When I was growing up I often heard the saying "If you can't do something right then don't do it at all". This kind of mantra can lend itself to an 'all or nothing mindset' which is so popular when attempting to lead a healthier lifestyle. The quest for perfection can actually sabotage our best efforts and in some ways be a convienant cop-out in achieving our health goals. Are you prone to the 'all or nothing mindset'?
Answer these questions to find out:
1. Do you typically begin your new program, idea, meal plan, exercise routine on a Monday?
2. Do you use the words good and bad to describe certain foods and your eating behavior?
3. Do you typically want to speed up the process by eating less food or Health One Meal Replacements than your meal plan suggests to reach your goal?
4. Do you expect to suffer, feeling starved & deprived?
5. Do you expect to completely eliminate your favorite foods?
6. Do you 'fall off the wagon' and 'throw in the towel' after making just one unhealthy food choice?
7. Are you convinced that past failed attempts were due to lack of effort and/or staying focused?
What changes have you made over the years to decrease the pattern of 'all or nothing'?
Here are some suggestions to help with the 'all or nothing' mindset:
1. Don't start on a Monday! Of the 46% of the people that started on Monday, by Tuesday evening 32% were back off track. Starting on a Monday can be a subtle way of giving yourself permission to go all out on the weekends.
2. Ditch 'good' and 'bad' foods.
3. Stop starving yourself for faster results.
4. Don't suffer through your diet.
5. Don't dump your favorite foods.
6. Don't let mistakes derail you.
7. Forget the past.
(information modified from Sparkpeople.com)