While lying in bed early one morning – scrolling through my social media feeds in between yawns and eye rubs – I stumbled upon a sight most perplexing. It was a post made by a girl whose fitness journey and transformation I had been casually following for the better part of a year.
Every week or so, in the months leading up to that morning, I often clicked, tapped and mentally applauded her progress as it displayed in my feed. I found myself smiling at every video documenting the beads of sweat dripping from her forehead and onto her yoga mat as her baby slept peacefully nearby. “I can’t say enough about what the Tracy Anderson Method has done for my body,” she often raved.
She boasted more than 40 pounds of weight loss, along with having made the once far-fetched dream of a flat stomach a victorious reality. Her will and determination were as impressive as her gorgeous selfies.
On this particular day, however, I was taken aback to learn that she had departed from the Tracy Anderson train. Yep, and she had taken all of her luggage along with her. In fact, she seemed to be one post away from lighting a torch and setting that train on fire.
She had begun a new workout program – one which promised her ultimate fitness-performing horsepower. This compelled her to list all of the reasons why the Tracy Anderson Method was inadequate in comparison to her latest venture. There was no mention of how it had jumpstarted her fitness lifestyle or gifted her with a renewed sense of direction. There was not a mere nod of credit to it having encouraged productivity on her days off or having been the vehicle which introduced her to the emotionally therapeutic aspects of exercise. Nope.
On this day and within this post, she was brazenly sharing all of the reasons why her new venture was guaranteed to put her former workout guru to shame and, ultimately, be the mighty carriage to the body of her dreams.
Sayonara, baby. Out with the Tracy Anderson Method and in with the new.
She had stepped onto a new fitness train, and it was as though she was glancing backwards at the one she had just departed from with an air of condescending mockery, irreverence and disregard. In fact, “throwing shade” seemed to be her most skilled activity of choice. Never mind that the train she was so passionately derogating had brought her safely to her current destination – 40 pounds lighter, tighter, more mentally disciplined and overall healthier.
You Don’t Have to Hate the Ghost of Who You Were In Order to Celebrate Who You Have Become
We forget that it is unnecessary to assault our previous endeavors, lifestyles and stances in order to crown our new ones the heroine. We can stand in full support of something – even bowing at its altar – without bashing its opposite. Can we not?
The bottom line is this: Hating your mistakes is not a necessary ingredient for radical, permanent change. We don’t have to set any bridges on fire or burn any love letters. How about making peace with even the sloppy mess of it all?
Does A Butterfly Hate The Caterpillar it Once Was?
I recently observed a heated debate in regard to an acquaintance approaching her year anniversary of having adopted a vegan lifestyle.
“I find it almost impossible anymore to be friends with people who eat meat,” she declared to every listening ear – brows furrowed and expression sour. One of her closest friends intercepted the conversation, seeming bruised and offended, reminding her that for the first 30 years of her life, she had unapologetically indulged on fast food milkshakes, hot dogs and steak dinners.
“Two Christmas parties ago, your sausage ball consumption put everyone to shame, girl, ” her friend snapped back.
And she was right. My mind called upon a Facebook album I had seen of my vegan acquaintance and her husband on their honeymoon in Italy a few years prior. There were images documenting the giddy happy sharing a prosciutto pizza the size of their torsos. Mind you: this was before she had been exposed to the information which upgraded her lifestyle. And, truly, her transformation was inspiring. But, she had once been the exact person she was now so passionately chastising and casting away.
Would she have appreciated it a few years prior, before she “knew better,” if one of her friends had deemed her so disposable?
I doubt it.
How easy we forget that we don’t have to slay the person we are ashamed of having been, in order to celebrate the person we are proud to have become.
Perhaps the highlight reels of our past appear more like edits on the cutting room floor in comparison to what we are now projecting, but why must we bash or criticize those who are where we have been before? There may be aspects of our stories which now seem barely recognizable but, good or bad, they brought us to our current ventures. And, each stop along the way played a role in our evolving.
Every past experiences gifted us with a layer of the awareness we are now armored with. Even the worst scenarios and most humiliating blows of ignorance are blessings because they served as our wake-up calls. They called us to grow and to transform. They carried us through every discomforting transition. It’s like this: Should a butterfly be repulsed by the caterpillar that it once was?
I think not.
Even If You Had A Bumpy Ride, You Arrived Didn’t You?
The train you departed from delivered you to your current destination, and whatever train you are currently on will do the same for your next phase of life.
You don’t have to hate the train you stepped off of – especially when a layer of its dust is still present on your shoes. You didn’t wreck, did you? Even if its seats were falling apart and its engine smelling of fumes, give it a fond glance of gratitude. It brought you here.