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A Reminder that Perfection Never Pays (and here’s Why)

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

When we set out on a journey to find relief or healing around food and body, we often do so from a place of “something is wrong and needs to be fixed” which is a reaction to a bad thing,  rather than a desire for something better.  We then place the solution and the reward in the future: “when I lose the weight then I will feel like a good person” or “when I can finally kick this carb addiction then I won’t feel so crazy.”

There are a couple of pitfalls with this level of thinking.

  1. When you think this way, you are starting from a place of deficit: something is wrong and broken and needs to be changed.  You are affirming what ISN’T here instead of acknowledging, celebrating and giving thanks for what IS.   Hit pause on the critical repeat for a second and you’ll find that you’re actually pretty bad ass just as you are.  We all have good things to give thanks for and gratitude we can give to our bodies, even if its simply for continuing to keep us alive amongst all the judgment and criticism we throw its way.

  2. This way of thinking also takes us out of the present moment and has us future tripping all over ourselves.   Instead of experiencing what’s possible right now, we are off somewhere in place that has yet to happen and we miss the goodness that is happening now.  Did you notice the people you passed on the way to work or the way the sky looked this morning or the color of the eyes of the barista who handed you your latte?  Your life is happening NOW, not when you lose the weight at some unspecific time in an unknown future.  Give yourself the gift of enjoying life now.  There is so much to enjoy that’s passing you by.

One thing we forget in our fear based reaction to food and body is that change IS possible (and sustainable) when we come at from a mindset that who we are right now is awesome, just as we are.  It is the dis-belief of this fact that has us feel at odds with food and body in the first place.  Instead, we believe that something is wrong with our feelings, our desire and ultimately, with us and as such, we compulsively eat as a way to soothe the emotional discomfort that we don’t yet have the tools to handle.

Yet, when we switch from expecting perfection to accepting our human-ness, we come to recognize that, as with anything, we can become a better version of of who we are each and everyday, by affirming that there is nothing wrong with us now.    (Note, better does not equal thinner thighs or flatter abs but it might mean finally giving your body the attention and care it deserves which then could mean a stronger healthier body.)  Are ya picking up what I’m putting down?

Lastly, this fear based reaction around perfection is subject to the law of diminishing returns.

I’m willing to bet your idea of how you should eat and what your body should look like comes from a mainstream cultural ideal of what is beautiful and attractive in women.   For YEARS, I would look at fashion magazines and see women in these really big oversized kind of linen pants and think OH! I want a pair of those.  Except when I went to try them on they never ever looked all flowy and perfect on me like they did on all those models.   It took years (not kidding) for me to realize that those ladies had no curves and thus those pants could hang perfectly in a way that was never gonna happen with my apple bottom booty.

It’s hard to break free of the ideas of what “perfect” health looks like or what it means to be attractive. But if you keep chasing someone else’s idea of these definitions, then you’ll always keep chasing.  At first, you might find some wins— you may be able to stay on that diet for a whole 30 days until you find that you hate restriction, or maybe you do lose 10 pounds really quickly. Eventually though, trying to force yourself into someone else’s diet plan, health goals or ideas of beauty are going to be a monkey on your back that just ain’t so friendly.   And thus, what once sounded like a great plan for perfection suddenly has you chasing someone else’s idea that just simply isn’t sustainable.

Do yourself, your body and your sanity a steady by really listening to what works for you and your body type.  Invest the time that you deserve to get to know yourself, love yourself and really care for the body you were given.  This includes what clothes make you feel great, what foods have you feel pleasure and aliveness and what it takes to build health each and every day, for you.  There is no one size fits all plan when it comes to food and body.   Nothing is ever quite that perfect.  ?

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