How to Avoid Trying to Measure Up to Perfection
By Michelle Hoeing Bauche, MS RDN LD CSOWN
Have you ever said this to yourself: “Well since I’ve already screwed up my diet, I should just eat what I want today and start over again next week.”? If you have, you’re not alone. This is what happens when you try to be perfect with your diet instead of being realistic. Trying to be perfect with your weight loss goals can lead to frustration and ultimately failure.
Perfection is a state or condition in which someone or something is free of flaws or defect. Perfectionism is also the tendency to set exceedingly high personal standards and making overly critical self-evaluations. Some of the positive traits of perfectionism include goal orientation, hardworking, driven, and highly praised. However, striving for perfection can also have some negative consequences. Some these include procrastination, disordered eating, social anxiety, and chronic stress.
So how do we avoid living up to perfection? Here are four ideas to consider:
1. Do a simple reality check. A reality check can allow you to get rid of self-doubt and hold you accountable for your own reassurance and not others.
2. Set reasonable goals. For example, expecting to lose 10 pounds in one week is likely an unreasonable goal. Instead, losing 1-2 pounds in one week is a more realistic goal.
3. Solicit advice from friends and family. They can help you get a better perspective on your goals and achievements, especially when the inner voice is a tougher critic than everyone around you.
4. Accept your flaws. Let’s face it, everyone has flaws. Entrust the advice from those individuals whose opinions you highly value to give you feedback.
It is also important to recognize that no one is perfect, and everyone experiences stumbling blocks on their path to success. You don’t need to be PERFECT. Strive instead for consistency. You need to consistently eat healthy, exercise and follow the advice of your doctor.