February 8th 1988 was a Monday.

It was under the sign of Aquarius.

The US president was Ronald Reagan.

I was a student in my last year at San Francisco State University.

And it was the beginning of my new life.

I’ll admit– I had gone wild and crazy that weekend, knowing that I was going to start my sobriety on Monday. And sure, I’d tried the sober thing before and it didn’t go so well… I’d also been dieting compulsively since the 4th grade.

There was a lot of history weighing me down.

But this time I knew the changes were for life.

Now how, at the tender age of 24, could one be so incredibly confident that her life would be changed forever?

This is where my relationship with the divine comes in.

I knew that I had a purpose and a mission to carry out, and that my achievements of sobriety and drastic weight loss would be used beyond what I could see back then. I trusted in that knowledge, even though I had no proof.

I was guided to understand that my eating disorder and my alcoholism would continue to heal if I followed a path of self-love.

Ultimately, I knew, my experiences would be used to serve others.

“One day at a time,” I was told.

My support group drilled that message into me. One day at a time could turn into the rest of my life, they said. The support group also taught me that you have to be willing to surrender control, and that willingness will set you free.

To all the people who told me that “one day at a time” and “willingness” were the key ingredients to a healthy and happy life – Thank you. You were right.

Did I know what that looked like back then? Of course not.

Do I know where I am going now? Not always, no.

Do I trust my guidance? Emphatically YES.

That’s what it comes down to: trust.

– I trust that I will be led if I am willing to surrender.

– I trust that there’s something far more important happening than I can see from here.

– I trust that all will be okay if I have faith in a grander plan.

Understanding that I am being used in a way that serves others is what got me to where I am today.

And while the actual day, February 8th is behind me – this year, I will take some time every month for the rest of the year to celebrate this milestone.

-30 years of sobriety, and the loss of 100 pounds.

-30 years ago this month, I made the decision to take my power back.

-30 years ago I chose a new path – one that focused on self-love, self-care, and self-respect.

You see, the decision was pretty simple: “live or die.”

I could remain in the hole of my self-destructive habits, wasting away inside and out. But that wasn’t living. That was slowly, slowly dying.

Or I could choose something better. I could choose to love myself. I could choose to make healthy changes, and begin to live vibrantly.

I am so proud of this 30-year “birthday.”

It’s not because of the time itself, though, but the blood, sweat, and tears it took for me to get here… and how it was all worth it.

That choice was made in a moment, but the fulfillment of it never ends.

It has taken every single day of these 30 years to bring me here.

Change is not a single step but a process, one day at a time. @laurafenamore (Click to Tweet!)

What choices have you made that changed your life forever?

I’d love to hear below.

Laura Fenamore, Body Image Expert, Coach and acclaimed Author is on a mission to help women around the world end the constant battle with their bodies and start adoring who they see in the mirror. Her approach walks students and readers through the heartfelt journey to self-love at any size or age by unlocking the secrets to a lifetime of emotional, physical and spiritual health. After overcoming a lifelong battle with addiction, obesity, and eating disorders, Laura released 100 pounds – keeping it off for more than 28 years. She chronicles this journey to self-love and health in her widely acclaimed book, Skinny, Fat, Perfect: Love Who You See in the Mirror. Learn more about Laura’s programs, or invite her to speak by visiting SkinnyFatPertect.com.

Image courtesy of Lucas Allmann.