Are you a Perfectionist?

What is perfectionism and why am I the Ex-perfectionist?

Perfectionism to me is striving to be perfect.  It’s about keeping up with Jones’ and the Angelina Jolie-nses.  It’s not healthy.

My best example of perfectionism:  The house is cluttered – a huge mess.  I’m overwhelmed at the idea of cleaning.  I know if I want to do it perfectly, it will take forever.  So instead of cleaning, I don’t.  I get all depressed and anxious feeling.  It’s icky.

I’m the same way with food choices, exercise and a number of different areas in my life.  That’s why I am striving to be the Ex-Perfectionist.  That’s why I am learning to love myself as I am (Copied from my About section).

So do you struggle with perfectionism? If you answer yes to one or more of the following questions, you probably are a perfectionist or have perfectionist tendencies…1.) If someone comes to visit you on short notice, do you freak out because your house has a pile of folded laundry on the couch, stack of paper on the table and other stuff that needs to be put away?

2.)  Are you hard on yourself when you vow to not eat potato chips at a friends BBQ, but slip up and have a handful anyway?

3.) When you do slip up with food choices on occasion, do you panic and try to fit in an extra workout?

4.) Do you apologize to your friend who needs a ride when you have some excess junk mail in your car?

5.)  Do you cry or panic or stress eat when you get on the scale and notice it hasn’t budged after a month of hard work?

6.)  When your house is messy or there is work to be done, do you bound yourself to the house like a prisoner until it’s finished?

7.)  Do you spend extra time and money to decorate your house to keep up with the latest decor, even if you don’t have the time or resources to do so?

8.) Do you spend extra cash on clothes to stay in style, when there are other more important things to spend your money on?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, chances are you’re a perfectionist.  I’ll admit that these are all me.  😦  Sadly, but too true.

So what is the answer to breaking the cycle of perfectionism? I myself am still on this journey.  But I think there are a couple exercises we can all try to help us break this cycle.

First, invite a close, trusted friend over.  Wear sweats, don’t pick up the house (it can be clean, but for the love of God, try not to worry about the clutter), and share a slice of chocolate cake (or a goodie on your “no-no list).  I’ve come to realize that people who love us the most don’t care about the state of our house, our clothes or our indulgences.  The people who love us most want us to be healthy and happy.

Other ways to try and break the cycle is to allow yourself a sweet treat or a day to relax from exercising.  One slice of cake won’t make us gain a whole pound, and one day to relax, well it’s just that…relaxing!  I think we perfectionists stress out too much over minuscule things.  We need to take time to pamper ourselves and stop working so darn hard.

Now, I am not talking about letting ourselves go.  Exercise, nutrition, cleaning our house and being happy with our surroundings are all parts that add up to having a healthy life.  But there is balance people. BALANCE.  I myself am still trying to find it.

So are you a perfectionist? Take this poll, I’m curious

BTW, I’ll be posting my meal plan tomorrow, I am working at tweaking a few things!  Oh don’t forget to enter the Kardea Bar Giveaway!!!

Today’s Menu


Breakfast:   1 serv. oatmeal with 1 oz nuts, ½ c. berries, ½ c. milk and coffee with Stevia and milk

Snack:  1 serv. fruit, coffee with 1 serv. Silk and Stevia

Lunch:  BBQ Chicken Salad (1/2 chicken breast, 1 c. romaine, 1 c. spinach, , 2 tbsp. diced red onions, diced green pepper, 1 tbsp ranch, ½ tbsp bbq sauce) w/ two corn tortillas.

Snack:  ½ c. yogurt and 1 serv. fruit

Dinner: Cold Deli Sandwich (2 slices whole wheat bread,  3 oz turkey breast, 1 oz cheddar cheese, 4 slices tomatoes, 1 pickle, 1 slice of onion) with ½ c. green pepper slices and homemade corn chips (2 corn tortillas) and ¼ c. salsa.

–Shawnee, The Ex-Perfectionist

‘Cause life isn’t perfect, but with a little planning and preparation, you can almost come close!

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12 Responses to Are you a Perfectionist?

  1. I really liked this post!! I think I try to be a perfectionist in certain aspects of my life, but not in all of them! I’m searching for balance also!!

  2. Monique says:

    Ugggh… I answered yes to most of those haha. Glad to know there are other people out there 🙂 good luck girl!!!

  3. Great post! I have struggled with perfectionism my whole life. I always encourage others to accept themselves as they are, and yet at the same time I am super hard on myself. Thanks for the reminder that not sticking to the “plan” or not having a spotless home is just a part of life!

  4. I agree, balance is so important! I definitely have perfectionist tendencies but am working on loosening up a bit 🙂

  5. I think everyone tends to be perfectionists in some ways. I don’t think it’s unhealthy until this trait is being carried out on multiple aspects of life. Sometimes I think passion can lead to perfectionism, but if you start getting anxious and trying to make everything perfect, you simply can’t stay happy and it’s just not worth it!

  6. I am a total perfectionist in so many areas of my life, it can get to be really draining. I am working on relaxing and not worrying so much, easier said than done.

  7. Haleigh says:

    I enjoyed reading this post. I have always struggled with perfectionism in certain areas of my life. Especially school and my eating habits. I’ve been trying to let go of this for a very long time…. Although I have made huge progress, I still have a lot to work on in this area. Thanks for bringing up such a great discussion 🙂

  8. I think many (most?) women are perfectionists. I like to think I’m in constant recovery because I’m not nearly as determined to be “perfect” as I used to be, but I certainly still have perfection tendencies.

    As far as perfect eating… ever since I focused more on overall health and less on weight, I’ve found I am much more relaxed about eating, instead of being set on perfect eating 🙂

  9. Autum- Balance is a word that automatically produces calm in my anxious little world. Now if only I could figure it out.

    Monique- Yes there are others out there sister! You’re (we’re) not alone.

    Katie- It is just a part of life. It is hard to remember that sometimes, when things don’t go exactly as planned.

    Megan – When it comes to perfectionism, loose is a good thing! 😛

    Grace – It is the anxiety inducing perfectionism that I want to avoid.

    Runnerforever- it is draining. It’s frustrating to be a perfectionist with a running injury eh? My hip is finally healed and ready to go.

    Haleigh – I think over coming perfection is a life long battle. It’s all about balancing it. We were created to want to be perfect, it’s just that we’re striving for the wrong kind of perfect.

    Brittany – I am so excited to be at that point of focusing just on health. While my ulitimate goal is to be healthy, I do have some weight to lose. There is definitely a fine line when it comes to trying to lose weight. I want to be healthy and lose weight for the right reasons, but some times I forget those reasons and start doing it for the wrong ones. 🙂

    Glad ya’ll enjoyed this post.

  10. thehungryscholar says:

    I used to be a perfectionist and it kept me from being relaxed and happy. I had panic attacks often. It was mostly school related. It sort of changed when a teacher told me: “Sometimes “good” is good enough.” I find prioritizing helps, I don’t have to be a perfectionist at everything.

  11. Oi! I totally stress out about school. My last semester before graduating I had 9 classes. 😦 I was also working 25 hours a week and volunteering at the humane society and youth group. There were nights that I was totally lying on the couch shaking from anxiety and way too much coffee. I actually ruined my digestive system. I’ve never been the same since. So anyway, prioritizing is good. My journalism adviser told me nearly the same thing once, she said, sometimes you just have to submit your paper to the press. That was after I had been working on the layout for 5 hours.

  12. Prudence says:

    Didn’t know the forum rules allowed such brlinliat posts.

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