Torres column: Get out of that pot of boiling water
I am actually laughing right now. I have no idea how important hair is for men, but I know it’s very important for women. As a matter of fact, when I take care of my hair, some of my clients let me know how great it looks.
What we focus on is what we see and what we pay attention the most. Every morning when I am getting ready to work, I make sure I am using my uniform and that it’s clean. Another important part of my appearance is my facial hair. If I need to shave, I’ll do it. When I am finished my perception of myself is that I look great, professional and attractive.
It is not until after I do my morning assessments that I notice my hair is a mess. I feel embarrassed. It’s not really a big deal, but if I notice it, everyone else can, even though I don’t notice it in the beginning.
When I was younger and I didn’t lift weights, my self-perception was that I was strong. It wasn’t until years later going through some pictures that I realized I was very skinny and weak back then.
I heard a story about a personal trainer who helps her new clients understand how much extra weight they are carrying by asking them to lift some heavy dumbbells and walk around, sit down and then get up with them. When they notice how hard it is, they usually start crying or they get surprised because they never thought it of that way and never noticed how much extra weight they were carrying every day. The realization came after external intervention.
I have many clients who don’t recognize themselves in their before picture. They never thought they had let their bodies go so far. They usually think of themselves as a different person. Sometimes I have clients who thought they were in shape until they try one of our sessions; they never thought of themselves out of shape. Then, they realize they are ready to change.
In a past article, I explained how frogs are cooked. If you throw a frog in boiling water, the frog will jump as high as possible to escape the heat. However, if you set the frog in room temperature water and slowly increase the heat the frog will boil to death. The reason is frogs can adjust their blood temperature to the environmental temperature.
Interestingly enough, we humans are just like frogs — we get adjusted to our environment. Many people can’t believe that a woman could allow herself to be abused by her husband. But the husband begins by raising his voice, next comes insults, next a small push, next a harder push, next a slap, next a punch and before she knows it, she is getting beaten and she needs help. All this happens slowly.
We can’t believe what is happening in others’ lives because we can see it from another prospective. We can see the frog getting cooked, the woman getting abused and the person gaining weight. They can’t feel it because they are getting accustomed to it without even taking the time to think what is happening. Of course, I don’t think the frog has the potential to sit and think about its life, but we do.
I am not free of sin, this is why I love criticism. I never take it badly, and I love when people find my mistakes. I constantly ask what I can improve because I know I am blind to my own pot of hot water.
Of course, the frog does not want to be cooked to death, the married woman does not want to be beaten up and the overweight person doesn’t want to gain weight. All this happens on a subconscious level.
I don’t know about you, but I have been there many times — when people abuse us, when we are the results of our environment, when we are in danger and don’t even notice it. What has helped me many times is to sit and contemplate my life and take capable people’s criticism in a positive way.
I don’t want to be overweight, sick, abused, killed slowly, manipulated or anything that will contribute negatively to my life. I want to succeed, be free, enjoy good health and a strong body, help others and live the life I want.
If you want to do the same I recommend setting some time aside, and for one hour study your past, present and future and find out if where you were, are and will be is part of your plan. Things are not going to change unless you change and do something about it. Doing this will help you free yourself from the environment that is taking your life slowly, just like the nice warming up water is taking the frog’s life. Remember, taking responsibility for your actions will set you free.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale, author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently” and a Watch Fit columnist. His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.
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