At some point in your life, you’ve likely rode the “All or Nothing” ride…and if you’re like most of us, you’ve probably been on the ride several times over your lifetime – you might have bought a season’s pass. Even though, it mostly got you a ton of…Nothing.
When you’re on this “All or Nothing” ride, you’re super strict with what you eat (hello chicken and broccoli for daysssss) and force yourself through extreme workouts (bootcamps galore!) all week long. Your Monday to Friday goal is absolute perfection no matter what – tracking every movement you do and every morsel that touches your lips.
Then the ride slows down as the weekend approaches. You’re getting burnt out. You’re sick of eating the same food – heck, food you didn’t even like – and every muscle is aching – including ones you didn’t know you had! Your willpower - completely zapped across the board.
So, you tell yourself you deserve to enjoy your weekend, dang it. Goodbye restrictions, it’s time to loosen the reins. You give yourself permission to indulge more and before you know it, it’s Sunday… You’ve blown every good habit you spent the week building, you’ve made a human sized dent on your couch, you’re full of guilt and likely dealing with an upset belly.
The cycle of this “All or Nothing” ride. Absolute restriction. Overindulgence. Guilt. …Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Repeat again.
Why would we sign up for this ride? It sounds awful! Our brains seem to convince us that in order to get healthy and fit, we have to go-all in. The problem with that, is that energy levels for going all in don’t last. So then, people go all-out….the opposite to all in. And going all out isn’t just about taking in too many extra calories, it can lead to some self destructive behaviours around food and exercise.
If you’re still here and feeling like I’m in your brain, I do want you to know that you can get off this ride – you can break this cycle – return the season’s pass. You can do this by practicing balance and by adopting a new mantra to replace “All or Nothing”….I call it “Always Something”.
Find Your Balance
This isn’t as wild a ride as the “All or Nothing” ride, but it is much, much smoother! Your balance is an enjoyable way of eating and moving that you can happily maintain seven days a week (most of the time). No crazy stop and go’s, no huge dips up or down and no on and offs. No ups and downs.
The balance is where the magic happens! It builds consistency and if you follow me, then you know that I preach consistency when it comes to results.
In order to find your balance you need to focus on:
· foods that are nutritious that you actually like to eat and adding in foods you enjoy throughout your week
· incorporate ways to sit less during your days and get in some physical activity a few times a week
If I use myself as an example, my weeks are not full of restrictions. I do focus on eating nutritious foods and working out but I make sure I still add satisfying things every day, like:
Putting sugar in my coffee
Sprinkling cheese on my salads
Kickboxing once a week
Walking on the treadmill while watching a show
These small additions add flavour to my foods and get me moving in ways that I enjoy. When I don’t feel restricted and love the way I eat, I don’t feel a need to take a break on the weekends or on vacation.
And the other way to break the cycle is to adopt a new mantra…
Really dig into the idea that something is always better than nothing.
If’ you’re stuck on the “All or Nothing” ride, the “Always Something” ride will change your life.
It’s the idea that while you might not get it all right, all the time, you’re always doing something that assists you towards your goals.
Maybe the only veggies that show up in your day are some lonely carrots on your dinner plate or you get your protein from some deli meat and cheese at lunch. Maybe your workout is a quick 30 minutes, laps around the building or a dance party in your office.
It might not be perfect, it’s good enough—and good enough, done over and over again, can make a huge difference. If you are well-rested and properly fueled, any movement is better than no movement.
Give yourself grace and choose something, even when circumstances aren’t optimal, and you will get results.
Learn to develop balance and think: always something. As with a lot of things in life, the more you practice, the easier it feels—way easier than living on the “all-or-nothing” ride, that’s for sure!