Thursday, January 30, 2014

We don't wish we didn't.

Last April I decided I didn't want to carry around 15 pounds too much. I was embarrassed the BMI machine read my weight-height-fat ratio and called me obese (despite not feeling so). Instead of being sad about it, I put my mind to losing said extra pounds. And I did.

But in doing so, I bred a calorie counting, food stigmatizing self. Carbs are the devil, you know. Not a self that everyone else knows, but a secret self that partakes then drowns in guilt. Why that extra breadstick? Did you have to celebrate with a glass of wine AND cake? Two servings without a run this morning, puh-lease.

I was a great pretender. I told myself I was allowed to celebrate, to take a cheat meal once a week, that part of the joy of life is food and drink. But, the guilt always left a bitter taste in my mouth and soul.

Then December came. And I decided to share in ALL THE THINGS that were a part of my mom's fiftieth birthday. Cheesecake, dirty martinis, Italian food. A week in Mexico with the family was a break from beating myself up over what goes into my body. Margaritas, quesadillas, ceviche, galore. Christmas dawned on us quickly and the day was spent eating and imbibing. Delicious for my stomach and my soul.

Just after New Year's on a morning run, Mama Bird and I ran together feeling slower than normal. Talking about the joy that was Mexico, the fun that was a surprise party, the beauty that was Christmas day as a family. Not once did we mention how we wish we hadn't. That we wish we hadn't enjoyed those chips and salsa, hadn't loved those morning Bloody Marys, hadn't had that extra serving of stuffing. No, we didn't.

And, as we are on the verge of homeownership, I realize we could have been here earlier in our marriage. We could have skipped those two cruises to Mexico, the family vacations done big time, the cocktails on the beach and the horse rides through the jungle. But we don't wish we didn't. We made memories that were joy-filled, adventure laden, love wrought. And though we, at times, beat ourselves up for not hitting the numbers faster, making the savings larger, doing things just a little bit lesser, there is no regret.

So, let's skip the guilt trip, the beating oneself up, and do a little bit more of what we don't wish we didn't.

31 comments:

  1. life is too short to not do things! do them, enjoy and build memories.

    kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  2. YES TO THIS! I get the importance of being healthy and fit but I just love good food or drink shared with people too much to care as much as I should. I know that my husband and I would have so much more in savings if we stopped doing so many of the little things that make us happy, but then what would we do? Spend weekends on the couch? While I love me a lazy weekend, those are not the times in my life I remember.


    Also, did you love MWF Seeking BFF? I thought it was great!

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  3. I love this. I hate it when people enjoy something, obviously, and then complain about how they shouldn't have done this or that. You're allowed to enjoy life!

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  4. I love this idea! Making memories and enjoying your life is way more important anyway!

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  5. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvJanuary 30, 2014 at 7:23 AM

    Life is too short --- I never want to regret anything that made me feel full of love. Counting calories turns ME into the devil :)

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  6. i adore this. my mom always taught me to think this way. don't ever wish you didn't do something, just enjoy the life that has been lived and continue to move forward.

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  7. oh yes, completely agree. when making memories with loved ones it's always the best way to look at it. never wishing we didn't. love that!

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  8. I love this idea! Life is so short, and living with regrets or 'what ifs' is the easiest way to make it stressful. We'll all get to where we're going, regardless of how we get there.:) It's the journey that makes the story worth telling.

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  9. I think it's a good sign that you can reflect on your marriage choices and diet habits with such maturity and understanding of what needs to be better. That's an awesome place to be, that a lot of people never get to. I agree, skip the guilt trip and keep the mindset you have now, because I think you'll start to see a huge leap forward compared to the previous pace! Congrats on homeownership :)

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  10. theblahblahblahgerJanuary 30, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Slow clap!!!


    Rather than living in the what if or someday, we need to live in the NOW! This is a lesson I learned a few years ago that I'm constantly reteaching myself. SO important!

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  11. Amber, you continue to amaze me with how insightful you are (and such an awesome writer!) This is so spot on. I am constantly plagued with money guilt in particular as I tackle paying for grad school and I think, "I really could have so much more saved up right now." But that would have meant not taking my first vacation with my boyfriend to Jamaica and not visiting my best friend who now lives in Sweden and I wouldn't trade those memories for all the tuition money in the world. I love your balanced outlook on life :)

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  12. perhaps it is about more living and less restricting because we know the opposite of living so vividly. and it isn't the food or the drinks but those memories that bind us together that create that space called living...and in the end, those are all we have to take with us. and you forgot to mention the AMAZING ceviche we dared to try and LOVED! we are brave. love you!

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  13. and embracing the moments are so dear and bear the essence of life-which we so vividly know the opposite of. and you forgot to mention the amazing ceviche we tried & loved! love you & so glad we did every last bit of it...even the water/bagel incident because now that is just something to giggle about.

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  14. omg yes yes yes. you cant change the past,, and most likely had fun doing it. so celebrate it.

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  15. I needed this today. It is so so true, and I know this, but I needed to hear it from someone else. Thanks for that.

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  16. Life is just too short (like Kathy said!!)

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  17. This is the exact right attitude to have. Enjoying life is so important!

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  18. Love your perspective on this! Such a great way to look at it.

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  19. I guess this was a more complicated way to say YOLO?


    But really, how much smarter does we don't wish we didn't sound?!?

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  20. I love being healthy and working out and feeling fit... But I do it mostly so that I can have weekends full of fun and good food and drink and memories. SO THERE. :)


    I liked the book and felt inspired by it, but felt like it got a little bit repetitive at the end.

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  21. I think the enjoyment is FAR more valuable and beautiful than any level of guilt... But it's a process allowing yourself those fun loving moments! :)

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  22. Oh girl, I go NUTS over them... And it's not just me who becomes completely miserable by it. Jason becomes my second in command of calorie counting, and he HATES that position.

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  23. And you with your 37 year old photo shoot manage to remind me of this lesson OVER and OVER and OVER again.


    But why do we have to keep teaching ourselves such valuable things like this?!?

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  24. It so IS about the journey being worth story telling... And the more rules and fences we create for ourselves the less of a service we are doing to that adventure novel in the making! :)

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  25. It's a lesson, a state of reflection, that I'm constantly reminding myself of... I waver in the way that I feel about things based on my mood and the moment, but having it written down will SURELY help me in keeping my mind right! :)

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  26. Oh Trisha, I'm so glad... SO GLAD. It's funny because I need it so many days STILL. :) So funny how I can feel so clear in it all one moment and then so confused and down on my choices the next. :) Let's remind each other more often!?!

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  27. "you can't change the past... so celebrate it." LOVE. Especially because some days I just burn with the desire to change the past in one or two ways... But then the memories and adventure wouldn't be as poignant and fun.

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  28. CEVICHE, CEVICHE, CEVICHE. Which I wish for once again. Too bad some of the drinks gave one of us a little "forgetful" memory devoid of hammocks full of fun... But still lovely and fun nonetheless. Love love love your brave soul.

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  29. Oh Brit, those trips, sound SO lovely. So lovely. Isn't it lovely how easy it is to not question such choices... Especially now that you realize how important they were for your friendships and such. :)


    You are so dear to me sweet girl. (Also, I've been lifting a bit more at the gym and always think of you)

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  30. I have come to realize that when I'm simply enjoying and not worrying or hating the choices I've made, the weight gain doesn't happen... Like in letting do, the calories just don't STICK the same way. :)

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