Perfection ~ 99 Days til….

“Normal eating” means different things to different people. We are all different. However, we can all benefit from reading Ellyn Satter’s definition that I posted last night.

It’s more about behaviors surrounding what you consider normal.

Being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.”


When clients tell me about the things they eat, it 9 times out of 10 sounds almost perfect. I have never once in the history of my career pointed my finger and said “you must be lying, that doesn’t add up.”

I trust my clients. It doesn’t matter though what they’re telling me. What matters most is how honest they are with themselves. I find that usually they aren’t lying. They are telling the truth. That day. It’s all of the other days, weeks that they aren’t as eager to talk about food choices that I am not hearing about. Once they have a week of “perfect” eating they want my feedback.

That’s a lie. I get a lot of “confessions” from clients. They aren’t even confessions, some of them, when I ask “how was your weekend” on  Monday night will flat out say: “we ate too much, drank too much, and didn’t exercise.” Just what your trainer wants to hear.

With that said, somewhere between perfection and overeating is balance.

Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it can be under eating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating.”


(photo source)

So where do we stand? When do I as a trainer say “oh, it’s okay that you overate and didn’t move all weekend…you only live once!”(?) Or do I ever say that? How do I teach a client about balance.

Well, for starters, I kill them physically in our session that day Just kidding. Sort of.

What does eating balanced even mean? I believe that is also something that is different for different people.

I honestly don’t think you can find balance until you let go of perfection. In eating, exercise, or life. We are not perfect beings, so why do so many of us try to behave or portray ourselves as so?

Life gets messy, we over eat at times, we skip workouts.

It’s how we pick ourselves back up and get moving the next day. Not by under eating. Not by spending 2 hours on a treadmill. Not my micromanaging your family around to make sure the house is in “perfect” order when things get too messy.

It takes time…and ironically letting go of perfection is another thing you can not do overnight. But you can do it.

This is my challenge tonight that I want you to work towards. Think about the things in your life you try to perfect—what does that accomplish? What could you accomplish if you were able to just move on as opposed to striving to fit into the mold or ideal that you have in your head?

In my experience, I have had much greater success when I came to terms with the fact that no one was perfect, myself included.

That’s all for tonight! More on my experience with finding balance soon.

If you were able to find balance in your life after years of striving for perfection—what steps did you take to get there?

What’s something you wish you were more forgiving of in yourself?

Talk soon!

Thanks for following along with this 100 days challenge thus far!


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  • Reply Courtney

    I love the quote about “normal eating.” Really puts things into perspective! I just stumbled upon your blog a few days ago and absolutely love it. You are so inspiring!

    March 13, 2012 at 7:04 am
    • Reply laury

      Thank you, Courtney! Welcome 🙂

      March 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm
  • Reply Anna

    Recently, I’ve realized how hard I am on myself in my pursuit of ‘perfection.’ I’m glad I recognize it but now I must figure out how to find balance in my life! Posts like this are great reminders 🙂

    March 13, 2012 at 7:15 am
    • Reply laury

      I’m glad you do too!

      March 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm
  • Reply kaity

    so true with the normal eating! and i recently stopped working out (just walking now) for awhile to give my body a break because i was restricting to only healthy stuff that i just hada give it up gain a few lbs if they come along and strive for my perfect body not trying to make it or keep it how it was.. its very hard with your pants feeling a little tighter (and lovehandles there the worse having wen uve never had em before lol) but im listenin to myself and going with the flow

    March 13, 2012 at 10:37 am
    • Reply laury

      listening to your body is key! and strength training can be a wonderful thing–but if you aren’t fueling properly, then yes, there will be a problem! Fueling=good! And you don’t have eat perfect all the time! Just balanced! 🙂

      March 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm
  • Reply Wendy

    I try to be perfect in every part of my life. Work, being a mom, eating, being healthy, the house. It’s just too much. It’s only in the last couple of months I’ve realized it’s ok to be better, not perfect. It’s taken a health situation to sort of shake me up.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:42 am
    • Reply laury

      Yes, it is! It’s exhausting! I hope everything’s okay with you! We can only do the best we can, perfect doesn’t exist!

      March 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm
  • Reply Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian

    Thanks for sharing this post!
    I struggle with the idea of perfection all too often. I get really upset with myself if I miss a workout for example. I need to learn to let go of perfection cause it doesn’t exist. I am trying to work on being happy with the way I look now.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm
    • Reply laury

      Great job! i love hearing that!

      March 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm
  • Reply the delicate place

    great post! i really don’t understand the over exerciser in particular…it usually just makes you ridiculous hungry and then you’re more likely to eat with your eyes instead of when your stomach is really full! it’s all about consistency NOT balls to the wall 2 days a week and eating crap the other times because you think you ‘earned it’

    March 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm
    • Reply laury

      It goes much deeper than just over exercising unfortunately! It’s an addiction to come, a compulsion to some, or it’s just what some people think they need to do! I was at my heaviest weight EVER when I overexercised. My body was fighting me and hating me! It thought I was in a battle so it held onto everything it could! Between that and eating processed diet foods, it was a horrific combo! So grateful I found WHOLE food and moderation…alas HIIT 🙂

      March 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm
  • Reply Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous!

    What a fantastic post! I love your definition of Normal eating. You are so right! Everyone’s normal is different and might even look different from day to day!

    March 13, 2012 at 9:38 pm
  • Reply Pure2raw Twins

    I honestly don’t think you can find balance until you let go of perfection.—> so true! great post.
    we are firm believers in balance and finding what that balance is for you as an individual. 🙂 though that might be a challenge in finding what that balance is, but we feel it is worth it!
    just have to keep trying things till something clicks and works

    March 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm
  • Reply thehealthyapron

    This is such an important post bc I’ve always been one who struggles with not feeling like I have to be perfect. I think that’s why I’m struggling so much with being pregnant. I want to be PERFECT and it’s almost impossible bc WHAT IS PERFECT ANYWAY? There is no such thing. Thanks for the excellent reminder!

    March 14, 2012 at 9:52 am
  • Reply Kat

    powerful post here lady. I am striving for that balance, but sometimes it really does seem so very far away. Perfection is never a word I use. I realize there is no such thing. I just want to be happy and content the way that I am. That is the balance I am striving for. I want to be my own mentor, my own hero. Maybe one day…I know I just have to keep working hard!

    March 14, 2012 at 10:21 am
  • Reply Lisa

    I still struggle with being a perfectionist, it’s driving me a little nuts at this point in my life. I’m hoping to get out of this soon, but it is very hard!

    March 19, 2012 at 12:53 am
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