Weight Loss Support - all or nothing thinking

View Full Version : all or nothing thinking

03-30-2009, 01:39 AM
gosh..why is it so common if we cheat on our diets to go blow the rest of the day? If I have a few cookies or pizza... I feel I blew it and just go eat anything the rest of the day and don't exercise figuring I won't burn all the calories I just ate anyway...then I just feel bad for not doing anything different that day. What causes this thinking?

03-30-2009, 02:16 AM
I don't know what causes it, but I am very much the same way. This is why I can't seem to stick to a plan for more than a week, because once I blow it, I blow it bad. Then I just keep up the bad habits. This is one of the reasons I joined here and plan to visit everyday, or at least most days, hoping for the inspiration to keep it up.

Anyway, just know you are not alone.

03-30-2009, 03:03 AM
I definitely used to feel exactly like that - I realized for me, I had to give up that way of thinking. I really had to sit down with myself and say "no one is perfect, NO ONE - you're going to mess up, you're going to mess up a lot - since this is for the rest of your life."

Life is messy, life is unplanned, life gets complicated, and I am surrounded by temptation every day. From a free warm chocolate chip cookie at Brighton when I stopped in to pick up a hairclip on Saturday to Christmas dinner at Mom's - I will eat things I didn't plan to eat.

I must forgive myself and get back on track at the next opportunity.

I can think about what happened, plan better strategies (look at the menu online before I get there, bring my own healthy lunch, just say no, etc etc) for the next time a similar occasion happens, but I MUST get back on track the next eating opportunity. A bad meal does not mean a bad day, a bad weekend or a bad week...or month or year (as was the case several times in my life). It means one meal. Back on track.

I've used this mental mindset to manage my weight loss for the past 4 years. And woo, there have been some offplanned eating events (Paris Buffet in Vegas??). But here I am, 132...2 lbs above goal weight, 4 years later. I never EVER let an unplanned single meal slip into a day or weekend. It used to really bug me, why did I do that? I finally had to say "I don't care why I used to just give up the rest of the day and eat cheesecake - I'm not doing that anymore - THIS is what I'm doing now."

Someone mentioned in another thread that a lot of us are very cerebral, we spend a lot of time THINKING about weight, losing weight, being thin, and we get so caught up with the thinking that sometimes we don't DO. I didn't want give up entire days anymore, I knew it was self-sabotage. I realized I really didn't have to know why, just that I wanted that behavior to end and what I wanted my new behavior to be.

03-30-2009, 03:25 AM
I used to think like that... now I think, "OK, I screwed up, now I'm going to go for a long walk or jog or ride my bike." I can just start over that hour, that minute.

03-30-2009, 03:36 AM
I'm trying to work on that myself, not easy though. That's why I don't allow myself any cheats because as I have one, I'll slip off for the whole day and in a while my diet and efforts will be lost. :( I keep on delaying my cheat meal because I have seen so many times that after one cheat I keep on cheating all the time. Aww...

03-30-2009, 05:26 AM
I am the same way. Well I was anyway, but for some reason I feel different about my eating now. I use to concentrate so hard on the number of pounds I've lost that I ended up failing. I hit my low 4 weeks ago and just broke down in front of my husband and said to him "I'm dying!" He turned white as a ghost. I told him that I can't keep doing this to myself and if I don't change I won't see my 12 yr old son graduate high school. I made him aware that I needed his support 100 %. The house was cleaned out of all unhealthy foods and I restocked slowly and have found so many great things I can have. I don't think about the scale so much any more. I think about how much better I'm gonna feel. My high blood pressure will correct itself and maybe I can stop taking the meds for that and the meds for cholesterol. I take vicodin almost every morning due to back & hip pain and I'm sure that will improve. I have already noticed a few of my favorite articles of clothing are getting a little loose fitting.
I just don't concentrate on the numbers on the scale and they are going down, I look at the overall picture. I love to cook and now I'm finding it very adventuresome to find better ways to make things. I'm really enjoying it this time and I have lost 15 pounds doing it. Yeah Me!:carrot:

03-30-2009, 05:42 AM
I think it's a way to mentally punish ourselves when we "go off track."

Like others already said in this post: just get back on track with your next meal & exercise routine :)

~ tea

03-30-2009, 06:55 AM
This doesn't happen for me. The reason for this is because I don't consider any foods "bad"; I don't ban anything from my diet or consider anything as a "cheat food". If I eat something unhealthy, I don't consider it "off plan", or that I've "slipped up". For me, this sort of mentality makes me think "fat person on a diet" and not "healthy person eating well for life".

So what if I eat some cookies or a burger? I don't do it all the time and the occasional unhealthy snack is not the thing that's made me fat - if I think that, I'm kidding myself. Do I intend to live my life never letting junk food pass my lips? Of course not - in moderation, I want to be able to enjoy all foods. Ice cream and fries don't make people fat. It's the people that make themselves fat, often by having poor self-control around foods that they enjoy. For me, the lesson is to change that attitude, psychologically, instead of treating the symptom by removing unhealthy and nutritionally empty things from the diet altogether.

I'm so glad I changed my attitude. Not only do I now not feel bad at all if I occasionally eat something really unhealthy, but also, from not banning anything outright, I've learned important lessons about restraint and eating in moderation. I can happily have all manner of junk foods and unhealthy things around me, and I feel 100% in control. I can eat just a small amount of something unhealthy, if I feel like it, and I can stop just as easily. I really feel that what I'm doing now is sustainable and I don't feel like I'm punishing myself by beating myself up psychologically when I eat something bad for me, or by removing things I enjoy from my diet. I want to commit to this for life. Why would I want it to be anything but pleasant?

03-30-2009, 09:07 AM
Like most have said on this post, I was an all or nothing kind of girl. It was definitely about being perfect, for me. But now, I could care less about the scale or the being perfect for me? my family? strangers? I don't know, but I try to avoid certain temptations and when I can't i have a talk to myself about what it is I really want. I am a single parent, I HAVE to be around for my boy because NOBODY can take care of him like me. So for right now, no high calorie days (I don't like that word cheat) because it can snowball into a high calorie weekend, month, or whatever. I'm in this for the long haul and I use my level of physical fitness as my guide.

03-30-2009, 09:29 AM
It seems like i'm the same... I feel really bad when i do this,but there is no use to punish yourself once you screw your progress. I really hope this time i won't make the same mistake,as i have completely removed all the temptations from the kitchen-i plan to stick to my shopping list and won't buy anything that will saboutage my diet! I hope this will help-at least when i'm hungry i won't have other choice than eat an apple or any other fruit(chocolate is banned!!!)...but only time will show

03-30-2009, 09:34 AM
Yep. I still struggle with that. I think it's partly psychological -- the "well now I've blown it so may as well just give up" thinking. But, I also think there's a physical component. Sugar/carbs for me can be a major trigger. I don't know if it's because I just like it so much, or because it puts my blood sugar on a crazy roller coaster ride. If I have a cookie or even white bread, I just want more .. and more ... it seems almost uncontrollable sometimes. If I just don't go there, the cycle doesn't start. I don't know if it's that way for everyone, but it can be for me.

I've gotten really good about getting back on plan the NEXT day, but not so good about getting back on plan THAT day. I'm still working on that ....

03-30-2009, 09:50 AM
I agree with Glory 100%. Sometimes I will even tell myself outloud "I control my next choice." I get back on plan immmediately.

03-30-2009, 11:10 AM
This is a huge component of compulsive overeating, and one that's plagued me all my life. I bet if you think about it, it applies to other areas of your life as well. I have a huge perfectionism streak that says, for example, that if I can't completely clean the kitchen in one go so that it looks like a model at Home Depot, then there's no point in washing the dishes. Ya know?

I really have had to teach myself to talk to myself and counter those voices. They never go away -- there's always a voice that says, "Might as well eat what I want the rest of the day since I've blown it" -- but I've learned to answer back in a positive way and shout it down. Most of the time, anyway. :) I've also learned to plan around it, to anticipate where things may not go perfectly and have a plan of action. For example, I may know that I'm going out with friends for a birthday lunch for one of the girls. I know that's an opportunity to slip. I don't anticipate slipping, I go to the lunch with a firm plan of what I'll eat. But, I also am mentally prepared to go on with the rest of my day as I should regardless of what happens at lunch -- to the gym after work, eating my normal dinner, etc. The more planning and mental rehearsal I do, the better off I am.

One thing that really helped me to recognize this about myself, and start to turn it around, was the book The Thin Books: Daily Strategies & Meditations for Fat-Free, Guilt-Free, Binge-Free Living (http://www.amazon.com/Thin-Books-Strategies-Meditations-Guilt-Free/dp/1568381085/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238421695&sr=8-13). The author is a member of Overeaters Anonymous, but it's not a 12-step book. Note that she is a vegetarian and part of the book promotes that diet plan, but it's the mind stuff that's the central part of the message.

03-30-2009, 11:30 AM
I should also add, what I eat is very based on structure and routine. I plan meals to an extent that might be considered weird by someone who hasn't struggled with a weight issue. By Sunday, I know (pretty much) what I'm having for every meal/snack until Friday and I have all those foods in the house, most of them prepped, lunches packed and ready to go. So, if I go offplan - it is EASY for me to just fall back into routine.

If I eat cheese/crackers at a work event, I don't have to think "well, I screwed that up, might as well get some fries" I know that in my bag, I have my healthy snack, or my healthy dinner is all ready to go at home. I hate to waste things I've bought, so it's easier for me to say, I will just go home and make stir fry like I planned, I have all the stuff already.

Everyone has to figure out what works for them, planning DEFINITELY works for me, it's like a safety net under me all the time.

Lori Bell
03-30-2009, 12:18 PM
We all have choices. I remember a few times when I was a teen I stayed out past my curfew. I was to be home by 11pm and at 11:30 I realized I was late. Did I rush right home to face the music? Nope, I knew I was already in deep do-do so I would stay out a few more hours because it didn't matter anymore. I was going to be in trouble no matter what. I was the same way when I did poorly on a test. Did I do extra credit and try to get my grade back up...? Nope, I stopped trying because I knew I was already in trouble....In my house the severity of the crime didn't matter, you were always punished severely. I still feel the need to punish myself, but now I'm an adult and I call the shots. I don't have to suffer for days because of a small mistake at lunch...ya know? I forgive and move on.

Oh 2 be me
03-30-2009, 12:45 PM
I really needed to read this thread.
I've slowly gotten off the path because of some bad choices and my weight is slowly creepign back up.
I do feel that this time things are different for me tho. I know this time that I do have a choice. It's a journey, it's ok to fall off the track, it's not ok to stay there and wallow in self pity and woe is me, I'm just no good, I'm a failure. (I'm saying this about other things in mylife also, still learning in those areas, tho).
There are things I know that is best for me not to eat, not only becuase I'll cave but becuase they aren't healthy-for me.
I need to refocus on what my goals are.
Thanks for the advice, encouragement in this thread. I love comign on here and reading of the successes adn the "losses".

03-30-2009, 12:55 PM
I agree with Glory 100%. Sometimes I will even tell myself outloud "I control my next choice." I get back on plan immmediately.

I know this is what I SHOULD do but I don't always!! Having cheated once, the compulsion to say "Oh sod it!" and have another cookie is very strong at times.

I try not to though - and if I feel the need to eat something anyway, I try to make it a heathy choice. Easy at my house as all I have are healthy choices - much harder at my bfs - I have been known to raid his chocolate cupboard before now.

03-30-2009, 12:56 PM
As Patty H has stated very well ... oh poor me is an interesting concept, either in life-in-general or just weight loss. Especially when you consider what we are willing to do for (or to) poor old me.

03-30-2009, 02:00 PM
Just smile and keep your head high!! Learn from these 'mistakes' if you consider them mistakes. I rarely do. If I get all call to go out for some yummy but calorie rich Spanish food I think to myself, "What have I eaten today?", "Can I afford the calories?", or more often "Do I have time tonight to spend an extra hour or so on cardio to burn those off?"... if I can't, I'll still go and then cut out a few extra calories in the following days. Is this the right way? I have no idea. But it's worked.

I'm a calorie counter... calorie in-calorie out. Aim for a deficit. Watch the scale drop.