The story continues…
Once Day One had come and gone, I was terrified that failure was inevitable.
That first week was a big wake up call, and I knew that I that I needed to pace myself.
Because, after my initial nosh fest with the Weight Watchers food on Day One, I had returned the following week, to discover that I had actually gained 1.2 pounds.
Seriously?? I wanted to give up.
My Day 8 was 282.2 lbs.
It all felt so hopeless.
But I tried to to stay the course, and I decided that I needed to once again make a list of all of my reasons not to throw in the towel.
I then faithfully continued to drive to all of my meetings for the next several weeks…
But I never went in.
I just couldn’t.
I just sat in my car, hiding in the parking lot, crying, angry with myself, and trying to work up the nerve to walk back inside.
A couple of times I had even stopped at the McDonald’s drive-thru on the way to the meeting, with the mindset, that since I probably wasn’t going in anyway, it didn’t really matter whether or not I ate the Sausage McMuffin and the hashbrown. (Okay, so there MIGHT have originally been TWO Sausage McMuffins and TWO hashbrowns in the bag, and some of it MIGHT have (hypothetically) never made it all the way to the parking lot)
I just couldn’t bring myself to go in there, and see yet another higher number on the scale.
So I just figured, that sooner or later, when I got tired of beating myself up and feeling bad, I would gain control of my downward spiral, get myself together, and actually walk back in.
And then, it finally came to me-
A divine moment of clarity disguised in a fast food wrapper…
While nibbling small bites of a hash brown, I remembered what my mom used to say about how to eat an elephant…one bite at a time, right?
Strange phrase, but the message was there. I paused …
I needed smaller goals.
Yes! I just needed something I could wrap my brain around …
Something that didn’t make me feel like I was going to have to climb Mt Everest with nothing but two forks and a shoelace…
So, I took that 150 pounds and broke it down into smaller amounts, and into three distinct phases.
Now…thanks to my new found perspective, I wasn’t going to have to lose 150 pounds-
Now…l was just going to be losing 50 pounds…three times!
Hmmmm, for some reason, looking at it that way made it feel less impossible, and all of a sudden I could feel the dark clouds lifting.
I finally had a plan of action. I had a real and attainable goal, at last.
So, I chose a fun reward and a milestone challenge for myself for the end of each phase. And in order to make each phase motivational, I gave them names.
Phase 1- Inspiration
This was when I would begin to motivate myself by finding activities that I enjoyed, going to meetings and learning from others, and surrounding myself with like-minded Warriors as allies. I wanted to inspire myself by starting my journey and also maybe inspire others with my commitment.
It had begun.
Breaking down all of those goals had finally helped me to get a grip on the task at hand, allowed me to focus my efforts, and gave me some much needed perspective.
So I embraced the program, channeled my inner ninja, and hit the ground running.
Then, after 6 weeks of sitting in the parking lot, on Day 43, I finally gathered up the courage that I needed to go back into that meeting and face the scale.
My Day 43 was 272.8 lbs
I wasn’t quite down the infamous 12 pounds yet that I had set my sights on back on Day One, but I was darn close.
And it was actually on my Day 64, that I finally saw that promised 12 pounds disappear forever.
Day 64 was 269 lbs.
Now I felt motivated. Now I wanted to believe that this was possible.
Starting on Day 90, I walked my first purposeful, post Day One mile, limping all the way with my plantar fasciitis, my bad knees, and my insulin dependent diabetes. All of the negative voices in my head were still telling me that I should just quit, but I kept going.
And at the end of that mile, I cried, because it hurt, and the voices were loud. And I knew that not only did I have to do it again the next day, but that it was the very first mile of a very long road.
So I took a deep breath, and began to walk it.
My Day 90, was 262 lbs
Then on Day 113, I received my first (25 pound) Weight Watchers award. It was my first real goal that made me believe in myself.
My Day 113 was 254.4 lbs.
It was working.
I had begun to think about all the things that I might be able to do once I got to the end of Phase 1. So I picked one, and started attending Zumba classes.
And on Day 190, I reached the end of my first phase, and celebrated with my 50 pound award.
My Day 190, was 230.6 lbs
50 pounds were gone- so I surprised The Captain (my fiance) at the airport, and then we ran a 5K
Phase 2- Transformation
This phase was all about getting my mind, body and spirit on the same page. I needed to transform my routine to incorporate my new-found commitment and embrace my new normal. It was an adjustment to begin to see myself differently, and to change old negative habits into new positive endeavors.
On Day 246, I received my 75 pound award.
My Day 246 was 204.8 lbs
Then, I hit a plateau. And for 20 days, I was adrift, while waiting for the scale to move. It was like watching paint dry, but I held on, and I never gave up hope.
Day 267 finally brought me to One-derland, and also brought with it a halfway point marker that gave me some much needed momentum.
Seeing that “1” in first position on the scale for the first time in decades, made me want to fall on my knees and sob.
My confidence compounded exponentially, and I began to think outside of my comfort zone. I tried stand-up paddle boarding, horseback riding, and bicycling.
I started adding in more and more fun activities, like playing tennis, and softball.
And on Day 323, I finished Phase 2 with 100 pounds lost.
My Day 323, was 180.4 lbs
100 pounds were gone- so I went shopping at the outlet mall for a whole new wardrobe, and completed my first half marathon
Phase 3- Celebration
The homestretch, the finish line, the last piece of the puzzle. A time to remember to celebrate every accomplishment and every victory along the way, no matter how small. It was time to pay it forward, and to celebrate the true changes that I had made in my life. It was the reward at the end of the road, and it was in my sights.
I was still unsure if I would stop at my original goal to lose 130 pounds, or if I would keep going for the “Holy Grail” milestone of 150 pounds lost.
I tried to focus more than ever on finishing what I started.
Then on day 442, I hit my original goal of 130 lbs lost.
And since it was my goal of record, I celebrated accordingly and began my six weeks of weight maintenance. But in my heart, I knew I was capable of more.
My Day 442 was 147.6 lbs
On Day 452, in the same calendar year as my first mile walked back on Day 90, I ran another half marathon, only this time, I was 115 lbs lighter than I was on Day 90, and at my initial goal. And when I saw the sign for the last mile before the finish line, again I cried …
But this time it was not due to the long road ahead, it was because of the long road that I had traveled to get there. And through the happy tears, the voices were now telling me to finish strong.
On Day 470, I finally received my sought after Weight Watchers Lifetime status.
I went snowshoeing, and tubing, and took a skiing lesson.
My Day 470 was 143 lbs
Then I went to New Orleans to celebrate, and on my 44th Birthday, I got engaged.
But with so many lifestyle changes and dietary adjustments evolving during that last phase, I eventually committed to a plant based diet and became a Vegan. A noticeable side effect of which was that I had continued to lose a bit more.
I had come so far, and I was on a roll. And, I soon realized, that my original (seemingly impossible) goal to lose 150 pounds had now turned into a real possibility that I could not ignore. So I decided to go for that final goal, and the end game was near.
And by the time I had made the decision, on Day 539, to change my at home goal weight to 127, I was just 12 pounds away.
There was that 12 pounds again, so I took it as a sign.
My Day 539 was 139.6 lbs
So I went all in. I put back on my game face, and focused everything I had into that last 12 pounds, because for me it was my “last mile” once again.
And finally my ‘someday‘ had arrived.
After weighing in at home at a victorious 126.2 lbs, I drove to my meeting and sat once again in the parking lot as I thought back to that very first day.
And, on Day 575 …
574 days after my Day One-
I walked into that meeting to weigh in one last time.
And I totally crushed it.
Phase 3 ended with me earning that seemingly impossible 150 lb award.
My Day 575 was…epic.
Over 150 pounds were gone – so I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane …. twice!
And now, I know-
That it’s the sheer will, of “I WILL”,
that wills it to be done-
Because there can not be a Day 575….unless first, there is a Day One.