Weight Loss: the Rearview Mirror

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I found my old weight loss vision board and stats the other day. I love seeing how my efforts bore fruit weekly. I attached at photo of me in 2004. 
I also found a photo of 16-year-old-super-skinny me but decided to keep where it was. Why? I have changed in 16 years and I can't let that romantic image of me inspire me today. I believe that the past can be inspirational but if idolized, it can put a stop on my weight loss efforts. Here are a few reasons why:
• My mind wasn't changed at all. I had an unhealthy view of 'thinness' therefore yo-yo dieting was a way of life. Also, that photo of me at 120 lbs was a very small window in time. I couldn't possibly keep that weight the way the other things in my life (thought life, stress management, etc) were going.
• I am now a married woman with 3 kids (via c-section). My 16-year-old body knew nothing that my body knows now. My body has been through mental and physical changes that brought so much joy. I believe I will get to a weight that will lower my risks of preventable diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. It is foolish of me to desire to have that same 16-year-old body back because I was a single, young woman then.
• I have always enjoyed exercising but at 16 I never thought I could run. My 32-year-old body has been through several running events plus all the training that goes before crossing that glorious finish line. I don't wish to go back to exercising just one way, thus, I can't look back when it comes to my weight loss history.
Good drivers know not to fix their eyes in the rearview mirror but only use it to protect themselves as they moved forward. If what I did at 16 worked, I would never had a weight problem til this day. I just can't idolize the thin structure I see in old photos. 
It is healthy to recognize that I have changed and matured. 32-year-old me has new goals and healthy motivations to become a healthier person. I have learned to celebrate non-scale victories and keep pressing on til I reach a place where a number in the scale doesn't define me but how many smiles I can put in my family's faces because I have the health and energy to do it. 
It is difficult to see the newness that God has for us when we keep staring at the rearview mirror. Look ahead and more forward my friend.
Question: Do you find inspiration in old photos of your thin yourself? Does it work?