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.
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’.
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.