Goal to go

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Last week, I was foolish enough to mention that I wanted to lose another 10 pounds or so, mainly because I was trying to get rid of my back fat (love handles), but also in part because I wanted to see my abs. I’ve already assumed I’m going to miss my goal for a “six-pack by Nov. 20,” so I asked you readers where you found inspiration and motivation to continue when you’ve already failed to reach a goal you set.

I actually got quite a bit of response, although I don’t think anyone put their response on the web site, www.newsreview.com. And basically, except for my friend, Linda—who suggested I cut a photo of a model from a magazine and paste my face over it to help with visualization—and the letter from Michael Moilanen, Letters, it was all negative. Really. The input wasn’t about how to stick to a goal in the face of setbacks, it was, “It’s OK to fail. You don’t need to succeed. It’s dumb to even try.”

It was all very logical. “I just want to understand why you set that goal.” And, “You’re 45, maybe you’re not supposed to have a six-pack.” Or, “I can’t see any love handles,” or even “I can’t achieve that goal, therefore you shouldn’t try.”

Here’s what I think: The government says more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight. That means “average” equates to “fat.” I don’t want to be average. I want to be healthy. I look at other, more natural cultures, and men much older than 45 still have muscles in their stomachs. I think those abs are an indicator of general health.

Now, here’s what’s funny: The people who wanted to undermine my goal were saying that my goal was only vanity. But if I told these same people, “I want to study Italian to improve my mind,” they’d be all for it. Never mind that I’d use Italian about like I used Esperanto. Sometimes, though, the simple fact that somebody doesn’t think I should have something is enough to inspire me to strive for it.