Perspective is the way we see things, our attitudes towards something, or a point of view.
How many times have you seen images of optical illusions, that show us different things, depending on what we focus on…
What do you see in this picture? A beautiful, young woman or a sad, old lady?
How do you see you?
With regards to ourselves, and our perceived performance, achievements and successes, we quite often see ourselves in a very different way to how others do.
What is your own perspective of you? Do you think it matches up with the way other people see you? Do you actually know what other people think about you? Maybe it’s time for you to look at yourself from a different perspective, shift your focus, and see yourself another way.
Be Strong – You never know who you are inspiring!
There’s a phrase ‘Be Strong – you never know who you are inspiring!’ and it is so true. Whilst you might be thinking that you aren’t doing well, there will be someone looking at you with complete awe and admiration for achieving what you are achieving and doing what you are doing, against all your personal challenges. And it is that perspective that we need to draw on, when we are thinking things aren’t going quite the way we want them.
When the going gets tough, or we fall off the wagon, getting some perspective on things can really help us to refocus, and carry on. So often we try and tackle too much at once in life, it can leave us feeling overwhelmed and then when things start to go wrong, or not the way we want, we feel like a failure, give up and resign ourselves to the fact that it just isn’t meant to be.
But, if we took a step back and looked at our situation from a different point of view, or through another set of eyes, would we think the same? Or would we see a person that is trying their hardest, and has made some real progress? Would we perhaps see where it is that we might be going wrong, and what tweaks we need to make to see the success we crave?
Perspective on our achievements
Getting some perspective on what we have already achieved can help us to realise how far we have come on our journey.
You may have gone from eating take-away and junk food 6 and a half days a week, to one day a week. You may have reduced your alcohol intake from 6 nights a week, to 2 nights a week. You may be drinking more water than you ever have. You may have started reading food labels and you may be starting to understand what food fits in your calorie allowance. Your skin, eyes and general complexion might be improving.
If you have introduced physical activity, you might be starting to notice the benefits of this too….
You may be less out of breath by the time you reach the top of the stairs. You might be finding it easier to get up out of a chair, or to get your shoes on.
There will be so many things, that you are doing now comfortably, that you weren’t able to last week, last month or last year.
The weighing scales don’t measure the things listed above, and they certainly don’t measure our changing body shapes.
Because we also encourage you to increase your physical activity, the benefits of this aren’t always reflected on the scales, as much as we would like it to be. But what it does do is, it changes your body shape, reduces inches, builds and tones muscles, lifts bottoms and breasts and improves posture. It improves your health, reduces the visceral fat around your organs, and reduces disease risk. The weighing scales most certainly can’t measure that!
This is what total lifestyle change does for you – more than ‘just a diet’ ever would.
It’s majorly important to remember these ‘wins’ along our journey, because it is impossible to do it all at once. If you tried to start exercising 4 days a week, eat to 1200 calories every day, get your 5 a day, only drink alcohol on 2 days a week, and drink 2 litres of water every day, it would be too much to do all at once. You would end up feeling overwhelmed and like you can’t do it. If, however you set your stall out to just achieve just one of those things every day in the week, it is much more achievable, and you will be much more likely to be high-fiving yourself by Sunday night. Once you get comfortable with one change, that is when it is time to add another.
Getting some perspective on our actions, is when we reflect critically on our behaviours and actions over the last week, for instance, and ask if we really were doing our best.
Rick and I often encounter this when weighing people in our groups, when the result isn’t quite what they were expecting, and the loss they wanted is actually a maintain or may be even a gain. Here we always ask them to go back through the previous week and look critically at everything they have done – have they really been ‘on it’, have they really stuck to their calories, or have they been winging it on more than one occasion, or been picking and nibbling without taking those calories into account.
Getting this perspective allows you to work out what you need to do the following week, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Perspective on the scales
So many of us put so much focus on a specific number on the scales that we actually forget what we have achieved to get there. We get so close to our goal then obsess over a specific number that we want to see on the scales.
If you feel happy and comfortable, eat delicious healthy foods, enjoy life, and participate in and enjoy exercise regularly at 10 stone 7, why was it so important to see 10 stone 4 on the scales? What difference does that last 3lb make?
Your body might have found its comfortable place at that weight. The place where you are healthy and happy, comfortable in your clothes and living the lifestyle you enjoy.
It is great to have goals to keep us focused. But, don’t forget those every day things that we achieve. The daily goals and tasks that we complete and don’t give ourselves credit for, are our biggest achievements. Life is so full on these days, and we all have our own problems to deal with, so don’t give yourself a hard time when the scales don’t reflect your efforts for one or two weeks. It could be anything, from hormones, to retained water, to trapped wind. But as long as over the long term your weight is going in the direction that you want it to, you are winning!
So next time the scales don’t say quite the number you want them to say, or you have a bad day or two, get some perspective. Rejoice in what you have achieved, what you have coped with, look at some old photos and compare them to now, work out what else you could do to improve and just keep on doing the do! And remember that quote “Be Strong – you never know who you are inspiring!”