Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow

One Friday last summer, I hopped in our mini van, kidnapped my young boys and headed home to Maine to visit my mom. (There’s still nothing that beats a mom hug.) With a five-hour road trip ahead of us, I was extremely grateful for the built-in entertainment system. And though I obviously can’t watch the movies with them, I often enjoy hearing the lines from the movies and chuckling along in response. This time the movie of choice was DreamWorks’ Kung-Fu-Panda.

About half way through the movie, I started paying closer attention to the story line about a panda named Po. The movie tells of his journey from bumbling, unsuspecting hero to “Dragon Warrior,” as he is trained by Master Chi Fu — a cute, furry badger-like creature. At the point where I started listening in, I heard these words from Po’s master: “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But Today is a gift. That’s why they call it the PRESENT.”

Of course after struggling for a lifetime with my weight and finally losing 212 pounds, I correlate just about everything to weight loss. How many times have I let my past “failures” pull me down. But that’s yesterday’s history! History is something we learn from, not something we let control us.

What about tomorrow? I hear all the time from people who are so afraid of the future. Will they have much loose skin? Will they be able to keep it off? What if they lose a lot of weight just to regain it once again? Tomorrow is a mystery and it’s out of our control.

But TODAY. Today is a gift each and every day when we wake up. And it’s completely within our grasp. If I told you that “if you were to stick with your meal plan today, you would get to your weight goal tomorrow” … would you be able to do it? Just for one day? Of course you would! Today is the perfect amount of time that we can put in the palm of our hand and mold, plan for, set our expectations on. Today is ours to conquer! We can do anything for one day!

And that’s what it takes to overcome the burden of 212 pounds or 112 pounds or 12 pounds. It takes the success of all the todays we are given strung together. That’s how we get to goal. That’s how we handle maintenance. That’s the difference between a temporary yo-yo experience (with a focus on the future) and a lifestyle change (with a focus on managing today).

In the end, all we have to do to get to our weight goal and stay there is to be successful for one day … just today!

Kim Bensen, author of Finally Thin, was a lifetime yo-yo dieter who lost 200+ pounds and has kept it off for more than 10 years. She owns the Kim Bensen Weight Loss Center and just opened Kim’s Light Café and Smoothie Bar at 405 Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton. For more information, tips and recipes, go to