The Downfall of Weight Loss: Perfection
The answer is never the opposite, always the balance. And so it is with successful recovery from issues with food and weight. There are a PLETHORA of things that get in the way of us finding a permanent solution to our issues with food and weight.
For many, plethora seems and feels like an understatement.
Totally hear it and totally understand your frustration. And, if I had to synthesize ONE THING to help solve all of your problems, here is what I would say: be precise whenever and wherever you can and make the very best decisions that support your long term goals whenever precision is or feels impossible. No worries, I will come up with a cuter and more succinct way to say that (stay tuned!) — and if you can start to practice this principle, you will have instant relief.
The thing that most often gets in the way of your success is the old light switch from the dieting archives. You know what I mean? “I’m on my diet” or “I’m off my diet.” “I’m eating good food” or “I’m on a cheat day/week/month/sabbatical.” And the reaction that comes when we are striving to be rigid and perfect and can’t make the mark.
Part one: be precise whenever and wherever you can — there’s nothing wrong with striving for perfection. As long as you realize it’s more of a concept than a location. As I blog and write about all the time, we need to demand perfection of ourselves the same way a professional baseball pitcher wakes up in the morning aiming to pitch a no hitter. When we don’t do that, we set ourselves up for failure from the get-go. We also need to be practicing these precision skills so that we can get better and better at executing them. So, we need to practice them whenever and wherever we can to be the masters of our domain.
Part two: make the very best decisions that support your long-term goals whenever precision is, or feels, impossible. If they don’t have your goat cheese salad, it’s not an excuse to order the cheeseburger with fries. If they don’t have fresh fruit for dessert, it doesn’t give permission to eat some cake. Really, the bad habits we create around long-term success with food and weight come from what happens when we can’t or don’t feel like following our best plan.
Am I right?
It’s the national anthem of relapse: “F-it!” If instead of “F-it,” we can re-strategize and recalculate — you know, the sorts of things you do in every other area of your life that you have success in — you can find success here too. When something goes wrong at work with a project — you make a corrective action plan, you don’t quit your job. When you get in a fight with your partner, you see your side of it, you make some repairs, and you move on, often better off for having the argument. And yet, when you eat a donut at a breakfast meeting instead of your oatmeal, you are on a week-long bender that has you worse off than when you started your diet.
In the words of Voltaire: “Perfect is the enemy of good.” It’s a concept called HARM REDUCTION — and I will be blogging and talking and vlogging and campaigning for it over and over and over — so stay tuned!