Embracing the imperfection will allow you to evolve. If you wait until you have all the right cards in hand, you will never win the game.
Start before you are ready.
The starting point.
For a long time, that phrase did not make any sense to me.
As a good perfectionist and idealizer, I was terrified of failure. I felt I needed all the right strategies to win the game.
In regards to weight loss — I felt that I needed to understand all the metabolic processes, the composition of all the foods I ate, to have my whole routine under control so that I would then be “able” to begin my journey.
For me, that was the only way to be successful. That’s why I was stuck in a long cycle of failure and restarts.
The desire for control (and the perceived lack of it) can leave us paralyzed.
In general, we tend to compare real life with the prescription on the refrigerator door, with what is written in the magazine, with what the Instagram blogger says she is “doing”.
This eternal quest for perfection and the comparison of everything in our life with an idea of perfection guarantees a 99%* chance of being disappointed and frustrated all the time, feeling stuck, and overwhelmed.
*statistically proven & in my opinion
If you do it on some level, it’s possible that you keep yourself playing on the reserve team — the one who only trains and never goes on the field.
In other words, you do not feel ready or good enough to play.
The fact is, the more you expect to have all the variables under control for action, the longer it will take until you get what you want.
Getting Into Action: The Importance of Overcoming Inertia
I used to believe that getting into action meant to turn the table, to do 23 new things every day (obviously tracking with a habit tracker) and to rearrange my whole life (starting next Monday, of course).
I would put a lot of pressure on myself to have everything under control and would blame myself if any criteria had not been met.
Cheating on my “lifestyle change” was like committing a crime.
This mentality fed a self-punishment cycle, which went something like this: a lot of pressure — need to vent (and make the pain go away with food, in this case) — self-recrimination — more pressure as punishment (restriction), and repeat.
Today I’ve realized that the smallest actions are capable of taking us out of inertia.
Our reality is shaped by every small decision we make, and every action we make has the power to determine our mental state — and this one my friend, is the master of change.
So often we invest so much energy in pursuing or creating the perfect plan that we end up not realizing that our daily actions are more important.
The perfect eating or exercise plan means nothing if you are not able to adhere to it consistently.
So don’t fool yourself believing that you need to start a revolution, otherwise nothing will change. That idea only adds weight to your shoulders. The small attitudes, done on a daily basis, can give you a totally renewed life experience.
Small Changes Make a Big Difference
While research may indicate that the methods A, B or C are ideal for optimal results, be sure to remember that you are a unique human being, and your lifestyle and preferences must be taken into consideration.
Start with what you can implement in your day-to-day lifestyle consistently, finding the balance between what is feasible (for you) and great (for the results you seek).
In addition, small attitudes and changes (that have nothing to do with what you eat) can help you a lot, especially if they decrease the weight on your shoulders and make your routine easier.
These are some actions you can work on implementing into your daily routine:
- Give yourself a compliment each time you look in the mirror.
- Saying more “no’s” and prioritize your well-being.
- Deciding that you will always seek the positive side of things.
- Take a different path to work, to get out of automatic pilot and, who knows, to have some inspiration in your morning.
If we consider how imperfect we as humans are, how can we expect anything we do — from baking a cake to raising a child — to be perfect?
Whenever a human being is involved, things are real. And real means failures, defects, and faults.
Real means good enough, the best you can do at that time, with the tools and knowledge you already have.
There is no perfect diet, no perfect marriage, no perfect teacher or politician.
If you expect perfection, you will be disappointed.
If you want to compare yourself, let it be with other real humans or, better yet, with your version of yourself from yesterday.
If you can stop pursuing perfection, you are likely to realize that you are doing pretty fine with your eating and your life in general.
We often believe that our neighbor’s grass is greener, but in fact, it’s just a filter. Stay real.
I am a Brazilian girl (living in Sao Paulo with my fiancé — and another 20 million people). I love coffee, books, and good food. I also really enjoy studying and learning new things that allow me to further develop myself both professionally and personally. I have a degree in Food Science and hold a Ph.D. in Agri-food Marketing. In addition, I am a Certified Nutrition Coach and an enthusiastic Nutrition student.
There is a power that comes alive when women free themselves from the food prison in which they have learned to live, when they realize that they are capable and deserving of feeling fantastic in their own bodies, and that confidence is a state of mind — not a body lotion which you get the right to use when you reach a weight-loss goal.
My work is dedicated to nurturing, celebrating and sharing this message.
More posts from this author:
- Weight Loss Myths That Are Getting In Your Way
- How To Deal With the Fear of Food Freedom
- Your Biggest Mistake
- The Weight You Really Need To Lose
- Do This Before Attacking the Fridge
- Help! I Can't Stop Eating!
- Why Does Losing Weight Feel So Hard?
- 4 Ways Of Thinking That Are Hindering Your Weight Loss
- Do You Need Permission to Eat?
- Anxiety and Eating. Is it Normal?
- Breaking Up With My Diet
- Embracing Imperfection
- Do you like being fooled?
- Why You Don’t Need To - and Maybe Shouldn't - Have Cheat Days
- The Two Great Pitfalls of the “Bad Food” Mentality
- Finding Food Freedom — the Mindset Shift You Need
- (See all...)