No, you don’t have to do everything perfectly. I’ve spent much of my life thinking about what’s the “best” way to eat and what’s the “best” way to workout. I’ve agonized over these questions over and over again. At some point I realized that you do have to just go with the flow and do what feels right in the moment. If you’re able to stick to a certain workout schedule and way of eating, then stick to it, but if you’re unable, learn accept and adapt when you can’t.
It is incredibly detrimental to create all of this agony over something that is supposed to give you joy, especially when it comes to eating and exercising. Those are two things in life that I believe should be giving you joy because they directly benefit you and your body specifically. If you agonize over not doing it exactly the same way each and every day, then that’s no way to be happy.
Don’t waste time striving for perfection
There is no perfect way to exercise and there is no perfect way to eat. The only way to “optimize” a workout or eating habit is to be willing to embrace change. You’re never going to achieve perfection because the goal posts are constantly changing based on the attainment of new information and research. One day the most optimum way of doing cardio will be running, but the next day it might be cycling depending on our goals. We have to be willing to embrace change. We are unwilling to change what we’ve been doing because we believe that the only reason we’ve gotten the results we’ve had thus far was because of our consistent behavior. We believe that doing something different will result in us losing everything that we’ve gained.
Let me be one of the first people to tell you that that is absolutely false and the things that you do depend more so on whether or not you are mentally happy exhibiting the behavior. Every decision you make should be based on whether or not you feel good about the choice you’re making. You are not going to be able to keep up consistently with anything if you have to push yourself to do it through a bad mood. Boredom, similarity, and obligation will cause you to not feel as positive about the things that you are eating and the way in which you are working out.
At that point you have to embrace the change and try something new so your negative feelings don’t become associated with eating healthily and exercising in general.
Don’t be afraid of change
If consistency works for you, then it works for you. But if it doesn’t, don’t feel like a failure if you can’t stick to the same thing day in and day out. In fact, I used to agonize over things like what time I went to bed and what time I woke up because I wanted to wake up in enough time to feel good enough to workout and to make breakfast after that workout. However, each and every day is different and my obligations are ever changing. I can’t control everything that happens in my life, so the few things I do that give me joy should be done only on the basis that they ARE giving me joy. If it hurts me or becomes troublesome to stick with my same workout schedule, then I shouldn’t worry about adapting to change.
Let go of “All or Nothing” thought patterns
Don’t feel bad when you can’t stick to a schedule or plan. You need to let go of that all or nothing way of thinking. What matters is how good you feel. If you don’t feel “good” eating what you’re eating, it’s time to change. If you don’t feel like “working out” then it’s time to change things up. Ask yourself “what you want to eat” and “what you want to do” when you get into these types of ruts. Don’t force yourself to do anything. There are ways to make healthy decisions without forcing yourself to make the same exact choices each and every day. The way to do that is to expose yourself to different things and try different things every now and then. That way you know that you have options when something or a behavior becomes a little stale for you.
It is OK to not do the same thing every single day and not eat the same thing every single day. It’s actually impossible to do so. Change, variety, and diversity are truly the spice of life. It’s the excitement created by doing something different that truly creates the feeling of happiness. Do what you want to do and go with the flow. If it works, it works, but if it doesn’t that’s OK. Just remember to ADAPT.