Why is the ‘all or nothing’ mentality the ‘killer’ of healthy habits?
Tips & Tricks on how to accept ups and downs of your fitness journey and still not give up
You probably know how it goes – you start a diet or a new intense exercise program on Monday and you decide you won’t give up until you get the results you want. Your plan is to exercise at least 5 times a week, walk 10 kilometers every day and, in addition to all that, completely eliminate sugar and carbohydrates from your diet. And then life happens and you give up – after one minor setback.
This way of thinking, which is definitely very common, is also called the ‘all or nothing mentality’, and it represents the thinking of a person who believes that on the way to a healthier, more mobile and stronger body, you must start by radically changing your lifestyle habits and rejecting everything you enjoy – which is why in the end there is no result because such rigorous rules are very difficult to adhere to in the long term.
This is the type of thinking that is very dominant among people who want to lose weight or get in shape, so they wait until the ideal moment to start making changes in their habits, and when they start the process, they expect overnight results. And so when we let ourselves down, because we didn’t lose 3 kilos in 10 days, we reject all resolutions and very quickly return to our old way of life – with the conclusion that we can’t get our diet and body in order because of series of invented reasons.
In fact, the truth is very simple – it is impossible to erase the habits you have built up over the years and create new ones overnight, it is a long and complex process full of ups and downs, and thinking that we have to be perfectly disciplined on our path to a healthier body only leads us to disappointment.
But before you once again decide to abandon the exercise program because you don’t manage to do 3 but only 2 workouts one week and declare yourself a failure, ask yourself – who has the ideal conditions for anything in life? Most people have busy schedules and constantly juggle work and privacy, and the most successful individuals are those who are adaptable to change – and don’t give up so easily.
Namely, those who continuously exercise, change their diet in small steps or work on improving their mental focus and quality of sleep, are not successful in changing their lifestyle habits because they impeccably adhere to every rule, but because they find a way to adapt the rules to themselves and their rhythm. Ok, maybe one week they eat more or exercise less, but this does not automatically throw them into a black hole of despair, they are aware of the fact that life is not predictable and that their path to a healthier and more beautiful body was not formed by one stumble but by 10 consecutive successes, i.e. disciplined procedures.
The worst that can happen is giving up
When you start your fitness journey the most important thing is not to give up at the first, second or third obstacle on the way – but to continue despite the challenges. In fact, the worst thing you can do is give up due to the assessment that you don’t have the perfect conditions to implement the decision. Instead of writing off the whole plan, why don’t you simply put the change of habits on ‘hold’, that is, on a break? If you are sick, have a sudden trip or are under a lot of stress, simply lower your expectations of yourself and exercise 2 times a week, not 5. Allow yourself a break from obligations, expectations and strict adherence to plans – they were created to serve you, not for you to be their slave!
Small steps to change your attitude
Achieving a change in the way of thinking is extremely difficult, but not impossible. If you tend to reject your own hopes and desires because of the ‘all or nothing’ mentality, we bring you a few steps and advice on how to succeed in your plans despite challenges and obstacles in life and constant changes in circumstances.
The direction is the most important thing – as we have already made it clear, no matter how many times you stumble or stumble on your way, it is important that you continue to go in the intended direction, even if your pace is slower than what you wanted. It does not mean that everything should always be perfect and according to plan, sometimes it is enough to find just one action or activity that will keep you on the path of creating healthy habits. Find the easiest option and don’t give up on it.
Accept responsibility – when you get stuck in the implementation of a decision, it is very easy to blame the chaos, stress, colleagues or family, simply everyone, except yourself. It is therefore very important to realize that every, even the smallest step and effort invested in achieving the goal is worthy of praise and that we do not have to ‘move mountains’ every day in order to feel satisfied with ourselves, but even a little effort on a bad day is enough to be proud of ourselves. In the same way, when we suddenly give up at the first obstacle, we must be aware that sometimes we are our own worst enemies and that no one will create healthy habits for us if we don’t do it ourselves.
• Reject the idea of perfection and trust the process • the process of transforming life habits and patterns is long and slow, and many give up when after a few months they see that they have not transformed their body in the way they wished for. If you ever happen to fall into such a state of mind, be sure to remember that you want results that take years, not days, and that the most important thing on your path to health is the process of transformation and learning, not the final goal. Reject the idea that you must always be perfectly committed and motivated and embrace the thought that you must simply be enough – do your best, but allow that ‘you best’ can vary in scope and intensity from period to period. Sometimes that means 20,000 steps a day and 5 training sessions, and sometimes 8,000 steps and 2 training sessions. Both lead you in the right direction.
Don’t compare yourself
Although it is very difficult to remain immune to numerous videos and photos of seemingly perfect bodies of fitness influencers and trainers on social media, it is very important that you understand that on your way to a more beautiful, functional and healthy body, you should not compare yourself to them. There is a famous saying ‘don’t compare your first step to someone else’s 500th’. and that is really the real truth. Someone who exercises all his life and is professionally engaged in sports and fitness has different habits and a body that is conditioned to exercise. The most important thing is to watch your own progress, focus on small goals and step by step build your better future filled with healthy habits. On your way to a healthier, stronger body, the &Body holistic exercise program designed by Andrea Solomun can help you a lot. It is a programe which emphasizes the symbiosis of mental and physical health, and teaches you over 12 weeks how to become the best version of yourself.