Growing up I had a huge problem with perfectionism, which is funny to me, considering I was always so overweight and my health was no where close to being perfect.
But nevertheless, when it came to anything besides my weight, I was a perfectionist. The blankets on my bed had to be completely wrinkle-free. When I would put my hair up in a ponytail, it had to be completely smooth with no bumps. I would peel an orange for almost an hour to get all of the white stuff off. I wouldn’t paint my nails because I couldn’t get them perfect and hated when they chipped. I would spend ridiculous amounts of hours on assignments to make sure I got at least a 100%. I would cry if I tried to ice a cake and crumbs got mixed in with the icing. Sometimes I would even just throw it away and start all over.
I was an all-or-nothing perfectionist. Sometimes I still am if I’m being honest. If I couldn’t do it perfectly, I wouldn’t do it at all. I guess that’s why I just left the weight loss thing alone – I knew I couldn’t do it, so I didn’t even try. And if I did try and I failed one time, I would just quit. If I didn’t have time to deep clean my room, I wouldn’t clean it at all.
The list goes on and on … really, it was ridiculous how much perfectionism & procrastination (because it had to be all or nothing) controlled my life.
In college, I began seeing a counselor. Life seemed way too stressful, and I was beginning to freak out because nothing was going the way I thought it should be going. We talked a lot about my weight and about my perfectionism. It’s weird to think how I was a perfectionist, a procrastinator, and person who settled for mediocre all at once. But if you really think about it, it actually makes sense.
I had an idea in my head of how something was to be. If I couldn’t do it perfectly, I wouldn’t do it at all. And if I HAD to do something and knew I wouldn’t be able to do it perfectly, I would just do it mediocre. I was so afraid to fail that I would not even try and just let my okay be good enough.
It’s a sad way to live… knowing you can do better but being too scared to actually do better.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my perfectionism and procrastination. In college, I think I mostly got over my perfectionism in areas of my life. I purposely made my bed messy. I would put up my hair using my fingers and not a brush. I would paint my nails a bold color and let them chip and not take it for weeks. I stopped spending the extra 10 hours on my papers when I knew I already had an A paper written. And it worked. It taught me to relax more and just accept things.
And I began to realize that what I thought was perfect was really just my opinion and wasn’t true perfection. I stopped being so hard on myself.
Right now, I’m struggling with this when it comes to weight loss though. For so long I didn’t even try to lose weight, and now that I am trying, it’s way too easy for me to get discouraged and think that my best isn’t good enough, that I’m going to fail.
Honestly, I’m scared to lose weight. I’m scared I’m going to fail again. I’m scared I’m going to do it wrong. I hate feeling this way because I’ve come so far with my perfectionism and with my weight loss, and days like today make me think I’m going to fall under its grasp again. I have thoughts like: What’s it matter if I lose weight when I’m still going to have all the stretch marks and excess skin, etc? Why even try to lose weight when I’m probably going to fail anyway?
I hate days like today because I know I’m not perfect. I don’t want to be perfect, but something inside me is messing with me, telling me that I have to be all-or-nothing, and I know it’s not true. I just want to be healthy and happy and strong and successful at life.
I know perfection isn’t attainable, so why am I so worried about it?