I used to draw and paint, but I stopped because I was always disappointed with the results. What was in my head just wasn’t what ended up on the canvas, or the pot I was painting. I remember one time Matt said, “it’s the flaws that give the pieces their character.” (Or something like that.) But I didn’t want flaws…I wanted perfection.
Last week my Weight Watcher leader challenged the group to select 3-4 days of “magic”. Basically, what this meant was that for those days we selected, we had to truly follow the plan – not half-ass it. By taking on this challenge, I promised to weigh and measure everything I ate or drank, I promised to “just say no” to treats and glasses of wine, and I promised to track my food and activity every day. I promised to be perfect. I was excited…I have been struggling with this last 10-15 pounds for longer than I care to admit. I needed a challenge to make it new – and I work better when challenged. So, I selected my days.
My first day was Friday. I had all my meals for the day planned, I knew what I was doing and it was easy for me to “just say no” to wine because I had a big run the next morning. Things were going along swimmingly, and then Sunshine’s friend’s mom called saying Sunshine could spend the night. This meant Matt and I could go out on a date! I was thrilled (we don’t get out much) and worried all at the same time. If we went out was I going to be able to hold it together? Was I going to be able to hold up the deal I had made with myself to not drink? Was I going to be perfect?
We went to an Italian restaurant we had been wanting to try for a long time. We looked at the menu online, so I kind of had an idea of what I was going to get before we even got there. However, I have done this before and once I get to the restaurant I usually throw the plan out the window. Instead of wine, I had a pomegranate Italian soda…I ordered a delicious salad instead of the pasta dishes I was eying…I didn’t eat any of the bread until there was only one piece left…I only ate one of the meatballs we had for an appetizer. Everything was delicious and I didn’t walk away from the restaurant feeling like I had given anything up.
Did I go over my points that night? Probably. Was I perfect? Nope. But, I kept up my end of the deal that I wouldn’t drink, that I didn’t need to have the creamy pasta dishes on the menu, that I didn’t have to let go of the plan because I went out to dinner.
The rest of the week went along quite well. Each day of “magic” was just that…magic. However, it wasn’t magic because I was perfect, it was magic because I realized that I didn’t have to be perfect. Perfection is a fallacy I have held for myself for far too long. Unfortunately, it is just that desire for perfection and failure of obtaining that perfection that I believe set me in the path I continually fight to get off of. It is a difficult process – it is letting go, and it is probably something I will continually have to work on for the rest of my life.
Here is what I have learned: Perfection is not necessary to have success or to be a good person. People do not love me for being perfect…it’s my flaws that give me character. Realizing that is truly magical.