How To Break The All-Or-Nothing Lifestyle Cycle
Are you the type of person who eats in a reasonable way Monday morning through Friday afternoon? Or from breakfast through dinner?
But when that clock strikes 5 p.m. on Friday, or the kitchen closes down after dinner, you start to go Incredible Hulk?
By the time the weekend or night is over, you’ve eaten (or drunk) way too much, often of the foods you wouldn’t normally choose.
You feel crappy. Guilty. Regretful.
And any progress you’ve made towards having the body you want was erased thanks to the brief spell of eating
All-or-nothing lifestyle cycle – The problem
Have an eating routine that is “perfect”. Follow strict meal plans to the last teaspoon. You Get so sick of the boring, bland, and restrictive eating that you can’t wait to actually eat food you enjoy, all weekend or all evening.
Always going 100%.
After you create your “perfect” meal plan or “diet rules”, start worrying about screwing them up.
“It’s Saturday, I’m out with my family, and I can’t have my regular pre-portioned perfect chicken salad like I usually do for lunch, so instead, I’ll just overeat a large double-cheese and pepperoni pizza.”
Weekends and evenings present all sorts of comfortable justifications for eating a bunch of non-nutritious foods.
You were busy. Or maybe you had nothing going on.
You were traveling. Or maybe you were at home.
You were at work. Or you had no work to do.
All-or-nothing lifestyle cycle – The Solution
Be “good enough”.
The decent method you follow is better than the perfect method you quit.
Perfectionism is self-destructive and is not the same thing as striving for excellence.
Oh, and “perfect” doesn’t even exist. It’s kind of like trying to catch Bigfoot.
Operate along a spectrum of possible options.
All-or-nothing thinking gives you two options: perfect or crap.
In reality, there’s a continuum. What are the “pretty good” or “not too bad” options?
Notice (and challenge) the stories you’re telling yourself.
Rationalisations are a convenient script. They help explain our overeating to make sense of what we’re doing.
By all means investigate those feelings and see what you want to do about the situation. Just know that this doesn’t get you off the hook or make the feelings go away.
Sometimes, you’ll want to eat crap. And too much of it. That’s normal.
You’re still in control, no matter what you feel.
Avoid looking for justifications to overeat rubbish. Because if you’re looking for one, you’ll find one.