So I get asked a lot if I have before and after pics. And I always think “before what? after what?” Because of course this life is a continuous journey. There is no stop and start, except the first and last one. Yesterday is before. So is last week. Or last month.
I know that when they ask this they are thinking about before I started on my food plan, but what does that mean?
I’m going to see a doctor next week that I haven’t seen before my 2/2013 operation. I know she will be pleased that I’ve lost weight, but she won’t know how much because since I last saw her I gained about 40 pounds and then lost over 70. In her eyes, I’ve lost about 30 lbs, but that is just a tiny part of the picture.
And then in September, I’m going to a high school reunion. Now that’s a funny one. I’m about 15 lbs heavier than I was when I graduated high school. I’m about 30 lbs less than my 10 year reunion. About 30 lbs heavier than my 20 year reunion. About 15 lbs less than my 25 reunion. You know what is funny and sad: That I remember my approximate weight for each reunion. What a waste of brain cells. So are people going to look at me and think “Wow, she got fat” or “Wow, she got fit?” I guess it depends on what version of me they remember. Actually, chances are they are going to be thinking about themselves and if they look fat, or bald, or old, or whatever.
If you think nailing down a before is hard, how will I ever come up with an after? Obviously I would like to freeze time at that most perfect moment of fitness, when I’m at my lowest weight, but my best strength. How will I know when I get there? And what about the minute after that? And the day after that? And the month or year after that? I’ve lost over 100 lbs before. It didn’t make me happier. It didn’t last.
Here’s the thing: There is no after. There is no before. There is only now. I can only change the decisions I’m making now. Do I run or not? Do I make sure I eat my breakfast or not? Do I have popcorn and beer for dinner or not? (It’s a thing, really)
I can’t change what I did or didn’t do yesterday. That is done. I can only plan for what I want to do or not do tomorrow, but until tomorrow is now, I can’t know if I stuck to my plan or not. The only thing I can change is right now. This minute. Today.