Perfection and health.
While some believe they’re synonymous, the two could not be further from identical [though I will not dispute a general relation amid the two].
Let us define the two, shall we? What is ‘perfection’?
Okay, fair enough. What about ‘health’?
Right. Okay. Well, apart from the fact that they literally do not appear in the list of suggestion synonyms for the other word, the while there is a common theme [a state of something], one is not require in order for the other to be true. Namely, you do not need to be perfect to be healthy. I used to make this mistake. When I was 50 pounds (can I have a moment to just remind you all how proud I am that I no longer have to write ’80 pounds’) heavier, I equated happiness and perfection with being ‘healthy’.
Granted, this argument has many layers, some vastly contradicting the others. I do believe that the healthier you are body and mind, the more you will be able to preform at the best of your ability. Some, might argue that that is perfection. I however believe that perfection is highly unattainable and something to not be strived for. Instead, we should focus on happiness and vitality. We should try to do everything we want to do at the best of our own personal ability, rather than doing something we think we should do, in a manor dictated to us by… someone [or some people].
I do not think people look at me and think, ‘gosh darn, she’s perfect’, but I do think people have this misconception that I think I am perfect and furthermore, than I have the perfect diet and exercise routine. First of all, there is absolutely no perfect diet or perfect exercise routine. This is something I think a lot of people tend to forget. My best example is this, white breads and rice are said to be ‘unhealthy’, right? Look in any fitness or weight loss magazine, promoting the ‘perfect body diet’ and you are going to see a ban on anything white.
What about people with colitis? Brown rice and whole grain breads are far to grain-y for a lot of people with digestive issues to eat. Rather than getting the nutrients from them, they end up getting extremely sick – sometimes even leading to vomiting or frequent diarrhea. Is that health? No. For them, white rice or plain grains are preferred. Their bodies digest the food more smoothly, causing less disruption on their intestines.
What about yogurt? Whey powder? Eggs? Carbs?
Some people advocate low carbs, some people eat whey powder [I used to be guilty of both]. Some people eat 3 + eggs per day [while others think about all the cholesterol that could come with that]. Well, what about lactose intolerants? Or vegan or vegetarians [who are focusing their diets in a healthy and balanced way]? Are their diets unhealthy because they do no adhere to the belief that ‘low carb/no carb’ is the way to go? No. And even still, if done right, increasing your fats to an adequate level to ensure you are getting proper nutrients, I am sure a moderate carb diet would be especially healthy. Healthy fats and protein are essential, no doubt. The bottom line is, do you need to do what your body asks of you. Nothing else.
I am a perfect example [hehe] of an imperfect eater and exercises, according to the norm. While I am still not 100% sure if this my ‘sticking it to the health world’ to overcome my ED, or if this is just what I am actually finding I like, but right now, it is bringing me joy. My plan is to – every now an again – embrace and celebrate my imperfections. They make me healthy and they make me human.
How am I perfectly imperfect?
They say you should not eat before you go to bed, I probably have a snack RIGHT before I go to bed every night. Even still, I will wake up hungry at 1AM. Then I have another small snack and go back to bed. Yep. I am going to health nut hell, I know it.
- When prepping for my lunch or dinner for work, I likely consume 1/4 of the meal. I find it almost impossible to not snack while making food.
- I can never say not to at least a bite or two of a baked good. That’s goin right to the thighs, no doubt!
- I do not eat three meals a day; or six. I likely eat nine or ten because I graze. I will have a little bit here and a little bit there.
- I probably eat half of my ‘caloric need’ before 12 noon. I eat A LOT in the mornings. I am ravenous during the AM.
- During my work outs, I sometimes end up sitting on my tush thinking about other stuff. Or staying in downward dog longer than I am told. Or child’s pose. Sometimes, I even fall back asleep.
- I get up at 2am to do yoga sometimes. That’s just whack.
- The other day at work, due to over tiredness, when a customer told me that he was from Ottawa, I accidentally double entered in the customer profile section, skipping over the city and entering into the province. Rather than registering that this happened, I panicked looking for the two letter abbreviation for Ottawa, which is not at all a province. It does happen to be in Ontario, which two little abbreviation is ON. That was embarrassing.
- I do NOT sweat when I work out. I get warm, but my body does not produce a lot of sweat. Apparently I am not healthy because I do not “sweat once a day”.
- The left side of my hair always grows longer than the right side.
- I have weird feet…
How am I perfectly healthy?
- I honor my body at its every command. Even if that means eating at 12am, or while prepping for my meals. My body is smart and I let it tell me what it needs.
- I give myself the opportunity to enjoy the ‘bad’ things in life. Health is all-encompassing. Denying your body proper nutrients is no worse than denying your body simple pleasures: like cake. The more you deprive, the more imbalanced you mind will become. Allow your body to make mistakes, it will recover. I do.
- I exercise intuitively. This is something I am most proud of. My diet is not quite here yet. For me, it is a much larger gamble to eat intuitively. But, I am finding a pure joy in waking up in the morning and saying to my body, what do you want to do this morning? Not only are my workouts more enjoyable because… I want to do them, but they’re also more efficient. If I wake up in the mood to do barre, my pulses are much more focused, just like my flows are more fluid when I wake up with the urge to do vinyasa. I honor thy body :)
- I allow myself to make, albeit, stupid mistakes on a daily basis. I do not know everything, nor should I be expected to. I have my strengths and weaknesses and outside of that, I know what I know. While I am not yet 100% OK with that. I am learning to be OK with that.
I welcome you to do this. I will do it on a regular basis. Celebrate the parts of you that are imperfect. All too often we become obsessed with our strengths, forgetting the humility required for our imperfections and the balanced created between the two. I may make this a weekly post. Looking at all the imperfect moments I had during the week, at how they helped me in my practice or pursuit of healthy balance. I challenge you to do the same. I challenge you to love your whole self. :)