Let go of the all or nothing mentality one step at a time
We are all creatures of habit and routine (for better or worse). Even if it doesn’t seem like we have a routine, we each have our own unique way of getting through life. My goal as a Nutrition and Fitness Coach is to help you not only establish a healthy fitness/eating routine but also step outside of the perfectionist mindset.
Let go of the guilt, shame and thinking that if you don’t follow a nutrition program 100% or get in 3-4 workouts per a week that there is “no point.”
“I’ll just wait until ____________________(fill in the blank) to get back into my healthy routine.”
“I need to lose 10lb before I can start working out.”
“I already ate like crap today, I may as well throw in the towel the rest of the week”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard statements like this in my career.
Your health and more importantly, your worth is not based on how “good” or “bad” you’re doing.
Having guilt ridden self-talk about what you aren’t doing is feeding into the viscous cycle that there is an “on” or “off” switch when it comes to health and fitness.
There is no on/off -there is only life and all the chaos and failures along the way. These experiences help us learn and grow in the long run. Health is a journey….not this mystical end state of 6 pack abs and ripped arms.
Big take away here – don’t wait for the perfect circumstance or for “things to settle down” to take action with your health and fitness. Spoiler alert: it never will. It really never will!
Getting stuck in the all or nothing mindset often times inhibits you from doing anything at all. It paralyzes you from moving in any direction and instead of having a small hurdle to jump over, it now feels like you have to conquer a mountain.
Instead, focus on these little shifts and creating routine that will add up in the long run….
Instill Good Habits
The secret here is not much of a secret at all, it’s just about repetition. Start small, tackle one habit after another, gain confidence and continue to create a healthy balanced lifestyle. Example- you know your sleep is suffering and you’re starting to feel the negative effects. Your goal is to get 8-9 hours of sleep.
This may start with you simply setting a bedtime alarm. You may hear the alarm go off at 9:30pm every night for a month before you actually start going to bed earlier, but the wheels are in motion! Every time you hear that alarm go off, you are thinking about how you can start winding down in bed and trying different techniques that work for you. You’re problem solving so the next night you can put things in action (trial and error)…..until you’re consistently fast asleep by 9:30pm and waking up 8-9hours later refreshed and ready for the day.
Break Bad Habits
Routine helps us set boundaries for ourselves and develop good habits but what about those bad habits? You can slowly replace bad habits with good ones with….. yep, you guessed- repetition! Again, start small. Maybe your bad habit is consuming too much sugar. Instead of looking through the lens of perfection, look through the lens of do-able micro habits that will change your life in the long run and won’t seem like a huge burden to overcome. Progress, not perfection.
For instance, start breaking the bad habit of putting sugary cream in your coffee every morning. Then tackle the next small change when it comes to sugar. Knock down one domino at a time, until they’re all knocked down. One small habit/change (or domino) will inevitably lead to the next small habit/change.
No matter what season of life you are in, or how chaotic things may be, you can stay on your health and fitness journey. First, by letting go of the “all or nothing mindset” we spoke about. Next, prioritize your health and fitness goals. If you know working out helps you mentally and physically deal with the stressors of life, then you have to make movement a priority. It literally needs to be penciled into your calendar, especially if you have a hard time keeping boundaries or managing time.
Old way of thinking “I have such a busy week, I have no time to work out…..I’ll just wait until next week…(ps- you tell yourself the same thing the following week, and the week after , and the week after….)
New way of prioritizing “I know that I’ll feel better if I work out. I’ll just do a quick 20 minute circuit at home.”
And don’t let failure stop you! You keep scheduling 8am workouts but can’t seem to get out the door in time. Don’t just quit, find a time that does work.
I feel like we are all guilty of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. We set these standards or goals (someone else’s idea of perfection) for ourselves and then when we fail we beat ourselves up, quit and feel like crap, maybe eat something terrible to sooth ourselves, feel even worse….and then repeat this cycle.
We have to have a little bit more grace and focus on problem solving (learning from failure) instead of trying to force something that will never work.
Of course there is a time and a place to commit to a more structured protocol or program, whether it’s a nutritional cleanse or physical challenge, BUT you don’t have to wait for something like that to take action. You don’t need the stars to align and time to stop for you to start creating healthy habits and routines. You don’t need perfection. In reality, having small, tangible goals/habits allows you to learn about yourself- your strengths, weaknesses, capacity and continue to re-prioritize what you need in regards to health.
Instead of waiting for the “perfect” timing to have a health and fitness routine, create a routine that you can do now. It’s not a waste. It will continue to propel you forward and quite those voices of guilt of doing nothing at all.
You can do this….you are doing this and all the ups and downs are just a part of the journey.