Second Chances

Today is Groundhog Day, forever immortalized in the 1993 movie as the day of second (and third and fourth) chances.  In the movie, Bill Murray’s character gets to relive that one day over and over again.  Initially he takes advantage of the situation, but eventually he begins to reexamine his life and priorities.  And the movie ends happily ever after.

Last year I asked readers what they’d change if they could go back to any one day in the past and do things differently.  Would you choose to take the chance that you passed up:  the blind date or job offer or new class at the gym?  Or some other missed opportunity?  Would you choose your most embarrassing moment and ensure it never happens?  Would you play the lottery knowing which numbers would win or buy stock that you knew would make you rich?  Would you refrain from eating the cupcake that sent you on a month-long binge?   Would you be more careful exiting the chairlift so you didn’t break a bone?  (Oh, that’s me.)  Would you use the opportunity for personal gain or personal growth, like the character in the movie?  Is there something you would do over – or nothing?

I shared that for myself, I have sometimes imagined how my life might have been if I had done things differently.  If I’d not turned down the invitation to my first girl/boy party.  If I’d gone to a different college, better suited for me.  If I’d not moved halfway across the country.  But then I realize that all that I have done brought me to my life today and the people in it.

But this year I can’t help thinking about where I am on my quest for a healthy lifestyle and what second chances I might take on that journey.  Is there one day I’d live over?  Probably not.  But there are some longer periods of time that I can clearly pinpoint in the last year or two when I seemed to shift from moving forwards to moving backwards.  I’d love to change those.  And I can actually remember some things I ate, yes, the actual food I put into my mouth, that led to a binge that led to a long slippery slope of weight regain.  Would I take a do-over if I could?  Yes, for this I think I would.

So my questions for you today are these:  Is there anything you would go back and change on you road to a healthy lifestyle?  Or anything else in your life you’d like to do over, if you could?



Filed under holidays/seasons/weather, making a change

65 responses to “Second Chances

  1. Karen, such a “meaty” subject & loved the post! I know many say they would not change a thing as it made them who they are today. Me, I have quite a few things I would change, bad mistakes I made, things not done OR done that really were not the right decision looking back. I prefer not to elaborate but yes, I can pick quite a few things I would change.

    • Karen

      When I think about some possibilities for myself it makes me wonder what would have happened if I had gone a different direction.

  2. I don’t feel like that I could go back and change anything. I am given the moment in each and every day to change things….to make a different decision…to try something new…to keep doing something old. It is the freedom of choice.

    Tomorrow, I think I will choose to not have pizza for breakfast 🙂

  3. Oh there are tons of things that I wish had been different but I know now….I have a choice to change it NOW…something I don’t think I honestly believed until the last year or two…

  4. I’m glad that I can’t change anything in the past, because I would afraid that I would just make another mistake! There are choices I regret, but they have shaped and moulded me into who I am. Who says my changed choices would be any better in the long run?

    • Karen

      That last part – good point! And I used to say that my yo-yo dieting, which I would do over if I could, brought me to the blog world:)

  5. I would have stayed conscious of what I ate after I reached lifetime….not let it come back on.

  6. Oh man the list of things I would change is too big to post here lol.

    I love that movie.

  7. I would stop the binge eating and the guilt that I felt. Love the movie too!

  8. Hum. This is difficult. Would I have benefited from going to a different college? Yes. But I met my husband, and BFFs there so – as you said – perhaps thats not the one thing I would choose.

    I think… that I would have seriously started working on art as a craft when I was much younger. Perhaps all of this anxiety about showing my stuff to others would have worked itself out of my system, and I’d be more comfortable with myself now.

    Oh, and perhaps I would have only gotten 1 of my degrees, instead of having a BA and 1.5 maters. Student loans suck!

    • Karen

      It was interesting to me how clear it became that I went to the wrong college when I started looking with my boys a few years ago. But my college led me to grad school which led to my own husband:)

  9. I don’t think there’s any one thing I would go back and change because I love all the lessons I’ve learned as a result. However, if I could go back and change the timing of the lessons, I might do that. It would be great if I could have gotten to this point 10 years ago. But really? It’s all good…

  10. There’s just one thing I would change. In the end, my “other” choice hasn’t detrimentally affected me in a significant way. But I’m still filled with regret at times over it. I judge myself… much more harshly than anyone else ever would. To most people, it’s no big deal. To me, it matters.

  11. I’m with Jody; many things I would do differently. That said, I’ve made peace on all of them, and despite how differently my life might be now had I chosen differently, I’m happy with my life now. I’m wise enough to realize regrets are worthless, except as learning tools. Diet wise, of course, a bunch of choices could’ve been better. and yet, if some of the unwise choices helped me through a stressful time when I had no better emotional tools to survive, I have to respect that, too. I just hope to instill better knee-jerk coping mechanisms, going forward. Still a long way from being there, though. 😉

  12. I definitely would have kicked my ex to the curb quicker…lol. I would have picked a different major in college and taken a promotion that I turned down because my ex did not want to move…stupid me.

  13. Great thought provoking post. Wow – my head is reeling as I think about how my entire life and all therein (choices, actions, thinking) has brought me to the place I am today which I love dearly and for which I am eternally grateful…except my extra pounds, of course.

    The only thing that comes to mind though is my decision to not go straight on to a baccalaureate nursing program after getting my RN from a diploma school. I was more interested in partying my ass off, but I’d always had a desire to go to medical school, and if I’d gone right into nursing, that might have been the next step.

    Also, when I was way down the scale 1 1/2 years ago, I wish I’d questioned the trainer when she had me trying to leg press 300 pounds with my 56 y/o knees. That was the beginning of my knee drama that goes on today. Thanks for a great post – you do come up with good stuff!

  14. Jan

    I would have like to have kept my first “big” weight loss off and remained a size 6/8 since 1992. (Such a smaller loss compare to why I am doing now!)
    The only thing about my life is fun to imagine would have been to pursue tennis professionally then follow up with medicine, but I would have missed all the wonderful people along the way – especially my exceptional spouse.

    • Karen

      Professional tennis!?

      • Jan

        Yep, hard to imagine that I was once an accomplished athlete in many sports. Tennis would have been the logical choice to pursue (given the era) for college and pro, but girls were not encouraged sports-wise that much in the 70’s and medicine was my driving passion. Of course only 10% of my medical school class was female, so women weren’t encouraged much in science either… Whatever, I lived my dream as a doc.

  15. How timely,we are watching this now. For myself basically the do over I would like is the day where I decided it was Ok to go from fit and healthy to unhealthy. It all started with that one day, that day i would like back.

  16. Ewa

    I am one of those, I would not change a thing people but at the same time I am so curious about what if…

  17. You know there are many days I wish I could change, but not on the road to my healthy lifestyle, since I think there were too many small changes over years that lead me to where I was. I think in the rest of my life there are more life-changing moments that have huge impact all by themselves…

    Polar’s Mom

  18. I don’t think I would change anything…except to maybe “get with the program faster.”


  19. New Here! Love your style!

    I have lots of days I think I’d like to go back and change…but much like you…I am glad of where I am now and the people in my life now…so I really wouldn’t want to change anything after all.

    But yep…food…would definitely want to avoid certain things and make better choices.

  20. I often feel like I should have chosen a different career. I’m in IT, but often think a more meaningful, community based career would have suited me better. Something where you feel like you are making an impact on peoples lives. School teaching, police, fireman, something like that.

    • Karen

      What strikes me about this is that you still could find a way to make an impact like that! Like volunteering to teach illiterate adults, for example. I have read many times that giving back like that makes us actually feel better about ourselves. I keep asking if there is something altruistic that I would like to do that would benefit others. Thanks for reminding me.

  21. You know, I’ve thought about this exact topic a lot over the past couple years. I have three boys and had always wanted a girl (not that I could do anything to change that by going back mind you). What I’ve slowly realized though, is that things may not always turn out the way you had originally planned them to, but they most certainly always turn out the way they were meant to be.

    thanks so much for taking the time to stop by my blog this morning and leave such a thoughtful comment. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

    • Karen

      I always thought I’d have one of each so was surprised when my second was a boy. But now I can’t imagine anything different. And we’ve sailed through the teen years. Sometimes I wonder if we should have had a third. But back then I sooo was not ready.

  22. Wow! I think if I could go back to a day and change it, it would be the day that I convinced myself that it was okay to get a cheeseburger, french fries and a blizzard from Dairy Queen. It’s weird that I can remember the day at all…but I feel like that day was a turning point…a really bad one. It was my first semester in college when it happened. For my whole life, or at least as far back as I could remember, I struggled with my weight. I was never fat, but I was always a little heavier than my friends. I was just more curvy than girls my age…I would love to be that “curvy” now…lol. Anyway, I always watched what I ate and stayed active to help combat my slow metabolism. Before that day at Diary Queen, I wouldn’t have even thought about going through a drive through to get a bag of greasy food! I always made the healthier choice and got a salad or a chicken sandwich, but for some reason I convinced myself that day, that eating a burger and fries…and ice cream, wouldn’t kill me. I would work it off. After that day, it became more and more acceptable for me to eat the bad stuff…and 14 years later – here I am…weighing about 100 pounds more than I did that day. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have stuck with the healthier choices and not started my addiction with fast food. 😦

  23. There’s only one thing I would have changed, and that would be getting better care for my feet/knees/legs to prevent injuries that sidelined me along the way. Otherwise, all good with my choices here! 🙂

  24. It was a hamburger from Mooyah, last year on July 4 weekend. I had been doing so great, health-wise, but had just been rejected by a boy I liked and decided I deserved that hamburger. If only I had stopped there. If only. I feel sick when I think about where I would be today if I hadn’t let that hamburger open the gateway to months of bad eating habits. Or maybe I would undo getting involved with that boy to begin with. Nah, he was fun.

    • Karen

      OMG – I have my own July 4 eating story. Two summers ago I was at my goal weight and spent the weekend with extended family at a lake house. They brought crap which I ate and then it started my slippery slope of regaining.

  25. Nothing I would change, but I’d love to relive that moment when I stepped on the scale and had blown past my goal weight. 🙂 Or any of the moments that people I’ve known for eons didn’t recognize me. Now, everyone’s used to the new me. Maybe I should shave my head or something to get their attention. LOL

    Great topic, Karen, and one I thought about this a.m. when reminded it was Groundhog Day.

  26. Oh I absolutely would change one day — that was the day I was helping a neighbor dig up a small tree. We had dug and dug but some roots were still holding it in the ground, so I was pulling and pulling on it. Clint saw what I was doing and yelled at me to stop or I’d hurt my back. I told him I was okay….then I promptly injured my back. That was the beginning of my long, long relationship with pain killers and muscle relaxers. Over the year following my injury, I spent most of the year in bed in terrible pain and gained about 60 pounds. Sure wish I could have a do-over with regard to that day.

  27. Great topic, Karen. I’d have made healthier choices if I had a do-over, my I wouldn’t trade my family in for anything! Cheers, Rick

  28. I don’t think I’d change anything.

    I mean, I don’t think I could ever be like, “You know what? No McDonalds today. Instead I’ll have a carrot.”

    I should probably exercise more though.

  29. Well, since having a child, I couldn’t ever want to change one moment, even the hard ones or, as you said, I may not be right where I am at this moment which is mostly heaven.

    But, as to health… oh yeah. It would have to be a period of time rather than one day, but yep.

    • Karen

      I am sighing as I think of some parenting things I’d go back and do differently. Fortunately, my boys turned out great, IMO, despite me:)

  30. Absolutely! I would go back to the days that I stopped paying attention to my weight gain and it got out of control. I know when it happened. Now I have to take control since I just read that sentence and realized I could and should STOP being out of control now, huh!! VERY through-provoking question.

  31. Miz

    lovelove that movie (we have a GHD party every year. it’s this saturday :)) and yet for me Id change nothing.

    Its so trite but for me it is entirely true that all my little missteps have made me the misfit I am today.
    and I kinda love that misfit.


  32. The only thing I would have changed is learning what I know now back before my health got so bad that I was disabled for 10 years…I just thank God I found this path and took it!

  33. You bet! Right now I’d like to be able to go back to when my current 17 year old was younger and parent him differently.

    • Karen

      I just shared with someone else that I would change many things I did parenting my kids. But, fortunately, both turned out okay despite me:)

  34. How can I go back and choose just one thing, heh. I think I would stick with this choice internship I had after college – it would have been my gateway into the high-end magazine world. Instead, I took a crappy job at a yucky local newspaper, which was my gateway into obscurity!

  35. Oh, there are so many things I’d love to do over. But if I did, wouldn’t they change my life’s path? If that’s the case, I guess I’ll have to live and let live. And give myself a tiny bit of grace.

  36. Karen, this is one of my favorite posts of yours! Not least because I love the movie Groundhog Day :).

    I’ve made lots of mistakes in my life, some of which have had lasting negative consequences (like smoking for several years before quitting…that was a bad idea!). Should I had made different choices? Sure. Do I waste time regretting the ones I did make? Nope. Like lots of other readers have said, I have learned something from all my mistakes. To me, wisdom matters more than perfection.

    • Karen

      You are so wise:) And I will share a story with you about my mom. I hope she doesn’t mind. Recently she had a physical and the doctor commented how great she looked thanks to never having smoked. She love that because she smoked for many years, a long time ago, and was happy to hear that there was evidentally no lasting impact:)

  37. Well there was this one girl…

  38. love this post!! if i could go back and re-live every day WITHOUT FEAR i would definitely do so. then again, they say courage isn’t the absense of fear, it’s about going through with it anyway…

  39. There are things I wish I could change, but the truth is, I know I can’t and try to accept where I am and what has happened before.

  40. I was going to say that I wouldn’t change anything, but then I thought that yes, I would. I would change the day I decided to start losing weight for good, and I wish I could move it back 2 years sooner, because I feel like I wasted many years.

  41. Interesting topic. I have made many life choices almost on a whim, but none that I regret. Bad food choices are water under the bridge (or calories I’ve lived with or burnt off anyway). Parenting decisions are harder to stand behind 100% but like you, my kids seemed to have turned out ok (knock-on-wood) so I will assume that if I didn’t make the mistakes I made I might have made worse mistakes. 🙂

    • Karen

      My mom used to say that I’d make parenting mistakes but not the same ones she did. Since I was so dead set against doing certain things her way:) Like making my boys sit at the table and clean their plates as I had to do.

  42. I love my life, so far. But, yes, there is one thing I would change: start this whole journey to better health a lot sooner, like at least 10 years!

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