I suspect some of you reading this are very rule oriented about food – “I should eat this because it’s good for me and I shouldn’t eat that because it’s bad for me.” Always fighting to reach an ideal of “perfect” eating.
It’s like we have this fantasy that each day we will eat only nutritious foods without any added treats – no chocolate or wine or oatmeal cookie. Only green juice, kale, steamed veggies, tempeh, grilled fish, eggs, etc. We’ll drink plenty of water, meditate, get in our exercise and go to bed early.
And, each day we don’t fulfill this fantasy we feel like a failure.
I’ve certainly been there in my past…striving to eat perfect and be perfect. And this week the topic came up with a private coaching client, as well as from one of our group members in Feel Good in Your Bikini.
Both were questioning if it was possible to stop controlling their food and allow themselves to enjoy it.
The “perfect” eating model (aka fantasy) gets in the way of this. Which is why I pose the question:
Can you allow yourself to be perfect today? Perfect now, in all your imperfections.
When you see yourself (or your body or relationship with food) as broken, then that automatically makes you want to fix it. And fixing it requires tremendous effort, discipline and rules—according to our culture and your Ego.
In reality, there is NOTHING wrong with you. Your essence is perfect because your essence is love. The issue links to the actions we take from the motivation of “I need fixing”—that creates the problem.
What if there were no problem? What if there were no such thing as perfect eating? What if perfect eating included a donut, chocolate chip cookie or French fries?
I have a feeling some of you are thinking, “What? A donut can’t be included in a perfect diet.”
Well – you may just think differently when I share my diet with you. Yesterday morning I had a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free [NOT calorie-free] muffin. (FYI: If you’ve been reading my blog for a bit, you know I’ve been working with a doctor and have changed my diet due to food allergies—thus the gluten, dairy & soy-free choice.)
For a snack I had a handful of potato chips and some sliced turkey. For lunch I had a big salad, followed by grilled fish and veggies for dinner with a couple pieces of dark chocolate for dessert. I may have even indulged in a little glass of red wine.
Head’s up: There was a time in my life when I would’ve beaten myself up for eating that way—and that doesn’t happen anymore. Mostly because I’ve learned that beating myself up after the fact doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t take away what I’ve done. So that becomes wasted energy and wasted time.
Instead, I’ve decided I can have what I want when I want it. For the most part, I make healthy choices and allow myself to savor my food and enjoy it without going overboard.
The secret is in learning to listen to your body.
I have learned to listen to my body and now trust her to tell me when I’ve gone too far in one direction or the other. And, she does. She speaks through bloating and gas. She speaks through allergy symptoms and general feelings of being tired. And, when she talks, I listen.
I thank her for signaling what she needs and I move forward in partnership with her.
Over time, what I have learned is that it’s possible to change how you are relating to food and your body. It’s possible to shift from the “good food / bad food” paradigm to one of freedom and joy.
It doesn’t happen overnight. At least, it didn’t for me…but it did happen. And, the result was/is I’m much kinder to myself now, especially when it comes to my body and eating—which is why I teach what I teach in my programs.
Shifting from the perfection paradigm takes time and commitment. It’s probably been a part of your life for a long time. It doesn’t want to let go and take a step back. Yet, each time you honor yourself and your body, that perfection mentality gets smaller and smaller and the freedom & loving part of you gets bigger and bigger. (Click to Tweet!)
What are some ways you can support yourself in letting go of the “perfect” eating fantasy today? How can you shift to more freedom and joy when it comes to food?
I invite you to share in the comments below.
Thank you for reading and sharing.
Thank you for this! I’m a “recovering” perfectionist in many areas of my life yet it never even occurred to me that I’m also this way when it comes to eating. Thank you for helping me to open my eyes to this because lately I’ve really been beating myself up over my eating habits. You bet I’ll be tuning in and really listening to what it is my body needs & wants from here on out- I’ve heard the whispers from within, but haven’t been following them- until now!
Amber Krzys says
Lily: Fantastic! Way to listen to the whispers and now follow through on them. Thank you for reading and sharing. I’m so glad you did. xoA
You are good! Living alone and being home all day makes it hard to sick to my good habits. I have enough on my ‘plate’ that I need to allow myself a little indulgence and not beat myself up about it. None of this is perfect. Most things in my kitchen now are healthy so even when I ‘cheat’ it’s nothing like it used to be. Thanks for the clarity!
Adorable house! Congrats on that one and the next!!
Amber Krzys says
Melanie: Ooo woman – I so hear you. I am celebrating your progress and realizations. Thank you also for the lovely compliment about my house. Onto the next for sure – for both of us! xoA
Excellent blog, Amber. When we allow ourselves to embrace our imperfections, true self love can be attained.
Amber Krzys says
Thank you so much Christie. I appreciate you sharing what has worked for you to. xoA
Thank you once again for your honesty and beautiful writting. It’s so true that once we listen and honor our bodies the perfection melts away and the love begins. Good luck in your new home. xxoTracy
Amber Krzys says
Tracy: Thank you so much. I love hearing what you’ve found true in yourself and your own work as well. Listening to our body will also serve us. xoA
Great blog. I was talking to a friend about this kind of thing just yesterday! I should have been caught up on my reading! I’m going to forward your email to her, as you say it so much better! Thank you!
Amber Krzys says
Sherry: I love the timing here. And, it’s never too late. I support you in sharing this article with your friend. And I acknowledge you for caring enough to send this to her.