seem to be on the same yo-yo.
I am confident that you will find your way back to that place of discipline where you can lose the weight again. The other lesson here is to give other folks a break, rather than criticize, when they don’t live up to your standards…..everybody carries an albatross.
Peter, and anyone else,
The wrestler Diamond Dallas Page has a simply great and inspiring talk (free) of his theory: “Living Life at 90%”; it inspired me. I think it complements Peter’s 10% goal nicely.
Peter, I just was having a conversation with my brother about what is the things that we dislike most about ourselves and what we should value in ourselves are often flipsides of the same coin. Be kind to yourself and realize that you are probably a carer, a comforter, a giver and you turned those same instincts on yourself, even if it was detrimental to your health. Good luck, being able to honestly appraise the toughest truths requires bravery and the only path to true healing.
good job: http://onlineincomemethod.blogspot.com/
You are face to face with your weakness & failure. What a brave, honest & 100% human blog post. Who can not recognize themselves in what you are experiencing? I wonder, in this situation, does one continue to keep trying to pull himself up by his bootstraps, trusting that success will eventually result? Or does one accept his failure as an aspect of being human (with humility?) (and perhaps a perspective of powerlessness) and look for help apart from within himself? Life’s a tough thing, isn’t it. The best to you, Peter. And thank you for posting this.
Peter, first time commenter, long time reader. Since I struggle with this issue myself, I’ll give you my thoughts. I think the first step, if you haven’t already, is to define what success means to you. From what you’ve written, it sounds like you have some conflicting views on that. That is, is all the travel for speaking and TV appearances taking you closer to your definition of success or further away? Maybe the answer isn’t to get up at 4 AM to go to the gym, but to scale back your lifestyle so that working out at the gym isn’t so darn difficult. Related to that is the second problem, where we think we can have it all. We tell ourselves that (in your case for example) yes, the travel is a problem, but if you were just more disciplined, it doesn’t have to be. In my case, I tell myself I can handle the stress of working 4 jobs, even though I have a core value of family first. It doesn’t really work. I can’t be the mother I want to be while always prioritizing my work. That doesn’t mean I need to be a stay-at-home mom, but it does mean I need to stop comparing myself and my progress to single, childless entrepreneurs and scale back accordingly. It sounds like you can be as healthy as you want to be with your current level of travel and stress. Maybe cutting back on work will help you cut back on food? I don’t know. But I applaud your willingness to talk so openly about this issue. It’s one many of us can identify with. Good luck!
I agree with Alayna Comment. It is simple as that practice cum Diet keep everybody fit.
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Just want you to know that you inspired me. I read this when you first posted it and went through an extremely similar situation. I kept this in my inbox as a reminder and it motivated me to take my health back. I’ve been exercising and eating right, losing weight and feeling great. Best of luck on your journey back, too.
Lived in fear of getting overweight most of my life… went anorexic, nearly died, attempted recovery… doubled my weight within the year. Fatter than I’ve ever been and it’s not fun. What’s even more galling is, I do plenty of exercise, eat low carb and take supplements. I should be really healthy, no? Well, no. I’m having to accept that I’m doing my best, that there is more to being healthy than just being slim, and that obsession with my size is not going to shrink it. There is only so much you can do, and really and truly, I’m alive, and that’s all that matters. I know that doesn’t help much, but what I’m saying is, don’t put all your worth on your weight. Achievement is not all measured in inches 🙂
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