Telling old stories can be so fun. Thinking about past vacations or remembering events with our friends can be so entertaining. I love revisiting stories about my children when they were young or rehashing tales of my youth with childhood friends.
So, why would I write this article? What could be wrong with reminiscing? I often see two versions of remembering that create weight loss obstacles.
“It Was So Much Better Then”
Sometimes when we fondly reminisce, our thoughts can sound like, “I wish it were like that again.” We may think we were “healthier,” “thinner,” or somehow “better” then. At this point you might want to yell at me “but that is true, I was healthier then.” It really doesn’t matter if it is factually true or not.
My question for you is – is that thought keeping you from changing? Our reflections can sometimes keep us stuck as we decide that we can’t achieve what we want because “that was a thing of the past” and “not possible now.”
We innocently speak of “the good old days, when we could eat anything and not gain weight.” Or we pine for when we were younger when “it was easy” because of our “fast metabolism.” Again, I am not debating if these thoughts are true or false, I am offering that they are not helpful to us.
These thoughts can stop our weight loss actions in the present if we believe that something about the past was so different and better than it is now, and that the difference makes it impossible to accomplish it today. The process may look different and require different actions, but of course it IS possible, trust me.
“It Has Always Been This Way”
Another way reminiscing stops us from losing weight is when we look to our past for evidence of how weight loss has not been, and therefore will never be, possible for us.
We think back to all the times we may have tried before and failed or how we lost weight, just to gain it back. Just like the other version of reminiscing, I am not concerned if these thoughts are facts or not. Thinking that what happened in the past determines how it has to be in the future is what stops us.
Letting Go of the Past “Old You”
Recognize if you are using your past to keep yourself from losing weight now. You may be saying things to yourself like, “I have never been able to keep the weight off before, why would I now?” or “I used to be thin, it used to be so easy.” Any version of identifying with your past can possibly keep you from change.
I’m not suggesting that you burn all of your old photo albums or quit telling the great old stories of you and your family and friends. But examine how much you might be identifying with the person of the past and know that she can be left there. Decide which parts of her come with you today and go with you tomorrow. You get to pick every single day.
The Process of Eliminating These Thoughts
This is the interesting part. There is no process. Just stop thinking them. It can really be as easy as that. You are not the person of the past.
We don’t ever have to be anything like we were in the past if we don’t want to. None of it. We can be completely different today if that’s our desire. You could be completely different starting right now, that is possible! People do it.
I have seen clients get a health scare, and immediately change everything they do. I have worked with clients that were overweight and not healthy and decided one day to change the way they ate and moved and never went back to their old ways. Like a switch got flipped.
I think it is so fun and empowering to know that we can be completely different in any way that we chose, today, right now. The past really doesn’t have any power over who we are, unless we let it.
If you would like help imagining a new healthy version of yourself and why that vision matters, download Robin’s New You Worksheet.
Let’s Have a Conversation:
Where are you using the past as a reason to believe that weight loss is not really possible now? Have you ever just decided something and made a change in an instant? Have you forgotten that it is possible? Who do you want to be? You get to decide – every day.