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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Don't Let Perfection Be the Enemy of Good


My best friend has to keep reminding me of this. If I can't do it exactly as it should be done, then I tend to give up entirely.
For example, I recently had to make MAJOR changes to EVERY aspect of my life. I moved to a new state. My husband left me. I'm having to come up with creative ways to financially survive. And I've had to RADICALLY change my diet because of major health problems and severe food allergies.

I'm allergic to:
Yeast (all forms)
Wheat (in all forms, including gluten and giladin)
honey
Eggs and all forms of dairy
Pistachios
Rye
Sorghum
Whey
Almonds
Bananas
Broccoli
Lemons
Pineapple
Corn
Milk
Barley

What's left to eat? You ask. Nothing on my previous diet. That was my diet. So, now this is my diet:

Green drinks (a blend of green leafy veggies (such as kale, collard greens, etc.) with 40% fruit, sea weed, avocados and different oils, (flax seed, cod liver oil, flax seeds...) then blend. and drink. I'm up to 1-2 litres a day. I eat some meats and fishes, fresh fruits and veggies and occasionally bake homemade cranberry bread made from gluten free flour as a treat. I make "butter" from Olive oil, coconut oil a bit of sea salt and a bit of vanilla. It hardens like butter and is yummy on bread.

But, when I first started this diet, I somehow missed the "corn" allergy. When I discovered it I nearly had a break down. EVERYTHING I had been eating on my "good" diet had corn in it. I went off my diet entirely and ate whatever and became sick. My best friend said it was better to keep corn in my diet and keep doing what I was doing, then to give up entirely. And I'm not as allergic to corn as to other things.

She was right and I gradually gave up corn too. Check your labels. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to buy food without these ingredients.

Eventually my doctor says the lesser allergies will likely go away as my gut heals, but I will never be able to eat gluten, wheat or yeast. I'm off the charts with those and one step away from Celiac Disease, which is not fun!

These food allergies have wreaked havoc on the internal workings of my body, causing my fibromyalga, colitis, IBS, chronic fatigue and they have prevented me from losing weight because my body is so swollen. It's like being allergic to bees and being stung by tons of bees everyday, only it's all on the inside of my body.

The changes I've had to make have been radical. I'm still not good at charting when and how I spend every penny of my money. I still am reactive to my ex when he tries to control me or push my buttons. I still have a long way to go. But this one mantra, to not let perfection be the enemy of good, has helped me to stay focused and forgive myself those many times I don't get the dishes done, or the laundry piles up, or I get angry and hysterical at something my ex has done, or whatever.

I'm learning to be gentle with myself, and love myself. And to take it one step at a time, celebrating my small victories as they come. Because honestly, I'm doing a lot better now than I was several months ago, even if I haven't reached perfection. Ha! And who has?

So I encourage all of you type A's and anyone else who tends to be all or nothing, let it go. Do the best you can in that moment, even if you know it's not the ideal best. Celebrate the fact that you're moving in the right direction. We're all going to fall down and skin our knees in this walk through life. That's OK. Stick a band aid on it, let it heal, and learn to avoid the next rock that's positioned to trip you up.

And keep going.