Guess what? You are not an ‘8’.
Our scale is broken. No, not that thing you stand on that tells you your bodyweight. Those are actually quite accurate. They are, however, generally an awful marker for fitness progress, but that’s a whole other blog all together.
What I’m referring to is the general scale we use to evaluate ourselves. It’s off. We’re disillusioned. When it comes to health and fitness, we don’t know which way is up and which way is down. In fact, we can barely tell a job well done when we see one when it comes to both training and nutritional efforts.
How, then, are we expected to make quality progress if we’re getting bad information?
I once had a conversation with a nutritionist, who had a remarkable stat in her practice. In all the years at her practice, she’s used the same intake form for new clients. The form, amongst other things, includes a few questions about habits and health concerns. One question reads, “On a scale from 1-10, one being awful and ten being perfect, please rate your nutritional habits.” She’s received the precisely the same answer to this question. Every. Time. No exceptions.
Scribbled under the question, hundreds of times over she’s read, “8”.
After noticing that the trend wasn’t breaking, she considered removing the question all together. After all, it wasn’t giving her any accurate information considering the array of dietary SNAFUs that come to her office looking for “a little help.” Opting to leave it in, she described to me the importance of this question despite its redundant answers. The teaching moment here is that we all think we’re doing “pretty good.” We’re lying to ourselves. The scale with which we evaluate ourselves is, like I said, broken.
Look around. We’re not all eights by any stretch of the imagination. When asked to evaluate ourselves, though, we honestly believe that we’re doing a fairly good job. Therein lies the problem. When you fix the scale, you get better information. When that information tells you that you’re actually a “4,” you actually might consider taking action.
Fix your scale. Take the right actions.
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