“Perfectionism”— the enemy of weight loss?

Photo credit to Tambako The Jaguar

Hands up if you’re a perfectionist.

C’mon, you know who you are.

If it helps, I’m lifting my hand up with you!

We perfectionists are very accomplished fibbers.

The fib is usually something along the lines of “when I lose weight, my life will be perfect and I’ll be happy.”

Or, “I need to lose weight perfectly to be happy.”

Having worked with hundreds of women, I can let you in on a secret.

Perfectionism works NOT at all as a weight management strategy. It’s the enemy of weight loss.

In our photoshopped world, we’ve been tricked into believing that we become our happy shape and size by “being perfect.”

But the problem with perfectionism is that it conveniently forgets something vital —that we’re human and we live in the real world.

How often do you say…

“Oh no! I’ve eaten a chocolate mallowpuff, and since that’s imperfect, well heck, I may as well eat the entire packet, and I’ll go back to ‘being perfect’ next Monday (or first of next month or at New Year’s).”

In the meantime, we eat like a bear anticipating hibernation!!!

The trick of the ego

To liberate yourself from perfection , it’s important to understand the trick of the ego.

It’s that small voice in our head that says, “I’ll be happy when I’m size X…when I’ve climbed that mountain…when my To Do list is complete.”

What a trick!

Because, what do you see from the mountain summit? That’s right, another mountain in the distance. And now we want to climb that mountain!

That’s the illusion of the ego— that there’s somewhere to get to, something else to achieve, another thing to do—before we allow ourselves to be happy.

Sure we want to get to the summit, to have a completed To Do list, to be a particular shape and size.

But the real gold is enjoying the journey. Allowing ourselves permission to feel happy now. Not only at some future destination.

There’s a vast difference between ‘healthy achieving’ and perfectionism.

Perfection is overrated. Instead, I encourage you to:

1. Celebrate the small wins—the more you focus on what you’re doing well, the more momentum you gather.

2. Allow yourself to stumble—you’re human. Pick yourself up and keep on keeping on because consistent improvement wins every time.

3. Become a ‘good enough-er.‘ Perfectionism is exhausting. Embracing being a ‘good enough-er’ makes the journey more fun!

Look, I’m all for climbing mountains and nailing To Do list items, but I encourage you to remember to remember to enjoy the journey… imperfectly and step by step.

Love etc, Avril

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