Focus. Perspective. Seeing something in a different way. Clarity.
Focus: the center of activity or attention .
Perspective: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something.
When it comes to pursuing personal goals regarding weight loss or improved health and better eating habits we all have that “thing” we focus on that keeps us in forward movement to (hopefully) achieve that goal.
We might post a picture of ourselves from years back from a time where we felt like we looked good or were at a good weight.
We could use certain items of clothing as a goal to work back to wearing that we’ve out grown.
We may restructure some of the foods we eat and how much we eat of them.
For many, the scale is the judge and jury of our success, or lack thereof.
The scale of course, offers a visual reward or assessment of how we’re doing in our week with our weight loss goals.
Back in the day, when I was just starting my journey, I’d hop on it almost daily wanting positive rewards and feedback from it.
I’ve written a couple posts on the scale…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/03/29/why-ive-given-up-on-the-scale/
If it told me what I thought was “good news”, my day was made. I felt awesome. I felt like I was being a superhero in the weight loss department.
If it told me less than good news ( in my mind) and by that maybe I lost no weight that week or had “only” lost a pound ( have you ever seen one pound of fat?? You’ll never say that again once you do) or worse yet, worse than the coffee pot not working one morning, was the dreaded I had gained a pound or two that week.
That was enough to make me feel like a failure. A bit of a loser. Those nagging self-defeating thoughts could creep in….
“why bother? You are never going to do this anyway?”
“wow, after all you’ve done and no weight loss, but a gain?”
“Just give up”
“Might as well just eat ( you fill in the blank here) whatever thing I had withheld from myself.
Lots of ways for me to get de-railed from my goals. The scale was definitely one of the bigger challenges to overcome.
I know I’m not alone in this misguided perspective of the scale and our weight loss and fitness journeys.
Where it changed for me.
When I first started out, the scale was a tool to show me that I indeed, was having less gravational pull 😉 that did help to offer motivation.
But after I’d had my mental “ah ha” moment of keeping the scale in it’s place it became easier for me to embrace other things that offered a “reward” for my work and diligence.
This shift in thinking offered me the encouragement I needed to keep going. Maybe it will offer you encouragement too.
My perspective had to change.
When I first started getting out and moving again, I realized after finishing up my walk one night how good I felt. I felt proud of myself for moving and getting out, I felt happy and I felt strong. None of that had to do with any weight loss. The numbers on the scale had no bearing on how good I felt overall when I finished what I was doing.
Not a lot had changed at that time, really, as far as obvious outward changes.
But there were things that I felt that made me feel good, mentally and physically. I liked the tired feeling, or having sweat running down me from exertion. I liked how I felt good and strong just from the act of doing it.
I loved the accomplished feeling of doing it.
My perspective changed in learning to embrace new changes in myself as new disciplines were being formed and slowly put together. These changes had nothing to do with a changing scale or looser jeans.
What does your perspective look like?
If you’ve been on a journey to get fit yet are often side tracked, where is your perspective? How do you approach getting to your goals? Is it based solely on having less gravitational pull ( i.e. the scale? ) Do you determine your success by that alone?
Learning to shift your perspective to the whole picture will help you move along celebrating other things that are happening with you as well.
You know that discipline you are building from making a daily commitment to get your exercise in?
Don’t underestimate that. When you learn to train yourself to daily exercise it makes other things in life easier to be disciplined in.
As an endurance runner, I’ve learned I have to put out a lot of strength and not just physical, but mental too. Once you’ve run 26 miles, or better almost 32 you realize you take can anything in life head on.
I learned that strength I built in training carried over into all areas of my life and that was pretty cool.
Building your new habits and practices can help give you confidence in all areas of your life too.
Focus or perspective
So as you pursue whatever you’ve set before you the question to ask is are you focused on it? Or do you have a positive perspective on it?
If you are “just” focused on weight loss, making it the center of your attention, then it will be all you can see.
If you have a broad perspective approaching weight loss and fitness then you will be able to see all different aspects of the process and can embrace those things alongside the visible change of numbers of the scale.
You can learn to celebrate changes in how you are eating, the choices you make in food, your approach to eating, and how much you eat.
You can see improvements in your overall fitness when you climb a flight of stairs and aren’t out of breath, when you can walk briskly and it just feels good, when you can lift heavier things with ease, or when your body begins to reflect a new overall strength in tasks.
As your perspective changes and you embrace all of the changes you are going through you will begin to see there is more to having a whole balanced perspective on health and wellness than the ever shifting numbers on a scale.
Are you a more focused person or one who has more perspective on the big picture?