Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mistakes in PEN

I am not good at slack. Cutting slack that is. Not for my kids, my husband, my students, my family and certainly not myself. I have extreme expectations and if they are not met, well you better prepare for the storm of bitchiness that will rain upon you.

My highschool kid has a 3.5 GPA that has earned him a great scholarship. I have to BITE MY TONGUE to not ask why A's and B's are in even amounts...why not a few extra A's? My college kid got a C in Economics last semester and that irks me to no end, even though, I also got a C in Economics in college and apparently that did not bar me from all future success.

About 5 years ago I did WeightWatchers fairly successfully, I lost 45 pounds in 5 months, and my exercise of choice was jogging. My body responds extremely well to running, and I was doing fantastic. Except I got plantar fasciitis and I couldn't run for awhile, and instead of doing the obvious and recognizing that my weight loss would slow down while recovering, I refused to cut myself any slack, and opted for the next best solution...gaining all that weight back, and 25 extra pounds just to show my committment to the cause.

Jump to yesterday. I got up and before I left for work I did the Couch to 5K workout for week 5, day 3. Warmup 1/4 mile, jog 2 miles no stopping. I did it. I felt great. I went to work, taught my classes, then met Mr. P at the gym where I did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine and my weights. All good.

This morning, I get up to go do my same Couch to 5K as yesterday, and after about a half a mile I could feel in my knees and my hip that it just wasn't going to happen today, so after jogging for 1.5 miles I walked the rest of the way home. I only did a 2 mile workout, and when I was getting ready for work I felt like such a failure. Then I started really thinking. Maybe I should cut myself just a little bit of SLACK. Dude, that was a 1.5 mile jog when that wasn't even on the radar just a week ago. It was a two mile workout that burned 399 calories in 30 minutes. TWO MILES. Why can't that be good enough?

If I can't do something PERFECT, then I don't do it at all. If I don't have time to clean my house that includes every baseboard, every floor, every cabinet, then I don't even bother with any of it. If I have a paper that won't work at the very best journal, I scrap it. If I do a Sudoko in pen and mess it up, I TEAR IT OUT OF MY BOOK AND THROW IT AWAY.

I need to figure out how to cut myself some slack and occassionally, even allow a mistake in PEN.

How about you? What are your perfectionist tendencies and how do they bite you in the ass?


creative kerfuffle said...

i do sudoko and crossword puzzles in pen and then just right over the mistakes REALLY hard : )
i think for the most part i'm more slack than you.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

Oh, I definitely get this mentality. I've been struggling with my weight for the past couple years. And I keep telling myself if I can't lose my 20 pounds soon (immediate gratification is a must), then it's not worth it doing little by little. I've been stymied by this mental roadblock for a while. It's very frustrating. We have to learn to appreciate achieving the small goals, no matter how small they are.

Swistle said...

It is so weird you would mention this---I was just thinking yesterday about this kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to food if I eat something bad, the whole day is gone and I'm face first in a bucket of friend chicken. But on the other hand I know that mistakes happen and can be fixed. I failed a course in my first year of university (accounting). Now I have a law degree and work at one of the best and biggest law firms in Canada. Thanks for this post - I needed the reminder that one mistake doesn't ruin everything.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

I am the same way. All I have managed to eek out knowledge-wise is that some days are good and some days are bad. It is easier for me to be like that with exercise, but I am so like workhardeatwell when it comes to eating. Eating is my weak area for sure.

And HEY YOU RAN 2 MILES! HOLY CRAP! THAT IS AWESOME! FREAKING 1.5 MILES IS AWESOME! Have you ever seen how far that is laid out straight? It is a whole freakin' lot! Way to go!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can't really relate to this at all. If I had to be a perfectionist with diet and exercise, I would have thrown in the towel long ago!

I think you were smart to cut back when your knees and hips were hurting, because if you work through pain you can end up with an injury that will sideline you for weeks. I feel like weight training has taught me to listen to my body better, to know when I'm just being a wimp and I could add more weight, and when something "doesn't feel right" and I need to stop.

Anonymous said...

I thought I left a comment here already...ugh, anyway what I was saying was Warren and I were just talking about this very thing. I think NOT trying to be PERFECT has kept me going for the last nine months. I've taken days off here and there, and I've had some big food splurges here and there but I always go back to my healthier lifestyle. I feel better about myself and I think it has made it easier for me to continue...


Astarte said...

I have only recently started cutting myself any slack at all. I used to think, if I can't work out for at lesat a half hour, what's the point? LOSER. But, recently, I'm OK with whatever I can do, as long as it's something. I'll get there. Be kind to yourself. You're amazing.

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