Great Expectations

I woke early this morning.  I started the coffee.  I hobbled into the bathroom and did what humans do in the bathroom.  Then I washed my hands, put in my contacts.  I gave myself a cursory assessment, barely a glance.

Then I leaned over to put the towel back on the rod and caught a glimpse of my belly in the reflection.

It’s not pendulous or anything.  It doesn’t touch the floor.  It’s more of a paunch, really, but it’s there.  I had this moment where I stopped and just looked at it.  This giant wave of disappointment came over me.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like giant waves of disappointment.  I don’t like giant waves of anything.

I recognized, just then, that these are the moments that discourage me.  One glance, one dissatisfied instant.  Aren’t I eating better?  Didn’t I quit drinking over four months ago?  Don’t I work out hard enough?  Why am I still holding on to this ridiculous belly and these stubborn love handles!?!


Yes, it’s vanity.  I admit that.  I’m not a vain person, though, not by any stretch, but I think it’s acceptable to want to look better.  I also think it’s perfectly acceptable to want to change the areas of yourself that have been a hindrance to your self esteem for decades.  And to do so with zero apology.

The lack of progress discourages me more than anything.  How much more is it going to take?  Why am I not seeing the results I want to see?  How am I going to become a ripped, tatted-up Instagram sensation if I can’t get rid of some piddly belly fat??

What I know now, from all of this learning I’ve been doing, is this: I’m simply not working hard enough.

Ten years ago I’d have buckled with frustration.  “But I’m working so hard and I’m achieving nothing!”  Heck, five years ago.  Last year.  I’d have given up.

Yes, I am eating better, just not good enough.  I did quit drinking over four months ago, so I should shut up and be glad about that; water is still water, and I need to drink more of it.  I do work out, just not hard enough.  You want to be tone and have a great physique, Sean?  THEN FUCKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.  Push yourself.  You can’t even do a pull-up and you wonder why you still have belly fat??

What I do need to recognize is that there is progress.  The belly I saw in the mirror was twice its size two months ago.  Just because my pants fit better doesn’t mean I’m going to wake up with washboard abs and bulging biceps.  It would be nice, but damn, Sean, it’s a process.  It’s going to take a while.

I make my expectations too high, and that needs to stop.  I will recognize my accomplishments, set new goals, and go from there.  This post, despite coming off as whiny and self-serving, is really just an act of accountability.  I want to make changes, but big changes require big effort.

Thank you for reading.  Now excuse me while I go flex the biceps I think I have.






2 thoughts on “Great Expectations

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  1. Little by little does the trick. One day at a time. One foot forward. Enough with the cliches, but you are only human after all. We are bound to be disappointed in life. The important point is you aren’t where you used to be. Keep your eyes on the road ahead and just glance in the rear view mirror to see where you’ve come from.

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