One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

WEEKLY QUESTIONS

What 5 things would you tell yourself? (Rewind)

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Weekly QuestionI’m doing a sort of double rewind for this weeks question. About 3 years ago I asked What 5 things would you tell yourself? to help face some stuff from my past. I think as we age we need to remind ourselves where we come from and the experiences we had. It helps us figure out who we are and gives us the ability to look at the present and future differently.

This post isn’t about go back and changing anything. It’s about celebrating what we’ve learned about ourselves and others over the course of our lifetime. Whether we are 25 or 45 our experiences are valuable and they shape who we are today.

Here’s my original post from April 22, 2008 where I rewind to 1991.. NO LAUGHING! ;)

I 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. :~)

I originally got a little humorous on that last one so I’ll add another.

  • Your body is capable of AMAZING things. One day you will have children and realize this. In the mean time treat it and yourself with kindness. Embrace who you are and don’t be ashamed of ANYTHING. Confidence is a hard thing to master. Start now.

ok, NOW it’s your turn. I’m curious what your 5 things are.

Click here to see the comments on the original post as well. Lots of great stuff!



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Discussion

There are 20 comments so far.

    Melody

    March 1, 2011

    I think about this often…

    I would tell myself to stop worrying so much what everyone thinks/stop trying to get everyone to like you all of the time.

    And please, for God’s sake, don’t measure yourself by if a member of the male persuasion will ever take an interest in you. You’ll have a fantastic husband and one great guy is all you really ever need.

    Take those things you love now (for me art related stuff and volunteering) and really enjoy them. Make yourself an expert now so that later you will be even more impressive (with that newfound “not obsessing over boys” time you have.

    Realize that you, like all of your friends and classmates, are beautiful now but unable to see it due to self-doubt and hormones.

    Stop wearing your clothes so big and your shorts so long. Hint: If your grandma would wear them, you probably shouldn’t be wearing them around your friends. (Even if you think it hides your big legs, it doesn’t.)

    And I know this is a sixth thing, but I would also stress HOW MUCH FREE TIME YOU HAVE NOW!!! You can do a million things without interruption or the need for multitasking (like you will have to do as an adult.) Use it now! Be a fantastic student and artist! You have the time to.)

    Eileen

    March 1, 2011

    1. love yourself, if you don’t no one else will. Self confidence. See 3.
    2. Don’t settle for acceptable. Don’t be lazy and accept second best, actually challenge yourself. Once again…stop being lazy.
    3. depression is a disease that can be treated, you don’t have to sad all of the time, and it isn’t normal. Don’t let your mind play tricks on you.
    4. Don’t worry you WILL get away from the crazy dysfunctional family and grow up into a wonderful functioning adult.
    5. All those guys you wanna date in college b/c they feed you some line…just don’t. Stay far far away (promise it will be better for you in the future)

    Lisa

    March 1, 2011

    I would tell myself:
    1. Learn how to eat the right way before it becomes a problem.
    2. Practice positive thinking and stop tearing myself down.
    3. Don’t settle for jerky guys just because I want to be with someone. Wait until the right one comes a long. He’s worth the wait (so true).
    4. Find my voice and use it. Stand up for myself!
    5. Learn to ask for help before it’s too late!

    danielleislosingit

    March 1, 2011

    One of the biggest things I’d tell myself is “you are NOT fat!” Even now, people tell me that, and I dont believe them.

    The other is “Stick to it!” If i had ever stuck to even one of m weight loss plans, I would not be in the situation I am in right now!!!

    Daphne

    March 1, 2011

    Wow… I’ve actually been reflecting on this for a few days now…

    1. Take the time to look past the surface. You have no idea how many wonderful people you never took the chance to meet because they didn’t fit into your clique.

    2. What you consider “honesty” is actually mean spirited bitchiness. Think for a moment and then find a way to be constructive if you have to be critical.

    3. Pay attention to the warning signs. Find another Doctor and follow up.

    4. Develop some depth of character. You are not always going to live a charmed life. Character is what pulls you through the darkest moments.

    5. Mom was right – about everything.

    Natalia

    March 1, 2011

    1. Your mom will be gone way too soon, love her more, blame her less. Work out all your issues with her, because there won’t be a later.

    2. Failure is a part of life. You can’t fail if you don’t try and you can’t succeed either. Put yourself out there and try new things. Don’t worry what other people think about you! It doesn’t matter!

    3. Yes, you ARE worthy!

    4. Everybody is afraid at some point, it’s not about NOT being afraid, it’s about working through the fear!

    5. Your body is fine the way it is. Just keep exercising and being sensible with your food. If you stay on that path you won’t have over 100 pounds to lose when your in your 40’s!

    Mary Nell

    March 1, 2011

    That is so hard to answer! I have to say I love so much of what everyone else wrote, too!

    1. Know yourself and accept who that person is–don’t compare yourself to others. Be confident in your value system and don’t worry so much about what others might think of you because of what you believe.
    2. Don’t spend so much time preoccupied with finding love. At the right time it will find you. Until you are content with who you are, it won’t matter anyway.
    3. Enjoy it! Not having to pay bills, not having to worry so much–you have no idea the value of your greatest “stress” being your next test or whether you will be invited to the next party.
    4. You ARE worthy just because you are you and God made you with a special plan and purpose.
    5. You are beautiful the way you are; enjoy a happy, active lifestyle and appreciate all that your body can do!

    Mindy

    March 1, 2011

    It’s so great to answer these kinds of questions, step outside the day to day grind and think on a higher level. Thanks Roni!

    1. Don’t be afraid to let go, of relationships, jobs, people…letting go can be freeing and life will be more exciting if you don’t hold on too tight.
    2. Take risks. You only get to do this once!
    3. Face your fears, it will make you proud and help you grow so much faster…not to mention the good stories that will come out of it.
    4. Experiment. It’s okay to make mistakes, that’s part of the learning process. Perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
    5. Discover what you love, what makes you float, what helps you check out and tap into your creativity…the world is full of possibilities!

    Nikki

    March 2, 2011

    This is an awesome question that I have often thought about, but never actally wrote out. I agree with Shannan changing just one thing, may change everything that is so important to me today. But I would tell myself this…

    1. Don’t stress so much about finding that perfect guy and having a daughter. All your dreams will come true in this area.
    2. When your Dad dies of cancer at such a young age, know that the turn of events will lead to your new career, husband, and that beautiful baby girl you want so much.
    3. Cherish each and every event in your life, they will be great memories that you can’t ever get back.
    4. When you mom and grandma try to help you with your weight in middle school…listen they want to help you
    5. No matter how good it tastes, don’t eat until you can’t breathe, it won’t help you, and it will be there next time.

    Tara

    March 2, 2011

    1. You are beautiful,
    2. Enjoy your energy level, and looks
    3. Go for your dream Even if it seems impossible
    4. Don’t let men treat you disrespectfully
    5.learn healthy eating habits now

    Laura of Lauralovinglife

    March 2, 2011

    I would go back to 1998, when I really started to let go of myself in college.

    1. Re-take that chemistry class. There was no need for you to ditch the final exam and fail the class. You will regret it if you don’t.
    2. Start doing something fun every day, by yourself and for your own health. Make it a habit. You will LOVE it. Bryan will understand.
    3. Learn about calories in vs. calories out. Every cookie/beer/late night meal from Hardees does count. There are no freebies.
    4. Start meditating. Someday you won’t feel you have the time for it, but you’ll really need it. Now you do have the time, so develop the habit now.
    5. Sara will be okay. Stick with her as best you can through her hard times. It will all turn out alright, but she needs your help.

    Christina

    March 2, 2011

    Good question! I only have two that I really wish I had known. All the others, enjoy life, enjoy your time goes without saying….

    1–don’t let major stress be an excuse to let yourself go. Life can be incredibly hard sometimes but have respect for yourself through it all. Letting yourself overeat doesn’t solve anything.

    2–take pictures during your pregnancy and post-partum. It is a special time you wont get back. So what you are a little chunky, a little tired? Those days are precious!!!

    Tamara

    March 2, 2011

    1) Learn the value of self-control and willpower now. Not just in how you eat, but in your work ethic and future goals. You can accomplish very little without it.

    2) Your dress size, paycheque, and spouse don’t define you, nor do they validate you. You are always worthy of love and respect even if those things aren’t exactly as you want them to be.

    3) YOU WILL NOT BE PERFECT. Ever. The sooner you realize it and stop trying to achieve it, especially in motherhood, the more you will save yourself a lot of unnecessary anxiety and sleep loss.

    4) If you can’t expect perfection from yourself, stop expecting it from others. No one person can be everything to you. Accept those you love even in their failures and commit to loving them for better or worse, flaws and all.

    5) True contentment doesn’t come from any mall, your bank account or a home in Hawaii. If you keep searching for it in material, tangible things, you’ll be searching your whole life. Find it in setting and achieving goals and appreciating every small joy that you experience. And by learning to appreciate the people who love you and are always there for you.

    6) Invest in Apple and this upcoming thing called Facebook. Maybe skip BP.

    mike (@artisticdork)

    March 2, 2011

    I’d say,

    01. Grow some balls kid! Kiss the girl! (or at least let her know you like her)

    02. Don’t get woo’ed by the fancy fine arts department of your school!

    03. Minor in Art Therapy, I know you want to focus on your art, but this will help you in the 2nd semester of senior year when you realize you want to go to grad school for this!

    04. Keep up with the vegetarian eating, you’re losing tons of weight and the family is actually supporting your diet. Keep it up.

    05. Push yourself to the limit with networking, jobbing and interning, the socialization can happen in class and at night, make those connections, don’t focus solely on friendships.

    Tracy

    March 3, 2011

    For me there is one thing and one thing only that I would tell myself over and over an over again: there is absolutely no reason why you need to be perfect. Perfect is a fallacy, and you do NOT deserve the daily abuse you heap on yourself everyday because of your inability to be perfect. You’re best really is good enough.

    Awesome. Now I’m crying….thanks Roni!!! Lol!

    McLauren84

    March 4, 2011

    Wow, reading all these responses definitely got me choked up!

    Shannon

    March 5, 2011

    What a great question…I so loved reading all the posts! There are so many things I would tell myself…way more than 5, but here goes…

    1. It’s going to be okay. Don’t worry so much; everything will work out. What seems so important today won’t be so important tomorrow. Let it go.

    2. Stop trying to be perfect. Don’t drown your sorrows in food. Stop beating yourself up. Get help now for that depression, and stop eating yourself into oblivion. (I still struggle with this one.)

    3. Stop blaming your mom for everything. She is the most amazing woman, and you need to start giving her the credit she deserves. One day you will realize your mom is your hero.

    4. Family is everything. Make time for them…some of them won’t be around much longer. Listen to their stories and take it all in because one day they will be gone and so will all their life lessons and stories.

    5. Love yourself. You are good enough. Be kind to yourself. You are so much stronger than you know. You are in charge of how you allow people to make you feel. You don’t have to let them make you feel bad.

    Laura

    March 5, 2011

    Wow. Loving these responses.. I know I am a bit late in doing this but better late than never. I am twenty three, but still 15/16 seems so long ago!
    Dear 15 year old self in 2003:

    1. You are gorgeous! Don’t keep your hair (that, incidentally, everyone will comment on later) tied up in a boring old pony tail. You are actually pretty. There is no need to hide in hideous clothes handed down from your brother! Those clothes aren’t kidding anyone, and if they were, there is no need because you are not fat!

    2. Quit the job in the pizza shop. Seriously. Yes that entire family size pizza does count, and when you are 23 you will be kicking yourself for eating it most nights.

    3. Be more active. Stick to your walking plans and make it a habit now, before you are 115kg. It’s easier to walk and run and have fun when you are 60kg!

    4. Don’t be so damn jealous of everyone around you. Yes your friends are gorgeous and have boyfriends, but in only 3-4 years you will meet the most amazing man, with whom you will be making plans to marry and start a family with. Someone who pushes you to be the best you can. And is totally hot. Besides, it’s better for you than the short relationships your friends have had.

    5. Everything will fall into place. Eventually. Sure, you might be over weight at 23 but you will be doing something about it- with the support of everyone around you. Enjoy life, don’t take it for granted. You can be whatever you want to be.

    Jessica

    March 9, 2011

    I guess what I would say is:

    1) Don’t worry about everyone elses experiences! You can have your own and you DO NOT have to live up to theirs. Find the simple joy in not having experiences – it is one in and of itself.
    2)SMILE WITH YOUR TEETH!!! You look weird with your mouth closed – smiling with your teeth do not make your cheeks look fatter
    3)Be nerdy – its who you are. Once you embrace it you will love it
    4) You will grow up to be like mom. Don’t fight it – find the good aspects and make those shine
    5) Enjoy – just enjoy everything.

    ted kathan

    August 7, 2011

    1. you are the one
    2. don’t panic
    3. look forward
    4. go grab it
    5. take it down a little bit