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Backstage Behavior

Thursday, March 08, 2012

I know that this is a site devoted to weight loss. Basically, it’s a question of calories in vs. calories out, but what about what goes on BEHIND the calorie/exercise balance?

Do you stop to think about the motivation, drive, planning or pure emotion that goes with the above? Many of us think, “If I just have the willpower, I can succeed!”

If you’ve ever seen a play or a movie, then you understand the idea of what goes on backstage is not what you see onstage. In front of the house, so to speak, there’s a play going on. Actors are in certain spots, saying certain words, moving the play along. Backstage, where you can’t see, there are all kinds of things going on. It can look, to the untrained eye, quite chaotic. But as anyone who has ever worked in production knows, there are jobs to be done backstage that directly contribute to the success of the show that the audience sees. And yes, problems arise, but they are dealt with backstage so that “the show goes on.”

The backstage area, in comparison to the stage itself, is usually significantly larger. There’s space for scenery, props, costumes, makeup, lighting, etc.

If you’ve ever watched a TV show or a movie, would you be surprised to know that probably 2/3rd of what is recorded or filmed ends up on the cutting room floor? I’m using probably dated terminology-cutting room floor is from the days of film. The film would literally be cut apart and pieced back together. The bulk of the film isn’t used; scenes are shot, but it’s all pared down to produce the final product.

Or have you ever seen a really great photo? Yes, sometimes it’s a once in a lifetime shot, a spur of the moment photo. But often, a photographer has to take many photos to get that one “perfect” shot. If you’ve ever taken a picture of your children, you know how this goes. Somebody makes a face, or their eyes are closed, or they’re looking in the wrong direction. Back in the days of 35mm film, I’d waste an entire roll trying to get one or two great pictures. Thank goodness for the digital age!

But my point is this: we can be successful, we can reach our weight loss/fitness goals, but not without a lot of backstage behavior.

What we strive for, what others may see when they look at us tells only a small fraction of the story.

We have to mentally prepare ourselves. We must deal with the emotion of making real change. We must plan: grocery lists, meals, snacks, what to do if we eat out. We rearrange schedules to get enough exercise to burn sufficient calories. Sometimes it takes saying “no” to others and “yes” to ourselves.

It is a lot of work.

Some people’s schedules are more flexible than others. Some people have more emotional support than others. But each of us in our own way is dealing with things that take significant effort.

And when you see someone who has been successful in his or her fitness goals, just remember, it didn’t come easy. Whatever it took “backstage” to make it happen, that person did it and continues to do what it takes to support the life they now lead. Most of the effort is not visible to the naked eye.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Fantastic blog post!!!! I'll remember "Backstage Behavior" the next time I whine to myself about making a trip to the grocery store. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your insight - I do love reading a fresh perspective!

    2625 days ago
    My off-stage production team must be on strike.

    Since I'm theatre crazy, this struck a chord with me. I enjoyed your bog. Thanks for helping me see things in a whole new way.

    2632 days ago
    I have been familiar with the back of the house, so to speak, for some time. Now I have front of the house responsibilities as well. A finely tuned machine.

    Love the way that you write! emoticon
    2632 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Another well written blog of wisdom! I experience this a lot in a way not related to my weight. People think I am so healthy and robust and have no idea of my backstage of a disease that keeps taking a terrible toll on me that I struggle to overcome daily to put on my 'game face'.
    The old saying is true you don't know what a person's life is like until you have walked a mile in their mocassins.
    This really resounds with me..
    2632 days ago
    Great blog as always!
    2632 days ago
    I had not thought of it like that before. I am the mother of a large family. I think my job is mostly backstage in the food department. I buy the stuff that comes into the house. Plan the meals and snacks so that it can be consumed. I think there is more backstage work than I realized. Yes I think I have put my share of the film on the cutting room floor on this journey.

    Won't that final "perfect" shot be great. I am glad we are on this journey together. I enjoy your blogs.
    2632 days ago
  • no profile photo TRULYVISIBLE
    Great blog, great words, great message.
    2632 days ago
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