Catching up on some Vitality blogging :)
So…what have you avoided doing in your life because you were scared of failing? What progress have you chosen to bypass because you were so concerned with being “perfect”? How has black and white thinking impacted you and your goals? What do you think would happen if YOU adopted a progress not perfection mentality? How would things be different if you didn’t feel so pressured to do things perfectly? What would it look like if you completely let go of your perfectionism and embraced your imperfections? How would your healthy lifestyle be influenced? How would your work be influenced? Who would benefit if you adopted the progress not perfection mentality? Would your family benefit? How about your friends? How would it make you feel if you allowed yourself some wiggle room? How are you going to start adopting a progress not perfection mentality?
I'm a perfectionist. I learned that from Lauren a long time ago, and learned how deep that perfectionism goes, and how it impacts my life. They always say not to use that as your one weakness if you're ever asked in a job interview, but it's totally my #1 weakness!
One of my favorite quotes is "progress, not perfection", especially when I see others getting down on themselves, but I'm not so great about applying that to my own life. I was discussing health/weight loss/etc with a good friend last weekend. We both struggle with weight loss, and I told her that I'd lost 60lbs with SparkPeople when I lived in Tucson, but I gained weight and have REALLY struggled while moving to Oregon because of all the fantastic food, craft beers, wineries, etc. I've actually gained weight, not all the weight back, but I've gained in Oregon and have failed at taking it off every time I try. Tucson just didn't have the foodie scene, and I was really successful. My weight gain is due to too many calories in - I can workout every day, and I'll still be consuming too many calories to create a deficit.
Why do I bring this up? Because I see my life as totally black and white. I can be "on track" and not enjoying the great foods, not enjoying the craft beers, staying away from all the food festivals - being unhappy with that part of my life but happy with my weight - or I can be enjoying them and therefore be "off track" - loving that part of my life but being unhappy with my weight. There is no middle ground. As soon as my husband suggests we go out to eat, as soon as our friends want to meet at our favorite pub, it's totally game over in my mind. It's obvious the toll that thinking takes on my body and lack of weight loss, but it takes a toll on me mentally as well. I feel out of control, I feel like I can't possibly succeed here without having zero social life and having to turn down all the activities I enjoy, so I turn to food in excess and the circle continues.
Before I even knew what this prompt was about, I had been trying to practice the "progress, not perfection" mindset. Example: husband was really restless last night and insisted that we go out with friends and not just "sit at home all night". To me, sitting at home is great because I'm not confronted with temptation, that's when I get my workouts in, and I was really tired anyway. But he was in one of those moods, and it would be easier for me to choose to go with him than stay home and do my own thing. So we went out and met some friends to play darts/pool. My mind jumped to black/white mentality: I'm never going to lose weight, I'm failing at my plan. I'm out at a bar, I'm going to have some drinks and ruin my day. Portion control and self-control aren't easy for me, but I decided to pick a drink I really wanted to enjoy, and then switch to diet soda with a lime (which totally looks like a cocktail and doesn't prompt the "why aren't you enjoying drinks with everybody else?!" questions, which I don't mind, but I don't want that kind of attention). Was it what I really wanted to do? No, I wanted to eat and drink to my heart's content because I'm either going overboard or nothing at all. But did it work? Yes. I enjoyed one drink, still spent time with my husband and friends doing what we love to do, and I didn't feel like I derailed my progress.
Still as I sit here though, I have a voice in the back of my head telling me it's useless, I'll never lose weight while living in foodie heaven simply because I've never been able to make it work. It's a process. I need to take it one day/meal/outing at a time.