105 - You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Lose Weight

One thing that comes up repeatedly for clients is this mindset of needing to be perfect to lose weight, so if you can relate to this self-destructive pattern on your weight loss journey, you’re in the right place. I’ve lost weight without eating strictly keto or telling myself some foods were off-limits, so this week, we’re inviting you to see how vital it is to let go of the façade of perfection. 

5 min

One thing that comes up repeatedly for clients is this mindset of needing to be perfect to lose weight. It looks like never planning for things they actually want to eat because it’s not “healthy” enough, or shaming themselves for slipping up on their plans, but this is halting weight loss and leading to continuous self-sabotage. 

If you can relate to this self-destructive pattern on your weight loss journey, you’re in the right place. I’ve lost weight without eating strictly keto, or telling myself some foods were off limits, so this week, we’re inviting you to see how vital it is to let go of the façade of perfection. 

Join us on this episode as we outline the perfectionistic diet mentality that sets you up for disaster, and why staying stuck in this mindset will work against you every single time. I’m sharing the secret to my food freedom, and the truth about the language you might subconsciously be using around what it means to be perfect. 

Check out Vibe Club, a weight loss coaching group with the purpose of supporting women that want to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The perfectionistic diet mentality that sets you up for disaster. 
  • How I've lost weight without eating keto or low carb all the time.
  • Why I prioritize the honest truth about how I now eat.
  • How restricting yourself by attempting to be perfect works against you.
  • Why I’ve been able to find so much freedom around food. 

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Hi, I’m Maggie. I’ve lost a combined 90 pounds after having my two kids and struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. I teach you how to lose weight a different way, how to fix the thoughts in your head holding you back from finally taking weight loss off your to do list. Losing weight doesn’t need to be a struggle. And it’s my mission to help you love the process all the way down the scale. If you’re ready to lose weight a different way, then let’s get it.

Maggie: Welcome. Welcome, welcome to the podcast.

Ryan: I just want to start off by saying I am sick. It is not the coronavirus.

Maggie: I wondered if you were going to specify.

Ryan: It has been confirmed I do not have coronavirus. I am sick and I sound sick. And I’m making all kinds of sick noises, so I apologize in advance.

Maggie: Yeah, it’s a deep voice today. It’s a deep voice.

Ryan: And I’m running on three hours of deep sleep and didn’t really feel like it.

Maggie: I just told him he should be telling jokes. He should have a full blown comedy show going on right now just because he should be in the best mood. The max I ever get of deep sleep is two and a half hours. And when I get two and a half hours I am like an actual unicorn, I’m unstoppable. So the fact that you got how much, three hours 15 or something?

Ryan: And other two hours of REM sleep too.

Maggie: Yeah. You should be more chipper but that’s okay.

Ryan: I’m not chipper but I’m not tired.

Maggie: But he’s also going on a week of being sick tomorrow. So yeah, let’s get into it.

Ryan: Yeah, let’s go.

Maggie: Something I want to talk about is I think if there’s one thing that comes up so repeatedly for my clients it’s this perfectionist mindset of, I have to be perfect to lose my weight. And at a certain point I think we have to look at ourselves, especially people who are online and sharing stuff, and kind of ask how, in what ways am I contributing to that. So I spend a lot of time thinking about stuff like that. And I think in the past, and especially having a keto or a low carb page, I didn’t share anything that wasn’t keto or low carb for never, I never did that.

And the excuse I told myself was that’s not what people are here for. They’re here for keto ideas, they’re here for keto recipes. That’s what I’m here to give you.

Ryan: That makes sense.

Maggie: It does make sense if it’s the truth. But it wasn’t really the truth. The truth I think was that any time I was eating food that wasn’t considered keto or part of, because remember, up until probably eight months ago I was never planning stuff. When I would eat it, I would feel really shameful about it because ultimately even I believed that I shouldn’t be eating this stuff, I shouldn’t. It doesn’t fit into a health plan. It doesn’t fit into a weight loss plan. So as you guys know, I’ve been sharing that crap. I’ve just been sharing it constantly, like I’ve been sharing our date nights.

I have been sharing pictures. I have been telling people what I’m eating. So when I was on vacation, I had just written something in my stories. And I got a lot of people screenshotting it and resharing it. And I was like, “Well, stories are limited, I’ll go ahead and share it to my feed as well.” I posted it to my feed and it’s the most highest engagement I’ve ever got. Instagram has changed in the last couple of years, you guys, it’s not the same as it used to be, highest engagement I have had on a post in I don’t even know how long.

And so I wanted to dig into it today. Do you guys want to hear the post? Do you want me to read it to you?

Ryan: Sure.

Maggie: Okay. This is what I said. And can I just say, this was not an outward attack on other influencers, okay, that was not what this was meant to be. Here we go. Most keto or low carb people don’t show the food that they’re eating that isn’t low carb or keto. That doesn’t mean they aren’t eating it. My honesty especially lately has made some people upset. That’s okay, those aren’t my people. My people love keto and low carb, but they also eat doughnuts sometimes and they love a good sushi roll. They eat keto and low carb for their health, and I love my people.

I’m always going to keep it real with you guys, I don’t feel ashamed about my food choices. I am more committed to keto and low carb then ever for my mental health, which we talked about just recently, depression, anxiety, ADD. And I’m just not boxing my whole identity around a diet anymore. So let’s talk about it.

Ryan: Okay.

Maggie: Got a lot of, I don’t know, I think lately when I talk about people that have been upset, people are upset because I’m not keto enough. And I just decided I’m no longer going to identify like I am keto. No. I am Maggie. And I eat low carb because it helps me a lot.

Ryan: What I think is interesting is when you first started this Instagram, and for a lot of people there’s this undefined line of what is the purpose of this page? Because a lot of keto counts, this could just be considered a keto blog. And the purpose is I’m giving you keto food ideas. But then people hit that follow button and you see stories. And it’s no longer just a blog. You are following a person. And you are watching that person. You’re watching the things that they do. So with Instagram this line becomes kind of hazy where this is no longer just a Pinterest board.

This is a human being and I’m following and looking at this person. And I just, I feel on social media people get too many ideas from people when you should be taking your own responsibility more.

Maggie: Yeah. It’s for ideas. But it is different to be following someone versus – I mean, and some people even have Instagram set up where it’s not a person, it’s just here is food, here is recipes.

Ryan: For sure and they never show their face on stories, I’ve seen that too. But when you first started your account, it was literally just keto food ideas.

Maggie: Yeah, it was. And that’s why so many people who have been with the evolution, I just found that in time I wasn’t contributing. And of course, obviously you guys, I mean I’ve had five different handles. Things have definitely changed, where it was look, I’m just sharing the food that I’m eating versus I’m sharing the work that I’m doing on my relationship with food, my relationship with myself, and my dysfunctional relationship with food.

Ryan: But anybody getting mad at somebody for you not being keto enough is just straight up ridiculous.

Maggie: Yeah. And I don’t care because what I have found and maybe this will inspire some other people who are wondering how authentic leaders show up online. The more honest you are, the more true you are, you will get people upset. But you will also magnetize the people who need your message. They need to hear what you have to say. They have just been wanting to hear someone say it. They have been waiting to give themselves permission, you showing up. So it’s so worth it for me. It comes with drama.

Ryan knows that because he had another video go viral on TikTok. And it was not controversial at all, you guys. It was so simple that it was almost dumb simple. It was not controversial and still people who want to be upset are coming and they’re like, “Well, you can’t take into account every possibility of why what you’re saying wouldn’t work for me,” whatever. That just comes along with it. But I have found that as I have shown up more and been more honest, it’s created so much more good than it has created drama.

But I don’t have any regrets with sharing the type of food that I’m eating that’s not keto or low carb despite being keto or low carb, eating. I’m not being keto. I eat keto and low carb, that I just feel it’s been really supportive. But there were just – I got such varying comments on it because another thing, another comment that stands out is someone saying, “Yeah, I’m all for balance especially because you’ve hit your goals.”

And then I thought, no, that’s still playing into, that’s not my message. You know, don’t wait, I don’t deserve to eat rice because I’ve hit my goals. Have I hit my goals? I don’t even know.

Ryan: How do you even know that?

Maggie: TBD, yeah, so I just think it is a diet mentality that’s like you need to get rid anything that wouldn’t be considered diet food, or weight loss food, or splurge food, or cheat food, or whatever until you lose your weight. And I think that’s just setting yourself up for disaster by the time you if you ever hit your goal weight. Because here’s what I’ve got to tell you guys, okay, listen to me, this is very important. I lost all of my weight two separate times eating non-keto, non-low carb food all the time, all the time and I still lost my weight.

So it’s not that I wasn’t already doing that. It’s just that I wasn’t always sharing it in the past. It’s not that I lost my weight because I got rid of all that food. I was just eating it in the most self-destructive way. And again, I still lost my weight because what happened was the frequency and abundance of how often that was happening reduced so greatly, it never stopped.

Ryan: What do you mean you were eating it in a self-destructive way? How is that different from now?

Maggie: Well, now it’s not self-destructive because I say on Sunday I’m having date night, we’re going to Korean Barbecue. I’m going to have rice. I’m going to have potstickers. I’m not going to overstuff myself, I’m not going to overeat. That’s how I do it in a non-destructive way. Before it was I could never plan this, I could never lose weight eating food like this. I shouldn’t be eating this. This is going to kick me out of ketosis. None of those reasons stopped me from eating the food. It just made me massively overeat the food when I inevitably ate it.

Ryan: How does that make you massively overeat it?

Maggie: My restriction of it. Yeah, it’s just the belief that I shouldn’t be doing this which feels horrible. So then once you start eating it you feel even worse because you’re telling yourself, I shouldn’t have done this. Now I’ve done this. Now I’ve screwed myself, so it doesn’t matter what I do. We’ve talked about the YOLO carbs where like, okay, who cares. So I was always eating – I mean especially at the beginning of keto, guys, I couldn’t even get through a weekend, and I still lost all of my weight, both times.

So I think this disbelief that if you think that people who have low carb or keto pages, or online, or whoever people, that they aren’t showing it because they’re never eating it. There is a very high likelihood that they are eating it, they are just not showing you that they’re eating it.

And a lot of the time, I’m not going to make blanket statements across the board, but a lot of the time it’s because there’s shame in the fact that they represent a low carb keto lifestyle and are eating food that isn’t allowed, and isn’t keto, and isn’t good for weight loss, and isn’t part of a healthy lifestyle. And it isn’t part of the façade of the internet. I can’t say that about everybody because I do think there’s probably a handful of people because I did get a comment on that same post, that just said, “No, I don’t ever eat that stuff. I don’t crave that stuff, not worth it, I’m not eating it.”

Like I said, it wasn’t to call out other influencers or other people with their low carb keto presence on the internet. It sounds maybe that’s the way that she took it. But I think because I received messages about that comment, that that can be really unhelpful for people who think that in order to lose weight they have to do keto and they have to do it perfectly.

And that there’s something wrong with them if they’re still craving sugar, if they ever want to have cake, if they haven’t done the work. If they haven’t been keto enough or done keto well enough that they no longer have cravings and it’s just never worth it and they never want to eat this stuff. That is what I think a lot of people believe. And so I have just made it an important part of what I share, to be honest, in the fact of what I am eating and that I did manage to lose my last 10 pounds.

Unless I decide to lose more weight at some point, by incorporating more stuff on a regular basis, that wouldn’t be considered low carb or keto than I ever had before. And I still lost weight.

Ryan: If people are looking at you as an example, it’s important to show the imperfection I think.

Maggie: Well, that’s something else I want to address. Because there were so many different comments that I got that sparked, It’s so fascinating that people think that. The wording that people use is like, “You can’t be perfect all the time. It’s normal to make mistakes. It’s normal to have imperfection.” And I even think that type of – and I know you’re just talking. But I even think that type of wording makes it seem like it’s okay to mess up sometimes. When I have date night, I’m not messing up.

Ryan: It’s intentional.

Maggie: Yeah. It’s not an imperfection. It’s not an accident. It’s not a slip-up. I don’t refer to it like that. And because of that, my life and my freedom around food is a lot greater because it’s not that once a week I make a mistake at date night. Once a week I have a little slip-up, I have a little cheat meal. Yes, I know I call it an exception because it’s outside of the way I normally eat. But I don’t have a negative connotation with that. So I also think that’s fascinating because so much of that was like, “Hey, it’s about consistency over perfection.”

I’m like, “What I’m doing is perfect for me.” This is perfection, not me, not like I’m the example of perfection. What I have set up, my protocol, what I do, the way I incorporate things, how often I eat sugar, how often I eat carbs. My little math equation that I have created for myself is perfection. It’s perfect for me. That’s always my ultimate goal with my clients is to help them get to a place where they feel the same way, but it took me years to do that. I think the wording, there were just so many things that stood out. Yeah, especially because you hit your goal, which you don’t know that for sure.

And yeah, you can’t be perfect all the time. What is perfect? Is perfect keto all the time? I remember making a post one time that my goal was never to be perfect at keto. What are we talking about? The words we use matter so much and it’s almost people are like, “Yeah, you should be able to forgive yourself for eating those carbs once a week and kind of screwing around.” And it’s, no, what I do is very, very intentional.

The difference between what I do now and what I did then was it was very unintentional. It was in the most self-destructive way I could have done it, which was never plan for it, tell myself I’m not allowed to have it, give in during a weak moment, overeat, beat myself up, tell myself I’m never going to do it again and then do that again weekly, monthly, every couple of months. That was why it was so self-destructive is because you can do it that way or you can do it intentionally. And the intentional way is actually going to speed up your weight loss.

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The main reason I wanted to talk about it is because it’s my podcast and I wanted to go deeper with it just because I mean it got over 3,000 likes and hundreds and hundreds of comments. And most of them were great in the fact of this is so helpful, I needed to see this. I needed to see that it’s okay. I needed to see that people aren’t out there just like they’re like, “I went keto, I’m low carb, I never go off. I never show you anything else.” And then that’s what everyone else is aspiring to do if they want to get results too.

And a lot of the wording in the comments was just fascinating to me that it’s like you should not wait until you’ve reached your goal to learn how to enjoy your favorite foods. Otherwise you can do all this work at the same time rather than doing the work of losing weight and then all of a sudden being like, “Oh no, I don’t know what to do next,” which I see so often after people lose their weight. They lost all their weight by tracking so now they’re like, “What do I do now?” They lost all their weight by going 2,000 days without a cheat, now what do I do?

You want to be incorporating both of those things at the same time because ultimately what you do to lose your weight, you want to be able to do forever. And so if it’s going to look so different than what your day-to-day life is going to look like, you’re going to get there and you’re not going to have a good time.

Ryan: I think the idea of intentional cheat meals is kind of hard to comprehend for some people.

Maggie: I know that because recently I’ve seen it in a couple of my clients who people listen to what I’m saying. But they can’t help but just be like, “Yeah, but not me. That’s cool that it worked for you, but that stuff doesn’t work for me.” It’s the same kind of stuff as the people commenting on your TikTok. It’s like you will look for a way to block that from yourself, you’re just like, “Yeah, not for me.”

Ryan: It couldn’t possibly work for me.

Maggie: Yeah, it couldn’t possibly work for me. I was just coaching someone on this recently of margueritas. She loves having margueritas on the weekend.

Ryan: I love margueritas too.

Maggie: Yeah, Ryan loves a good marguerita too. And we’ve talked about this. I know it’s come up in the past. And so we were talking about it again on a coaching call and I just asked her, “How many times have you put a marguerita on you plan?” She said, “Never.” And I’m like, “You guys are listening to me but you’re not hearing what I’m saying.”

Ryan: Damn.

Maggie: You never plan it and then you keep drinking it and the only thing we’re going to create there is a resentment toward ourselves because what you want is to not want. You want to not want the marguerita. You’re upset with yourself because you want it. And you know that you couldn’t possibly lose weight, you have this other underlying belief that’s like I couldn’t possibly plan margueritas and lose weight.

But when we’re not planning the margueritas and we’re drinking the margueritas then suddenly our exception meal on Friday turns into also Saturday and then also Sunday. And what would happen if we just planned the marguerita on Friday, had it, enjoyed it and then got right back to the way that we eat? Because she has her reasons why she doesn’t want to be drinking it, got right back to that.

So many people underestimate the power of planning in regards to the way that it just calms the anxious parts of your brain down, the anxious parts of your brain that go into panic mode once we drink the marguerita that we weren’t supposed to have because we’re not supposed to want it. The damage that that does versus being like, “We planned the marguerita. I like margueritas. I’m not going to stop drinking margueritas.” Because sometimes that’s a big aha for people.

I’m like, “Is it reasonable for me to ask you, why don’t you go ahead and just give up drinking, is that reasonable?” No, absolutely not. Then why aren’t you planning it? Look how much we bind ourselves up when we’re like, “I’m never going to give it up. I don’t want to stop drinking it. I’m not going to plan it. I shouldn’t want it. I do want it.” And then it leaves us no choice but to take action against ourselves because we ultimately believe we shouldn’t be doing what we’re doing. So it’s important.

And I know intentional, the reason we don’t intentionally plan is because we don’t believe that we could possibly lose weight while also drinking margueritas. But what we don’t realize is that by not planning it we end up massively overeating and overdrinking, which ensures that we can’t lose weight while drinking margueritas. It’s not the marguerita that’s the problem, it’s the thinking behind drinking it. If you think I can have this, I can drink one, I can plan it, I can follow my plan.

Because you just feel good. I feel good when I follow my plan, even if my plan planned for extra food, planned for food that wouldn’t be considered weight loss food. I still get to check off that box that I followed my plan. And it keeps me in integrity with myself. And it keeps me from overeating, which keeps my weight loss process going. It’s not planning that halts your weight loss and takes you backwards.

Ryan: Yeah. I feel like a lot of people think too if they decide they’re going to try something, I’m going to try to plan two margueritas. Or try to do anything that’s different from what they’re currently doing or outside of what they believe is going to get them the results they want. That they feel they can’t come back from that. Once the decision made it’s undone. You can decide to try something and then decide that didn’t work for me.

Maggie: Yeah. We just make up our minds. We’re just like, “Yeah, it just won’t work.” And so if I decide to do it then I’m going to have to do it forever. And I know it won’t work. We do so much work, I do this too. I think we all do, trying to just preserve energy. And that kind of is one of the main jobs of your brain, how do we preserve energy at all cost? But we look into the future and we’re like, “I don’t think that’s going to play out the way that I want it to so I’m just not going to try it.” We’re going to preserve that energy rather than exert the energy.

And then it doesn’t turn out, then we wasted that energy, and we needed that energy. I didn’t want to give up that energy. And we do that a lot with weight loss. We do it a lot with the gym. I see it for me especially with that physical energy stuff where I have to move my body in some way, get up, go somewhere, get up, do something. That you’re just like when I play all of this out in my mind it doesn’t work out at the end.

When if you’re going to be playing it out in your mind, can you just start playing out for the opposite, the one where you succeed, the one where everything works out, the one where you gave it a chance and you were wrong, and it actually did work out? We do so much work in our head, seeing how is this not going to work? How am I probably the exception here? Without ever giving it a chance, we don’t even give ourselves a chance to fail, we just fail ahead of time.

We’re just like, “Yeah. No, that was a failure. Planning the margueritas, never going to work. I’m going to continue sabotaging with margueritas. God forbid I plan them, that would never work.”

Ryan: Yeah. I’ve really been on a quest lately to just really find the best plan. And I’ve found that the best plan is not always the same plan. Do you know what I mean?

Maggie: Yeah. You have to have a willingness to.

Ryan: I’ve found three to five different things that I know work for me depending on my day. And I’ll try something, and I’ll know this is something I’m going to have to do forever, let’s try it and see what happens.

Maggie: Yeah. I pivot immediately if I have bad sleep, immediately. I plan more food. I plan breakfast. Luckily, I have my Oura Ring to kind of give me a heads up on that. And I don’t always eat it. But yeah, you have to be willing to adjust it.

Ryan: Yeah. I mean if you try to stick to your non-pivoted plan when you don’t get sleep, what happens?

Maggie: If I try to stick to my non-pivoted, I mean I know myself. And it starts with just it doesn’t matter, I’m just so tired, I’m too tired to care. I’m exhausted. I do so much, I’m already physically exhausted and tired so I decide I’m going to mentally exhaust myself as well. And then I just mentally exhaust myself all day. And then by the end of the day it’s like a couple of pretzels isn’t going to matter. What’s three ChocZero instead of one? I mean I’m so tired, so I normally am just like, maybe we eat a little bit more frequently today.

Maybe we do plan an extra ChocZero because eating two of them is better than eating four of them because I was committed to only eating one. I just, I’m willing to pay attention to my patterns and adjust accordingly.

Ryan: You kind of prevent yourself from eating to white knuckle a situation?

Maggie: Yeah. it is fun and exciting to get to know yourself in that way. To be like, “Maggie, you don’t have enough sleep. We’re going to have to do a little bit of tweaking here.” Maggie and her two year old is literally trying to burn down the house. We have to just make adjustments and that’s in what we do and what we think and how we plan. And so I know this, we got, this is where we ended up at the end of this episode.

Ryan: It’s always a journey from the start at the beginning.

Maggie: It is. It’s fun to show doughnuts on my keto page sometimes. It’s fun to just show.

Ryan: Spice it up.

Maggie: Just a little. I like to be in a little fiery…

Ryan: Rile the people up.

Maggie: I don’t mean to.

Ryan: What’s next?

Maggie: But like I said, for the most part it’s people being like, “Thank you so much.” Because when you show people it’s like, you can lose your weight, you can keep your weight off. You can enjoy that stuff. I get messages constantly from people, especially people who listen to this podcast being, “The conversations you guys are having about your brain, and about your emotions, and about exceptions, and about guilt around food, and around choices you didn’t plan.” It’s really, really helping people. And that’s why I’m going to keep sharing doughnuts with you guys.

That’s why I’m going to share my picture of date night every week from what we’re doing because I love it, and I enjoy it, and it’s part of my life, and it’s part of my keto lifestyle to eat a chimichanga every once in a while on a date with Ryan and that’s just part of it. And I may not be keto enough for some of you guys, and that’s fine too. I just believe that no one, again no one can take the fact that I can do this forever. That’s a place of confidence that I want everybody to have.

It’s just like I can do this forever because I’ve found the perfect balance for me of what I need to do to feel amazing, sleep amazing, look amazing. And also freaking eat a doughnut and have some rice, and that’s what’s most important to me. I need to get good sleep. I need to feel confident in my body and I need to have energy. So that’s my entire setup is based around those things.

Ryan: I love it.

Maggie: And the exceptions are part of that. So hopefully that helped, and we’ll see you guys next week.

Ryan: See you.

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