As a child I was a bit of an overachiever.
I can vividly recall getting a report card in 4th grade with one “B” on it, instead of all “A’s.”
I spent a good hour on my mother’s bed, bawling, saying I was too stupid to succeed and never going back to school.
Just one little “error” among many achievements made me feel like I should just give up on it all.
Sounds childish and silly, right? However this way of thinking is keeping many women from having success with diet and exercise.
I call it the ‘ALL OR NOTHING MINDSET.’
It’s that feeling that it has to be perfect – you’re either all in, or all off.
Think about it: have you ever been following a diet or meal plan for a while, and you’re doing great and even losing weight. Then life happens or you give in to stress and you eat something off the plan.
Rather than letting it go and getting back on track, you feel like you’ve “blown it” so you just abandon the plan completely for the rest of the day (or week) and end up right back where you started.
We have trouble finding the grey area, the space in between being dedicated and strict versus completely abandoning the entire plan.
Many of us tend to be perfectionists, when we do something we want to do it really well and when we can’t we don’t want to do it at all.
I encourage clients to remember that in between 100% on and completely off there’s a space where most of us can exist most of the time, and still make progress.
In life 90% of the time you’re going to exist in that in between space. The exception to that rule is if you have a competition, wedding or a reunion and you want to really look amazing, in which case you have to be as compliant possible. However even one meal off plan is not going to ruin everything – unless you let it snowball out of control.
If your goal is simply to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, there is no dead line. How many times you fall off only matters if you never get back on.
Remember: what you do every day matters far more than what you do once in a while.
The all or nothing mindset is always going to hold you back. Just try to be a little bit better; each day, each week, each month and you’ll find yourself moving forward.
The only thing that stops you from moving forward is giving up all together.
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.