Confessions from a Recovering Perfectionist

My name is a Kait, and I’m a recovering perfectionist.

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It’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life. All or nothing. Black and white. Best or worst. No cookies or all the cookies. Kale or Cheetos. Clean eating or dirty eating. 100%. A or F. Good food and bad food. I was once insulted when someone accused me of not having a Type-A personality.

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To be honest, though, trying to be perfect has caused me a lot of stress, anxiety, exhaustion, embarrassment, shame, and guilt, and it has lead to an eating disorder and bouts of low self-esteem. When one aims for perfection, failure is unavoidable, because perfect doesn’t exist.

I am not perfect.
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I am. Not perfect.

I. Am. Not. Perfect…and I never will be!

But, TODAY I am better than I was yesterday.

Here are some areas of my life I’ve learned to appreciate not being perfect.

  1. My diet is not perfectly healthy

    I’ve fallen in love with the flexible dieting or the “if it fits your macros” mentality where no foods are off limits. I can occasionally incorporate imperfect foods into my diet without feeling guilty or like I’ve completely sabotaged all my fitness goals. I actually eat more whole foods because I choose to, not because I have to.

    My diet is still not perfect in these regards. I struggle to track my food, eat enough protein, and not succumb to emotional eating in times of stress, but I’m getting better at it. My relationship with food is much better now than it was at this time last year.
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  2. I don’t know everything there is to know about fitness.

    There is so much to know and to learn as a personal trainer, a fitness enthusiast, and a coach. No one knows it all. I certainly don’t know it all. Sometimes, the amount I don’t know overwhelms me, but for the most part, what I don’t know drives me to keep learning. It creates my passion. I’m so glad I don’t know everything because I actually love learning about training, nutrition, motivation, etc.. Half the reason I started this website is so I have a reason to learn and study more aspects of the fitness field in depth while I write articles.

  3. I’m not a perfect coach or personal trainer.

    Blasphemy, I know. I have so much room for improvement, but there are 2 things I’m certain of: 1) With my education and experience, I know a lot more than your average gym go-er (and many personal trainers) and 2) every day I do my best move my clients safely toward their goals. I am content knowing that every day I am working to be a better coach and if 3 years from now I coach the same way I coach today, I’ll know I’ve done something wrong.
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  4. I’m not a perfect writer.

    I don’t quite understand how to use effect and affect or semicolons vs. colons. I’m not bursting at the seams with words of wisdom each time I sit down and write. I’m not sure what “my voice” sounds like or if people even want to read what I’m writing about. I enjoy it, though, and I trust that in time I’ll figure it out. Plus, if i didn’t publish posts until I deemed them perfect, I wouldn’t have a blog…or a life.

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Are you a recovering perfectionist? Where do you embrace imperfections?

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