Wasted Twenties!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Shaun.P, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Shaun.P, Oct 19, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016

    Shaun.P macrumors 68000


    Jul 14, 2003
    Omicron Persei 8
    Hey all,

    I wanted to share a few issues I've been having with people on here in the hopes some people will be able to offer some advice and support - perhaps because you have felt similar.

    I'm 29 and my weight has fluctuated quite a bit since childhood. When I was 18 I got down to 205lbs (I'm 6'2"). However afterwards this crept up to 310lbs.

    In January of this year, I got bloods taken. My haemoglobin A1C was on the threshold for being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The doctor informed me that he would retake the test after another six weeks and if it came back the same, or higher, then he would need to officially diagnose me with diabetes. This was like a massive wake up call which resulted in me understanding more than ever before about nutrition - especially carbohydrates, which I drastically cut and went on a diet of roughly 1200kcal per day and used MyFitnessPal. When I returned in six weeks, the readings had dropped and I have since continued my diet. My reading is now well within normal. I currently weigh 210lbs - I am aiming for a normal BMI so another 20lbs (roughly) to lose. So I have lost a massive amount of weight from the 310lbs I weighed in January . I have done all of this without a single bit of exercise which I really need to start doing. I am badly needing to tone up.
    I am aiming to reach my target weight just before Christmas.

    As I have lost weight my confidence has increased dramatically. I have started dating and had a short lived relationship this year which ended a month ago. This has been my first relationship since I was 21. I am a very shy and introverted person and when I put the weight on during my early twenties I really didn't want to be with anyone.

    I am thirty in May, something which freaks me out. I have never liked the idea of getting older. However, recently I have had this overwhelming feeling that I have wasted a massive and imported part of my youth by being overweight as this really hindered my personality. I didn't socialise at university, and only started to take steps that in hindsight I should probably have taken 6-8 years ago. I feel like I've squandered my time and now I feel regretful. I now have this overwhelming feeling to achieve and experience things. As such, I am booking a trip to Tokyo in April - which has always been a dream. It turns out I am going myself as my best friend is married and just recently had a baby and my other friends are unable to go. I feel like my life has been on hold long enough and need to start "experiencing" so have resided in the fact that I am going myself. I have never done anything like this before - I am shy and introverted and don't actually know if being 'immersed' in another country by myself for a week will do me good. I am already romanticising the trip - how it'll grow me as a person and how I'll socialise and have a good time and do all of these things that I would never dream of doing (or have the confidence to do) in my current country - including going to a bar on my own and maybe a one night stand with a local! However don't know if I actually have that in me. I like the idea of going on the trip before I turn thirty. Something I can at least say I did with my squandered twenties! I am finding that I am enjoying researching the trip and it's giving me something to focus and look forward to.

    Professionally, I have graduated university and have a good job which I was promoted in two years ago. That side of things has gone well. But my own personal development - I feel like I have nothing to show for almost a decade and I have this awful sense of regret and know the spirit of my youth in terms of mentality will never be able to be recaptured.

    I don't know if it is normal to feel this way. I look forward to hearing some of your views.
  2. Gypsy36 macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2013
    Okay, first, congratulations on such an amazing change. I think you are selling yourself short. You have been doing a whole lot of personal development. Just maybe not of the social kind.

    Secondly, I think regret about "wasting" one's twenties is pretty common place. They don't say "youth is wasted on the young" for nothing. What you don't want to do is waste another moment worrying about wasting time. That's silly. You have a whole big life ahead of you. Use your time living it.

    I think going to Japan by yourself is actually a great thing. It will push you out of your comfort zone. I would only caution you not to over romantize the trip. It's great to be excited but, if you blow it up too big in your mind, it will never live up. Remember international travel is hard. Things will go wrong. Find the fun in each day.

    One night stand? - easy tiger. Make some friends first. See how that goes.
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Well done on the weight loss. I've lost 51lb myself this year, with just 2 to go to hit my goal weight.
    As for the other stuff, age is just a number. You seam to be concerned about turning 30.
    As someone in their 40's I can tell you 30 sounds pretty young!
    But regretting what you did (or didn't do) in the past is pointless. Be happy in the now.
    Enjoy your trip, but don't expect too much. If your not the sort of person that goes to bars and picks up women normally, then it's unlikely you will have these attributes in a country with a language barrier.
    Instead plan the things you want to see and do. Enjoy it and live in the now.
    Good luck with it.
  4. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    You have lost nothing. It was meant to be this way in your case. You made a very important decision and you are about to reach your goal. You will feel even more confident as you succeed.
    Never look back. (Leave it for the 70s, 80s). ;)
    Enjoy life. Carpe diem.
  5. Scepticalscribe macrumors Westmere


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Agree with @Ulenspiegel completely, @Shaun.P.

    There is no reason to become unnerved as you reach the end of your twenties.

    Actually, my experience is that you become much more comfortable in your own skin as you get older, and less ludicrously obsessive about stuff that - ultimately - doesn't actually matter all that much. Personally, I loathed my teens, - I was a miserable teenager, and would never willingly revisit those years - and wasn't all that much happier in my twenties.

    However, I have enjoyed my thirties and forties an awful lot more, and am a lot more comfortable in myself. Embrace getting older - I think youth is hugely over-rated, and an awful lot of young people are so neurotically self obsessed, that frankly, they run the risk of becoming fairly tedious company.
  6. Zenithal macrumors G3

    Sep 10, 2009
    I agree with everyone else. One should never feel regret about their twenties or feel they've wasted their life away. To be crass, provided you aren't hit with a commuter bus anytime soon and don't have a long, family history of serious illness, you've got a wonderful life ahead of you. It's clear you've got a good head as you're acknowledging your issues, but fear not, in this day and age, there's plenty of information to help you become healthier. Healthier while still eating the occasional "treat" or food you enjoy.

    As Sceptical pointed out, the older you get, the more you enjoy the nuances of life and aren't overly concerned about anything and everything. It's goes without saying, but better later than never.
  7. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    Don't look back, 30 sounds like a great time to get out and _really_ dig into life, start experiencing things, re-invent your perspective on life, mix it up ... and again, no regrets.

    I found some of it for you, want it back? :D
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    All good thanks. ;)
  9. samiwas macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    First off, don't look back and dwell on the years wasted so far. You can't change them, no matter how much you wish you could.

    I was in the same boat as you. My parents' bitter divorce when I was younger left me in a bad place. It lasted for years and left me angry and unable to socialize normally. Throughout high school and college, I was very much introverted. And no matter how much I tried to fit in, I just couldn't. My group of best friends in high school literally deserted me, going to far as to tell me the wrong address for parties so that I would show up at a dark house miles away, or have the door answered by confused adults. I ended up in a pretty dark place, and had even considered suicide at some point.

    In college, I was able to hang out with people from the department and the place I worked, but never had any real "friends". I was also the type to fall in love with any girl who said hi. It was bad.

    After college, I started touring with entertainment shows around the world. This started my transformation. While I could never make a dent in the dating scene with the girls on the shows, I found that hooking up with girls in Scandinavia was pretty damn easy, even for this introvert. But, I never did get along with most of the crew on these shows because I was a "nice guy" and they were macho "get wasted and score chicks" types. Soon after, I met a girl online who was outgoing, sarcastic, and...how shall we say...active. We started dating and she took me places I didn't even know existed at the time. We dated for about 1.5 years, and are still best friends to this day (broke up nearly 16 years ago). She boosted by confidence quite a bit, to the point that within a week of breaking up with her, I already had another girlfriend (also hot and dirty). I soon met the girl I would marry, but that was before I really made the change.

    My final transformation happened when I was 28-29 (13 years ago). I left the one company I had been working at for years, and joined a different touring company. Instead of the unprofessional, macho douchebags and stuck-up girls I had been touring with previously, I ended up on a show with some really, really fun people. Throughout the next year and a half, I really figured out who I was, what I liked, and what I wanted to be. I was going out every night with friends and having the time of my life. Since then, I have been much more outgoing, able to talk to nearly anyone, can start up conversations with people I've never met, and can still keep up with people 15 years younger than me.

    Do I look back at my 20s sometimes and wish that I had figured things out sooner? Hell yes, I do. I had a lot of squandered opportunities that I wish I had been able to take. But that doesn't change the fact that life now is pretty awesome. I'm 42, but most people who meet me think I'm in my early 30s, because I can keep going late into the night at a party and still be at work ready to go at 7:00am, and I still have that sarcastic, witty banter.

    Yes, you may think that your 20s are lost. But that doesn't mean your 30s or 40s have to be the same way. Boosting that confidence is hard, but it is doable. Your life is what you make of it.
  10. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020


    Jan 31, 2015
    The best way to squander your future is to live in the (perceived) misery or regrets of the past. Maybe your 20's weren't what movies say it should be, but that's not the reality for most people. Try to find the good things that happened in your twenties- maybe while you weren't partying 4 days a week in college you excelled in your academics. Maybe you have had the opportunity to excel in your career? Or maybe this can simply be a reminder to live your life to the fullest but without past regret.

    I commend you on taking your health by the reigns. Good for you. Stick with it. And continue putting yourself out there. The past is the past, but moving forward you should know that things come to not who want or need but rather take action.

    It's easy to look at other's lives and assume you have the short end of the stick when your self confidence is low. But the reality is most people have struggles of their own.

    It might be worth looking into a therapist to you work through your past insecurities and support your continued efforts both with social factors and health/lifestyle changes.

    Best of luck!
  11. hotmetal macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Enjoy Japan. I've recently come back from a training trip there with our martial arts club. It's a beautiful country with some amazing culture, tradition, philosophy, food, history and craftmanship. Japanese are also 90% super polite. But just a heads-up, it's very unlikely you'll hook up with a local girl there - their culture makes that kind of thing pretty much off limits between Japanese and non-Japanese (geijin, "outside person"). Just letting you know so you don't suffer knock-backs and take it hard. It's like saying "I'm 6'2" so I'm going to trial for a world class basketball team" - a tougher challenge than you might be expecting. Japan is amazing and you will have a great time, but do your research and find out about the culture and customs/manners before you go. And don't just limit yourself to Tokyo, there are many great cities and please don't forget the countryside.
  12. samiwas macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Great advice. Japan really was a beautiful country, and Tokyo was overall pretty "meh". It's the smaller towns and rural areas that are really breathtaking.

    As for hooking up in Japan...we were on tour there for 18 weeks. I hooked up once, and so did a lot of friends. However, they were all with other visitors to the country (mostly Russian). With dozens of guys on our tour, I don't recall a single one hooking up with a Japanese girl. So, if one is planning on going to Japan as a means of hooking up with girls, they might want to rethink their plans.
  13. yaxomoxay macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2010
    You don't have to recapture anything. You have to live on what you've built, read the past as detached as possible and learn from it, and move forward.
    We all have regrets, and we all have accomplishments. Just use both to your advantage. Was not having set goals a problem? Set them now. Was inconsistency your problem? Read "the power of habit" and change your habits. Who cares about the past, it's outside our circle of influence now.

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12 October 19, 2016