What You See Is What You’ll Get! The Power of Perception in Lifestyle Choices
Back when I was a kid and living for a short time with my grandparents in the Ozarks, we went to a local Sunday church service. Afterwards the church had all this food that was brought there from the congregation. There were pies, casseroles and more. Not much as far as healthy choices, though, compared to today, it wasn’t that bad. Still, there was a lot of sugary foods.
Whenever I travel back to see my relatives there, they are all overweight and many are obese as is the town overall. They have grown into this lifestyle through the years and don’t really know anything different. Despite we all know through what has been shown through the media, many in the Southern states will only see and believe what is normal to them.
This brings me to a parable that what we believe about something may not necessarily be right.
A newly-wed husband noticed that every time his wife cooked a pot roast she would first cut an inch off either end before putting it in the oven. When he asked why, she said “Because that’s how you are supposed to cook pot roast.” Unsatisfied with her answer he pushed until she admitted that she learned it from her mother.
Waiting until a visit with his wife’s mother, the husband asked “Your daughter tells me you taught her to cook pot roast by first cutting an inch off each end?” to which the mother replied “Well of course, that’s how pot roast is cooked.” But the husband was not to be deterred, and after pressing his mother-in-law on the subject she finally admitted that she’d learned if from *her* mother.
This meant the husband had to ask the wife’s grandmother. When he finally got his chance he asked: “Your granddaughter’s mother told me you taught her to cut an inch off each end of a pot roast before cooking. She swore it was a requirement, but I’m dying to know why? Is there any sane reason to throw away two inches of perfectly good meat in order to cook a pot roast?!?” Laughing, the grandmother said “Oh, heaven’s no! You see in those days we were very poor and didn’t own much cookware. I cut the ends off the pot roast so it would fit in my only pan!”
And what is normal to them may also seem healthy as well. Perception is key. Just as kids will emulate their parents in parenting skills, so will they do the same regarding lifestyle choices. As adults we have the ability to surpass what our parents believe and take different actions regarding our lifestyle, whether healthy or not.
What you believe about yourself and health dictates the actions you take. Change your beliefs and your perceptions change. Then, you will take different actions. Each moment you are at a crossroad. What do you have to do to change your perception at those moments? What new beliefs will you have to adopt in order to take healthier actions which leads to a healthier lifestyle?
As I venture into many Southern towns and cities, the choices made is a reflection of the society in those areas. That is all they know, just the story of the roast above. We may think we know something based on the patterns of our life and the lives of those around us, but are they? My father had a belief regarding health and fitness and it ultimately led to his early death. My kid brother had his first heart attack at 39, his second at 49 and a minor stroke the following year at 50. He held the same beliefs as my father. That is his perception regarding lifestyle. So he takes (as did my father) actions based on his perceptions.
Now, you can change. Answer the questions I gave you and these final ones, “What are your perceptions right now regarding what is a healthy lifestyle? and How will you change your perceptions so that you adopt a new definition?” I wish you the best and give it your best too!