Marissa holding out a food scale.

October 2019: Why NOT Being Perfect is Better For You Long-Term.


Too many of us like to use this phrase as an excuse to toss our goals to the side, rip open a bag of chips or pint of ice cream, and sit our butts on the couch wallowing in self-pity.

This newsletter is NOT advocating using “life happens” as an excuse, rather giving my perspective of when it is a viable rationale for accepting being responsible, accountable, but not spot-on “perfect” in a situation.

You guys KNOW I don’t mess with excuses. My August newsletter (click here to read) was basically one big excuse CALL-OUT to hold you accountable to your goals.

However, I’m a lifestyle coach. I’m not competing, nor do I plan on competing for the next few years. I deal with my own experiences with a mindset of moderation and giving myself grace in situations where things aren’t perfect, and preach the same things to my clients.

Too many of us live on the far ends of the spectrum – the all-or-nothing approach to “getting fit.” Think about this: Your definition of what “getting fit” means plays a big role in the mindset you adopt entering your journey.

If all you care about is having a flat stomach, seeing visible abs, or seeing a certain number on the scale, you’re dooming yourself to failure from the start.

Getting fit is about the process of feeling better, moving better, and creating a better version of yourself every day.


Definition: the PROCESS
/ˈpräˌses,ˈprōˌses / noun:

The nitty-gritty daily tasks of crushing a workout, meal prepping, choosing healthy foods, are all inherently rewarding. If you’re focused on only the end goal, you’ll take these things for granted. You won’t appreciate each little piece of the journey for what it is. IF you ever reach the end result, it won’t mean anything to you because you didn’t stop along the way to smell the roses.

As I have furthered myself into my niche as a lifestyle coach, my clientele more often come to me with goals that align with a healthy lifestyle.

How Individuals USED TO
Approach Me:

“I want to lose 5% body fat.”
“I need to lose these last (arbitrary) ten
“I want to weigh X by this date for a
“I want to see visible definition in my stomach and less jiggle in my legs when I
“I want to fit into a size X jeans that I
wore in high school.”
“I want to look like a bikini competitor
without competing.”
How Individuals NOW
Approach Me:

“I want to feel confident in my
“I want to be able to do a pull up
and X number of push ups.”
“I just want to be healthy enough
to keep up with my kids playing outside.”
“I want to perform better in my sport and learn how to eat right
for it.”
“I want to be able to walk up
the stairs without getting

There’s nothing inherently wrong with having goals tied to numbers, sizes, or certain looks. But with the numerical approach comes difficulty sustaining motivation, discipline and a sense of purpose.

Why? Why is why. It’s just not enough of a “why” to keep you going.

I’ve had more success coaching an expecting mother to her due date, through the mood swings, nausea, fatigue, contractions and more with her macros and training than I have had with an individual “shredding for their wedding.”

BOTH are valid goals and provide a substantial why. But think about the roots of each. “I want to be my healthiest self to deliver and take care of my future child” is a hell of a lot stronger of a WHY than “I want to look a certain way when I get married (to the love of my life who is going to see me and love me every day regardless of if I look the way I did on my wedding day)” ….. See where I’m going here?

Cutting to the chase here… what does this have to do with being perfect on my diet? Don’t I need to be adherent 100% of the time regardless of the goal?

Yes, and no.

I want you to set goals that are broad, but also deep-rooted in your true WHY.

This will result in you prioritizing and caring about the process, not just the end result.

When you care about the process, you’ll take the time to make the small choices that add up over time.

When you care about the process, PERFECT no longer MATTERS. Consistency does.

When you care about the BIG PICTURE, minute details that are often negligible don’t matter. What matters is that you are taking steps forward every day.

Not Being Perfect, But Still Taking
Steps Forward Looks Like This:

You go to a restaurant and there’s nothing on the menu that technically fits your
macros, so you order the best option you
can find that still might put you over on
your carbs or fats, but only by a few
hundred calories rather than thousands.

You’re about to attend a party and you’re out of macros for the day and STARVING, so you opt to bring two liters of Coke Zero and a fruit and veggie platter to snack on (skip the ranch), going over your carbs but not indulging in
anything unnecessary.

You overate at a buffet with friends or
family, but you at least made sure to stop when you were FULL, not stuffed or
vomiting, and chose as many high protein, lean options to fill up the right way.

You ate a “cheat meal”, burgers and fries, and moved on the next day as if nothing wrong had happened because every now and then going off plan is NORMAL.
Being RESULT-Focused Looks Like

You go to a restaurant and there’s nothing on the menu that technically fits your macros, so you order the biggest burger and fries on the menu and a milkshake for dessert, because “screw it, I’ll start over

You’re about to attend a party, out of macros for the day and starving, and you show up empty-handed and decide to gorge on cookies, pizza and heavy drinks all night long because you’ve already screwed yourself for the night by not saving extra room.

You overate at a buffet until you puked because tracking AYCE is impossible, and
then ate your fill again after you had
“emptied the tank.”

You ate a “cheat meal”, burgers and fries, came home and continued to devour all
the oreos in your pantry, ice cream in your fridge, and more because you “already
messed up.”

If you’re truly in this for the lifestyle of being a better version of yourself, the small slip ups don’t matter.

Remember that adherence over the long term is what counts, and if you never give up and keep putting in work over years and years, you WILL be your fittest self and you WILL achieve sustainable results and be able to maintain them. Meanwhile, your friends, the fad dieters, keto-zealots, whole-30 fanatics, and paleo pushers will wonder what magic pill you’re on and will continue their yo-yo diet and regain cycle.

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Hey, I'm Marissa

I am an online health & fitness coach with a passion for helping others reach their fitness goals, no matter how many times they have tried in the past.

My mission is to educate you throughout our time working together so that you are equipped to challenge yourself through nutrition & training for life.

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