In many areas of life we expect perfection: iron health, a career that is always on the rise, a harmonious relationship … But the reality is that we are always subject to errors and problems, and accept imperfection as part of life it is one of the most important skills for anyone who wants to evolve as a human being.
In food this is especially important: one of the biggest mistakes that someone who wants to eat healthier can make is waiting for everything to be perfect.
More and more we are surrounded by cell phones, computers, applications, convenience services that work day and night without stopping … And we ended up internalizing this expectation to work 100%, as if we were machines … And not quite!
“The perfect is inhuman, because the human is imperfect”
What is Kintsugi?
Kintsugi is an ancestral technique that emerged in Japan to restore broken ceramic objects, such as pots, cups and plates.
Instead of discarding the shards, they developed this delicate and careful repair technique with lacquer and gold, the Kintsugi, which means something like “united with gold” and this technique reinforces important concepts of Zen Buddhism with analogies.
In today’s article I bring reflections based on this technique that ended up becoming a philosophy of life, with some tips to apply these reflections in the practice of your life.
1) Your Value is in You and not in your Body
The gigantic majority of the communication that talks about healthy eating uses pictures of impeccable people who most likely were never fat, six pack abs, sculptural bodies, perfect skins.
Not to mention all the advertising in terms of aesthetics: cut there, aspire here, model it, stretch it from here and there, apply a filter to rejuvenate … The pressure to achieve an alleged aesthetic “perfection” is enormous! That even if it unconsciously undermines our self-esteem little by little.
The illusion that lives there is that aesthetic perfection is unattainable and when it exists, it is not eternal. When you lose weight, your quality of life improves, but the reality is that your problems may no longer be the same, but they do not go away.
If you are going to embark on the aesthetic neura, after the excess weight comes the wrinkle, the white hair, the sagging … Normal things in human bodies!
Just as the Japanese saw the ceramic vase not for its aesthetic aspect but for its function value, its value is not in aesthetics either.
Our body is always changing: we were born in a baby body, we had our adolescent body, women who get pregnant keep their bodies very different, when we get old too everything changes…
In all these different body shapes, YOU were there. Do you realize how you are not your body?
Learning how to neutralize aesthetic pressure is a lifelong job, but having a good self-esteem regardless of the shape of your body is possible and necessary. Do not postpone your happiness expecting to be at the “ideal” weight. The time is now!
2) Acceptance and Learning from Errors
Many people come to me saying that they try to do low carb but it doesn’t work because they can’t go much longer than a few days without eating anything.
I always respond by saying that I don’t remember if I stayed more than a week, ten days eating low carb directly. And I’m here firmly, several years later.
What dictates your result is not the number of consecutive days that you can make 100% low carb without fail, but your ability to get back to the scheme already at the next meal, without throwing it all away with every mistake.
Mistakes are not at all important compared to how you react to the error. From now on, when eating something that was not what you planned, start with cultivating the habit of investigating your mistake with a happy researcher curiosity.
More than getting answers, it is important to ask questions: was it just an exit from the plan or a lack of control with compulsion? Can I identify any emotions or anything else that may have triggered the episode? What can I learn from what happened? And ready, forward ball! The next meal always gives us an opportunity to get it right.
3) Don’t Abandon Your Authenticity to Hide Your Imperfections
An interesting detail of the Kintsugi technique is that the repairs made are not hidden, on the contrary: gold makes the repair shine brightly.
Bringing an analogy to life, we often keep our faults within ourselves, mistreating and judging ourselves. Highlighting our imperfection with brilliance reminds us that changes over time are normal and that imperfection has value.
The way the porcelain was broken, the mark that the repair leaves, also makes the porcelain different from the others, gaining beauty, exclusivity and authenticity.
When dealing with our shadows, mistakes and flaws with open chests not only facing them head on but also using them as fuel for change, this feeds us with an internal flame that gradually makes the shadows lose strength.
On TV and social media we often see the edited version, where mistakes are cut to hide what goes wrong. But make no mistake, we are all together in the boat of imperfection.
4) Don’t Expect Real Food Perfection
Just as we expect perfection in the body, we also expect real food. We expect standard sizes, increasingly sweet fruits and no bruises.
The impact of our low tolerance for food imperfection on food waste is great. At the time of shopping, we ended up taking the most impeccable ones and left others in great condition, but with a little something out of the standard.
Some people also do not buy organic food because of the size sometimes smaller than the non-organic equivalent, but it is important to remember that aesthetic perfection in real food is often only possible because of pesticides and pesticides used in mass production , which in the long run are a risk to our health and the land.
In packaged foods, with preservatives and additives, it is not difficult to reach perfection. Choosing to prioritize real food we need to give up some comfort and convenience, avoiding waste, respecting the times of food and when possible, buying directly from those who produce.
5) Low Carb da Vida Real x Low Carb Gourmetizado
It is great that in the low carb lifestyle we can count on delicious ingredients such as almond flour, chestnuts, 70% chocolate, sweeteners, meats of all kinds… But the reality is that these foods are not accessible to everyone and that it shouldn’t even be a problem at all!
During my weight loss I worked in a company where I had lunch in the cafeteria and often the menu was far from what would be ideal, with the meat sauce thickened with starch, floured nuggets in place of the meat, only two options of unsightly salads … And yet I made it work.
On social media, we see people promoting expensive received products that need to be purchased over the internet, posting flawless dishes in expensive restaurants and beautifully decorated kitchens.
See how you feel when you see posts from people you follow: more motivated or anxious not to live the same thing? Always protect your emotional health by following content that inspires you to be a better person than yesterday, not perfect.
At the end of the day, the low carb that works best is basicão, from the street market and the butcher shop, accessible to many more people.
In these years everyone talking to people who want to lose weight and also studying the behavioral issues that relate to the way we eat, I realize that not reacting well to imperfection is often a form of self-sabotage.
This is because deep down we know that nobody is perfect and that even with imperfection, many people make things happen when they want, insist and persist.
But when the person is unable to develop the discipline and consistency that they need for a hard process such as weight loss, to justify for themselves they end up creating this internal dialogue of hoping that everything will be perfect.
Hence when the error happens, the person does not think twice before (again) throwing everything away and adopting a victim posture for themselves and others (no one helps me, I was born to be like that, etc.).
If you feel you may have that tendency, use the Best Friend Technique the next time you make a mistake. Think: what would your best friend say to you when you tell her about a mistake she made? Most likely I would say encouraging words to you, remember your strengths and tell you to shake off the dust and get back on top.
The best friend brings a compassion that we don’t have with ourselves. Inside our heads, we often attack each other in a cruel and relentless way.
We are perfect in our imperfection and incorporating these shadows makes us more authentic and fulfilling people, no matter how controversial it may seem. Always make a commitment to gather your little dogs with light!
How do you react to your mistakes? Do you feel you are already advancing in this area or do you still have a lot to evolve? Open your heart in the comments!