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The ALL or NOTHING Mentality

Discussion in 'Fitness Challenges' started by thepump13, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. thepump13

    thepump13 Well-Known Member

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    I am starting this thread for those of us who suffer from the self-sabotaging ALL or NOTHING mentality...I will start as I just recently have gone through another "phase"....

    I was plugging right along with my workouts and looking better each day. I even managed to workout last Saturday and Sunday while traveling for a wedding. However, Monday morning I decided to eat half a muffin at a work meeting. Then I ate the other half. Then I ate half of another one....then I stopped. Immediately after the meeting I felt like shit about myself and kept telling myself "don't worry, you can work it off at the gym..." Then I had a healthy lunch, but then a cookie. After all, I had already had 1 1/2 muffins. Then frozen yogurt after work. Then half a bagel for dinner....and no Monday workout. Duplicate this for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (including chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant). Finally I drug my ass to the gym this morning for a painful hour spin class. I haven't even managed to begin to sweat out all of these carbs. And now, I have managed to ruin a weeks worth of efforts....all starting with one muffin!
     
  2. banderbe

    banderbe Active Member

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    Sounds like you're beating yourself up over nothing.

    Cheating is okay. Skipping a workout is okay.

    Sometimes we need those things in order to stay sane.

    The important part is that you always return to your goals and keep plugging away. Eventually you get better and better.

    Changing one's habits and thought processes is similar to the movement of tectonic plates in the Earth. It takes a long, long time.
     
  3. kd1

    kd1 Active Member

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    Thing is, although it's good to feed the craving, if the craving hits every day and I feed it, then my diet is out the window. That and one cookie is often not enough to complete the craving. Then the guilt follows, which I hate, especially when you shouldnt feel guilty for eating an enjoying snack. The reason for the guilt is that these snacks happen every day for me. So every day I undo hard work. Then every tomorrow I have to start all over again!

    So for me...I want to do all or nothing and schedule in my cravings. Unfortunately once I've done that and tasted the sweet things again, then I'm off the bandwagon.

    I know it's all in my head and my own willpower, I just can't believe it's this hard!
     
  4. virtualadrian

    virtualadrian Active Member

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    Count me in!

    I think what everyone that wants to enter this challenge needs to do is create a Fitday account, and have at least one oatmeal raisin cookie / day. :D Maybe two. I vote you have one during your morning snack with fat free milk. The second post workout. So buy a big box, if that sounds good let me know I'd love to go buy a bunch at lunch :tucool:

    Here is my Fitday Journal for today

    http://www.fitday.com/WebFit/PublicJournals.html?Owner=glock22ownr

    I've had everything up to the Brown Rice on the list... that starts lunch. My first weight lifting session is out of the way too, that was this morning. Post your own doings for the day :) and plans
     
  5. thepump13

    thepump13 Well-Known Member

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    I wish you were right, but this is not the case....YES, I do beat myself up over the little things, BUT these little cookies lead to bigger binges and then I look at myself in COMPLETE disgust...again, it is really hard to look at myself now because all I think about is how I used to look only one year ago,...and I have to live with the fact that it is ALL my fault. I know some people probably would see that as motivation, but it just makes me more depressed!
     
  6. Bluestreak

    Bluestreak Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely, positively despise the "all or nothing" mentality and I do my best to carpet-bomb JSF threads where I see people touting it as the only way to achieve. John has created a wonderful place here, but it's built around the "all or nothing" mentality because that was his path to success.

    What most people miss while they stare at John's before and after pictures is that "all or nothing" is NOT the only way to go, and dare I say, I think the failure rate it precipitates is much greater than that of those who make a plan to change and integrate the changes slowly rather than all at once.

    Most people, myself included, simply don't do well with "all or nothing". For me, it is nearly impossible to make broad, sweeping changes all in one felt swoop. I have to do it in bite-sized chunks and make each change a habit before moving forward to the next change necessary in pursuit of some goal.

    I am long-since past the transformation stage, but I still require changes to make progress. Over the last year, I've added nearly 5-lbs. of lean mass while maintaining body fat below 11-12% - no bulking cycles, no cutting cycles, just carefully tracked calories, nutrients, and intense workouts. Every lift has increased, every body dimension has changed positively, and I've done it my way. I wasn't worried about what this forum says. Or what John does. Or what Swolecat says. Or what Mastover says. I did it my way, and believed in it every step of the way. Belief in your path counts for a whole lot more than any expert advice can impart to you.

    Whenever a change is needed, I make a plan. I draw a line between Point A and Point B and I figure out what change, or changes, need be made to achieve it. Then I look at those changes and make them a little at a time. One week, I'll alter diet. The next week, I'll alter my lifting. The following week, I might alter my cardio... and so on and so forth, until before you know it, you've made habit of all the changes you needed to - but you didn't have to do it all at once and though success comes more gradually with this mentality, I believe success is more sustainable with it. You didn't have to mind a slew of changes. This is very positive - because this is where people fail. They fail in one facet of training/nutrition, and they abandon the other necessary changes they were facilitating simultaneously because of the "all or nothing" mentality.

    Stop the self-sabotaging and learn to plan for change. Plan to make change. Make it palatable to you - and to the people around you, because whether you know it or not, your transformation affects the people in your life, too.

    Good luck.

    -R
     
  7. virtualadrian

    virtualadrian Active Member

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    Enter my motivational challenge

    thepump13 you should enter my motivational challenge :) I don't know how many folks I can handle since I will have to read their journals / comment / push, but enter now ... flash flash bling bling... its all the rave :)
     
    #7 virtualadrian, Jun 29, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2007
  8. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    :(

    It could be that your goals are not clear enough. Or that the goals you've chosen for yourself don't match what you think your goals should be.

    If I remember correctly, you're currently at a healthy body weight.

    Carrying guilt along with you is not healthy behavior, and can lead to much greater problems than your physical health. When it gets to the point where your dietary habits are creating more stress than what they are alleviating, it's time for a review of what goals you are trying to reach and why they are important to you. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. When they are, it's much easier to see how sticking to that path will lead you closer to your goals. At the moment you had a dietary weakness, weight loss was not an important goal for you. Each time you stray, you then must rededicate yourself to the original goal, or decide to take a new branch on that path. For me, I've decided that the comfort I get from food is worth a little sacrifice in a not-quite-perfect body.

    On the days that I find myself craving too many treats, it is usually after lengthy periods of deprivation (either of carbohydrates in particular, or of total calories). I understand what you mean about one instance of binge behavior triggering future binge patterns, so the way I control for that is that I build small treats into my diet so that every day I am eating something completely delicious and don't feel deprived. In fact, most days everything I eat is completely delicious.

    Eating's not a bad thing, and even eating "bad" food once in a while is not a bad thing.

    1 1/2 muffins, a cookie, frozen yogurt, and half a bagel in additional to regular healthy meals? That's called a nice relaxing day for me. I wish there was a way that you could appreciate that occasional indulgence without feeling so much guilt around it.
     
  9. giuliano

    giuliano Active Member

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    ehy thepump13,
    I completely know what are your feelings. It's something I faced many times in my life.

    One follows his diet strictly for weeks, avoiding any kind of junk food. One day, just by chance, he eats a small -lovely- butter biscuit and BOOM! Guilts sets in and he feels pathetic and starts sabotaging himself...
    He could have stopped there, because just one biscuit could not be that bad, right? That was just 1 hundred calories, c'mon, where's the problem? But no, he has to f**k up everything, and so he finishes all the damn bag of biscuits and he transforms something that wasn't even an issue in a BIG PROBLEM... But it's not over, because now he feels even more depressed than before and he falls in a non-ending cycle that leads to post-diet overeating and the dieter not only regains all the fat back, but even puts on some pound more.

    There's really no reason for such an extreme behavior: diet and fitness should be long-term (or should I say 'all life'?), so behaving like obsessive won't help, unless you really know what you're doing and know you can handle it.


    You dieted for the last two weeks in a perfect manner: now you'd likely eat one biscuit? DO IT. Nothing will go bad.
    Instead, if you deprive yourself and keep on the obsessive path, in the end you will give up and end up eating the damn whole bag.


    Many people on these forums have understood this concept and started including 'cheat meals' in their diets. I don't like to call them cheat because it makes me feel like they're something 'wrong', 'bad'. Instead I prefer call them 'Free Meals'.

    Anyway free meal doesn't mean you can eat like crazy... balance is always the key.
    You might want to follow these rules:
    • As I just said, don't eat like it's your last meal in life... Always remember you are on diet and that you are taking these free meals for making diet easier, you don't want to feel like sh** after it.
    • No more than 1 or 2 free meals per week
    • Eating free meals on non-consecutive days. If you eating one on Saturday, don't eat the other one on Monday.
    • Free meal doesn't mean junk food only: try to include high-carb low-fat food.
    I hope you manage to get out from this feeling of guilt and start to enjoy the pleasure that comes from balancing a life of hard work with sporadic self-indulgence, which really doesn't harm. :tu:
     
  10. Thrust

    Thrust Active Member

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    Wow!!

    I needed this thread! I'll share a recent experience--

    I "attack" everything I do with an "all or nothing" mentality. I suppose I was socialized to give 110% to everything you do and if you can't don't even try because anything less is sub-optimal.

    Anyway, I just completed the JSF "100 Challenge" for June. I had to be out of town for a conference during the last two days of June (29th and 30th) and knew it would be hard to eat clean during these two day. To remove any possibility of having to eat dirty I made preparations to bring my own food for every meal. I literally had a pack of tuna and spinach setting while parked in a mall parking lot. I went to the conference and simply ignored all the treats laid out on the table (brownies, cookies, strawberries and chocolate, etc.).

    Fast-forward to 7/1, my wife came home with a new jar of cinamon/raisin natural PB (I love this stuff and while it's a healthy food I tend to overendulge). I literally had 1/2 the jar in one afternoon. Feeling guilty, I decided that she and I should go ahead and have that "cheat treat" that we'd both promised ourselves for the past 30-days. We went to Cold Stone and I ordered a LARGE ice cream with a waffle bowl. The wife had a small (which I later finished). Well, so I overendulged--I could start back clean the next day, correct? Nope. During our weekly trip to the supermarket they had just placed some freshly made portabella white pizza's out on display. They looked VERY tempting and since they were small (like a personal sized pizza) the wife and I decided to get one (one each was my suggestion). So, again the wife was unable to finish her pizza so I had 1 and 1/2 pizza. Of course, dark chocolate covered almonds were going to be a "healthy treat" to last the course of the next week--I finished those off in two days. I've already screwed up so bad why not "waste the rest of today and start fresh tomorrow?" So, that evening the wife baked a chocolate cake for one of the other girls at work. Of course there was extra batter left over for her to make a smaller cake as well. I ate 3/4 that night before bed (along with more natural PB). Finally, off to bed and a new day!!

    Transformers opened Monday and I decided that a little bit of popcorn wouldn't hurt since I'm already so "carb infested." What, they offer free refills on the $7.00 large size? GET THAT!! I had two large movie theater butter popcorns!

    I feel like a carb whore and I'm still trying to recover. What damage was done?

    Scale said:

    6/27/07--163lbs.
    7/4/07--171lbs.

    I'm officially back on the wagon, however, I'm already back down to 167lbs. and I do have MOUNDS of energy from all the carbs. I've regained my composure and will recover in another week or so. Still--I feel SOOOO guilty. :nono:
     
  11. Fet

    Fet Active Member

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    Here's my $0.02.

    There are varying "degrees" of self control....

    a) Some people will have a crap lunch, and think oh well, my week is shot, I'll start up again on Monday.

    b) Some people will have a crap lunch, and think oh well, my day is shot, I'll start up again tomorrow.

    c) Some people will have a crap lunch, and think oh well, lunch is a write-off, I'll start up again at dinner.

    d) Some people will start a crap lunch, and think Oh Crap! And they'll put down their fork and Walk. Away. From. The. Crap.

    I think I'm pretty much in category c). My goal is to advance to category d) :lol:

    But there's no guilt attached. Frustration, yes, because I KNOW I can do this, but guilt, no. Depending on my goals, I will schedule in treats as required to keep my dietary sanity, and if I eat off-plan, I try to get back on track asap. Even a few bad days in a row will merely delay whatever result I was aiming for, not a big deal unless it's contest-prep stuff with a firm deadline.
     
  12. thepump13

    thepump13 Well-Known Member

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    Wow...thank you for your contribution to the thread. Here is an update...since I started the thread I have been VERY diligent with my workouts and have not missed. BUT my diet is still half assed. I am trying to get better. I just keep asking myself ,"what was it about me a year ago that was so different mentally?" One year ago, I was cut up and around 133 pounds and ate completely CLEAN and never felt deprived...now I feel deprived all of the time and I look at myself in DISGUST. I can't fit into my clothes and I refuse to buy more so I end up wearing workout clothes all the time and never wanting to socialize because I feel terrible about myself. I did a spin class and 30 minutes of weights today and still feel like I need to go back for more cardio... Anyhow, I appreciate your story and wish you all the best!!!!!
     
  13. boLa8

    boLa8 Active Member

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    its no sin to fall off the wagon, but its a sin to not want to get back on it.
     
  14. thepump13

    thepump13 Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya! But, again, my problem is MODERATION. I get back on the wagon and go full force...and then one slight "mistake" (ie cheat meal, cheat snack, miss workout, try on clothes and they don't fit anymore) and I just sink.
     
  15. profdlp

    profdlp Well-Known Member

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    I used to be like that. The best I can offer is that you might try and work very hard to prepare yourself mentally for the next time that happens. They say that great athletes visualize success in their performance beforehand, making it much easier to achieve it when the chips are down.

    Try spending a few moments several times each day mentally picturing yourself having a glitch, then rebounding immediately to make up for it. You might even try intentionally scheduling a (smallish) cheat meal with concrete plans to follow it up the next day with an extra-effort workout - then do it! Developing the habit of getting right back in the saddle will pay off tremendously. :tu:
     
  16. thepump13

    thepump13 Well-Known Member

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    can you send me the link?
     
  17. Thrust

    Thrust Active Member

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    You're welcome and I'm both happy and sorry others share similar traits. Anyway, the "good" thing about falling off the wagon for brief periods is the recovery usually happens pretty quick. Since my little excursion into the land of chocolate and popcorn (where heaven lies, btw) I've managed to drop back down to 163 and low 12's/ high 11% BF (I'm estimating). The BAD thing is I keep wondering where I would have been had I not fallen off the wagon. Anyway, if you're like me and have basically succumb to the notion that you won't change the "all or nothing" attitude the easiest way I've found to be diligent is to remove temptations. When I go to the store I simply don't buy the treats and then, since they're not around, I can't grab a handful of this/that. About the clothes, keep working at it and you'll eventually get back down!! :bb:
     
  18. thepump13

    thepump13 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! BTW, I just entered "heaven"...had 3/4 a chocolate muffin BUT I am not going to freak out!!!! NOT going to freak out...NOT going to freak out. I also had some plain grilled chicken breast with it! What a meal!
    I did 30 minutes of cardio this morning and will hit the gym tonight! Again, NOT going to freak out!
     
  19. thepump13

    thepump13 Well-Known Member

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