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Progress, Not Perfection

Perfectionism is overrated, and I should know. I’ve spent way too much time trying to attain the unattainable.

I’m not sure where this deep-rooted drive for physical perfection came from. Can I blame my fifth grade nemesis for calling me names? Or does the fault lie with the arrival of the Supermodel? Or Photoshop?

Not that it matters.

With age comes perspective (not to mention a fabulous husband who tells me everyday that I’m the cat’s pajamas) and the size of my jeans is no longer a barometer of my self worth.

If they feel snug, I don’t berate myself for skipping too many workouts or indulging in too many desserts. Instead I throw on a skirt and get on with my life. No would’ve-should’ve-could’ve and no more overly critical self-evaluation. Each day is a new day and in those 24 hours I strive for progress not perfection.


Besides how boring would life be if everyday were perfect? There’d be no high-fives, no victory dance and no great hair days to celebrate. The lows are what make the highs spectacular.

To prove how ludicrous this desire for flawless excellence is, think about all those things that you believe are perfectly imperfect, like your significant others’ crooked little smile or your dog’s lopsided ears. Undoubtedly, you wouldn’t change them for the world.

People like or love us for who we are, not for how we look.

And the funny thing is, when I see an old photo of myself I can’t imagine what in the hell I was nitpicking. I look strong and vibrant. What more could a girl want?

Today my self worth comes from the inside and I focus less on the reflection in the mirror. I set small goals and celebrate each one. Some get a pat on the back and others receive a more grand gesture. Every effort counts: the perfect, the not-so perfect and everything in between.

What really matters is that I am happy and healthy. Treat your body well and rejoice in it.

What extreme sacrifices have you made in the name of perfection? I refused to listen to my body and have worked out injured, sick, overly tired and once with strep throat! But no longer, thank goodness! —Karen

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  1. Cassie says:

    I totally agree. Perfection is just so depressing!

  2. Hi Karen,

    Thank you for reminding me that having a perfect face and a perfect body is not everything. Who cares about those things when you are perfectly happy with your imperfect life? 🙂

    Regards, Vi

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