Inches and Champions

dadI am sure that my health coach (Jennifer Joffe) would agree that being highly coach-able is something that I come by honestly. My father [John McDowell] played for the Green Bay Packers under legendary coach Vince Lombardi. Over the years, my dad has recounted many fascinating stories from his football career – but I have always been particularly drawn to the ones about his coaches. So when I was thinking about what to title this post, I was suddenly struck by one of Lombardi’s most famous quotes:


“Inches make Champions” – Vince Lombardi

For those of you who read my previous blog post about my obsession with the scale, you may have wondered what the outcome of weigh-in day was. I am happy to report that I was another 3lbs down bringing the grand [wacka wacka] total to 261lbs. Of course, I was happy with the loss – but the absolute whopper of a statistic came from my measurements.

I have never really cared about measurements. In fact, I placed such little weight [wacka wacka] on the inches, that I didn’t even bother to measure myself back in January when I first started this adventure. Boy, do I regret that now. It had been one month since my last tale of the tape, and I was down a shocking 11.25 inches! It really put the weight-loss into perspective for me. Until that moment, I was only thinking of myself as weighing less, and not necessarily as taking up less space. The weight-loss is great, of course – but it keeps me focused on the number, not what that number means or how it is applicable.

Here is what taking up less space means to me:

  • It means never having to ninja my way into the drivers seat of my car via my trunk – or squeeze myself into the 12 inch space between my open door and my seat like a human kidney stone.
  • It means watching the musical Hamilton in San Francisco with hundreds of coworkers and focusing solely on enjoying the performance, and holding hands with my husband – which is a far cry from back in November, when I was at that same theater watching The Lion King and sitting uncomfortably sideways just to fit.
  • Lastly, and perhaps most notably, it means wearing a seat-belt when I fly the friendly skies. When I was at my heaviest, I flew from San Francisco to Minneapolis to meet my father who was being inducted into the hall of fame at his high school for football. I boarded the flight, sat down, and tried to buckle my seat-belt – only it would not buckle. Like, not even close. Like, not even within six inches. The flight was packed and I was too humiliated to ask for an extender, so I left it unbuckled. I flew across the country without a seat-belt because I was ashamed. I am a wife, a mother of two young children, a daughter, a grand-daughter, and a hard-working employee – and none of these reasons were more important to me than my utter shame at that moment. Looking back, it breaks my damned heart, and brings tears to my eyes. Because ultimately, that is how little I loved myself.

You are only your next meal, or your next walk, or your next inner thought away from making a choice supports your vitality.

I suspect that there will be a few people reading this post who can relate to some of the scenarios above. Know that you are not alone. You are also only your next meal, or your next walk, or your next inner thought away from making a choice supports your vitality. And a choice that demonstrates self-love over self-loathe.

Undoubtedly, this is a little heavier [wacka wacka] than my usual posts. But it is when I dive into the hard, truly own my situation, and share the heavy, that I am both mentally and physically lighter. Inch by inch.


Self portrait – 4.9.17

3 thoughts on “Inches and Champions

  1. Officially crying! Thank you for sharing and for allowing us to be part of your journey. I am both honored and humbled by your words. Overall I am in complete admiration of your spirit and your brave authenticity. If only everyone could get so close to their own soul. As they would only find out just how beautiful they truly are! xoxoxo


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