Friday, June 13, 2008

The new 'Day 1'

Post binge, I found myself in that interesting headspace of 'oh, I really f*%$d up, I need to start again. I need a 'proper' day 1, I need to rev myself up, prepare for success and really do it this time. Does this mental process sound familiar to anyone?

Of course, this internal monologue is accompanied by the background sounds of the party starting up because, if there has to be another day 1, a restart, then there has to be a day zero - the day on which it is ok to turn into a food obsessed gluttonous piggy. It's important on day zero to really go for it. Eating enough food to make yourself feel sick is absolutely compulsory because it is symbolic of the changes to come. The thinking goes something like... the size of the day zero binge is directly related to the potential success of the day 1 project.

*Yeah... because that has definitely worked for me in the past* <------ voice of reason and sanity.

And then, there is the most important decision of my life. What day will I start? If it's to be the day, then it seems like it should be somehow symbolically important and instantly memorable. Like today, it's Friday the 13th. That's significant, magical, but is it more significant than all the other, failed day 1's? I've always avoided starting my new life on New Years Day because that's known to be a failing day 1. It's tainted. I've tried significant numerical combinations (07/07/2007), important moments (my nieces birthday, the day my business opened, my 21st, 25th, 30th. ...) and of course, every fatloss challenge has a day 1 (and a day 84 but that's another post waiting to happen, this post is about day 1).

I have had two major long-term fatloss successes in my life as well as one short-term expedition to the land of very lean. The two long-term successes were 1) when I took myself from 74kg to 60kg just by 'eating bit less food' and then, after a few years, I 2) discovered the Zone diet and, by applying the basic principles (I never did any of that tedious counting of food blocks), dropped to about 56kg and settled there easily. What is interesting is that I don't remember a day 1 with either of them and, more importantly I never committed for a certain period of time. There was no 'finish'. I just knew that I had to keep doing what was working forever. With that in mind, I did not eliminate anything from my diet, but just 'worked it in' and I did not binge. Planned cheats were not a feature either. Cheats happened, but then I just got right back on track. Body for Life taught me a lot about how to train my body but it also introduced me to the concept of being 'on' a challenge and then 'off'', 'on' the diet and 'off' on a 'free day'. Focusing on a shorter term goal was a good thing, but losing track of the big picture wasn't and it ultimately backfired. I got into the habit of letting things slide rather alarmingly between challenges because I knew I would soon be getting back on a challenge, with a new day 1, and that the next one would sort me out for good... surely.

Over the past few days, I've been thinking quite hard and seriously about what has worked and what has failed for me. This morning I woke up, told myself that there are no more day 1's or restarts up for the taking and that whatever I am doing now, have done, or will do, as regards eating and training is just part of the whole. Unfortunately, I no longer believe that there is a magical day, or a magical challenge, or a brilliant stunning moment where god will appear and bestow me with a whole new attitude and an easy illuminated path to the body I want. It seems I'm going to have to actually work for it on a daily basis, today, right now. Oh, the terrible, disillusioning, anticlimactic unfairness of it....


  1. *Amen* to ALL of that!

    Pity so many people never get the "for LIFE" part of Body for LIFE. Hmm, you think maybe that word was capitalised in the title on purpose?

  2. I think that binge-day thing happens to a lot of people who do BFL or any other "free day" style diet. It surely happened to me and I'm still working to sort myself out 5 years later!

  3. hi sara, i've also had similar experiences. it is truly a never ending challenge. it may have a 1st day but never a finish date. When I did the zone diet like 8 years ago, I also maintained at 54kg easily, then I heard about bfl started 2 challenges (I have before pics but no after pics), and I actually became larger afterwards. I think the mentalility of having a free was my downfall, and lead to serious issues with binge-eating ( I did that on the zone too, but I had 'healthy' binges in the zone, lol). Anyhow soemhow I don't think I can give any of the programs the fault with the issues I have. They are solely my own responsibility. It's nice to share with people who share similar struggles though.



I love to hear from you! Tell me what's in your brain, your heart or your dinner plate :D.