I’m kinda messy, I like coloring outside the lines and my grades in high school were abysmal.
I’ve often thought of myself as a rebel. A free spirit. Someone who doesn’t care what people think. And yet, there was that fantasy. That fantasy of “someday.”
I was gonna be the “perfect, free-as-a-bird rebel,” y’know? There was always this idea that once I’d logged enough hours in meditation or spent enough days fasting, I’d get…well…there.*
*Definition of “there”: Perpetually lean, maximally glowy, squeaky-clean-yogi-mind, with the wind always blowing through my hair in just the right way.
I was always holding out for it. Waiting. Ignoring who I was now for who I was supposedly going to be someday. Perfectionism was how I justified holding myself back: I could ignore all the scary things I was avoiding because my “someday-self” could deal with them.
Perfectionism kept me wandering in safe little circles. Instead of the straight-shot to my ideal that I imagined I was on, the reality was I was making myself dizzy fantasizing, perfecting my diet, falling off my diet, wallowing in shame and repeating the cycle.
Perfectionism felt like the highest I could reach for. No compromise. No regrets. No dying knowing I hadn’t lived up to my potential.
So I became the “perfect” raw foodist, the “perfect” vegan, and the “perfect” dieter. Despite the binging and emotional eating I struggled with, I lost weight with every diet. No matter how much the numbers on the scale went down though, it was never enough. I could never look myself in the eye with any amount of self-love if my belly still had fat on it.
Enter: the juice fast. This wasn’t some three-day “quick-fix” or even a 21-day commitment. I dove into a diet of nothing but juice for 90 days.
And while my hope was that this experience would catapult me into all-encompassing bliss, it actually ended up being the final straw in my obsession with perfection. Despite my intense routine of daily juicing, colonics, journaling, and meditation—-all with the intentions of finding my most authentic self underneath—I didn’t feel radically different when it ended. My ache to not need food (and therefore not binge or eat emotionally) went unfulfilled. Ever heard of a breatharian? Yeah, I had big dreams.
Here’s some of the clarity I’ve gained with a few years of perspective.