Have you ever seen the Hot Tub Time Machine? It’s a sci fi comedy in which four men who are thrust back to 1986 are trying to return to 2010. Ultimately they find the way back, but while three men return one stays behind. The movie ends with the three discovering that the one who remained has changed history. For the better, of course. Happily ever after.
When we look back at our past thinking “if only I’d known” or “I should have done, said, not done” we set up a premise that assumes the right information changes our behavior.
Women who dislike their bodies remember defining moments in childhood. Careless comments from a parent or teacher. Mean words on the school yard playground. Comparisons made. Those words sunk in. And became fuel for a struggle with weight and body image. And now they are the ones with the careless comments and mean words. Towards their own body.
We often think that if we could go back and erase those comments, or have someone who cared and cultivated a positive self-image in us, that we wouldn’t be struggling with our weight. But who knows? The Hot Tub Time Machine doesn’t exist.
But pretend it did. That’s no guarantee.
You see, we believe that if we went back with all of the wisdom we have today that we wouldn’t eat all the cookies, drink all the wine, push the snooze button, pick apart our bodies or waste hours scrolling through toxic social media posts.
But that’s a lie. Because now we know. We know what will lead to a better body and improve our physical and mental health in the next 6-12 months. In the next ten years. It doesn’t mean we do it. Most people don’t.
Wishing for a different past wastes the future. And the present. Acknowledge the past hurts. Feel the feelings. And let them go.
What if you decide that whatever happened in the past – all the $h!t you wish hadn’t – has actually prepared you for this exact moment of radical self-care?
Rather, design a different future. One defined by what you know now, not hampered by what occurred back then. Then, go create your future.