We talk a lot about all-or-nothing thinking and good-or-bad thinking on our blog because it’s a big deal. After so many years of subscribing to this school of thought, whether we even know it or not, it’s hard to shake – like a lingering cold. But shake it we must, for it only draws out eating and weight struggles.
For life-long dieters, it’s habit. And even for us life-long dieters who have found enlightenment that neither dieting nor this way of thinking does us any good, it’s easy to catch ourselves talking our native tongue of good-or-bad.
And the problem with good-or-bad thinking is that when we are good, we need to be perfect, or else the whole thing is blown. And then, when we’ve labeled ourselves as bad, we decide to just be really, really bad while we’re at it. At least this is what how I am, and I’ve heard from many other women this is their M.O. as well.
So, this happened last weekend. Thankfully I caught myself and recognized the signs. Here’s how it went down.
I went to this cafe for lunch in Chester, VT. I already had in mind what I wanted, which I had decided was a “good” lunch. Well, the cafe was out of this particular menu item, so I ordered something “bad” instead. A grilled brie-and-tomato sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie.
You may ask what is wrong with this lunch? Nothing. Except at the time, I thought I shouldn’t have had the cookie. And I should have ordered the sandwich on wheat bread, not white. So, you see, I started believing that I sabotaged myself. And instead of a walk with a friend that afternoon as I had planned, I started thinking I should just call it off, order a pizza and watch Breaking Bad on Netflix. After all, I had “blown” it.
When it was 30 minutes before I was to meet my friend, I started to text her some lame excuse about it being cold out and not feeling up to the walk. But, there was a little voice in me that told me not to send the text and go on the walk. Not because it would counteract what I ate, but because it would give me energy to finish what I needed to finish that night, it would make my back feel better, and it would clear my head.
I’m happy to say I listened to that voice and not the good-or-bad voice that was trying to tell me I had already been bad, so why not go all the way?
I have a sign above my computer that reads “Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tires because you got a flat.” Perfect, right? If we could remember this more often, and shake the all-or-nothing thinking, maybe weight and eating wouldn’t be such a struggle after all.
Have you caught yourself engaging in good-or-bad or all-or-nothing thinking and where did it lead you?