Are you in need of a little motivation to continue with your weight loss journey? Then you’ve come to the right place!
On today’s feel good episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, we’re chatting about how to keep moving forward, all the way to the FINISH LINE. (Okay, there’s still some theory and application of thought work tools, too, but this one’s mostly a pep talk!)
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
👉 What to do with a BLURRY WORRY
👉 How to set EFFECTIVE GOALS
👉 What it means to HAVE A GOAL
👉 Lessons I’ve learned from RUNNING that are applicable to ANY GOAL
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The FINISH Line (Full Transcript)
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters podcast with Pahla B, and this is episode number 236, “The Finish Line.”
Welcome to the Fitness Matters Podcast where every week we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you. I’m Pahla B, YouTuber, certified life and weight loss coach, soon to be author, and your best middle-aged fitness friend. Are you ready to talk about the fitness mindset that matters to you? Me too. Let’s go!
Well, hello, hello, my friends! It is so good to be here with you for another episode of the Fitness Matters Podcast. And I, for whatever reason, as I was doing the intro, I was like, “Okay, I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m telling you I’m “finished” because I’m not. For those of you who follow my YouTube channel, you know the catchphrase that I use at the end of my fitness videos: “We’re done but not quite finished.” So for me, that word “finished” really has a very finished connotation as opposed to the word done. And I just want to reassure you, all of you, in case it crossed your mind like, “Oh my gosh, Pahla’s finished?” No, I’m not. Not even close. I am just getting started, my friends. In so many ways. In. So. Many. Ways.
And this is what I want to tell you today. I don’t have a lot of theory today. Today is a little bit more of a pep talk that I need, and therefore I’m going to share it with you because sometimes this is what happens to me. I get in the middle of a churn of thinking, and I will tell you that my churn this morning with my own journal was four long pages of nothing but my brain complaining about how everything is going wrong in my life right now, and nothing is going right, and everything is bad and awful, and it’ll never turn around.
And I was like, “Okay, I see you.I acknowledge you. Thank you so much for getting out on the paper so that you’re not churning around in my head.” But also sometimes when we’re in the middle of that kind of thing, yes, you know what to do. You use the two-step tool. I did, I used it. I found the thoughts, four pages of them. I decided which ones were helpful – not a single one of them. I took a look at what kinds of thoughts they were. Almost every single one of them was something that I call “a blurry worry,” and we haven’t talked about this on the podcast.
This is something that I talk about all the time with the Get Your Goal group. Which we do . . . I mean, we do the same work in the Get Your Goal group, it’s just that we really take it like one layer deeper. There’s a lot more theory. And I know sometimes here on the podcast you’re like, “Pahla, it’s kind of all theory.” Totally true. But also in the Get Your Goal group, it’s a lot more theory. It’s a lot more “theory so you know what to do” kind of conversations.
And a blurry worry, just super quickly, is a worry about “something will go wrong.” But it’s a really specific kind of worry about the future or about the past or about something that’s going on, where you use a word like “enough” or “too much” or “not enough,” or something that is really nonspecific.
Your brain will do this to you – and I apologize, I really am going to explain this to you – your brain will do this to you because it feels so scary. I mean, honestly, your brain is legitimately just throwing out junk because these are thoughts that you have picked up somewhere along the line. It’s just a recycled thought from somewhere else in your life. It’s an automatic thought that really has almost nothing to do with what’s actually going on with you. And that’s why it feels so amorphous and smoky and yucky – because there’s nothing to hang your hat on.
So, since I’m already here, let me just go ahead and tell you what to do with a blurry worry: you define it. What would be enough? What would be the right amount? What would be a good enough? Those kinds of things. When you ask your brain to get really specific, then you can see, “Oh, you know what? I actually am doing enough.” “Oh, you know what? I actually am doing the right amount.” “I actually do have enough time.”
Wow, that was so far off to the left field. But here we go. This is actually what I came here to tell you about, not my four pages of blurry worries, but rather this. Sometimes rather than needing a theory and knowing something practical to do with it, sometimes you really just need to remind yourself of the big picture. Today is a big picture, almost like a Tony Robbins, “Hey, let’s just feel good about our lives,” kind of a podcast, which I don’t do very often, but we all need to hear them.
Here’s what I want you to know about the finish line. The finish line is always there. The finish line is waiting for you no matter how long it takes you to get there. No matter how rocky the road is, no matter how steep the hills are, no matter what your journey looks like, the finish line is waiting for you. And the finish line wants you as much as you want it. The finish line is literally set up for you, by you, so that you can cross underneath that inflatable arch with the timing clock and hit your watch and be like, “I did it.” And yes, I realized I just got really specific about running there. And I want you to know that, of course, I mean, for me, all the stories that I’m going to tell you today are pretty much running-related because I have been a runner for 16 years now. Oh, wow. Yeah. This year is going to be 16 years. So I have a lot of experience with running, and I have a lot of experience of thinking about things through a running lens.
Really specifically, running was the first time that I ever set a goal for myself. It was the first time I ever allowed myself to set a goal for myself, and then got it. I had set goals for myself, kind of, sort of a little bit. I have to tell you, I was the most terrible goal setter in the world. It’s why I’m so judgy about your goals. Sometimes not your goals. I’m so judgy about my goals sometimes. I know how to set goals, and I know how specific you need to be, and I know how clear you need to be. And I know so much more about setting goals now because of running.
Running is very specific. Running is all numbers-related. You are running a specific distance and you are trying to run it in a specific time, if you are competitive like me. You don’t have to be; it’s totally fine. But honestly, I think even really, really casual runners or people who do races – I think you always have kind of a time in your mind, don’t you? Like, “I think I could do it in this amount of time.” So running is very number-oriented in a way that lots of other goals aren’t.
If you have a weight loss goal, that can seem like a very numbers-oriented goal. And yet, I will tell you, I have heard a lot of weight loss goals that have nothing to do with numbers, and it cracks me up every time. I’m like, “If you’re talking about your weight and you want to lose weight, why are you telling me you’re going to go by how your clothes fit? Why are you telling me that you want to feel better?” That has nothing to do, necessarily, with your weight in a way that has a finish line. We all want to feel good. We all want our clothes to fit right. You could go out and buy different clothes today that would fit you perfectly and it has nothing to do with whether or not you’ve lost weight. That’s me being judgy.
Let’s get back to the finish line thing. Here’s the thing about setting your own finish line. Yes, it does really need to be specific, that’s going to help when you get there. But even if you have set yourself some sort of a goal like, “I want to feel healthy,” which technically speaking, the finish line of that one is the end of your life. And we’ve talked about this before. In fact, I even have an entire podcast where I go on a rant about how that’s not a great goal, how it’s not specific enough (Being Healthy https://pahlabfitness.com/being-healthy/). So I’m telling you to have a goal that has a finish line of some sort, even if it is, “I want to feel good the rest of my life.” Technically speaking, that has a finish line also. Here’s what I want you to know about that goal.
I truly honestly believe that no matter where your goal comes from, it is really up to you to kind of turn it over in your mind. I have some opinions about where our thoughts come from, where our goals come from. I mean, our thoughts are automatic. Thoughts come from everything that you have taken in your lifetime. Your automatic thoughts are handed to you. Truly, they are handed to you by advertising, by your parents, by your peers, by anything you have ever seen or smelled or touched or tasted or heard in your lifetime. It has all just kind of gone into the melting pot, and it comes out of your brain as automatic thoughts. Those aren’t the kinds of intentional thoughts that I’m talking about.
When you intentionally set yourself a goal, I do think that’s a little bit of a different kind of a thought. Some of it, of course, is influenced by things that you have seen and heard and done through your lifetime. But when you create a goal for yourself, I do believe that the things that we create come from something. And you get to decide what you think about that. And in fact, I do highly encourage you to think about where that would come from. If you have, I mean, like religious beliefs, maybe you think that would come from God. Or if you have spiritual beliefs, maybe you think it would come from a like universe or source or something like that. I try really hard not to use a specific word or specific language when we talk about things like this because I really want this to resonate with you. I want you to hear this in a way that makes sense with your thought model about the world and life and everything.
So wherever your goal comes from, I believe that you have a goal because you are capable of getting it. And I want you to hear that. I really, really want you to hear that. If your brain has conjured for you a goal, that means you can get it. That means you’re capable of it. That means you have it in you to achieve that specific goal, even if your automatic brain also offers you thoughts like, “I’m not good enough. I’ll never get there. Of course I can’t do this. I’m definitely too stupid. I’m far too old. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ll never figure this out.” Your automatic brain has all kinds of thoughts about your goal. Almost none of them are helpful. Almost none of them are good. Almost none of them feel inspiring, or motivating, or happy in any way. Don’t let that fool you. That automatic thought process isn’t where your goals come from. And it isn’t, just so you know, how you’re going to get to your goal either.
You are going to get to your goal by using your compassionate observer, to notice that you have automatic thoughts. Your compassionate observer is the finish line. Your compassionate observer is where your goal came from. Your compassionate observer can see the big picture and knows without even the tiniest of doubt, because doubt is an automatic thought and goals are not. Your compassionate observer knows that the finish line is waiting for you, knows that the finish line will always be there, and knows that you can get there.
Now here’s the thing. I’m going to talk about point-to-point races. I love point-to-point races. My favorite marathon is the local one here in Sacramento. It’s called the CIM. It’s the California International Marathon. Hands down, just my favorite race. Absolutely love it because it’s a point-to-point race. We start in the city of Folsom and we finish in the city of Sacramento. We run through . . . I don’t remember how many other cities there are. It’s kind of funny that I’ve run it many times and I never really counted how many cities, because the cities, they kind of run into each other around here. It’s a thing. So I don’t know. Am I in Fair Oaks? Am I not in Fair Oaks? I mean, if there’s chickens, yes, I’m in Fair Oaks, but I don’t always know where the edge of Fair Oaks is. Anyway, if you’re local that made sense to you. If you’re not, don’t worry about it. No big deal.
Point-to-point races feel amazing. Literally every single step you’re taking is getting you closer to the finish line. Obviously, that feels amazing. Of course it feels amazing, but not every race is going to be point-to-point. The race that you are running right now – your journey for whatever goal you are getting for yourself right now – you might be doing something like the first 100K that I ran. I’ve actually only ever run 100K, but I have run 110K, which is why I always refer to the first one as my first 100K, because technically speaking, I ran over that one other time. But I’ve only ever finished one where the finish line was at 100K.
A 100K, 100 kilometers is 62 miles. And yes, I ran that all by myself with my own two feet. And no, I didn’t run the whole thing, not even close. I did a lot of walking. I did a lot of sitting during that race as a matter of fact, because – and here’s the point that I’m going to tell you – that particular race that I ran, and not all 100Ks are like this, but the particular one that I ran was a two mile loop course. My friends, I ran through the finish line 31 times. 30 of those times, I was not finished. I was just literally going around and around in circles.
Now for some people that might feel incredibly infuriating. It might feel like they’re running around in circles. It might feel like they’re never going to get done because they’re kind of always done, because they’re never really going to get done, because it’s kind of the same thing. “Why don’t I just stop? Why would I keep going?” And around and around and around, almost like a blurry worry.
I actually loved that race for a couple of different reasons. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, ever, hands down. I love being able to use the phrase, “my first 100K.” I worked so hard for that race. It was beyond me. And I mean that it was beyond my capabilities, but I did it anyway. And that taught me more than almost anything else I’ve ever done in my life.
I had a plan and then I went to execute that plan. And then that plan completely and utterly fell apart at mile 22, when I still had 40 more miles to go. I pulled myself up from the depths. I scraped the bottom of the barrel that day in ways that I never expected. Who knew the barrel goes even deeper? I have actually scraped even further bottom on other races. But at the time I hit the absolute lowest point I had ever hit in any point in running specifically, but possibly even my life. There was a lot of junk going on in my brain that day. And I still finished because the finish line was waiting for me. And at almost any point in time in that race, I could see the finish line. So I knew it was still there. It was really nice.
I enjoyed that race in hindsight a lot more than I did while I was doing it, of course. I said during the race, after the race, and for quite some time after the race, until I ran another one that I would never run another one because it was the worst distance in the universe. And then of course I signed up for something longer.
The thing about that finish line is that even though it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, even though it tested me in ways that I did not think I wanted to be tested, I knew deep in my bones that I wanted to cross that finish line. And in fact, just so you know, I had already signed up for two other 100K races that I didn’t finish. The reason that one was particularly a big deal for me was because I had signed up for another 100K race. At that one, it ended up being record high temperatures that day, and it was a course that I was unprepared to run. I ended up having to drop out of the race at something like 40 miles in, basically from heat exhaustion. I honestly didn’t know where I was or what I was doing. I wasn’t lost, I just had completely pushed my body past where it should go.
Another time I signed up for a 100K – this was something I did so foolishly. I had signed up for a 50K, a 50 miler, and then a 100K over the course of two or three months. It was way too much, just so you know. Some people could do things like that. It was beyond my capabilities at that time. And it was, again, a very, very, very rough day. I possibly could have finished that one. It was an out and back. Which, speaking of, oh my gosh, speaking of hard races, you spend the first half of your race running away from the finish line. You all, do you feel that sometimes on your way to getting your goal? Like you’re literally running away from it. You are doing nothing, but it’s behind you and you can’t seem to turn yourself around?
Yeah. Here’s the thing about an out and back race, you have to go all the way out. And it’s completely okay. It’s part of the race. It’s what you’re supposed to do. When you can hear this story about running and apply it to whatever your goal is, I promise you, this is something that you need to hear. When you feel like you don’t know where the finish line is, or like you’re running away from it or like you can see it and you’re running past it and you’re running through it 30 times before you actually get there. Or maybe you’re feeling like you’ve started in Folsom and you’re running to Sacramento. And of course I’m getting closer to the capital. There it comes, left turn, left turn, boom.
No matter what your race or what your goal journey feels like, the finish line is there. The finish line is waiting for you to cross it because you created the finish line. It’s yours. Really take that in. Really notice that your finish line isn’t arbitrary. It doesn’t come from somebody else. Nobody else cares that it’s there. It is imaginary in its own way, and it’s yours. If you want to move it, move it. If you want it to be further away or closer or more left or more right, or a little bit taller or a little bit shorter or a little bit whatever, it’s yours to do with what you want. You have all the power over your finish line.
And of course you will get there because you are the one who inflated it. You are the one who put up the timing clock. You are the one who is there with your stopwatch, cheering for people, that’s just you. You are the participant, you are the spectator, you are the race director, you are every single part of this. Of course, you’re going to get to the finish line. Of course you are.
My friends, I’ll see you at the finish line. And thank you so much for being here today. I always appreciate it. It’s so much fun to talk to you. And I feel better. How about you? You feel a little bit better? Got some good nuggets out of this one? I hope so. I’ll talk to you again soon.
If you are getting a lot out of the Fitness Matters podcast and you’re ready to take it to the next level, you are going to love the Get Your Goal coaching and accountability group. We take all the theory and knowledge here on the podcast and actually apply it in real life on your real weight loss and fitness goals. It’s hands-on, it’s fun, and it works. Find out more at paulabfitness.com/get-your-goal, and let’s get your goal.