News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good

In health and fitness there is a common fallacy that leaves some people stuck and not making progress. This person’s intentions are pure, their motivation high. It’s not lack of ability; the cards aren’t stacked against them; they are not “too far gone.”

This person leads a perfect life four or five days a week then when something derails perfection, it’s all over.

A person chasing perfection will sideline basic skill, habit, and behavior-building and seek out absolute purity. Once perfection cracks, all is out the window and their feelings plunge to the negative, condescending, and harsh, depleting their ego. This depleted ego turns to comfort and indulgence.

All of the sudden the perfectionist is on a bender, pounding donuts and ice cream.

Back to square one. It’s Monday and this will all change. Starting again with a no-carb, no-sugar, 60-minutes-of-cardio, 30-minutes-of-weights, leading a don’t-eat-this-make-sure-that’s-organic pure, yoga lifestyle of perfection. Thursday strikes and a pounding headache means skipped morning cardio. Then a cookie tray is brought over from the neighbor. Time runs out for dinner — gotta order fast takeout. To hell with it. Off the rails. Back at it Monday morning.

Does this at all sound familiar? It’s a story that many have imitated. The key to lifestyle is first “life.” Follow the basics: nutrition, exercise, and health all revolve around some very simple principles. If adherence is 80 percent, that will produce 95 percent of your results. Allow for a cookie and extra cup of coffee. Live with freedom — but know that on a day-to-day basis you must be flexible and just do the best you can.

Over-analysis of the latest nutrition fad, or getting obsessed with a new trendy workout, lifestyle hack, or wellness mantra will be a house of cards that will topple at first breeze of life’s challenges.

Don’t allow perfectionism to stand in the way of pretty darn good!


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