I find it funny that as my ten-year high school reunion comes up and is around the corner, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard “if I only knew then what I know now.” My boss and coworkers were talking about what they would do differently in teaching their Kinesiology and Health classes, my mother and aunt were talking about their past and childhood, and I know I’ve reflected about a few of my growing and learning experiences.
It’s true, though; situations, where we feel as if we wish we would've done or said something better than we handled it, are a part of life. We all have those moments where we knew we could’ve done it differently and could’ve flourished where we floundered.
I reflect on that this week mostly because I received a very illuminating story from my friend Athena. There’s not a whole helluva lot we can do about the past, but careful consideration can certainly help you move forward in a positive direction. I asked Athena some questions about her journey and this is what she had to say:
Jaycie: What are some things you wish you had to opportunity to say to your younger self?
Athena: Find a workout that you like! I feel like this made all the difference for me. I had worked out in the past but then I found a martial arts class that pushed me and I enjoyed it so I kept it up and went from 180lbs to 145lbs in about 4 months.
J: What worked/works best for you as far as routine and diet?
A: I worked out for an hour 3-4 times a day through martial arts and kickboxing.
J: What was the most positive thing you've noticed at this current stage?
A: I was able to do 3 pull-ups - which were huge since I'd never done even 1 before!
J: What's your biggest vice? Mine is wine and it's hindered a lot of my progress
A: Social events and wine as well. Since being diagnosed with cancer and going through menopause, it has hard to get the weight off that was gained during surgery. I have gotten back into working out and am watching what I eat minimizing what I eat during social events that I expect to be back to 145 in about 6 months!
I thought a great deal of what she said and how it applies to all aspects of this journey we call life. Situations, sometimes out of our control, tend to get in the way of our progress and try to derail us. It’s the choices we make based on these past reflections and how we remind ourselves to make healthier selections to better ourselves. Most people that start with weight loss and clean eating don’t understand that it never subsides – the cravings, the constant battle for self-control (for me, at least) has never stopped. That’s why I asked what she would tell her younger self. A friend shared her perception of this with me once and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It subsequently stuck. She said:
“Imagine yourself at 10 years old. Your little adorable face, tight ponytail, and scrunchy – and she’s crying. She hates her body and is so sad. What would you say to that little girl?”
That’s what I try to remember while I’m tearing my mirrored reflection apart because I hate my armpit fat… I’m doing this for that little girl - her. I’m making positive changes for her. I don’t get a do-over, but I’m going to make every future day count FOR HER.
There are a lot of things I would have told my younger self while in college and eating everything in sight. "Don't eat five slices of pizza in one sitting", "lay off the soda", "cool it with the binge drinking", & maybe "go for a run tonight"... But, you can only move forward with the information you’ve collected over the years. Move forward with power, perseverance, and prowess!