Friday, January 7, 2011

Weight Loss Success Tip: Don't Aim for Perfection

How many times have I been on a diet, blown it--even just a little, and decided that because I wasn't perfect on the diet it wasn't worth sticking to? More times than I can count!

What irritates me is the holier than thou attitude some dieters have, that you MUST be perfect, you MUST deprive yourself. This idea of diet martyrdom is ridiculous.

And then there are the people who will tell you that you must not really want to achieve health and fitness if you can't stick to a diet.

The truth is, diets don't work--not in the long-run. Diets are meant to be temporary. If you have a few pounds to lose then maybe a diet will work for you. If you have temporarily gained a few pounds then sure, you can cut back and the pounds will probably come right off.

If you have a serious weight problem, one that has lasted for years, one that has had you on the diet roller coaster, then it is time to get off the ride. I mean, are you having fun on that attraction?

Instead of the yo-yoing up and down that diets provide we need to focus on our health and figure out what we can do today--even if it is only for today that will help us move forward towards improved health.

Some days we will be able to handle a lot. Other days we might only be able to take a step or two towards health. And frankly, there will be days when you probably take a step back. That is not failure--that is LIFE! This is not a reality television show--there's not a camera filming everything you eat, there's not a coach yelling at you and pushing you to work out 6 hours a day. So give yourself a break and do what you can.

Hope Skeen is a local freshman in high school and she had some remarkably sage words about setting goals. At her age I was set on trying to be perfect...boy is she light-years ahead of me!

In our society today, there is a pressing need to be perfect and to compare yourself to other people we perceive to be perfect...I believe that most new year's resolutions reflect this issue.

Hmmm...this goes hand in hand with yesterday's post that weight loss resolutions suck. Hope continued and cited the stats on how many of us create resolutions and that after the first week 1/4 of them are already broken and by February over 1/3 are dead in the water. Not a good track why model your behavior on failure? Diets fail. Resolutions fail. OK, move on!

...low statistics are because we're setting resolutions in an attempt to achieve perfection...

Think about what you want to achieve...what you SAY you want to achieve. Can you get there only by demanding perfection? Or are you trying to achieve perfection? If you are then sit back a bit and re-evaluate and reflect on this wise young woman's words:

What's the use of setting goals you cannot reach? Eventually you will realize that this goal isn't getting accomplished and you will forget about it.
Now, take a look at your life. See what is good about it. It is important to recognize what you are doing right. No one can be perfect--neither perfectly good nor perfectly bad. We all fall somewhere in the middle on the scale. Focus on what your strengths are. Write them down.

Once you have a list of your strengths you can come up with some aspects of your life that you want to improve--not to make that aspect or you perfect...small changes that you can make...just to be a better human being. Being better, being healthier...these are things we can do.

"Better" allows us to be human and gives us room to improve in the future!

Thanks Hope for your wise words, and in closing are a few more:

Don't try to meet everyone else's expectations, but try to be the best you can be and let everyone else worry about being perfect.

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