5 Strategies for All or Nothing Type of People

You know the type of people I’m talking about. The ones who are either ALL ABOUT something and do it all the time, or are completely over it, never doing it at all. And it doesn’t have to be just activities. It can be with food, people, shows, or whatever.


I used to not believe I was an all or nothing sort of person. Over the years, I realized I’m not as even-keeled as I once thought. I tend to either be absolutely obsessed with something, or completely disinterested. Parenthood? Obsessed. Cottage cheese? Obsessed. Deadlifting? Obsessed.

And things I once was obsessed with, I no longer have any interest for at all. The Office? Over it. Coconut butter? Over it. Yoga? Over it.

Well, this week, when I went to my very first yoga class in, ohhh, 5 months? I know, remember when I was going 4-5 times a week?!


Wanna hear a funny story?

Well, Wednesday night, I had an incredible, irresistible urge to go to a yoga class. I double checked with Shane that it was OK if I sign up again (it’s $$$,) grabbed my towel, water, credit card, and my…wait? where’s my mat? I couldn’t find my mat anywhere! I looked in all of the closets, my car, our storage, and no red Manduka mat to be found. Then I thought, wait a second, could I have left it at the studio the day of my last class?

Sure enough, there it was, in the exact same cubby hole that I left it 5 months ago. I had decided I was over yoga, and I never looked back! Ha!


Sure, it’s a little embarrassing to admit that I went from practicing 4-5 times a week, to practicing…never. And that’s when it hit me that I’m definitely an all or nothing person.

The same comes to eating, for me. Especially when eating involves Christmas cookies. Earlier this month, I went to a Christmas party at my blogger friend, Heather’s house, and enjoyed my share of Christmas cookies. It was delightful, as Heather likes to say Winking smile But as soon as I took my tin-full of cookies home, I took it promptly up to Shane’s office. I did the same with the other tins-full-of-cookies we received from neighbors and friends. Because for me, it’s either not eat the cookies or EAT ALL THE COOKIES.


OK, I did have 1 or 2 from each tin, but then they went up to the office.

There might be a couple good things about being an all or nothing person…when I decide to do something I do it with 100% commitment and passion. However, I think the drawbacks outweigh the positives. Life is not an all or nothing venture.

In fact, one of my New Year’s resolutions is practice moderation – in all aspects of life. I do plan to start up yoga again, but I think once or twice a week will be a good frequency for me. And instead of hiding the Christmas cookies, I can try super hard to enjoy one at a time.

But let’s get real. Although moderation is something I can strive for, I can’t change who I am. So instead, when it comes to eating, I find a strategy (or 5:)

1. Follow my own guideline of having protein be the main source of every meal or snack. Following this makes sure I don’t have 5 cookies for dinner. Now, I have some chicken with 5 cookies Winking smile (ha! kidding.)

2. Enjoy every single thing I eat. I actually make it a point to have a burger and fries once a week. It’s a meal I thoroughly enjoy, and if I didn’t have it a few times a month, I’d probably feel deprived. Instead, I enjoy every single bite, knowing that it’s not a matter of deprivation.

3. Keep it out of the house. For all or nothing people, sometimes it’s best just to remove the temptation. Exhibit A: the Christmas cookies. Another example is ice cream. It’s like it calls to me from the freezer! If it’s out of the house? I definitely don’t hear it calling.

4. Eat in the company of friends. Eating with others helps me to slow down and enjoy the actual process of eating for enjoyment.

5. Don’t be so intense. It’s not my goal to be the leanest or ripped that I can be. Really my only goal – as far as aesthetics go -  is to be comfortable in my own skin and look pretty good in my own clothes. Now give me a cookie.

Do you consider yourself an all or nothing person?

What are your thoughts about moderation?

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  1. Love these tips!! I am def an all or nothing type person… I always have been!
    Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted..Friday Five and FavoritesMy Profile

  2. I really enjoyed this post! I am definitely an “all-or-nothing” person. For me, 2014 will be the year of balance. (I’m going to commit 100% to achieving balance, haha.)

    I had the same realization about Yoga recently. I used to go to three different studios, and practice at least 2-3 times a week. I realized that when I started CrossFit, I totally stopped going to Yoga. (That is not really a fair trade…) Last night, I rolled out my mat after work, and had the most amazing 25-minute at-home practice (I’ve never been good at doing at-home Yoga in the past!). I’m hoping to bring some Yoga back into my life (you know, moderately…).
    Katie H. recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday: My Winter Break TBRMy Profile

  3. I’m definitely a similar all or nothing type person. We make sure we don’t grab any little extras at the grocery store. I make sure I have a list and we don’t get anything not on the list for the week and we don’t make extra trips to the store during the week. It’s the best way for us not to eat crap.
    Courtney @ Don’t Blink. Just Run. recently posted..Face The Music Friday #14My Profile

  4. Love your resolution of practicing moderation. That has been mine for the past few years…still progressing.
    Jenn recently posted..I NEED to share this with YOU!My Profile

  5. Definitely some great tips! I find myself getting into an ‘all-or-nothing’ sort of mindset as well, especially when it comes to Christmas treats – don’t eat any desserts or eat too much! Hopefully, moderation will be a bit easier for me this year.
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..Five Things Friday 12/20/13.My Profile

  6. I’m definitely an all or nothing person too. And seriously, if the cookies and ice cream aren’t in the house, I’m TOTALLY fine but bring them in and it’s like a non-stop calling. Doesn’t matter if it’s 6am or 6pm, they’re saying my name!
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..Fitness Friday – Rest for the SickMy Profile

  7. Paige–I have to tell you how much I just love your posts. I’ve been reading for a couple of years now and never comment, but today’s post made me laugh and say “I love this girl!”. So I just thought I’d tell you. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to reading each day. Happy Holidays!

  8. Loved this. Thank you.
    Jennifer Dunham recently posted..New Themes: Photolia, Flounder, Vision, Bexley, and BromleyMy Profile

  9. Yes, guilty!
    Elle recently posted..#onesmallchange Patience, GrasshopperMy Profile

  10. I am a total all or nothing person. I quit French fries and pasta and all fast food ever that way. When I felt like I was addicted to peanut butter, I cut it out completely. When I started CrossFit, I went 4-5 days per week.

    I always eat pretty healthy so I’m trying to stick to a more 80-90% of the time and 10-20% of the time, eating foods I crave like last night’s beer battered shrimp taco (just one) and a margarita.
    Julie recently posted..Five Things Friday & Yelp’s Holiday MarketMy Profile

  11. I too suffer from the all or nothing mentality. You’ve hit on the key-recognize that about yourself and develop ways to deal with it. When it comes to food, I definitely have to keep it out of the house. If it’s here, I’ll eat it!
    Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..I’m A Nerd Like ThatMy Profile

  12. YES! I’m definitely an all or nothing person… I think it can be a good thing in some situations, but it can definitely be damaging too. Great tips!
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..Let’s Chat About ChristmasMy Profile

  13. I’m SUCH an all or nothing person, it’s ridiculous! For me, it’s definitely better in terms of getting me to NOT DO/eat something and stick to it, but not as good for getting me to DO or eat something I should be regularly, haha! What crazy head games our own personalities play! :)
    Stacy recently posted..Tough Mudder Training Protein CookiesMy Profile

  14. This post is PERFECT for me, I am totally all-or-nothing and working on becoming more balanced. Thanks for the great tips!
    Amie recently posted..Holiday Eating Tips Can Kiss My AssMy Profile

  15. wow this is so me! I am definitely an all or nothing type person and I have really been struggling with that during the holiday season (it’s hard to keep saying no to so many delicious cookies!!) I’ve been making baby steps towards moderation and I’ll be using these tips to help, thank you!

  16. I too am a “all or nothing” kind of person. I remove all temptation from my house, just safer from me.
    blackhuff recently posted..Taking a deloading weekMy Profile

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