“Oh my goodness Bruno! I’m so proud of you, buddy!”
I want to tell you a story about my best buddy and how it’s a perfect example of what many people have struggles with.
When we adopted Bruno in 2009, he was quite emaciated. We were told that he was eating 3 times a day and “just wouldn’t gain weight”. I’m not sure how true that was – but he was a skinny boy. The first time we brought him to the vet to be weighed, he was less than 50lbs (as a fully grown male boxer). As he got more comfortable in our home and had his two square meals a day he clearly started to add some meat on his bones.
Some time a few months to a year later later we had him weighed and he was now 55lbs. Still light for a boxer, but looking healthy – we were no longer seeing all of his ribs and shoulder blades so vividly. Flash-forward to 2012 – a few months ago we put him on raw food diet and we’ve noticed that he’s looking “kinda muscular”. So this morning in our visit to the vet for his kennel cough vaccination, we figured we’d have him put on the scale…thinking he could be sixty pounds now – hell maybe even as much as SIXTY FIVE.
Our best friend – who we spend hours with every single day – increased his weight by 40 percent. And to us, it looked like a couple of pounds.
The change was so subtle that it didn’t scream at us. It didn’t happen over a single night’s sleep. It was right before our eyes but too subtle for our perception.
Many people who are working towards weight loss (or gain) use the mirror as a weapon towards their emotional health. They look in the mirror every single day, hoping to notice a difference. But you WON’T notice a difference – precisely because you’re looking every single day! So then when they look the same as they did yesterday they say “Oh shame on me – I need to stop being so fat” or some other negative self-talk and judgment.
You could do this every single day for months…or years… and barely notice a difference in yourself. But if you bump into people that don’t see you every day, they’ll remark on the big changes they see in you.
Don’t use the mirror as a tool for tracking progress. It absolutely sucks at that most of the time. It’s a snapshot of where you are in one moment in time – and if you can use it as part of being appreciative of your journey so far, use it. But use it wisely.
This is why I suggest to pretty much all of my clients the usage of progress pictures. Your eyes won’t notice the difference between today and your memory of yesterday. But you know….they’ll probably see a change between a photograph of today and a photograph last month.
Change is subtle. But persistent change adds up. Big time. And if you don’t look at it the right way, you might miss it.