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Weight Loss With Anxiety And Perfectionism

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

emoticon Yesterday was busy! I did great till it was over and then when I sat down, my anxiety went through the roof!

You wouldn't know it to look at my house, but I'm a perfectionist. My office, back when I was working, was immaculate and all my files were just so. Then I got sent to an office that was so understaffed I was doing the job of 3-5 people and could not keep up. The anxiety of it was horrible. I could not keep files up to date, there were piles of piles on my desk, my record for outstanding performance went down the drain along with my self esteem. Not to mention our baby was now a toddler and the house was anything but tidy... and my body had not bounced back as I had hoped.

For those of you that don't know, perfectionism can also show itself as knowing you can't do it perfectly, so just not doing it, or avoiding doing it because you can't get it perfectly right. To top it off I was put in charge of two airman... who both were trouble makers. Not your perfect troups. My boss had been my boss before I had my first child and expected the same level of dedication from me... the level of dedication that sent me home on medical leave for a week for nearly having a nervous breakdown. I would work so late I could barely see to get home I was so tired. I knew the night janitors and night ambulance staff by name (I worked admin in a clinic). Then I would get up at 4 AM and go do it all over again. Because everything had to be perfect, and that was the only way I could even get it close.

So it is the same with working out and trying to lose weight. I could not get those perfect numbers, so I gave up. And now I'm not working out at the intensity I was before, so I avoid. I struggle with the strength training exercises so I 'forget' to do them. I can't be perfect at it, so why do it at all? *sigh* I dislike my perfectionism. I have to fight really hard not to overdo it because of my perfectionism. I'll think I'm not working hard enough so I'll up the speed and then I'll be so sore from overdoing it.

So how do you combat this? How do you be gentle with yourself, when your perfectionism rears it's ugly head? I have a few ideas.

*Make a goal to work out every day for 10 minutes, a reasonable, meetable goal. Perfectionism will tell me I can do better, do more, but will like that I can have a little box to check off everyday that I did it, I accomplished something.

*Take breaks during strength training when I can't do what the video is doing and don't feel guilty for the 'lost' exercises I didn't do. Give myself permission to do what I can do and not push so hard I hurt myself. A hurt me can't work out every day and that is the main goal to check off my list.

*Take frequent breaks, break up my cardio into 5 minute sessions if I must, I still got a total of 15 or 20 minutes. I don't want to not push myself, but I don't want perfectionism rear it's ugly head and have me overdo it. So if I get a muscle spasm and can't continue, I can always wait an hour and then try to finish my time.

*Make stretching a check-mark-able goal. Stretching is key to reducing risk of injury and getting my flexability back.

*Notice when my perfectionism is talking and talk right back. Sounds funny, but I mean that I can convince myself not to do something stupid like up the speed on my treadmill and get myself hurt just because perfectionism says I used to work out at that level so I should be able to do it now. No, I can't, not yet, but I'm building up to being able to do that again. It may seem agonizingly slow, but hey, I'm no spring chicken, lol

I'm sure there are other things that can be done. I like checklists, so I have a morning checklist that I mark things off on. I'm going to update it and these things will go on it.

Anxiety works much the same way.

Have any suggestions for how to deal with anxiety and perfectionism when it comes to weight loss?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I understand perfectionism. I have 3 kids with autism which carry the trait. They would much rather not do something then do it wrong. I'm also like that. Keep talking back.
    1013 days ago
    Your timing is impeccable! I just recently realized the same thing about perfectionism, not doing anything at all if I can't do it perfectly. I have these grand ideas and plans, but when it comes to doing it I don't even start since I know I can't live up to the ideal I have set. I've been ready a few homemaking books and blogs and I think I've found a balance for a plan I can accomplish. Doable tasks done in a timely manner and I can check it off my list. Anything beyond is bonus. Progress, not perfection!

    I'm working on my health goals...
    1014 days ago
    Ah that perfectionism bug! I totally get that one, and you have identified the one thing that has created much anxiety in my life. I think having a list helps, although I had to give myself permission to not be perfect ( or what I thought was perfect in my mind).

    Sparks has definitely been the answer for me. The constant encouragement, the articles and the challenges. Finding a happy medium has been a real gift and learning to love myself as I am, is truly a work in process.

    You got this!! emoticon
    1014 days ago
    I like the 30 day challenges. Find one with exercises you can easily do. Then each day you will do more and more. If it becomes too much then go back to the last day you completed and just try and do one more. Keep increasing by one. Best wishes!
    1014 days ago
  • SILVER1369
    I think you have come up with a great way to deal with it. emoticon
    1014 days ago
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