Thursday, April 21, 2011

Perfection, oh what a slippery slope

[The body is] a marvelous machine. . . a chemical laboratory, a power-house. Every movement, voluntary or involuntary, full of secrets and marvels!
~Theodor Herzl

The only energy left in this household of mine is being used to throw or control a fit. We are tired and headachy. And sore.

I guess you could say we (I) fell off the wagon. And I've been feeling guilty about it. What wagon? The listening to my body and giving it what it needs wagon. But I've been ashamed to admit it. I mean, I write a blog about taking care of that body. How can someone who writes a blog like that fall off that wagon?

But then again. . . I write this blog about my struggle to learn to love my body right? About the struggle to learn to take proper care of it. So isn't this a perfect example?

I still fight this fear that I simply can't be human. My drive for perfection has not really gone away. To a certain extent I think that's okay, but it can also be damaging. If I preach intuitive eating, then I feel I must always be an intuitive eater. I can never have a day (or a couple weeks) where I binge and eat to mask emotions. I must be perfect.

But I'm not perfect. I'm not. I'm also extremely new to intuitive eating. I've really only been doing this since January. That's only 4 shorts months. Not a whole lot of time to wipe out a lifetime of destructive eating behaviors.

I've known all along that I've been eating to avoid feeling something. I just wasn't ready to deal with it. So I ate. Then I despaired because I was eating poor. And down we went. Not too far, but not great either. My pain has been back, my headaches have returned full force, I'm not sleeping as well at night, and the fatigue has returned. But unlike my life 4 months ago, I know what is happening, and I know how to fix it.

That need for perfection has been freaking me out though. That all or nothing approach is dangerous. If I "screw up" just once during the day and eat when I'm not physically hungry I've felt like I can't keep going that day. I'll just have to start tomorrow. Dangerous train of thought.

So here's the conclusion that I've come up with: If you are like me and feel overwhelmed at times just slow it down. Break down your day and say, "for this one meal I'm going to listen." Nothing else matters. If you want to pig out after the meal, go for it, but for just that one meal listen. And be mindful. Notice how you feel. I'm willing to bet you'll like the way you feel. Then continue on to the next meal if you are ready. Just one baby step at a time.

I started doing this earlier this week and within only 3 days I want to take better care of myself. I've started exercising again because I want to (not because I feel obligated), and I'm eating healthier already. I've not fully recovered from my 2 weeks of ignoring my body, but I'll get there quickly. Our bodies are remarkable like that.

And maybe, just maybe, someone out there will be relieved to know that screwing up happens. Even to those of us who preach.