Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Windshield or Rearview

The basic rules of driving say that you have to use both the windshield and the rearview mirror, you can’t just use one or the other. I have learned that this journey is no different: I can’t succeed without both looking at my future and remembering my past. And much like driving, I would much rather focus on what’s ahead of me, rather than the stuff I have already passed, but there are lessons to be learned from both.

I do keep a few select reminders: some pictures and my former favorite pair of “fat shorts” for example, but for the most part, I try not to live too much in the past. Remembering where I've been helps me stay focused on where I am going. I realize that there is not a short-cut for this road trip, so I have to keep my focus and energy on the long road ahead of me; however, looking at how far I've already traveled, certainly makes me appreciate where I am. As much as I would like to ignore the pictures of me at my absolute heaviest, facing up to who I was only motivates me to continue on the program.

And during the course of this ride, I've realized that there is a dirty little secret that no one tells you: your mind is a powerful entity and it can deceive you! I never fully understood that mind game until now. I can honestly only appreciate what I have accomplished when I look at pictures, because when I face myself in the mirror, my mind plays tricks on me. If you see something every day, you don’t see the changes. Think about those pictures people take of their kids every day for a year…each day, the child looks the same, but if you look at the first one and the last one, the changes are drastic! Weight change is no different. And I say “change” rather than “loss” because gaining weight can sneak up on you as much as losing it! If I had looked in the mirror one day and was average weight, then the next day, obese, it wouldn't have taken me so long to realize that I needed a change. But, I did finally make the change and that’s all that matters. I’m not the same person I was yesterday and I don’t know who I will be tomorrow. So, I just keep moving forward! What’s done is done, there is no changing the past, but the future is wide open for new and exciting opportunities!