Success is a messy, continuous journey. As a recovering perfectionist with a wicked feedback loop from hell, you can see how this concept would create a problem for me.
Success comes through recognizing bad habits
Every Monday, my family always seems to be starting the ‘first day of the rest of our lives.’ We’re sick of feeling like crap all the time. We’re getting healthy (with a side of skinny :lol:).
By Thursday afternoon, we’re hangry (you know, when your so hungry you’re angry). Things escalate quickly. For fear of dealing with a safety issue, I talk myself into ordering pizza.
We’ll just restart the “first day of the rest of our lives” on Monday.
Sound familiar? If your family is anything like mine, you’ve also said this a few too many times.
Success comes from ignoring what other people are doing
Most of us have countless friends promoting the next big weight-loss miracle. We blend, cleanse and practically starve ourselves to drop a few pounds and get ‘healthier.’ After all, if it’s working for them it’s got to work for us.
Like our friends, we struggle with the restrictiveness of the diets. After all, who wants to drink your meals? Not me. I prefer to chew, thank you!
So, we fall off the wagon to wallow in some vat of unhealthiness. Since our one-time slip generally falls into a full out binge, we never fully recover. That wagon we’ve hitched ourselves to leaves us behind to wallow in our own self-pity.
Just as there’s always another Monday, there’s always another Dr. Oz approved weight-loss wagon that comes along to pick us up. And, because we’re human we can never fully stay on any wagon. Especially those that don’t allow us to use our God given teeth!
All the while, we’re getting fatter. We’re riddled with chronic diseases. And, we feel worse than we look.
Success is in realistic goal setting
As a recovering perfectionist, I can tell you that your goal should never be perfection. You will let yourself down every time, I certainly did.
We as humans are a work in progress. Most of us are always striving to get better but we’ll never be perfect. Rather, your goal should be to successfully live a healthy lifestyle. Of course, you will need to determine what the term ‘healthy lifestyle’ looks like to you.
Here’s a couple of my goals:
- Walk at least 10K steps per day as measured by my smart watch, with a stretch goal of 16K
- Eat mostly a whole food, plant based diet as measured by the number of times and length of time that I fall “off the wagon.”
Success comes from getting out of your own head
Mark Manson, author, originally coined that gem of a phrase, “the feedback loop from hell.” In a nutshell, as humans, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Not only do we beat ourselves up for our actions but we also give ourselves crap for even thinking about something that is a bit ‘naughty.’
Since I’m pretty much an expert at mind games with myself, I’ll tell you how my feedback loop went after my latest tumble off the diet wagon.
“I can’t believe I just ate that cupcake. Now, the whole day is shot! Maybe, I’ll just order pizza too. Actually, I’ve been wanting french fries. Maybe I’ll just start over next week. I’ll eat everything that I want and get it out of my system. I’ll be more successful that way. Oh my God! I can’t believe I’m thinking like that. Seriously, I can’t stick to anything. Willpower is obviously not my strong suit. I’ll be overweight the rest of my life.”
Self-talk isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The problem arises when you let it paralyze you. The key is recognizing that we’re all going to fail from time to time. No one is perfect. With imperfection comes success.
Life is messy, just go with it to achieve success
Ideally, I would like to eat (meaning chew 😆 ) a low-fat, whole food, plant-based diet and exercise regularly. However, I also know that we live in a society that eats excessive amounts animal based protein, sugar, and oil. In fact, most of us grew up eating this way. And, we feed our kids this way.
Changing habits takes time. Even through I will put my best foot forward, I know that I’ll fail from time to time.
No one is perfect.
The final word about success
Learn to stop obsessing about being perfect. None of us are perfect. Rather, focus on realizing your short comings, learning from them, replacing those bad habits with healthier ones, and move on.
Trust me, I realize it’s much simpler said than done. Remember, I’m a recovering perfectionist with a wicked feedback loop from hell.
Together, let’s focus on jumping back on the wagon. And, like the boss that we are, jumping back on quicker every time. Everyday, it should get easier to stay on the wagon. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.