It is said there are three sides to every story. Your side, my side, and the truth. I think that holds true in many areas of our lives. It certainly holds true in the arena of health and fitness.
How fit am I?
Well there is what I think is true. What the data shows. And the truth. Some might argue that the data is truth, but I disagree. For example how many push ups can you do? It depends. How many push ups did you do yesterday? Are you warmed up? How much sleep did you get? Do you like doing push ups? If it was 300, do you have the focus to keep doing them to find out? And those are just a few of the potential factors. So is our fitness undulating day to day and hour to hour? Yes and no. Considering all of the factors involved at any given moment the results can variable.
What of our perception. This piece matters as much as any other. I say this because time and time again I have had athletes lament about some aspect of their fitness program that is changing the way they think it should. And since we love science, we test it. The test results are in and they are great, but not in line with their expectations so they reject the information as invalid somehow. I hear “I don’t feel stronger” even though we have concrete data that shows you are 15% stronger then when you started. “I feel fat” even though clothes fit better, and measurements have improved. Perception is reality to the extent that we hold onto it in the face of evidence to the contrary.
Knowing that our perception can effectively be our reality it can be helpful to align our perception as closely with the truth go our circumstance as possible and use the most positive and powerful language to describe it as possible. “I have 10 more pounds to lose, the 10 that I lost already is a sign that my effort is paying off” vs “I am still such a fat ass even though I am slaving away day after day, not eating what I want or drinking what I want and ugh I am fat.” It seems like a gross exaggeration but I have heard some version of the latter statement it on numerous occasions. Don’t be that guy.
What are you doing to cultivate positive, powerful, and accurate self perception?