PERFECT versus GOOD ENOUGH.
I know this sounds like a slacker. Like someone who is complacent. Like someone who has no goals. It probably even sounds lazy and certainly sounds mediocre at best. And these days, we can’t be mediocre. We can’t just be good enough. We have to be the best. The leanest. The most perfect person we can be.
Well… NO. You don’t have to be any of that. For yearsssssss I was battling all or nothing in so many aspects of my life, but mainly, food, workouts and body. I’d be perfect until I wasn’t and then I’d throw in the towel, perpetuating the frustrating yo-yo dieting cycle because I was either on or I was off. Good or bad. See in all or nothing, you either are or you aren’t and there is no in between. There is no good ENOUGH.
Imagine if school was all or nothing. Everything was pass or fail, but passing was , not 70. So if you weren’t perfect, if everything wasn’t exactly right, perfectly done, you failed. The class was a waste. All the work you did was a waste. Everything you learned in the meantime… WAS A WASTE.
Gut wrenching right?? A waste of time and hard to even get motivated to try that class again.
Yet, many of us approach our lives this way. Maybe in your relationship you have to be married, not enough to be engaged or even committed together. Maybe in your job you have to constantly be working toward the next promotion instead of just rocking the level you are at. In your diet, you are counting your calories and your macros and eliminating sugar, instead of allowing fluctuating numbers here and there. And your body? You better see that weight dropping and abs popping or else why bother, right? It doesn’t allow for that number to fluctuate or God forbid, become stagnant. So your workouts aren’t doing any good if they don’t move the dial, right? And as for those workouts, they have to be “no pain no gain” or they can’t possibly be worth your time?
Welcome to all or nothing mentality. It’s neighbor is failure. And they are best friends. They could even share a house, because they will always go together. You can’t have one without the other.
So how does GOOD ENOUGH beat ALL OR NOTHING?? Because surely, perfection can’t be beat. And true, it can’t, if it even existed. I guarantee you that even if you hit your numbers, even if you hit your goal weight, even if you had the 2 kids, 1 dog, white picket fence home, you wouldn’t be happy. You wouldn’t be content where you are. Because until you find satisfaction in the in-between, you’ll never let yourself appreciate where you are. You’ll always think you “aren’t there yet” because there will be a new perfect to achieve.
So, HOW DO I APPLY “GOOD ENOUGH” to my life without being a slacker and a failure? By being proud to be good enough.
Example 1 – TACOS. Not a perfect meal. Maybe some “extra sodium.” Maybe cheese. Maybe even tortilla or tortilla chips. All or nothing land sees it as being “bad.” When I view it as GOOD ENOUGH, I see protein, carbs and good fat. I see tomatoes, corn, peppers and onions for fiber. I see fiber in my tortilla chips. Good fat in my grass fed beef and guac. Overall, I see pretty good nutrition going in my body. Is it a perfect meal? No. But I’m not going for perfect. By seeing it as good enough, I don’t throw in the towel and bust out fried ice cream sundaes after too. I let it satisfy me, knowing overall, it wasn’t bad, but good enough, especially if I feel good from it.
Example 2 – TREADMILL INCLINE WALK.
Did I run 6 miles under an hour? Nope. All or nothing land would see that as “bad.” As lazy or not good enough. Why do I see it as “GOOD ENOUGH?” Because I got my heart rate up. I broke a sweat and lost my breath sometimes. Maybe I didn’t do it for 60 minutes but exercise is cumulative and it all makes a difference. Is it better than skipping a workout completely because I didn’t have time or energy for the hour long run? HELL YES. But we forget this when we are always going for the gold, perfection.
I use the GOOD ENOUGH CHOICES to live my life now. In fact, MOST of my choices are not perfect, but GOOD ENOUGH. They are not donuts and fried foods. But they do include things like wraps, PBJ, pizza, chocolate and even cereal. And I can’t tell you the last time I binged. Or the last time I threw in the towel. Or started over.
When you make good enough choices, you automatically live in the land of moderation without having to CONTROL yourself to get there. Controlling your food to eat moderately is a diet and it is not freedom. Moderation has to happen as a result, not as an approach. More on this in another blog!
The best thing I did was to allow myself these choices but it’s a mindset shift to view your meals and workouts and even your body differently. You don’t need to be perfect to see results because I promise, trying to be perfect will always backfire.
But if you see GOOD ENOUGH as a failure, you will stay in all or nothing land, bouncing back and forth like a ping pong ball and wondering why you have a headache from it.
Release the need to be perfect and think anything else is a failure.
Change the perspective of what actually is good enough.
And accept that not being perfect may be the perfect answer for you.
And remember, even if we don’t get , that class we took is not a waste. We must still do the work. We must still learn from the work, whether we got it wrong or right. And while we are at it, meals and workouts that average out to an 85 will always be better than 100s and 0s, which will never amount to 100. So what’s the point????
A simple analogy. A simple math lesson. A simple concept. But it requires going against the grain – in society and in mindset.
You are not a failure for making GOOD ENOUGH choices. It’s where I found my greatest success and my healthiest overall life. It’s where my passion lies for others because I want this for everyone. I don’t want to see people obsessed anymore. Life is passing you by. It is NOT GOOD ENOUGH to spend it consumed by chasing perfection in food, fitness and body.
Help can be found by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org