Do you have the “all or nothing” personality? Are you either ON or OFF a diet? Exercising on a regular basis or NOT exercising at all? Feeling in complete control OR completely out of control?
Well, if you’re like most people, I think you will relate to this type of behavior. I can honestly say that I was definitely somebody that had this behavior pattern and through all of the years of clinical practice and consulting with patients, I know that this is a VERY common theme. Although we always hear people say that MODERATION IS THE KEY, for people like myself who have the tendency to be on either side of the pendulum, this is much easier said than done.
What I have learned for myself through the years is that it is very important to acknowledge even the small things that we do to improve our health. For example, I used to “beat myself up” if I didn’t get to the gym enough and then I would get discouraged and stop completely.
Sounds crazy but I was either GOING or I wasn’t! OR, if I ate something that I felt was “wrong” it was an excuse to eat anything that I could get my hands and mouth on and it became a BAD FOOD DAY. Sometimes I would actually eat nothing the next day to try to offset the damage that I thought I did. WHAT INSANITY!!!
What I realized years ago is that going to the gym once in a while is better than not going at all. A little exercise is better than NO exercise. Eating healthy foods some of the time is better than NEVER eating healthy foods. Having half of a “bad food day” is better than having an entire day of it, etc, etc. It is so helpful to really acknowledge the good things that we do to take care of ourselves and to not punish ourselves for not always being “perfect”. It’s so important to be gentle with ourselves and not “beat ourselves up” for JUST BEING HUMAN BEINGS!!!
With that said, many years ago I went from “ALL OR NOTHING” to “ALL OR MODERATE”. So, I’m not ALWAYS moderate… but for me, this is SO much healthier than the other way. Most of the time I have an extreme amount of self-discipline when it comes to eating and exercise but now (as opposed to back then) when I break my rules, I do them in a way where I never feel bad about myself; I never feel like I “blew it”.
It’s just not a big deal. I break my rules now and again but I do so in a “moderate” way as opposed to an extreme.
I am VERY grateful to have come to these terms for myself and I encourage you to look at things in this light. Perhaps it will help you to have a healthier approach to your well being and to your life in general! If moderation REALLY is the key than being moderate as often as we can is certainly better than NEVER being moderate at all!!