I am not perfect.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My weight has been fluctuating between 174 and 176 lbs for the last week. I know it is normal, I should not worry about this and keep doing what I am doing. I gain weight mostly around my belly, the problem of being an anxious person. So I measured my waist and I am not gaining weight around my belly, in fact, is slowly decreasing. I know I should not obsess about this. However, my need to be perfect is haunting me. The nirvana fallacy attacks me everyday and sometimes stops me from doing anything.

I feel like I need to be perfect because of my deep fear of being rejected. When I was a child people around me, including my mother, used to say I was ugly and many many times I felt rejected. I was extremely smart, that was one thing that everybody seemed to unanimously agree with. I could not be pretty but I was smart. I went through life pushing myself to a higher education so people would accept me.

Last year I finished my PhD in Astrophysics. Many people, who I talk to, do not know what Astrophysics really means but they know it means being smart. However, I feel miserable about it. In my mind my PhD thesis was far from being perfect and I did not deserve the degree. I feel I am unable to move forward with my life. Nowadays I feel I am not smart and I fear that sooner or later people will find it out. I am so so afraid of being rejected. I feel like I have nothing to offer.

I know it is silly. I know I am wrong, thinking like this, dismissing anything in the real world because in my mind I compare it to an unrealistic and perfect alternative. It is a logic error. I am not perfect, in fact, nobody is.

So what if my weight is not going down? I should be patient and keep doing what I am doing and try to move forward. Keep in mind that I am not perfect and I may not be the best but I am resilient and strong.

Then I went jogging... I ran for about 2 miles without stopping.

I know I am not there yet but I can already see the changes in my body when I look at myself in the mirror. For me, this is not just about losing weight. It's about moving forward, being patient, loving myself and finding peace and contentment in every moment of my life. Seeing every step for what it is and above all being patient is the key for me to realize that I can do this.

Sometimes, I close my eyes and I imagine myself with less 10, 20... 50 lbs When I open my eyes again, the 10 to 50 lbs are still there and I am disappointed with myself.

So I try to I imagine myself to be one of my friends. I always try to be patient, understandable and encourage my friends to follow their dreams. If one of my friends would tell me they would like to lose weight, I would encourage them to be patient, to take one step at a time, to follow a healthy diet and to work out instead of expecting them to do the impossible. So why do I expect myself to do the impossible and to be perfect? If all have I done is to close my eyes, what am I expecting to happen? Some kind of magic that will make 10-50 lbs of my body mass to vanish?

I am taking the right steps and I can do this. The only thing that is in my way is my need to be perfect, my fear of being rejected. The good new is I can not change reality but I can change the way I look at it. I am not perfect and I will never be. What's the fun in being perfect anyway?

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    I had the same kind of negative talking done about me in my hearing when I was young too and it affected how I perceived myself for many years. Then all of a sudden (who knows why) I decided I didn't care if someone didn't like me the way I am because I'm the only one who really has to put up with me. So now I act the way I want (still I'm reserved because that's me) and say what's on my mind (without being rude or insensitive when possible). Hope you're able to love and accept yourself as you are and don't worry what anyone else says. emoticon emoticon emoticon Job.
    443 days ago
    Hey Girlfriend - you are a rocket scientist AND you can two miles without stopping.

    This is cool. :)
    2356 days ago
    Thanks so much for sharing your are a wonderful person ! Keep up the good work !!! I have a great download /hypnosis I listen to at night which deals with self acceptance. If you are interested, I'd be glad to email it to you !
    2358 days ago
    sometimes, when we are young we label ourself, saying that we are not beautiful, and not enough skinny, thinking that maybe those thought will protect us from how the people and high schoolers usually treat you.

    The thing is that we really don't know is that we grow into those labels, and the beautiful person you were meant to be was jeopardize by those thoughts..

    Anyways... loosing weight is a journey.. is difficult.. and is very slow.. I'm obsess on my weight and my body changes.. and never seems to be fast enough for me to be happy with it...

    So we have to relay ourselves with the little accomplishment like running 2 miles... I think is beautiful that you shared your fears... but is more beautiful.. that you already understand how your mind works.. and start making changes so you can become a secure high self-esteem person...

    YOU ARE SMART AND BEAUTIFUL .. and have the ability to write without boring the readers...

    so kuddos!!! God bless you...
    2359 days ago
  • CAROL494
    You are on the right track! Patience is a virtue. It is something that evolves with experience and the wisdom to see the positive results by practicing patience.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! emoticon
    2360 days ago
    While I would never claim to be smart enough to earn a PhD in Astrophysics, I say with age comes wisdom. I have been in your shoes and still am in some ways. The need to be perfect to avoid rejection because I didn't think I had anything else to offer. I'm a lot older now and have come to know I caused myself a lot more pain and suffering in a multitude of ways including physically because of it and very little joy or rewards came with my efforts to be perfect. In fact, I doubt anybody but me paid any attention to it. Be glad you are aware and working on this now instead of wasting more time, energy and emotion in a pursuit that has little pay off. My new attitude is to do the very best I can and let it go. God Bless...I think you are beautiful. I appreciate you sharing your heart and soul with us.
    2360 days ago
  • PIZO78
    I couldn't run 2 miles without stopping, that right there is a huge accomplishment. Try to not worry about what other people think of u as hard as it may be. U should be proud of urself!!! Heck, I'm proud of u and don't even know u :)
    2362 days ago
  • PAT262
    I could so associate with your comments. I remember a time when I was less forgiving of my body and was very critical of myself. But thank goodness, through the years, I have become more accepting of my imperfections. I even reached a point where I verbally apologized to my body for the terrible way I had treated her through the years through poor diet, my tendency to be a workaholic, not getting enough rest,and the unkind statements I've made about my body. Afterall, I was the one who did it to myself. My body was just the victim of my poor choices and, through the years, she has served me well in spite of it all.

    Oh, I still make poor choices, but the difference is that I know that I am the one responsible of my choices. I've learned to love myself unconditionally. That is a lesson learned from above.

    Blessings to you as you continue your journey to good health.
    emoticon ... as can I!
    2362 days ago
  • RICU1952
    At least you are doing something to make a difference in your life. Congratulations and know you are not alone.
    2362 days ago
    Wow, what a wonderful story. No one ever thinks anyone else shares what someone else does, but they do. I do. My mother was never positive and my Dad saw me as a sex toy. Really. I didn't know what perfectionism was. My Dad made sure I never wanted any help with my homework or puzzles if I was working one. So I made mistakes just so I could get attention. Bad Huh!!! I want to lose like everyother person on this team. Enstead of losing, I've learned to enjoy the company of the people on this website.
    I've also learned that I've thrown alot of "tasty" food out the
    window and started eating right which I can tell. I'm not bloaty
    anymore. So offer yourself a welcome treat for accepting the worst and making it better. You deserve it. Hang in there.
    2362 days ago
    TV and magazines give us a false image of perfect. Heck, even in the news there have been many scandals recently about air-brushing or changing skin color. If these images of women and men are supposed to be the picture of perfection why are they hiding behind photoshop. You my friend are perfectly you! The lifestyle changes you make are yours to claim. Sometimes that darned scale can put us through undue stress and I am so glad you did other measurements as well! emoticon
    2362 days ago
    2362 days ago
    What we're told as children impacts the rest of our lives. It's taken years of therapy to begin undoing the verbal and emotional abuse. Your idea of treating yourself as you would a friend is something in which to strive. No one is perfect. I understand why you feel you must be perfect but it only leads to heartache. I also understand your fear of rejection I fight with that too. Focus on the people in your life that you do have.

    You are a "beautiful" woman! You are intelligent as shown by your PhD! You are taking the correct steps to lose weight! Try to be patient, you'll get there! I wish you all the best!!!

    emoticon YOU"RE emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2363 days ago
    I've found that there comes a point in a woman's life where she realizes she LIKES and is proud of who she is, and really doesn't give a rip if some people don't like her or not. It's liberating, and allows us really to become a better person because we're not trying to be someone else or impress anyone! You have so much to be proud of! Remember that "perfect" means different things to different people. Just be the best YOU you can be!
    2363 days ago
    You are fabulous just the way you are - and the fact that you were brave enough to post a blog about your struggle with perfectionism is awesome. I find myself falling prey to the perfectionism bug every now and then - it can make you crazy - it can make you give up way too soon - sure, some folks are lucky enough to drop weight very quickly - others aren't - I struggle with thyroid issues and the fact I'm getting older, have a desk job that keeps my idle for 9 hours a day - all things that make me frustrated, but I keep saying to myself 'consistent persistence will prevail' - when you stop and think about your progress you will find that you have gained so much along this journey - a fitter body (could you run for 2 miles without stopping before you started this journey?), a sense of accomplishment after a good work-out, you're probably making wiser food choices and taking better care of yourself........and many, many more great things! I think we women should collectively kick perfectionism to the curb and enjoy our fabulous selves just as we are! -Shanna emoticon emoticon
    2363 days ago
    2 miles without stopping is amazing!!! Congrats on such an accomplishment!! emoticon
    2363 days ago
    Congrats on taking the right steps. Take one day at a time. emoticon
    2363 days ago
    Perfectionism ... one of the great paralyzers of all time. I think at one time or another we have all suffered from some sort of perfectionism ... the truly "impossible dream." Once we learn to accept ourselves at our imperfect best, then we can move forward in achieving our goals. Emily suggested therapy; I've done that and it helped me tremendously. Cheryl mentioned living in the here and now; also good to do. She mentioned self-talk and this one is a biggie! When we talk to ourselves (and I believe we all do, whether silently or out loud), are we positive and upbeat or negative and beat up? Mine changes with the task at hand. I can tell you I love the results when I am positive and upbeat with myself; not so much when I am negative and beating myself up. The negative self-talk limits us in so many ways.

    I must agree with everyone who posted here: You are truly AMAZING! Not only are you SMART, but you are also WISE. I don't know what your family was thinking or what they saw, but I can see for myself you are truly BEAUTIFUL inside and out!

    Kick the negative self-talk to the curb and allow yourself to be imperfect, yes, but the best you can be! You are not finished ... you are a work in progress, just as we all are.

    Blessing to you as you continue your journey.

    2363 days ago
    the 'funny" thing is that the idea of perfection actually scare me. therefore i TRY to focus on being the best me i can with all my flaws and imperfections. besides those gnarly games our heads play with themselves do a number on us don't they?

    2363 days ago
    Thank you! I'm dealing with a recurrence of old feelings of inadequacy right now. In my case, it seems to be hormonally triggered as far as I can tell. When I was growing up, PMS wasn't a concept you heard about, so I was just called moody, difficult, hypersensitive, overly-imaginative, etc.

    Don't get me wrong -- the emotional abuses were real enough; it's just that sometimes hormonal fluctuations seem to trigger the tapes. Unfortunately, it took far too many years for me to figure out the pattern, and for most of those years I thought I was just some kind of crazy they didn't have a name for.

    It's easy to say, "Just forget about it and go on from here," but it's not always easy to change that image of ourselves that was instilled in us when we were too young and vulnerable to resist. I look at you and see a remarkable woman, intelligent, articulate, and determined to take control of her life. I hope someday when you look in the mirror, you'll see her too.

    2363 days ago
    I agree, there is no one definition of perfect. And who wants to be perfect anyhow. I know that throughout my life, I have learnt so much more from my mistakes.
    Keep up the good work and enjoy both the highs and the lows of your journey!
    2363 days ago
  • CLAIRE94620
    Congratulations on continuing your journey of change regardless of whatever fear that seems to arise and block your way.
    2363 days ago
    2363 days ago
    What a marvelous blog. Thank you for sharing. Let me just say that not only are you SMART, but you are WISE! Keep up the great work, knowing that you are always being the best you can be.

    By the way, don't know what your family is talking about. I love your picture, sweetie.

    Go for it!
    Renie emoticon
    2364 days ago
    As a mother, I want to say to you what I say to my son...You are a gift from God to me and I cherish you!...I emphasize you because there is no one in the world who is you but you.

    Your blog, indicates that you talk to say positive things...affirm every little positive step you make. For a while it will need to be a ritual....make your eating and workouts appointments on your calendar until they become second nature.

    For one day a week, identify a persona in need and help them! Put your focus on living life each day and celebrating that you are here.

    It might sound strange, but I love me. I love the woman I have become and recognize all the hills and valleys of this journey gave me great views. I encourage you to keep becoming and that means you have to take steps toward the vision you see of you every day.

    Peace and blessings to you,
    2364 days ago
    When you worked on your PhD you gave yourself time to accomplish it. You worked on it one step at a time..... so now you much do the same with your weight and physical fitness.

    Be here today, be here in this moment and let go of all the other negative thinking. give yourself a positive mantra.... it can change your life.
    2364 days ago
    You have so many things about you that are amazing! Don't focus on what you think is not ... look at where you are in comparison to where you have been - WOW! You ARE amazing!

    I honestly believe that the majority of people mentally deal with what you wrote about in your blog. I know I do! I am so thankful for encouragers (though they are few) like my cousin Cathy whom I have in my life right now.

    You can so do this, and I can, too!
    2364 days ago
  • EMILY0724
    Perfectionism is a form of illogical thinking. Earlier this year I was in therapy and this is one of the things I worked on. Illogical thinking is a "real term" used by therapists and learning ways of overcoming this way of thinking is liberating!

    You have so much positive in your life! You are you own worst enemy. I suggest therapy so you can learn to love yourself the way you deserve! It's what I did and it worked!!!!
    2364 days ago
    You're right. Being perfect isn't fun. Striving to be better is much more fun. It's the journey that's important.
    emoticon emoticon
    2364 days ago
    All we really have is right now. Forget the past, we can't change it. Plan for the future, but be flexible. But really, the only moment we really have is right now. So make your right now beautiful!
    2364 days ago
    You can do this!
    2364 days ago
    Many of us struggle with this perfectionism issue- once you figure it out (counseling, meditation...) you will absolutely rock your world.
    You have so much going for you.
    Who cares about your belly, really?
    Do you think that is what people notice about you?
    Rock yourself in the cradle of lovingkindness.

    2364 days ago
  • ANGEL636
    Amen to that. "you are taking the right steps, and you can & WILL do this".
    Remember also to take some time out for you & be kind to yourself.
    2364 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/3/2011 1:33:40 AM
  • JIBBIE49
    emoticon Wonderful to see you featured in "THIS MONTHS BEST MEMBER BLOGS". What an honor. emoticon
    2364 days ago
    2364 days ago
    2364 days ago
    You totally just summed up everything I've been thinking for weeks. Good luck with your goals! I know it takes a lot of re-focusing energy from academics to your own body, but you can do it!
    2364 days ago
    That's a great post. Those people were wrong. You are beautiful.
    2364 days ago
    You can do this!
    2365 days ago
    See, in my case people tells me I'm neither, smart or pretty, but since my mother died I think we only have one life and it's dumb to live it worrying about what people think of you, the only persons that I live for and care about are my three precious angels, my kids and it's them that motivate me to be better, in every aspect of my life, they push me, every time I'm running and get tired, to go a little bit more. They are smart, good athletes and give me lots of love every day. So if you don't have a good motive to loose weight you better find one cause nobody is perfect and nobody should feel the way that you feel, so keep working to reach your goals. emoticon
    2365 days ago
    Nice Blog. No one is perfect. If we could just realize that!
    2365 days ago
    All of us who are perfectionists bring so much angst to our lives by trying to measure up to an impossible ideal. I don't know that we can ever be "cured" but we can make a concentrated effort to be nicer to ourselves.

    By the way, I got my Ph.D. twenty years ago and I still have dreams in which I discover I didn't complete one or two of the courses required so I wasn't able to get the degree. Weird!
    2365 days ago
    I opted for "the smart route" as well. As I aged, I realized, like you, I'm more than that. Though it is a constant battle to treat ourselves in third party form and do for ourselves what we do for others.
    I applaud your efforts. You truly are brillant and amazing as another post said.
    Keep on keeping on and try to enjoy the journey. You'll get "there"!
    2365 days ago
    gee, sounds like my family. i was the smart one, and my sister was the pretty one. took a really long time for me to realize i'm not ugly (and even afterwards i tried and succeeding in making myself ugly by being fat) and for my sister to be quite certain she's really intelligent (she is). yes what the others said. professional help and work on self-esteem should help. and btw it took me until i was 59 (that is, this year) to be able to run 2 miles.
    2365 days ago
    I can relate. I've reached a point in my life where I'm not concentrating so much on the weight, but on the quality of my life. You really are doing great. Running 2 miles is excellent. You're not just smart. You are amazing.
    2365 days ago
    Realizing that your perfectionism is getting in your way is a HUGE step toward a healthier mindset. And... just for the record... you ARE beautiful. At this weight and at whatever weight you're aiming for. Nobody fits the "ideal". Even models have to be airbrushed and "modified" in photos.
    2365 days ago
    Hang in there. It's just an adjustment period for your body. You are doing GREAT!

    2365 days ago
    Lovely post!
    2365 days ago
    2365 days ago
    It is all self-esteem. You don't REALLY believe anything good about yourself. This is why you strive for perfection- it is like chasing a ghost. There is no perfection so therefore you can't reach it, and therefore you can beat yourself up a little more. You think you are a counterfeit because of the messages you heard growing up. You are beautiful-inside and out-let go of the past. Look at yourself in the mirror and smile. Hug yourself, learn to praise yourself when you "catch" yourself doing something good, or smart, or kind. Your blog captures a beautiful soul. Don't obsess about the perfect body, there are so many more important things to think about :)
    2365 days ago
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