Ep #225: How to Overcome Diet Perfectionism

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Episode #225: How to Overcome Diet Perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist?

Do you think you aren’t a perfectionist because you have failed at weight loss?

We all have this idea about what is perfect. It’s subjective.

We hold ourselves to these very high standards in our minds.

This is the mental weight of weight loss.

We put time pressures and health pressures on ourselves.

We worry about failing and about the shame and judgment that accompany it.

When this happens, we just stop. We become paralyzed.

In today’s episode, I teach you some language around perfectionism and how to overcome diet perfectionism.

In this episode…

≫[3:16] I’m not perfect because I failed.

≫[3:47] Perfection just lives in our minds.

≫[5:18] A lot of my thoughts were just rolling around in my subconscious.

≫[6:24] What does diet perfectionism look like?

≫[7:52] Perfectionism, it’s sabotaging your weight loss efforts because you don’t associate yourself as a perfectionist.

≫[9:18] Change is danger to our brains. Our brains like us to stay the same.

≫[10:17] When you try to change everything, you’re just setting yourself up to not do anything.

≫[12:46] You know that you cannot cut out carbs and sugar for the rest of your life, so when you try to do that, you will sabotage.

≫[14:06] The opposite of perfectionism is failure.

≫[14:16] How you overcome diet perfectionism is by being compassionate with yourself and allowing yourself to fail and learn and move forward.

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You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women Podcast with  Shannan Christiansen, episode number 225. Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast for women who are ready to break the diet cycle and end their struggle with weight for good. Here’s your host, fortune 100 executive and certified life coach, Shannan Christiansen. Hello, love. I’m so excited to be back with you.

Here we go. I know we’re in the middle of January already. I know. I love it. I know it’s been very cold in many places so far this year, like very cold. I hear it from my ladies in Transform Boss. They’re like, it’s negative 40. I don’t know, ladies. It’s not my thing. It’s been cold here though,

in Arizona. I’ll tell you, I had a day where it was 32 in the morning. Yeah, it’s been kind of cold, but you know, I don’t wanna complain about the weather because you know, it was really hot this year, so I’m not gonna complain. It’s all good, but I hope wherever you are, you are warm. Yes.

So in case you have missed it, I don’t want you to miss it. I am doing right now a free class, and it’s 60 minutes with me, and I’m talking about three secrets to consistency for weight loss. I just had my first one today and it was awesome. And I have two more. So you can sign up, you can go to bflycoaching.com/3secrets. I don’t want you to miss out. Honestly, the last, I mean, I do challenges. They’re way more in depth. And you know, I have the free course, but I tell you, I have not just done a 60 minute, you and me. Let’s do it. Let’s learn about something in a good while actually, so you don’t wanna miss it.

So go over there, get signed up. There’s two classes left, one on January 20th, Saturday the 20th, and that one is at 10:00 AM Eastern Time. And then I’m doing one on January 30th, and that one is a Tuesday. And I’m doing that one at 7:00 PM Eastern time. I try to do it at different times and dates so you can come,

I’m teaching the same thing in each one of them, but if you wanna come, come to my class free, let’s go. I know. 20, 24. Let’s go ladies. So right on time with consistency. And actually, one of the reasons why I think weight loss has felt really hard is this perfectionism, namely diet perfectionism. And I know many of you are like,

I’m not a perfectionist. I know it always surprised me, I think, because for me, naturally, I wanted to be perfect in many areas of my life. And so, you know, as you learn about ladies, even if you are a perfectionist, it doesn’t mean that you identify as one. It doesn’t mean that you are like, oh yeah,

I’m a perfectionist. There are many of you who are listening right now who are like, you know, Shannan, I’m not a perfectionist. And the reason why you may think that is because you look at what you’ve done in weight loss, or you look at what you’ve done in whatever area of your life, and you’re like, well, I’m not perfect because I failed.

I know, right? I know. So you don’t associate that with yourself because you’re like, well, I’m not perfect. And because I’m not perfect, I’m not a perfectionist, perfectionist and perfectionistic tendencies. I just wanna say this first and then I’m gonna get into the whole thing. It’s just a total lie. There is no such thing as perfection.

It is very subjective. Perfection just lives in our minds, right? I might like something some way. And so when I see it, I’ll give you an example. So Paul, he likes really, really crispy things. Like maybe almost like, well done, burnt, not burnt, but you know what I’m saying, me, I’m gonna use french fries.

And he likes them very, very crispy. Like very crispy, like almost like hard. I think me, I like them a little soft. I’m never mad when I get a little soft french fry, that’s, it has a little crisp, but not right. To him. A perfect fry is extremely crispy for me. It’s like not so much.

We all have this idea of what is perfect. And so it’s just so subjective. But yet we hold ourselves to these absolutes and to these, you know, all or nothing. We hold ourselves to these very high standards In our minds. This is important. Again, this is all in our minds. This is the mental weight of weight loss. It’s all in our minds.

So today, I, what I want to do is give you some language around perfectionism and then how to overcome it. And so here is what the language looks like, because so many of our thoughts and our thinking are inner subconscious. And a lot of times we don’t even know what we’re thinking until we actually get coached. Or for some of you,

right? Even myself, I’ve gone to therapy. So between therapy and coaching, you know, that’s where I found out what I was thinking. A lot of my thoughts were just rolling around in my subconscious. And it wasn’t until I started getting asked questions that then I could reveal it. And of course, in Transform Boss for all my members, I teach you the thought cycle and how to start to do even self-coaching.

So you can start to explore what’s going on in your subconscious. This is why it can feel like you’re going around your own back. Like you don’t understand, like, why is this so hard? Why is this so difficult? Why do I tell myself I’m gonna do something and then I do something different? It’s because in the thoughts and the language is not sitting in your conscious thought,

it’s sitting back in your subconscious. And again, we’re in our subconscious and our automatic brain and our flight or fight or freeze brain, like 90, 95% of the day. So this is why and so’s important to understand what this language looks like. So if this thought pops in your head, or if you, you know, start getting coached and you start getting curious,

you can start to see, well, what does diet perfectionism look like? So it looks like things like, I’m only going to eat healthy now. Like, how is that only, I’m only going to eat healthy? Because what you’re doing is you’re making an absolute, you’re not saying, I’m going to eat food that fuels me, and I’m going to eat foods that don’t.

I am going to cut out carbs or, and or whatever. I’m going to cut out sugar, cut out is an absolute, I’m going to cut it out. I will not eat it. And when you do that, you don’t leave room for the and. And so that is perfectionistic language. Another way that it can show up, I will do this for whatever time period,

30 days, two months, whatever pops in your head, and I will lose 20 pounds, right? You attach some large amount of weight loss for you. It differs depending on where you’re at in your weight loss journey. Some of you might be like, in 30 days I’m gonna lose 50 pounds. Again, I’m not saying this is all in your mind,

all mental stuff. And then you say, I’m gonna do this for 30 days. I’m gonna be perfect. You don’t use the word perfect. I’m gonna do this for 30 days and I’m gonna follow the plan. Exactly. You use the word like, exactly. And then I can lose all my weight Again, why this is so important and why I wanna show you these different examples is because for many of you,

when I say perfectionism, it’s sabotaging your weight loss efforts because you don’t associate yourself as a perfectionist. You just don’t hear me. You say, oh, I don’t hear you. What are you talking about Shannan? Now, some of you, you’ve been around, or you’re one of my bosses and you’ve heard me talk about it long enough, you’re like,

okay, I am. You raise your hand up. You’re like, I am Shannan. But if you’re new to this or you’re just, or maybe you’ve heard me and you just like, for whatever reason, you don’t associate, because again, that’s the part of you that thinks, well, I fail and I’m not good at it, or whatever it is,

right? Okay, so another sentence that rolls through our thoughts. If I can just do it this time and fast, if I can just do it this time and do it really quick and lose my weight, then I’ll get back to normal later. Again, you’re putting this, you know, really extreme amount of pressure on yourself to do it perfectly.

Because if you do it quick, you do it fast, you do it perfect, you do it exactly, then everything will be fine. Another way is you wanna change everything. So I’m going to eat healthy. I’m gonna exercise five days a week. I’m gonna do cardio, I’m gonna do weights, I’m gonna do stretching, I’m gonna meditate, I’m gonna journal.

I’m gonna track my food. What I mean, just saying it made me feel overwhelmed. Change is danger to our brains. Our brains just like us to stay the same, stay the same. And whatever you’re doing right now feels good to me. Especially for many of you. You’ve done the same thing for a long bit of time. So your brain’s like,

Hey, this is good. We’re not dying, so this is good. I don’t want you to change. And so when you say to your brain, we’re gonna change and we’re gonna change who we are, although you never can. Again, this is just, again, mental and your mental thoughts, your sentences, the stories you tell yourself, I’m gonna change everything.

Your brain’s just like, oh boy, here she goes. And then your brain’s like, we’re not doing any of it. We’ll tell her later. Yes. That’s the conversations that are happening in your brain, your automatic brain, your the most powerful parts of your brain that are in charge most of the time is like, yeah, yeah, yeah.

We’ll tell the prefrontal later. We’re not doing that, and we know how to sabotage her because we’ve done it a hundred times before, a thousand times before. So when you try to change everything, you’re just setting yourself up to not do anything. When you use diet, perfectionism, language. And there are so many more examples I could give you.Boss

We could be here all day, and I could give you all the examples of how it shows up. It’s when we use absolutes, when we use all or nothing, when we use exactly. When we use things like, I’m going to cut out. I’m only going to, and we use, or we don’t use, and we don’t allow for both sides of the equation.

And you know, I think about this in my movement journey, because I used to tell myself I was gonna do so many reps, and I was going to exercise for so long and so many days a week. I do none of that now because that is part of my healing process, is I love to move my body, and I love the way I think about it.

I like to lift heavy things. I like to move it. I no longer put goals around that because when I do, it brings me back into diet perfectionism, and then I wanna do more. And I’m naturally a little competitive. I mean, not a little, I know. I just try to get that over on you. I’m very competitive.

I know like anyone who knows me really well, they’re just like, Shannan. I know I’m very competitive, so I, I have to watch that in myself. And so then it’s like, I wanna exercise and it’s not enough, and then I wanna do this. And I, you know, okay, I went five miles on my bike, now I need to go 10.

And I can keep pushing and pushing, and then it just becomes too much. And then I don’t do anything. And so for me, I don’t put time. I don’t put how fast. I don’t put any of that because I know what it can turn into for me, this perfectionism. And then I don’t wanna do anything. Remember, perfectionism is just a lie.

It’s a way that we don’t do anything actually, when we think we have to be perfect, when we have this fear of failure, right? This fear of failing, which comes from perfectionism. We do nothing. We don’t even get started. So many ladies will tell me like, I just can’t get started, right? Because you wanna do a hundred things instead of just like,

okay, I’m gonna do one thing and I’m gonna focus on that one thing, and I’m gonna get really good at that one thing, and I’m gonna have grace and compassion with myself. Look, if you’re listening to this podcast somewhere in your brain and in your body, you know that you cannot cut out carbs and sugar for the rest of your life.

And so when you try to do that, you will sabotage, and then you will eat extraordinary amounts of it because you try to cut ’em out and you try to tell yourself you are never going to eat it again. And you do this again in your language. And so you know that you can’t. So I’m just saying to you, find a way to start to meet yourself not in the middle.

How much is a little more on the inside? Because right now, the extremes, when you think about it, where you’re eating everything, that’s one extreme, or you’re restricting, which is another extreme, if you can just move in a little bit, you know, next month in Transform Boss, February, my workshop is all around healing the restrict and binge cycle.

Because I think in relation to perfectionism, this is again, part of healing from diet, healing, from diet culture, diet, trauma. And so part of that is healing that and coming again, more towards the center. Now, the opposite of perfectionism. Ready? It’s failure. I know, right? You’re like, what? I mean, some people will use other words,

but I’m gonna use failure. And how you overcome diet perfectionism is by being compassionate with yourself and allowing yourself to fail and learn and move forward when you are so scared of failing, when you tell yourself you can’t fail, it’s not an option. You’re worried about the shame and the judgment and all the things, and you accompany that with time pressure, right?

I gotta do this before this event or this thing, or whatever it is. And then some of you are putting health pressures on yourself too. Like, oh my gosh, I’ve gotta do this. I gotta figure this out. You’re in a pressure cooker. And what happens is when you’re in that pressure cooker, you just stop. You just paralyze.

You just stop moving. You stop taking action. You just buffer. You numb. And I don’t want you to do that. I want you to know that failure is the way to your dreams and your goal. It’s when you can have a failure, allow yourself to feel, maybe it’s shame, maybe it’s disappointment. You feel it, and then you ask yourself,

what’s the next best thing I can do for myself? What is the next action? The one step? And get curious. You know, I fail all the time. I tell you, ladies, I’m not even gonna lie to you. I fail so much. And I just always think, what can I learn from it? What action can I take next?

What can I do next? What do I wanna think about this? How do I wanna allow myself to feel the emotion of it, and then have compassion for myself? When you can increase your self-compassion, it’s amazing how you can increase it for the other humans in the world too, when they have failures, when they make a mistake. And so how you overcome diet perfectionism is starting one to be aware of the language that you’re using.

Many of you don’t use the actual words perfect. You just use absolutes, right? Where it’s all or nothing. You use words where you put this pressure on yourself, whether it be time or the amount of things that you need to do. And so just be aware. That’s the first. The second is allowing yourself to fail, knowing that you’ll have challenges and getting curious about it instead of judgmental.

And then the third piece is having compassion and grace for yourself. Allowing yourself grace and love for your own self and your journey, and beating yourself up. Just so you know, I know people are like Shannan. I mean, we come from a culture of it. We have teachers out in the world who are really hardcore. They’re just very aggressive and assertive,

and they use very extreme language and all the things, right? And that’s what we’ve grown up. So we think we need that. But I am telling you, I have looked at the world. I have seen all the things. I’ve seen the results. Look at our country, look at how we are. You know, so many people are just struggling with their weight and all the things.

It does not work long term. I’m not saying short term, but long term, it’s about love and compassion and kindness. It’s about learning how to have that for yourself and failing and starting to like, okay, I’m going to fail. As much as I have wins, as much as I succeed, I’m going to fail too. And that is okay.

I don’t need to be all in or all out. I’m gonna somewhere start to find and move the needle towards the middle. You’re never gonna find the middle. There is no such thing. It’s just moving a little bit closer to it. Mm, it’s good, right? Love this. Work awareness, right? Allowing yourself to fail, and then having grace,

love, and compassion for yourself. And get curious when you fail, too. I love to ask myself, why. What was going on? Love. Mm. Now again, I have my three secrets to consistency class. You wanna come to it, it’s so good. bflycoaching.comYou/3secrets. The number three, not spelled out secrets, you can just go to bflycoaching.com.

It’s on the banner, so you can click there. And then of course, if you wanna take this work deeper, you want to, you know, again, you’re just like, Shannan, I wanna get it all. One, follow the podcast every Wednesday I release a new episode. Two, get on my email list, bflycoaching.com/email.  And then three,

come join us in Transform Boss. That is my monthly membership program where we take this work deeper and really, I don’t know, we’re just changing lives. I know it’s the best work, ladies. It’s the best work because it is learning how to lose weight. Live your best life in a body that you love, in a way that increases your self-love,

self-compassion, kindness improves your relationships with yourself and others. And I tell you ladies, it’s a journey I would sign up for every single day. Mm. All right, my last bye for now. Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and wanna learn more, come on over to bflycoaching.com.

That’s bflycoaching.com. See you next week.

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