Wednesday, April 25, 2012

That was Then – This is Now

I think too much. I used to not think enough. I can’t say for certain how or why I’ve changed so much – I’d like to think its personal growth but I know better.

In an effort to get a handle on my past so I can live contentedly right here in the present I’ve been evaluating who I was back then. I’ve decided I need to do this because I’ve been spending way too much time back there lately and if I can just get to a place where I’m ok with it I’ll be able to let it go (at least that’s the plan).

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: 
  1. I used to work out – A LOT
  2. I used to be at a healthy body weight
  3. I used to cook more healthy meals for myself and my family
  4. I had an active social life
  5. I had hobbies I enjoyed
  6. I was busy with my life
  7. I thought I was happy and working on being fulfilled

This is what I’ve been hanging on to and comparing myself and my current life to; and I have to admit that me and my current life weren’t doing well in the comparison. I’ve been looking back and thinking that I was healthy and happy, but if I take things one at a time I get a VERY different picture and result.

1. While working out is definitely good and I need to be doing it now, back then I worked out too much. I ended up needing back surgery due to “over exercising”. I didn’t work out because I enjoyed it or because it made me feel good I did it because I had influences in my life that made me feel like I had to do it – I had to be someone specific. I had an image I had to maintain...or else. All in all I had a very unhealthy relationship to exercise and with how I treated my body.... not so healthy after all.

2. I was at a healthy body weight – a great thing and something I aspire to be again but back then I over exercised and obsessed about what I ate – or didn’t eat. There was no health involved here – just working out and eating to maintain what I presented to the world because it was expected of me. Again not a healthy way to live.

3. I used to cook; I even went to cooking school. I thought all good wives were “supposed” to be good cooks. This was drilled into my head from a very young age and I took it to heart completely. It never occurred to me that I dislike cooking, but I do. While I did it in my past because I felt that I was supposed to now I’d like to develop a taste for and enjoyment of cooking and good healthy food.

4. I had an active social life...what a joke. Seriously – a joke. What this translates into really is nights spent in bars or hanging out with the neighbours drinking too much. I miss hanging out with friends regularly like I used to but I certainly don’t miss the rest of it. It wasn’t healthy then and it wouldn’t be healthy now.

5. I had hobbies that I enjoyed. For some reason I’ve looked back on my life and the activities that I used to participate in in a very warm and fuzzy light and I don’t honestly know why. I have hobbies now that I enjoy very much – in fact several of them are the same as they were back then. Nothing like a little time distortion L

6. Here’s more time distortion going on. Yes, I used to be busier than I am now...is that supposed to be a good thing??! I don’t think so now that I look at it from a different perspective. Not to mention the fact that then I had two little people to look after, I was over exercising and did I mention bars? Duh!

7. I might have thought then that I was happy and fulfilled (or working on it) but really I was too busy and too afraid of what I might learn if I actually checked in with myself. Looking back I had moments of amazing joy because I’ve always loved being a mom to my two boys and there was a lot of joy in their early years. There was also a lot of fun at times hanging out with friends and dancing the night away but it certainly wasn’t all roses and candy.

So what have I learned with this exercise in looking back? I’ve learned that “the good old days” weren’t as good as I remembered. I’ve learned that while I might have been at a healthy body weight I didn’t have a healthy relationship with food, exercise or my own body. I’ve realized that busy isn’t what I want to be and that I have a pretty darn good life now.

I think this has been just what I needed to make peace with my past so I can live contentedly in my present.

I also think that I now know what I need to get unstuck – or at least moving.

Stay tuned for Friday’s post where I’ll tell you what I’ve got up my sleeve. J

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