All or nothing. That’s how people often approach wellness. “Either I’m getting in X number of workouts a week and eating perfectly, or I’m a sloth who is fat and lazy.”
Some other “all or nothing” thinking:
“I just blew my diet on those cookies, so I might as well eat the whole pint of ice cream because all is lost anyway.”
“I only got in one workout this week, so I’m going to blow off the rest of the week and start again on Monday.”
“I know I have that party coming up this week where I will be overeating, so I’m not even going to try to eat right or exercise this week.”
How valid is that thinking?
Let’s just take the cookie example. A pound of body fat equates to about 3500 calories. Each chocolate chip cookie has 50 to 80 calories. Let’s say you ate 5 of them. At the high-end, that’s about 400 calories. This is definitely not the end of your diet. You can still get back on track.
But if you add a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream you add 920 calories. Particularly if you stop trying all together, well, let’s just say that’s a much harder road.
What would happen if you shifted your thinking after eating the cookies to something like, “Wow, that wasn’t on my eating plan. But I enjoyed it, it’s over and done, and I’ll get back on track with a light and healthy dinner tonight.”
What about for the workout? “I got in a really good workout on Monday. I know each workout benefits my body, so I’m going to walk tonight and make sure I get at least one good workout in this weekend.”
And the party? “I know I have that party coming up this week and I really want to allow myself to enjoy it. I’m going to really watch what I eat this week and make sure I get in my workouts so I can enjoy the party guilt free.”
Each of our actions begins with our thoughts. By shifting our thoughts and emotions towards our goal of a healthy and happy life, our actions begin to align with who we want to be. Each step—no matter how small—moves us in the right direction. As we acknowledge and celebrate all the things we did right, we begin to generate positive momentum that moves us towards achieving the life of our dreams.
Together we can do it!