Are Perfectionism & Guilt Preventing You From Achieving Health Goals?
When embarking on a new health journey we can often develop the mentality that we have to do it ‘perfectly’ or else we fail. As a Naturopath, and working clinically as a Naturopathic practitioner, it is clear that the more closely guidelines are followed – the better the outcomes. However, in today’s world of socialising, events & busy lifestyles, it is unrealistic to expect that you will change old habits overnight or follow your food goals 100% of the time without having slip-ups. Consistency is key – not perfection!
This is where our old friend guilt can show up. If we do slip-up, we often feel guilty, beat ourselves up and are more likely to overeat or binge on foods that are outside of food goals. The vicious negative cycle begins and suddenly eating becomes an emotional rollercoaster, stressful and unenjoyable. Its no wonder health can feel hard to some people.
Living a healthy & balanced lifestyle should bring a sense of joy, investment and self-love. Eating is one of life’s pleasurable activities and we are lucky enough to live in a country abundant in delicious, fresh produce. A crucial part of embarking on a health journey means embracing the positive changes you are making for your body, turning them into a lifestyle and allowing the space for slip-ups to occur – we are all human after all!
How can you move past guilt & perfectionism?
If you do happen to fall off track, please don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty. Guilt does not serve you or your goals. Learn from it, look at your triggers and become aware of how things make your body feel. Direct your thoughts away from the guilty mental chatter and become aware of your body, this can help reduce any chance of binge eating. Do you feel lethargic, glum, uncomfortable, anxious, pain? Really become in tune with your body and make a choice to be friends with your body.
A slip-up certainly does not mean you have ruined your intention of becoming healthy. The best thing to do is to forgive yourself and recommit to eating well for the rest of the week.
Health is about progression – not perfection!