Problem 2. Trying To Be Perfect

Mar 20, 2023

Problem 2. Trying To Be Perfect

During my 5+ years or so as a weight loss consultant and trainer, I’ve met perhaps 1000 dieters in person, and so far I haven’t met one single successful dieter who was perfect. 

On the contrary, most of my successful clients made tons of mistakes. 

They had bad days, bad weeks – even whole months – during which they went completely off the rails. But none of this stopped them from succeeding in the end. 

Why not? 

Because they learned from their mistakes. And let’s not forget: most of our self-knowledge comes from the mistakes we make, not our successes.

Unfortunately, many dieters insist on trying to be perfect. As a result, when they do fall off the wagon (as they always do), they find it impossible to tolerate their “failure”, and become overwhelmed by guilt. 

So even though their lapse might have been relatively trivial (a weekend binge), they go to pieces. Because, as usual, it’s the guilt that does the real damage, not the bingeing.

The lesson is this. When dieting, don’t waste time trying to be perfect. It only leads to increased guilt and failure. Instead, accept that you are going to make mistakes, and don’t let them distract you when they happen. 

See them as a learning experience. 

For example, if you drink too much alcohol when dining out, and massively overeat as a result, don’t wake up the next morning in a fit of depression. Instead, savor your experience, and appreciate that you have made an important discovery: that too much alcohol makes weight loss more difficult. 

By reacting like this, you will avoid guilt and find it much easier to return to your diet.


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