Perfectionism and Black and White Thinking
Thinking you have to eat and/or be perfect puts a tremendous amount of unnecessary pressure on yourself. It also backfires because you’re human and fallible and nobody eats perfectly.
When you deviate from your unrealistic expectations of yourself, you fall into a spiral of shame, guilt, despair, and this leads to feelings of failure.
At this point you might say, “What’s the point? It’s no use. I might as well eat anyway.” This leads to even more guilt and a downward spiral of failure. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The key to getting over perfectionism and black and white thinking is to begin to set realistic expectations for yourself and to stop expecting perfection. If you’re trying to learn new ways, you have to be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to make mistakes until you get more firmly entrenched in your new ways.
You need to change the story that says, “If I make a mistake, I’m failing” to “If I make a mistake that means I’m learning. So what can I learn from this? How can I do better next time?"
When you can see failure as simple feedback you can alter your course accordingly. It doesn’t have anything to do with your worth as a person, nor is it a moral failing.
As you can see, willpower is really over rated as a means to weight control. It reminds me of back in the day when First Lady Nancy Reagan had the “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign. If people could easily say no to food or drugs, they would, but people are far more complex than that.
If you see yourself in any of this, give yourself a break. You deserve your own compassion. You’re doing the best you can to cope with life.
If you’d like to move beyond these issues and learn a new way, I’d love to be your guide.
I offer a free consultation. Contact Me! How you do food is how you do life! ®
Catherine L. Taylor