I’ve been thinking about this idea of perfection lately. Seems like when I scan the social media world everyone’s lives look so perfect. Everyone looks gorgeous. Everyone is having amazing career success, creating the most amazing food, celebrating life in the most profound way, and taking the coolest vacations. Seems like from this point everyone looks perfect. The intelligent part of my brain understands that social media is just a highlight of what the rest of life is like. Even for me! But still, it seems perfect. Then I looked at my own feed. Am I portraying a perfect life to my friends, family, and followers? When someone asks me how I’m doing, am I sharing my truth in that moment?
I want to take a moment to share that I’m not perfect. I struggle. Do you want to know what my imperfections might be? Well, for one, I don’t always cook the most delicious food. What’s seen on here or on my Instagram feed are the things that worked. I’ve gotten it wrong a lot! To top it off, I get frustrated when I get it wrong. Like, “Ahhhh, why can’t I get this!?’ Then, I get stressed when the kids get upset because dinner doesn’t taste good. It takes every breathing technique I know to keep my cool. That’s IF I keep my cool.
I don’t eat whole real food all the time 100% of my life. As much as I would love to say that I only eat what’s grown in my backyard garden, I don’t even have a garden. I’ve spent years, YES YEARS, slowly finding swaps for things, learning to cook with more real food, and tuning into my body. But I still buy that cereal my kids and husband like, the kids still eat crackers, and I indulge in cookies from the checkout aisle more frequently than I post. Temptation gets less the more I change, but that doesn’t mean I’m not human. I strive to live an 80/20 type of life. I realize that life is too short to be perfect at anything. Messy is sometimes more fun.
I get insecure about my body and wonder if I could be doing more – I just don’t dwell in it. I owe this to my little girls and my husband. They motivate me to have more body positivity. I want nothing less for them. If mommy feels strong and beautiful, so will they. I also think age makes me wiser. This is me, and who I am is enough. That being said, I have days where I feel like nothing fits or looks right and I should probably just go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Can you relate?
I get sad, angry and frustrated that I have things going on inside my body that are completely out of my control. Like the fact that I have PKD, that my knees on some days just don’t want to work for me and I should probably go get them checked out, that I have a minor heart condition, that years of the California sun have resulted in regular visits to the dermatologist so she can remove spots from all over my body, and that despite as much as I stretch on a daily basis my hips are always tight. Okay, so maybe some of these things are in my control, a little. But sometimes they still trigger my sad, angry, frustrated genes.
I constantly wonder and worry if I’m doing right by my kids. There is nothing more important than my children. All I want for them is to be happy, secure, independent, strong, self-motivated, healthy human beings. On those tough days I worry if I’ve totally damaged my kids, on the easy days I bask in my glory as a wonderful mom. And I can get caught in the absolute roller-coaster cycle of emotions it leaves me in.
Why do I share all of this with you? Because I want you to know that you aren’t alone. That even someone like me; a fit mom, a nutrition coach, a fitness instructor, a person who shares tips on how to stay healthy and well struggles. It’s because of those struggles that I am where I am today. Learning more about food led me to become a nutrition coach; needing a workout that wouldn’t obliterate my body led me to Piyo and becoming a fitness instructor; getting sad, frustrated, and anxious at times led me to meditation and healing foods that I can share with others; all those mistakes in the kitchen lead me to simplifying meals that I can share; and feeling insecure and learning not to dwell in it helps me relate to my clients and other moms needing support.
Our imperfections give us strength. Our struggles can give us purpose. Perfect isn’t a goal. The goal should be to enjoy the journey. If the journey is tough, we should learn to experience it in all its emotions so that we can learn, grow, and then share it on the other side. This goes the same for losing weight, exercising, or becoming a healthier version of ourselves. The path is never straight up or straight down. It’s a curve that twists and turns and we need to be ready for the ride.
As difficult as it might be in the world for which we live these days we can’t compare ourselves to those around us. We can simply look inside ourselves and ask, “What’s my best in this moment?” When I have a major kitchen catastrophe or I’m feeling insecure I ask myself, “Okay, Christina, what’s my best in this moment?” Not, “how can I fix this imperfection?” But, “Right now, in this moment, what can I choose?” Sometimes, if it’s because I overreacted, which happens, I’m Italian, it might be an apology. If it’s me feeling insecure, it might be me re-framing my mind to focus on the things I do like about myself. It’s not always easy to remind myself of these things, and because I am imperfect, I do slip, but again, it’s the journey.
So, in conclusion, if you’re imperfect, celebrate it! Let those struggles guide you down a path the perhaps will lead you to a purpose, and then another, and then another. Let them give you strength. Here’s to being perfectly imperfect and loving ourselves as we are so that we can continue down our journeys with grace and joy.