Author Archives: fitwithadele

how to be less miserable and have more gratitude in relationships


With all the celebration for thanks, love and family during the holidays we all know this: relationships bring so much joy to our lives but also can bring a great deal of stress, hurt at the same time and require tons of effort.

From personal experience I have realized that my own thoughts and perceptions play a huge role in the quality of my relationships and either benefit them or take away from them. What we do and how we view things is HUGE! This does not even begin to go how we interact with others or what others say and do, it begins with our own thoughts, ideas, and stories we make in our head, assumptions.

Not making assumptions is one thing in life that can take a way so much pain and misery. Think about it. Do you ever assume the other person is thinking something or feels a certain way?

For example, someone responds abruptly to you, you either get pissed off, mad or think something is wrong. You react based simply on what you are assuming, which technically is a make believe story you created in your head. You are not alone, I do this ALL the time and it has been a constant practice of mine.

We assume, take things personally, and go about our days in self-inflicted drama and made up stories in our heads and it becomes very inwardly focused. All about ourselves.

I am quite amused as I write this because it sounds ridiculous that we can get so worked up about things that we don’t even know to be true. If you want to know ask, take people at their word, because at that point it is up to them to let you know if something is wrong, and live your in truth, free of make believe problems. We want others to be every thing we want them to be, but they are not, and thats OK!

Love and accept others for who they and learn to ask for what you need in relationships. We can always improve, grow and nurture relationships but lets do it with less expectations, assumptions and judgements.

One of our greatest traps is waiting to be happy or waiting for someone else to make us happy.

 

Everyone is simply doing their best. Have you ever thought about it this way? That everyone around you is just try to handle the situation in the best way they know how. Maybe becoming defensive and critical is the BEST they know how. Maybe that is how they were raised, maybe it is how they feel in the moment, maybe it is all they know.

Let’s use divorce as an example. I have witnessed friends and family go through divorce and I have seen some handle it with honest attempts to be as compassionate as possible, considering the situation, and some handle it with anger, rage and be just plain mean. Some may think one way is wrong or right but when comes down to it is the best they know how, dealing with the flood of emotions with such a huge life change. 

But we also have the choice to choose how we handle situations. Make the best of it or let it ruin our days. We can play victim and view the world as everything is happening to us or we can learn to make things work for us.

Take Personal Responsibility In Your Relationships

 

Thank

 

I think part of personal responsibility intertwines with gratitude because we cannot appreciate and be grateful for our lives if we are constantly putting the blame on someone or something else. In Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is, she calls it “arguing with reality.” And when you think about it, it can almost be comical when we get  frustrated, upset or negative about simply, what is real. 

Your friend is always busy and rarely makes time to hang out. You get upset. This is the reality.

Your husband is watching t.v. when you want him to be hanging out. He wants to watch t.v. You do not want him too. That is the reality.

There is traffic.  It is the reality.

In all these situations you can choose an alternative. 

This concept helps you become aware that it is hard to practice gratitude when we are constantly arguing with reality. When we are constantly not accepting what is, or trying to change what it. Change your perspective.

You can still love and appreciate your friend, even if you don’t see each other all the time.

You can let your husband watch t.v. and do something you want to do. Sip some wine. Read a book. Go workout.

There is traffic. I get be frustrated the whole way or enjoy time to chat, listen to music etc.

The problem with “I’m Fine” in relationships.

 

You know what I am talking about. Someone asks if you are ok and you say, “fine” even though something is eating away at you. You somehow expect that person to know what you are upset about and try to manipulate the situation by making them feel bad about what you never expressed to them, though they asked you what was wrong and you said, “fine.” 

We tend to use passive aggressive behavior to get our point across and this solves all of the following:

Nothing.

This type of behavior encourages:

Someone in the dark about what you are feeling. It is YOUR job (personal responsibility) to bring them into the light to talk, communicate and understand. They actually did their job by asking you what was wrong.

Causes you to feel resentment, anger and hostility towards the other person for not having a superhero mind reading power.

Does NOTHING for the relationship.

I bring this up again because I feel this is such a normal, innocent sounding ( but very detrimental) aspect to so many relationships from those I have observed to my own experiences. So the next time someone asks you if you are ok, instead of saying “fine” say what you feel. Just do it. Have enough faith in the person you are dealing with that they can handle what you choose to share with them.

Learn to let go of the past, be more engaged in the present and anticipate the future with excitement, even though you know there will be struggles and challenges. If you can’t find something to be excited about, it has nothing to do with your life, it has to do with your mindset.

Sometimes we get caught up in how we expect life to be and we think that everyone is out to get us, to hurt us, to cause us pain and suffering. We even assume that those close to us want to cause us that hurt. It has more to do with the expectations we create, the personal responsibility we refuse to take, and the stories we make up in on our head. 

Choose more responsibility and truth, with less judgement and misery.

Festive Spinach Salad

Not only is this salad super easy and tasty, but this pretty colors make it perfect for holiday celebrations. I will add that the dressing makes the salad but you can always choose your own.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of dried cherries (or cranberries)
  • 1 chopped gala or fugi apple
  • Dressing: Balsamic Vinegar, olive oil, seasoning packet, follow directions on packet or use your own balsamic dressing or dressing of choice.

Directions:

  1. Prepare dressing.
  2. Toss spinach with nuts, feta and fruit. Shake dressing again and drizzle over salad to coat evenly.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

 

Easy Crockpot Chicken Chili

Thanksgiving week is in full effect and I while gratitude is a practice of mine all year routine, there is no doubt that I am reminded of if more during the holiday season. In today’s recipe blog post I have an easy crockpot chicken chili for you and will leave you with this.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

Crockpot

Crockpot Chicken Chili

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 1 can kidney beans (reduced sodium if possible)
  • 1 can black beans (reduced sodium if possible)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce(reduced sodium if possible)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of diced green chili’s
  • 1/2 packet of chili seasoning
  • A light sprinkle of cayenne pepper, or more if you like spice

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Drain all the beans and diced tomatoes.
  2. Place everything in the crockpot and mix well.
  3. Cook on low for 6-7 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.
  4. Shred chicken breast with fork, when done, and mix.
  5. Sprinkle with a little bit of cheese if you desire.
  6. Enjoy. 🙂

Will you be different in January?

We get really good at putting things off, like until tomorrow, next Monday, or January 1st. Actually, usually it’s January 2nd right? January 1st is usually still a day of celebration, food, the holiday season.

I use to get caught up in putting off my next plan and sharpening my procrastination skills. I was committed to start “next week” until I realized that I had some social event or vacation that would interfere with my plan of eating well and getting my workouts in.

It was around that time when it became very clear that I would have to find a way of eating and working out I could do on a regular basis and find ways to adapt, enjoy, and indulge without completely falling off track and without constant guilt or shame.

Part of me was wondering if was even possible to have fun, enjoy life and food without completely derailing myself from my goals?

I have gotten the hang of it though it has been, and still is, a constant practice.  It is just not quite as overwhelming now. I have learned how to get better results but working out less and eating in a more balanced and moderate way. No deprivation, no long hours of exercise. 

This 100% began with a mindset shift that it really is about committing to do the work forever.  It can be really tough in the beginning, breaking habits that don’t serve you anymore and replacing them with new habits that require a lot of extra thought and effort. If just requires you to have a little patience, and to start now.

If you are debating waiting 5 more weeks to get your act into check out 3 reasons why it’s not so bad to start your new years resolution early. As in today.

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Workout less to get better results.

You do not have to commit to perfection.

I think part of the problem is we worry that if we commit to healthy living we have to commit to perfection. That there is no way health and enjoyment will go hand in hand. There is, and chances are if you have found that way you know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t that’s ok too, and it is likely your mindset probably revolves around the thoughts that being healthier is boring, complicated and time consuming.

It all begins with changing your thoughts. The idea that you should comply to a strict diet forever and workout hours on end is absurd and that is why many people are often unsuccessful with diets and consistency with workouts.

Let’s take food for example. At Precision Nutrition they use the 90/10 rule when it comes to eating, that essentially state, if you make healthy choices 90% of the time, you can use that 10% as you like. For example if you eat 5 meals a day, 7 days a week you are consuming 35 meals a week and at least 3 of those can be more indulgent. Perhaps 2 pieces of pizza at one meal or a couple of glasses a wine a week? Allowing yourself to have a little more can actually help you feel more satisfied and make you less likely to overindulge.

This can work in other ways too. Just the other day I was talking with a friend about feeling ravenous at night after getting off work and wanting to eat everything in sight. Turns out she was having oatmeal, lunch meat and veggies throughout the day. I urged her to actually make a sandwich with 2 pieces (yes 2 whole pieces) of bread to give her a little more satisfaction during the day. There was one caveat though. She actually had to try it, not just think about trying it.

Two days later she texted me. “Your advice is actually working!!”

Your expect your future self to do what your present self cannot manage.

We are pretty kind to our future selves because we really, truly believe, that though we don’t want to make healthy choices today, we will next week, next month, perhaps even in 2016. This isn’t so bad, except this ideal vision we have of ourselves saying no to cookies and working out 5 days a week doesn’t often play out and if it does, it is not for very long.

This theory is actually studied in the psychology world and in the fantastic book, The Willpower Instinct, the author Kelly McGonigal says this. “It is one of the most puzzling but predictable mental errors humans make: We think about our futures selves like different people. We often idealize them, expecting our future selves to do what our present selves cannot manage.”

When we view ourselves as different people we think even though we don’t workout now, we will next month or next year 6 days a week.  We never really turn inward to find out what is true about ourselves and what is getting in the way of our present self making good decisions. Ask yourself how you can manage fitness and health in your current lifestyle not at some ideal point in your life?

It is not a time issue, it is a priority issue.

People who are successful do the little things even when they don’t feel like doing it. It is not just one little thing, it is lots of little things. Just because you get in one week of good workouts or eat good for one day doesn’t mean you get to let yourself off the hook ongoing.

Find ways to prioritize health into your life and reframe the way you think about healthy living.

Is it the worst thing ever to have to say no to a few foods here and there?

Is it miserable to workout a couple times a week when you don’t feel like it?

Can you learn to enjoy the process even when your daily results are invisible?

The bottom line is this. We know what to do, we just don’t know how to consistently implement it. Or we do, we just don’t do it.

Remind yourself during the holidays, it is possible to celebrate and get your workouts in. It is possible to eat and be social without throwing your health ideals to the bottom of your list and/or feel guilty when you do indulge.

There is no better time than the present to intentionally fight the voice inside your head saying it is not important or you will start in at some future point.

This is exactly why I created my #16to16 holiday workout challenge. Start now. Details here !

Join me for 16 workouts to 2016! You owe it to yourself, for motivation, for accountability, and yes for a little fun.

Click here for a FREE Holiday Workout Challenge!

Adele’s Five Friday Favorites

I am starting a new, fun series called Adele’s Five Friday Favorites (AF) because I seriously have so much good information I don’t know what to do with it all.

I love to share all things health, fitness, and mindset and will be doing so every Friday with things I am loving right now. Here we go!

 

Adele’s Five Friday Favorites 

 

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I picked up this loose fitting alo tank the other day, on sale I might add, and am loving the sheerness, and the cutout on the back. I know it is not perfect for all locations of the country in late November, but for SoCal, it does just fine.

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This quote! Those who are most successful, in health and in life, are those who take the most consistent action each and every day, then sit back and let the universe supply the necessary time.  Sometimes we get caught up in the quick fix mentality and get frustrated when we put in all our effort for weeks, even months, and see minimal results. I get it. It doesn’t feel all that motivating. But it is hardest in the beginning and the more you can lean into the process and just stick with it, the steady and slow results will come. Getting impatient and giving up just makes the whole process take longer.

 

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I don’t come across a new favorite protein bar too often but these Oatmega bars are just that. They are made with grass-fed why, are gluten free, high in Omega – 3’s, high in fiber, low in sugar. The chocolate mint is my favorite and I am giving some away as a prize for my FREE workout challenge, 16to16. You can sign up here.

 

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I finished this book at the end of summer but find myself referring back to it quite often. “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”   Our perception is everything when it comes to life, living and challenges. We decide it we will be weakened by challenges and obstacles or grow from them.


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Loving this SIP mug from Marshalls. In fact, I also picked up a Trick or Treat and Boo mug for Halloween and have my eye on the Jingle one I have seen floating around Instagram. No better way to start my day with a delicious helping of hot coffee with a little bit of cuteness to go along with it.

See you next week!

 

Why walking is the only cardio I do

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Walking helps me feel accomplished in my daily need to move, without overdoing it to my body.

About 5 years ago I did some online training with a coach who was a figure competitor. She gave me an outline of weight workouts for the month and I asked her what I should do for cardio as I noticed it was missing. I learned that cardio was simply not part of the protocol and when I expressed my concerns of blowing up like a balloon, she promised if I lifted intensely and watched my nutrition I would get the results I was seeking.

You see, at that time I was running 4-5 times a week for about 3 miles, either mixing it up with sprints or doing steady state. I was also dreading every minute of it. I was never motivated, it hurt my back and my hips, and it sent my appetite through the roof.

I put constant pressure on myself  to get 3 miles in for no particular reason except that 30 minutes was an acceptable minimum time to do cardio and I needed to burn more and more calories and get my heart rate up to breath hard. I was also lifting weights and trying to add some yoga in the mix. Still burning tons of calories, still not happy with my body, still a hungry girl.

Yet when this no cardio suggestion came about, I had a really difficult time accepting it. Long story short, with a little trust, I stopped the cardio and focused on weight lifting strictly for the few months I worked with her. Five years later I am stronger, happier, healthier, have more time, and have way better control of my appetite, still not making cardio a priority in my routine. I have since turned to walking my dog as the only consistent “cardio” with the exception of a few activities which I will further discuss. Here’s why.

It helps control appetite.

I was always hungry and I always felt under fueled. When I did eat more, I felt I would eat everything in sight. I craved salty treats, I craved sugary treats and I even when I was full, I never felt satisfied.

 From experience I know that exercising too much and for too long can potentially have more of an effect on appetite. Studies even show that walking is one of the few exercises that does not trigger some type compensatory cravings, such as long steady state cardio or progressive heavy weight lifting. These activities are not bad per say but if they leave you feeling ravenous with little self control it might be better to choose exercises that don’t impact your hunger, cravings and appetite as much.

You don’t have to recover from it.

When I was running everyday and adding super intense exercise in like CrossFit, I simply could not recover. I would hit it hard for a couple weeks and then take a couple weeks off. I couldn’t workout on back to back days, or even every other day, without feeling weak and exhausted. I would show up at my workouts within minimal strength, energy and motivation. Walking is added movement that does not hinder your current fitness routine.

It reduces stress levels.

One of the worst feeling I had with exercise was at a point in my life when I was extremely stressed and would start my workout with my heart thumping from anxiety and stress, as if I was in the middle of a CrossFit workout. I quickly learned this was not the time to bump, or encourage, extremely intense exercise from metabolic conditioning to sprints, etc.

High stress levels can have an affect on your relationship, your mood, your well-being and your appetite. In any case, finding ways to reduce stress is crucial to our health and walking is one great way to do it. It can almost be meditative in a sense, boost your mood, get you outside and be a great time to reflect and take in your surroundings. I always come back from my walks with a new idea, story or perspective. It is also a great activity to spend more quality time with your family. More resources here and here.

I don’t have to plan my meals around it.

Ever try doing cardio at an odd time like after work around 6:00, when you afternoon snack was yogurt at 3:30 and now you are trying to push yourself through a tough workout, starving for dinner but don’t want to eat to much to make you feel sluggish doing cardio. I use to stress out about this but with walking I can eat before or after and don’t have to worry about timing. In fact, it is kinda of nice to walk around after dinner instead of sitting on the couch.

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This is my dog Lulu and this is the opposite of how she looks on our daily walks.

Is walking really my only cardio or exercise I do?

My primary form of exercise is lifting weights (3-4 times a week at moderate intensity. I also add in yoga and/or pilates once a week.

For cardio, I walk my dog from 10-40 minutes most days of the week.

Occasionally if it is a brisk day and there is no incline on the road (yes that is a requirement) I sprint for a block because its kind of fun to see how excited my dog gets and it makes me feel like a little kid.

Once a month I hike or swim because I simply love moving outside.

A few times every couple weeks I will do kettlebell swings, mountain climbers, jump rope or some sort of plyometric for for 20-30 seconds, rest until I recover and repeat 5 times. Usually takes about 4-7 minutes depending on the day and exercises.

A few times a year I get on a piece of cardio equipment for 10 minutes and do similar intervals that I just mentioned.

The bottom line.

Do what works for you. I know many runners and cardio goers who love it,  but if it is not working or you absolutely dread it, or it leaves you in pain, don’t stick with it just because of the calorie burn or just because you are suppose too.

Walking fulfills my need for a daily physical accomplishment without overdoing it for my body. I like to move. I need to move. My body thanks me and I thank my body.

Click here for a FREE Holiday Workout Challenge!

Leg and AB day workout for you

It is a sunny November here in California and it feels good. The crisp in the air, cooler nights, and still a whole lot of sunshine, makes me a happy girl. Simple changes like the weather are refreshing for me. They give me new perspectives and new energy.

I tend to feel this way about my workouts too. While weight lifting is my tried and true, I can find so much variety in it, and I am not even talking exercise selection.

I tend to stay pretty true to solid, functional lifts, that are not too complicated. Squats, deadlifts, planks, lunges, pull ups, and presses are my go to.  However I have more variety in how I train and pair those exercises together. They range from metabolic conditioning style workouts to supersets to pure strength.

Lately I am going back to a bodybuilding split. I can just hear all the CrossFitters and functional gurus cringing, but I am a firm believer every program has it’s purpose.

I like the pump I get in my muscles. I like the simplicity of focusing on one or two body parts for the day. I like the rest my legs get when it is not leg day. Variety comes in many forms and this is one way I keep things fresh.

And today I got you covered with a super simple lower body and ab workout. The exercise links, reps and sets are included below.

 

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Complete exercise A for 12 reps and then exercise B for 12 reps, super set style, for 3 sets total.

3×12

A)  Goblet Squat

B)Plank with Rotation

A) Walking Lunges

B) Knee Swing Plank

A)Banded Hip Bridges

B) Rest

A) Banded Side Steps

B) Bench Side Steps

Candied Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are my favorite veggie this year and I am so glad I finally gave them a chance after years of never liking them. The only way I tried them previously was steamed and plain.

Roasting them is my favorite way to prepare them and with this mix of balsamic and dijon, I thought it would be a perfect pair of flavors as we head into the holiday season.

Brussels are high in vitamin C and K and are a good source of fiber, potassium and B vitamins as well.

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Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bag of shredded Brussel spouts (or 2 pounds of fresh Brussel sprouts halved)
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place Brussel sprouts in a large bowl. Add balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and olive oil and mix together so it coats well. Season with pepper and salt.
  3. On the baking sheet distribute evenly. Roast until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

7 great exercises for fat loss


Today I want to talk about my favorite exercises for fat loss or just maintaining a strong, healthy, lean body. The idea these days is to get the most out of your workout in less time.

In order to see maximal results in less amount of time you need to recruit as many muscles as possible and focus on your new favorite word, intensity.

Intensity is one of the best ways to adjust your workouts without adding time. You shouldn’t be able to or want to have a conversation with the person next to you during your sets. You shouldn’t want to read a book while using a piece of cardio equipment. You should be all out focused on your body and what it is doing and not much else. At least for that set.

Also choose exercises that work more muscles through multiple joints. For example bicep curls and tricep presses are going to involve less muscle recruitment than the exercises I am going to share with you today. 

You may want to tighten up your body but you can’t tone muscles you don’t have, so focus on weight training, intensity, and of course consistency. Start by choosing a weight that feels challenging by 10-12 reps or in some cases just use no additional weight.

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These days my sprint at the track for interval training is more of a fast jog, but it does the trick!

Thruster – Full body movement

What an exercise to start off with! The what? This is essentially a front squat to an overhead press. So instead of just working the triceps or biceps you work the quads, core, shoulders, etc.

This exercises gets the heart pumping and the entire body engaged.

Deadlift – Full body

This is not only a superior booty exercise, it sneaks in amazing core work and is highly functional as it imitates picking something up off the floor. It works the entire backside of the body including the glutes, hamstrings, lats and back. You can use dumbbells, barbells, and kettlbells. This is also a great exercise for grip strength.

Lunges

We need single leg movement (stability and mobility) and we need it bad. Lunges allow hip flexion and extension at the same time and are great for balance, stability and strength.  Add some dumbbells or a barbell and you have yourself another heart pumping exercise.

Pull ups & push ups

What fantastic exercise that requires only your body weight, though for most of us this is not doable or extremely challenging. For pull ups start with a band or an assisted pull up machine. It is definitely humbling to try to do a pull up when you start to pull the body and it just doesn’t move. You can also start by just hanging from the bar for 20 seconds, keeping the core tight and the shoulders pulled back. Also a great exercise for grip strength.

For push ups start from your knees or you an incline such as a bench, a Smith machine, a TRX, or even a counter top to maintain a full push up position until you start to build more strength.

Interval Training.

On a piece of cardio equipment, sprinting outside, or using a jumprope you will execute high effort for a short amount of time, think 20-30 seconds and then rest. My favorite way to do this is set a clock for 10 minutes. Go hard for 20 seconds and then when you feel mostly recovered to go again, I go. I like this better than just setting a time and working 20 and resting for 40 or something like that. For this time in my life I want to feel slightly recovered before I go hard. Plus 10 minutes doesn’t feel too overwhelming.

Remember, intensity is different for everyone. Intensity for some might be a sprint while for others it is a jog or incline walk. Start at your level and progress slowly.

Walking.

Walking has two major benefit besides the fact that you are simply moving. It can help reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels and has little to no compensatory affect on your appetite.  Most exercise will make you hungrier so it is no surprise most people overeat when trying to workout more and more. Get outside, spend time with your family, and enjoy your body moving.

how to be good, when you can’t be perfect


Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

I first heard this quote by author, speaker and self compassion guru, Brene Brown and I was so taken aback by the of truth that blares out of this statement. The truth that we often ignore. The need to throw all good efforts out the window if perfection cannot be attained.

It has a lot to do with our own sense of “not good enough-ness.” I once had someone tell me we all feel not good enough. And when we get upset, angry, frustrated with someone remember that they are acting out of their insecurities just like I would act out from own insecurities. Because we all, in some sense, feel not good enough in our own way.

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Not feeling good enough can cause us to disguise our imperfections, in attempted perfectionism.

For most of my life I would never, ever call myself a perfectionist because a perfectionist is someone who just wants everything to be to just right, who takes the time to make things look beautiful, and is never satisfied. I mean, I have sloppy handwriting, I do not care about the presentation of my food and I often go out and about in my sweatshirt because I really could care less, as long as I’m comfy.

So when I was told I had to let go of this perfectionism thing, I said, “Please, do you know who you are talking to?”  In my attempts to deny this nonsense, I realized that I DO have an overwhelming concern to do everything “right” and spend my days comparing, about why everything in my life, including myself, is not good enough. Ah perfectionism at its finest.  

Perfection does not represent happiness.

The trap comes when we associate doing every thing right, (being perfect) with automatically bringing happiness and joy into our lives. And when we do things wrong, (when we are not perfect, act perfect, or look perfect) it represents that we are not worthy.  “Perfect” does not guarantee pain free living. We use perfection for approval and acceptance, for someone else to tell us that we are ok. Ironically the only way you will ever truly feel ok is if YOU accept yourself, imperfections and all. No one is immune to perfectionism and we all experience it on some level.

The way we can overcome perfectionism and its association with all things good and wonderful, is to practice a little self compassion for ourselves and a little gratitude for what we have. When we realize that perfectionism (a perfect house, perfect eating, a perfect wardrobe, a perfect life) is just a cover for what we are shameful of (inadequacy, a lack of money, a lack of confidence in appearance, embarrassed about our bodies), we can learn to be more accepting of our lives, ourselves and those around us.

Can you see here how practicing gratitude (abundance) is loving yourself and acknowledging that you are doing the best you can, rather than focusing on lack?

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Another issue with perfectionism is that it IS a perception. We see others and think they are living the perfect life all simply by what we choose to see and interpret what it represents.  It usually happens a little like this. You are going about your day, maybe just completing an intense workout, dressed super cute or gave a bad ass presentation in your field of work. And then it happens. You compare yourself to your friend who had a “better” workout, the family with the gorgeous house, the person with the successful presentation, or the attractive women. You let it take away your joy.

Believe me, I struggle with this all the time. I compare myself all the time. Whether it is to the perfect body, the perfectly dressed, the highly successful, or the perfect way of eating, working out, living. Somehow this interprets being enough in my head. No wonder I am stressed and anxiety ridden. Sometimes you can be the juiciest peach of the bunch and and there will still be someone who doesn’t like peaches. Get what I am saying?

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How to be good, when you can’t be perfect.

I realized I had somehow trained myself to ignore my strengths and progress I am making in life, and have chosen to focus on my weaknesses and shortcomings.

You know what?

The woman with the perfect body, she has her struggles too.

The effortlessly matched fashionista, may not view life as effortless. 

The successful business person, they have challenges too.

I keep the practice of reminding myself that other people being successful does not mean that I am not. I can only control what I do each and every day and cannot completely control the outcome. Life does not fold out to the plan we have in our heads. Life does not unfold without challenges, struggles and hardships. When we accept that into our lives, we can stop trying to control everything around us and can still keep doing what we are doing to be good, without having to feel perfect. My own standards are some made up ideal I have in my head and when I let that consume my thoughts, it makes me feel inadequate.  If I choose to keep the focus on my own progress I can see just how far I have come.

Deep down I know everyone has their own challenges and burdens. We all feel inadequate in our own ways. The struggle is to not let our self proclaimed inadequacy rob our happiness and self love.   We must realize that how our bodies are shaped, how our clothes look, whether our dinners look like they do on Pinterest, or how much money we make, does not define our worth or value. We are not only successful when we reach our goals, but have little success along that way that should be celebrated each and everyday.  It is possible to have ambition and feel blessed with the life you have at the same time. 

Tip and Tools to keep my perspective in check:

When I feel myself getting down about not being a certain way or meeting a certain standard, I ask myself.

Did I wake up with a roof over my head and food in my tummy?

Am I am healthy and able bodied?

Do I have friends and family in my life who love me?

Do I make time for activities in life that I truly enjoy?

I tell myself.

Love yourself.

Trust yourself.

Don’t be afraid to fail and do things differently. 

Be patient with yourself.

You are enough.

Do not let goals define your worth.

When we have perfectionistic tendencies we have a difficult time with gratitude because we are always striving for the next best thing. It is not about the destination, it is about the journey.  It is about the journey and the ups and downs that come along with it. When we start to think about our lives in this way, we can expect that things will not always work in a smooth, straight predictable line and that is ok. As much suffering and pain we experience in life, it is also full of goodness, meaning and beauty. Who we are is enough. If it truly does not matter, let it slide.

#GetGrateful Task

Write down 5 activities in life you truly enjoy and make you feel alive and wonderful. Next write down 5 quirks about yourself. Things that people seem to know you for. Things that make you, YOU! Repeat them out loud and love them!