Okay I am just going to come out and say it… here it goes… I am a perfectionist.
Yesterday as I sat in McDonalds and ate my quarter pounder with no cheese I had that familiar sense of guilt wash over me. I could not believe I had put myself into a situation where I was tempted to eat the food from a fast food restaurant, but there I was… indulging on a hamburger, and worse yet.. ENJOYING IT. That burger actually made me feel 100x better than I had been feeling all day. I had been feeling dizzy and lightheaded since the morning, but the burger really did the trick. Nonetheless, as I drove to my student’s home I was overcome by guilt.
I felt guilty because I had set nutrition rules earlier in the holiday season that I HAD to follow no matter what. They were pretty simple, and really did allow me a lot of nutritional leniency, but they were still proving tough to follow. Every time I would break one of my ‘rules’ I would have a rant in my head about whether these rules were worth it, then I would go onto thinking if I did not have nutrition rules how would I know what is best for me? Even just writing this is making the nerves in my left armpit go crazy.
… Fun fact about me, whenever I am anxious or depressed, or in a situation that I find uncomfortable the nerves in my left armpit go haywire. They have always been like that. When I was younger, and one of my first boyfriend’s broke up with me, I ended up getting shingles on my left arm and ever since then I have a hard time controlling the nerves in that armpit.
Like most perfectionists, I set rules for myself that no one knows about, let alone is going to care if I follow. I set rules for how my house has to be set up. I set rules for what drawers certain things need to go in. I set rules for when I should watch television, when I should workout, when I should meditate… the list goes on. The thing is, that even though I AM a perfectionist, I am also human and I tend to break those rules. Every time I do break the rules I have a similar conversation in my head:
“Morgan, do you really need those rules about BLANK? Your body knows what it needs, and if you just listen to it it will tell you.”
“Ya Morgan you are right…. but what IF my body does not actually know what it needs and I end up doing something that is not right for it and I end up back where I was X years ago?”
“SO TRUE Morgan, keep following those arbitrary rules that no one cares about but you”
“Cool, thanks Morgan”
I pretty much have that conversation 3-4 times a day.
The WORST is with my nutrition. I grew up believing that your body will tell you what it needs when it needs it. Although I still do believe that is true to an extent, I also know that your body can be easily tricked into thinking it needs something when actually it doesn’t. For instance, when I was younger I would drink AT LEAST one can of Coca Cola a day. I had this misunderstanding that only coke could keep me fully hydrated when I was extremely thirsty. Of course, the reason why I was so thirsty was because I was drinking pure sugar instead of water. So every time I have the above conversation and a part of me wants to just listen to my body and avoid the rules I have made up, I always go back to the coke example and decide to stick to the rules that I will inevitably break.
THIS is the life of a perfectionist. Constantly arguing with yourself about whether the rules should be followed, because you realize that no one cares but you, and then ending up following them anyway because they are ‘safe’.
Today’s card pull was the Universe’s way of telling me I really do need to calm the F down: I release my need to be perfect, and I centre into my my commitment to serve the world more love.
So for today… there will be no rules. I will only do the things that bring me, and other people joy. I will trust that my body really does know what it needs.