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 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 (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?