I think it's quite a coincidence - or maybe not - that these things both came into my view yesterday. The famous psychologist Carl Jung would say that this was Synchronicity not coincidence!
Yesterday a woman on the weight loss site - a woman who I admire and who recently is back on track after a fall - posted both in her blog as well as as a message about perfectionism. She said that she has the mindset - like so many of us - that she has to be perfect in this journey. And she talked about how ridiculous it was that she was okay not exercising at all and drinking several sodas a day when she wasn't on track, but now that she is on track she feels that she MUST get in 10,000 steps per day and completely eliminate soda from her life.
This would be opposed to, say, making improvements like taking 6,000 steps per day and drinking 1 soda per day. Not perfect, but certainly better then where she came from.
I certainly know what she is saying!! And the debate took place and is still taking place about whether it is ok to hold yourself to a "perfection" standard or just be better then yesterday.
I looked at my own life and how I was so hugely fat that I weighed more then your average linebacker and never exercised and now I feel like a "fat blob" if I weigh over 120 and my abs aren't showing. Ridiculous, right?
Then, while watching 24 last night (Oh I was so happy to see Jack Bauer again!!) there was an ad sponsored by GNC. The ad talked about being "average" and how average is NOT okay. That we should strive to be the very absolute best that we can be at all times. That we shouldn't settle but instead push ourselves to eat better, run faster, lift harder.
You can see the commercial on youtube if you are interested.
So who is right? What happens if we expect perfect but can't achieve it? But what happens if we only give half-assed efforts in our lives?
It is a quandary that I don't claim to have the answer to. I know the pain of settling. But I also know the pain of expecting unrealistic perfection from myself and others.
And today I found myself looking at the list of everyone who is pre-registered for the half-marathon I am running on May 17th. And I was trying to see if I recognized the names from other races. And I was wondering what their time was going to be. Because this idiot - thinks that even though I couldn't run a MILE 4 years ago - that I must - MUST - come in first in this half-marathon or I am a failure. Utterly stupid, right?