For most of my life I’ve labeled myself a perfectionist as if it was a badge of honor. I think I even used it as an answer in job interviews when asked about my strengths.
“Oh, I’m a perfectionist!”
Thinking about it now makes me reflect on how naive I was at the time. I was constantly striving, pleasing others, and trying to prove that I was worthwhile. Now I know that perfectionism is a myth and is really just an excuse we use to procrastinate doing things we know we should, putting our work out in the world, and being seen as our authentic selves.
I still have to be constantly vigilant or some of those perfectionism tendencies pop up for me. I accomplish more, make more progress, and get more done when I fall short of perfect and let my efforts be “good enough.” One area this has become super evident in my life is FOOD! I have a long history with dieting. I’ve finally figured out what works for me, but it took me years of trying to be perfect on whatever diet I was on to realize that perfect was never going to work for me.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the routine. You eat on plan—until you don’t. Then you feel like you’ve already messed up, so you might as well eat everything in sight and start again tomorrow. Well – that gets you nowhere fast!
I’ve been following a clean eating lifestyle for almost two years and it’s been life changing. One of the keys to my success has been following the 80/20 Rule.
What is the 80/20 Rule?
80% of the time I focus on eating whole, clean foods that are minimally processed and as close to their natural state as possible. The other 20% of the time, I leave myself some wiggle room to add in some of my favorites. This rule has created a complete mindset shift for me. I no longer feel that sting of guilt anytime I eat something “off plan” because I have that 20% margin built in. It’s magical! In case you’re curious, here are some ways I splurge on my 20%:
- Fiber One Chocolate Chewy Bars
- Trail Mix
- Chips & Salsa
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- Gummy Raspberries
- Beef Jerky
- Chinese Takeout
- and the list goes on. . . .
How’s that for imperfection and authenticity?
How to get started
My number one tip when people are wanting to change their eating patterns and switch over to a clean eating lifestyle is to start focusing on adding things into their diet instead of taking things out. One easy way to start is to add a fruit or vegetable to every meal or snack.
Slowly transition your foods until you fall within the range of 80% clean and 20% wiggle room.
I love the 80/20 Rule because it’s not a diet you are off or on, it’s simply a gauge you use to keep your eating in line with your healthy lifestyle goals. It keeps you leaning toward the healthy side, which will benefit you over time. And it doesn’t require cutting out entire food groups, counting calories, or ignoring cravings.
No matter what, remember that perfectionism and trying to do anything all-or-nothing is very hard to keep up with long term. Instead, focus on making small changes that you can stick with. Your body, your health, and mindset will all thank you for it!
Join the Conversation and enter to win!
Now for the fun part—Fiber One is giving away $100 to one of my readers! To enter, tell me your thoughts about the 80/20 Rule in the comment section below. Do you think it would help your mindset around food? Also, take some time to visit Fiber One on social media and see all the awesome new varieties they have available. Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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This sweepstakes runs from 10/12/15 – 10/31/15.
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