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May 03, 2021 0 Comments
Understanding Why Perfectionism is Detrimental to Your Fitness Goals
Salvador Dali once said, "Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
Perfectionism has ruined more goals and dreams than you can ever imagine. When the New Year approaches, millions of people make serious resolutions to get fit and healthy. They believe that the new year is a clean slate, and they want their efforts to be perfect. They make the cardinal error of overlooking the fact that no one is infallible, and we all live in an imperfect world.
Understanding why it's so insidious
Here's a prevalent scenario that has replayed itself millions of times, and it's incredible that people still do it. Let's assume someone decides to clean up their diet and avoid all junk food. Their first mistake is that they usually make sweeping changes overnight. They believe that they can get fast results through sheer force of willpower. The goal is to be perfect with their diet so that their new year is "clean and perfect." Within a day or two, they realize just how difficult sticking to their super clean diet is. Their hormones crave junk food all the time. Resisting becomes more complicated with each passing hour until finally they're exhausted and cave into temptation. In minutes, their ideal of perfection comes crashing down on them. They have failed!
When faced with such abject failure, they realize just how far they've fallen from what they believed they could achieve. The result is that they feel guilty, useless and think they lack self-discipline. In reality, they had doomed themselves to failure the moment they expected a perfect outcome. Life just doesn't work that way!
How to avoid perfectionism
The first step is to understand that you can't build Rome in a day. You can't transform your health and body overnight. You're battling years of bad habits and routines. Your goal should be to make small, positive changes daily that will translate into massive long-term improvements. If you eat four slices of pizza every time you have pizza, drop it down to 2 slices. That is an improvement. It may not seem like much, but it'll make a world of difference over time. The same applies to any junk food or processed foods. Indulge in them, but reduce the portions by half. Doing so will reduce your calories and stifle urges and cravings because you're still giving your body what it wants. Slowly, day by day you can wean yourself off your sugar addiction and substitute the junk food with healthier foods.
Does this process seem drawn out and imperfect? You bet it is. However, it's easier to comply with it and to stay on track. Your goal is to achieve small successes repeatedly over and over. These will be the inches you gain as you crawl to the finish line.
Don't use perfectionism as a crutch to criticize yourself or procrastinate until all your ducks are lined in a row. Instead, make a sensible plan of action and aim for small daily improvements that will lead you to staggering long-term results. That's the best way to go about it.
David - Founder TruLivv