Many of you come to me and describe feeling out of control with your eating. When asked what you mean by out of control, answers consist of anything from an ‘unplanned’ piece of cake amidst an otherwise healthy day of eating, to a gruelling pattern of rigid restriction sometimes followed by bingeing and vomiting. No matter the definition, any deviation from the perfect diet is experienced as a complete failure.
This idea that your diet is good or bad, perfect or terrible, is not limited to your food intake, but spills over in waves into other spheres of life. Whether it is work performance, body shape, or expectations in love, the idea that anything other than perfection will do seems to have permeated many a modern woman’s psyche.
The thing is, the word ‘perfect’ derives from a word meaning, ‘done, finished, or complete’. Consider the following modern definitions:
– excellent or complete beyond practical theoretical improvement;
– entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings;
– accurate, exact, or correct in every detail
Complete? Beyond improvement? Without any flaws? Whose life is like this? Whose body is like this?
Who, in the world, is PERFECT?
Fashion and media have endeavoured to ‘Photoshop’ our collective consciousness into believing that such a person, body and life exists. But I challenge anybody to show me such a person or life – it simply does not exist.
Real life is ever changing and unpredictable. Human beings are full of love and joy, but each one of us has our shortcomings. Nobody is without flaws. The body is made of flesh and blood. It will grow old and it will get sick. It will bleed, it will scar, and eventually, it will die.
In short, a person can never be finished or complete. A perfect person is, in short, IMPOSSIBLE. Little wonder, then, that you feel so out of control with food and with life? If you constantly strive towards achieving the impossible, is there really any other way you could feel?