Using the Idea of Perfection as an Excuse to Give Up

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Perfection is a lie for all or nothing types

This podcast has a transcript included at the end.

Perfection – Truth or Lie

I say lie. Or at least the idea of perfection was in my life. I used this need to be perfect as an excuse to give up on many things in my life. If I could go back and change just one idea of who I felt I needed to be growing up, it would be this need to be perfect. I am human therefore I cannot be perfect. Geez, who instilled into me that I could?

In dieting the idea of perfection is a top self-saboteur for success.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
~Winston Churchill

My Favorite Movie that I tell everyone about that sells my idea on perfection is Meet the Robinsons.

Keep moving forward. ~Wilbur

This is a great story full of the idea that it is not through perfection that the great reach such success, it is through their failures.

All learned through the eyes of a little inventor who is seeking the truth about who he is.

I love this movie and always recommend it to the ladies at Raw Food Boot Camp.

Transcript of Podcast with a few Edits

Hi, this is Carlene@changewithCarlene.com. I’m glad that you’ve chosen to listen to my podcast today. What I want to talk about is the lie of perfection. You know I get this because Raw Food Boot Camp’s Rawk Starz diet is an all or nothing kind of diet. I get a lot of all or nothing, personality types who come into camp and one of the biggest issues we have is that they’re really good at sticking to the plan and they lose a lot of weight fast, but then the first day they struggle or they give in to a struggle. They’re gone. They disappear and they don’t come back.

This is because when they are good, they’re good. But the moment they’re not perfect they give up. This becomes a real issue with dieting. I’ve done it myself many times. I’m sure you probably have too. If you have the least bit of an all or nothing personality then you know that we do really well until the moment we don’t.

Falling is not Failing, Quitting is!

All or nothing types have to learn some sense of moderation. Moderation in our psyche and how we perceive dieting so that we can be successful. There’s a big difference between falling and failing and we have to understand that difference. We have to plant the idea in our head that if we do have a fall, if we do eat off our plan, that doesn’t mean we’ve ruined everything even if there’s a big gain from it.

Over at boot camp we mostly do low sodium diets. We get a lot of water weight loss in the beginning. Some get 30 pounds gone in their first month. Of that 30 pounds, about 15 to 20 of it is water, so when they break their plan with high sodium foods all that water weight comes right back.

That is frustrating and all or nothing type dieters get mad. They’re angry at themselves and then they decide the diet doesn’t work for them. They ask, how could I have gained that much water weight in a day? But they don’t ever consider, how they lost it so fast in the beginning. They forget about water weight.

You have to understand that if you break your plan, yeah, there’s consequences. There’s always consequences in life.

If you’ve lost a lot of water weight and you break your plan and you have a big gain, could it be fat?

No, it’s not fat. It’s water and that water weight will come off again. But all or nothing types don’t want to see that. They tend to get down on themselves and quit.

This is unfortunate, especially when they find a diet that works. They usually do well for three to four weeks or three to four months without any issues then hit dieters fatigue, have one fall and give up.

This is such an issue and I think it’s an issue way beyond what we do at Raw Food Boot Camp. I think it’s an issue for all dieters. We have all been on so many diets in our lives that we have to ask ourselves, why don’t we stick with something all the way through?

We had a member, Otavia, and I remember she used to say all the time, man, you could lose weight on a cookie diet if you just did it all the time. I’m not recommending that, but on any good healthy diet if you just stuck to it you could reach your goal weight.

Unfortunately, most dieters don’t stick to anything long term. We don’t have longevity in us as far as diets are concerned and this is a huge problem. We use the idea of perfection as an excuse, an excuse to get out of dieting.

The truth is most people don’t diet much beyond three or four weeks or if they break that barrier, three or four months is usually max.

When they think I’d have to be perfect for a year their brain goes crazy and they think, no, no, no, I’m not gonna do that. I can’t do that, and so they give up on it. Pick any diet you’ve ever done. Think about it and then ask yourself what if I had done that diet for a year? What if I had done that diet for a year, 10 years ago

Would I have had to carry this fat suit around with me all this time? And the answer is no, because even if the diet only let you lose a pound a week, that’s 52 pounds in a year. So instead of gaining weight, you would have lost 52 pounds and had you done it two years, you would have lost a hundred pounds.

We can all reach our goal weight without a drastic fast weight loss diet. If we would just stick to one that worked, even when we fell. But us all or nothing types always think, no, that’s not fast enough. Of course, I thought that too. I needed the fast weight loss diet, but a lot of people don’t. What they need is a diet they can sustain longterm. So my recommendation to everyone, us all or nothings and everybody else find a diet you can actually do and do not hold yourself up to this idea of perfection. The idea of perfection is no more than a great big lie, no one is perfect, as anyone who is greatly successful will tell you.TThey will attest that they didn’t become who they are through perfection. They became who they are through falls, through struggles, through learning about who they are and the mistakes they’ve made, and then how to do it better next time.

Perfection is a lie we tell ourselves so we can quit early and not deal with the struggles.

When people come to me and say, I’m an all or nothing type of person. I say, yes, at Raw Food Boot Camp we have a pretty much all or nothing diet. But I tell them right up front, do not let perfection become a reason to quit. I have had women who have come to camp and in their first three or four weeks dropped like 30 pounds. It’s an amazing diet, dropped like 30 pounds and then they go away for a weekend and they blow it. They have a binge. Say it’s a big binge and they come back and they’ve gained 13 pounds. Remember we talked about the water weight issue. They gained 13 pounds. So what happens? They don’t ever come back. They don’t want to admit they weren’t perfect. And the all or nothing types don’t want to ask for support because a perfect person who wants to be perfect doesn’t need support and instead of failing, they quit.

That is the curse of this all or nothing personality type that instead of struggling through, instead of looking for ways to become better at what you do, the minute you struggle, the minute you have a fall, you give up and quit. I myself was that personality type, so I’m talking from my own personal experience. I have quit so many things in my life because I was not good enough at it. Not perfect at it. I’m not just talking food. This applies to everything in life. I started in the first grade. My teacher wanted us to draw a picture of a cat. I tried. I knew what a cat looked like. It had all that fur and a cute little nose and whiskers. I could see in my mind the ears and the eyes and the body shape. I knew what they looked liked. But I couldn’t draw one. I couldn’t make all that fur look like real fur. I couldn’t make that body look like a real cat body and so I crumpled up the paper and I hid it in my desk and didn’t turn it in. Instead, I accepted ten minutes standing in the corner.

I also did not try to draw again until I was in my thirties. Yeah, it’s sad. I failed art in school all the way through because I refused to draw. All because I couldn’t draw a cat in the first grade. What I hadn’t taken into account was neither could any of the other kids in my class. They had drawn a small circle for the head and a big circle for the body with a squiggly line for a tail and two other squiggly lines for whiskers. Basically Felix, they had drawn Felix that clock, but that to me wasn’t good enough. I needed to draw a real cat and that idea of perfection stole all those years of teaching myself how to really draw.

So perfection does nothing but slap us in our own face. It keeps us from learning. It keeps us from trying and it keeps us from being successful. My recommendation is you throw the idea of perfection, especially when dieting, out the door. Don’t even let it come into play. Give yourself some wiggle room. Give yourself some slack. No one is going to be perfect all the way through.

There have been people who on my plans who were perfect all the way through losing their weight. They never broke the plan. Until maintenance. The struggle surprises them and that is when their all or nothing personality kicks in and they give up and gain the weight back. It’s because they’ve never learned how to deal with the issues that made them fat in the first place or obese in the first place.

The struggle is the power of making weight loss permanent. If you’re open about it and you’re honest about it and you really evaluate what happened during that struggle whether you made it through or broke your plan. That lesson learned is the power that allows you to change and allows you to keep that weight off for good because you know yourself, you know where your strengths are. You know where your weaknesses are because you had to identify them and know what they are.

Being perfect will always backfire. You’re human. You can’t be perfect forever. And once to break that perfection, games over.

So throw out the idea of perfection before you start any kind of diet and it will help you so much better. Now, I’m not saying give yourself slack. I’m saying do your best, give your best effort. But the minute you fall, what you don’t do is quit. Instead, you face the consequences of your fall. You get back up and you move forward. Even if it means having to relose 10 to 13 pounds, 20 pounds. It doesn’t matter.

If you quit, face it, you’ll eventually go back to another diet. So why not just stick with the Diet you were doing that worked for you. Have the patience to get back to where you were and move forward. It’s the only way for longterm success.

Oh Man. If I could have back all the women who have quit boot camp because they fell and just get them past that one fault. We could have seen a lot more women than we did hit those big numbers. Even with a great diet for all or nothing types, it is hard to get them past that first big fall because they disappear and don’t respond to my inquiries. The thought of admitting failure is too hard. But why? I am not perfect but want to be. The other women at camp are not perfect but want to be. We are in the same boat. The only all or nothing types who truly succeed are the ones that are willing to not let their personality type get in the way of their success.

So that’s my advice. That’s what this podcast is about. If you liked this podcast, please share it with your friends on social media, and if you like how I approach dieting, make sure to subscribe to my site. Don’t be put off by being asked how often you want to receive updates from me. The signup form lets you choose how often you hear from me.

Thank you for listening and I wish you the best on your weight loss/health finding journey.

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