Author: Tammy Taylor, CPT, BCS
I can’t believe I did so well with my diet all day and now I just blew it! I am never going to lose this weight! How could I have eaten two whole pieces of cake?! Seriously, why do I even bother to try?
If this chain of thought sounds familiar, you may be an “all-or-nothing” thinker, or as some would say, maybe a wee bit of a perfectionist. Being a perfectionist can have its positive side, such as the desire to make sure every detail is correct, striving for personal excellence, and having very high standards. These attributes can lead to some really outstanding results. However, the flip side of perfectionism is that you can also have tendencies toward being overly critical of yourself and others, have a fear of failure, or stop yourself from trying a project before you ever even start. When that critic in you decides to rear its head, all-or-nothing thinking takes over and begins to sabotage your success.
Having your decisions painted black or white leaves you no room to see the multitudes of grey shades that lie in between those two stark extremes of thoughts. In order to create a more balanced, long lasting approach to our weight loss journey, it can be helpful to practice viewing the world through a colorful lens of curiosity instead of a harsh lens of criticism.
We’ve put together 4 ways to help you begin to see the many shades of grey in your health journey and find your perfect balance:
1. Find the bigger picture
If you tend to be a more detail-oriented person it can be very easy to get bogged down by all the minor nuisances that a situation could present. A good way to combat this is to do a reality check. Ask yourself, will it matter doing this perfectly in a year? A month? A week? If the answer is “no” to all three, you are definitely wasting time doing this task perfectly.
2. List your accomplishments, too!
Instead of (or in addition to) writing a to-do-list every day, try writing an “all I’ve accomplished” list! Every evening try to take 5 min to write down all the tasks you accomplished that day. No matter how mundane they may seem, write them down! To keep that positive feeling of success going you can look back on your daily lists and have proof of all you have accomplished over the weeks, months, and even years!
3. Ditch the drama
All-or-nothing thinking brings out the inner actors in all of us. Every minor setback may feel like a catastrophic event that you will never be able to recover from. “If I have that piece of candy my whole diet will be blown” or “I didn’t make it to the gym again, I am such a failure.” When these strong feelings begin to arise in us it can be helpful to reframe the situation in a more positive light. For instance, saying to yourself, “I can have that piece of candy because I am creating sustainable changes” or, “I didn’t make it to the gym, but I have gone twice so far this week, and I have a plan to get back tomorrow.” Changing how you talk to yourself and the language you use can create truly powerful results. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t say something to a close friend then do not say it to yourself!
4. Separate your performance from your self worth
Achievement can be a wonderful fulfilling feeling. However, it is important to not tie your achievements into your sense of self worth. Your sense of self worth has to come from an internal sense of who you are regardless of outside influences. Learn to enjoy the journey as opposed to only honing in on the destination. Instead of focusing solely on the number on the scale, eat healthy and workout to have energy, improve sleep, to feel strong, and to improve the overall quality of life.
If you are looking to break free from that all-or-nothing thought cycle and true lifestyle change sign up for your 14-day Noom trial today!