I just realized that the Demon of Perfection has resurfaced in my life. He is not affecting my writing this time. No, I am writing every day like clockwork. It might not be perfect, but it certainly is consistent. I’ve been told that writing is really the art of editing, but I know that it’s possible to edit your work to its death. No, the Demon of Perfection is leaving my writing alone this time. It’s like he ran away because I noticed him.
For the last year, I have maintained my current weight. I have lost the same five pounds about three or four times over the last year. It has been rather frustrating. Before that, my weight loss was steady. I joined Weight Watchers on January 17, 2001 and I lost fifty pounds that first year: steady and healthy weight loss progress. Last year, this progress stagnated. I’ve been at this weight for a year and I’m sick of it. I’m ready to finish the job I started two years ago.
It wasn’t until just now that I realized that part of the reason it has stagnated is the Demon of Perfection. It was so important that I just had to write to tell you about it. I’ll tell you now that I can be perfect. It wouldn’t be an attraction or menace if I had zero chances of being perfect. I can follow the Weight Watchers plan perfectly for one day. I can follow it perfectly for two days in a row. I can follow it perfectly for months at a time, but there are always things that interfere.
No matter what month it is, there is always a celebration looming. There are decidedly more celebrations in the winter, but every month has something to celebrate, even if it’s just the beauty (or oppression, depending on the year) of summer in August. I let these celebrations scare me. It’s possible to be perfect on these celebrations, but I don’t necessarily want to. I want to jump into life fully with two feet. I’ll get out and dry myself off afterward, but an open plunge into life is what living is about.
So, I allow myself to be perfect for days or weeks at a time and then chastise myself for one full-figured celebration. Then the Demon steps in. If you can’t be perfect every day, what’s the point of trying at all? If you’re not going to be perfect on Halloween, why should you bother being perfect the week beforehand? Or the week afterward? If you can’t be perfect all the time, you might as well not even try?
What would have been one day of celebration turns into weeks of bingeing. I’m like a slow motion bulimic. Instead of bingeing in the morning and purging in the late hours when no one can see, I binge in January and purge in February. All in the name of Perfection. To Hell with Perfection. I hereby cast ye out! Instead of Perfection, I now strive for Adequate! I don’t know how Adequate I need to be to keep losing weight, but it is my new goal.