September 06, 2007

Biggest Diet and Exercise Mistake You Can Make

This is something you already know, but perhaps you need reminding:

In order to succeed at any worthwhile long-term health goal (exercise, diet, stress reduction, whatever) you have to Give up on Being Perfect.

Duh, right? But somehow we all keep forgetting this.

The Pursuit of Perfection, and the all-or-nothing thinking that follows from this delusional quest, is one of the two most lethal motivational mistakes you can make. (The other is Not Actually Giving a Crap--this is what happens when you embark on a self-improvement program because someone else thinks it's a good idea. They may be right! Still, it ain't gonna work).

But unless you come to grips with your perfectionism early and often, you're doomed. You may start off making great progress but you won't be able to maintain it for more than a few weeks or months.

Why not?

Because long-term success in any endeavor is about Mastering the Self-Improvement Process, not about how many calories you ate or how many miles you ran or how many dollars you earned or how many words you wrote on a particular day. You can have a "perfect" record for months, but if you're not learning how to cope with the imperfect days, the first few that come along can derail you completely.

It's a simple idea (that you've heard a bunch of times before) but the implications of this are really powerful. It means that for the long haul, it doesn't matter if you ran a marathon today or stayed in bed with the flu. Whether you ate 1500 calories or 5,000 calories.

What matters is that you did what you needed to do to Stay On Track.

Staying On Track is the most important thing. Over time, if you Stay on Track, there will be good days and bad days but the good days will eventually predominate. Healthy living is still a pain in the ass. But the longer you keep doing it? The less of a pain it is. It will probably never, however, be completely easy and fun. You will always be tempted to Slack. Thus you need to know how to Stay on Track for the rest of your life.

For Life. It blows but it's really important.

So what are some of the essential components of Staying on Track?

1. Staying Accountable and being Honest with yourself.

2. Acknowledging your Achievements and not just taking them for granted.

3. Trying your best but refusing to get all Punitive and Self-Hating when you inevitably screw up.

4. And so Not Quitting in self-disgust because you screwed up.

5. Then Starting Over if you do happen to quit in self-disgust despite being told Not To.

6. Setting Realistic goals and making positive changes Gradually and Steadily.

7. Accepting that while "All" may be nice, "Some" is better than "None" when it comes to good behavior.

8. Analyzing the Triggers for bad behavior and planning to Avoid them or Minimize their Impact in the future.

9. There are Lots more but this is starting to get Boring.

Note one important thing about all of these items (except for #9): They Are All Impossible if You Insist on Perfection!

You will find yourself lying to yourself if your goals are lofty and become inviolable rules in your own mind. You will "forget" to write things down; you will fudge and cheat and you will be psychologically Off Track no matter how well you are actually doing. You will frequently feel disappointed in yourself even when you are objectively doing good things. You won't praise yourself for your good days because they're ALL supposed to be good days. You will feel easily discouraged and tempted to just go off the wagon in a Big Way, because it's just too hard to be good. And you won't learn how to minimize problem behaviors if you're not admitting to them or accepting them as natural and inevitable and part of the process. Blah blah blah, you get the idea.

Enough Theory? Here is a practical example! This is an Actual Conversation that occurred in Crabby's brain several days ago.

Crabby: I know it's getting to be time for the gym but I don't think I'll go today. I hate the gym.

Crabby's Conscience: Just go.

Crabby: But I don't wannnnna. I go to the gym plenty. Leave me alone.

Crabby's Conscience: You're due for aerobics today. A long one, remember you said? And you're way way overdue for weights. You haven't done them since Monday. You can't skip out again.

Crabby: F*ck off. Go away.

Crabby: Are you gone?

Crabby: Good.

(A minute or so later):

Crabby's Conscience: OK, now it's really time to go. Your caffeine will wear off.

Crabby: Shut up!

Crabby's Conscience: You'll be so happy once you're done.

Crabby: But I'll be so MISERABLE while I'm doing it! I'll go for a walk later. Scram!

(A few more minutes later)

Crabby's Conscience: So here's an idea.

Crabby: WTF? I said go away!

Crabby's Conscience: Suppose you just go to the gym and do a little of everything. A really quick aerobics. Only half your weights.

Crabby: But I'm supposed to do a long aerobics! And what about the other half of the weights? I can't do just part of a workout!

Crabby's Conscience: It's better than no workout. C'mon. Think of it as "fun sized." An "express" trip to the gym.

Crabby: Hmmm, "fun sized"... that does sound oddly less miserable that a regular workout...


And so dear readers, Crabby indeed went to the gym. She did only half a workout. (Some days when she bargains like this she goes on do what she'd normally do anyway, but this time, she really didn't feel like it.) She gave herself Full Credit Anyway and felt very happy and pleased with herself. She returned to the gym two days later, because she was Still On Track! And that time, she did every damn thing on the list and lived Happily Ever After. At least so far.)


  1. Thank you. I needed to hear this today.

  2. This reminder comes at a more perfect time than you can possibly know.

  3. great post! how did you know I gave up so easily? I feel like I'm either on or off, but I need get better at erm, "better". Nevermind. Where's my coffee?

  4. Hey eh!
    I need to remind myself of this all the time!

    Hi Moon--looks like you just had a similar conversation with yourself too! Great blog post.

    Bridget--I think we all do this silly 'all or nothing' thing. I have to keep pounding it in to my brain that healthy eating and all that crap is a Long Term battle that's going to have ups and downs. The important thing is not to give up!

  5. #4 is what I have trouble with. *sigh* I do so well for such a long time, then one slip-up and it's "well, might as well screw up all the way".
    And a half a still a workout, right?

  6. Yes. Lose the perfection goal. Ain't gonna happen and all you're doing is setting yourself up to fail.
    I've seen too many people do that and concluded that they really didn't want to do the thing in the first place.

    Compromise, such as your conscience bargained with you, is a good way to stay on track. Aside to Crabby's conscience: Well-played!

    I messed up a hind leg recently and take daily walks to help it heal. Said walks are 20 minutes to an hour. One day it was only 15 minutes. I had a twinge of conscience for about three seconds then realized, so what? I still got out for a walk.

  7. Some days we preach in order to change others, some days we preach so that others do not change us...:-)

  8. This is so true Crabby! When I changed how I eat, I did it little by little, and I don't deny myself anything completely, just do everything in moderation - I look at people who go on diets where all they eat is salad, and then they get mad at themselves for having one brownie and their whole diet goes kaphlooey. We're here to enjoy life, right? So have the number of good days outweigh the bad days, but have a brownie now and then, right?

  9. thank you for this post, i may link from my blog today (if you don't mind)... i learned, early on, that there is no such thing as a perfect diet or a perfect exercise program because you know what? WE are not perfect... sort of like hammering a square plug into a round hole, just doesn't work... once you accept that there WILL be just as many bad days as there are good days - you'll feel much better about yourself... and learning to move-on is another one (and also much harder to do)... :o)

  10. I am so going to forward this to my fitness pact people.

    Haven't said anything in a while because I didn't have anything worth saying, I'm a lot better (been suffering through Wellbutrin initiation, which can be pretty bad) and will start trying to be fit soon.

    Pavarotti died, so let's all have a moment of silence. Or maybe sing something in his honor.

  11. Ohhh, totally. This is a great great great post. If I'm not up to it, I'll go to the gym and just do some cardio. It's better than what I did last year, no matter what I do and how much I do. Just being at the gym is better than last year!

    Also, what I do for motivation is to have a little calendar (seperate from my normal one) and color in the boxes when I go to the gym. I'm not aiming for perfection, but for most of the month to be highlighter pink. Fun size workouts count, too!

    I also wanted to say, Crabby, that I think it's great that you read and respond what everyone says-- it's one of the things that keeps me posting and honestly, helps me retain some of your tips!:)

  12. Yes, it's about keeping moving in the right direction, even if you're not always at the milestones you think you should be.

  13. Wait a minute, need to go write that list down somewhere.

    Interesting that in this dialog you are the "bad" cop and your conscience is the "good" cop -- sounds like your conscience is quite as sneaky as my inner slug, but in a nice way!

  14. Man you really know how to speak to the masses!

  15. I'm glad to know the voices in my head are about as sane as yours!

    I think that's the hardest part of working out for me is to actually *start*. If I get my ass out on the paths or on the ball, I generally make it through my least most of it. That's been the hugest change for me to actually staying in not totally give up if I slack off for a few days, and just get back at it.

    Thanks for the friendly kick in the pants! :)

  16. Crabby, great post. Sometimes we get lost in what we could do or what we think we should do (even though our image of the "could" and "should" things is sometimes a bit skewed), and forget to acknowledge what we can and do accomplish.

    Today I traded a run for a few lunges and jigs to the Decemberists while cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. And I don't feel bad! (But, maybe I should, I probably should have been more on top of both activities. There's actually no reason I shouldn't have been able to do both. Shoot...)

  17. Missicat,
    Even a quarter of a workout is still a workout! ANY little bit is better than nothing but it's so hard to remember this!

    I love the "hind leg" though sorry you injured it! I really do think getting out the door is the most important thing.

    Dr. J,
    I just preach 'cause I can't shut up!

    I'm so with you on that! I think you have to allow indulgences on any long term plan or you'll never make it past a few weeks.

    Jodi, thank you! Love that linkage! And yep, it's that "moving on" part that I think we all struggle with.

    Hi Melissa! Hope the Welbutrin settles in and you start feeling better soon. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing! (And yeah, I was sorry to hear about Pavarotti too).

    Back in a few minutes!

  18. You know what's really stupid? When you spend all day sitting at a desk, bored stiff, and then come home and instead of going for a nice walk to clear your head and stretch your legs and burninate some calories... you eat chocolate and watch TV because you're just so sick and tired of everything. :p

    Argh, I'll be much more sane after I finally fly the coop and move up to Minnesota.

  19. Thank you Sarah!
    And I love the calendar idea! I'm one of those people who loves crossing things off a 'to do' list even if they're as small as brushing my teeth--I need a LOT of Credit and Reinforcement. So I love the idea of having a whole calendar of Gym Virtuousness!

    Bunnygirl, having frequented your blog you are one of those Motivational Role Models so it's good to know even you have to keep those milestones in perspective.

    Mary, your Inner Slug is quite adorable and you had a great post about it on your blog. So many of us seem to talk to ourselves! Anyway, I guess I am My Inner Slug so I need a Crabby Conscience to get my ass out the door!

    Thanks Amanda. I think we all struggle with this, so I guess the message resonates even though it's not exactly an original concept!

    Hi Geosomin,
    And that was the edited version--my actual internal dialogues are even longer and weirder! I can so relate to the "starting" thing. Once I'm doing it, it's never that bad but it's getting going that's the hard part!

    Norabarnacle, I love the idea of the lunges and jigs while cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. That totally counts! Plus, exercise is just one of the many things to balance with other responsibilities, so great idea to combine a couple--so no giving yourself a hard time!

    And thanks Kathyj333!

  20. I think I need to print this out and tape it in front of my desk so I can see it everyday.

    It doesn't just apply to workouts either! You could apply those things to any long term plan, like parenthood, hehe.

  21. Chickengirl, sorry I missed you in that last run. Well, one bad evening in front of the tube eating treats is just one bad evening and you can get right back On Track the next day. Every day starts fresh, right?

  22. Lisa, you slipped in too, sorry.

    Especially parenthood! You could spend every waking minute trying to do that "perfectly" and never succeed. I don't know any parent who doesn't struggle with perfectionism.

  23. Crabby: That is true. Today is a brand new day, and tonight it's treadmill in front of the tube. :p

  24. excellent post! i need to read this just about every day!! and i love the idea of a "fun sized" or "express" trip to the gym! perfect!

  25. Just wanted you to know i posted your link and everyone just loves this post of yours. You're amazing.

  26. ChickenGirl, way to go! Even if it's just ten minutes.

    Thanks Meg!

    That was really nice, Amanda, thank you!

  27. Crabby,
    May I just say how much I love you?!! This is *hilarious*, and so very true. I am printing it out and taping it to the fridge. :))

  28. You have been tagged for The Personal Development List. (See my site for details), I would love for you to participate.

  29. great post. I was eating a cookie when I started reading it. Now I feel guilty!

  30. Ali,

    Go ahead and eat that cookie! And don't feel guilty! Just don't eat them every day :)

  31. So true, so true.
    I don't know why this is SO HARD to get! And why it's so easy to see in other people? I have an easier time pointing it out than I do *not* being discouraged myself.

  32. Instead of striving to be Perfect, strive to be Awesome.

    Think about it: Star Wars (the original trilogy) is by no means perfect, but it certainly is Awesome.

    Those complicated French dessert things you spent hours whipping up in the kitchen aren't perfect, but they probably taste awesome.

    Your relationship may have its ups and downs, but you can always strive to make it as Awesome as possible.

    Why not apply the same thinking to exercise? :D

  33. Fantastic post. Here I was beating myself up for only doing one super set yesterday. Thank you SO much.

  34. *gasp* i can never be perfect?! i'm running for nothing? excellent! it is decided that i'm skipping my run club tonight for chinese! you're the best crabby! :P

    great common sense list. we often get too wrapped up in the goals and forget the simplicity of it all and maintaining it all LONG TERM.

    good, bad and half ass days DO make perfect :)

  35. What?! For life?! But at least I get another (fitter) body for the second half, right? And I do get to change brains for a functional one? Otherwise "for life" might get a bit long ;-)

    Actually I hope that "for life" will get really, really long!

  36. Your conscience sound remarkably like the one that pops in to see me every day. Maybe I'll hit the gym after all.

  37. I can't be perfect anymore? Darn it anyhow. Ok, I'll try to be less perfect. It'll be tough but...

    Also might I suggest an exercise buddy. That way one might be able to stop talking to their own mind and work out issues with another willing gym pal. Although two Crabbys are pretty amusing. Seriously though, I hear those gym buddies work? Not that I'd want one. What if she or he was a total cheerleader and I wanted to sleep. Yikes.

  38. SoapBoxGirl, that's so sweet! The fridge is the highest compliment!

    Hi Priscilla, I'll check it out, but apologies in advance, because I bowed out of doing meme-like things a while back and have decided to stay consistent about it not to be unfair to those I've declined. But thanks for tagging me and for stopping by!

    Ali, what Leth said! No guilt necessary. Just take it into account and plan a little extra walk or a cut back somewhere else. Or start over on a new day! Cookies should be part of any sensible diet plan.

    Exactly, lethological!

    I catch myself doing this all the time. But I do find, if it's any help, that I get better at that whole "sense of perspective" thing as I get older. I no longer freak out nearly as much over brief periods of slacking or overindulgence because by now, I have a long history of getting Back on Track.

    Jim, Awesome idea!
    Actually, that's a really great way to think about it. You can be far less than "perfect" and still be Way Awesome. (BTW, I love when I'm reviewing comments in gmail and yours come in. Not just because they're entertaining, but because all of a sudden all the google sidebar ads are about Star Wars. "Sith Happens!"

    Hi hlh, thank you! I'm not even sure I know what a "super set" is but I'm betting it's amazing and it hurts, and I'm sure even one of them is probably way more than my entire strength training work out all put together. So feel proud of your super set and go back some other day and do whatever number you usually do!

    Marie, hi! Well, we'll let YOU be perfect but I'm afraid the rest of us are exempt. I think everyone fears if they drop the "perfect" then nothing but laziness will ensue. But that's where Accountability comes in! If you skip the gym and gorge on moo shu pork that's totally cool but if you do it every night the scale/waist size/food diary/ whatever will tell and you'll get Back on Track. Maybe you'll even have to do those scary Supersets that hlh does that I don't even know what they are.

    I know, that "for life" thing is a pain! But who knows, Smart Scientists may rescue us from all this someday. And yeah, I'd rather have a Long Life just in case they get this all figured out and I can spend the last few decades of it eating chocolate cake and ice cream every night!

    Hi Lindsey,
    You have that same nagging voice too, huh? I hate it when it's obnoxious like that. But then if it gets you to the gym and makes you do at least one small thing while you're there, you'll probably be really glad it was lecturing you.

    Jennifer, that sounds like an excellent idea! I myself as a hard-shelled creature am too antisocial and inflexible to have an actual gym buddy, but I think having a buddy or group or even regular class can be tremendously motivating! And the Lobster and I can often spur each other to take long walks when the other feels all couch-potato-ish. So that's a really smart idea, especially for those who have actual gym-going or running friends.

  39. Crabby,

    I am so happy to find an area in which not being perfect is a good thing!!


  40. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. I linked to it, hope you don't mind.

  41. Hi Terrie!
    Yeah good thing too, 'cause perfection certainly isn't in my repetoire (a word I can't seem to spell)!

    Roni, thank you so much! While you were leaving the comment I was over at your blog--that was really nice.

    Love your blog too and thanks so much for sending people over!

  42. Hi:

    I wanted to get your permssion to translate this post and put it in my weightloss blog which is in Persian. Most of my readers don't know english and this post is just worth being mentioned.

    I appreciate.


  43. I love your posts! They are so funny and light but they really "get me down deep." (Sorry for the corny-ness... it's in my blood) Thanks for stopping by my sight and encouraging me on my way to freedom over fat!!!!

  44. Hi Anar,

    Thank you so much for asking permission. Yes, if you would like to translate this post please do!

    Good luck with all the slang--I'm afraid so many words and phrases are hard to translate! "Duh," "Giving a Crap," even "Fun-Sized" probably don't make much sense. Thanks for coming to visit!

    Thanks Gut-buster!

    It's great to see people getting serious about their health and starting blogs, especially people who have a sense of humor.

    But watch out for this blogging stuff, it's addictive!

    On the plus side, there have been many times when I might have been tempted to prowl around the kitchen looking for snacks--but ended up prowling on the computer instead just in case anyone maybe left a comment or something!

  45. Evidently I wasn't the only one who read this post and smacked the forehead thinking, "why, yes, of course!" Before reading this, I had just returned from dinner at Macaroni Grill where I conveniently 'forgot' to ask them not to bring the bread, so of course had to eat it, and was in full blown you-worthless-good-for-nothing mode, despite a week of good choices.

    So, thanks Crabby, I needed that too.

    My first time here btw (thanks Roni!), and totally love your blog!

  46. Brilliant. Thank you. I am bookmarking your site.

    Now I need to find if you wrote a post about weight Plateaus...I need ispiration. :)

  47. Hi P-Town Peach,
    Thank you so much! Isn't it funny how we know this stuff already but need to be reminded sometimes? And the whole bread before dinner thing is a battle I fight all the time and I definitely lose sometimes. What a stupid custom to tempt you with something you don't need when you're starving and healthier food is on the way! (And it, um, never occurred to me that I could actually ask them NOT to bring it! Thanks!)

    Hi Reinvent!
    Sorry, don't think I've written about that but it's a really good topic idea. What a challenge to stay motivated for the long haul when you stop getting indications of progress! At least know that when the scale is being stubborn and obnoxious your body is thanking you every day for your healthy choices. If you're getting exercise and eating nourishing food and building muscle and keeping your cells from rusting away, your doing a really good thing for yourself. Thanks so much for your visit!

  48. put into words exactly what I've been thinking the last 2 days (one of which I exercised and ate perfectly...the second of which I failed miserably because I always fail to exercise and eat right on shopping days out with my baby...ALWAYS.) But you just have to keep trying over and over because that's the only way to get there. Obviously.

  49. Thanks Neonalune!
    Btw, I really like your blog! And yeah, getting back On It is the most important thing. (And that's cool that your recognizing a pattern around baby/shopping days--could lead to some helpful preventative steps for the future!)

  50. This is soooo true....perfectionism can really derail you, and undo all of the work that you've already put in if you tend to "go all out", eating anything you can find when you slip up with one thing. If you can stop and forgive yourself for that little slip up (like a cookie) and let it go (instead of saying "I'm no longer perfect, may as well eat the whole package!"), you'll do so much better in the long run. ;)

  51. Hi Jolynn,
    I think the cookie example is a perfect one! The second cookie has just as many calories as the first one, but once we're not "perfect" somehow anything after that all blurs together.

    I guess maybe the trick is to give ourselves as much WillPower Credit for not eating the second cookie as we would have for skipping the first one. Stopping a potential pig-out in progress is a great achievement too!

  52. Hi, Crabby, new to your blog and love this post. I'll be linking to it on my blog sometime tomorrow (I'm a slooow blogger!)

    Thanks for the good read!

  53. Hi Skinny Guy,
    Your blog is so inspiring! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  54. Hey Crabby,
    New to your Blog, and also new to the world of blogging. Your post was so true. I recently quit smoking (again) and found that even on the days when I had that cheat smoke, it was better in the end to say, 'I am human, I could have went without that smoke, but I didn't. I just don't need another". It has been about 5 months, with a few slip-ups here and there, but thats better than a pack every two days. So now it is time to bring that lesson to my food health.
    I look forward to reading more posts!

  55. Thanks so much, ElleAyKay, and good luck with quitting smoking!

    From what I hear, that's one of those habits that takes A LOT of perseverance to break, so good for you for not getting too caught up in perfection!

  56. I came across your blog by accident, but thoroughly enjoy reading it. I just started my own to use a motivational tool I guess. I wish I could write the way you do, but I've just never been able too. Your blog is usually the pick me up that I need, Thanks :)

  57. Ok, I just found this post in your sidebar, and no one is commenting on it anymore, but seriously . . . do you live in my head??! LOL.

    And btw, I am SO stealing the term "Fun-sized workout." Love it.

  58. Ok, I just found this post in your sidebar, and no one is commenting on it anymore, but seriously . . . do you live in my head??! LOL.

    And btw, I am SO stealing the term "Fun-sized workout." Love it.

  59. Thanks Martse (and Tempy)
    I love when people go back and read some of the older posts and leave a comment!

  60. Hey Crabby, this is a GREAT post! I wish every person struggling with the all or nothing thinking would read this! And, I loved your 'real-life' example. Its so good to hear someone else's brain works like mine. I'm not crazy or defective as long as there's one other person out there like me!

    Love the 'fun-sized workout' concept!

  61. love this blog. i hate blogs bc im too lazy to read them but this good. good job lazy

  62. I just think you have tos tart slow. You just can't rush into things. once you build a habit/ routine then you can pick up the pace. You definitately can't go wrong with running. I mean i haven't gotten to that level yet but walking or anything of that matter is good for your health. I'm a bit over weight and need as much help as possobile so I recently purchased these bike shorts from I've been using them for about 3 weeks now and have seen a decrease in my waist. Give it a look, I hightly recommend it. Hope i was of some assistance!!

  63. you are brilliant crabby! very, very brilliant. <3

  64. Great Post. I think that you are 100% correct and I can see why "being honest with yourself" tops your list. That is a very important concept when weight loss is concerned.

  65. Great Post! There are a lot of dieting mistakes that people make. I think that one of the biggest mistakes is "high expectations." A lot of people start out with the idea that they will lose weight in a week...well it doesn't actually work that way! Weight loss is a slow and steady process but the results are great!

  66. This is so true, I'm a firm believer in getting back on track ASAP and not worrying about the things you perhaps didn't do correctly/perfectly!

    Life's too short - trying to be perfect does zilch for your confidence!

    Great post!

  67. This post is great! I found your blog today and have added it to my regular blog reading. Also thanks for the post about the automatic shifting bike. I've decided to go with a 3-speed trike. I'm scared to death of falling off two wheels as I came to bike riding fairly late in life. Happy Holidays!

  68. so true, so's about striking a balance between pushing yourself, but not coming down on yourself too hard. So often people overwhelm themselves before they even begin.

    BODA weight loss

  69. Crabby,

    I love it that you wrote about Internal Dialog. I think all of us have a bit of negative self-talk.

    I usually start to argue with myself after 4-5 minutes on the treadmill.

    Me: I really don't need to do cardio for 20 minutes...I didn't eat much today.

    Conscience: That is why you should do cardio. It will be more effective in this fasted state.

    Me: But I will probably over-train if I spend 20 minutes on this piece of equipment, plus I need to get home before the traffic gets bad.

    And on, And on...

    It is nice to see that you have to talk yourself into taking action as well...I can relate!

    Great Post!


  70. Fantastic post. It all about staying focused and making plans. Going to the gym sucks but once you make it part of your life and keep going on a regular basis it doe's get much easier.
    Cut yourself some slack and your right about don't go for perfection because if you do you will fail every time.

  71. I was just feeling this way! Yesterday I only did half my pilates workout and last week I ate Pizza and i've been kicking myself in the rear, but then I thought to myself that half a workout is better than what I was doing a month ago, nothing!

  72. Very good advice. As a trainer and coach I preach this mantra
    "Training is cumulative"
    I learned this one from a great strength and conditioning coach of many pro athletes, colleges and kids. Simply put it means one work out won't get it, neither will 20 but many of them with smaller bits accumulate. They accumulate in more endurance, a re-programming effect on the amount of fat that your body uses 24/7, flexibility, strength, on and on.
    Yes, it IS the long haul, but the results feel and look great if you stay on track through it all, and remember it is cumulative. A bad week will not destroy it all as long as you get going again the next week.

  73. I love your description of The Pursuit of Perfection as a "delusional quest!" That is such a fabulous description, because that "all-or-nothing" concept when it comes to improving your health or just about anything else for that matter, just ain't realistic!

    Where did this insane idea come from anyway? I've battled it too in the past, thank gawd I don't anymore because now I honestly make progress.

    If I do things that benefit my health say 75% of the time and 25% of the time indulge myself, that's still a huge improvement over not doing anything because I've kicked myself in the ass for "failing..."

    Failure only happens when you stop trying!


  74. Great Post. Ideas that I run over and over with my clients.

  75. Since you pegged this to the front page - and rightfully so as it is awesome - I want to say,

    1. My brain and your brain must come from the same school of 'good brain, bad brain' arguing to make us a little crazy. Boy that dialog sounded eerily familiar;

    2. Thanks for the kick in the uncomfortably ample tushy. I got up and went for a walk. Half my circuit (hello! it is still 92 degrees outside), but I feels all kinds of better for doing even that much.

  76. Its with great enthusiasm we plan our weightloss program with a diet, exercise, gym and so on. But not even a week do we maintain this goal and all our enthusiasm fades away. Its crystal clear that willpower has to play an active role here.

  77. An absolutely brilliant post! You should repost every couple of months.

    Somedays it's OK to sit and have a sensible tea and biscuits.

  78. How fantastic is this? I think I just found my spiritual home!

  79. Haha i LOVE The gym, working out exercising sports and everything im on 6 pack diet and stuff so its no problem for me i plan on bein a model and body builder :D. i only have 2 problems 1 is i have to have some kind of sugar or my body throws up and i mess up everything so how can i stick with protein fiber and have a little sugar? and 2 i smoke likes once a week or just take a puff of weed or cigs is that bad for my 6 packs thanks

  80. im healthy weight and everything im 155 at age 18 and got 96 percent muslcle and rest fat etc. but i jus need help on those 2 thinks how to get sugar without adding carbs and if smoking makes it worse let me no plz

  81. I think the old rules of weight loss is simple and achievable - Eat less, exercise more. But so many people are finding it hard to be honest with their ownself, making it so damn difficult just to do about everything right.
    Consistency may be a single word but it doesn't come with no cost. I find the hardest part of dieting and in losing weight is not the the eating or the exercising part - it's the mental workout on how you should discipline yourself.

  82. I am a chef, certified personal trainer and a mom. I have discovered that the mindset regarding eating is the most important thing, not necessarily the diet methods that don't fit you. I discovered this when trying to get my toddler to eat and wrote a book about it - Diet Secrets of A Toddler, By Laura Andolini. It is on my website if you are interested. , or I hope you enjoy it!

  83. HERE HERE! Great postings!

  84. I have often found myself between those two 'lethal motivational mistakes' - perfectionism and not giving a crap. At least I tell myself I don't give a crap until I start giving a crap again. This is good stuff and I did print it out. I like the 'fun size workout' emphasizing 'fun'. I liked the reader-comment about feeling 'all kinds of good/better. And I liked the spiritual home comment. Like the home you can live in.

  85. Very good advice..and your practical example is a fun read too..Thanks Crabby =)

  86. Thank you for your informative post i really like that post. Weight Lose is the perfection goal and I've seen too many people do that mistakes and concluded that they really didn't get his goals.

  87. This was a great read!

    Check out for more exercise and diet advice.

  88. Nice post, I would like to request you to one more post about that Keep it up

  89. You must be realistic about losing weight, this article explains

  90. I used to try many diets but
    deep down I never believed they
    will work on me. It's reverse psychology, if I know that I can't eat chocolate then I'll be thinking about
    it most of the time and I'll fail.
    Now I enjoy food more than ever, I
    eat what I want (much less, but
    never starve myself, quite contrary,
    I feel satisfied and full of energy).
    I was very lucky I stumbled upon Paul McKenna
    "I can make you thin" and I was
    even luckier that I bought the book
    even though I didn't quite like the
    cover and the title. It was life changing for me.
    I lost 10 pounds in 2 months (from 13th January 2012 to be exact) and I
    know I'll loose much more without
    diet-type suffering.
    I'm not associated with the author in any way. I stumbled upon his book by
    reading a review so I thought
    I'll 'pay-back' and maybe someone
    will read my review and benefit from
    the book.
    The bottom line is: forget about diets, most people on diets will get fat sooner or later, suffer and feel miserable. Most people can loose
    weight almost effortlessly by
    restoring proper relationship with the food and deal with emotional eating
    (there is a lots of useful information
    in the book about emotional eating).

  91. This is such a great read for all of us seeking weight loss! Personally, I adhere to the following fitness philosophies:
    > I limit my fastfood eating.
    > I lessen my softdrinks/soda intake.
    > I moderate my alcohol drinking. (I say moderate, not totally stop. It's not good to deprive one's self, don't you think?)
    > I make sure I have a healthy dose of fiber in my diet to get rid of bodily toxins regularly.
    > I consciously make an effort to exercise.
    If it worked for me, I hope it will also help many people in their road to healthy living! Cheers! No road to perfection. Only aiming to be healthier! :)

  92. Thank you for the main points for the weight loss, weight loss need patience, especially give up perfection, I have the experience before, when I strict about diet-can not eat this, can not eat that, after screw up a little bit then feel disappointment,make it boring .this kind of perfection attitude make weight loss not so easy, after give up perfection, just keep on the goal, even screw up some time, it is ok, just keep on track, keep going, still can eat favoriate food(just less than usual), after that, weight loss journey made more easy.This information help us to stay on the track.

  93. Thanks for the great topic!

    I have troubles in controlling my thoughts often ... let me elaborate with this example:

    I know that what i am supposed to do today is to finish 1 chapter of some book. Then I keep this in the back of my mind the whole day ... I dont feel like reading this chapter! however I have to! then the day ends and i did not do it and afterwards i feel misrable!

    Now this was repeated so often ,, that i started to feel misrible the moment i get the inner thought of me supposed to be doing anyhthing and not doing it! My chest becomes narrow and tight on me! bordome rises! and rlly bad feelings...

    Now my question is, is that terrible feeling because I am trying to do things the way I planned but actually failing to do so? or is it because of the bad feeling that accompanies perfectionism?

    what is the catch!?

    I try to create plans but the moment i go off track the whole plan becomes invalid... I come to seek a motivation from the inside of me to do things but i cant find it! I dont feel happy while doing extra things on my own will.. actually it gets really hard sometimes!

    Please advise!


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