Practicing Imperfection – Embrace The Grey

SummerBinge Eating, Body Image, Dieting, Disordered Eating, Self-Love2 Comments


I reunited with swimming this summer – something I haven’t done since I was a lifeguard back in high school (I know… just like Summer from Baywatch. I haven’t heard that one before!). Unlike every land activity (with the exception of eating), swimming is something I’m naturally good at and love.

I got into the groove of swimming a mile. One day I really wanted to hit the pool, but didn’t have enough time to swim a mile so thought, ‘Why bother going at all if I can’t do it exactly as my neurotic-mind had defined as the right way??? I might as well stay here and look at pug memes.’

I quickly smacked myself back to imperfection and swam for the short period of time that I had. I accepted that I did the best I could in that moment.

This happens to me often. I let the ‘all or nothing’ way of thinking that defined my relationship with food leak into every other area of my life.

Does this happen to you?

If you don’t love your body, then you must hate it.  

If you can’t walk for 30 minutes, then why even bother going outside.

If you still overeat and feel regret, then you’re a failure.

If you can’t journal ‘perfectly’, then you’re not doing it at all.

I object!! ~Elle Woods

The diet mentality – that all or nothing, black or white frame of mind – that has ruled your headspace can bleed over to other areas of your life.

Your desire for perfection clouds any chance of having peace of mind.

Even though you may have stopped labeling foods as “good” or “bad”, you may see other pieces of yourself through the same lens. You are continually stumped by The Three Principles of perfection: ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not doing this ‘right” and ‘why bother’.

Here is what I propose: Embrace the grey.

Get comfortable with the uncomfortable spot in the middle.

Instead of loving your body, be content with body ambivalence.  

Instead of feeling like a failure because you had a bad body day, be proud that you recognized those feelings instead of reacting by eating riced cauliflower.

Instead of being hard on yourself after overeating to the point of discomfort, respect inconsistency.

Instead of making self-improvement a big ‘thing’ that must be done exactly right, be content with spending a few minutes here and there.

All that matters is that you showed up and did what you could with the circumstances you had in that moment.

Sometimes simply getting out of bed is good enough.

Where can you be better at ‘living in the grey’? Tell me in the comments below! 





2 Comments on “Practicing Imperfection – Embrace The Grey”

  1. My struggles are no longer body issues all though I do maintain a consistent workout schedule. I work out because I always feel better after. It’s my zen time only with sweat. My lifelong issues revolve around my mental health. I suffer depression, anxiety, PTSD et al. In that there is no grey. My mind works on the black and white without fail. Because of abuses suffered as a child, I’ve never had a self esteem. I may project confidence but that is my shiny exterior. Something my psychiatrist says I excel at. I have an outstanding record of embarking on the worst possible relationships. I’m currently extracting myself from a potentially dangerous one now, not unlike a six year one with a man who I had jailed for violence. This one is only 9 months old but all the hallmarks of doom are live and in colour. Why the consistent poor choices? That’s what my doctor and I and my social worker are working on. I was an active alcoholic for 29 years, in recovery since Feb of 2007 ( Yay me!) I’ve experienced many suicide attempts, 2 very close to being fatal. The most recent attempt in October. Awful. I now choose life but a life I can enjoy. I am on a path to happiness. I am making me my priority. Once this bump is out of the way, my path will be restored. I don’t need a man in my life until I accept and love myself. I have my two grown children and friends who love me. And now I need to find the grey of self forgiveness.

    1. Thank you for sharing that Teri! You are so brave and leaving that relationship is truly an act of self-love. Sending you lots of strength and love!

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