The Perfection Myth

empowered eating

There are so many fabulous bloggers, nutritionists and dieticians out there today, proudly displaying their perfect plates full of fresh veggies and bright colours. Smoothie bowls that are works of art, perfect pancakes and seven layer paleo porridges. We see their radiant smiles; their fit figures their active lifestyles. Their life seems so perfect, so happy, we want to eat, live, and look like them. I love to inspire, I love that others inspire, but I do have a problem with portrayed perfection – or more accurately, the myth of perfection. I believe that for some of us, this perceived perfection can have the oppositive effect on our habits and I’ll tell you why. We’re creatures of comparison, constantly comparing ourselves with others and by doing so, we believe we’re not enough (because we may never look/eat/live like that). Filters are beautiful things; they can hide wrinkles, rub out bags under our eyes, make our smiles look whiter and brighter. We can even make ourselves look happy when we’re not. It’s like our own personal Photoshop at the palm of our hands. Some of these people are spending hours to get ready for that morning shot of them with their green smoothie looking fresh and ‘awake’. We’re comparing ourselves to something that is often false. And by doing so, we’re beating ourselves up for our less than perfect reflection in the mirror. We often believe our diets., lives and bodies are inadequate because we’re not meeting the so-called standards being portrayed by these lovely people. Let’s look at their diets to start. We’re assuming the way these people eat absolutely perfect 100% of the time because they are ‘health experts’ and that’s all you see on their Instagram and Facebook feeds. Maybe in some cases, they are, but in most cases, I’d say they’re not. One of the biggest lessons I learned was when I went to a nutritionist friend’s home and rather than a salad with grilled chicken we had pizza and beer. Or, when the anti-bread nutritious friend of mine and I met for breakfast over gluten free toast and eggs. Both experiences were liberating wake up calls. True ‘ah-ha’ moments when I realised that eating 100% clean is not perfection but living life to the fullest and happiest is. I realised that I beat myself up for a less than perfect plate simply because I made assumptions based on someone’s profession and social media accounts. Do I think they are wrong to only post the healthiest and prettiest shots? No, but we all need to realise that their lives are just like ours and that for most of them, their meals and lives are not always Instagram worthy. I encourage more bloggers and health experts to share your cooking disasters, your moderation and balance. Post your slip ups your defeats your ordinary looking meals. Share your struggles so we can learn from you and support you. Otherwise, we have this idea that our lives have to be perfect, they have to look like those Instagram and Facebook posts, and we beat ourselves up when they don’t. When we feel like we’ve failed, for many of us this means giving up altogether, even binging on the less than perfect food. Perhaps even needing more comfort food to soothe our disappointment in ourselves. Facebook and Instagram are snapshots of the highlights. We don’t see pictures of defeat, of sadness and tears, of that biscuit that was bought because there were no other options. What is perfection to me? It's progressing; it’s taking care of ourselves and realising there is nothing to forgive if you have a biscuit or your dinner is a disaster. That’s life. You’re doing the best you can with what you have, and that alone should be applauded by the world. We are all unique, we are all amazing in different ways, and health is so much more than a perfect plate, and you are so much more than the perfect body.

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