I've been recovering in and following the principles of a 12-step program for more than 15 years. A phrase from one of our books says:
"We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it."To me, that means what's done is done. Let's learn from our mistakes – and successes – and move on. I've tried to be mindful of that this year, because I've spent so much of the past several years feeling frustrated about my inability to release excess weight.
Another important recovery concept is that of living one day at a time. I know it's trite, but I really only have this day, and I really should make the best of it, because I'll never have it again.
Sometimes it's challenging to always do the next right thing. I've had some good examples to follow, though, and my Inner Bitch doesn't come out quite as often as she used to. I'm more comfortable staying calm, thinking things through, making a plan and following through with it, than I am pitching a fit [is that a Southern expression, or do people all over the country/world use it?] and creating chaos.
My motto used to be "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space." Now? Not so much.
I'm not very comfortable looking ahead, not knowing what will happen. I can "plan the plan, not the result." But past experience can show me what might be likely to happen.
For the next six months – and beyond – I can pretty much count on a fit, healthy body and mind if I continue to nourish it properly and exercise it regularly. I don't want my future to look anything like those of my parents and grandparents.
My mother died at 59, of cancer. She wasn't particularly active, fought a lifelong battle with her weight and probably suffered from depression.No, I don't want my future to look like theirs. I want no – or at least few – limitations on what I can do, how comfortably I can do it, how far I can go. There are no guarantees in life; I don't know what's going to happen today or tomorrow or next week or 10 years from now. But if you keep on doing what you always did, you'll keep on getting what you always got.
Her mother died at 90, of pancreatitis, COPD and emphysema. The last 10 years of her life she sat in a chair, watching television and her birdfeeder, tethered to an oxygen tank. She had severe osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, and could break a bone walking from the living room to the bedroom.
My grandfather died in his late 60s of heart failure and cirrhosis. What I remember most about him was his impressive temper.
My father is 76, has had two knee replacements which didn't help his pain or mobility and takes a handful of prescription medications two or three times a day. He has to control his blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes with pharmaceuticals. He's too heavy and in too much pain to even walk one block. [Fortunately, he has a wonderful outlook on life, in spite of his physical limitations.]
If I keep doing what's good, what's true, what's right, I can pretty much count on more of the same.
So can you.