Inadequate

That word right there in the title sums up how I have been feeling lately, both with regards to self and with regards to food.

  • I feel inadequate as a weight-loss blogger: having gained far too often over the last few months and failing to make any real progress in what seems like forever.  Not to mention the sudden mountain that going to the gym has become.
  • I feel inadequate as a parent: too impatient, too many shortcuts, too much tv, not enough time for little goat.
  • I feel inadequate as an competent adult: my house should be clean what?  Bills? What what? ugh.

And food feels inadequate:

  • Why is there not more food?
  • What can I eat a LOT of?
  • My salad isn’t a burger and fries no matter how hard I pretend.
  • Why doesn’t the food stop my feelings of inadequacy?

I feel it deeply in my heart of hearts that I am just not enough to be what I would like to be.  Of course as an oldest child and general overachiever, if I am honest with myself, what I really want to be is perfect.  It is in my strive to be the perfect weight loss blogger that I convince myself that I am not enough.  It is my desire to be the perfect mother, spouse, employee, adult that makes me hyper-aware of all the places that I am not perfect.

When I am honest with myself this is, and will always be, my most critical flaw.  In the face of failing to reach perfection I will retreat, I despair, I give up, I cry.  When I am not perfect I look to food.

Rationally I know that perfection is impossible, but I have always been one to work for it.  I wanted A’s in school.  A-’s were barely tolerated.  B+’s brought tears.  I wanted to be good at sports, and quit the moment I couldn’t cut it any more.  I wanted to be first chair trumpet, and a soloist, and the leader of the group.  And now, I want different things but the pressure I put on myself is the same.

I need to give up the all or nothing thinking.  It is not a failure to not achieve perfection.  The only true failure is giving up entirely.  There has got to be a way to continue to reach, improve and grow while avoiding the fallacy of perfection.  It feels like a fine line.

I am not perfect.  I am often inadequate, but I am also adequate, and also pretty darn awesome sometimes.  I need to remember that.   I need to learn, deep down in my heart of hearts, that I am enough to be who I am, and who I am is enough for the world.

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Comments

  1. I don’t often comment, but I love how honest your post is–I’ve definitely felt that before. Just remember, NO ONE is perfect…and imperfection is actually what makes life what it is :)

  2. Aw, Liz. I, too, struggle with that all-or-nothing thinking. I doubt your family expects perfection. YOU are enough.

  3. Liz~We as women have this “need to be perfect” imperfection~Relax, take what life throws at you with a grain of salt~I’m quite a bit older than you and had the same attitude of “need to be perfect” and all it got me was the Bitch of the Year award~Slow down, love yourself, love Mr. Goat & little Goat, and let nothing else matter~Everything takes care of itself and it will get done no matter if you are “perfect” or not~

  4. I am realizing this year that this post-holiday time leaves me feeling very inadequate every year. December always distracts me with so much to do and so much out of the ordinary fun. And it wears me out. I don’t know for sure why, but the beginning of Jan. has me feeling like I’m at the bottom of a tall mountain.

  5. Liz,
    Your blog is such an inspiration to me. Like you, I am the oldest child. I have always felt that I’m the one that my three younger siblings look to for things, and I’ve always felt the need to be perfect as an example for them. As a wife, teacher, student, sister, and daughter, I’ve always sought perfection and it drives me crazy when things are not as they should be. I think sometimes we have to learn to just sit back, take a deep breath, and let things go. We need to consider that this is life, and in life…not everything is perfect :) But it sure is pretty great most of the time!

  6. This post is so relatable for me.

    Keep fighting and don’t give up. As a first born myself, I totally get the need to be perfect.

  7. You are an amazing and inspiring weightloss blogger. You are an amazing person and you will find the route you are supposed to be on!

  8. Personally, I have learned through my own journey that not only is perfection not realistic in most matters it really isn’t something we should strive for. Because then what? We become ‘perfect’ and stop trying? No, in the real world we set goals, create plans to achieve them, meet them and then set new goals. We should always be growing. Always looking for ways to improve. That all or nothing mindset was the reason I was unsuccessful every other time I tried to lose weight. It is so hard not to be overly critical on ourselves, we are always our own worst enemy, but I believe if we spend as much time as possible focusing on making positive changes (no matter how small they may seem) we can become a better, kinder person to ourselves and others.

  9. Liz- I swear you and I are so the same person-we have discussed many times on twitter! This is what sent me to talk to someone about my eating. If I wasnt doing it perfectly and always loosing a I gave up…I always wanted perfection in all things and when did didn’t happen I freak out. This can be in weight loss, as a mom, or as a wife. It has taken me a long time to try and work thorugh this. That is why I took a year off from counting points just to get my head on straight to know its not about perfection it is about doing the best I can in every moment and being aware. It is so much harder than it sounds and I am not always good at it either. Hang in there and know that you have lots of love and support and you are Perfect-Perfectly imperfect!

  10. This has been the hardest lesson for me to learn or continually remember. In my quest for perfection I just wouldn’t try if I thought I couldn’t be perfect. I’m finding that I’ve missed out A LOT in life and that by not trying I was failing in my own way. Now I try, sometimes I even have to try not to try being perfect. ;-)

    There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.
    -Francis Bacon

  11. I feel this too as a dude.

    Are you getting enough support?

    Which “win” are you the most frustrated being out of your reach?

    And please tell me you allow yourself a burger at times.

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