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Old 02-26-2007, 10:30 PM   #1
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Default Stopping the All or Nothing Mentality

All or Nothing! Do or Die! Either you're in or you're out!

Really? No. Nope. Stop it.

I'm going to get on my soapbox here. Today, I went out to lunch due to poor planning. I got something I thought was healthy (chicken mole platter) only to go back later and figure out that WOW, that was a really bad choice.

All or nothing is one of the biggest pitfalls in dieting. Beating yourself up because you went off plan, slept in instead of going to the gym or had one too many martinis with your friends. If you're like a typical dieter, beating yourself up turns into self-doubt (or self-hate) and you start saying things like, "Why do I even try?" "Who am I fooling? I'm never going to lose this weight." "I hate myself."

I'm here to tell you to cut it out.

This self-talk is not going to get you anywhere except unhappier, unhealthier and all out grumpy.

So how do we turn it around? How do you go from burying your face in a three layer cake to the treadmill? How do you NOT turn one mistake into a week of gluttony and depression?

Here's my advice:
1. Own it. Sticking your head in the sand is not going to work.
2. Figure out what went wrong. Was it a bad day? Did you forget to plan? Or is it something you've cut out of your diet entirely and now your binging on it?
3. Is there a way to avoid this in the future? How?
4. Do ONE healthy thing AFTER the slip up - THAT DAY if possible. This is going to put you back on track. Yes, I ate the whole bag but I got on the treadmill and I wasn't planning on doing that today or I drank all my water or I ate more vegetables for dinner or I journaled all the food and the feelings that went with them.

Try to remember that being super strict on yourself is like being a overbearing parent - one day you're going to act out. Give yourself a break every once in awhile. Figure out a strategy that works for you.

So what's your advice to other people who fall off the wagon?
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:44 PM   #2
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I'm glad you got on your soapbox, that is good advice! When I have a slip up it's soooo hard to not let it have a snowball effect of destruction. I've gotten better at understanding that it takes more than one bad day to really do damage so now I try to get back on trak ASAP!

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Old 02-26-2007, 10:48 PM   #3
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I love this post!

I have already stated in a few posts what my mind set is this time and in a nutshell it is exactly what you said: I'm doing away with the all or nothing mentality. If getting dessert one night when go out to eat is going to keep me from going on a seven day binge, then so be it! I think if you plan to give into your cravings sometimes (not always, for me, I lean towards once a week) then you can't count it as falling off the wagon. You have the food you want, crave etc and then you are right back on plan.

I need to live with this the rest of my life; I don't want constant deprivation to be what I am living with.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:04 PM   #4
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very good point. At a weight watchers meeting once the leader made the point that if you miss a stair going down a staircase, you don't say well I've already slipped and throw yourself down the staircase; you try to fix your balance and keep on going.

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Old 02-26-2007, 11:11 PM   #5
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I have always had that all or nothing attitude. I would say it's my biggest problem. But when I make an offplan choice or have an offplan meal, I don't beat my self up, it's like wooohooo, what can I have next? When I am onplan I am sure to work in some treats and even pizza at times. So my plan is far from strict, as long as it's under 1800 then I'm good. But let's say I have done good all day. I have maybe 800 calories left for dinner. Then I end up choosing an italian beef w/ mozz and onion rings. I went over my calories for the day. But once I am over, it's like a free for all, I am so much more likely to then have dessert...heck I already blew it. Then the next morning, I am in the mood to eat because I ate crappy (and alot) last night. And the plan just goes down the drain. I would be fine if I could just say man...look how much I went over, I better stop right now. But I don't. Once I am over, It's like the gates have been unlocked.

It's so stupid, but it's how I behave time and time again. Once again proving the point it's all mental.

The Secret is: CONSISTENCY
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:46 PM   #6
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I'm with you Sandi - I definitely do that same thing from time to time. Lately it's been that I'm getting into NOT cooking, and eating badly usually means eating out. I've been trying to eat out with healthy foods, I find that helps. The girl at the salad place knows me FAR too well these days!

Another thing that I'm bad with is weigh in's, I figure since I'm *only* losing 1 pound a week that I'm not doing good. I dread weigh ins and I feel pretty crappy when I just see one stupid pound, I do beat myself up.. it's not good and I really have to get over it. 1 pound a week is GOOD! I annoy myself on weigh in days.. heh..


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Old 02-27-2007, 01:39 AM   #7
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Great post Jessica! I love your attitude!! (and you have a lovely profile pic too!)

My advise would be the same really. If something happens that is NOT according to how you want it, you CAN change it right away and turn it around as soon as possible. The only thing I could add is: STOP with any negative self-talk you may have. Look at it as "factual" and not a "story" - "I choose something that was higher in cals/points/whatever than I thought. It happened. RIGHT NOW I am moving on and making better choices" instead of "I screwed up. I'm bad. I'll never do this". Too much negative self-talk is detrimental to our goals.

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Old 02-27-2007, 07:03 AM   #8
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I might get shot for this, but for me and me only since I'm the only one I can speak for - all or nothing works best for me. It's not for everyone, but it's what "works" for me. I was 42 years old, 287 lbs. at a mere 5 feet tall, BMI of 56. I was in misery. It was no fun getting up in the morning. So for me I needed a complete overhaul and attitude adjustment. I had to face reality and deal with this head on, no fooling around. I truly looked at this as a life or death situation. I was doing everything wrong. High calorie foods in massive quantities and no exercise. Barely any activity at all. I couldn't leave myself any openings to let in any more of the bad stuff. I needed to gain CONTROL. I am an all or nothing type personality, it extends to other areas of my life as well.

Now of course that's not to say that I don't allow myself an occasional indulgence, because I do. I am in this for life and it would be insane to think that I will never eat bread, pasta, pizza,desserts and the such again. I most certainly will and have. When holidays, birthdays, social events and the such come about I plan to induldge a little and that's okay. I don't look at it as a "cheat", I look at it as PART of the plan. And even unplanned slip ups, I mean they are BOUND to happen and I consider those ALSO part of the plan. I no longer beat myself up overthem. I also used to think one bad meal was an invitation to eat poorly for the rest of the day, and week and month, etc. But that is no longer the case. One bad meal for me no longer necessarily means the whole day is shot. It's one bad meal - I move on. I am in this for life and sometimes - well, life happens. We are not perfect beings, we are human beings.

I sound like a broken record here - but I can't say this enough, we all have to find out what works best for ourselves. There is no one right way to do things. There is no one size fits all plan. And that's perfectly okay.

Last edited by rockinrobin; 02-27-2007 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Goddess Jessica View Post
Do ONE healthy thing AFTER the slip up - THAT DAY if possible
Jessica, this one point has been the difference between success or failure for me this time. Also, this time I have made the decision that I am not on a diet. A diet has a beginning and an end. I am changing my lifestyle which will never end! So, there is absolutely no reason to throw in the towel anymore and I've not messed anything up...I'm simply living my life! I do allow myself to have an occasional indulgence as I can not imagine living the rest of my life with a complete bann on those foods. The feelings of deprivation have also been stumbling blocks in my former endeavors to get my weight under control. "Poor me. I'm dieting and I can't have ........" I don't have to say this anymore.
I have had times when I've strayed off plan for 2-3 days, but I refuse to quit as I've have come a long way for me and I want to go even further.
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:49 PM   #10
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I *try* to plan for my slip ups. For instance, I'm going to an after work social/dinner this Friday. They have an open bar, lots of appetizers, and a wonderful dinner. I'm going to go to this event, make smart choices with my appetizers and drinks, and enjoy my surf and turf dinner. Saturday, I will go back to my usual plan and not feel bad about any of it. As much as I want to lose weight, I want to be HAPPY! I would be miserable if I went to this event and tried to severely restrict myself. So I'm going to enjoy myself and get back to plan on Saturday.
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Old 02-27-2007, 01:08 PM   #11
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Man, for me a slip-up is always about unplanned meals. The last one was waking up late for work, not having any milk on hand for coffee ("I'll get some on the way"), not having something grab-and-go ready for breakfast, which resulted in a 1,000-calorie trip to McDonald's. I, too, like the tip about doing one deliberate thing that day to get back on track. That's a great idea.
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Old 02-27-2007, 01:44 PM   #12
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rockinrobin - I'm not going to shoot you. But, reading your explaination of all or nothing, doesn't sound like all or nothing! If you talk to people that are all or nothing, a bad meal means the end of good meals. It sounds like you got a great plan and have a good attitude about how to handle setbacks.
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:00 PM   #13
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I guess you're right Jessica to an extent. Well if that's the case then I also say screw it to all or nothing!!!!

I guess by all or nothing I was talking about not just cutting back on portions, but also the types of food I was eating. I switched to a totally healthy diet AND watch my portions. And I have added exercise as well to my life. Whatever, once again, there is no one way to describe something what we've got in our brains. Even the all or nothing definition varies from person to person.

I will tell you that in the past a slip up WAS an invitation to months of out of control eating. It didn't take much to send me back over the edge. That is no longer the case. It took me years, no decades to figure all this out and come up with a plan for myself.
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