Do small things she suggests, rather than your tendency for all or nothing.
What? Me? All or nothing thinking?
And then I laugh.
She’s right. This nutritionist whom I’ve come to see for the first time and who makes me feel so comfortable I let myself become vulnerable enough to share the truth about my eating/exercise reality.
I am an all in or all out kind of gal. Extremist some might say. Me, I like to think of it as passionate, enthusiastic, energized.
But who am I kidding? I do have a tendency to think in all or nothing frames of reference.
Like running. Years ago I ran a marathon. I loved running. Thought nothing of going out for 2 or 3 hours, pounding the pavement, my mind in eased back mode as my body moved me through the paces.
And then, a pulled hamstring, a ripped knee ligament, a back injury and jogging became more pain than gain.
I quit. I didn’t pull back, or cut down or replace jogging with another less impact driven exercise. I quit.
Tried to run a few times but seriously, jog for just half an hour? Ramp myself up to it with running/walking intervals?
Ha! Where’s the fun in that? It takes me twenty minutes just to find my stride.
And so, I didn’t bother. And in my ‘not bothered’ state, daily exercise eased its way off my daily agenda as effortlessly as the pounds taking up residence on the scale.
Nature abhors a vacuum and if exercise isn’t filling my time, why not let the pounds take over?
And they did.
Now, getting regular exercise back on my plate requires a massive shift in my thinking.
Or so I tell myself — and anyway, what’s the point of trying to move dead weight? It’s so tiring.
It’s not about massive shifts, it’s about small movements that gain momentum as they edge out all or nothing thinking to the furthest regions of your mind.
Apparently, the quiet adjustment that sneaks up on your psyche is better than the full onslaught of “I must do it all, now” thinking I am prone to.
So, for this next two weeks before my next appointment with Jan, I have a homework assignment. It’s not about massive change. It’s about committing to do three small things and loving myself enough to honour my commitments.
My three small things to make healthier choices?
1. Swim 3 times a week.
2. Include, ‘Holy Crap’ in my breakfast every day. (seriously, that’s what it’s called and just thinking about eating it makes me smile!)
3. Reward myself once a day with one small thing I like to do — again — it’s not about big, it’s about enjoying the little moments.
It’s the third one I find most fascinating. When Jan asked me, “How do you reward yourself for achieving your goals?” I laughed.
“I set another goal,” I replied. “Or, I think about all the ways I could have done it better.”
Yup. Definitely all or nothing, extremist thinking.
It’s easy to give up when you don’t take time to appreciate the small steps you make along the way. It’s easy to give in to temptation when your sights are set on the big win and the target is so far away it appears as just a tiny blip upon a distant horizon.
Small significances make a difference.
Gently tugging on the reins of all or nothing, I gather up my big picture thinking, and ease myself into that place where I celebrate all that I am when I let go of thinking I need to be anyone, anything, or anywhere than who and what and where I am right now.
Stay tuned. I’m making a difference in how I embrace myself with grace everyday. I’m doing 3 small things to make a difference to me.