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Reformed perfectionist - or at least trying...

Monday, October 07, 2013

So I am a perfectionist - I'm not sure when I became one, but I know that it has been for a very long time. You would think that this would make weight loss easy - but it doesn't. I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to be good at everything. I am the person who would be upset getting a 98% - because well what did I get wrong? Well I never seemed good enough. I think that it was a combination of being bullied in high school and a failed marriage in my twenties. High school girls can be brutal - looking back at it, it seems pretty silly, but at the time it was unbearable. Calling names - doing stupid things like putting crumbled up food in my hair. I was 4'8" when I started high school and 5'2" when I finished - I think I gained about 30 pounds those four years, but much of that was going through puberty. At the time though, I thought I was fat. I went from being the top of the pyramid in cheerleading to the bottom. I remember feeling like I wasn't quite cool enough. I certainly connected well with most people individually - since I am an extrovert, but this wasn't in a group setting. There is definitely a difference between individual acceptance and group acceptance at that age. The group acceptance is a message to others that they accept you - which I only felt in my small groups.
Then there is the failed marriage. Well, that certainly contributed to my perfectionism - my stress and my yo-yoing. With him, I felt I was never pretty enough, thin enough, a good enough cook. In reality - we were just young and it wasn't a good match. I do have my son though - which is the best thing that ever happened to me!
So, about the extroversion... I am and always have been an extrovert - not in the life of the party way - I am actually pretty quiet and reserved - I was always shy as a child. I am the extrovert that makes the rounds at a party to talk to everyone there one on one. I get my energy from those around me. It is very important to me to reach out and touch the lives of those around me. I am the nurturer amongst my friends and family. This usually meant that I made time for everyone else but myself. I could never let someone else down, but I could let myself down in a minute. I always felt like my needs were less important.
This certainly translated into weight loss problems. I would run myself ragged, but never incorporating the things that were important for me to be fit and healthy. I always wanted to to be fit though - just never making it a priority for me. I tried every shortcut in the book. I tried diet pills and fad diets. They worked - temporarily. I tried extreme diets - from severe calorie limits - to no carbs - to no sugar. I went through fazes where I worked out incessantly. I lost tons of weight - only to show back up when I couldn't keep up the frenetic pace of exercise. The yo-yoing was certainly not good for my body. I also continually tried to derail my own efforts. I would have a great string of days - and then just "freak out" and eat everything in sight. I think that it was a fear of failure - which sounds funny that I would cause myself to fail because of a fear of failure. But I think that is it.
So I have gotten to the point where I realize that we are not meant to be perfect. Our imperfections make us wonderful. That doesn't mean don't work hard - and that doesn't mean that we shouldn't give our best. We each have strengths and weaknesses - and there is no way that we are going to be perfect at everything. It means that I need to give myself a break. I realize all of the wonderful things that I have around me. I have a wonderful family who has loved me all along. I have wonderful friends who always accepted me for better or for worse. I have to make time for myself. I have to take the time to work out and get stronger. I have to find people who will support me along the way. I want to be around for the long haul - and have to make healthy decisions that are going to help me to do that. So I am continuing my journey of self discovery. I am figuring out what it means to be healthy - and to make the decisions that will help me to be around for a long time. I may have hiccups - but that doesn't mean I failed - it means that I just need to pick back up and start fresh the next day. I love Mondays - people think I am crazy, but it really just represents a fresh start to me. So here is to a fresh start on a continuing journey...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great blog, well-written and insightful. We all are "perfectly imperfect"!
    2763 days ago
  • JMOUSE99
    Thanks for letting us know a bit more about you. Very well written blog.

    2765 days ago
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    2766 days ago
  • LADYJ6942
    2766 days ago
  • FIREFLY4407
    Great blog - I especially liked the part about "I would have a great string of days - and then just "freak out" and eat everything in sight. I think that it was a fear of failure - which sounds funny that I would cause myself to fail because of a fear of failure. But I think that is it." Wow - I know exactly what you mean!

    emoticon emoticon
    2766 days ago
    I always wanted to be a 'butterfly' (the top of the pyramid in cheerleading) but I was always a 'base' (yeah, the bottom of the pyramid!) Looking back, it does all seem so silly and actually, the strong ones build the base! emoticon
    I am glad you have recognized the perfectionism trait....and that you are learning to let that go......
    progress, not perfection! I think you have a grip on the self discovery and you can definitely do this!!
    2766 days ago
    Yes, participation, not perfection. emoticon

    2766 days ago
    Happy to be a warrior with you... emoticon
    2766 days ago
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