Motivation Monday: Progress, not perfection

Just a little thoughts to start out the week….

Lets face it, none of us are perfect.  We know that.  We say it over and over again…but then most of us continue to expect it from ourselves and others.  Kinda silly, right?

Well, for awhile I was pretty gosh darn perfect with my diet…at least for what I considered to be perfect at the time.  For a few months it was not going over 1500 calories a day.  I probably would go 2-3 weeks at a time and never break 1500 calories…and I was weighing and measuring EVERYTHING.  And then for a few more months it was 1200 calories a day.  Again, I would go weeks at a time without splurging and going over that range.

So yes, for a short period of time (probably 6-9 months) I was as close to perfect as I will ever be with sticking to a calorie range.

But now I just cant do it anymore.  I still count calories most days, at least loosely in my head.  But to get back to that level of perfection is very, very challenging.  I can do it, but its hard.  And it comes with a lot of sacrifices.  Those who know me well know I don’t like to eat out often…but to get back to that level of perfection I would NEVER eat out.  Or if I did it would have to be at a place with all of the nutrition information posted.

But once I burned out on the calorie counting another not so great thing happened…suddenly I wanted to eat everything.  I used to be a stress eater, but calorie counting squelched that.  So I stopped calorie counting, and stress eating was back in my life.  And wouldn’t you know it, I gained weight.  Not a ton, but enough that my clothes felt different, and I can tell a huge difference.  So now instead of being depressed and starving myself, Im constantly thinking about how my legs and stomach have extra jiggle.

So the point of this is that Im trying to find a balance.  I want to eat healthy and maintain a weight I am happy with, but not drive myself crazy getting there.

One of the faculty I worked with at Pitt would always say “Its progress, not perfection” when working with our weight management participants.  I said this time and time again, but recently it is something I seem to have forgotten.

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In the past few weeks I think I have definitely made PROGRESS on getting back in shape (stupid back injury) and getting my diet back on track.  I was tracking calories again, but now Im focusing on eating intuitively.  Not eating for boredom or stress, but listening to hunger cues and following them.  But again, Im not perfect with this.  And maybe after a few weeks of this I will go back to calorie counting.

Since I actually was about as perfect as you could be for a small part of my life, its really hard to go back to accepting progress.  Im pretty stubborn, and typically find a way to achieve any goal I set my mind to it.  But Im learning that what I have to do to achieve those goals isn’t worth it.  So Im back to focusing on PROGRESS.  For now that might mean just decreasing the stress eating and maintaining (versus gaining) my weight.  In terms of fitness, I had to take about 6 weeks totally off from running, and had been dealing with IT band issues for a few weeks before that, so its going to take me awhile to get back to the running shape I was in.  So every run I do around three miles is feeling a little better, getting a little faster.  It is PROGRESS.

So this was sort of just some rambling, but I hope it motivates some of you to focus on the progress you are making on your own health goals!

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One thought on “Motivation Monday: Progress, not perfection

  1. Pingback: Avoiding “all or nothing” thinking | My Fuel and Fitness Diaries

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