It’s Not All or Nothing

Lately I’ve realized that I’ve “regressed” in terms of my eating habits.  Earlier in my journey I was very careful of everything I ate, conscious of the calories counts of all my foods.  Now I don’t exercise the same sort of care when it comes to eating.  If we eat out, I don’t always  choose the healthy option but go for what I really want, whereas before I would research nutritional information and decided beforehand what I would eat so I could stay within my calories.  I have fallen into the trap of thinking of eating out as a “special occasion” and not worrying as much about the calories of those meals, but the truth is, we eat out every week.  It’s not a special occasion if it happens all the time!  (It’s also not a special occasion if where we’re eating is a fast food joint!)  Furthermore, why should I use eating out as a reason to eat junk?  I tell myself, “You deserve this, you’ve worked hard,” but what sense does that make?  I’m essentially saying, “You’ve worked really hard at burning a lot of calories through exercise, so you deserve to erase all of that hard work and eat a lot of fatty foods.”  That is completely illogical, and yet I do it all the time!

I’m not saying I’m never going to eat another french fry again because I’m not about completely eliminating foods from my diet, but I definitely need to reign in the desire to eat them and other fattening foods every time I go out to eat.  Moderation really is essential for weight loss, and I have been far from moderate with my eating (case in point:  the donuts, chips and dip, and ice cream I ate–all on Saturday!).  I’m putting this out there as a way of keeping myself accountable to all of you and also to confess that although I’ve lost 80 pounds, I’m still figuring out this healthy lifestyle thing.  The important thing I remind myself of is that even if I have a really rotten day of eating or even just one bad meal, I don’t throw in the towel and say, “Well, I may as well just eat everything in sight because I’ve already blown it.”  Would you do that in any other area of life?  If you woke up late for work, would you just say, “Well, I guess I’ll just stay home since I’m already 30 minutes late?”  Of course not!  If you failed one test in school, would you say, “Well, there’s no point in studying at all because I’m already a failure?”  No.  Weight loss, just like so many other areas of life, is not about perfection or an all or nothing mentality; it’s about persistence and consistency.  If I were aiming for perfection, I would have failed a long time ago!  So even though I may not like the way I’ve been eating recently, I am going to keep trying, stay focused, and not give up.

How do you resist the all or nothing mentality when it comes to eating or exercising?

8 thoughts on “It’s Not All or Nothing

  1. Well, I unfortunately still have a all or nothing mentality. I confessed this little fact about 2 post ago. A horrific weigh-in (+3.4)2 weeks ago triggered my all or nothingness and I basically lost control and pretty much ate what I wanted. But then I thought to myself who are you punishing by eating all of this crap? The answer to question was made apparent as I worked out even harder last week.

    I try to tell myself that I am not going to be 100% all the time when it comes to this weight loss endeavor. I also remind myself that it's okay to had a bad day or two, but my new clothes, comments, and small victories keep my focused.

    Like you I still struggle with urges and cravings, and it's sad to say, I think I will always struggle with that.


  2. i do this too. I am so purposeful about not “depriving” myself (who am i kidding–have you seen the things i bake? NO ONE in this house is even almost deprived) that I give in way too often. I get frustrated about it, but I absolutely MUST track everything I eat at this point or I will not make good choices.


  3. I've found it helps if I plan things out and count calories. I know how much space I have in my budget and I try to trade out foods if things don't go along with my plan. Then again, I have the all or nothing thinking a lot too. I'm trying to become dedicated again, but it's hard. Ultimately, I know I've set a date for myself to reach my target weight, and I want to get there. At a pound a week, it's reasonable, even with the recent gains. So I get motivated by my goal, which I know I can reach if I only try today.

    AND, I know that it won't taste as good as being thin will feel.


  4. LOVED this post. It is so true. the other night we went out for Mexican on Fri. then on Sat. I had two glasses of wine. Monday I was up four freakin pounds. SO frustrating. i have found I really have to do good 7 days a week to see a loss or stay the same. YES, it does stink. The Mexican food wasnt even THAT good…neither was the wine. Just not worth it. Love your blog!!


  5. I totally do this! I tell myself, “Today, I'll eat whatever I want, but I'll make it up tomorrow” – but I did that 3 days in a row, and wondered why I gained 2 pounds in 3 days? I really do need to be more purposeful and careful, like I was in the beginning. I've gotten complacent, or just tired of being “good”. ~ L


  6. My post yesterday was on avoiding deprivation and for me that's what happens to me if I say, “I'm never going to eat an Oreo again.” Then all I can think about is Oreos!

    But I can declare a moratorium on certain foods and that works well. I think that learning to moderate our choices is vital.

    Great post Erin!


  7. Wow…I could have written this post nearly word for word. This is certainly a lifetime journey and I'm learning that there are certain things I will always struggle with.

    You have done amazingly well. Keep up the great work. Dig down deep! You can do it! I'm cheering you on!


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