One of the more persistent struggles I’ve had in my adult life is with perfectionism. You may know it as having an “all or nothing” kind of mentality, being described as an overachiever or an A-type person. It’s something I continue to work on to this day. And it’s something that many of my nutrition and weight loss accountability clients struggle with too.
Perfectionism can stop us from reaching the things we truly want for ourselves — time to spend freely with our loved ones, a sustainable and satisfying wellbeing practice, and a sense of calm and peace throughout our lives.
And the reason that perfectionism is so hard to overcome is that for many of us, it has given us a huge advantage earlier in life.
The ‘all or nothing’ way of thinking has definitely benefited me in the past, and I’m sure it’s helped you too.
Having high standards and perfectionist tendencies means that you’ve become very successful. You’ve set goals for yourself, and been relentless in your pursuit of them.
You’ve taken action to build the life you wanted, and you’ve gone above and beyond, putting in late nights studying and working, sacrificing social time, and even giving up time for yourself.
You’ve thrived, because you saw what needed to be done, and you did it — and more.
But maybe now the time for that level of striving has passed.
Maybe now is the season for you to take care of yourself, to nourish your body and your social connections, and to enjoy the fruits of all your efforts.
Maybe now the perfectionism that used to serve you is getting in the way of creating the healthy balance you deserve.
In fact, this is something that has been as referred to as maladaptive perfectionism or the negative aspects of perfectionism that involves setting unrealistically high standards, being overly self-critical, and experiencing intense fear of failure.
The Cycle of Perfectionism
Perfectionism tends to manifest itself in a pretty predictable cycle, and identifying those patterns is the first step in unravelling this lifelong habit.
Here’s how it tends to go:
You pick a big, exciting, inspiring goal (you’re not the kind of person who does things small) — let’s say, a new workout plan, combined with a complete overhaul of your diet for sustained and healthy weight loss. You can’t wait to get started.
This bit is fun, and a little scary, kind of like getting on a rollercoaster that’s just the right size.
You know it will require a lot of prep and careful time management, but you map it all out, research everything you’ll need to make it happen, and add it all to your calendar.
And then something happens: something small, but unexpected enough to throw you off your plan. A colleague quits and you have to take over a last-minute deadline. Your kid gets a stomach bug and you’re up all night cleaning up. A relative suddenly needs a lift to an urgent medical appointment.
Instead of adapting the plan to work around the complication, you think, “Damn… I’ll have to wait until tomorrow.”
It’s easy to justify putting something off if you think it can be done better at a later time.
But of course, life is full of these little detours and interruptions, and so there’s rarely (if ever) a perfect time to implement your plan.
And here’s where perfectionism really gets ugly: the more often you put off starting your plan in the hope of doing it perfectly, the worse you feel about the plan — and about yourself.
All the excitement and motivation you had when you came up with it is replaced with feelings of disappointment and shame. Underneath it all is a fear of failure so intense that we feel like it’s better to protect ourselves by not even trying at all.
The Perfectionism Pattern
I wonder if this pattern sounds familiar to you:
“That’s it! I’m done with this. From Monday, everything changes. I’m going to the gym every day if it kills me, we’re not ordering take out at all, and I’m going to tell my boss that I’m done at 6 whether they like it or not.”
Monday rolls around, and you think “Oh, shoot. I don’t have enough groceries to prep my meals for the start of week. OK — I’ll shop this week, prep all my meals, sort out my gym membership, and then I’ll start next Monday. Dammit! How is it 7pm already?! When did everyone else leave? And how did I eat so many of those cookies? Ugh. This week is a wash and it’s barely even started.”
Discouraged and tired, you get home, eat whatever is on hand, have a glass of wine or two, and crash in front of the TV.
Tuesday morning rolls around, and you feel… gross. You didn’t sleep well, so you dozed after your alarm, and now you’re late, which makes you stressed, which makes you crave sugary carbs, and then because you were late you feel obliged to make up the time in the evening, which means you skip the workout you planned… and on, and on, and on.
Are you ready to be done with that? I know I am.
How Do I Break the Perfectionism Cycle?
The alternative is neither quick nor easy. But it works, and day by day it sets you free to actually take control of your time and your health.
Moderation. It sounds almost like a swear word to a committed perfectionist, right?
But making SOME changes — not all of them — is the key to eventually getting them all done.
Let your goal be to take smaller, more consistent actions that build positive momentum towards what you want, instead of the all-or-nothing see-saw of doing more than is sustainable, and then nothing at all.
Like I said, it takes time to transition away from lifelong perfectionism to a balanced, moderate approach to things.
One of the most important pieces of getting this right is to start practicing acceptance. Instead of instantly trying to change something when you notice you don’t like it, just spend some time trying to accept that it’s there and that it’s true.
The fact that there is something you don’t like in your life is not a sign that you are a bad person/colleague/partner/parent/ friend/child.
It just means that you’re a person. And that might need some acceptance too, my friend.
The reason acceptance is important is that when we try to change something without accepting it, we are setting ourselves up to fail. We’re in denial that this thing is a problem, and we’re still trying to change it before anyone else notices.
How To Move Towards Moderation
Let’s look at how you can practice acceptance, so that you can start implementing sustainable changes as you’re ready — one small piece at a time:
Practice mindfulness. A meditation practice, a breathing practice, or even just the habit of observing your thoughts and asking yourself if they are true is a powerful place to start.
Know your true values and look for clarity on why you have these goals. Understanding what’s truly motivating you can help you decide which goals are worth pursuing, and which you can let go of.
Observe the alignment of your actions and behaviour with your values. Are you acting in a way that’s consistent with what you’ve said you want to achieve? If not, why not?
Cultivate a growth mindset. Work on the belief that you are capable of change and that you have the right to change. Be compassionate to yourself when you struggle, like you would with someone you care about.
Recognize that it’s important to take a holistic approach. You can’t white-knuckle your way to wellbeing.
Carve out a ritual for consistent reflection, assessment and planning. It’s much easier to think clearly about what you want to achieve, and how you might do that, if you have dedicated time to spend on yourself.
If you are clear on why you wanted to workout 5 mornings a week (say, because you want to be physically strong, focused and engaged at work), you might not be as hard on yourself if you had to miss a workout because you were up late at night working on a deadline.
You can sleep in, and give yourself some grace to get through the day, recognizing that you can simply come back more rested and stronger the next day.
Having a gratitude practice helps, especially when you can recall the things you DID do for yourself to move you closer to your values and vision.
And if you fall off the wagon, dust yourself off and jump back on — it’s a wagon after all, it’s not moving THAT fast.
Make yourself a Plan A to reach the goal, and a Plan B for when the wheels come off Plan A. Think about what you will do if you don’t hit your target this week. How can you adjust? What can you decide to do that will still help you move closer to your vision and goals?
Don’t wait until Monday to start again. That’s perfectionism trying to get in your way.
Get started now, and stop putting your dreams, desires, wellbeing, happiness and health on hold. Remember: moderation, acceptance, adaptation. You’ve got this.
And if you need help getting on your way (like an expert accountability coach to help you to focus on better, instead of perfect), click here. Let’s have a conversation about what that accountability might look like for you.
🎉 That Friday feeling. 🎉 I`ve been embracing Fridays as a chance to set the tone for the weekend ahead. Some routine things that I`ve been really digging at the moment: ✅ Early morning wake up and coffee ritual ☕️ (because, coffee) ✅ Hitting a local morning fitness class with my friends 👯♀️ (love the energy and #accountability with this crew) ✅ making a weekend plan ✍️ (helps me feel more relaxed) ✅ carving out time to rest/recover 🧘🏻♀️ (yin yoga atm) ✅ deciding on something delicious to cook or order in 😋 (feeling a spicy 🌶️ 🍲 tom yum soup) Happy weekend ✌️ ❤️ #FitnessFriday #WeekendWarrior #squatober #accountabilitycoach #trusttheprocess #consistencyiskey …
In a world that often celebrates instant success, let`s remember to be kinder to ourselves and perhaps nurture a little more patience this week. 🤗💕 🚀 #GrowthMindset #EmbraceChange #SelfCompassion #AccountabilityCoach #weightlosscoach #ItsAllConnected …
Tomorrow marks the last official day of summer! 🍒 🫐 Fresh fuit salad might have just been my favorite treat of the season. 🍓🥝 My friend Kathryn came over to visit with this colorful fruit salad bowl and I`ve been copying her style by adding mint leaves to my fruit plates ever since 🍃 Feels fancy and delicious 😉 And did she also pair it with a side of pie? Oh yes indeed. #nomnom 😋 #eattherainbow #fruitsalad …
One of the biggest – if not the biggest – deciding factor of a lifestyle-change success story is mindset. We can talk ALL day about strategies, tips and tricks, meal planning, workout routines, etc., but what a true lifestyle makeover comes down to is this one thing: ➡️ Do you believe that you can change? ⬅️ If the answer is yes, congratulations! You`re already on your way. But if the answer is no, I understand. It`s easy to think that change is impossible, especially if we`ve tried and failed in the past. So what change really comes down to is the flexibility to get up when you fall. To start with changing small habits that gradually become normal and taking on the big stuff one step at a time. That`s why I wanted to share a recent post of mine that goes into more detail about the importance of mindset and how to acquire one that will help you reach success. #mindsetmatters 🤓 Read it on my blog! Link in bio! 🔗 @_rosiemoore_ #onepercentbetter #accountabilitycoach #accountabilitymirror #habitchange #habitchangecoach #weightlosscoach #itsallconnected …
👇🏼👇🏼Here’s a go-to dynamic mobility sequence to try before a workout, between zoom meetings, on a recovery day or while you’re cuing up your next binge worthy show. Sharing a sequence here (sped up) which has helped my client Mike squeeze in more mobility and stretching. 🧘
He was struggling to get in more bursts of intentional movement throughout the day due to an insane number of meetings so I sent him this to follow along to 😉 ❗️Remember, to feel better:
Move your body.
And move in different directions. Let me know if this helps!
➡️ 5 Cat-Cow ➡️ 5 Kneeling Twists to the RIGHT and 5 Circles ➡️ 5 Kneeling Twists to the LEFT and 5 Circles ➡️ 5 x flow of a Downward Dog to Walking Hands IN to Low Squat to Hinge forward to Walking Hands OUT ➡️ 10 Wipers ➡️ 10 Alternating Leg Lowers (core) ➡️ 10 Glute Marches 🔄 Repeat if you have time for more!
😁 I am thrilled to share the incredible real-life wins from my client, LaToya. 🎉 She is a testament to the power of commitment, perseverance and our holistic approach to fitness and wellness. 💪 Her dedication to nourishing nutrition and mindful movement brought her an energy and a GLOW that was impossible to ignore. ✨ If you`re ready to feel good in your body again, get in touch! I’d love to work with you 🤍 #FriYayProgress #FeelGoodFriday #ClientSuccess #AccountabilityCoach #WeightlossCoach #Allin #consistencyiskey …
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Perspective. And a throwback to playing the Oregon Trail in grade school computer class. Remember how SLOW that wagon moved?? 🖥 👧🏻 💾 Forge ahead my friends. Dust yourself off and try again. Also try not to die of dsyentary 😂 🦌 #oregontrail #keepmoving #successmindset #onepercentbetter #accountabilitycoach …
Going to make BEACH my job today. 🏖 ☀️ 🏄♂️ Because turning Friday into a beach day before summer is out is a must for us who live up north. 😎 🌊 Plus, how nice is it to reminisce about this Liguran coastline for a #flashbackfriday …
It`s that back-to-school energy time of year. Ready to take your goals from dreams to reality? Unlock your full potential with personalized accountability coaching. I`ve got a couple of spots left for September! From tailored strategies to unwavering support, I’m here to ignite your momentum, keep you on track, and celebrate every victory along the way. 🎉 💪 Experience the transformation that comes with personalized guidance – because you deserve nothing less than your best self. Let`s make those goals happen! DM me or book in a discovery call – link in my bio …
How many glasses of water have you had so far today? ✨ In the hustle of life, it`s easy to forget your water! From boosting energy and enhancing focus to nurturing glowing skin and supporting digestion, the benefits of staying hydrated are endless. 🥤 👇🏼 So here`s your friendly reminder: 💙 Pause. 💙 Hydrate. 💙 Keep going. thanks for the gorgeous pic @rebelhowlheadshots #HydrationMatters #DrinkWaterDaily #DrinkWaterStayVibrant #AccountabilityCoach #ElevateYourWellness …
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🌡️ Some like it HOT. Did you know that those soothing sauna sessions trigger the upregulation of Heat Shock Proteins? 🔥 Fun fact for my sauna fans: 🧖♀️ Sweat sessions aren`t just relaxing, they`re a natural boost for your body`s resilience! These "molecular chaperones" aka HSPs, play a pivotal role in maintaining protein homeostasis under stress conditions, promoting cellular resilience and longevity. 🧬🔬 So, as you bask in the sauna`s warmth, remember, you`re also nurturing your body at the cellular level by activating HSPs promoting protein health and overall wellness. At a high level this includes things like: ✔️ Protecting heart cells ✔️Muscle recovery after exercise ✔️Promoting cellular resilience and longevity ✔️Helping to control chronic inflammation 🔥 AND HOT TIP: Sessions are best enjoyed in silence or with really really good company 😉 🌋 💪🏼 🌋 💪🏼 #SweatItOut #ThermalBiology #HeatShockProteins #SaunaTherapy #CellularResilience #AccountabilityCoach #ItsAllConnnected …
I`m so glad to share more ideas on how to 💪🏼 power up your plate with protein-rich foods! Who doesn`t want to EAT their way to maintaining their lean body mass? Plus it helps you in staying full longer, supporting post-exercise recovery and boosts your immune system. 🏆 🍽 Eat up to unlock the benefits of this mighty macronutrient my friends! 💪🏼 🍽 🏆 #eatyournutrients #accountabilitycoach #allin #consistencyiskey #weightlossaccountability …
A game of bocce ball in the park. My opponent enjoys betting treats, stickers and ice cream money. It`s important to know our motivations 😆 💰 🍦 🌈 #playtime #outside #accountabilitypartner …
🙋🏻♀️ One common challenge that I see with many of my clients is around getting adequate #protein into their diets. So real quick: 1️⃣ Protein in your diet is important to help you: ✔️ maintain lean body mass ✔️stay satiated ✔️ support recovery from exercise ✔️improve bone density Among other great things 2️⃣ Get familiar with what your daily protein target looks like in terms of real food (minimally processed whenever possible) Eat up! How`s your protein intake looking? Let me know if you need help 😉 🍴 🍗 🧀 🍴 🍗 🧀 #nutritioncoach #eatrealfood #strengthtraining #sustainableweightloss #weightlosscoaching …
Reminder: Change can be hard. Especially when it comes to making changes to your health and wellbeing. I should know, I`ve been teaching, training and coaching people for 15 years now! When we try to change something without first accepting it, we can be setting ourselves up to fail. The fact that there is something you don’t like in your life is not a sign that you are a bad person, partner, parent, colleague, boss or friend. It just means that you’re a person. And that might need some acceptance too. This is where mindfulness comes in. Let go of perfection and the need to get it right 100% of the time. Instead, meet yourself where you`re at. Read my post on How Perfectionism is keeping you from reaching your goals - link in my bio. 🧘 #behaviorchangecoach #mindfulness #itsallconnected #accountabilitycoach …
Did you know that as little as 20 minutes a day spent outdoors helps reduce stress and improve mental health? 🧠 🥰 Currently doing a study of how to optimize this by going barefoot on a beachside boardwalk. So far, the results are quite promising with my small sample size (n=3) 😃 How much time are you spending outside today? 🌳 🚶 ☀️ #accountabiliycoach #getoutside #habitchangecoach …