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Perfectionism is ruining me...

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Old 06-22-2011, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default Perfectionism is ruining me...

Please don't be mislead by the title: I am far from perfect.

I have been working extremely hard the past 6 months to kick my weight-loss in high gear. I am nearing my goal weight. I look so much better...

But now in my life, it's this: getting close to goal-gotta work harder (I already work really hard), gotta be hair-free (have started laser hair removal), gotta look better (constantly buying great clothes), gotta just...be perfect (hair always looking great, make-up always good, self-tanner to make my body look better, constantly make sure my nails and toes are painted and cute, must always smell great, and so on....).

Does that sound tiring? Cause it sort of is.

When am I going to reward myself for coming so far? Why is it getting worse, not better? People who haven't seen me in a while are constantly going on about how "amazing you look". I get men staring at me all the time. At the gym. At the stores. Even all my male coworkers...

My close friends are now concerned because the farther I get, the farther I want to go. One friend said to me last night "I thought you were working this hard so that you could enjoy this summer looking the best you ever have? You are just pushing yourself harder and harder, and now you're not even taking a break this summer...".

I don't know how I should feel anymore. On the one hand, I am so filled with pride because I'm making my dreams come true, and I work hard every day to exercise and eat right. A so-called machine.
On the other hand, I'm so sad for myself because I'm just never going to be content. I can always look better. There is always going to be room for improvement. I have to be perfect, and I better get there.

No need for encouragement, ladies. I just needed to get this out, because it's not something I admit readily to anyone else...and to myself.

Even my trainer is getting concerned. He told me this morning that I am looking so great. I just shook my head and didn't acknowledge the comment. Just walked away.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:06 AM   #2
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Just curious....do you have before and after photos? Have you seen the changes? What do you feel when you see the photos?

I think personally that self love comes from giving to others. I would suggest some volunteer work. I don't wanna sound cliche but helping out at a children's hospital can really put things into perspective.

Congrats on all of your accomplishments.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:33 AM   #3
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Thanks luckymommy...

I definitely don't volunteer as much as I should...I usually pick one charity every year and volunteer. The past couple of years, it's been things like 'Nite of Hope' for breast cancer, Steve Nash Growing Health in Kids, Cops for Cancer, and every year I help my company process scholarship awards for thousands of applicants...

I do enjoy doing volunteer work. Maybe you are right...I could always make more of an effort.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:44 AM   #4
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Kinda sounds like to me..your body is caught up but not your brain..Its almost sounds like you have a dysmorphic body image issue..which is similar to what people with eating disorders have.. Its like you see your body..but in your head it doesnt look like the same thing..So you are trying to match the two but cant..So on and on you try to get "better"..which has turned into close to an OCD obsession.. which is also similar to those celebs out there who go for rounds and rounds of plastic surgery and training and on and on..Im not saying that you are like those people..

But you might consider talking to someone a bit more about this..cause if you keep going this way..your actually going to do more harm then good..
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:06 AM   #5
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Thanks Porthardygurl... (And hello, fellow BC'er)!

Yes, I'm trying to resolve what's going on with me. I feel like part of my drive is exactly what's been helping me get closer to goal.

But this drive is also turning into something else... Maybe it's because I've never quite looked like this before? If this weight-loss is possible, then maybe I can improve ALL aspects of myself...and that's where it's been going.

I've always been conscious of my beauty rituals, so please don't think that all this behaviour just sprang out one day, lol. I've always tried to take pride in my appearance (hair, make-up, etc), but because my look has changed so drastically in the past 6 months, I think something else has happened mentally, and I'm trying to make EVERYTHING better... Since my body can improve this much, well, maybe my skin can look younger, maybe my hair can look sexier, and so on...

Sigh. I just hope that when I achieve my goal, that I'll actually recognize it, instead of passing the marker by.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:32 AM   #6
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Can you access counselling? I agree with Porthardgurl that what you're describing is similar to what happens with eating disorders, and after all this is being set off by weight loss, so a counsellor who specialises in eating disorders may be useful here.

It's also worth talking to your doctor, as this could be some form of anxiety disorder. Perhaps your body/brain chemistry has changed in some way, especially with a calorie deficit going on.

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Old 06-22-2011, 10:09 AM   #7
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I want to applaud you for recognizing a problem. Here's a really off-the-wall idea to help balance you out. As suggested before, find a volunteer position you can do for a day or two a month. I'm thinking more in line of something you have to do physical work just to make the next part easier. Okay, here's the hard part... when you go, dress down like jeans, t-shirt, tennis shoes; hair back in a no fuss state (ponytail, etc.); and no make-up on. Seriously. Just with what God gave you and no more. The goal of this will be to focus on the work and not how good you look to the other people there. It will take some practice, but it will be freeing and rewarding at the same time.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyJee View Post
Thanks Porthardygurl... (And hello, fellow BC'er)!

Yes, I'm trying to resolve what's going on with me. I feel like part of my drive is exactly what's been helping me get closer to goal.

But this drive is also turning into something else... Maybe it's because I've never quite looked like this before? If this weight-loss is possible, then maybe I can improve ALL aspects of myself...and that's where it's been going.

I've always been conscious of my beauty rituals, so please don't think that all this behaviour just sprang out one day, lol. I've always tried to take pride in my appearance (hair, make-up, etc), but because my look has changed so drastically in the past 6 months, I think something else has happened mentally, and I'm trying to make EVERYTHING better... Since my body can improve this much, well, maybe my skin can look younger, maybe my hair can look sexier, and so on...
You will drive yourself absolutely crazy trying to live up to societal beauty ideals. As we get older this is even more of a losing battle as somehow youth is equated to beauty.

Couple this with the fact that most of the images we see in magazines and media are altered HEAVILY and don't show an accurate depiction of the women in them. Thread on this very issue

With all that said, I believe we all struggle with body image problems especially as we change over the years. Even to this day there is part of me that feels the same as I did as an overweight, unattractive, awkward teenager. I never feel like I'm living up to my own internal beauty standards. We all could use some perspective.

Changing perspectives and standards that we have lived with for so long is rough. But I do hope and pray you recognize your true beauty that was always there, that you can stop to celebrate your successes, and that physical perfection isn't going to grant you the peace and happiness you crave even if you could achieve it.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:43 AM   #9
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Wow Renwomin... Your post was sort of amazing.

I know you are right... I feel like I am completely at the mercy of society's beauty ideals. And for some reason, instead of resenting it, I actually accept it and try to live up to it. Madness.

I am at odds... I am a woman, and I love feeling attractive, feminine, thin and fashionable. I need to find a balance that accepts me for where I am now instead of never appreciating where I am because I'm always trying to be even better...

I want to enjoy this process. I want to enjoy the successes, and I need to work on why I can't.
I'm just...so afraid of becoming complacent. I'm so close to what I have always wanted. I have nightmares sometimes that I'm back to where I began.

But will achieving my goal finally let me be at peace?

I truly hope so.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:56 PM   #10
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Wow, you already do volunteer a lot, which makes me realize that you're an amazing, rare type of a woman. What about writing down all of your amazing qualities on a sheet of paper...those that don't have anything to do with physical beauty. Just make the list as long as possible. Then, make a list of people that you admire and what you admire them for. You are so much more than your physical appearance! Yes, it's great to be attractive, but that is something we don't have a whole lot of control over....and even if we are attractive, over time that can fade and if we have no other self worth to ground us, it can be a very painful existence. I know it's going to sound cheesy, but I really like affirmations. Check out Louise Hay. She has daily affirmations. You basically repeat them to yourself over and over and eventually, you start to believe them. She is gaining a huge following on Facebook, btw.
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First goal: under 180: 6/2/15
Second goal: 175 or below: 6/9/15
Third goal: 168 (no longer overweight):
Fourth goal: 161 (what I weighed before I fell off):
Fifth goal: below 160:
Final goal: 145-155:
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