Perfect is bunk and it’s destroying your progress

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good!

How many times have you started a diet or training regime only to have it fall to pieces a few weeks in? How many times have you started over – knowing that this time, you probably won’t succeed in reaching your goals?

It is absolutely staggering that the majority of people are unhappy with the way they look – and look at others with an attitude of “if only I looked like that, then I could be happy” and then expect this negative outlook to give them the ability to love their bodies enough to nourish them properly and train hard. So many people feel this way. It is a serious, serious problem – and I’m saying that with 10 years experience as an academic psychologist. This attitude is toxic and it will seriously impede your progress towards your goals!

You don’t have to have 100% dietary compliance in order to reach your goals. But what you do have to do is consistently steer yourself towards those goals. Fallen off the wagon and over indulged? Doesn’t matter. Your goals haven’t changed. Get back on track. You can correct your progress literally with the next thing you put in your mouth. This is actually really liberating – you can adjust your sails and be back on track before you know it.

Do not wait for tomorrow. Do not wait for Monday. Do not wait for new year. Your goals are important – simply make your next choice one that gets you a step closer to where you want to be.

Ask yourself: do I still want this?

If the answer to that is yes, then keep working towards it. If you can’t stop thinking about your goal, don’t stop working for it. You are worthy of your own efforts! You know that in order to lose fat you need to be in a caloric deficit (that means that you have to eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain fat). It’s no mystery. You don’t need a magic pill. What you do need is a reality check:

  • This will take longer than you want it to. Do it anyway.
  • This will not be a linear process – you may not lose weight every week, even when your dietary compliance is 100%. It simply doesn’t work like that.
  • When it doesn’t go your way, quitting will not speed it up. Chucking it all in the fuck it bucket will just set your progress back. Good enough is good enough. Just keep plugging away!

This is difficult because it’s not glamourous. There’s no potion, or wrap, or detox cleanse that will help you with this. Many of you reading this will be nodding, thinking “yes, I know it’s about CICO and there are no shortcuts”. However, you may underestimate the level of patience that success requires. You must keep trying even when your body doesn’t yet show changes. You must keep trying even when hot cross buns come into the supermarket – and you love you some hot cross buns. You must keep trying even when it’s cold, and wet, and you don’t want to train because you’re tired.

Dig deep. You will get there. It’s a process, and change takes time.

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How to get through Christmas without ruining your diet

If you’ve been counting calories, and tracking your macros with diligence, and some might say fervour, for the last few weeks or months – a potential iceberg in hovering on the horizon of your nutrition boat.

Christmas. 

It’s there, in the dark, looming large. The shops filled to the rafters with boxes and boxes of jewel coloured chocolates. The temptation of delicious pigs in blankets. Even the Christmas cookery shows seem to be encouraging you to throw caution to the wind every time you turn on the TV and cook everything in 2 lbs of brandy butter and goose fat!

I get it. You, like me, have been monitoring your macros in MyFitnessPal and you’re seeing great progress on the scale. You’re a titan in the gym. You are crushing it and you don’t want to throw it all away for the Terry’s chocolate orange that Great Aunt Doris has slipped into your Christmas stocking.

Here’s what you’re going to do…

  • You recognise that Christmas happens but once a year, and this is a wonderful opportunity to make special memories with your family; the food is part of that. 
  • You acknowledge that actually the components of a Christmas dinner really aren’t so damaging – vegetables and turkey are about as lean as it gets! Fill up on these wonderful seasonal treats. Go easy on the sprouts, we’re dieting, not bloody martyrs!
  • Those incredible must have parts of the Christmas food that you just cannot miss out on? Whatever those things are for you… Have some. Join in. Track them in MFP and don’t go mental. And simply get back on track on Boxing day.

You have got this. You are totally in control. You’re going to have a wonderful Christmas and all your dieting dreams are going to come true – I believe in you.

Drop me a comment and let me know what  you’re most looking forward to this festive season.