A post almost 45 years in the making

I told myself I’d write something here every day for a week but I forgot to write yesterday, so I guess I’m a failure and I’ll just throw this whole blogging thing out. Or maybe I’ll just write twice today to make up for missing yesterday. Perfection, perfection, perfection: nothing but 100% perfect is OK.

Sounds crazy, right? But that’s precisely what I’ve been thinking since I remembered that I hadn’t blogged last night before bed. It’s such an ingrained part of me, the need to be perfect at all times, that the insanity of it all takes a while to filter through all of the dysfunctional parts of my brain. After a tea latte this morning and some time spent wandering aimlessly around FitBloggin – surrounded by excited, happy people jumping around and shrieking with joy while Zumba-ing, mind you! – I finally remembered how unhappy I become when I shoot for 100% perfection. I mean, really and truly, the chances of being 100% perfect for the rest of my life are slim and none so why do I do this to myself?

I think it might be part of a bigger craziness whereby I think that if I can make myself perfect in every way except this poor, abused body I wander around with, then I’ll be acceptable. I can’t even remember when it started, the desire to be perfect, to never do anything bad or wrong, but it’s so much a part of me now that I don’t even think about it anymore. It’s why I spend a fortune on my hair and clothes and shoes and purses and jewelry and everything else that I can make perfect: I can buy perfection for material things but my perfect body can’t be bought, it has to be earned.

Perfect newborn daisy
Perfect newborn daisy by Mukumbura, on Flickr

I don’t have the perfect plan for how to get from here to healthy but at least I know how I won’t make it happen. No more quest for diet and exercise perfection for this girl – this isn’t a race and there are no medals for finishing quickly but the rewards for treating my body with love and kindness again will be tremendous.

  • http://www.dietgirl.org

    Great post Denise. So much to ponder! I think letting go of perfection is like a skill to learn and above all practice over time, considering the decades of striving to create the illusion of ok that came before. It’s so fab that you’re having all these wee lightbulb moments… So happy for you

    • http://www.lottalatte.com

      Thanks roomie/road trip buddy! I miss you already and I had a little sniffle when I made my first cup of coffee in California. Hope your power shopping is going swimmingly. xoxo

  • Beautifully put — and a wonderful photo you found to illustrate it. Persistence not perfection has been one of my mantras.

    • http://www.lottalatte.com

      I definitely have the training wheels on this “anti-perfection” thing but each time I challenge that line of thinking, it gets a little easier. I find myself spotting the crazy thinking a lot faster now and am constantly surprised by how often it happens and how natural/normal it feels.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Joy!