Is Taking a Step Backwards Bad?
It would be helpful to have some context to apply with the question above. That being said, let’s get started.
Imagine you are struggling with weight gain year after year, gaining 150 lbs. of extra weight over a 3 year period. You recognize your diet is out of control but you’re so busy you just can't stop the downward spiral. Then you were diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes that has gotten so severe, you've been on insulin for 3 years now. Don't worry; the story is going to start looking brighter.
You've hit your bottom and decided you're tired seeing the doctor on a regular basis, only to be given more medicine, then be told to eat less and exercise more. It seems to be an expensive tape recording being played over and over. It’s time to make a change, and you do it. You join a clinic, (HTC) where you lose 110 lbs. in 11 months and are able to kick the medications that had been piling up. Life seems to have turned around. You're driving your health again. You’re feeling great. Your medical costs are a fraction of what they used to be.
Then boom!!! Your 30 year-long marriage is over and your aging mother passes away. You can see the doors of this dark hole you closed so many years ago open up. Your heart drops as if in an elevator free falling to an endless bottom. Everything is happening so fast you can't keep work straight. Your alarm is going off, and you realize you just came to bed after being sucked into the TV for the past 12 hours. Your diet is the last thing you can even think about. You turn to your comfort of grabbing food, on the go eating, (whatever is around!) because it's easy and you don't have to think about it. Before you know it, 8 months have passed, you've gain 60 lbs. Your blood sugars are climbing, but you don't know that from checking them, you know because you're feeling terrible and notice something is off. So you go to your doctor because you know you're off.
Now reality hits. Your diabetes has come back and you're going to need to get back on the medications. You see that you've gained 60 lbs. back, and now can no longer get the knee replacement you've desperately needed. This is when I ask you, what are you going to do? Now you realize this is a choice you made. A choice that is absolutely reversible. You can choose to continue the negative thoughts, now adding regret, anger, and disappointment. Or you can step back look at the big picture. See how you can accept what has happened, learn from these choices, and adjust to support the life you desire.
You realize this is your choice. This is your life, and only you can choose to live it the way you want. You start making changes, get back on track with your diet, and lose another 100 lbs. over the next two years. You've fought through the tough times, learned how to better combat your emotions, control the urges, and have come to feel happy again.
I would look at this as a step backwards. However, this step backwards was helpful to help you grow more than you ever expected. This step backwards was a learning lesson, forcing you to trust yourself to make the changes you already had done in the past, but now you're sticking to them. You've learned to address what drives your emotions and how to better control them, no longer letting your emotions control you. You truly made a lifestyle change and have grown along the way.