Have you ever seen an episode of StarGate? The series is no longer being produced, but a few years ago, I watched it faithfully. Yes, I am a Sci-Fi geek! In the show, the people had a ''StarGate'' that they could step through and travel to another planet within a matter of minutes. They were explorers traveling from earth to various locations in the universe. Periodically – okay, in most episodes – they would stumble across bad guys intent on destroying life as we know it and they would have to protect the earth or face certain disaster. On a few occasions, they would write themselves notes telling them not to go to Planet XYZ and throw it back into the Star Gate to their past self. The past self could then decide the note was a warning and take Planet XYZ off the gate system so no one would ever travel there, thereby averting the disaster in the first place. They would then go on their merry way exploring other new worlds.
Can you imagine what it would be like if we had the power to send ourselves a note into the past? When I thought about this I knew exactly where in my past I would have sent it and what I would have said. When I was in high school I swam for two teams (school and city league), but after my senior year I just stopped. The junior college I started out at didn’t have a team. I quickly gained the freshman 15-20lbs. That started the yo-yo cycle that became a substantial part of my adult life. It progressed from the 15-20 all the way up to the 90-100 lb mark.
I remember sitting at my best friend’s kitchen table my freshman year in college with a food magazine, talking about some of the meals I was going to make after my ''diet'' was over. Her dad looked at me and said, ''You can’t eat that way and expect to keep the weight off; you have to eat healthy." At the time, I was young, naïve, and truly didn’t think he knew a thing about what he was talking about. Now I look back and realize he has never had a weight issue his whole life and he did know what he was talking about. He was offering me wisdom that I didn’t see and didn’t accept.
My note would go back in time to my last swim meet and I’d tell myself: ''Don't quit! Find a school with a team, or find some other sport. Learn healthy eating habits and don’t gain the weight." You cannot imagine how much food I could consume while swimming long distance races for two teams and working out eight times a week, typically swimming between 25-40 miles. I was the tall, skinny girl who would eat everyone's leftovers when coach took the team out to dinner. I didn’t know that once I stopped, I couldn’t continue to eat that way.
What note would you send back to your past self? More importantly, what note would you write for yourself for tomorrow? I think mine would say that no matter what has happened in the past, it’s a new day. Nothing can hold me back from reaching my goals as long as I’m determined. Life is about choices and I can make good ones. I saw a poster somewhere recently that said ''you always have choices - the one where you work out is better." I’d encourage myself all over again not to make excuses, to study and learn more about nutrition and exercise. I’d remind myself that on days where I just don’t have it mentally or emotionally that I should go on SparkPeople and read motivational blogs. I can’t tell you how many times that has pulled me up out of the depths of despair and gotten me back on track.
And if I had a chance to write you a note… oh wait. I do! Dear You – don’t give up. I know it’s hard. I’ve been there – repeatedly. I know it’s easier to give in and think it’s just for today, just for this meal, just this last time. Easier doesn’t get you the results that you want, does it? You can do this! Make it fun, make it just for you, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Be happy. Be healthy. You are worth it!
If we ever get to the point in time where we have a StarGate, I’ll use it. Until then, I guess I’ll have to stick to blogs and post-it notes to remind myself where I should go and what I should do.
What do you want to write on your note for yourself for tomorrow? Is there something in your past that you just need to let go of so you can move on into a new future? Today is a good day to move on and to chase your dreams.