Commencement is defined as beginning, but is the name for a graduation. When I was a teacher, every June, my daydreams strangely occupied my death and a funeral to follow. I wondered who would attend, how would anyone know of my impending demise (prior to Internet Viral messages), and a relentless sadness ingratiated my inner psyche. This repeated phase occurred yearly, concerning me that my death was imminent. A friend set the record straight, suggesting that the ending of each academic year brought with it feelings of completion of one life, while a new set of students started the process over again each September. Now a sadness pits itself within me as my current twelve-week body challenge ends.

With one week to go, taking stock of the experience lets the highlights flow into my consciousness. Many fail in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th challenges of this type, as their practices become lax, rebounding becomes addictive, and newly formed, poor eating habits take precedence. Fueling motivation to reduce future failure like the initial fire that sparked my first body challenge requires exploring, searching, and digging for inspiration. Engaging with each challenge as if new, I believe necessitates intention, goals, and determination that warrants the path to continue with what experience has taught while releasing less than optimal actions. When failure occurs along repeated journeys that were once successful, an inner journey of healing awaits.

Getting to the heart of a matter in the weight loss journey sounds an alarm. The initial accolades that complement your journey from outside sources as friends, neighbors, and strangers, cannot remain the prime motivation. Internal commendations, reaching the heart and soul, contain the continued fist bumps. Transition to a new way of being, comfort in occupying this newly developed body, and embracing the lifestyle, is the alternate route from the initial bout in the ring. Going the ten rounds in the fight for maintained weight loss, fitness, and inner healing, is lengthy, hard, and requires stamina, consistency, and perseverance. Each leg of the journey requires commencement, a graduation from an ending to new beginnings. Repeated finishes and starts are lessons in completions and renewals, freedom from past transgressions, and a movement forward to pastures you seek. Let the commencement begin!