Recovering Perfectionist

recovering perfectionist

Confessions of a recovering perfectionist

I tend to judge myself when I don’t fit into what I perceive to be the perfect person.

If I eat something I shouldn’t eat, I judge myself.

If I say something I shouldn’t say, I judge myself.

If I act in a way that isn’t perfect and polished, I judge myself.

Remember my post about ‘My Food Philosophy?

99% of the time I love it; live it and embrace it. However recently I experienced that extra 1%.

In the holidays I ate some Twisties – yes you know the kind full of artificial flavours and preservatives. They basically go against everything I stand for and yet they tasted delicious.  Before you panic, I am not going to write reams of pages about Twisties. The big issue was how I felt afterwards both physically and emotionally.

Physical Impact

In a nutshell I did not feel good and the short-term pleasure quickly diminished and I was left craving more and surprisingly unsatisfied. Listening to my body is a great tool for letting me know what my body needs. This means I can release myself from the endless cycle of dieting and just trust my own intuition, intelligence and inner wisdom. Even though I thought I wanted them my body loudly yelled ‘NO’.

Emotional impact

Being perfect is something I always strive for and it comes at quite a high price. I am an all of nothing kind of person, so when I put that Twistie in my mouth, I was suddenly bombarded with feelings of regret, guilt, disappointment at my lack of self-control and discipline. I also felt like a bit of a fraud. Suddenly my self-worth diminished all over a chip, or lets be honest a packet of chips.  This led to more negative self-talk, limiting beliefs and the guilt cycle began. These feelings are not confined to my eating habits but spread to other aspects of my life. Even this morning while I was meditating I noticed my negative self talk rearing its ugly head as well – “I need to clear my thoughts and meditate perfectly“.

I guess it was inevitable that old habits would rear their alluring head, but I need to believe that it doesn’t mean that I am failing at carving out a new healthy lifestyle.

So now I am back to my normal regime – happy for the reminder of what this kind of food brings my life. I am also back to my simple truth – to eat fresh wholefood that nourishes me. I also know that working with my body rather than against it brings me increased energy and sustainable health.

Will I eat another Twistie? I wish the answer was no but I just can’t really confirm that.  I do hope that next time I am kinder to myself and learn to accept my lovely imperfections.

My goal is to develop a better self-awareness instead of being in a constant state of self-judgement. I need to brush off these ideas of imperfection and focus on all of the good I am creating. As a funny bonus, my daughter is a perfectionist and provides me with a constant mirror image of myself. So for her sake and mine, I am now taking my power back and am going to release these old ideas of perfectionism and let them go. We’re not supposed to be perfect.



2 Replies to “Recovering Perfectionist”

  1. Melissa,
    You are an amazing lady with so much to give. Striving for perfectionism is something that only the brave will do, and you show it in spades. You are an inspiration.
    Not always achieving the perfection goal is not failure, and is definitely not to be a concern. Be proud of your efforts, as your friends and family are.

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