Small Changes Add Up

Oh hey.

It’s been a minute…. oooor a month. I didn’t mean for that to happen. I had huge plans to write a ton while we were on vacation in Mexico last month but… we were on vacation in Mexico! So, Tequila happened. And so did laying by the pool for hours on end. It was amazing and I’m planning on writing a whole post about it.

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I have started to write a few times since then but every time I start to write it seems like the words evaporate. I haven’t even posted much on Instagram lately, and I was addicted to Instagram! Aside from being stupid busy trying to run several businesses, be a mom and wife, and still have time to eat/sleep/find clean clothes to wear… or time to wash my hair…. I have been struggling to find my voice here.

Really ever since I posted about how I was struggling to find myself I have continued to struggle with investing time and energy into public platform I created for myself. I have continued to feel out of place in the blogging community. I didn’t want this to turn into a career. I don’t care about ads or page views or followers. I didn’t want to have all the answers, be an expert, or pedal a quick fix. I just wanted a place to share my journey in hopes that it helps someone would be inspired by it.

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Here’s the thing… along the way I have changed. My mindset has changed. I’m at a different place in life. I feel like I have more to offer on this space than just “Here’s what I ate” or “Here’s what workouts I did” – Does that mean I’ll never talk about food and workouts ever again? Absolutely not. But I don’t want to be just another former fat girl with a blog about what I eat. I want to challenge people to question what they believe and why they believe it… to inspire people to reach for their goals regardless of how impossible they may seem… to discuss different schools of thought on nutrition and exercise… to get you to ask yourself the hard questions about where you are in life and where you want to go. I’m still working on finding my way in many of these areas, so we can explore together. I’m just so tired of the rambling about how clean I eat or how much I workout or whatever in the health and fitness world. Over the last few years i’ve watched people struggle to lose weight, trying to find happiness through achieve some arbitrary weight goal. Or worse see that person yo-yo diet, develop disordered eating patterns, over train and end up worse than they started because they were chasing perfection.

It doesn't have to be all our nothing. Start small, it will pay off! #wycwyc #neversettle

A post shared by Courtney Norman (@imperfectlycourtney) on

I’m not interested in perfection. The saying that Perfect is the Enemy of Good is all too true in health and fitness lately. Like if we can’t live on a diet of chicken and green beans forever we might as well eat whatever we want anyway. It is that kind of mindset that keeps people stuck. Thinking you have to make all these changes at once and then getting overwhelmed. It seems as though that is the new normal. It shouldn’t be! Making one or two smarter, healthier choices is going to get you further than doing nothing because you can’t do everything.

It’s all about doing What You Can, When You Can. Small changes add up over time to big results.

So don’t give up today… or this weekend… just make a small change. You are worth it.

 

Speaking Out Against Perfection

I used to love little quotes that said “good is the enemy of great” or something to that effect. I have always thought if you are going to do something you might as well do it all the way. I’ve never been good with grey… it’s either black or white. It’s right or it’s wrong. It’s all or nothing. And while that could seem like an admirable trait to some, it can actually cause more harm than good.

This is how almost all my attempts at a “diet” have been, going all the way back to those pre-prom dress shopping days in high school. I would start off all motivated and excited and then I’d get to lunch and have a fry… or all the fries. Then I would figure since I already messed up I should have ice cream. and the snowball continued. This trend was pretty standard for me. I’d start something new… Weight Watchers, HCG, Low-Carb, Paleo… and then I would slip up and that one little slip up turned into the rest of the day… the rest of the day would turn into the week and so it continued. When I started my Health Journey just after having my daughter in 2010 things changed a bit. I had a deeper source of motivation and will power. I would stay “strict” for a lot longer and felt good and saw results. A more strict plan is what I needed at that time. As I dove further into the world of health and fitness I became so overwhelmed. There is so much information, often information that contradicts each other. Eat this, no don’t eat it. Coffee Causes cancer, oh no it helps you live longer. There is an information overload which often leads to panic and inability to act on anything. I did my best, but felt so confused half the time. Living my journey for the online world to see made me feel pressure to be “perfect” and have it all figured out. What I forgot was I started this blog because I wanted to show other women that you don’t have to have it all together… that you can be a real person and not perfect and still make progress.

As I continued on whatever plan I was currently following I would still have “slip ups” but instead of just saying forget it and continuing the binge I found myself in what I would consider an even more dangerous place… guilt. I had a hard time enjoying favorite foods and family gatherings. Occasionally I would have the “Screw it” mindset and go off track. But guilt still showed up in full force when I would try to to get on track.

So I went from one end of the spectrum to the other but I still struggled to find balance. I believe in moderation I just had a hard time actually putting it into practice. I was so focused on being perfect that I didn’t allow myself to be ok just doing my best in that moment. Simply put, in real life there is no way to be perfect all the time. So expecting that out of myself set me up for some major problems. I was basically inviting guilt and shame to live with me. While I never thought I had a specific eating disorder I do believe I had Disordered Eating Habits. I obsessively weighed and measured my food, I only ate the same “safe foods” over and over again, I weighed myself not just daily – but multiple times a day, and there was a long list of good and bad foods. The more I stressed about being perfect with my nutrition the less results I saw. I was stressed and felt like I couldn’t realistically live like this.

I began to feel alienated and alone in my struggles. Everyone else seemed to have it all figured out. Then I came across the hashtag #wycwyc (What you can, when you can) This explained what I longed for my entire nutrition philosophy to be like. I wanted the freedom it gave me the permission to have. Being in the health and fitness industry not just with my blog, but with owning a gym, I feel huge amounts of pressure to be perfect. The reality is life isn’t perfect. Life is made up of a bunch of moments, both perfect and far from it, and all we can do is what we can, when we can.

If that means a few more nights out to eat because it’s busy season with your business, then so be it. It means skipping the rolls so I can have dessert. It means enjoy life’s perfectly imperfect moments and being ok with it all. Because I can’t control it. I can do my best. And sometimes that may mean measuring food and skipping treats depending on my goals at the moment. It could also mean having a pumpkin pie blizzard just because. It doesn’t mean I get a free hall pass to do whatever I want, whenever I want. It means I’m doing the very best I can do in this exact moment. That may be better than I was yesterday, or not as good as I was yesterday. But it is being content with making the best decision for my physical, mental, and emotional health in that second.

perfection

So, maybe you are like me… a former, or current, perfectionist… If so, stop. Take a minute and breathe. If you are looking for permission to NOT be perfect, here it is. Know that weather you eat a salad or a burger doesn’t make you a better or worse person. Your food choices don’t make up who you are. Enjoy life and it’s little moments, especially when those moments include the occasional donut. Do your best, even if it isn’t what you think is perfect. Your job is to be your best. To be excellent. To be you. Not to be some social media filtered version of perfection.

Have you ever struggled like this? Remind me I’m not alone!
What Does #wycwyc look like for you?