Cookie-Salad: Banish All-or-Nothing Thinking

All or nothing thinking. It starts like this:

“On Monday I will start my D-I-E-T.” [Shit – I just said a 4-letter word and it wasn’t shit. ]

So all weekend you prime for Monday by eating every bad thing known to man. Why? Because “dieting” is pure and pristine. Everything has to be perfect. Only GOOD healthy stuff in this body. So you eat all the BAD in preparation for this magical parallel universe you’ll enter on Monday. The one where you’ll only eat lettuce and drink lemon water.

Sound familiar? Anyone else live in this world of all-or-nothing thinking where there is GOOD food and BAD food and unicorns that fart confetti?

The problem is this magical universe doesn’t exist. This place where everything is perfect and our eating is “perfect”. Monday rolls around and you have a rough day at work. Or you forget your lunch. Or you have a sick kid. You eat BAD on Monday and instead of saying “I’ll do better tomorrow” you are back to re-setting the next Monday. Or the next.

Why does there have to a GOOD and BAD mentality when it comes to food? Or an “I’ll eat perfect” or “I’ll eat like crap” dynamic?

There’s an in between but with perfectionist like myself it’s hard to live in this gray area. We’ve drawn neat boxes around healthy and unhealthy and have trouble living between the lines.

Why? I’m not sure. But part of this year of body acceptance is to make peace with all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to health and food. Saturday I had Oreos for breakfast and a salad for lunch. My normal all-or-nothing self would say “you started your day bad so let’s see how bad you can eat today!” But this Saturday I broke out of this rut and had a salad for lunch instead.

Living all-or-nothing is a challenge and is a setup for failure. Life happens. Slip ups happen. If you see a slip up as a setback, then you’ll never move forward. Success will never be possible.

So, today I raise a glass of lemon water to my Cookie-Salad thinking. I’m trying to live more in the grey.

 

The Screw the Scale Challenge

What if you didn’t step on the scale for an entire year?

*que the gasps*

For some of us this would mean freedom, for others fear and still others could care less.

I’ll admit, I haven’t weighed myself this year. (Yes, that only means a month.) The batteries died in our scale and since we are doing some work in our laundry room the rechargeable batteries are packed up. I was too lazy to find the replacement batteries.

After about two weeks into the new year I started noticing I was making conscious excuses for not changing the batteries. Not changing the batteries may change my life.

I found in the weeks I wasn’t weighing that I didn’t beat myself up every morning about a number on a scale. Maybe I need to recharge myself instead of “recharging” the batteries. Recharge my self-esteem. Recharge my health. Recharge positivity.

But is this really a recharge or is it finally claiming a life of body acceptance and judging my body for what it is and not what a scale tells me it is.

I’ve always been body obsessed. I’m a control freak. It was something I could control. For much of my teenage and adult life I’ve weighed every morning and my days are shaped by the number staring back at me.

Self-worth has been driven by an inanimate object and success by a number.

But how many other numbers do we define ourselves by? Do you get up everyday and recite your Social Security number and let it shape your mindset for the day? Do you doodle your birthday on the bathroom mirror so it will stare back at you and remind you of your age every morning? What about your shoe size? Do you have a big 9.5 sticker in your closet to remind you of your size every time you grab a pair of shoes? (Yes, I have big feet.)

If these things sound crazy, then why is the scale the barometer of happiness for so many of us? It’s a number. It also can be a misleading number. “HEALTH” doesn’t equal “WEIGHT”. Health and wellness is spiritual, mental, physical, financial, emotional and more. Tell me how a scale measures all those things.

So here I am….a little scared and vulnerable and taking a leap. I’m officially proclaiming 365 days of no scale. No weighing.

In the next 365 days I want to:

  • Trust my body and its instincts
  • Focus on the things I’m doing “right” for my body and health versus nitpicking every little action that society deems unhealthy
  • Discover and embrace health-first thinking versus weight-first thinking
  • Do things for my body from a spirit of love for my body instead of dislike
  • Learn to be in tune with my body’s needs and realize when my emotions
    are tricking me
  • Be ok with “screwing up” and move on. If I have an off day – it’s one day. Move on.

I want to be clear that this isn’t a tale of throwing caution to the wind and enjoying 365 days of McDonalds, pizza and beer. (Nothing wrong with that if it’s your plan.)

I’m still going to try to exercise and eat healthier, but from a different perspective and mindset. I want to see if approaching this from a place of self-love versus self-loathe can change the trajectory.

So here I go. The Screw the Scale Challenge is officially on. I know I’ll learn something. And I may fail. But I’ll share what I learn. This process will also force me to be vulnerable and honest, two traits that we need more of in this world.

Anyone else want to join me?

I plan to share my thoughts, progress, revelations, experiences and maybe even beauty secrets.

I should also mention I’m 6 months post-baby, a time when most mothers are looking to bounce back from pregnancy. So this should be extra interesting…

I stopped weighing before the holidays, so 365 days will be January 1, 2020.

Flashback Friday: Thin Mints Aren’t Evil

I just found a post I wrote in 2011 about Girl Scout cookies.

Then…and most year’s of my life The Girl Scout Cookie Season was a stressful time. Each year I’d start a diet in January and by February “dieting” would be in full-swing. Then these cute little uniformed cookie pushers come knocking at your door. Oh, the guilt. The guilt of saying no and the guilt of saying yes.

This year I’ve reframed my perspective. I bought one box. I ate them. I enjoyed them. No guilt. Moderation. And I shared with the hubby and kid. I considered hoarding them but I was feeling nice.

Sabotage in the Flesh

February 9, 2011

sab·o·tage: 

–noun 

1. any underhand interference with production, work, etc., in a plant, factory, etc., as by enemy agents during wartime or by employees during a trade dispute. 

2. any undermining of a cause. 

The hubby and I have recently committed to dieting. He’s doing his thing, and I’m doing Weight Watchers. It never fails that after about 2-3 weeks of the New Year’s “lose weight” resolution, the soldiers in green take the the neighborhood streets hoping to corrupt the weak-willed.

It was a Saturday morning when the first attack began. The doorbell. Ringing. At 9:00am. The dog is barking and I’m not moving. I peak out the front window, and I see the enemy. Wearing their full gear – cute smiles, blonde hair, green little uniforms with patches – they left without a fight.

Later that day I told the husband that we were NOT succumbing to the enemy. Our house would be our fortress. DON’T ANSWER THE DOOR. We both agreed, we’d hold out and stand our ground – no Girl Scout cookies this year.

Later that day I was doing the *healthy* thing and walking the dog. We were doing our regular route and we were on our last lap. I could see the house ahead. And then, out of nowhere, the soldiers came running. Darn it! Sadie, run! (run and Bassethound don’t mix). They ambushed us in the street.

“Awww, look at your dog. He’s soo cute!” they exclaimed.

Strike 1: “He” is a girl.

“Can we pet him?” they ask.

They had me trapped. Sadie doesn’t turn down pets. Especially when they come from miniature people, aka kids. The traitor of a dog sat there and relished in the attention.

And then, just when I thought we could make a mad dash for the house. They shot me with it. In their cute little voices all in unison, “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”

My brain is saying –  “Weight Watchers, Healthy, Lose Weight, Exercise, No Sweets.”

“We’ll hold your dog while you fill out the form.” Did I really just say yes? YES.

Thin Mints and Some Peanut Butter Things it was….

Oh well, now I’ll have to find someone to give my cookies to. According to the Girl Scout’s website, this battle has been going on for over 80 years. Well, bring it on. There is always next year little soldiers. I’ll win one of these years.

In all seriousness, I don’t mind supporting the little ladies, but WHY cookies? And, ya’ll wait until three weeks into a diet to tempt us. I just learned I can donate my cookies back to the Girl Scouts to use in “community care projects.” Maybe that’s the win-win I need!