The Importance of Perspective

By Nia Shanks

perspective-loser-387x330Your mind can play tricks on you, especially when it comes to nutrition, working out, and your efforts to build a stronger, leaner, and healthier body. But you must keep things in perspective.

Let's delve a little deeper into why that's so important.

Completing a single workout, no matter how productive it may be, won't improve your physique over night. Dominating a tough training session with squats, presses, and pulls (or any other exercise) doesn't mean that your physique is going to look drastically different tomorrow, no matter how hard you trained.

It's just one workout, and all by itself it's not going to cause any overnight changes. You know that.

Similarly, you won't magically wake up with a flat stomach and drastically lower body fat after eating "clean" meals for one whole day. So, you ate nothing but real food for your meals and drank plenty of water. That's fantastic, and hopefully you feel great! But don't expect overnight changes.

We all know it takes some time to see noticeable changes in physique, just like it takes some time to improve performance and get stronger in our workouts. We don't expect to perform two workouts and be drastically stronger. It takes consistency.

Yet, even though we know all of that, why is so easy to feel like a total failure, after missing a single workout?

Why do we think we're going to wake up five pounds heavier if we eat something deemed "unclean"? Why do we think all of our hard work is going to mysteriously disappear after indulging in some yummy birthday cake?

It doesn't make sense. It's a double-standard that we know isn't logical. One great workout and one healthy meal won't give you a flat stomach. Skipping one workout and eating something not-so-healthy won't reverse all of your progress.

Don't let this kind of thinking drive you insane. Keep everything in perspective and remember to use common sense. You know this stuff.  As you work toward your goals, always remember that consistency is most important. Something you do once doesn't have the same kind of impact as something you do all or most of the time.

perspective-thumbsup-450x338The best way to be consistent and bring about change is to pick one habit you want to work on (whether it's to create a new habit, or change or get rid of an existing habit) and practice it for at least a full month before taking on another change. If you're having a hard time being consistent, try "toggling" the new habit with an existing habit.

For example, let's say you want to be consistent taking your fish oil or your vitamin D but keep forgetting. "Toggle" it with brushing your teeth. Set yourself up to do one when you do the other, perhaps by placing your supplements and a cup for water near your toothbrush. If you brush your teeth every morning, you're practically guaranteeing 100% success with the goal of taking your supplements daily.

Celebrate the small victories. In the long run, you've got this.

If you feel like you could use a little guidance with your training and nutrition, we're happy to help.

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  • Felt anxious about clothes shopping or wearing certain clothes?
  • Dreaded going to an event (like a reunion or a wedding) — or even skipped the event altogether — because you felt too self-conscious about how you looked?
  • Found yourself not wanting to be in pictures or videos, or hiding behind other people in the picture to shield your body?
  • Scrolled through social media and felt worse and worse as you went?

If these sound familiar to you, you are not alone.

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About the author:  Nia Shanks

Nia Shanks is a writer and coach at Her mission is to help women reach their goals and become the best version of themselves with simple, no-nonsense health and fitness information.

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