If so you may be a perfectionist!
Many of us are just because of what we learned as a child and how we tried to please our parents, teachers etc in our aim to do things the right way.
Setting the bar high, can make you successful in many areas of your life but it can make successful long-term weight loss challenging.
The desire for “perfection” is constantly being reinforced by the media displaying what you could have or look like if you just worked a little harder or had more control. When you start a new weight loss program, it’s normal for us to ‘be good’ and follow the rules exactly but most of us will be faced with a challenging time that will test our progress and sabotage our efforts. At that time perfectionists can fall into the all or nothing syndrome. Does this sound familiar?
1. begin dieting on a Monday
2. get cravings for unhealthy foods/drinks or not have the energy for exercise
3. use the words “good” or “bad” to describe certain foods and eating behaviours
4. throw in the towel and go completely off track even after making one unhealthy food choice
5. struggle with feelings of guilt if not perfect.
Being a perfectionist is not great for your self-esteem or weight loss success so follow these simple rules to be more relaxed and to break the pattern:
• Go for an 80/20 approach. Make healthy choices about 80% of the time. The 80/20 approach leaves room for both planned and surprise indulgences.
• Avoid using the words “good” or “bad” to describe you, your food, or your behaviour. Instead, choose the words “supportive” or “unsupportive.” The words “good” and “bad” express judgment and can easily mean “good me” and “bad me.” We often reward ourselves when we’ve been “good” and punish ourselves when we’ve been “bad.” These words promote the all-or-nothing pattern that you’re trying to escape.
• Focus on a range of goals to make you feel happy and energetic and not just food/drink/exercise related ones. Make your goals very realistic if they are to be achieved every day otherwise if you miss one day you will think you have failed and get disappointed and frustrated.
• If you have special occasions or a holiday don’t try to do the impossible. Go into ‘maintenance mode’ to help you relax and enjoy the rest. Focus on being more active and keeping to 3 meals a day – you may be surprised how successful this approach is and come back lighter too!
• Remind yourself that it’s OK to be “average.” Slim people are not perfect; most them simply make healthy choices most of the time.
• Be accountable to a professional. The easiest way to reach your goals and stick with your program is to be accountable to a nutritionist, personal trainer, or life coach. Choose someone who understands what you are going through and has the knowledge to get you through the challenging times.
• Don’t go for the quick fix! Aim to lose smaller amounts consistently, but recognise that plateaus are a normal part of the journey. Remember that slow and steady wins the weight release race!
So, this week just focus on 2 new mini behaviour changes to improve your energy such as 1 pint of water before each of your 3 meals, going to bed earlier, listening to hypnosis recordings.
Release the perfectionist and weight release will be so much easier.