Perfection is not the Goal
Being perfect would be so boring
I see a lot of posts on the Facebook page such as “I only do the food and not the exercise” or “I am only following the plan 95%”. This thinking is not how we should be looking at things. Firstly, these thoughts and comments are focusing on the negative. What you are NOT doing rather than focusing on all the positive changes that you have made. I am a great believer in turning thoughts round to focus on positive changes made and all the great habits that have been formed. This is so important in a weight loss journey. Secondly, is the belief that perfection is the goal. No-one is 100% perfect – and if they tell you so then I suspect they are lying (or very boring). The opposite of success is not failure. Failure is just a step to learn from. Dust yourself off, learn from the experience and move on.
Small daily habits are the key to making long term change. So, what small change can you make today that you know you can do every day and will make a difference? For instance, rather than saying I won’t ever drink alcohol again could you focus on having alcohol on fewer nights of the week? Or stop drinking after one/two drinks? What could you do to make this happen? Wash up your glass straight after the first drink? Or squirt washing up liquid in the glass after you’ve had the second glass? In order to make change, you need to initiate a behaviour change rather than just a vague promise to yourself. Those that make behavioural changes are the ones who succeed. If you want to make body shape changes then you have to change long term. There’s no point just following something for a short while and then going back to bad habits – this just won’t work, and you’ll be back to where you started before long.
As a nutritionist I am often asked how I manage to stay healthy all the time. Well firstly I don’t strive for perfection. That would be very boring! I enjoy the occasional glass of wine – but I don’t drink every day and no more than a couple of glasses of wine. I’m a very cheap date! I also love chocolate – but I only eat it a few nights of the week and I chose a good quality dark chocolate, eat it in small amounts and really appreciate it.
There are a couple of habits that I do try and do every day that I am sharing in the hope that they might help you in establishing some healthy goals.
- I walk for an hour every day. I have a dog so this is non-negotiable, but I think everyone would feel better if they moved every day. We are not meant to sit down all day every day. I use the time to think, plan blog posts, listen to podcasts or just be in nature and appreciate the little thing around me.
- I make sure I am well hydrated every day. I start the day with a large glass of water and drink 6-8 glasses of water or herbal tea a day.
- I eat mindfully. This has taken me a while and I don’t always succeed, but I think this is very important. I try and make sure that I sit down at a table and eat slowly and quietly away from my phone, laptop, TV. This is a good habit as if you eat mindfully then you are more likely to recognise your hunger cues and learn when you are full.
- I eat a blood sugar balancing diet. This is very important as it helps with anxiety, mood and energy. The best way to keep your blood sugars stable is to include protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats with each meal. I have balanced all the meals at ShowMe.Fit so you don’t have to worry about this. I am sure in the future that everyone will wear a blood sugar monitor or understand their blood sugars as this is so important with managing our weight.
- I make sure that I eat at least 5 portions of vegetables and fruit a day (usually more). I try and make sure that I eat a variety too. Hopefully, the SMF meals have introduced you to vegetables that you might not usually reach for. It’s very common for people to pick up the same 5 varieties from the supermarket every week.
- I put my phone away after my evening meal and don’t take into my bedroom. I know that sleep is important for my mood, energy and weight and I sleep so much better without technology to hand. Studies have found that we sleep better without a phone in our room (even if the phone is turned off).
- An 80/20 approach works well for me. It means I follow a ‘mostly’ healthy plan but allow myself room to opt-out now and then (without feeling guilty about it).
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Author: Katherine Bright MBANT, CNHC