Friday, October 22, 2010

"There Are No Fresh Starts..."

“…Life just goes on.” – Mad Men

I keep thinking of this quote as I’m reading other peoples blogs lately. People love the idea of a fresh start. Throwing off all of the bad decisions, wrong assumptions, and poor choices. Just letting them all wash away and thinking they’ll find perfection this time. But what they aren’t thinking about are what they learned from those things that they’ve done in the past. Why would you want to get rid of the wisdom learned from all those mistakes you’ve made? I think we all forget about that. I totally get that we can be weighed down by these things – very literally in most of our cases – but the truth is that they happened and the best thing you can do for yourself is LEARN and do better going forward. The times we can make changes are every moment of every day – we just have to do it. That’s the key to all of this weight loss stuff.

I can’t say that I’m thrilled about having grown up overweight – I was a chunky little kid and it caused some of the worst moments of my life. But looking back on it now, I realize how much I’ve learned from it:

Compassion and empathy – yes, I’m not always perfect towards others without a doubt, but I’m able to put myself in others shoes and understand that I don’t know what they’re dealing with so it’s not my place to judge (even though sometimes I do. Hey, I’m human!)

Gratefulness – There’s really too many things to mention, but suffice it to say, that I wouldn’t want to be anyone other than myself. For all my trials and tribulations, I have an amazing life, and wishing to be someone else because they’re thinner or prettier is just flat out stupid. Those people have just as many issues, just different ones, and no guarantee that they’ll never be fat

Healthy skills – This is the big one in terms of this blog. Being fat for what feels like forever has given me mad skillz in terms of health stuff. I’m still overweight, but significantly less than I used to be. In fact I’m actually below average in weight for an American woman (that’s still overweight tho, but I take the good stuff where I can). I know the keys to taking good care of myself, getting to a normal weight, and staying there – and I know how to put them to good use.

Now think about it – if I hadn’t been forced to learn to eat more healthfully and exercise when I was younger, to have to repeat those behaviors over and over until I got them right, I could have ended up like so many people who have a great metabolism when they’re young. They eat garbage and play videogames, but then blow up like a balloon when they get older. This is kind of a bizarro way of looking at it – yes, it would be nice if I had been naturally slim, but I wasn’t, and I got something out of it. I made a choice to learn from it and move forward in a better way.

Seeing people repeatedly want that fresh start is really frustrating because to me that says that they don’t want to have to learn from their mistakes. They just want those mistakes to disappear. To never have happened in the first place. But they did. So the real question is - what are you going to do next?


  1. I love this post.. Thanks for the wakeup this morning..

  2. Hi Maude, I found you through Allan's blog. Everything makes me think of song lyrics, and your post makes me think of the Indigo Girls "what makes me think i could start clean slated the hardest to learn was the least complicated"

    Cathy @

  3. Great insight. I especially agree with the compassion and empathy part.

  4. Just ran across your blog via another blogger...Great post!

    Also, I see you are from Seattle. I'm over in Redmond, so glad to meet another local blogger. :)

  5. Hey Maude! What an awesome post, thanks for the inspiration :)


  6. I love that you are grateful for where you've been instead of whining about why you can't do anything about it.
    I'm glad Alan sent me over.

  7. I thought you might like some company..

  8. Thanks Allen! I really appreciate it :)