Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

How many times have I thought those words to myself during my yo-yo years.  Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

I shoulda never gone off my diet _________ (insert date here); I woulda been thin today and I coulda had this weight thing conquered already.  I shoulda not gone off my diet the time before that.  And the year before that.  And the time before that…

I shoulda started eating healthier years ago.  I woulda been happier and healthier and I coulda avoided a lot of emotional anguish.

I shoulda fed my boys differently when they were little and I coulda still made a difference in their lives.  I woulda not been kicking myself that they don’t eat well and I coulda had an easier time planning healthy meals for us all.  I shoulda experimented more with vegetable recipes and preparation.  I shoulda included them in meals on a regular basis.

I shoulda joined a gym sooner.

I shoulda started yoga years ago.  I woulda been much more flexible now.

I shoulda not had that cookie, that piece of cake, that brownie, that “whatever.”  I shoulda stopped at one.  I shoulda stopped after one day of binging.  I shoulda.

I shoulda not jumped off the chair lift.  I woulda not broken a bone and had months of shoulder recovery.  I coulda been lifting weights and doing yoga instead of physical therapy.  I coulda saved thousands of dollars in medical bills.

I shoulda figured out an alternative to eating when I am bored.  I woulda been less likely to eat if I had something else to occupy my time.  I coulda kept from gaining as much weight.

I shoulda kept going to Weight Watchers after I reached my goal weight years ago.  I woulda not gained back what I lost.  I coulda avoided all the subsequent dieting ups and downs.

I shoulda buckled down and stayed on track last month.  I shoulda met my Spring Challenge goal every week.  I coulda seen a lower number on the scale today.  I woulda had a little cushion going into some weekends away coming up.

I shoulda started my blog long ago.  I woulda found this outlet and community sooner.  I coulda used the support and friendship and motivation:)

The reality is there are many little shoulda, woulda, couldas in my past.  I used to think about them often.  But the past is over.  No sense kicking myself over it.  Hindsight is 20/20 but doesn’t do anything for me going forward.  The only reason to look back is if I am truly using it to learn from my mistakes and to discover what I should, would, could do differently now in my life.  I shall, I will, and I can.  Sometimes it is easier said than done, but I SHALL work on it because I WILL accomplish things if I set my mind to them and I CAN do this!

What about you?  Shoulda, woulda, coulda?  Shall, will, can?



Filed under cheating/overeating, dieting, exercise, goals, history (my past), making a change

33 responses to “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

  1. Oh boy I can relate to this post. I used to do that and it still tries to sneak into brain at times. I’ve learned that type of thinking does me no good. All I have control over is what I do today and the choices I make today. I am doing this one day at a time! 🙂

    I also would get stuck in the trap of thinking I had to do it real fast, lose the weight. I would imagine eating 1200 calories a day, no sugar and exercising 2 hours a day. That would get the weight off real fast. Then I would think to myself, ok if I’m going to be real strict I need to have one last hurrah and I would go get the ice cream and whatever else I wanted to celebrate with. I would eat and eat and eat. I was starting tomorrow. Then I’d wake up the next morning and there would still be more of the food left and of course I couldn’t throw it out so I would start tomorrow. Then I would eat and the food would be gone and THEN I would think, well since I’m starting tomorrow and I would go get more food…..see the pattern here?

    Finally I have learned that the only way to do this is by figuring out what I can live with day to day. That means the weight will come of slow/slower, but it WILL come off! 🙂

    You are doing this! Great post! 🙂

    • Karen

      I had that same pattern… the “I’m starting tomorrow so going to eat whatever I want today” that sometimes lasted longer. Sigh.

  2. I think what you said is very important, that we have to look forward and not backwards at all that we should have done differently. But now is our chance to make sure that in one year when we look back we can say that we are so happy that we did do what we should!!!

  3. Brian

    I think the most poignant part of you post is the importance of endurance. As you said, “Hindsight is 20/20 but doesn’t do anything for me going forward.” One not-so-good meal is only one not-so-good meal. It’s important to keep it in perspective and use any perceived mistakes as learning tools. This is, after all, a lifelong journey. There are bound to be a few bumps in the road, and that’s not such a bad thing. 😉

    @Natalia: Good for you for accepting the slow and steady path. Slow and steady wins the race!

    • Karen

      You know I have never thought of it as “endurance” before. Interesting. And you are so right about stopping at one meal and learning from it.

  4. There are more excuses out there for people than we can count. You wrote a great post!!!! The key is to move on! It is easier said than done at times. The concept is simple but oh so hard for many.. oh, and yes, hard work! 🙂

    People need to stay consistent no matter what.. try to stay away from that 1 month on & off type thing. That is just not going to work if you keep gaining back what you lost.

    It is a lifestyle change… that is for sure!

    • Karen

      I will admit that in May, I was very much inconsistent… one day on, one day off, three days on, one day off. Time to be more consistent again. Gotta find my momentum.

  5. Please tell me you’re not black and blue from beating yourself up! And here’s a contrast for you: last week, I was on a cruise. I was sitting at the pool and trying very hard not to purchase a tall fruity drink in a cool bamboo cup. I finally bought one, rationalizing that if I didn’t have one, I would regret it later. Just throwing that out for you as a different way to think about these things! Crazy, huh?

    • Karen

      Oh that first line made me laugh! I have wondered about this… it there is something I really, really want, am I better off eating that then many other things as a substitute. The jury is still out.

  6. I am so trying to not go there with the could have, should have stuff. When we know better we can do better!

    I am moving forward each day!

  7. I went through a period of time where I had a lot of regret for not starting sooner (or having several false starts). Kind of the “if I had just stuck with it the first time, I’d be 3 years into this and not starting over!”

    Ultimately the best we can do is what we’re doing at the present moment. It took some work but I was eventually able to let go of the regret and focus on moving forward. I can’t change the past but I can alter my future.

    • Karen

      That is so what I said to myself too. But here you are now, and here I am now, and we are working on the future:) Of course I am quite a bit older than you so it took me a few more years. But who’s counting.

  8. I shoulda known I can. I woulda known I shall. I coulda known I will.

    Great post (as always!)

  9. I definitely am getting it done!

    I’m always telling myself “GET R DONE!” lol.

    My fiasco of a weekend turned out to not be so bad- I’m actually half a pound down from the week before.

  10. sunnydaze

    I’m a shoula, coulda, woulda person, too. I love how you switched it around to shall, will, can. I’m going to keep reminding myself of the later 😉

  11. I shoulda known I CAN, I woulda known I SHALL, and I coulda known I WILL do this!

    Great post (as always!)

  12. As the “honeymoon” phase of my weight loss hits(half way there, plateaus getting longer), this post comes at a good time for me. It would be so easy to slip back to complacency – stop monitoring intake, slack (even more than I have been) on physical activity, maybe give up ’cause I’m so freaking old 😉 BUT NO! NOT AGAIN! Not gonna be another “shoulda” time in my life for getting healthy.

    • Karen

      I had such a honeymoon phase myself. If I was looking back with the shoulda, woulda, coulda … I could kick myself when I remember that I went for 10 solid weeks with not one cheat. Not one. Ah well. Honeymoon is over.

  13. Girl…
    This post is so timely! You have NO clue how often I, too, play this game. You’re right; this game gets us NO WHERE!!! Thank you, thank you for the reminder. The only thing that we can do is live for today!!! Stay tuned…you just inspired me to right a similar post!!!!

  14. I’ve done this for years. Even now I have to put my regrets behind me because they try to push to the forefront of my mind very frequently.

    Great post!

  15. I am definitely guilty of the shoulda, coulda, wouldas…

    It’s really hard to push those thoughts out on days I’m feeling down.

  16. One of the most awkward questions I get from people is, “Do you regret not losing weight earlier?” Well, yes, of course I wish I’d found my way sooner in life, but I didn’t. And who’s to say that I’d be the person I am now if I had lost the weight earlier? I’ve learned a lot and am just accepting where I am right now, this minute.

    So yeah, no more shoulda-coulda-woulda from me!

    • Karen

      I guess I am a bit amazed that anyone would ask that! You know what actually occurred to me a while back (but not when writing this post)? If I had been successful before, any of my many times on a diet, I would not have started my blog and not discovered you and the rest of the blog world. Maybe things happen for a reason. Maybe.

  17. Wonderful post We are working on eating healthier… less processed food!

  18. Isn’t it crazy how much we beat ourselves up over the past? I used to diet and then break my diet and then my woulda/shoulda/couldas were all about the food I MISSED when I was dieting, since I ended up at the same place anyway! Something is clearly wrong with my brain.

    I think a lot of that regretting the past and dreaming of the future serves one very damaging purpose: never allowing me the present.

    • Karen

      I have seen others talk a lot about being in the present. I don’t think I do that enough. Really BEING here. Something else to work on.

  19. Genie@dietof51

    All that. Coulda wrote this one myself, but you said it best!

  20. My biggest should have is to have done something about my weight when I first started gaining. I don’t know what I was thinking. 😦

  21. There are plenty of shoulda-woulda-couldas in my life. But as you say, they are in the past. Hopefully, the decisions I make NOW will eliminate or lessen the shoulda-woulda-couldas in the future.

  22. Pingback: Waisting Time , Archive » Feeling the Heat

I love comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s