What good is any healthy eating or exercise program if we can’t stick with it? Adam Gilbert, is the founder of MyBodyTutor, a company he created in 2007 to help people finally stick to their diet and exercise plans. Since then, MyBodyTutor has helped hundreds of people throughout the U.S. and world get the body they want. So, he’s kind of an expert when it comes to getting results. Read on for his thoughts on one of the biggest mistakes people trying to lose weight make: aiming for perfection.
Unsuccessful Dieters Are Infamous for This…
We think if we can’t be “perfect” why bother? So we let one indulgence turn into a whole week of indulgences. Let’s talk about the reason why those of us trying to lose weight are notorious perfectionists. After all, if we understand WHY we are perfectionists, it’ll be much easier to stop the behavior.
The obvious answer? We don’t like to fail. So by creating unreasonable expectations, it gives us an easy way out (aka a perfect rationalization) to stop taking action and quit the program before we can “fail.” But here’s why most dieters really do this: because change is uncomfortable. That’s also why most people never actually change.
By creating unreasonable expectations, we then have an easy way to remove that INEVITABLE discomfort we’re going to face. (This is why I’m such a big believer in accountability, support and having a system to monitor and track our progress. Because it makes the discomfort a lot more tolerable—or, dare I say, comfortable.)
I have to admit it—my name is Adam Gilbert, and I am a recovering perfectionist. And being a perfectionist is not a good thing. I still have tendencies, but I’m getting better…I’m progressing. Having the attitude of, “I ate really well all day but for dinner I just had something that’s not My Body Tutor-approved, so now I’ll eat unhealthy for the rest of the night,” isn’t good. If we play the all-or-nothing game, we always end up with nothing. Every single time. It’s why I don’t like making absolute statements, such as, “I’ll never do X, Y, Z again!” Instead, focus on doing X, Y, Z LESS.
There is no such thing as perfection, there is only progress! And that’s what life is about. Moving forward, growing and evolving. In fact, being a perfectionist is a childlike way of living. We are not children. We are adults in control. We are more powerful than we think. (I know—I sound like a corny motivational speaker, but it’s the truth!) Being a perfectionist and having the “If I can’t be perfect, why bother” attitude suggests that the only position worth having in life is being the winner. No one likes playing games with a sore loser.
So, if we can’t be the winner, we shouldn’t bother playing the game? That is a childlike way of thinking. It means that any small improvements in our weight, shape, mobility and breathing are unimportant. It means that any changes in the way we think, react and act around food don’t count. It means that any changes in the way we think about exercise don’t matter.
No one created the company of their dreams overnight. And no one created the body of their dreams overnight. Day by day. Meal by meal. Workout by workout. Improvement by improvement. Choice by choice.
Progress. NOT perfection. I repeat… Progress. NOT PERFECTION! —Adam Gilbert
A big thanks to Adam for the food-for-thought. Here on FBG, we think perfection (and comparison) is for the birds! So tell us, are you a perfectionist when it comes to your healthy lifestyle? What can you do today to break free? —Jenn