It all starts with Day One.
Day One is hopeful-
Day One is brave-
And Day One is the metaphorical line in the sand.
It’s the day that we finally protest, “Enough is enough”, and declare “I want more!”
It’s the crusade of a Warrior headed into an epic showdown for all the marbles.
When we come to the place where we cannot march forward without taking decisive action-
It’s the battle cry of the weary, and it echoes,”I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I’m ready for a change!”
We raise our collective fists to the gods of circumstance and shout, “Let’s do this!”, with all of the motivation and good intentions that we can muster.
It’s the day that we put our foot down with purpose, and then silently ask, “What the French toast have I gotten myself into?”
Because, let’s face it, Day One is a gigantic leap of faith.
It’s a promise that we make to ourselves to make better choices and continue to follow through.
Day One carries with it a crucial mindset that you have to hold onto, even after the initial Day One has passed.
It’s a turning point, a fork in the road, and a new beginning.
The essence and spirit of which needs to be renewed for each and every subsequent day that comes in its wake.
It is the first step on an arduous journey that challenges both your body and your mind.
Its the stirrings of a fierce determination to wrestle a beast of burden and bring balance back into the fold.
And it’s the deep breath that you take before you dive headfirst into the unknown.
Day One is the very origin of greatness,
And Day One is where it all begins….
My Day One was a chilly overcast morning in October of 2012.
I remember sitting in the parking lot giving myself a well rehearsed pep talk.
I had purposefully not weighed myself leading up to that first Weight Watchers meeting, because I thought that if I knew how bad it was, I might not go.
But I had recently received some unsettling news from my doctor, and it was not an exaggeration to say that this Day One was spurned from a very real assessment of my own mortality.
So I needed to keep my new mindset of no turning back, no excuses, no more procrastination.
I had made a list of all of the reasons why this was my last chance, and why I needed to follow through.
And luckily, it was just enough to get me out of the car and through the door.
I stood there surveying the room, trying to map out all of the exits.
I can’t tell you how many times, while waiting in that line, that I almost made a run for it. I even thought about asking if I could skip the initial weigh in, and just stay for the meeting ‘just this one time’.
Then, when I finally saw the number on the scale, my face felt hot, and my eyes stung with tears. I had arrived with a general idea of what I thought the number would be, but it was a good 20 pounds higher than I had even braced myself for.
It was all too overwhelming.
My Day One was 281 lbs.
How did I get here?
A few years earlier, at a doctors appointment I had weighed in at 293 lbs. It was the biggest number that I had ever seen on the scale. But after receiving a type 2 diabetes diagnosis that very day, going forward, I had tried (albeit halfheartedly and with feigned enthusiasm) to make some better choices. However, that necessary Day One commitment never quite kicked in, and ultimately, I invested minimal effort towards that endeavor, and it showed.
That’s why now, it was so discouraging to see, that in the three years since that day, I had only managed to lose 12 pounds.
I was terribly disappointed in myself, and I needed a lifeline.
So I rallied, and told myself, that 12 was the number to beat.
That if I could just lose 12 more pounds, then it would be a sign, that maybe I could actually do this. And ironically, that “12 pound” increment eventually did become an amount that was a turning point and a very significant symbol for me.
I knew that I had between 130-150 more pounds to lose…
It seemed insurmountable, impossible, and more daunting than any other task I had ever undertaken.
I had not confided in anyone about my Day One aspirations, because I felt that since I had tried and failed so many times to lose weight, that no one would take me seriously. That they would just smile, and nod, and say “Good for you”, and then secretly shake their heads in doubt.
I didn’t want to say “this is what I’m going to do”. I wanted to wait until I could say “this is what I did”.
I wanted to believe it enough that it wouldn’t matter if anyone else believed.
But I was wrong. I should have reached out, and not tried to go it alone. If I had, it might have helped to prevent what happened next.
I had tried to get motivated by my new-found Weight Watcher status, and think of it as a new weapon in my weight-loss battle.
I had purchased all of the point friendly pre-packaged snacks at the meeting, to take home in an effort to get myself excited about what was ahead.
And then, I ate them all….on Day One. Clearly moderation was something that I needed to master, and I felt defeated.
What I didn’t know then, a fact that is glaringly obvious to be now, is that weight loss is a process.
A process that involves both your body AND your mind, and one that requires an unwavering persistence and stoic patience of epic proportions.
It’s not black and white. There are no absolutes, and all of the shades of grey in between need to be addressed.
My takeaway: Small victories add up to big success.
It took a while for me to fully grasp that concept.
Back on Day One, I had run the gauntlet of all of my emotions just to get myself in that door…
And more than anything, Day One was a result of my desire to reshape my potential, and rewrite my story.
It was a spark of hope that led me down a path to a whole new reality…
EVERY Day One is courageous, and innately heroic in its origins, regardless of how many times we renew its contract.
And, as it happens, Day One is THE most important day of them all-
Because without it, there cannot be a Day 2.
And Day 2, is where the real work begins.
But that, is a whole other story…
[to be continued…]