Are you travelling in the right direction?
We have discussed ‘direction of travel’ in recent weeks, and using this is as a long term focus rather than focusing on short term wins, and more specifically short-term results on the scales. Although we do ‘do weight loss’ at Be Strong. We are definitely more than just a weight loss community. We are about long term changes breaking the cycle of yo-yo dieting and living long, happy, healthful lives.
How many times have you been disappointed by the results on the scales, yet you have had a great week, stuck to your plan, exercised and eaten well, so you feel completely dejected and fed up. It’s probably happened to 99% of us, and it’s difficult then to resist the urge to blow it all and give up. In my opinion we have two options in these situations.
Option 1 – Blow it and eat crap, and restart the cycle of yo yo-ing, put some weight back on until you get fed up and go on a diet again.
Option 2 – Take a step back, reflect on the progress made, reflect on your performance and pull up your big girl or boy pants and carry on.
Benefits of reflection
Ever heard of the phrase “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again but expecting different results.” Reflection stops that cycle of behaviour. It allows you to assess what you are doing, and whether it is working for you. It allows you to identify your areas of improvement. It allows you to celebrate your achievements.
If things aren’t going the way you expect them to in a project at work, you don’t just carry on knowing that you are going to fail; you take a step back, you assess where you are, what is working and what isn’t, then you amend your plan to make sure you hit your targets. You look at whether you are going to need some help in achieving your targets, and you ask for that help.
Now apply that logic to your weight loss or fitness goals. If you are currently exercising your way to weight loss, and you aren’t losing weight, stop! Are you currently starving yourself for a few days then binging by day 4 or 5, because you can’t take it any longer? Are you currently training every single day, for a particular goal, but you keep picking up niggles or injuries?
Step back and reflect! Is your current method working for you? Are you enjoying it? Can you do it long term? Could you tweak your plan slightly? Is it time to do something different?
Reflection is like looking in a mirror. It allows you to see what changes you need to make. Much like a dancer practising a routine in front of a mirror to check that they have their arms and legs in the correct place, that their positions are on point. Reflection allows you to assess whether you need to adjust your position slightly, to achieve goals.
How to Self-Reflect
It is important to understand that self-reflection is about reflecting on your own performance, and is not in any way whatsoever a comparison with anyone else. By comparing ourselves to other people, we may end up feeling worse about ourselves. We are all at different stages of this journey, so we should not compare ourselves to others. Use other people to learn from, find out what works for them and apply it to your own journey, but never compare your success to other people.
- STOP! Take a step back from the situation and look at it objectively.
- LOOK! Identify what techniques you are using and what results you are getting – is it what you want?
- LISTEN! Listen to the little voice in your head that is trying to tell you what you need to do. You more than likely know in your heart of hearts what you should do. If you don’t know what to do, ask for help from people who are experiencing success and listen to the advice.
- ACT! From what you have learnt, identify what steps you need to take to improve your chances of success and follow through with them.
If I can give one piece of advice in this self-reflection process, it would be to stop being scared of making some real changes. It is never as bad or as hard as you think it is going to be. And, once you do it, and you start to see the success that you have wanted for such a long time, you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
Have a think about how you performed last week – once you have reflected on your performance, think about if you need to improve it. What tweaks can be made, to ensure success? If you are on point with your performance and achieving what you want to achieve, then great, carry on. If you know you can do better, do yourself a favour and make some changes!