You’d think that being a perfectionist would mean that I’m a neat, orderly, organized and accomplished person. In fact, half the time I’m all of those things and half the time I’m none of those things. That also describes my lifelong weight loss journey. Perfect, perfect, perfect, WHOOPS! So this time around, I’m trying to be as imperfect as my perfectionism will let me be.
If weight management were easy, you wouldn’t be reading this and I wouldn’t have three years of journaling and weight records kept on my computer’s desktop file. No, if weight management is going to work for a perfectionist like me, I need to know that it can still be done when its not easy — that weight management can still be done even when it’s not perfect.
I’m fortunate enough to know a lot of incredible losers. The good kind. People who teach me and inspire me and show me the way. The ones who are the most helpful to me personally are those who struggle for months at the same weight and haven’t given up. Those who’ve unexpectedly gained while “doing everything right” and haven’t lost heart. Those who are back in the game after having thrown in the towel. You don’t have to be thin to inspire me, but you have to be a human being. One friend of mine has lost 60 pounds and maintained that for a year without losing another ounce, even though the medical charts would say she has another 150 to go. A true role model.
Today a friend of mine (and new role model) told me that when he gained back some of his weight last year he realized that he’d lost that special feeling that his earlier weight loss had engendered, so this time around he was “just doing what needs to be done” and waiting for that feeling to return another time.
Yesterday I had coffee with a friend who’s a priest, and who happens to have lost 50 pounds. I mentioned to her that I don’t always feel like I’m that place where I was meant to be. Having had her own struggles on this topic she replied, “Jonathan, God doesn’t put us into difficulty to test our ability to cope, God gives us the ability to cope when we get into difficulty.” Another new role model.
Who are your imperfect role models? Where have you been inspired by “failure”? How does this help you keep going?