Day 1. Again.
January 1 was a day I always dreaded. Not for the hangover or the post-New Years Eve party clean up, but because I was overweight, it meant that it was time to diet again. It was the obligatory diet, one that I had to start whether I wanted to or not. Being overweight automatically put me into the sect of people who resolved to lose weight in the coming year, whether it was part of my actual or not was irrelevant. I think most people can relate to having conversations with friends and family where they are asked, "so, what are your resolutions for next year?" Most folks resolve to lose weight, exercise more, pay off debt, be happy, call mom more often, etc. Some people want to travel to exotic places, go back to school, renovate their home or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. However, when you are overweight, starting a diet can be as daunting as setting off to climb one of the biggest mountains in the world. Why?
Looking forward towards achieving a goal that takes time, commitment, perseverance and dedication can feel overwhelming; especially if you have more than a few pounds to lose. We tend look at the big picture and think to ourselves "OMG, how am I ever going to do that?" or "I've tried and failed so many times, why bother? I'm only going to fail again." The thing is, you CAN do it! You just have to start with the first step. Don't look at the mountain. Focus on the steps to get to that mountain, letting one foot move in front of the other until you get to the base, and keep stepping until you get to base camp 1. It's about taking the big picture and breaking it down into segments. don't focus on the 50 lbs. you have to lose. Focus on the first 10, and when you succeed in losing that 10 lbs., reward yourself with something you've always wanted, a massage, new jeans, a pedicure, anything but food.
Everyday is going to be day 1. All over again.
Every morning you will wake up and a new day will begin. You will be faced with choices that will either help you achieve your goal or deter you from your path. Each day you will have to make conscious choices about what foods you will eat to stay on track and what you will do to move your body and burn calories. You will also have to consider various strategies to overcome the many obstacles that will attempt to impede your progress.
Each day you will remind yourself how good you feel and how healthy you've become. You'll tell yourself that you are worth it, because, you are. YOU REALLY ARE. No amount of stress is worth that cookie. No argument with your ex is worth eating that ice cream or the Big Mac with fries. YOU ARE WORTH IT. Remember that when you've had it and you're ready to throw in the towel and head for your trigger foods. Stop yourself. Take a deep breath and reconsider.
You will have times when you give into temptation and that's ok. You're human and in truth, you can't deprive yourself all the time or you will become resentful and ultimately, fail. This is a lifestyle change, not a diet. You need to learn how to balance. Eating a cookie is not the end of the world, just don't eat 4 in one sitting and don't eat them everyday.
Each day I have to remind myself how good I feel and how healthy I've become. I do this because it's so easy to reach for the chocolate or sleep in and skip my spin class. I realize that throughout my life I'm going to have to remind myself of these things. I'll have to remember that everyday I start again and it's up to me to stay in control. I know I'm going to have times when I'll give into temptation. In those moments, however, I'll just remind myself of day 1 and start all over again. If I can do it, I know you can do it.
This year I don't dread January 1. I'm celebrating being out of plus size clothes and hearing my kids tell me how proud they are of me. These are the rewards that make all of these day 1's so worth it. 😊