Any Advice for an "All or Nothing" Person?

My biggest obstacle is that I am an all or nothing person. I either eat anything and do no exercise or I completely obsess over every calorie. Been at this a few weeks this time and I feel myself already thinking I need to work out more and more. I'm spending too much time on fitness goals and not enough on work or school. This is what usually gets me off my health kick because I wind up having to attend to all I've neglected. I'm trying to avoid that this time. Does anyone else have this personality quirk and if so how have you conquered it and found balance?

Replies

  • usmcmp
    usmcmp Posts: 21,225 Member
    I plan ahead. Sundays I prepare meals for the week and plan my dinner menus for the week. I used to log every meal for the week ahead of time and leave 200-400 calories for unplanned things, but I've been able to move away from that. It allows me a few hours of obsession about the nutrition and fitness goals while freeing up the rest of the week.
  • 2011rocket3touring
    2011rocket3touring Posts: 1,346 Member
    I'm that way and the way I got over it (sort of) is to acknowledge that my goal shouldn't be to lose weight, but to acquire healthier habits that will lead to weight loss. Habits that I can keep for life.
    I've set my weight loss goal modestly, exercise once a day for 6 days and take the 7th for rest.
    I've focused on making the baby steps, on making sustainable changes.
    I have no goal weight, no desire to be a underwear model, just want to be in a better place than I am now.
    From time to time I still obsess, but I have a fitness friend that I talk all these things with and every once in a while talking to him I realize I'm over thinking things...
    Hope this helps!
  • aerochic42
    aerochic42 Posts: 791 Member
    I've had some luck with instead of big goals is much smaller goals, even to the daily level. Then when life interferes with my plan for today for whatever reason, tomorrow is an instant reset. You can still hit the all or none mentality just with less cycling. For instance, today I will avoid office food, eat 5 servings vegetables, 10000 steps, and brush/floss before bed. It also helps with establishing better habits so I can improve/ add to my daily goals.
  • michaeltermini
    michaeltermini Posts: 17 Member
    I'd simply say try not to be an all-or nothing person. If I was that way on being a body builder or rich, I'd fail. Progress made is a success story. Best wishes to you, always.
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    Be an 80/20 person, and frame your goals that way. For instance, you will exercise five out of seven days this week. Re-evaluate at the end of the week and if you've met your 80/20 goal, you are a success.
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    Bravo for noticing this pattern. It's not that uncommon considering it has a name and a treatment.

    http://cogbtherapy.com/cbt-blog/cognitive-distortions-all-or-nothing-thinking

    https://www.verywell.com/all-or-nothing-thinking-2584173
  • scottburger104
    scottburger104 Posts: 90 Member
    I tend to be this way. Perspective is the key. You can both temper it and use it to your advantage.
    I like intermittent fasting for instance because I want to eat until I am full which I can do but in a more limited time frame. Its great to be focused on fitness goals but the focus needs to be on understanding what is the best way to accomplish your goal and having a clear plan of action instead of attacking the problem without understanding. If you workout give it your 100% but doing more work than you can recover from is counter productive so realize on rest day you need to give recovery 100 % effort which then includes good nutrition, sleep, hydration, ect. Even you it doesn't seem like you are doing anything you can still be attacking your goal with 100% effort. Then catch up with your other obligations after you realize you don't have to train more than a couple hours a week at most to effectively meet the exercise portion of your goals.