When trying to be fit, healthy and vibrant, the logical thing to do seems like striving for perfection. Why not do the best you can to do everything right? Follow all of the rules and make the right choices at every meal. If you can just use willpower to be strong, you can stick to your guidelines and be the person you want to be, and therefore feel your best. Right?
It seems counterintuitive but striving for perfection actually hurts you, and leads to bad behavior.
Restriction is a killer.
Let me explain why –
Striving for perfection leads to binge eating for 3 main reasons
#1 The more you strive for perfection, the more you want to do what you’re not supposed to do
If you restrict yourself from something, psychologically you're going to think about it more and want to do it. This is because you make it "a thing," your decision-making becomes about rules and is less intuitive or about what your body needs in any given moment. Instead of making strict rules to live by, lead with the desire to take good care of yourself – that means eating healthy, nutritious, natural food most of the time but also allowing yourself less healthy and more satisfying foods when that's what you crave or would serve you in that moment.
If you can navigate your diet and eat this way, you won't have to binge later on to balance things out, because you'll be filling your needs and finding balance in your every day life. In a nutshell, striving for perfection leads to binge eating later on or at some point, where making decisions based on how you feel or what you're in the mood for leads to more consistency and less peaks and valleys on your healthy journey.
#2 If you’re striving for perfection, one little mistake will make you feel like a failure (and that’s a slippery slope!)
Maintaining a healthy routine is a lot about your state of mind. When feeling great, you gain momentum and continue to make good choices; but if you get frustrated or down on yourself, you're more likely to stray and make poor decisions.
Striving for perfection leads to binge eating because when you make a mistake you get thrown off course. Instead, be flexible and fluid, know that nothing is perfect -- if you make a decision that's imperfect, brush it off, learn from it and keep going. That's it, it's all good.
#3 If your guidelines are too rigid, you eventually need a chance to release
Perfection takes a lot of effort, sticking to a rigid lifestyle takes a lot of physical and mental energy. Eventually you're going to need a chance to release and relax a little bit. That's often times what's happening when we're binge eating, we release and let go, taking a moment to be carefree and stop thinking so much about everything.
Striving for perfection leads to binge eating because no one is perfect and everyone needs a chance to let loose a little once in a while. Therefore, be less rigid in your day-to-day life, allow some imperfections and be flexible. This way, you won't build up the need for a big release.
Bottom line: if you slip up, just keep going.
These are some simple insights that really changed the game for me, I hope they help you, too. Let's discuss below, I'd love to hear what you think!!
Ready to stop binge eating once and for all??!