Losing isn’t always bad…

I’ve been called a “poor loser” as recently as this week, and I admit it, when it comes to games and competitions I can be quite the sour person when faced with an inevitable loss. As a child I used to play my sister in Battleship and move my ships every time she would’ve hit one which allowed me to win each time. That was until she caught on to my scam and told my mother on me, then I was the ultimate loser because I got in trouble. I still won the game of Battleship though! I’ve mostly grown out of my cheating ways now that I’m in my 30s. I say “mostly” because let’s be honest, we all take an extra 10 minutes for lunch every now and then, but at least I’m above cheating on board games now. Mainly because my mother has met most all my friends and warns them that I not only cheated in Battleship, but that I also steal money when being banker during Monopoly and The Game of Life. Seriously, what 10 year old cheats at the Game of Life? Apparently I did.

Enough rambling, back to the reason for this post.  In the years since I’ve started this blog I think I’ve mentioned at least a half dozen times about how I’m going to get back to working out and diet and lose weight. All those times I made such declarations were followed by going to the gym about twice, dieting for about half a week before ordering a pizza or hitting the McDonald’s drive-thru. Maybe I lost 3 or 4 lbs, but then I’d drink 5 beers at happy hour and gain it all back. My motivation was never there.  All my friends would say “You don’t need to lose weight, you look fine”. I love my friends, I do, but looking back I really wish at one point, especially the point in 2011 when I tipped the scales at over 160 lbs and then just stopped getting on the scale all together, that someone would’ve been honest and just said “Hey, you’re fat, maybe you need to get healthy”. Sure it sounds harsh, everyone wants to be the “good” friend, but sometimes we all need a little tough love.

Well, I finally met my match here in Korea, a friend who is brutally honest and doesn’t give you the run around, and apparently at this point in my life, just the kind of friend I needed. Not only did this friend nag me about being overweight, but when I said “I can’t run 1 mile” he met me at the park and pushed me to run 3. When I said “I’ll never survive the Spartan race” he ran it with me and helped launch me over the 8 foot high walls, if only he had been there to catch me on the other side! Everyone needs someone in their life that is brutally honest, that person who will push you to be a the better version of yourself that you didn’t even know existed, that person that makes you rethink everything, even when you don’t want to.

I owe this friend a lot of credit for getting my act together this year. Since March I’ve lost 20lbs, I’ve gone from huffing and puffing to lightly jog 1 city block to being able to run 6.5 miles. Apparently I am a runner now. I’m still eating candy, damn this sweet tooth I have, and I’m not losing weight nearly as fast as I’d like, but I’m getting there, and I’m sticking with running, and biking, and just being active. It’s amazing how your life changes when you have that one person who just pushes you in the exact right direction. It’s nice having coworkers notice that you’ve lost weight and compliment you, but for me and my competitive personality, it’s even better to have those compliments followed by the one from your honest friend saying “Don’t worry, I still think you have more weight to lose”. To bystanders this sounds harsh, but this friend knows it’ll drive me to run the extra mile that night, or to avoid that second cookie that I really really wanted to eat after lunch.

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(Left: July 4, 2011 & July 4,2014.   Right: Me before heading out to run in 90 degrees on a Saturday afternoon)

My goal is to lose another 15 lbs before seeing my family for Thanksgiving…plus then my clothes will be the perfect amount of looseness for stuffing my face with homemade food!

To all those friends out there who are honest and bring out the best in us, thanks. I’d cheers you, but apparently I traded in boozing on Friday nights for running 6 miles instead. My next mile is for you!  And to my friend who has helped change my life for the better in more ways than one, I know I’ve told you this before, but Thank You, you know who you are.

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