A New Perspective

- POSTED ON: Oct 11, 2012

Achieving personal weight-loss and maintenance of that weight loss is a problem for many people, including me. I tend to work off the premise that a solution exists for most problems.

General problem solving skills apply here. When I can’t find any solution for a personal problem, then I try to more clearly identify the problem, or even re-define it. Sometimes I find that my best action plan for a solution to a problem is the simple Acceptance of the Reality that an ongoing problem is likely to remain in existence throughout my lifetime.

To come up with a new approach to an old problem, it often helps to look at the problem differently. If we do the same things, we will get the same results. In my experience, when a new solution is required, one of the best things I can do is to change my perspective on the problem.

Sometimes this means looking at different graphics, or reading about new diets, or asking myself new questions. When I explore new angles of a problem, I often see something new, which will give me an idea of a new way to approach it.

How does this mental process work?

When faced with a puzzle, we solve it by first running through all of our usual obvious solutions.

First we engage our left brain by recalling the obvious tried and true solutions. Sometimes these ideas work, sometimes they don’t. As soon as our left brain has exhausted all ideas that don’t work, we get frustrated and hit the wall. The wall is the inability of our left brain to create new connections from our old ideas. We are unable to connect the old ideas with fresh ones, to find different solutions with the same methods. The only way to get unstuck is to try to see the problem in a new way.

At the point of total frustration, our right brain engages. Our right brain solves problems with images. Once the left brain has gotten out of the way in total frustration, our right brain is able to freely associate in the language that it knows: pictures. Then, it hits — the connection is made, and all of a sudden, we have a glimmer of a new idea, our mind goes off in a different direction, and things start falling into place. What we have just done is literally created a new connection in our brain.

Sometimes we don’t get an answer to our problem because we aren’t asking the right question. If we ask the same question over and over, we will most likely get the same answer. So, we need to figure out how to rephrase the question or ask a new question. Sometimes changing the wording we use is helpful, sometimes it helps to look at a different graphic.

When working with data like weight or calorie numbers, I think about how I can display or visualize that data in a new way. Looking at the same data in different formats enables me to see new things. I see different things when I look at different charts and graphics even when they reflect the same basic numbers.

Looking at the big picture often leads to a new way of seeing the problem. Sometimes zooming out, helps me realize that I’m asking the wrong question.

DietHobby, under RESOURCES, Links, Tools, contains links to some online sites which use different methods of graphing weight. I find a consistent use of these different visual aides helpful to motivate me, and these visuals often provide me with insight about my own behavior.

In my own case, one personal solution for the weight-loss and maintenance problem has become my choice to make Dieting into an ongoing, enjoyable hobby for myself. For more on this, see "Dieting Is My Hobby. Another part of the solution for me, is to ACCEPT certain personal Realities as Truth. For example:

  • I will never achieve perfection in any aspect of my life;
  • Eating the way my own body is naturally programmed to eat will cause me to be morbidly obese,
  • At this point …and probably forever, maintaining my weight-loss requires constant, consistent monitoring of my own personal food intake;
  • People are different, there is more than only One “Right Way”.

Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On Oct 11, 2012 wrote:
Great blog Phyllis. The four 'truths' sum it up perfectly. Sometimes we know the 'truth'; but putting it into practice is something else again. Requires constant effort.

On Oct 11, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thanks John. You are absolutely correct.

On Oct 12, 2012 kimberchick wrote:
So glad I read this today since I was actually going to ask JohnM what "4 truths" he was referring to in his recent post on the DP Challenge :-) I have recently been telling myself that "acceptance is peace" so your blog resonates with me this a.m. And just yesterday in CPT we discussed my need to stop expecting perfection from myself (as you said, I'll never acheive it). I find comfort in knowing we're (you, me, JohnM) on the same wavelength :-)

On Oct 12, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Hi Kimber, Glad you're here. <3

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