January 22

Why “Perfection Mindset” Perfect Diet, Perfect workout….Is Killing Your Progress.

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The Perfect Job

The Perfect Diet 

The Perfect Dad

The Perfect Body


Wouldn't we all want to be that guy?


Here's what's to come in this blog....

- I'll make you laugh.

- I'll challenge the way you think.

- I'll destroy the fallacy of the Perfect __________.

- I'll the three questions you should be asking yourself today to shift your world and self view.


Now let's get stuck in.

Ah, that perfect body. Don’t we all want one?


Whether it’s buns of steel, washboard stomach, flowing locks, a silver tongue, or toned arms, most of us have some ideal of physical “perfection” that we carry around in our heads.


Implied in that physical “perfection” is also the idea that this ideal body works perfectly.


This body has no allergies, No spots or wrinkles. All this body’s hair is in the right places, and it’s just enough — no more or less. 


My three early old daughter Kyanna makes sure to remind me of my imperfects daily, "daddy why have you got hair on your face and no hair on your head?"

 Julia Roberts has been named the World's Most Beautiful Woman by People magazine.

If the body is female it might look like the above image.


We might think...


Their body never has to go to the bathroom — especially not at inconvenient times — and this body farts vanilla potpourri.


Their body is full of energy, all the time.


Their body never trips and falls, never bangs its shins or stubs its toe.


If this body is male, it’s a ninja, race car driver, cowboy, and epic stud. Kinda like this guy.


Their body defies gravity. This body defies time. Life crises, death, and falling down the stairs after stepping on a piece of Lego. This body shakes its mighty fist at the universe and laughs Ha ha ha at mortality in a sexy booming voice.


Their body has no moles, warts, or — in fact — distinguishing features.


You can stick anyone’s head on this ideal body and call it an ad campaign, just like H&M did!

Computer-generated body images from H&M 

Clothing company H&M features computer-generated and “completely virtual” models. The bodies are computer-generated, then H&M’s clothes and a model’s head are pasted on. Creeeepy.

Of course, it’s not surprising that your brain can easily come up with the “perfect” body (whatever that looks like to you personally).


Your brain probably also yearns for the “perfect” diet or the “perfect” workout plan… or at least feel like those things must be out there, somewhere.


Thanks to the marketing machine of modern fitness and nutrition industries, “perfection” seems to underlie everything we do.


Google perfect diet and you’ll get 176,000,000 hits. Googling perfect body 106,000,000. (Amusingly, try perfect body on Amazon and you’ll get everything from Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet to a medieval-style garment involving “rubberflex”.)


Sometimes clients might think we create “perfection”. We’re in the business of body improvement, and “perfection” is our currency.


“Improvement” vs. “perfection”


But there’s a difference between an improved body and a perfected one.


The main one being, naturally, that the “perfected” body does not exist. Not even close.


You know that. I know that. So why do some of us still think, feel, act, as if a “perfected” body were possible?


Bodies come in all Shapes, Sizes, Athletic Abilities, Muscle Mass, Power, and Body Fat Percentages.


"Perfect" doesn't exist... It's just a construct in your mind.

Athletic bodies - All perfectly imperfect.


Now, this suggestion may make you feel a bit snarky.


What do you mean? I've created this idea of "perfection"  in my head and it isn't real?


Yep... Kinda like the tooth fair and monsters under the bed.


Now you've realised that. Great! Let's move on.


But let’s get honest: There is a tiny part of our brains that wishes, hopes, and thinks this “perfect” body/diet/workout thing is true.


Maybe it’s just in terms of our own self-image.


Even for trainers we catch ourselves looking in the mirror… just to see how we rank. 


Or we compare our lunch with a coworker’s. Or we peek at the treadmill next to ours, and run a tiny bit faster, or look at the bench press and try add a little more weight than the other guys.


Maybe it’s in the way we deal with clients, and the assumptions we make.


We might secretly think that a menopausal client “just isn’t trying hard enough” to lose weight, even though we’d never tell her.


We might find ourselves silently frustrated with older clients who seem to need extra explanation, or move too slowly, or always seem to get injured.


- If they could just work harder…

- If they could just try more…

- If they would just stick to…

- If they would just eat more/less…

I'm sure you feel it too.


You come to us with your own dreams of physical “perfection”.


You might hand us your favourite fitness magazine with a look of hope. "Make me look like that", you plead. {True story}

Wolverine: Hugh Jackman

Or they look for the “perfect” diet (or meal frequency, or combination of foods/nutrients, or…) that will get you ripped without feeling hungry.

- Paleo 

- Keto 

- Low Carb

- Vegan 

- Weight Watcher 

- Slimming World


The “perfect” workout that will turn you into a ninja without actually spending any time or breaking a sweat.

- Crossfit 

- F45 

- 6 Minute Abs

- Bootcamp 

- HIIT 

- P90X


Even if it’s just in that tiny part of our brains, we often deal with clients as we want them to be, not as they are. You might do the same to yourself.


The unspoken-yet-unconsciously-assumed ideal of physical “perfection” is a carefully constructed, always fragile, house of cards.


Both client and coach cling to the dream.


And then, reality hits the house of cards comes down. Thwack. Cards everywhere.

Fact

Leonardo lied there isn't any "perfectly" proportioned man.

The fitness media lies there isn't any "perfect" diet or workout plan.


Reality

Farts do not smell like vanilla. 

Losing fat means being hungry sometimes.

Ageing has a sick sense of humour and can be a bitch.

Leonard's Vitruvian Man

Accommodate reality

Welcome to the world of “imperfection”. Otherwise known as real life.


Here’s the thing. Given enough time, all of us will be “imperfect” in some way. (Even the seemingly indestructible teenage athlete with the healing powers of Wolverine will eventually sprain an ankle, get the stomach flu, or develop a shrimp allergy.)


That’s not bad. It’s simply a fact of existence.


It’s a call to manage our expectations.


Here are 3 questions to ask yourself today.


1. In order to get the most out of your body how can you...

- Accommodate

- Celebrate,

- And tailor your approach to health, Fitness & Wellness given your unique needs?


2. Start with where you are, right now. Not where you think you should be.

Do the best you can with what you have.

Now that you know there is no "perfect diet" and no "perfect workout" it takes the pressure off and allows you to GET STARTED


3. How can you accommodate reality in the most creative, flexible, and adaptable way?

How can you show the world that you can tackle anything, anyone, any obstacle? (Even if it’s messy and “imperfect”?)


“Perfection” = Control

If you want to get a little metaphysical about it, “perfection” is really about control.


Being “perfect” (so we think) puts us above reproach.


We never have to face shame, letdown, or criticism if we are “perfect”.


Others will never be disappointed by us. By being “perfect”, we control others’ judgement of us.


Being “perfect” means being able to grab the world by the you-know-what. It’s a way to control the outcome of always-uncertain life events.


Looking for “perfect” methods also allows our you to relinquish control and responsibility.


A “perfect” diet means that you never have to endure discomfort, or make difficult choices.


A “perfect” workout means that something else (i.e. not them) will magically reshape their bodies.


As a coach, I don’t deal in control. I don’t white-knuckle my way through life; nor do you hand the reins over to someone else.


I, my friend, steer dynamically.


I anticipate obstacles,  I'm always responsive and aware. Always paying attention.

Strategising. Anticipating. But I don’t try to hold the world in a death grip.


I try teach my clients to use the same approach.


Nutrition is not about “perfection”.

Exercise is not about "perfection"

It’s about “good enough”.


Good nutrition is about process.

- The journey.

- Living with purpose.

- Being kind to ourselves.

- Chasing health and wellness.

- Wise choices, as often as possible.

- Being our “best self”, with integrity.

- Doing the best we can with what we have.


Then getting up and trying to be “good enough” again tomorrow.


Putting it into practice

Today, challenge yourself  to be the anti-perfection: “Good enough”.


Make a thoughtful decision in a tough situation.

To set realistic expectations.

To just be good enough. For that moment.

To love the body — and the life — they’ve got.


Stephen Hawking