This is one of those lines of thought that I think so many people have when trying to lose weight or change eating and exercise habits.
No matter what I do, it’s never good enough.
The first question to ask yourself is “Good enough for whom?” Who are you trying to please? Who gets the ultimate say on whether or not you are good enough?
If your answer is “them, the world, the universe” then you are right. There is nothing you can do that will ever please everyone. There, that burden is lifted from your shoulders! You will never please them all. But don’t give up on your dreams, just give up on trying to please everyone else and focus on you. It’s incredibly freeing. Try it.
The only person you really have to be good enough for is yourself. So if your standards you have set for yourself are impossible to meet because you require perfection of yourself at all times, the only reasonable solution is to lower your standards. Stop expecting to be perfect, stop thinking you already know everything, and open your mind to learning and moving forward through an ever changing process.
I remember one particular temper tantrum I threw somewhere early in the whole weight loss journey. I was frustrated that I wasn’t losing weight as quickly as when I started and was complaining about it to my boyfriend. In true logical guy fashion, he said “maybe you need to adjust your diet and push yourself harder at the gym.”
Well let me just say, that did not go over well. I’m sure he thought he was helping but all I heard was “You aren’t good enough. You aren’t trying hard enough.”
And I thought to myself, “No matter what I do it will never be good enough so I may as well give up.”
Because in my mind I was trying! I was counting calories, I was exercising! I was doing the same things I had been doing for months. Yet it wasn’t working anymore the same way it had been.
Ah, silly me. If only I had known then what I know now I would have known that I answered my own question.
Obviously, I did not give up. I had the temper tantrum, cried, and the next day I adjusted my calorie intake and tried a new group exercise class at the gym and I eventually met all of my goals, so we see that clearly it was good enough after all.
I learned a few important lessons. First, doing what you’ve been doing doesn’t work forever because your body adapts. I had become fitter so I needed to push myself harder. I had become thinner so I needed to adjust my caloric intake. Doing what you’ve always done really isn’t good enough. You have to accept that you much continually evolve to keep making progress.
I also learned to listen to my boyfriend about things like this because he really was very rational about the whole thing in ways it took me many months to master. There is a lot of emotion tied up in excess weight and I think that emotion comes out when you lose it.
Either that or eating less calories than you burn causes temper tantrums.
Good enough is not perfect. In fact, there’s no such thing as perfect. There’s only a little better than before.