What would you say if I told you there’s a strategy that can cut overeating in half – or maybe even more?
If you want to get off the overeating hamster wheel, you have to ditch the all or nothing thinking.
All or nothing thinking is when you tell yourself that you have to get your eating (or anything else) entirely perfect. If you don’t get it exactly right, if you have a weak moment or a mindless eating blip, all or nothing thinking tells you you’ve “blown it.” A “good day” of eating suddenly becomes a “bad day.” You go from being “on” your diet, to being “off” and now it’s ruined and you have to “start over.”
All or nothing thinking is a version of perfectionism and it sabotages a lot of very smart women. Not only that, it usually creates more overeating. Sometimes a lot more overeating.
If you fall prey to this type of thinking, you can probably identify some examples from your own life. Between that moment when you decide that you’ve “blown it” and the fresh new day when you decide to “start over,” there’s almost always a gap. That gap gets filled with a lot of overeating and calories.
All or nothing thinking tells you that you ruined things by not getting your eating perfect. Since it’s already “ruined,” what does it matter? You’re going to have to start over anyway. You might as well just finish the _____ because it’s going to be a new ball game on Monday. On top of that, you may be mad at yourself for “blowing it” so now there’s stress eating or comfort eating or eating out of frustration or to quiet your mind. All or nothing thinking creates a perfect storm for overeating and weight gain.
Think about it. If you didn’t fall into a downward spiral at the moment you went off track with your own eating, how many calories or pounds or eating episodes might you have avoided in your lifetime?
For many women, these calories are the bulk of their excess weight.
It’s time for a mindset shift. The next time you find yourself starting the all or nothing thinking downward spiral, I have a very specific action that I want you to take.
You are going to own the moment.
The truth is, this moment is the only moment that you have control over. You can’t do anything about the past or about what you ate, or how you ate, or when you ate, or what you didn’t eat. You can plan for the future, but you can’t be in the future right now. It isn’t here yet.
This moment is your life and it’s the moment that you can control.
So instead of getting into that all or nothing thinking, I want you to step into a really powerful practice.
Here’s what you do.
Take a deep breath. Now, look down at your feet and decide which foot you’re going to pick up next. Decide which foot to pick up and decide where you’re going to plant it. Here’s what I mean. If you’ve had a really bad day or evening, or if yesterday was horrible, don’t get lost in that. Don’t get overly strict and crazy and try to change a past that you can’t control. Take a deep breath and own your present.
Take a look at your feet and decide what your next step will be. Come up with an actual step – something that you can do in the next fifteen minutes to feel like you’re moving in the right direction.
It’s probably going to be a simple thing like filling up your water glass or packing a lunch for tomorrow. It might be forgiving yourself for what just happened or taking some time to journal and understand why things went off the rails and what you can do differently moving forward.
Don’t let the present become a downward spiral related to your past. This moment counts. This moment is where your power is. This is the moment when you can make your day better, take a positive action instead of “blowing it,” and continue moving forward instead of ever “starting over” again.
So take a look at your feet decide which one you’re going to pick up next and make a decision about where you’re going to plant it. That’s it.
Take really good care,