Have you ever caught yourself looking at someone’s progress pictures or them showing off their body and wonder when yourself will see progress? You keep putting in the work but haven’t gotten the results you wanted. I know I have done it.
Truth is, you are only looking at a picture. That’s it. You haven’t seen the tough work outs, the nights they thought they ruined their progress, or the time they thought they were just going to give up. The bigger picture.
We as a society have gotten accustomed to just looking at a small picture that is 1 second out of 86,400 seconds in 1 day. And of course, we are so quick to judge that 1 second. We analyze it and nit-pick at that one second we forget their journey, their struggles, their story behind that picture and how they got there. They may have this long post about that picture, but the thing is, you do not know everything that is happening or has happened outside of that picture. The bigger picture.
For example, I am almost 8 months post-partum and I am back to my pre baby weight. The main picture for this post is of me with my shirt off holding my baby. Something I am extremely proud of. You may have seen some other posts of work outs or a progress picture here and there but that’s it. However, what that picture doesn’t show is the long and hard work outs I have done to get back to where I am at. The extra tacos on taco Tuesday that I really wanted but made the healthier decision to stick with my meal prep. I nights I wanted to have that extra drink and indulge in dessert or the nights I actually did indulge in a little dessert, felt extremely guilty, but got back to work the next day. What you don’t see is the tears that I shed when my pre baby clothes didn’t fit right even when I had lost some weight. My husband telling me to go lay down when I couldn’t get through a workout because I was so tired from staying up the night before with the baby. Or me getting frustrated not being able to lift as much as I did before I had my baby. What you don’t see is the bigger picture. The journey.
Now, you can make comments about anyone’s pictures all you want because in that moment, you think you see the bigger picture. But in reality, you don’t. You are just looking at 1 second out of 86,400 seconds in that day. Instead of judging that one second, take a minute to think about their journey. What they might have gone through to get to that point. If you don’t know, don’t assume. Just acknowledge that you don’t see their bigger picture.
I absolutely love progress pictures. Why? Because it is so hard to post something so vulnerable and it shows their hard work and dedication they had to get to that point, knowing they had some low points along the way. I don’t know the details of their journey, but I do know that it was hard. That picture shows that even though they may have had some setbacks, they pushed through it made it to their goal or getting close to their goal.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our own negative thoughts that we push it onto others without even realizing it. That girl on the beach with a huge smile on her face? Maybe it’s her first vacation in years. That guy showing off his muscles? Maybe he was made fun of as a kid for having a little extra fluff and is so proud of how far he has come. That woman constantly posts about her work outs? Maybe she is coming back from an injury or post-partum and has lost a lot of weight and he finally feels good about her body. You just don’t know the full story. The bigger picture.
Being healthy is also a state of mind. Not just working out and eating healthy. It’s also having a positive outlook on crappy situations. When I was really young, my mom use to make kids clothing with acrylic paint. I loved helping her, but I would often make mistakes like paint outside the lines or drop some paint on the shirt. I would get so upset and would think I ruined the clothing. But my mom had this peppiness to her and would always say, “mistakes can always be fixed” and would turn that drop of paint into a heart or a flower or figure out a way to make it look like it was always a part of the picture when I painted outside of the lines. But no matter what, every mistake would get turned into something beautiful because she always saw the bigger picture and kept a positive mindset.
If we were to have that positive mindset with every “picture” we saw knowing we don’t know the bigger picture, imagine how better off your life would be. Not filling your mind with negative thoughts about not only yourself but about other people as well.
If you are struggling with negative thoughts, I want to challenge you to think of one positive thing in a negative situation. Just one. If there was a mistake, try thinking, “its ok, how can I fix this” and keep moving forward! You see a picture, don’t judge it, just admire the picture and know that they are on a journey you know nothing about.
The moment we stop moving forward is the moment we let our thoughts and negativity pull us backwards.