Tag Archives: exercise

The Perfection Perception

29 Mar

I have always described myself as a perfectionist.  A textbook Virgo, I have always aspired to be the perfect sister, daughter, friend, performer, student, and employee. I have a great number of vivid memories of when my quest for perfection and subsequent failure left me feeling quite disappointed.

Cut to a scene in my childhood, when I was in Kindergarten. I was drawing a picture…

…when suddenly, I had the urge to go potty.

NO, I MUSN’T GO, I thought. My picture is not perfectly polished! My crayons are not properly put away!

You bet I finished that picture AND I put the crayons away just so. I also ended up with wet pants, embarrassment, and a trip to the nurse’s office to find some dry (and ill-fitting) clothes for me to wear.

It was not until I was an adult, after earning a Master’s Degree in one year, and realizing that I was quite miserable, that I decided to reassess my idea of “perfection”. Why was it so important to me anyway? 

I finally realized that no one on this entire planet is perfect. Of course, I had heard that saying over and over again as a kid, but I guess I always thought that there were exceptions to the rule anyway. There were always those people that I perceived to be perfect at mostly everything; those who had the perfect house, the perfect kids, the perfect job, or the perfect life in general. Now I know that that was just a PERCEPTION and not a reality. There is a distinct difference. 

The minute I gave myself permission to stop striving for perfection was the minute that I began accepting myself.  I also began forgiving myself for the mistakes I had made and seeing those mistakes as learning experiences. I truly believe that we need to learn from all of our experiences, both  good and bad. We need to forgive ourselves, learn from those experiences, and carry on.

As I listen and talk to people who are struggling with losing weight, I can’t help but get the vibe that a lot of people are striving for perfection in their weight loss efforts. A lot of people adopt an all-or-nothing attitude. For example, many people are dead-set on sticking to their meal plan exactly, sticking to a regimented exercise schedule, and are not allowing for any flexibility. If they slip-up, I see many people giving up or calling themselves failures. They think, “Why bother? I will just fail at everything I try anyway.” 

My advice to myself and to everyone else is to be kind to yourself. If you overslept and missed your workout today, maybe you needed that sleep. Try to take a short walk instead. If you accidentally eat a piece of cake, don’t give up! Figure out how to set yourself up for success for the next time you’re in a tempting situation. 

Life is not black and white and neither is losing weight and getting healthy. Forget about following a certain plan perfectly and focus on adopting healthier habits into your life! Over time, you will reach your goals. If you believe that you can and treat yourself with kindness, you can achieve success!

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How to exercise (without even realizing it).

1 Mar
I am the first person to tell you that I don’t like “working out”. Who does, anyway? We first need to change our language. “Working out” sure sounds like WORK, doesn’t it?

Here’s a fact: Exercising can be hard. It can be frightening to think about!

[Here’s an even better secret]: It doesn’t have to be. In fact, you can burn calories while having fun and boosting endorphins. Here are some suggestions for how to do so.

  • Have a Party (guests optional)

Do you or does a friend have a Wii or Xbox Kinect? These consoles are incredible and the games to go with them are fun, exciting, and sweat-inducing. Try Just Dance, Wii Sports, Dance Central, or any other game that keeps you active. What an awesome way to compete against your friends (or yourself) while movin’ your body!

  • Bowl ‘O’ Rama

Have you bowled lately? You haven’t? Well, why not?

Bowling is an easy and fun way to burn cals. Try the cosmic bowling at your local alley and dance to the music without feel self-conscious (it gets nice and dark in there). Try not to use this as an excuse to drink white russians all night (Big Lebowski fans, anyone?) ;). If you do, you’ll be taking in way more than you are burning off.

Concerned about price? Check your local bowling alley for specials on certain off-weekend nights. My local joint has awesome unlimited bowling deals on Tuesdays and Sundays.

  • Try a Class

Yoga, Zumba, BodyPump, Pilates, Kickboxing, Water Aerobics, Spinning. Do any of those classes sound interesting or fun to you? Yes, most of these classes cost money, but you can most likely take any these for a free test spin.

Gyms such as Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness let you try their clubs free of charge, which can really give you an idea of which classes, if any, are a good fit for you. If neither of these gyms are near you, check out the local gyms in your area for their trials and class offerings.

Gold’s offers free 7-day passes for new members. Find a location near you at:

http://www.goldsgym.com/find-gym/

24 Hour Fitness offers free 3-day passes for new members. Find a location near you at:

http://www.24hourfitness.com/health_clubs/find_a_club/interactive.html#Learn_More

  • Join a club or a league

Were you the star of your little league soccer team in elementary school? Do you get excited about the thought of hurling balls at an opponent and in dodgeball? Check out your local sports clubs and organizations. I personally have made countless friends and memories playing in an adult kickball league. Not to mention that it actually takes athleticism and practice!

  • Pumped up Kicks

If you’re like me, the thought of running is intimidating. If that’s true, walk, don’t run. Put on those walking shoes and your favorite tunes and get out the door. Walk the dog, walk the cat, walk yourself. Punch in a tune that gets you groovin’ into the Pandora app on your phone or make an exercising playlist with Spotify. If he weather is cold or rainy, wear layers and start moving. You will be warm in no time and that much closer to your fitness goals!

I hope that this helps. Feel free to e-mail me at healthcoachmeg@gmail.com.

Meg