This is what happens when we reject the pressure to be perfect
Don't miss the awesome story from one of my clients at the end of the post!!!
I'm a mom to 3 raucous boys ages six and under.
Like most jobs, motherhood comes with it's own unique set of challenges, annoyances, difficulties, and rewards.
With only 6 years under my belt, I've made countless mistakes and I'm certainly no expert on the topic, but I've recently discovered something interesting and somewhat counter-intuitive.
The less I try to be a perfect mum, the better mum I become.
I've always tempered my daily mothering with the reality that, most of the mistakes I make are not going to mess up my kid.
BUT even with that general thought guiding me, I was still ending most days re-playing the mistakes that I made and agonizing about how I lost my patience, raised my voice, or failed to meet my kids needs.
I expected myself to do it all right all of the time.
And although I didn't know it, that pressure kept building and building until the weight of it all was making it more and more difficult to have patience and energy when the moment required that of me.
I only recently decided that that it's ok that I'm imperfect.
And when I did that, something amazing happened.
- I stopped focusing on the things that I got wrong.
- I began to feel less pressure to "get it right" all of the time.
Oddly enough, that lack of pressure to be perfect is actually helping me to be better most of the time!
It's giving me clarity in those tough moments.
It's helps me to dust myself off, hug my boys and apologize when I make a mistake, and then get on with my day.
It's funny that it took me this long to apply this approach to parenting, because it's a rule that I've observed in my health and fitness pursuits for years...maybe even a decade.
Regimented exercise routines and restrictive diets?
For the birds, man.
Feeling the need to be perfect all of the time?
It only makes us want to abandon our program altogether, because we think,
"I'm never going to be good enough, so why am I even doing this?"
I believe that the super restrictive, no fun, perfect all of the time approach to fitness and exercise.
It never works.
I don't eat or exercise perfectly and neither do my clients.
In fact, I encourage clients to eat a little imperfectly every day (cheese in their salad, a small piece of chocolate for a snack, etc, 1 doughnut for a snack if that works with their nutrition plan) in order to enjoy their program and stay on track.
Strategically including some small items in your daily diet that make following your meal plan or nutrition program more enjoyable and sustainable basically eliminates the "on the wagon/off the wagon" mentality.
Because you're on horseback, blazing your own trail... leaving those wagons in the dust.
The same concept applies to exercise.
Some days you'll nail it and get in a full workout that feels amazing.
Often you won't.
But if you're consistent, routine exercise will get easier.
You will see results and you'll feel good about it.
You see, it's more important for us to learn to keep going when we make mistakes.
I'm most important that we cultivate skills for moving and eating in a way that keeps us healthfull and makes us happy!
It's going to look a little bit different for everyone and is highly dependent on one's current habits, diet and physique goals, but no matter what the program is that you're following, I can tell you this:
IT IS NOT SUSTAINABLE TO EXPECT YOURSELF TO EAT PERFECTLY EVERY DAY AND BE A SLAVE TO EXERCISE.
That mentality is your enemy
How many people have you know to have one bad meal or a tough week and throw in the towel on their exercise or nutrition program altogether??!!!
When it comes to your body, It doesn't matter what you do every single second of the day.
What matters is what you do MOST of the time over the longterm.
To stick to a program, we have to accept that we're never going to be perfect all of the time, but life isn't perfect, so we just keep going and accept the bumps in the road.
Check out this excerpt from one of my clients who wrote to me about accepting some imperfection in her diet in order to feel content and satisfy her nutritional requirements.
" I actually made a great change, I decided that diet soda is a non negotiable for me.
So bad for you, but I love it. I use to drink it all day, constantly. Over the years it has decreased and now I have stopped drinking it Mon-Thurs and have one diet soda, Fri-Sun.....That is huge for me!
-Dana, Cultivate for Life 2016 client who has lost 60 lbs in the past year!!!!!!
Throughout this past year, Dana has learned to become a more mindful eater and to be strategic about her sweet intake and snacking.
She has certain foods that she just doesn't want to live without (diet soda being one of them), but she's accepted the fact that if she wants to see changes in her physique, she has to be a little calculated when it comes to indulging in her favorite snacks.
Giving them up altogether would be unsustainable for her.
It hasn't worked in the past, so she's over that.
BUT eating anything anytime doesn't support her in the goals that she has for her physique or her life.
So Dana routinely exercises as much as she can every week, she eats a healthy diet that INCLUDES some of her favorite treat items strategically placed throughout the week.
Anti-perfectionism is a tool for change.
Once we let go of the feelings of absolutely NEEDING to get everything right, we can focus on making some rather feasible changes.
And those changes can lead to more changes, but we're never going to be perfect.
There's no doughnuts in perfect, so what fun is that?
If you are struggling with perfectionism in exercise, try a new approach!
For YEARS I used 5 minute workout circuits to help me to cultivate a routine fitness practice, change my body and learn to work with weights.
These short, yet intense circuits helped me to NOT be intimidated by workouts.
I could easily do them in my living room amidst the insanity of having three young kids under 5.
These circuits helped me to be more consistent in my fitness practice and that consistency led to the best results that I've ever had.
Some days I would truly only workout for a super intense and challenging 5 minutes.
Other days I would do one round of the 5 minute circuit and realize that I had it in me to do another, that I didn't actually hate exercise!
If you are tired of starting and stopping your exercise program and sick of feeling like a failure when you can't get in your full workouts, you're going to love these circuits!!!
Fill out the form below to grab them TODAY!!!