One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

WEEKLY QUESTIONS

What 5 things would you tell yourself?

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Weekly QuestionI can’t take credit for this question as I know there was a meme going around awhile back asking bloggers to write a letter to their younger selves. Like, if you went back in time what would say to the high school version of you? I thought it was an interesting activity but I didn’t have time to participate then, so I’m stealing the idea for this weeks question and changing it up a bit. Instead of a letter, I want us to think about 5 specific things we would tell ourselves if we could go back in time.

They don’t all have to be weight related but I think we’ll discover even the non-weight issues are relevant to self-esteem, confidence, body image and a host of other things that may manufacture themselves as “weight issues”.

So travel back in time with me.

The year is 1991 (HOLY CRAP) I was 15, wearing my cuffed jeans, hot pink BUM wind breaker, listening to Def Leppard and Boyz II Men. Don’t believe me? Look at this… (Sorry Jen – Don’t Kill me :~P)

Jen and I 1991 Beach

The sad thing is, I was already “dieting”, not happy with my body and envious of my skinny friends. Notice I was hiding myself in the picture, that’s a pretty common theme in my old photos starting at about age 12.

What do I tell myself?

  • Stop being so preoccupied with your body. You are young, fit, active and beautiful (that was really hard for me to type) Love who YOU are and stop comparing yourself to others, it’s not worth it, life is too short.
  • Wear clothes that FIT YOU!! I know you don’t believe it but baggy is not better and it makes you look much bigger then you are.
  • Stick to the salads at McDonald’s! (I worked at MickeyD’s for 5 years and ate WAY to many quarter pounders on my lunch breaks)
  • HAVE FUN! Life is too short to miss out on things because you are worried what you look like. Throw that bathing suit on, get in the ocean and SWIM! Enjoy it now before you are running after a 2 year old on the beach
  • Don’t wait until your junior year of college to take a computer class. Get into it early, you have a knack and one day you’ll make a career out of making web sites. Oh! you don’t know what a web site is, don’t worry you will soon enough. :~)

Your turn. :~)

Update 3/1/11: Comments are closed. Please visit the new discussion by clicking here.



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Discussion

There are 24 comments so far.

    Red

    April 23, 2008

    Her giant cotton candy is completely covering up the poster of me in parachute pants!

    I’d tell me:
    CALM DOWN. There will be girls later. Focus on school and save your money. It’s never too early to think about the future

    Jill

    April 23, 2008

    Well, I do know I’d tell YOU to wear clothes that fit!

    Mindy

    April 23, 2008

    I would say:
    People are nothing to be afraid of, they are just people. Enjoy new relationships, you have something to offer.

    You have value as a human being, not a human doing. You can’t fix anyone else’s life but your own. Everyone has to fix their own problems. Let go…

    Relax. It’s okay if you don’t get something you want. Things work out like they are supposed to and sometimes the greatest gift is an unanswered desire. Leaving things up to fate is so freeing.

    You have things to offer that nobody else does. You are extraordinary and deserve to be treated well by others and, most importantly, by you. Be kind and gentle with yourself if you make a mistake. Perfection is an unfair goal.

    Take risks. Don’t do what’s practical and safe all the time. Learn to play the drums, take an art class, explore the artistic side of yourself. Dream big and then go for it!

    After writing this list I realized that these can be words for me now, today. Thanks for the thought provoking question, Roni. I love the picture! :)

    MizFit

    April 23, 2008

    I love these and yet there arent too many things Id tell my youngerself!

    I made a TON of mistakes but cant tease that apart from the person I now am.
    no matter how HARD those times were I did eventually (whew) get back on track.

    I would do a long lecture on HAIR and how I mightcould NOT try to do dreadlocks or shave it all off—EVER!

    (got your comment. gonna use your question for a viewer mail and will email you as well)

    M.

    Roni

    April 23, 2008

    Mindy – that is an AWESOME list!!

    watchinmyweight

    April 23, 2008

    Hmmm…
    First, I would say be yourself…I always was a people pleaser.

    Second, at eight years old enjoy life don’t listen to those who want to tear you down.

    Third, get your education first…all the other stuff can wait.

    Fourth, you are smart enough to accomplish the things in life you want. No really…

    Fifth,be happy, make healthy choices, and exercise and all the benefits will follow!! :)

    That was difficult to tell myself on paper…or computer screen!! :)

    sabrina

    April 23, 2008

    My list would go something like this:
    1. Stop hiding and start living. You are smart and funny and people like you for you
    2. STOP thinking about boys so much, the right one will come along someday.
    3. When you get to college please don’t think that music is the only thing that you can do because you are “dumb” you are far from it and can do anything you want to do.
    4. okay so your 20yrs old and in college and you don’t have a boyfriend, that doesn’t make you loser, it makes you picky, like I said above the right one is comeing and believe me he is worth the wait!
    5. When dad gets sick, drop down to part time student and spend as much time at home with him as you can. You don’t have much time left to be with him so make the most of it.

    Holly

    April 23, 2008

    I started writing my list, but then I realized, that 5 years from now I will have all this hindsight about what is going on in my life now. There are a lot of things I wish I had done or been told, but would I have listened? Probably not. I think about telling my children about my experiences and what I have learned. But will they listen? Maybe to a certain extent, but I think, as cliché as it is, you have to live and through that, learn.

    With that said, I would tell high school Holly to stop ironing her jeans. No one cares. :)

    Roni

    April 23, 2008

    More great points!

    Holly – I actually had the same thought but then I realized the question is really for me now not then. I think as we age we need to remind ourselves where we came from and the experiences we had. AS adults it helps us figure out who we are and gives us the ability to change.

    I KNOW I would have not listened and I know my friends kids who are that age don’t listen to me now! LOL

    Jewely

    April 23, 2008

    I really just want to eat that cotton candy!

    Michele

    April 23, 2008

    Wow, where to begin?

    1. Go to college, DON’T take a “year off”, you’ll be 42 one day and still not have that degree or that teaching job you want so badly!

    2. Put the ice cream down! It’s yummy, yes, but you will have high blood pressure and diabetes and they both SUCK! You deserve to be healthy, there will be people depending on you some day!

    3. No boyfriend? No problem! Mr. Right isn’t going to magically appear just because you are lonely, so get out and have some fun and stop obsessing just because your best friend is married already…her husband is a jerk anyway and besides, thanks to him, she won’t be your best friend forever anyway. So much for those silly promises you two make!

    4. Leave him sooner rather than later. He’s not doing you any good and as soon as you are away from him your life will start to change and be really great! It’s really not going to be that hard, honest!

    5. Don’t smoke pot.
    A – it’s illegal
    B – it gives you the munchies
    C – munchies make you fat
    D – it’s a waste of money
    E – it sets a bad example
    F – you don’t need it to be funny, you are a riot to begin with!

    I could go on and on with this list…I can only hope I would have listened to this!

    I still want very much to be a teacher, and when my daughter graduates I may consider going to college and doing it even though my husband tells me I will be too old to be employable!

    Scrumpy's Baker

    April 23, 2008

    Love this post. I’m going to have to think about mine and may steal the idea for my own blog post this week. :)

    Jenny O.

    April 23, 2008

    I would tell myself not to focus so much on trying to find “the one.” I’d tell myself to relax, that he is going to come along and life is going to be wonderful. Enjoy the ride in the meantime, instead of trying to turn every date into a potential mate.

    Rubydoo

    April 23, 2008

    In no particular order:
    1. You are not mediocre, and have as much right to be here as anyone else. So don’t be scared – we’re all just folks.
    2. Travel – don’t listen to your mother. College will be there when you get back
    3. Worry less about what other people think and forge your own path
    4. Stop panic and comfort eating – what IS it with that ??
    5. Who said you can’t be sporty – break the family mould now and go do something ACTIVE.

    Gotta laught at number 2) – its completely contrary to what others have said so far! It’s funny how different we are and our different perspectives!

    Anonymous

    April 23, 2008

    Ok I cheated and said like 7 things to my high school self but whatever:

    1. You are thin enough and beautiful enough, so stop thinking otherwise
    2. Don’t give up swimming. Exercise is wonderful for you.
    3. Let go of wanting to eat out all the time. It will only hurt you in the long run.
    4. Love your family and spend as much time with them as possible. You don’t know how much time they have left or how hard it will be to see them in the future
    5. Stay away from guys like Mike and hang on to the wonderful friends you have.
    Okay and my cheating:

    Life will get harder! But, it will be worth it.

    I LOVE YOU!

    Bern

    April 23, 2008

    ..I’m soo soo busy but I couldn’t not comment on this entry…

    My one and only thing I try and remind myself to ENGRAVE in my head and I wish I would have started it earlier…

    LIFE DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND FOOD!!!

    Christie

    April 23, 2008

    Love this question!

    I would have to say:

    1. Don’t go to the expensive private college to look cool. It was too much, you didn’t finish it anyway.

    2. You are not fat. You look fine. Stop worrying about it.

    3. Don’t date guys because they like you. Find someone you like, too.

    4. Don’t be so concerned with getting out of your hometown. You will miss it soon and want to come back.

    5. Stop obsessing over what people think of you.

    Swizzlepop

    April 24, 2008

    I want that cotton candy! :)

    Very fun, especially after I just did a ‘travel thru time’ post with a bunch of other old pictures of me (blogger blog only though – you have access).

    It was hard to get started but once I did I had a hard time stopping at 5. Thanks for turning this into a meme/tag!

    Sick of Being Fat

    April 24, 2008

    lol, some of these comments are hilarious.

    I think my number main piece of advice to a younger me would be:

    Don’t put something off until tomorrow that you can do today.

    I did it with so many things; getting healthy, starting (and finishing!) college, taking up the hobbies I always wanted to do.

    Crista

    April 24, 2008

    I love this post…thanks so much for making me think…there are so many things that I would tell myself that I really want to think about this question even more.

    But I do know that i’d tell myself..don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy life, enjoy relationships with friends, don’t take things for granted, and to take risks…that is all easier said then done!!!

    Thanks for the great posts all the time. Your amazing and truly an inspiration…

    can you come to my house and cook with me…that would definately help me eat better!!! Your toddler is so spoiled for being able to cook with Roni!!! Have a great day!!! Thanks again

    Michele

    April 24, 2008

    This is great…so many people are “stealing” this post and using it on their own blogs…I love it!

    Shannan

    September 20, 2008

    I don’t have a list of things I’d tell myself, but I wouldn’t change a thing I did in my life, because all of it — every twist and turn — worked together to get me to where I am now. If I had changed just one thing, everything might have been different.

    Nina

    October 31, 2008

    Gosh, I’m glad I don’t like cotton candy! If I did I would want that one so much! ;)

    Well, here are the things I would tell myself:

    1. You are NOT your body! You might feel like a loser because people call you fat, especially that boy – who is the biggest a…hole in the world, by the way, and has to hang out with those brainless chicks because he could not recognize a great girl if she sat on him – but if you stop eating because of loneliness and sadness and reach out for help, you’ll get your body back in no time. And the idiot will look like a total geek 13 years from now, wearing a knitted sweater and bankers glasses, and be smaller than you.

    2. Stop letting people treat yourself like a doormat. Start thinking a bit more “You get what you give” and don’t give people things like homework for free if they don’t deserve it.

    3. Don’t be so afraid of confrontations, especially with your father. You are already having the worst of trouble now and his behaviour is totally out of line. Show him that.

    4. Look for the cutest clothes, even if you are a bit bigger. Don’t wear the “kiddy” clothes you are wearing now. Take that sewing class you always wanted to take, and the typing class. And put a little make-up on, even if your father doesn’t like it.

    4.5. Start bellydancing now, not in eleven years!

    5. (Allright I know I am cheating). Fight. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)