February 09, 2011

Fighting perfectionism

For those of you visiting from the Sisterhood, I'll warn you right now this won't be your typical Weigh-in Wednesday post.  There have been a lot of things clanging around in my head this week, especially this morning.

To understand what's going on up there, I need to introduce you to myself.

See the one with the scraggly beard and the knife?  See where Jesus has to clean up the mess and reattach that dude's ear from where one of His crazy followers cut it off?  Yeah that's me.  (The chop-er not the chop-ee)

In my head I know the way things should go.  I have everything in neat orderly columns and expect them to stay there.  When things don't go the way I think they ought, I lash out.  Maybe violently, throwing something across the room or hitting something (never someone I promise!).  Sometimes its just with words, saying hurtful nasty things that no one deserves to hear.

Then after that initial surge of adrenaline, I run.  I try to distance myself, pretend it doesn't exist.  Pretend my Savior isn't getting beaten before my eyes.

After that comes the sorrow.  The total and utter humiliation for what I've just done.  I'm exhausted - for nothing.  Things are the exact same as they would have been had I not ever flown off the handle.

Peter (Jesus ministry Peter, not the post-ascension Peter) is so me, that when I first watch Passion of the Christ I sobbed uncontrollably.  Not at the beatings, at the nail being driven in, or the bloody mess that the sin of the world turned Jesus into. 

I cried like a baby that moment (in the video up top) where Peter denies Jesus 3 times.  After the 3rd time, Jesus looks at Peter - and Peter doesn't know what to do with himself.  He's overcome with grief.  (Minute 3:09-3:24 of the video)

And so was I.

What does this have to do with weight loss?  Maybe nothing.  Maybe everything.

Here are the facts.  I'm a hard core perfectionist.  Following the rules helped me to lose 15 pounds.  Obsession with the rules became my god.  Realization of that caused me to abandon everything I know about healthy living.

Leaving me sitting here currently wearing those 15 pounds I lost at the beginning of this cycle.

I want to honor God with my thoughts and actions.  I want to lose at least 10 of those pounds again.  I want to respect the body that He's given me.  I want to get back into my skinny jeans.  I doubt He wants all those things for me, but I'm just trying to be brutally honest here.

Where does that leave me? 

I really do think tracking my calories is important.  I've proven that not tracking only leads me down the fast food/junk food path. 

I also think that I need to stop being obsessed with the 0.4 or whatever I gain/lose from one week to the next. 

Please hold me accountable.  When you see me start going off my own direction - call me out on it.  "Peter is that what you should be doing?"  When you see me start focusing too much on my looks - throw up a road block for me.  Help me remember, even chubby, what wonderful things my body has done.

So I guess that's it.  No scale for me.  (Hold me!!)  Smart food choices.  Easy right?

I'm terrified.


  1. I'm a chop-er too. There are some things that I have super perfectionist tendencies about, but my relationship with Christ has never been one. That's painful to say aloud...Anyway, I'll hold you accountable!

  2. You can do this. You've done it before and you can do it again. You have a wonderful support group and you will make it happen.

  3. Um, fyi, that video you posted showed you super skinny to me -- with or without those added 15 lbs. And think about all the muscles you have!! I lost 2 dress sizes due to running...and 2 lbs. But I'm okay with that because, hey, I wear a size 4 to 6 now instead of 8-10. =)

    And I understand your need to throw things. I do that, too...sometimes at people, though...

  4. This is exactly where I found myself last year and why I quit participating at the Sisterhood. It was just becoming too much of an obsession. I'm still struggling to find the balance though, too. Just staying off the scale and not paying attention to what and how I eat isn't good either, and I've gained some weight back, too, but I do love the freedom of not CONSTANTLY thinking about food, how much I can have, what it's going to "cost" me, etc.

    You'll figure this out Brooke. There IS a balance, and I know if our hearts are seeking HIM first, the necessary things will fall into place.

  5. I think you're in a good place! I am a perfectionist & a rule-follower, too. And I know how easy it is for the body to become an obsession. I also know how liberating it can be for it NOT to be an obsession! There's a balance, & at times I feel like I've now become lazy ~ so I haven't quite found it either! But letting the obsession go is a great first step!

  6. I am right there with you! Terrified! But we can do this. We are smart, strong, and determined. With the help from others and the love of Jesus we can do all things. =)

  7. Good for you! I think you are amazing and I know you can do this!

  8. i get that way also. and i get prideful--double whammy. When I follow rules, I tend to look around and get really judgmental about others who are not following those rules, and i tend to pat myself on the back and congratulate myself on being more disciplied than they are to stick with it a follow the rules.
    Praise God for His son, because I am a rotten mess.

  9. We are in very similar places. My friend and I started going to a gym where we have personal training sessions. Our trainer has lectured us time and again to not worry so much about the numbers on the scale...not to get too obsessed with every little morsel we put in our mouths. But I can't help it...I obsess because I want to do it perfectly.

    It all has to be done in baby steps!

  10. through my cycles of dealing with ED thoughts, etc, i've gone through several phases. one was to give up the scale for Lent one year. amazingly after that, i went back to weighing myself every day...but after a few weeks of that i realized that it was getting old. now i step on the scale every once in awhile. i AM tracking on wiifit, and that seems to be much more effective. i want to see the number go down, but i'm not chained to the scale anymore. it was my addiction...now it's a dusty bathroom accessory. which is as it should be!

    you're going to be great! you'll go through phases, growth stages, but you'll get there...and it's going to be wonderful freedom :)

  11. Brooke, this was a great, open and honest post. I know that you can do the "right" things for YOU! Look at the "big picture"...what is it you want out of this? Are you looking for a particular number on the scale or are you looking for the young lady that is healthy, strong and fit? Do what you know is the "right" thing...not necessarily the thing that "everyone else" tells you to do! Follow after the ONE that knows all and you will be the woman HE wants you to be!! Love ya!! and yes, I will be here to HELP you in whatever way you want!!


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