Ditch All-or-Nothing Mentality
Here’s a sneak peek into the fitness e-book I’ve been working on. As with all things in life, it’s taking longer than I thought it would. As soon as it’s finished, I will make it available to you for free, for a limited time!
Nothing will derail your fitness efforts faster than all-or-nothing thinking.
It’s the voice that says,
“I don’t have a full hour to work out, so I’m not exercising today.”
“I already messed up breakfast, I might as well eat this cake…and French fries…with a giant Pepsi. And order deep-dish meat-lovers pizza for dinner. And sit on the couch and watch The Bachelor. While I also eat this bowl of ice cream with crushed up Reese’s Easter Eggs on top.”
This voice says, “If I can’t do it perfectly, then I’m not doing anything.”
I know this voice well. It used to speak to me all day long. I used to wake up each morning with a fresh resolve to be healthy. But if I ate the bagel with cream cheese or didn’t exercise at least 30 minutes, I felt like I messed up the whole day. So, I’d wait until the next day, where I could wake up with fresh resolve.
I did this almost every day.
This voice was especially loud during holidays, parties, vacations and weekends. It would scream at me, “THERE’S NO USE TRYING TO BE HEALTHY TODAY BECAUSE IT’S SATURDAY (or your birthday/ or Super Bowl Sunday/or Fat Tuesday/ or December/or 2008…)
If I couldn’t be “healthy” all day/week/month/year, I wouldn’t even try.
Then, I realized, that voice is a big fat liar. It’s not true. Just because it’s Saturday, and I may eat out tonight or maybe want pancakes for breakfast, it doesn’t mean the entire day is a wash.
Just because it’s vacation and we’ll be eating more and resting more, doesn’t mean I need to lay on a beach chair and stuff Pringles in my mouth for seven straight days. Just because it’s the holiday season, it doesn’t mean I must eat cookies and pumpkin pie daily from November through New Year’s Day.
I can do SOMETHING good for my health today. I can eat SOME good meals. I can get SOME exercise. One healthy meal. Ten minutes on the elliptical. Something.
Something is better than nothing.
Repeat after me:
“Something is better than nothing.”
SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING!
I started saying it every day. Several times a day. This has become my fitness mantra.
You have hundreds of opportunities every single day to choose the healthy option. Missing one or two of those opportunities doesn’t need to derail you completely. Doing a little of something healthy is better than doing nothing healthy.
• You can choose eggs instead of the bagel and cream cheese.
• You can choose to run up the stairs instead of walk.
• You can choose to drink a few sips of water as you swing through the kitchen.
• You can choose to grab an apple and a few nuts as you’re headed out to run errands.
• You can choose to park at the back of the parking lot, and walk.
• You can just choose to walk and not drive at all.
• You can pull into Panera Bread instead of Burger King.
• While at Panera Bread, you can order bean soup and chicken cobb salad with avocado instead of a cinnamon crunch bagel with hazelnut cream cheese (You can do hard things!)
• You can choose to do a 20-minute workout instead of scrolling through Instagram.
• You can choose to bypass dessert.
• You can order green tea, no sugar, instead of a venti vanilla latte with whip cream.
• You can grill the chicken instead of fry it.
• You can choose steamed veggies over a plate of pasta.
• You can choose to drink chamomile tea instead of eat a bowl of cereal (or chips or ice cream) before bedtime.
• You can choose to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep instead of watch The Tonight Show.
What a tragedy it would be to miss all the little healthy opportunities in a day, simply because you couldn’t get past your choice to eat the bagel this morning.
So what, if you ate the bagel?
So what, if it was a big ole’ giant white flour bagel with full-fat cream cheese, and you ate the entire thing, and you loved every stinking second of it?
You can still choose to run up the stairs instead of walk. And drink a few sips of water as you swing through the kitchen. And grab an apple and nuts on your way out the door….
All-or-nothing will get you nowhere but discouraged, sick and overweight.
Today, your job is to remember to make the next healthy decision, even when you mess up. And say out loud, “Something is better than nothing.”
Ooh! Spot on, Sandy! I have an illness that requires regular rest, as well as healthy eating. This past week I’ve been listening to a self-hypnosis MP3 (on self-discipline) to try to improve on my ‘performance’ because when I keep overdoing things I prolong the illness. I have had to face up to the fact that rest is crucial and that my health is more important than anything else because until I am well I can’t look after my family in the way I would like to. The bust and burn cycle doesn’t just hurt me, it impacts the whole family. But it’s so hard! I have already realised that the perfectionism is a big issue. Sigh. But it’s all about progress and thankfully I have a heavenly Father who never asks, or expects, ‘perfect’ (knowing that has been really helpful)!
Rest is so important.
Amen Sister! Preach!
I was just chatting with a friend the other day. And she was talking about the choices that are out of her control, like food available on vacation, etc. I reminded her of something I have said to myself over and over again. I said “If all you have are bad choices, make the best bad choice!” If you are at McDonalds, order the grilled chicken sandwich and a side salad. Or a happy meal with apples and milk. Sure it’s still McCrap, but it better than a Big Mac and a milkshake! If you are at a buffet, fill half your plate with salad. If you don’t feel up to working out, take a walk….no one ever in the history of the world has regretted a walk! If JLaw is playing whisper challenge on the Tonight Show, pvr it and go to bed! Little things add up.
Now I have to go. We are going to NYC in May and the Tonight Show wait list opens in 29 mins. Fingers crossed.
I love it. I wish I had learned that lesson years ago. I can’t honestly say, that I’m ALL the way there yet. LOL!
Love it girl! You KNEW I would say AMEN with this post! 🙂
Nice new look on your blog. I think the hardest thing to do is to make the choice to just start. I think if you commit to just starting to exercise and don’t make yourself do some preset time then I think it helps. I would say if you do not do but 5 minutes then feel good about it and the next day just start again.