I have a confession to make. I am a perfectionist.
Now, I know I don’t look like it. I need to lose 75 pounds and I could probably spend a little more time in the mirror before I leave for work in the mornings. Or, you know, at least make sure there aren’t any visible stains on my shirt.
I guess calling myself a perfectionist isn’t quite accurate. Really, I use the excuse of perfectionism to throw in the towel when I come up against any tiny setback or obstacle on my way to losing weight and getting healthy.
I’m sure some of you know what I’m talking about. Here’s a couple of choice quotes from the voice in my head:
o You already ate that bag of chocolate this morning. You blew it. So it doesn’t matter what you do for the rest of the day, you big fat failure.
o You can’t make it to the gym today. The day is ruined anyway, so why bother even trying to eat right?
And on and on. Here’s a little nugget of truth, though: It takes 3,500 calories to gain a pound. I’ll pause for a moment to let that … uh … digest.
That’s a lot of calories. I’m trying to eat between 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day (I’m fat, so I get to eat more and still lose weight. Woo!). So to gain a pound (a pound!), you have to eat more than an extra day’s worth of food.
Let’s be honest. I can probably plow through 3,500 calories in a day. Take me to the boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland and I could probably do it in a couple of hours. (Mmmhhh … funnel cake. Mmmhhh …. saltwater taffy. Mmmmhhhh …. margaritas….. Oh, you’re still here. Uhhh, hello.)
Knowing that 3,500 calories makes one pound puts that 300-calorie screwup between breakfast and lunch in perspective. I’m not saying I can screw up every day. But one screwup, especially one that I can defuse quickly, shouldn’t ruin my whole week. And I’m going to focus on that the next time I’m feeling defeated about that doughnut that jumped into my mouth at work.
Your turn: What’s one of your biggest struggles as you try to lose weight? What are some strategies you use to combat them?