An Open Letter To My Younger, Toxic, Overweight Self

Today’s post is a guest post by Aster Denisenko of the blog Forward Fitness. This is a very personal (and brave!) account, and one I feel sure you will relate to – at least in part. Over to Aster –

I recently read a great article in a magazine where some well known people (actors, politicians and such), wrote a letter to their younger selves and which got me thinking “What a great exercise to do!”, as in just the last 5 years I had changed career paths, battled some big inner demons and transformed my body, leaving me feeling proud of whom I am today.  So here it is, my letter in all it’s glory to my younger self:

Dear 24 year old Aster,

How are you?  When I ask you that, I mean it, how are you really? I can see you’re a woman in two minds at the moment, one being that you aren’t really happy where you’re at  in terms of your appearance and your job; and the other is that you’re in denial about what you’re doing to put you in this position.  Either way, you’re not committed to change just yet (but maybe I can speed up the process with some well worded advice?).

Because I have nothing to lose, I’m going to be honest with you: I can see past your excuses and quite frankly, the “woe is me, I try and I try but nothing works with losing weight” doesn’t fly with me. Why? Because I AM you, just 5 years older and a lot wiser.

So let’s cut to the chase and really listen to what I’m saying to you.

1. Stop rebelling. You rebel by drinking excessively, you rebel by smoking (remember what a big taboo it was as a child?), you rebel by indulging in food that were off limits to you as a child.  But at the end of the day, who are you really hurting, others or yourself?

2. Stop believing you know it all – you don’t (and the more I learn now, the more I realize I don’t know!).  People are trying to help you, people care about you but the longer you play out this rebellious schtick and not listen to these people, the longer you’ll be unhappy.

3. Evaluate your relationship with food. Do you see food as fuel, friend, enemy or comfort?  Don’t get me wrong, food is here to be enjoyed but in a healthy way where we appreciate how it nourishes us, would you say that’s how you see it currently?  I mean, what exactly is that bowl of ice cream to you anyway?  You might get some short term pleasure, but it’s leading to long term pain when your clothes stop fitting (and trust me, they will!).

4. Evaluate your relationship with yourself! Are you your best friend or your worst enemy?  Looking at your choices that you make, I’m betting that you’re not the best of friends with yourself.  Are you going to choose to write yourself off Friday after work once again or are you going to respect your body and be able-bodied to enjoy the weekend waking hours? Are you going to throw yourself into your work just to block out how unhappy you are or be brave and face your demons?

5. Move past the denial! The whole “I’m ok with how I am” act isn’t fooling anyone, and after awhile you will start to believe this which turns your mind against what you’re capable of.   Don’t you want to be truly proud of who you are, inside and out?  You have so much to be proud of (and you will have so much more once you deal with these sticking points!), it’s just waiting there under the surface to be discovered.

My final point is this: you are one smart gal and are truly capable of anything you set your mind to, so why exactly are you hindering and sabotaging what you could truly be?  You will be absolutely surprised that in 5 years time you are the one helping others with their body weight issues in your career as a personal trainer. As you have experienced so much change by finally dealing with the above points, you questioned what your purpose was in life and set out to make a difference with others experiencing similar issues.

Aster, I hope the above has given you some food for thought and a quick glimpse into what you can become – I more than anyone want you to to realize all that you can be.  Take it from me – it’s time to grow and really discover who you are.  And while this is a little scary, trust me, it’s also really exciting!

Yours in health, mind and spirit,

Aster, (29).

What would you say to the you of 5 or 10 years ago? Please comment below!

14 responses to “An Open Letter To My Younger, Toxic, Overweight Self”

  1. Tanya says:

    Love it! Love it! Love it!
    Excellent post. Excellent idea.
    ” )

  2. Kat says:

    What would I say to the me of 5 years ago??? Stop worrying so much about doing all the ‘right’ things – in training and nutrition yes, but even in my career and my relationships. Listen to your gut and do what intrinsically makes sense!

  3. Rachel Guy says:

    This account is SO true of most women, and i say that from experience as i could have written it myself! 🙂

    • Kat says:

      I know … me too; totally 🙂

      • Aster says:

        Thanks Rachel and Kat, it’s funny in that we often don’t put ourselves first as women, yet when we finally start to do so, we can’t ever imagine not doing so. I’m a big believer in that if you want to be the best “you” you need to do it for yourself (and not for anyone or anything else).

      • Kat says:

        For sure … it can be tough to find that motivation; but so worthwhile!

  4. Lauren M says:

    What a fantastic piece of work from my beautiful little Aster!

    She has done so well for HERSELF and inspires me to want to do better, even if she doesn’t know it ((and it may not seem like it) (I still have the positive little Aster voice popping in my head when I don’t want to do another set!))

    I am going to challenge (read scare) myself and write one to me, 1 and 5 years ago.

  5. Jess says:

    Aster, awesome post! I’ve just come back to the archives and am loving this. Everyone has already said it, but how much do we ALL relate to that! Love the idea of writing a letter to my younger self…I can see that stirring up a few things that might just need some attention:) Thank you!