The other day I figured out why my house is always so messy: it’s because I’m a perfectionist. Yep, you read me right! I’ve been training myself to clean just a little bit at a time, but to be honest that doesn’t come naturally. My historical pattern usually goes as follows:
1) Wait until house is a disaster and neighbors are considering calling CPS
2) Beat myself up for not being better about it, and wonder what’s wrong with me
3) Spend a marathon day making the house perfect.
As you can imagine, this process is not fun, so over the past year or so I’ve been training myself to do what you neat freaks already do – clean up after myself as I go (amazing, right?), and do it in smaller increments. While this may be a no-duh for a lot of you, for some of us, these are new concepts! LOL
I bet you’ve figured out where I’m going with this, huh? For a lot of us perfectionists, things that don’t come naturally to us (housework, eating right, exercise) are an all-or-nothing proposition. Either our house is magazine-perfect, or CPS is banging down our door. Either we are healthy eaters who never have a bite of cake, or we are unhealthy slobs. Either we get up every day to exercise without fail, or we sleep in and never do it. Either we do the exercises exactly how Tony does them, or we sit the whole thing out.
The interesting thing about this, when it comes to P90x, is that I think P90x is a magnet to black-and-white thinkers. Many of us who are drawn to the idea of changing our bodies in 90 days are the same people who are having trouble with the lifelong, steady, incremental road toward healthiness – we are looking for a 90 day crash course. I know that this isn’t everyone, but I also know it applies to some of you because this is exactly how my hubby and I thought when he was starting P90x. “I can do anything for 90 days!” he told me. And that was true, but it also meant that when he didn’t get up to exercise on day 14, he almost quit.
|This black and white thinking is a sign of perfectionism in one of its worst forms, because it refuses to acknowledge our humanity. Even the most disciplined person you know probably has a day where they eat some birthday cake, or are too busy to exercise, or they don’t do their dishes immediately. It’s LIFE.||
So this is something IMPORTANT that you need to acknowledge before you start P90x: You are human. You may have some cake, and it does NOT mean that you have fallen off the P90x nutrition bandwagon. You may forget to set your alarm and not get up to do your exercises one day. SO WHAT???!! Keep going the next day without pause. You may have an injury or extra weight that makes it hard for you to do all of the exercises perfectly. Ever wonder why Tony makes such a point of saying “Do your best and forget the rest?” He’s talking to the perfectionist in you – the person who has tried other diets or exercise programs and stopped because you didn’t do them perfectly.
On Day 14, I had to kick my hubby’s perfectionist out. I basically told him to shut up and move on. I said it to him and I’ll say it to you now: Do you really think that you are going to do hour-long exercises for 89 days and it’s not going to change your body for the better?! Do you think you are going to eat 89 days of healthy food and it’s not going to make any difference? If you can do only 45 minutes of the hour because of your weight or your injury, do you really think 45 minutes of exercise daily for 90 days will make no difference whatsoever? OF COURSE NOT! So the scale hasn’t changed yet, SUCK IT UP!! Stop listening to that perfectionistic voice in your head, and remind yourself what you are doing this for. This is for a healthier you! This is so you can be around longer for your kids! This is 90 days of hard work, but not only is it going to change your body now, it’s going to teach you how to cook and how to eat and how to push yourself! IT’S GOING TO WORK. So show the perfectionist to the door – he or she is not welcome anymore!!!
Was I just a little too mean to you guys? Sorry, but I’m saying this to you because I care about you, and being a perfectionist myself, I’m talking to myself too. KEEP GOING. DO YOUR BEST, AND FORGET THE REST. This isn’t a wagon you can get on and off of, this is your life. P90x is kick-starting an ongoing, steady change that is going to set your life in a new direction! You can do it!
– CJ =)