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On today’s podcast episode, I’m getting personal with a heart to heart talk about the dangers of perfectionism and why focusing on “doing all the things” will sabotage your real food and healthy lifestyle and steal your joy in the process.
Listen To The Podcast
Show NotesResources Mentioned In Today's Episode
- Podcast Episode: What Real Food Is and What Real Food Is Not
- Podcast Episode: Hormone Health 101 with Dena from Back to the Book Nutrition
- Podcast Episode: Navigating Non-Toxic Skincare Products and Marketing Labels, Aging Skincare, and Natural Hair Care
I’ve watched over the past year how perfectionism has crept its way into the real food and wellness movement. I’ve watched people nitpick over things on Instagram with comments like, “You shouldn’t use that!” or “I can’t believe you do this…” I’ve watched this trend play out with what and how people share posts on Instagram, too.
It’s become all too much. So much so that people are stressed out and sabotaging the health benefits of this lifestyle, not to mention in the process destroying relationships and trying to live up to a standard that’s impossible.
- A turn off from this lifestyle (or any lifestyle choice).
- Will keep you from actually making changes and moving forward.
- Brings on unneeded stress.
- Makes this lifestyle feel judgmental and elitist.
We need to view our life as a marathon; not a sprint. And this lifestyle as a journey.
When I first learned about real food I didn’t know about local food, pastured meat, fermented food, or what the heck organic even meant. I didn’t know the difference between the brown eggs and white eggs in the store (spoiler: just different chicken breeds).
And you know what?
That’s a beautiful thing!
Because it proves that we don’t have to know it all to make choices that build a long-term lifestyle. We don’t have to know it all to begin to change. We simply need the desire to do better. To learn. To take small actions toward a different way of living and eating.
I’m 10 years in now. It’s been 10 years since we learned about this thing called real food. It’s been 10 years and I’m just now learning about things like gut health and microbiome and holistic skincare (aside from just product). And I still have so much to learn…
I have no idea what my son will use for deodorant in a few years, or how to get my husband to switch from Suave to a non-toxic product. I also don’t know much about EMFs (I know enough to know about them) and I still use plastic for certain things. I also make choices today, like my lash extensions, that aren’t the most natural option.
So why do I bring this up and talk about this today?
To encourage you!
You don’t need to do it all or know it all or learn it all, or make all the changes you want to make right now. There is no perfection; don’t let Instagram or anyone else fool you into thinking so or make you think that they have “it all together.” <—including myself!
Perfection will sabotage your lifestyle and joy, and may hurt relationships in the process. Perfection will also make you think that if you can’t do it all, you’re failing or you can’t do anything at all. Do the best you can right now. Take small steps at a time—make a salad dressing instead of buying the same bottle you’ve turned to for years and celebrate that small step! Enjoy the process.
Step by step you’ll learn more and you can take action on what you’re learning. Just now, right now, and throughout your journey, know that you don’t have to know it all or do it all to make changes or live a healthy lifestyle.
Looking back over the past 10 years, I see the ripple effect of small choices. I also see how I’ve grown as a mom and woman. I see how our family has grown in the decisions we’ve made, and are currently making, and what our lifestyle looks like. I also see our outings for pizza (to the place that doesn’t serve organic or “real food”) and ice cream, and the joy that we’ve experienced together by letting go of some kind of perfectionism.
It’s important to have values and to be passionate about things, and as you can tell I’m passionate about real food and getting back to eating traditionally, farmer’s market and supporting local food, and also non-toxic skincare and using safe ingredients to clean my home. I’m also passionate about getting plenty of rest at night and other choices that fit into a wellness lifestyle. It’s so good to have values and passion. But it’s important to not let those values and passion become a standard of perfection–to suck the joy out of living–to the point that we become legalistic and rigid.
Today’s episode is just a reminder: This lifestyle is not about perfection. It’s also an encouragement: You don’t have to do it all or know it all. And it’s also a warning: Be careful not to let perfectionism creep in to your lifestyle; it’s all too easy to let this happen. I continually need to remind myself of this.
Perfectionism, friend, is overrated.