It had all come down to this moment. We'd spent hours watching "how to" videos, made endless trips to get supplies we'd missed and waited what felt like days for the chemicals to dry. We packed ourselves like sardines in the bedroom closet we'd converted into a dark room and counted down the seconds to start the screen burning process. "Ready?" I remember my husband asking. "Ready," I said. "Three, two.. ONE!" I started the timer as he turned on the exposure unit and then we waited. Four minutes and twenty seconds to be exact.
Just as we had started, we counted down the seconds as the timer ran out and turned the machine off just as promptly as it had been turned on. We removed the shirt screen and quickly ran outside to complete the process but as we started to "spray it out", nothing happened. According to all of the videos, pamphlets and directions we'd read, the image of our design was supposed to wash out as we sprayed the screen with our water hose but instead of the image appearing, like it was supposed to, the screens physical state never changed.
We repeated this process three more times all with the same result, an empty screen. We adjusted the times, used more weight, even tried spraying it out on a higher setting yet nothing worked. Frustrated and out of screens, we resolved to defeat and began packing up the equipment to go through the long, tedious process again.
Back in our closet, I couldn't figure out what we'd done wrong. We had coated each screen just like we were supposed to. We let them burn more than enough time for the image to set. We had done everything right! Why weren't the screens washing out? As I went to cover the exposure unit I noticed one of the bulbs was sticking out farther than the other. Thinking it was odd, I pressed the power button and sure enough, it hadn't been screwed in all the way. Our images weren't burning because they weren't getting enough light during the burning process.
The whole time we'd been so focused on the screens, on what we thought was the problem, when the screen wasn't actually the problem at all. Had we stopped and took a look at the big picture and focused on a solution, instead of the frustrating problem, our first try could have been successful.
Much like the situation with our shirt screens, we tend to look at fitness the same way when the scale doesn't move or we can't hit that new personal record in the gym. If we'd just step back for a moment and look at the bigger picture, focus on the solution instead of the problem, we'd be more prone to succeed instead of repeating the same steps over and over again expecting a different outcome.
Don't focus on the number on your scale, focus on being active and doing your best not to fall back into routine. Instead of thinking about all the "bad" foods you can't have, think about all the amazing fresh things you can eat without worry. Focus on the process, the solution to your issue, not the problem or your frustrations. Sometimes all it takes is a little light on the situation to make a big change.