Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day of Reckoning

“When a defining moment comes along,
you define the moment...
or the moment defines you.”
–Roy 'Tin Cup' McAvoy


My friend Sandy over at 45+ and Aspiring recently had her “Day of Reckoning,” the moment where she drew a line in the sand and said “This is it. This stops right here and goes no farther.” I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

If you’ve stopped by today looking for a couple of yuks, I encourage you to either back-track through the archives or check back tomorrow. Today is about that day of reckoning. Sandy’s, my own, maybe even your’s.

My DoR came on Easter Sunday of this past year. While you were busy scarfing down jelly beans and biting the heads off chocolate bunnies, I was home alone (my family was on a trip out of town). What I did with my holiday solitude was something that was long overdue: I finally took a good hard look at myself in the mirror. Truth to tell, I didn’t like the obese son-on-a-b*tch staring back at me one bit. I knew it was time… maybe my last chance… to take a stand.

I know that sounds overly dramatic, but this is a life-and-death situation we’re talking about, you know. Obesity and all its assorted running buddies are things that will just shut you down for good. So maybe I’m being overly dramatic or maybe I’m simply opening my eyes to what’s really going on.

Here’s the situation (and now I’m talking about you, too): we’re getting older every day, and this weight loss journey will never, ever be any easier than it is today. I don’t know where you are on life’s great golf course, but I’m on the back nine, where time and metabolism tag-team to make you want to give in and learn to love the love handles. A lot of people do give in, apparently. They either give in or make such a half-hearted fight of it that they might as well surrender.

But guess what? We’re not most people. I’m certainly not, and I suspect that you aren’t either. We’re putting our stories–our lives–out there for the whole world to see, to be a part of, to judge. For God sakes, we’re putting how much we weigh out there. Granted, we may have too much of a paunch, but nobody can say we don’t have guts.

Which brings me back to that whole “Day of Reckoning” business. When I decided it was honestly and truly gut-check time, positive things started happening in my life. Sure it was hard to get going and sure there were times when I questioned if I had what it takes to do this. But I kept at it, and (almost 50 lbs lighter) I’m keeping on keeping at it.

I can feel the changes taking place in my body, and I know I’m doing good work. I take all the compliments and comments I can get, but the real satisfaction is in knowing that I’m fighting the good fight, winning most days and at least holding my own on the rest.

I seriously doubt there’s a single person reading this that doesn’t know exactly what he or she has to do to lose weight. But unless you’ve had that day of reckoning, that moment when you know in your head and in your heart that it’s time to make it happen, I’m just not certain it will happen. This is an undertaking that not only takes it off of you, it takes it out of you.

I read a lot of weight loss blogs, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than discovering those true success stories and backtracking through their entire chronicle. In just about every case, you can see their spirit through their words, feel the steel in their voice. Even if you didn’t already know they’d lost 100 lbs. or more, you get a sense that they were going to, that nothing was going to stop them.

I am on a journey. I post a lot of non-stop nonsense, but make no mistake that I am on an adventure in which failure simply is not a consideration. I’m losing, and I’ll keep losing. I have no doubt in the world that my fat-to-fit trek will end in success.

I’ve had my day of reckoning, after all.

How about you?

55 comments:

  1. You are made out of awesome. Great post and so, so true.

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  2. Apparently I needed to read this. But yes, I am with you in determination. Failure is not an option.

    Thanks Jack. Sometimes it's nice to have a pep talk. :)

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  3. "the real satisfaction is in knowing that I’m fighting the good fight, winning most days and at least holding my own on the rest."

    Yes! Yes! Nail head = hit!

    I too have had my Day of Reckoning, brought on by The Photo of Great Shame. I just feel like I'm finally ready to be BETTER THAN THAT, you know? Actually, I bet you do know. :)

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  4. Great, great post. I too, am on the back nine in my life. At 60 the battle is more difficult than I suspected it would be, but I keep trying. I goof up, I succeed, I get back up, I try again. I know it isn't going to be easy, but I won't stop trying....no matter what. Thanks for your help along the way.

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  5. Hey, man. . . thanks! <3 I'd give you a big hug if you were here. . .I am the hugging type.

    I loved your heart felt post. . . but noticed at least one 1-liner in here . . . you can' stop yourself you funny man, can you?

    "Granted, we may have too much of a paunch, but nobody can say we don’t have guts."

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  6. I remember my DoR and I knew I had to act - I knew I would feel pain and feel tired but that was how I felt anyway. It was time for me to choose: (a) feel pain and tired while doing something or (b) feel pain and tired while dying.

    Not a hard choice and, blow me - I no longer feel so tired or in pain.

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  7. Great post. Thanks for that!

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  8. I love your nonstop nonsense. I had my moment too, Jack, my DoR. I was lying in bed when I decided I was just SICK AND TIRED OF BEING FAT! My journey began on May 19 and can I say how happy I am to not be dieting but changing my lifestyle. I'm happy for the first time in literally years. Keep up the great work.

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  9. I also remember my DoR! For me it's now or never and failure is not an option. To give up would mean giving up on life itself...

    Great post!

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  10. Thank you for sharing that, Jack!

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  11. Good for you. You sound motivated and committed to making this change for the better. You should be really proud of yourself!

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  12. I remember my DoR too, almost 2 yrs ago. I remember it was about being "willng" and really that's all that first step takes just the willingness to try. I'm still fighting the battle. The scale might be slower moving these days but I'm still working on it.

    Thanks for the peptalk we all needs those sometimes.

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  13. oohh...remembering my DoR always motivates me! Whenever I feel like I just wanna whopper & fri, I think of what it felt like having to turn sideways to use a public restroom. That normally snaps me outta it!

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  14. DoR came with the doctor saying I will do all I can for you. But it really has been more about doing all you can for yourself.

    I love the non stop nonsense, it helps to get through the ups and downs. But glad I did not turn in my tracks.

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  15. Brilliant.

    I get a bit frustrated at times as my weight is coming off slower than I want. Two .5 losses in a row when I didn't cheat? WTH? BUT..it's not about the number on the scale, it's about health. So I don't let that stop me. I keep doing the right thing.

    My DoR came in February when I got my puppy. The photos my husband took of me made me want to throw up. I had not felt well for a long time, and had been mulling it over, knowing I needed to change, but those photos were the final kick in the ass I needed.

    JackSh*t, you are a much-welcomed comic-relief on this journey, but I've never doubted you were very serious on your journey toward health. Ever.

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  16. Thanks for sharing this. I started this blog during a weekend I had alone at home while the rest of my family was away . . . i had not so much of a day of reckoning, but about 2 years of it. I've done the blogging thing, but never stuck with it for more than a few weeks. It is 3 months later and I'm still here. Have I lost as much as I wanted so far? No. Am I moving in the right direction? Yes. Do I still feel like shit because i don't want to do things sometimes with my kids/family because of how i feel about my appearance? Every day. But it is changing. And it will continue to change.

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  17. You've just given me mine...thank you xx

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  18. Jack-Your (mostly) serious tone has floored me. But it's a great post. Thanks.

    I've had a few DoRs, but I think the one I had this past January is the one that's going to stick. I appreciate the reminder from you though. Always timely!

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  19. i like this post. don't get me wrong, poems and witty banter are nice but i like the deep dig. way to keep fighting the good fight, jacko, im right there next to you swinging away!

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  20. Dear Mr. Sh*t,

    You are so full it aren't ya? Full of motivation that is, ha ha! Lame, I know...but thanks for sharing such an honest post. The more I think about it, we "journey" bloggers have a lot of guts for posting pics, numbers, struggles and celebration. There is a camaraderie that one will never get in real life...or maybe I'm just a loser. LOL!

    Again, thanks for sharing your DoR. Mine came when I realized that I spent the first quarter of my life with my head in my own @ss and took my body for granted.

    Kat

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  21. "I know that sounds overly dramatic, but this is a life-and-death situation we’re talking about, you know. Obesity and all its assorted running buddies are things that will just shut you down for good."

    This was driven home for me on July 1st, the day I lost my mom. You are not being over dramatic, you are being real.

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  22. Yeah.I had my day of reckoning. I too am fighting the good fight. I am not going to fail. I AM A BIG LOSER. Well till theres not much left to lose. Bring it.

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  23. I looked in the mirror and said H no - I'm not going to die looking like this! I'm with you - as usual, Jack!

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  24. I've had several days of reckoning but the most recent came from pictures over the weekend. Glad I was already back to the gym when I saw them. My weight today was exactly where I started when I lost 100 pounds once before. This time it HAS to stay off and I'm ready to work for it. Thanks for all your inspiration!

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  25. "we’re getting older every day, and this weight loss journey will never, ever be any easier than it is today"

    I'm turning 30 next year and it's upsetting to know that I've spent my teenage and young adult years being overweight and choosing food over enjoying and living life. My 30's WILL NOT continue to be this way.

    Great, great post!!

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  26. Loving this post - my DoR came a year ago, waking up on my 32nd birthday and deciding that I wasn't where I wanted to be in life I set about trying to get there. Very important point in my life, as most people's DoRs are for them, I suspect.

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  28. Jack - One awesome post. Great change of pace. We can have all the DOR's we want until the clock runs out. The bitch is the climb gets harder as we age.

    Here' to hopin this one stick! Cause I damn sure need it to.

    Thx for the motivation.

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  29. Thanks, a great uplifting post for what has been so far a very craptastic day.

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  30. A big thanks for this post!! Thanks for taking me back to my DoR six months ago...and reminding me why I'm really on this journey! :)

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  31. I love weight loss bloggers!

    Once again this is just what I needed to see today!

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  32. My DoR was March 16, 2009....my daughter's 2nd birthday. I watched the video of her opening her presents and realized that I keep getting bigger and bigger.

    And then I drew a line in the sand....

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  33. My day of reckoning was January 17, 2009. The day I got my blood test results and knew I had diabetes, high cholesterol, ALL of it. I was coming up on my 50th year and knew things had to change. They did that day but it was not easy. I started my blog that day and since then have lost 30 lbs, run two 5k races and have been hired by Weight Watchers. I reckoned, all right.

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  34. I've been following your blog for a while, but this is the first time I've left a comment.
    LOVED this post. Thanks so much for writing it. I have also enjoyed the many times you've made me laugh. Sometimes you are funny, and sometimes serious, but your posts are always very insightful and a joy to read.

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  35. Very powerful and heartfelt, and as much as I love all the other posts, this one may be my favorite. My DoR came when I stepped on the scales and cried because I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to stop gaining weight, let alone lose any. I'm glad I had that day, and I'm glad you had yours too. We are better off for it!

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  36. It seems we are on similar wavelinks today as I posted on a similar topic (no excuses, no regrets). I distinctly remember the day I made the decision. It was a life changing day.

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  37. Out of all the blogs I've read tonight, YOURS is just the one I needed today. I drew that line in the sand 3 1/2 wks ago. Today was rough, the resolve got shaky, and I was seriously questioning if I really have what it takes to completely change my life. After reading your post, I know that I do. I made that decision just over 3 weeks ago and that's it. There's no turning back. The battle continues....success awaits!!

    Tammy :)
    http://foodaddict-fromfattofab.blogspot.com/

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  38. my day of reckoning was standing in a build a bear workshop with my daughter's girl scout troop. I looked to my left and saw a fat lady. Then I looked again and realized that that fat woman was me. I was looking in a full length mirror. I looked like a pumkin. I was fat and sweaty and sloppy looking, because I was wearing a sweater on a warm day in May to "cover" my fat. It didn't cover anything. I was so humiliated in that moment that I nearly started crying right there in that store. I was so red in the face people asked me if I was okay. I said yes, I just don't like crowds. Everyone bought it, but I just wanted to go and hide. That's the day I drew my line in the sand. NO MORE. There is nothing worse than awakening one day to who you really are and realize that you have done it to yourself. That flip side is that YOu can change it. You can make yourself whatever you want to be. You control the food you put in your mouth, you control your thoughts, your body and ultimately, how you look, act, think and feel.. there I feel better now. lol.
    Chris

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  39. You speak a solid truth my friend. Da*n, I hope I get a chance to meet you someday. You're solid Jack, I mean solid.

    Thank you for showing this side of you, it isn't the first time, and I know it will not be the last. Often times your complete understanding of this mission comes through loud and clear not only in your humorous post, but often in the comments of support you leave so many. I read them as faithfully as I read your blog.

    We're headed to a wonderful place Jack...Honored to be ridin' along side the one and only... Jack Sh*t!

    Sean

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  40. Howdy Jack. Nice to meet you. I followed a link from Ron's blog over to you. What you've written is so, so true. My DoR came a little over a year ago. I drew a line in the sand and said "No More!" I've lost about 60 lbs so far. I'm not finished, but the closer I get to goal, the harder it gets! Thanks for the words of inspiration. Drop by and say hello some time.
    God bless!
    Ida

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  41. Sandy? Her name is Sandy? How did I miss that on her blog? Doesn't she write amazingly well?!! Anyway...thanks for writing this post. It definitely is a journey and one that has not been filled with detours, road hazards and bumps along the way. I'm feeling like I've captured the demon this time. I want to be healthy more than anything right now. I'm turning 45 in less than a month. The time is now.

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  42. "...we’re getting older every day, and this weight loss journey will never, ever be any easier than it is today."

    Yep, indeed.

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  43. Yes, this is a journey and for some of us a longer one than for others. I thank you for taking the time to open up with sincerity and have been contemplating my own day of reckoning post - admit all the A-ha moments that I let pass me by before I finally kicked my own a$$ and started losing.

    Great post.

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  44. Great post. There's lots of steel in them words, Mr Sh*t.

    It is a realization that dawns on one if it's something you really want to do.

    At this point, this is my life and my lifestyle. It is a little easier. But, I must be ever vigilent. Ride on Weight Crusaders.

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  45. Very good post. I jsut found yoru blog via Fertile Healthy's blog. I love your humor. I can tell you don't take yourself TOO seriously. Funny and inspiring...can't get better than that. I'll be back for sure

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  46. I think that my DoR wasn't so much the realisation that I needed to get on and lose some weight, I've known that for a long time but never managed it over a sustained period of time, as the dawning knowledge that I didn't know what I was doing and needed some expert help in the matter. Enter Weightwatchers and the tools I needed the get the job done. Makes it so much blinking easier like somebody switched the lights on after I'd been wandering round in the dark trying to do everything by touch alone.

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  47. man, i had a sh*tty day. thanks for reminding me why im doing this.

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  48. This is a great post. I found your blog through Cranky Fitness and I'm certainly glad!

    My DoR was not a cataclysmic event, more of a build up over time. This time is it for me, it's been over seven months since I stopped hurting myself with food and I get healthier and happier every single day.

    I will definitly be back here, great blog!

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  49. Awesome, Jack. Just plain awesome.

    ~Wendy

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  50. Wow... I think this was the most interesting crop of comments I've ever received. Thanks one and all for your insightful and intereesting additions to this post. Awesome indeed!

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  51. I have no doubt you'll make it either, nor that you'll continue to have a lot of fun and experience a lot of joy and satisfaction along the way. It's an awesome ride and getting there is worth the sacrifice!

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  52. I pretty much had my DOR this past week. It clicked in my head, I can't be THIS anymore. I can't do THIS anymore. This being overweight, unhealthy, etc. I am conquering my biggest hurdle and I have done well this week (I'm eating a lot less, dinner is my last meal)...it's working (the scale is showing me). This post almost made me cry...almost.

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  53. First, you are awesome and this was a fantastic post. And I rarely say that to anyone.

    Second, I love that quote you have above.

    Third, my day of reckoning was October 28, 2008. I honestly thought I wouldn't stick with it, that this time would be like all the others and I'd cave in about 3 days. Heck, I'd caved the week before. But I didn't this time. It's not going as fast as I'd like anymore, but I recognize that I could make it go faster if I put my mind to it, but the one thing I always had in mind from the beginning was that it has to be realistic this time. So I try to do it in such a way that it's realistic for me.

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  54. Thank you for this post. I saved it on my bloglines to refer back to. I'm not there yet. Every morning I think I am, but by bed time each night, I realize I wasn't. I hope to be there soon, though. I'm quitting smoking for the 867th time tomorrow, so maybe my DoR is coming. Thanks for being real. :)

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  55. I enjoy your comedy, like your serious posts much more. I don't know my day or reckoning, I have probalby had a bunch, but I'm on my way down for the last time. I'm 8 pounds away from normal BMI, having lost 40 pounds. I will live this way the rest of my life.

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