I have a friend, who, like many of us, is really hard on herself when it comes to successes in nutrition and fitness. She judges herself harshly, gives herself very little credit and in return is not able to enjoy her little wins the way she should. Example: In a recent message to me, she outlined how little motivation she had to get back on the wagon. She lamented a recent weight gain and was just generally feeling down and out about the work ahead of her.
Let me tell you about her “lack of motivation.” She got up at 5:15 AM to do a Zumba video in her living room because it has become increasingly more difficult for her to get to class. I mean, I can’t imagine why. She’s just a single mom with a child with very specific physical challenges which require physical therapists, occupational therapists, leg braces, a GI tube… That doesn’t take up much time, right? Oh and by the way, this chick is also a full time nurse practitioner. She delivers babies. BABIES!
So this so-called lack of motivation? My sister, Kate, and I agreed. There is absolutely NO way that either of us would drag our butts out of bed at 5:15 AM to do a Zumba video. (All BodyJam biases aside-we wouldn’t get up. Period.) So maybe my friend isn’t jumping out of bed with all the excitement of a kid on Christmas, but she’s getting out of bed. And she’s getting her workout in. That sounds like all the motivation necessary.
Her “weight gain”? She did the 21 Day Sugar Detox in October and lost a bunch of weight. She put some back on during the holidays.
Readers: Please put your hand up if you did not gain any weight in the last 6 weeks.
Go ahead. I’ll wait.
The way I see it, she pre-burned for the holidays in October. What if she hadn’t made it through the detox? The number on that scale would undoubtedly be a lot further from her goal.
Girl – We ALL have set backs. You ARE motivated. It IS hard work but you are CAPABLE.
Now comes the part of her message that inspired this post.
She asked me a question which, when I first read it, I laughed out loud and then in sharing it with Kate made me tear up immediately. The irony and gravity of it hit me in two phases I guess. The question was this:
“How did you know when your last ‘Day One’ was?”
The irony hit me immediately. Last Day One? LAST Day One?? I’ve had 17 “Day Ones” this year. It’s only the January 10th. My whole life is a Day One. Every day I have to recommit to making better choices; to saying, “No!” to extra calories many people can afford to enjoy without consequence but to which my body says, “Awesome, I will be sure you don’t lose a single ounce this week no matter how much you work out and no matter how careful you are with every other meal/snack because that half a bagel with exactly ½ Tbsp of butter that you didn’t even finish? Yeah, that pissed me off.”
My body is a jack ass.
The gravity of her question hit me the second time I read it.
Here is a woman I have known for 20 years. She is AMAZING. I mean, truly one of the strongest women I know. If I had been through HALF of what she’s been through I’d have thrown in the towel LONG ago. She hasn’t. She’s picked herself up by her tiny, tiny boot straps and carried on – carried on professionally, carried on being a mom who NEVER fails to put her child’s needs first, carried on as a rock of a friend and daughter…. and SHE thinks I have it figured out?
I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I ballooned to 200 lbs in college and eventually lost a lot of it – but let me tell you folks, there was never an “Ah yes, THIS is the day my life will change. THIS is the time I will stick to it and lose the weight.” That’s never happened. While I am extremely proud of how far I’ve come, I in NO WAY feel like I’m done. Every day is Day One. Every day.
But maybe….maybe that’s not such a bad thing?
Don’t get me wrong. I know all too well that it is disappointments that are followed by Day Ones, and the sheer number of Day Ones on a journey can be browbeating, but oh the beauty of getting to start over…the beauty of a clean slate…the beauty of knowing you are about to learn something new about yourself!
Day One is a new beginning. A new opportunity. It’s the chance to get something right we got wrong yesterday. The occasion to do it better. To be better versions, stronger versions of yesterday’s self. It’s inspiring and motivating. It’s like the first day of school or the first day of a new job. Scary? Sure. But also so, so exciting with so much potential.
Yes, Day One is an amazing place to be. We recommit to our goals and plan out our journeys. We strive to be better than we were yesterday. What could possibly more inspirational than that?
To my friend: You will do this. You already have all the tools and I believe in you. This is YOUR year. Do not forget that.
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan