#reverb2015//Day 23//Perfectionism

In December, we remember! Join Kim, Barbara, and I as we take a look back at 2015!

Day 23: Perfect. Did you struggle with perfectionism this year? How?

Perfectionism deals in black and white, right and wrong. There is no room for gray or neutral.  Perfectionism fuels my disease.

I encounter this is with food. I want what I eat to be perfect. I want to eat perfectly to lose weight. I want to perfectly follow the diet of the month. I want to perfectly adhere to the goals I have agreed to with my dietician. I should be able to do this, right? It is and has been my sole focus since I was 10 years old. It has consumed 90% of my brain power my entire life. So why the hell can’t I stay on plan? It’s all I’ve ever wanted out of life. How is that not enough motivation??

That is the saddest realization. I can’t believe I just came to it now.

Even while I struggle to recover, if you ask me what I want more than anything else – a fairy godmother appears to grant me one wish – without hesitation, it is to be skinny. It is not world peace. It is not a baby. It is not a fulfilling career or house with a white picket fence. It’s clearly not my health.

It is just to be small.

That is pathetic.

I digress…

But this is why it is so hard for me to understand why I can’t be perfect and when I “falter,” even a little, it is a pretty quick shame spiral often leading to A. a bigger deviation from my perfect plan, B. throwing up the original “mistake,” or C. both.

This perfectionism and my quest for a smaller body that drives it are a compulsion. The “I ate good food” vs “I ate bad food” cycle is like an avalanche gaining momentum down the mountain because in my head, that cycle is not about food. It’s about me. It’s “I am good (when I am small)” vs “I am bad (when I gain weight)” and the damage it does compounds on itself year after year.

I have no idea who I could be or what I could accomplish if I didn’t need to be the perfect weight. I will keep working to let go of the compulsion; to work through what lead to it and continues to fuel it now. I won’t give up. I’m a hopeless hopeful, remember? I’ll be perfect at that.


3 thoughts on “#reverb2015//Day 23//Perfectionism

  1. Beth, this is wonderful. I know exactly how you feel. We’ve known each other for years and I know that you know how much I struggle with this exact same problem everyday. I beat myself up over everything I put in my mouth. I struggle with every calorie, every carbohydrate. It’s awful. If I feel sick, or tired, or just need a night off and I don’t feel well enough to go to the gym, I force myself to go anyway. Now that the Christmas season is here, I’ve decided to loosen the restrictions on myself for a week or so. So far, it’s been ok. I feel guilty, yes, but I’m also enjoying myself. I do so well and beat myself up all the time, I feel like I’ve earned it. But I know that in January, I will go back to almost crying for every pound I either gained or didn’t lose, for every chip or cookie I put in my mouth. There are so many more important things out there to worry about, to obsess over, but this is what I have to deal with. I hope that someday I can learn to just be ok with me, the way I am, maybe a little bit chunky, but happy and most importantly, healthy. -Melissa Otkowski

    Liked by 1 person

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