Progress Vs. Perfection

“Worst thing about being a perfectionist.. Everything you do might look amazing in someone else eyes but in your heart never truly satisfied.” ― Emmie Lee Dean

Yesterday I wrote about how unhappy I was about losing only one pound last month, despite all my best efforts to make that scale move ASAP to the weight that I want.

I had to work very, very hard to remind myself that (1) this isn’t all about weight loss and (2) the big victory of the month is that I broke the binge-diet cycle. The weight loss will come.

I suspect that my unhappiness stemmed from that pesky old character defect: Perfectionism.

Perfectionism, much like Bugs Bunny is a Wascaly Wabbit.

Perfectionism tells me that one pound is not good enough. But then again, neither is 10 pounds. Because that’s how Perfectionism rolls: There never is good enough.

Thank God we have an antidote: Progress.

Progress lets us move imperfectly toward our goals, allowing ourselves to make mistakes and learn lessons the hard way.

Perfectionism doesn’t give us that option. It’s do it right the first time or don’t do it at all.

With regard to my recent one-pound weight loss, if I look at my body through the eyes of Progress and not Perfection, I have an entirely different experience.

In the past thirty days:

  • My face has lost its puffy look, with bloated cheeks and hollows under my eyes.
  • I’ve increased my muscular strength significantly and am now able to do exercises I wasn’t able to do before.
  • I’m sleeping eight hours per night, which means I have energy and clarity to get through my work day and most days feel emotionally balanced.
  • My digestive system is much improved; it’s not yet up to being fully optimized but it’s working, whereas before I used to walk around feeling like I had swallowed a medicine ball in my stomach and it was just sitting there.
  • Most important is that I am no longer experiencing the intensity of an emotional life disrupted by sugar and flour. I no longer swing from he heights of elation to the depths of despair within the same hour.

So it’s important for me to stay grounded in what is working in my program and not get distracted by what’s happening on the scale because that’s not where recovery lives.

Progress, not perfection.

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