What about our yesterdays?

Thursday, January 10, 2013
3:00 pm

I heard a minster once say that it's impossible to see where you're going if you're always looking in the rear view mirror. The apostle Paul, who is credited with having written two-thirds of the New Testament wrote the following to the early Christians in Philippi: ". . . but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14). Recently this image was posted on facebook. It seems the message is clear; we should let go of the past so we can take hold of our future.

I do think we need to learn lessons from our past. Memories of missed opportunities may remind us to be willing to take risks, that hold the possibility of good, but offer no promise of it. Failed or broken relationships might teach us to guard our hearts more closely to avoid future pain or rejection. They can also teach us what qualities to look for in a potential suitor or how to be a better partner the next time.

For some, the past holds regret. Regret for that missed opportunity, the lost love, for the love that never was, for behavior, for choices. Any number of things. I know there are many people who say they don't regret anything, because ultimately every experience made them into the people they became. I'm not sure if I agree with that. I do believe we can learn something from almost every circumstance, but I do have regrets. The challenge, I think, is not to let them trip me up. 

I imagine life like a long bicycle ride. There will be hills to climb which will require me to exert great effort. Sometimes I'll coast easily down the other side, wind in my face, sun at my back, nothing standing in my way. There will be bumpy roads that will require me to slow down and proceed with caution, maneuvering as best I can around potholes and puddles, rocks and roadblocks. There may be times I'm peddling along and suddenly a branch gets stuck between my spokes, causing the bike to flip and sending me sailing though the air. Regardless of the condition of the path, the important thing to remember is to keep pedaling. I can't get to my destination if I don't. I can take momentary breaks to stop, smell the flowers, breathe, and rest, but forward motion is the key. And the beauty in my analogy is the ability to appreciate the exquisite scenery along the way.

What does any of this have to do with losing weight?

I've spent years looking back, regretting many choices, wishing I could somehow have a do-over. But I can't. No matter how much I might want to travel back through time and do it right, the fact remains I am here now, living in a body that I have not been kind to. And if I want to live the rest of my life to the full, enjoying it as the adventure it should be, I need to change. I will continue to hold onto the beautiful memories of the past. I will do my best to let loose of regrets, because they are like worry. Neither one changes anything; they only make us feel miserable. I will appreciate every lovely view and sweet reward God gives me as I move forward. I'm choosing to change. I'm doing this for me, knowing that those I love will also benefit from my efforts. I am growing into the woman I am meant to be as my body shrinks into the size it was meant to be.

On a side note . . . Today I made different food choices and they have made a huge difference. Yesterday, I felt hungry almost all day. Today I have eaten less and haven't felt hungry except when it was time to eat. Believe me, this goes a long way in preventing self-pity and overeating! What a difference it has made in my outlook as well. I'm learning.

Until next time . . .

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