Perfection is NOT the Goal

“I just ate a cookie, I’ve TOTALLY blown it!”

“Either I’m completely on my diet or I’m completely off my diet.”

These statements are examples of All-or-Nothing Thinking. In All-or-Nothing Thinking everything is considered good or bad, black or white. There are no shades of grey or middle ground. This type of thinking will undermine your weight loss efforts by leading you to give up when you stray from your plan.

So what’s the alternative? Try the 80/20 Approach I just recently read about. In the 80/20 Approach you “strive to make healthy choices 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time allows for intentional treats and missed exercise bouts and makes provisions for unintended splurges.”*

Remember, perfection is NOT the goal: It’s ultimately about good health. And, if you are trying to lose weight, it’s about healthy weight loss.

 So what kind of mind set do you need to make the 80/20 Approach work?

  1. Let go of the idea that perfection is necessary or even possible
  2. Give yourself permission to indulge once in a while
  3. Get back to making healthy choices as soon as possible so the 80/20 Approach doesn’t become the 20/80 Approach!
  4. Stubbornly refuse to indulge in the type of negative self-talk that leads to feelings of guilt.



Lonnie Carbaugh

Lonnie Carbaugh, LPC, NCC,  is a Behavioral Health Counselor at Full Plate Living who has shed and kept off 25 pounds since working for Full Plate Living. He is as dedicated about walking 5 miles a day as he is about his favorite sport, baseball.

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