It’s the end of the year and time to look back at everything that’s happened this past year…good and bad. 2022 has been a challenging year for a lot of people and I’m no exception. I’ve had my …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, sports nutritionist, Master life coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 157 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners. And today, lessons learned this year and what’s next. So it’s the end of the year. And time to kind of look back at everything that’s happened this past year, the good and the bad.
2022 has been a challenging year for a lot of people. I’m no exception. I’ve had my share of setbacks and difficulties this year. But I’ve managed to get through them all. I’ve also had some pretty amazing accomplishments this year. And it’s this time of the year when I like to reflect on that stuff as well.
So in this episode of the podcast, I share my biggest lessons learned this year, and what’s next for me, and it is the end of the year. And I want you to do something, I want you to start thinking about what you want for yourself in 2023. This is a good time of the year to kind of set intentions for yourself and decide who you want to become next year.
How do you want to feel about yourself? What do you want to have accomplished by this time next year? Think about that. And if you’re ready to take action now to start making these things happen for you then I’m here to help consider coaching with me. And I’ll help you to become the healthiest and most badass version of yourself in 2023. Cool? To learn more, just go to runningleancoaching.com/apply fill out a quick application, you and I will jump on a call and we’ll see if coaching is a good fit for you. If it is awesome, let’s get you started in becoming that most badass version of yourself.
All right, so this time of the year, I like to kind of look back over what I’ve learned over the year, I like to look at some of the things that maybe I’ve accomplished, or some of the failures, setbacks, disappointments that I’ve experienced, I like to look at all of it. I’m not just concerned about, you know, the things that I did well, the successes, that would be easy to focus on that stuff.
Instead, I like to look at some of the things that maybe didn’t go so well. And I like to look at the lessons that I’ve learned from some of those things I’ve had a kind of a challenging year, I’ve had some surgeries and had to recover from those and had to kind of put my training on the back burner for a while when I experienced an injury.
And so I’ve had to deal with a few challenging things this year. And to be honest with you, this entire year, my training has been less than ideal. But I’m sitting here as we close out the year and I’m really grateful that everything that has happened this year has happened the way it has because it’s given me a chance to learn a lot about myself, and to see what really is important to me.
Alright, so I’m going to talk about all of that, in this episode. And I’m going to share with you some of the lessons that I’ve learned this whole year. And understand that I have talked about a lot of this stuff on the podcast.
So for everything that I’m talking about today, you can kind of scroll back through these episodes from this past year from 2022. And you kind of find most of what I’m talking about here is buried in a lot of those episodes. Okay, so go back and listen to some of the previous episodes and you can kind of get a feel for when I talked about these things and maybe take a little bit of a deeper dive into a lot of these topics. Okay.
So some of this might be, you know, kind of not new information. But I’m reiterating some things that I’ve talked about earlier this year. But these are lessons that I’ve learned this year that have been really valuable for me, and have really helped me to see things a little bit differently. Okay.
So, with that in mind, and with that kind of feeling in mind, I just want to go ahead and dive in here. So the first lesson that I learned this year that has really resonated with me is that you are tougher than you think. You are tougher than you think and I am tougher than I think. So like I said I had to come back from two big surgeries and an injury.
So, this time last year, I had my rotator cuff surgery in December of 2021. And that was a long, slow recovery. I also had a hernia surgery in January of 2022. So within about a month, I had two pretty major surgeries that I had to recover from. And it was kind of good that I had them back to back because, you know, I was already laid up, so might as well just get it all over with.
And that was a very interesting time for me, because there wasn’t a whole lot that I could do from a physical standpoint. So I really had to work on my mental game and my nutrition game. So I couldn’t do a whole lot of exercise. But I did what I could, you know, I showed up at the gym, I did sort of my physical therapy type of exercises, I worked on the things that I could do, you know, I couldn’t lift a lot of heavy weights, I couldn’t use my right arm wasn’t allowed to lift anything over 10 pounds for a while there, you know, that whole post surgery deal.
So I was really out of my element, you know, I was not doing the things that brought me joy, I wasn’t doing the things that got my adrenaline going, got me feeling good. And I had to learn that even though I was going through a tough time that I was tougher, that no matter what, you know, I could handle anything, no matter what was thrown my way.
So once I did finally get my training back up and was training for a half marathon in the fall, I had an injury where I, you know, fell when I was running, and busted up my knee. And this was in August, and then I had to take about three months off of running because my knee was just not cooperating, you know, I did something to it, and caused a little bit of traumatic damage there. But it’s better and I’m back to running and the knee is not bothering me anymore.
And so one of the things that I was worried about was like, maybe I’ll never be able to run again. But the knee did slowly start to get better. But that was pretty frustrating because I had just, you know, recovered from the surgeries. And I had come back and I was feeling good. And my training was on point. And I had this half marathon that I was training for. Granted, I’m used to running marathons and ultra marathons. And, you know, training for a half didn’t seem like much, but it was what I could do at the time.
And I felt like I was, you know, kind of making my way back and making a comeback. And then I had that knee injury, which set me back again. And here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what happens if you get a setback, if you experience an injury, if you experience a disappointing event, if you have a failure, it doesn’t matter that you are tougher than you think you can get through all of that stuff.
So I had to really adapt to this mindset that I am tough and that I can get through this, that I’m capable of way more than where I am today. And that, you know, no matter what things are knocking me down, I’m going to get back up again. Knocked down six times, I’m going to get up seven, you know, that I do hard things, whatever this setback is, does not matter. I will persevere. I will continue going. I will continue pushing forward.
And where I am today, I’m feeling good. Because, you know, I’ve definitely recovered from the surgeries, you know, that was, you know, maybe five, six months or something where I felt like I was back to normal again. But I’m definitely back to running again now after the knee injury. And I’m feeling really, really good.
And I’m so glad that I stuck with it. And that I persevered and that I didn’t push it and I didn’t get down about it. I wasn’t like oh my gosh, woe is me. I’m never going to run again. I mean, I could have really gone there, but I didn’t. Okay, so I kept my mind in the game, and realized I’m tougher than I think that I can get through anything. And I did.
So that’s a big lesson for me, that I’m tough and I can get through anything. And I want you to take this lesson to heart, that you are tougher than you think.
The next lesson I learned this year is that discipline equals freedom. That discipline is not a bad thing. And I think that a lot of people think that when you’re disciplined it means you have less freedom. That discipline is the absence of freedom.
You know, they think of discipline as being, you know, chained to a desk or, you know, chained to a schedule, or something like that. And in reality, being disciplined is how you achieve true freedom. You know, if you want to be free from your sugar addiction, then you have to be disciplined about not eating sugar.
If you want to be, if you want to have financial freedom, you have to be disciplined about how you save money. If you want to have time freedom, then you have to be disciplined about how you schedule your time and how you use your time. If you want to run freer and faster and you want running to be easier, be disciplined about how you train, the more running you do, the better it gets, the easier it becomes.
You know, if you want to be free of the whole diet, culture, the whole feeling of deprivation, always trying to lose those last 20 pounds. You want to be free from all that nonsense? Then be disciplined about changing habits around food, be disciplined about changing your relationship with them.
Discipline is not a bad thing. And I think people give it a bad rap. Like, oh, you know, discipline is something that is bestowed upon you from above. And it’s some negative thing. And it’s really not, it’s just how you live your life, right. And so discipline, to me, is not a bad thing. discipline to me is how I achieve freedom. Okay, so discipline equals freedom.
Another key lesson that I learned this year, and this is something I’ve been kind of playing around with this last couple of years, but really solidified it this year is that ancestral eating is the key to health and happiness. So, when I talk about ancestral eating, I want you to understand that I’m talking about how humans have evolved over the last like 3 million years, and the food that we ate, and the way that we ate is much different.
How was much different for 3 million years than it has been for the last few 100 years. And that, especially the last 50 years, when we you know, introduced the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and, you know, they started pushing this crazy diet of like, all sugar and grains on us and trying to tell us that this is, you know, healthy, and that we got to start eliminating meat and fat and things like that, from our diet, like this is crazy.
Just eat like our ancestors have eaten, you know, just eat like humans have been eating for the last, you know, a few million years, and you’re going to do just fine. We’re talking about eating meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, dairy and honey.
You know, some of the most natural and most simple things that we have done as human beings and most nourishing foods that we’ve eaten as human beings. You know, people are telling us, they’re, they’re bad for us, we should stay away from them. And the whole idea is just crazy. So I tend to eat very ancestrally. My diet is very simple.
You know, I eat meat and eggs and fruit and some vegetables, but not a ton. And about the sweetest thing, it would be some honey, every now and then. But you know, for the most part, it’s very simple and very nutrient dense. So I stick with nutrient dense foods, foods that still look like real foods, foods that our ancestors would definitely recognize, okay.
The way that we’ve been told to eat over the last 50 years is just awful, right? It’s just wrong. So stick with ancestral eating. And I think this is going to be the key to human health and happiness.
And that leads me to the next point that I learned this year, which is that sometimes we just have to buck conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom is wrong. It just is wrong. Conventional wisdom tells us to eat all the sugar and grains, sugar is not a problem. It’s fine. Stay away from meat, stay away from eggs, dairy from dairy. And it’s just wrong. And I think that if, in general, if we do the opposite of what everyone else is doing that I think you’re going to be just fine because what everybody else is doing is causing obesity and diabetes and heart disease and high blood pressure and cancer and strokes and all kinds of other issues.
These are all metabolic issues. These are all diseases of lifestyle. And if the conventional wisdom is causing all these diseases of lifestyle, why don’t we just do something else? Right? So I’m not afraid to say that, you know, what’s being recommended by dieticians, for the most part, by the government, by the big food industries, I think it’s just wrong.
And I think we have to take our health and our fitness into our own hands. You want to be a healthy human being, do the opposite of what most people are out there telling you to do, you’ll probably be okay. Now obviously, there’s a grain of salt here, you do have to understand what proper nutrition is.
And, gosh, there’s so much information out there around this topic. I’m going to share more about this with you though, over the coming weeks and months, just so you know, that you know, I want to make sure you understand what the difference is between crappy the crappy Western diet and what it means to eat a healthy human diet. Okay, so I’m going to make sure that it’s very clear over the next weeks and months, okay, but for the most part, duck conventional wisdom, because it’s wrong.
Another lesson that I learned this year, which I love, and this is kind of changed the way I kind of have lived my life really, that’s like to eat and live like an athlete, because you are one. Think about this. Are you currently training for something? Are you training for a marathon? Are you training for a race? Are you training for a triathlon? Are you training for a CrossFit event? If you are, that’s awesome. If you’re not, why not?
Here’s the thing, you should always be training, you should always be eating and living like an athlete. If you do that, then you’re going to be fine. I’m just going to tell you right now, if you eat and live like an athlete, then you are going to be healthy, you’re going to be fit, you’re going to be in top physical shape, right, because that’s what athletes do. And honestly, I don’t think you should ever have to really like “get ready” from scratch for a race, like you should always be ready. Just be ready. Stay in training mode.
Yeah, put goals out there and go races and things that you can train for. But for the most part, train, eat, live like an athlete, because you are an athlete. And if you live your life that way, I promise you, you’re going to be so much healthier, and so much happier and so much stronger. And so much more fit, and you’re going to look and feel amazing.
So eat and live like an athlete, I’ve been doing this. And I have to tell you that I just feel so good right now. Now, I do have a goal out there, I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a minute. I do have a big goal that I’m working towards. But for the most part, I want to stay ready. I want to stay strong. I want to stay fit. Like if you tell me hey, you know, you want to run a marathon next weekend? I’ll be like, sure, I’m ready. I’m ready. Because I’ve been doing the work consistently. All right. So eat and live, like you’re an athlete, and you will be so much healthier and so much happier. And always ready for whatever comes your way.
Another big lesson I learned this year is that simple wins. Every time, simple wins, whatever you do, make it simple. Everything I do when I’m working with clients, I try to simplify things for them. Because there’s so much complicated information out there around food and exercise and running and how to be healthy and people you know, that want to, you know, look at heart rate, and VO2 max, and calories and macros and percentages, and there’s so much data and we can sort of get lost in all of that data, we can get lost and make all of this very, very complicated we can make being healthy, very complicated.
We can make eating very complicated. It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler that you can make something, the easier it’s going to be for you to stick with it. And food especially when it comes to food, the simpler that you can make it, the easier it’s going to be to stick with it. I talk about this all the time. How you know, when I sit down to eat dinner at night, it’s usually something like ground beef. Maybe I’ll slice up an avocado with it, maybe melt some cheese on there, and I’m done. Or I’ll eat a steak or I’ll eat some chicken. That’s it. Like it’s that simple. I don’t have to think about it. I don’t have to spend a lot of time on it. It’s just simple. It’s easy. It’s delicious. And I love it.
But let’s simplify things when it comes to running. Just go out there and run. Don’t worry about your heart rate. Don’t worry about your pace. Don’t worry about trying to, you know, hit some percentage of your VO2 max or stay in zone three or two or whatever. Like, just go out there and run and enjoy it and go by how you feel? Does it feel good? Does it feel too hard to slow down? Does it feel too easy to speed up, run fast, run really hard? Some days, other days run really slow. Let’s just make it simple, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
I think that as runners, we love our data. And I get that part of it. And I love data too. And I love looking at it. But I also try not to be consumed by it, or driven by it, I try to simplify things as much as possible. This is another topic I’m going to be talking about over the next weeks and months, which is going to be how to make running, how to run efficiently, effectively. And simply, gosh, every time I read a new book about some concept of running and how to improve your running performance, there’s all these complicated methods of achieving goals. And I’m just like, man, can we make this simpler? So my job is gonna be to make this simpler for you guys. Okay.
The next lesson I learned this year, this is a big one, is that consistency will beat perfection every time. And that I’m a perfectionist, and I love to do things right. And I’m like, if you can’t do it, right, don’t do it. That’s kind of my mantra a lot of times. And the thing is, though, is that nobody does anything perfectly, nobody does anything perfectly.
You’re not going to eat right all the time, you’re not going to crush every single workout perfectly, you’re not going to lose weight, exactly in linear fashion, like, you know, a pound a week or whatever. Like, everything’s a process, everything has its ups and downs, everything has successes and failures, you’ll experience progress, and you’ll experience setbacks, and you know what, it’s all good. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about doing things consistently, over time, that’s what’s gonna get you to every single one of your goals, stop trying to do it perfectly.
Let go of that idea that there’s some sort of a plus that you’re gonna get a gold star if you do a perfectly let go of that. And do your best but be consistent. And what does it mean to be consistent, that means like, you know, don’t have two bad meals in a row. Let’s say you screw up and you eat some, whatever chocolate chip cookies for dinner. Next meal, get back on track. That’s it.
Now, don’t ever do two bad meals in a row. Don’t ever miss two workouts in a row. You miss a workout, you don’t feel like working out fine, whatever, stay in bed, just no big deal. Don’t miss that. Next one, though. Get back on track, consistently, consistent, consistently do these things and you will eventually reach your goals. But don’t focus on perfection because there’s no such thing.
Another big goal, or another big lesson I learned this year is that there is no finish line. I talked about this on the podcast last week. And it’s such a huge lesson for me and for you. That’s what we do here, when we’re focusing on our health and our fitness, when we’re focusing on improving ourselves and becoming more. This is the way we live our lives. But there is no finish line. There isn’t a destination we’re trying to get to but rather, this is how we live our life. This is a lifestyle that we lead, right? It’s not something we do temporarily. We’re not trying to get to some number on the scale, or just some number on the scoreboard, you know, on the timer.
We’re not trying to just you know, that’s it. You know, once we do that, then we can go back to doing what we’re doing before now. We want to live our lives in a way that supports our becoming more consistently. And in that we’re never done with this, that our work is never done. We’re always working. We’re always living like athletes. We’re always trying to simplify things. We’re always trying to do things consistently. We’re always trying to better ourselves. We’re always trying to, you know, stay disciplined and toughed it out, and that it’s okay. It’s okay.
We don’t have to be finished. Like when I first thought about this, I first heard somebody talk about that. You know, we’re never finished with this . We always have to stay on top of this stuff when we always have to be focused on becoming more. It kind of scared me a little bit at first, because I thought oh my god, do I really want to commit to this for the rest of my life? Is this really who I want to be?
And the answer that I found myself coming up with was a resounding Hell yes, hell yes. This is how I want to live my life. I want to do this for life. This is how I want to live my life every single day, I don’t want to be that overweight couch potato that I used to be, that sick person who drank too much and ate too much and smoked cigarettes and was just a human garbage can. I don’t want to be that person ever again.
I’m okay, that I’ve chosen to live my life in such a different way that I’m willing to continue doing this for good. This is how I want to be for good. Alright, so there is no finish line, you got to embrace that concept. I’ve embraced that concept this year. For sure. So this is what we do. This is who we are. Right? This isn’t there’s no finish line, there’s no destination or trying to get to this is how we live our lives. Cool.
Okay, so those are the big lessons that I’ve learned this year, there’s a lot more, there’s so many more, but those are the big ones. Okay. So what’s next for me. So I’ve kind of, you know, mentioned it a few times that I’m going to be sharing some of these concepts, on the weeks and months to come on the podcast here, because I’ve got a lot of good content coming your way, a lot of good content, I’m gonna continue bringing you all the good stuff, focusing on nutrition and strength and endurance and mindset, all next year.
So keep, you know, just keep listening. I’m going to continue to bring all the good stuff your way, and hopefully give you some inspiration and encouragement to take action on these things and start making some changes for yourself.
I can’t tell you how gratifying it is, when I get a message from somebody who’s just been listening to the podcast, it’s not somebody I’ve been working with, but somebody who’s just been listening to the podcast, and they’ll say, “Patrick, Hey, I just want to tell you, you’ve really changed my life. I’ve been listening to the podcast for a year or two. And, you know, I’ve just, you know, done all these things that you’ve suggested over the years and, and I’ve really changed my life, and I’ve lost all this weight, and I’m so much healthier, I feel so much better about myself. And just thank you so much for doing this.”
Like that those kinds of messages that I get from you guys, oh my god, it just warms my heart, you know what I mean? Makes me feel so good. Because it means the message is being received, and, and that you’re taking action. So take action on this stuff. Because this isn’t about conceptualizing. These aren’t just ideas, these are things I want you to do. These are things that in order for you to change that you have to actually take action on. Cool.
So I’m going to continue bringing you all the good stuff, I got lots of good topics coming your way. And then I’ve got a big goal that I’m working towards, I’ve got this big alter event that’s going to be in May. And more on that later. But I just want you to know that it’s a big goal, it’s going to cause me to level up. It’s not something I’ve ever done before. So it’s kind of a new thing for me. It’s an ultra running event. And really like after taking last year off, like 2022 was not a great year for training for me. Like I feel like I’ve taken the whole year off from significant training.
You know, after taking all this time off, I feel like I’m ready. I’m ready, I’m back. I’m back to running some more significant mileage. And I’m feeling really good about this event. And it’s a little scary. It’s one of those events that’s a little bit scary. It’s causing me to, you know, question my decision here, like, why, what I decided to do something like this, but at the same time, it’s also something that I’m very passionate about and feel good about. So I’ll be sharing more about that as we get closer to the event. But just know that it’s a big Ultra running event. And it’s going to cause me to, you know, get out of my comfort zone in a big way, in a big way.
Okay, so that’s something I’m really looking forward to. And then after that, I’ve got another big goal for the fall. So stay tuned. I’ll share more about this as we go. Last thing I wanted to say is that I just want to really thank you for listening to the podcast for your support this year. Whether you listen, just listen to podcasts, whether you read my social media posts or allow me in your inbox.
I know you get a lot of emails and I appreciate you, you know allowing me to email you whatever where it is that you get from me and how you consume this content, whether you’re listening while you’re out there running, or walking the dogs or whatever, I just want to say that I really appreciate you, I’m doing this for you, you know, I do this because I want to help you to become the best version of yourself, you know, I want to help you to become the most badass version of yourself.
And I want to help to make 2023 your best year ever, I want it to be my best year ever as well. So let’s make 2023 the best year ever, we can do this, right? It just means that we put in place some of these principles that I’ve been talking about, and we kicked some serious butt this year. Cool. All right, that’s all I got for you today. Happy New Year everybody. Love you all, keep on Running Lean. I’ll talk to you soon.
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