Used to be, people touted being a perfectionist as something to brag about. Seems as though tides are turning. All over the internet you’ll see people talking about being a “recovering perfectionist.” But what does that even mean??
The way I see it, perfectionism drives an all or nothing mentality. If it isn’t perfect, why bother. I think most people can relate to that in some capacity.
So how does that have anything to do with fat loss? Well…honestly, everything.
Think about the last time you went on a diet. Likely something that was restrictive in some capacity. Maybe you cut carbs, ate all whole foods, became a diligent label reader, etc. All of these things feed right into the perfectionist mindset. There’s a set of rules to follow. We want to follow them just so. We want an A on the test. We want to be the poster child of success.
But what happens? Everything is great for a few days, maybe even a few weeks. You’re riding the high of following the rules. Maybe you’re getting the results you’re looking for.
And then it happens…
You slip up. You take a bite of something and can’t stop. You know you’re off the wagon so you throw in the towel and figure you’ll start again on Monday.
Sound familiar?? You follow the rules until you can’t.
What do you do about it?
Here are 3 simple steps to get off the perfectionist diet train.
1. Stop labeling food as good or bad.
Giving food the polarity of good vs bad feeds right into the perfectionist mentality. Food shouldn’t leave you feeling guilty. It has no moral value. It’s just food. Ate too much at dinner last night? Ok. Doesn’t make you a bad person. Let it go and move on. It’s food, nothing worth beating yourself up over.
2. Allow for wiggle room.
I use this all the time with clients. Allow yourself a treat every day. One treat. Something that feels indulgent in a small quantity. A piece of chocolate, a small serving of ice cream, a glass of wine. Pick one and enjoy the hell out of it. The rest of the day, focus on getting a diet full of nutritious foods.
3. Stop judging others.
This is a BIG one. If you are feeling guilty about choices you’ve made, if you’re saying how awful you are because you indulged, chances are you’re saying the same about others. Maybe not out loud, but I’d bet you can catch yourself judging the food choices others are making. It’s so hard to face this one but so incredibly important. If you catch yourself judging the choices others are making, consider that it’s none of your business. Really, you don’t get a say, so your opinion doesn’t matter. And vice versa. No one else gets a say in the food choices you make. See how freeing that can be??? It takes practice but man, it’s a good place to be.
If you want to take steps to let go of diet perfectionism, join me for NUTRIBLOCKS, a FREE 10 day training. We will be going back to basics and learning super simple strategies to build healthy eating habits for life. Sign up here. The fun starts January 25th.