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So…what have you avoided doing in your life because you were scared of failing? What progress have you chosen to bypass because you were so concerned with being “perfect”? How has black and white thinking impacted you and your goals? What do you think would happen if YOU adopted a progress not perfection mentality? How would things be different if you didn’t feel so pressured to do things perfectly? What would it look like if you completely let go of your perfectionism and embraced your imperfections? How would your healthy lifestyle be influenced? How would your work be influenced? Who would benefit if you adopted the progress not perfection mentality? Would your family benefit? How about your friends? How would it make you feel if you allowed yourself some wiggle room? How are you going to start adopting a progress not perfection mentality?

Honestly, I had a hard time thinking of any good examples for this- which is surprising. I’ve always had a perfection mentality- especially in regards to my weight loss. If I missed a workout or fell short of my 10,000 step goal [both of which I need to get a move on for today- literally] it became nearly impossible for me to push myself to keep going.

Look, I know that missing a workout or not getting 10,000 steps one day isn’t the end of the world. I know that it won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things- as long as I get right back on track.

But it doesn’t work that way for me. If I miss a day of my workout routine… if I indulge too much… if I stop tracking my food… it becomes harder and harder for me to keep going.

I’ve been on a paleo challenge. Now, I’m allowing myself some “cheats”- and I haven’t eliminated dairy at home (and some sugar). Ultimately, I’m going to be more into a clean eating plan with a focus on paleo food (so grains will not be elimiated completely).

Last night, while driving around with my best friend, Alex, trying to figure out what to eat, I got an email for a $10 off a $40 purchase at California Pizza Kitchen- with the purchase of pizza, of course. So, we ordered our usual appetizers: Sesame Ginger Chicken Dumplings, Crispy Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites. That was followed by a Thai Chicken Pizza, and our meal was rounded out by a slice of Red Velvet cake.

I’m sure even people who know nothing about Paleo know that absolutely none of that meal was approved. I know I would have been on track for dessert if I got the summer berry dessert without the sauce and candied lemon zest. I would have even been better off ordering the summer berry dessert as-is than splitting a slice of red velvet cake.

When I woke up this morning… ok… this afternoon (bleh), I wasn’t exactly motivated to cook a paleo breakfast. I wanted cake… cookies… potato chips. I would have rather walked to the store to buy junk food than cook food already in the house.

This morning, before walking into the kitchen to scrounge around for some junk food, I decided to step on the scale, and I saw 181.

I was just barely into the 183 (183.6) on Monday, so seeing a 1 at the end of that number was huge. I haven’t been tracking my food. I’ve just been eating from an “approved” food list.

Now, when I stepped on the scale again for a second look, the number jumped back up to 183, but at that point, it didn’t matter. I had already started cooking some sweet potatoes, chicken apple sausage, and eggs for my paleo-approved breakfast.

Now, I know the honey in my post-workout popsicles (coconut milk, berries, and honey) isn’t approved by some circles. The maple sugar in the almond butter I plan on buying at Target for a snack probably isn’t on plan either, but it’s certainly better than potato chips loaded with sugar, vegetable oil, and other chemical garbage.

I’m not sure what I’m doing for dinner tonight. I might be eating out after youth group, but I might go home. It’s really up in the air. I know if we go to qdoba, I can get a relatively paleo-approved salad without beans and cheese (though the pulled pork is still cooked in soybean oil). I can get a salad at Smashburger (and possibly sweet potato fries- even though the way they are prepared probably isn’t technically approved). Diner fare will most likely mean breakfast for dinner.

Still, I may get off track again. I might opt for the pancakes and bacon instead of the eggs and fruit for dinner at the diner, but that’s ok. I will have some weeks where I eat something off plan every day, and I’ll have weeks where I am pretty near perfect. That’s ok.

It’s only not ok if I don’t keep going. It’s only not ok if french toast or pizza for dinner leads to potato chips and snack cakes for lunch for another month.

And maybe I’ll learn that paleo isn’t for me. Maybe I do need to go back to calorie counting (as much as I despised it- as hungry as I was last week). If I don’t push through and try different things, I’ll never know. I certainly won’t know if something works for me if I only give it a few days.

(Of course, calorie counting was working for me until I got off track- and when I tried getting back on track, the hunger was unbearable, so it makes me question whether it works for me or not.)