by Aron Daniels

I’ve opted not to include before and after photos on this article. Anytime an article talks about weight, you see the unhappy before photo at the top weight and the finish-line superhuman person side-by-side. Subconsciously, you conclude that weight must have been the biggest variable in turning that person’s frown into a smile.

My journey is a little different. I have fluctuated between 200 to 140 pounds for years now, and most often I have a 30 pound window that I kind of “live in.” You might conclude that I was happiest at 140, but let me tell you how it has actually been.

At my lowest weight, I was a runner. I found time to really focus on my goals, I calorie-counted, and I killed it. I did feel really accomplished. I ran multiple races, the longest of which was a half marathon. It was amazing… and being an asthmatic, I felt an extra sense of overcoming boundaries.

At my highest weight, you may expect a really large contrast in the tone of my story-telling…but that’s not what this article is about. At 200 pounds (a few different times) I was also feeling really accomplished. I was a stay-at-home dad, watching my son all day while maintaining a full-time job which I worked at night from a computer set up at the kitchen table. I started my own company from the ground-up and worked until it was steady enough to support my family. I walked through really life-altering circumstantial changes that affected me as a person. And I pushed through.

I am here to say that if you have fitness goals, and you push through and accomplish them, you should absolutely celebrate! Be proud of yourself. If you are at your heaviest weight ever and feeling down on yourself, understand that there a lot of different measures for success, and very few of them have anything to do with a number on a scale. 

Right now, I am somewhere in the middle of those numbers and it’s been ages since I’ve actually stepped on a scale. That number isn’t a defining number.

You should take care of your health. You will likely feel better physically if you are exercising and eating good things. But, your value as a person is not in a number. You can be a high-achiever in life and really live fully regardless of a running goal or fitness calendar. Just keep working on yourself as a person, in whatever shape that is. Always strive to be better in everything you do.

Keep it up, you’re doing great.