By Wendolynn L. Allen
Moving through 2002. I trust that everyone is enjoying the journey. I also trust that the journey has been a bumpy one; don’t be discouraged by the bumps and bruises, but rather be encouraged by them because chances are that you are being successful in your quest for change. Now comes a very delicate step. Last month, my article (“Maintaining Momentum”) focused on a few strategies to utilize in order to keep effectively pressing toward your goal. This month I would like to address how to properly measure your progress to prove to yourself (if no one else) that your efforts are definitely paying off.
This step, in my opinion, is the most important of all steps because this is where the truth is revealed and the manner in which it is unveiled will make or break our confidence. I am sure you have heard it said that, “We are our own best critics.” This is very true and we should learn to use our self-analyzing gift for good and not for evil. It is just as easy for us to build ourselves up as it is for us to tear ourselves down and we need to strive to do more of the former rather than the latter. In last month’s article, I suggested isolating yourself from those around you who were not committed to positively supporting you in your efforts. That applies to you as well. If you cannot be supportive of your own efforts, then how can you expect others to be? Stop the “stinkin’ thinkin’”.
Once you have corrected your psychological outlook, it is easy to daily measure your progress. To start with, pay attention to how you feel in the morning. You will find that you awake with more energy, renewed vigor, and an unsolicited enthusiasm to conquer the day. Next, as you are getting dressed, notice the settle things about your body that only you (or a significant other) would notice. See how your shape may have just slightly altered itself. And finally, my favorite, enjoy the feel of your loose fitting clothes; the ones that used to suffocate you at just the thought of putting them on.
Avoid the scale. The scale is not necessarily an “end all, be all” evil, but its use can sometimes be counter productive to an individual seeking a lifestyle change. There are many cumulative factors that conclude a successful change but the scale has the potential to distort a single factor and create a mental block, prohibiting a person from considering the other more favorable factors. Create your own picture of success, despite numerical weight or others’ views of how you should look, and aim to be that picture. It is much more rewarding to look like your own self-portrait than to try to fit into someone else’s.
Wendolynn L. Allen is a Professional Fitness Trainer, Licensed Sports Nutritionist, and an INBF Amateur Bodybuilder. Wendolynn currently trains herself and clients at Hyde Park Gym (Austin). Please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Appointments can be set by calling (512) 791-8508.