So many of us are on the elusive quest to find the perfect diet and the perfect way to eat. Perhaps you believe it will lead to your perfect weight, perfect skin, perfect life.
I searched for years trying to find it and every once in a while I would jump into something believing that was it, I’d found it. The excitement was always short lived though when my cravings and binging got the better of me. I tried Paleo, Atkins, sugar free, wheat free, diary free, vegetarianism and vegan. Yet they were never ‘perfect’ for me.
Believing there is one size fits all when it comes to eating puts us in a position where we overlook some really important points. Such as we can often find ourselves become stressed, anxious and worried about what we should be eating. We base all of our decisions and actions around our ‘perfect’ diet and turn down cinema trips and social events as they aren’t compatible with our choice to eat the way we do. If we do find a way to eat which we believe is ‘perfect’ it often results in us ‘falling off the wagon’ by craving and binging on foods which aren’t allowed on that ‘perfect’ diet (like the time I ate an entire cake 2 weeks into Atkins….for the love of God I was desperate for sugar and carbs!!)
If we take a step away from food and eating for a moment, I’d like to ask you if there are ay other areas in life where there is a perfect way of doing them? A perfect way to bring up children? Clean a house? Be in a marriage or a relationship? A perfect way to have sex, have fun, move your body? I could go on. I hope this highlights a point.
The ‘Perfect’ diet doesn’t exist
Finding that balance, that is right for your body to nourish her physically, emotionally and spiritually is multidimensional. It’s dependant on the seasons, the amount of sleep you’ve had, your age, your hormones, your job, your activity levels, your sex, your emotional state. One size can not ever fit all.
Yet don’t panic. Before you find yourself slipping into a state of overwhelm, just stop. Breath. The world of nutrition is conflicting and confusing and messy at the best of times, so here’s what I did (and still do)
Stop. Listen. Trust
When you are able to let the quest go of trying to eat ‘perfectly’ an amazing thing happens. You relax. Mind, body & soul. I believe that our bodies really do know exactly what they need and when. Sometimes you may need more carbs to keep your body nourished. Sometimes you might need more vegetables or fruit. Sometimes it could be more meat or fish. Sometimes she may ask for sweetness. I have days when I completely trust my body and allow her to have a piece of cake for breakfast as I know she’ll tell me when she needs something more nutritious (and she often does). I suggest you try and buy the best of everything by the way. If your body wants chocolate make sure it’s Belgian and rich. If your body wants steak, get the best cut you can. It makes all the difference when we nourish ourselves with quality.
Having knowledge is wonderful but make sure you apply it to what feels right for YOU. I LOVE the idea of green juice, I appreciate the health benefits, I know it would be amazing for my body BUT I very rarely drink them. Why? Not sure. But I’m OK with that.
Are you willing to let go of being perfect?
Are you willing to admit that your search for perfectionism often leads to self-abuse, stress and overwhelm?
To quote Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, ‘The desire for perfection in any area of life is a form of simplistic wishful thinking. It’s a way of approaching the world that calls for more maturity and experience. Perfectionism is a dream that we need to wake up from. The alternative is to continue sleepwalking and not understand why we’re constantly feeling off-balance, disempowered, uncertain, and always looking for answers about why our health or our eating habits aren’t perfect.’