Friday, December 17, 2010

Perfectly imperfect

I'm a perfectionist. I am loathe to receive edits to my work, because I don't generally turn something in until I believe I've reached as close to perfection as possible. When my gravy doesn't thicken or my pasta is gluey or heaven forbid the crust on a cheesecake sticks to the pan, I feel like an epic failure. But I'm learning. I've begun to accept that sometimes, good enough is good enough, and that striving for perfection sometimes leaves us empty when we should be full.

It certainly holds true with weightloss. When you're starting out, you read a lot. Exercise in the morning. Drink at least eight glasses of water. Do 30 minutes every day. Sleep eight hours each night. Eat this number of calories ... and on and on. All of it is true, but who can do all of it? And more importantly, can you be successful if you simply choose not to?


I am not a morning person. Getting up to exercise at the ass-crack of dawn would destroy my spirit. But in the evening, I attend classes with people I love, taught by other people I love. Or I hop my happy ass onto a treadmill and relish the experience of being surrounded by other athletes. Because we're all athletes at one stage or another of development.

I drink water almost exclusively, but some days I don't drink as much as I should. I love sleeping, but sometimes life gets in the way. Some days I'm just too hungry to stay within my calories. And frankly, I enjoy days like today, when there is no gym bag anywhere near my life and I can take a "night off" from fitness.

And still, it's working. Because my best effort isn't perfect, but it's still my best effort, I am getting stronger. I am having fun. I am letting myself off the hook, because it's not about being perfect, or even trying to be. It's about dancing to the beat of a different drummer; sometimes, several different drummers at the same time. It's about doing what you love, eating foods you love, treating yourself like someone you treasure.

Because you can, and you should.

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