Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Past is the Past...but should it be?

I wrote this post a couple days ago and am finally getting to post it. The pictures are new today and I felt they paired well with the post, as I am emotionally confused by them. I am impressed, no awed, by the difference between them. But I can't connect the two in my brain. And I think it is as much about as not being able to remember life in the before as anything....which leads to my post....

The Past is the Past...but should it be?

I received a great comment today, on a previous post, from a former client whom I now consider a good friend. She was one of those bright spots on a less than easy project and it has been a pleasure getting to know her outside of that environment, especially as our lives have undergone many transitions. Her comment today was not only wise, but really timely and worthy of posting about.

Her comment was

“Anonymous said... Hard reality: when your body makes decisions about what it needs, you don't always get a say. All you can do is consistently give it what you've learned works and let yourself adjust in time.

Another hard reality: when you achieve your goal weight--and you will!--going forward will mean having the strength to stay put. This means no rush from compliments, nor new body frontiers, even the clothing acquisition bug will wear off (especially if Visa catches up with you first.) And you'll have to have the strength to do what you know works--week in and week out--with no rushes, just to stay where you are.

Think of this time as perfect strength training for the future. It will teach you the beauty of here and now, Grasshopper.

From your friend whom you tried to help find one Vision in a hostile land.... ”

Had I gotten this comment even a month ago I am not sure I would have seen the wisdom in it, but today it made perfect sense. While she talks about needing to find a new internal strength once I reach my goal, the reality is I am already having to find that strength in ways I hadn’t expected to face yet. I, like my reader, expected to need it down the road.

I have said before I regret I didn’t capture more of my “before”. I wish I had video of my struggle to walk across a room, I wish I had more pictures of how horrible my clothes were, I wish I had journaled how terrifying a flight of stairs was. I wish I had a better way to hold onto my past. I am forgetting and that worries me. It is becoming more and more like recapping someone else’s life when I talk about my life before.

One of the first comments people make when they learn about my weight loss (or even those who have known about the journey but not seen me in a while) is “it must feel great”. Their meaning is how much easier my life is, how much more I can do. And they are right, it should feel great. But the great is waning, slipping into the past, becoming a distant memory much faster than I expected. And quite frankly must sooner than I wanted. I don’t want to forget, I don’t want to take where I have come from for granted, but just like the face of a friend you haven’t seen, it is getting harder to remember.

I got on the plane today and easily secured my seat belt, I can logically say I couldn’t do that in the past and it hurt, but I can not in all honesty remember what that hurt felt like. I am wearing great new shoes today, and I can speak about how it used to feel to only wear flats and sneakers, how scared I was of anything else, but I can’t tap into those feelings. I am losing track of how far I have come because I am losing how it all felt before. And as good as it feels to close the door on that chapter of my life, losing that reality scares me. I fear taking it all for granted because life has become too easy. That pain and struggle is part of what kept me moving forward and I worry about becoming complacent.

I mentioned her post was timely, there is a second part of losing my past that hit me today on the treadmill. I was working out and one of the PT staff members stopped by to chat for a minute. She is someone who has been around since the start. We were giggling about my sparkly nails, my cute shoes lately and my new found obsession with pink. It was a fun conversation, but it was more than that. It was also an exciting conversation, because we both felt the difference in where I came from and how much I have overcome to get here. That doesn’t happen as much these days as it used to.

Lately there has been a lot of change in my life. People who started the journey with me leaving, new people coming into my life. I am surrounded right now by great, really positive people who are the right people for me at this point in my metamorphosis. I couldn’t be happier with that part of my life now (ok yeah if I was dating that would be good to, but that is another post *smile*).

But the downside to the changes of those around me, is that I have a lot fewer people in my circle who I have that shared history with. Most know where I am, they know where I am going, and they can somewhat value the past in hearing about it, but it’s not the same as it was sharing it with those I started the journey with. I find myself rationalizing, explaining, validating and justifying things I do as being important or a big accomplishment. Not because they need that, but because I do. I need the value of how far I have come to still matter or more accurately to still be motivational. And without that shared history it seems to be that a lot less. Just as my reader said!

Please don’t mistake my feelings in this post, I am not a person who likes to live in the past. I wouldn’t chose to go back to where I was a year ago for all the money in the world. But I am a firm believer that if we don’t learn from the past we are bound to repeat it. I fear the lessons that keep moving me forward are fading, I fear someday not realizing how precious it is that I have found a second chance at truly living my life. As much as I love the ease I have gained in my life, I am not ready to for it to be easy.

I need that sense of past to help me truly value how great my present is and how outstanding my future could be.


  1. I went all the way back to my birthday to find just this
    To je u sjećati se gdje sam ja od toga u znam gdje će biti moja budućnost / It is in remembering where I am from that can know of where my future will be.

    Not meaning you are doomed to repeat your past, simply meaning even if you forget the sensations of it, it will always remain the part of you.

  2. Dare I say you are looking "Petite" in the latest photo?