Your past does not have to dictate your future

We all have a past, right? What does your past look like? Have you always made decisions that were in the best interest of your physical and emotional health?

It’s easy to get sucked into spending too much time thinking about your past. But the past is just a metaphor. Your physical body, right this second, is in the present and with every second that passes you’ve stepped into the future. 

When analyzing it in this light, it becomes crystal clear how quick things can change – both in and out of our control.

Knowing that your mindset 30 minutes ago can be revolutionized right now and in one day, you can change the course of your life – is remarkable. 

Recently I was processing a handful of thoughts, assumptions, and unknowns. I reminded myself during this seemingly never-ending two day journey of critical thinking, that by changing my perspective, shifting my fear into courage, and taking action, I’m propelling myself into the future. The future woman that I’m proud of, that respects herself, and that is consciously aware of what is in her best interest.   

Instead of mentally draining yourself, having cyclic thoughts, and ruminating on the past – take the driver’s wheel of your future and steer in the direction that you want to be going. 

Don’t give the past so much power. 

Here’s an example of how I transformed my past.

I was a multi-sport athlete growing up, lived in the same town with a handful of family members, was part of a mother-daughter charitable organization for seven years, and valued school and extracurricular activities that came along with it. I’m sure you’re wondering how this relates to the topic. 

Being involved and on the go as much as I was, meant I ate a lot of fast food. Did my physical body suffer as a result of eating burgers, fries, soda, and milkshakes? It wasn’t apparent on the volleyball or basketball court. I wasn’t sluggish or lethargic at school. I slept like the dead too. I was expending so much energy each day, burning through calories to no end, so fueling my body with meals from fast food spots was, in my eyes at that point, the answer. 

But there came a turning point after I stopped playing sports, was in higher education, and my responsibilities shifted. Knowing that I wanted to feel physically well, be in a clear headspace, and be good to my body (internally and externally), I knew it wasn’t in my best health interest to continue on that same path.

By working with an acquaintance in the athletic world a few times a week at the gym, I learned ways to fuel and nourish my body via healthy options (saying farewell to fried foods, fatty cuts of meat and heavy starches). I also understood the basics of individually motivated exercise. This was new to me.

I took actionable steps to make sure my past did not become my future.  I took his advice and have transformed my eating and exercise lifestyle to suit my ever-changing needs. We know as we age, have health conditions arise, get ill, are in recovery from surgery, or have a lot of stress and life matters on our plate – we have to adjust parts of our life.

Here I am today, more than a decade later from making that important change, and very happy with myself, my dedication, and my understanding of how I’m helping myself today and in the future. My past was fine as it was. But I did not want to carry that in to today and into the next generation in my family. 

Also – by changing my past – I’ve influenced some of my family members’ decisions and habits when it comes to lifestyle. We are all so much more aware and knowledgeable and it really has made profound impact in our lives. 

So fast forward to your life today… Is “stocking your freezer” the heathiest thing to do?  If you’re loading up at the big box stores with, say grilled chicken patties, asparagus, low fat dairy options (cottage cheese, yogurt, milk), salmon that can be heated up in the oven quickly, and fresh fruits – then certainly!  But as we are well aware, many enticing things are in our face also, like pizza rolls, cinnamon rolls, and carb-loaded all-in-one meals like lasagna. 

In moderation, many foods can work into our lifestyle. It’s important to not always take the easy route of leaning into comfort food that only requires opening the microwave door. I can assure you that eating healthier doesn’t have to be more expensive or taxing in the kitchen. 

If you’re looking to make a positive change – whether it’s a path you haven’t been down before, got sidetracked from, or just believe in its value – I’d be happy to share the tips and tricks I’ve learned on my healthy eating journey. Send me a message.

Food is just one category.

Do you keep knocking yourself down because of burdens from the past? Perfect example: I know individuals who have gotten DUIs in their youthful past, but today they drink responsibly and do not get behind the wheel of the car when doing so.

They are not letting that past, unfortunate, decision spiral into more in the future.   

If you decided to leave community college after one year and join the workforce, yet 10 years later when you’re married and are expecting a child, work on getting your AA degree and transition jobs – that’s fantastic! What an accomplishment!

“It is never too late to be what you might have been,” said George Eliot.

Why lock down your future with burdens, habits, and decisions from the past? 

If there’s even an ounce of you that dreams of maintaining a better mindset, lifestyle or friend group, it’s worth pursuing. 

A friend of mine expressed a review of the last relationship she was in.  Some patterns and behaviors her partner exhibited didn’t bode well with her – but it wasn’t until after stepping away and gaining clarity on what is critical in her life going forward that she came to understand why change was needed.   

Time and again – it takes a commitment to yourself to make a change. Try jotting down a plan, and placing one foot in front of the other to execute it. 

It’s not always easy (okay it’s rarely easy), but it ups your confidence within and you should always have your back and be doing what’s best for you. You have to be the first one to have your own best interest at heart. 

If you work to break the cycle of a multi-generational family drug habit or toxic family situation – know that you are not alone. I’ve spoken with many people out there on a similar path. They intend to persevere in getting to a safer, healthier space. Through church groups, social media groups, or community groups – there is always someone to turn to, to talk to, and to listen to. 

Our society flourishes by helping one another. We weren’t built to go through life alone tackling complex, confusing, and catastrophic situations. 

“No matter how hard the past is, you can always begin again,” Buddha.

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