Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering you own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew.
-Saint Francis de Sales

From "Body for Life for Women" by Pamela Peeke, M.D.:

Some women have a huge problem with this principle because all their lives, they've tried to be perfect-the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect employer, the perfect friend. How about you? Will you try to be the perfect Body-for-Life success story, too? I sure hope not, because this program is not about achieving perfection. It's about achieving a mental and physical transformation. It's about optimizing your strengths, navigating around your vulnerabilities, and goin' for it.

"Progress, not perfection" means that if you work hard and keep your focus 80 percent of the time, you're doing great. The other 20 percent of the time, you get to be human-fallible. Are you in the grips of hormonal mayhem today? No worries. Blow off your workout today.

You'll regroup and bounce back tomorrow. If you fall of the wagon, for a day, a week, or a month, and binge, don't carry on like the world is coming to an end. Look for the lessons. Figure out why that binge occurred so it doesn't happen again. Regroup, and get back on track.

Instead of saying, "I aim for perfection," say "I aim for progress. Instead of saying, "I wasn't perfect," say "I did the best I could, given the constraints and restrictions in my life."

Every time you feel the urge to say but

, say and

instead. Consider the difference:

"I removed 20 pounds and I'm more fit, but I have another 15 pounds to go and I still run too slow."

"Yes, I removed 20 pounds and I'm more fit, and I'm progressing well with my self-care."

You nip perfection in the bud and give yourself a powerful and loving affirmation. Way to go!

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