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Striving for Good Enough

By Michelle May, M.D.

I once heard that the difference between good enough and perfect is a logarithmic increase in effort. What if you were to invest that time and energy in self-care instead?

In the last post, we explored the signs of perfectionism and the impact it has on our eating. Here are some messages straight out of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat to help you make the switch from “too perfect” to “good enough.”

Good-enoughAbout eating:

  • Perfection isn’t possible, and fortunately, it isn’t necessary.
  • Don’t make new rules like, “Only eat when you’re hungry” or “Stop eating when you’re full.” Hunger and fullness are helpful tools, not rules.
  • Let go of the need to get it right and, instead, approach eating with flexibility and self-acceptance.
  • Balance eating for nourishment with eating for enjoyment.

About physical activity:

  • No person and no schedule are ever perfect, but thinking you have to do it perfectly will derail you every time.
  • In order for physical activity to become part of your life, try to be as consistent but as flexible as possible.
  • It’s human nature to experience varying levels of enthusiasm for exercise.
  • Keep in mind that your goal is not perfection. Rather, strive to increase your activity most days of the week and accept that there will be days when it’s more challenging than others.

About living mindfully:

  • Think direction, not perfection.
    Ask yourself: “Is there a more reasonable expectation I could have about this situation or myself? What would be a more realistic and empowering way of talking to myself about this?”
  • Be willing to make mistakes since they are an opportunity for learning and growth.
  • Be vulnerable. Let people you trust see your imperfections and fears. This can deepen intimacy and free you from the need to be perfect.

The irony of all this is that when I gave up perfectionism, resolved my disordered eating, and began working with others to heal their relationship with food and their bodies, I discovered that each of us is inherently perfect; we just need to learn how to get out of our own way!


About the author

Michelle May, M.D. is a recovered yo-yo dieter and the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs and Training. She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: A Mindful Eating Program to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle , winner of seven publishing awards. She is also the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating, and Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Bariatric Surgery. Michelle shares her compelling message and constructive keynotes with audiences around the country, offers workplace wellness programs, and has trained and licensed hundreds of health professionals to facilitate Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs worldwide. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, the Discovery Health Channel, and Oprah Radio, and quoted in Diabetic Living, Fitness, Health, Huffington Post, Parents, Self, USA Weekend, US News & World Report, WebMD and many others. Her personal success story was published in Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul. Michelle cherishes her relationships with her husband, Owen and grown children, Tyler and Elyse. She regularly enjoys practicing yoga and hiking near her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She and Owen, a professional chef, share a passion for gourmet and healthful cooking, wine tasting, photography, and traveling.

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