I get this question all the time. I WISH I could say “I NEVER cheat. Not a crumb of chocolate, sugar or pizza has touched these lips since February.” But I cannot. No one is perfect and I have learned that striving for perfection is actually something that I have had to let go of – because perfection can get in the way of progress.
Here’s what would happen to me when I WASN’T perfect: thoughts would float in my mind: “You CAN’T do this” – “It’s too hard to be perfect” – “Just go back to your old ways”
Am I alone here? You take one bite of that chocolate cake and you think: “screw it!” and eat the whole thing. Right? I used to feel like if I wasn’t obtaining PERFECTION then I had “failed” and what is the difference between 1 bite of failure and a whole cake of failure?
Here’s what I’ve learned – Perfection is an illusion and perfection isn’t necessary in order to reach my goals.
Here’s how clean I REALLY eat: I TRY to FUEL my body with the BEST foods I can. When I want to binge on carbs or sugar, I remind myself how awful it will make me feel. Sometimes I eat 1 bite and put them away, sometimes I don’t even take one, and sometimes I eat a bunch – and I feel awful, and I remember that feeling the next time. I DON’T let myself have ‘cheat meals’ I let myself have ‘relaxed days’ – days when I am not trying to keep track of every container I’ve eaten, or drink a large glass of water and choose not to eat for another hour, even though I’m hungry – I just let myself eat – I don’t go SEEK out the most disgusting junk food I can find, I just let myself be more relaxed and eat when I’m hungry, as much as I like.
Letting myself have rest days, and not beating myself up over a bite or two of something I know I shouldn’t have eaten, helps me to STAY on track and pursue a healthy lifestyle – not perfection.
Moving forward imperfectly is FAR better than staying still – or worse yet, moving backward. I KNOW how that feels and after working so hard and foraging ahead – going back is not an option.