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Are you an "all or nothing" type of person?


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It's been a while, Calorie Count! I'm finishing up my last semester of college.. and realizing that I put on about 15-20lbs since summer :( It's because I've been trying to have this "mindful" eating outlook, but apparently that was a big FAIL.

About 3 years ago I got really obsessed with dieting, which I think is a part of growing up for a lot of young girls today, sadly. Ever since then, eating just hasn't been the same for me. My outlook has definitely improved though and I am happy that I will never go back to that mindset.

However, I would definitely like to shed the weight that I gained this past semester, because right now I'm unhealthy in the over-eating sense. And I figured out why it is so hard for me to maintain a healthy weight. Because I'm an all-or-nothing person. It's either the whole carton of ice cream or none at all. The entire 8-pack box of Kudos bars or not even 1.

And it's not just about food, it's my whole life. I have to spend 20 hours straight writing my research paper, otherwise I won't be motivated. I can't just allocate 2-3hrs a day on my homework. It's like I'm binging and starving myself with all of my life activities!

I guess awareness is the first step..? 

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Yes.

I am all or nothing in EVERYTHING I do, which can suck big hairy monkey nuts sometimes, depending what the issue is.

If I do something, I have to do it perfectly, and as big as possible. I become single minded in my pursuit for perfection, and when something ends up less than perfectly, I can get very frustrated and upset over it.

I am like this when I diet, when I take on some kind of project..I am like this if I bake a batch of stupid cookies and they don't meet my expectations.

I don't know if it's that I'm hard on myself, or a perfectionist or what. I do absolutely nothing half-assed, but you know..that often means that things get put off. As you say about your papers..I take on this attitude with other things.

Example: I don't clean a little. I start cleaning, and do not stop until everything is clean and shiny, which means I may end up putting it off knowing I won't have time to 'do it right' so things can gather dust and get messy in the meantime.

Or..an errand needs to be run, but I'd like to do several in one day and devote that time to accomplish all of it, not just one thing. So, guess what happens? That errand sits a while. Then longer..until some deadline hits, and suddenly I'm pressed for time and have to get it done, and probably more than just that.

Do they make pills for this?

 

Raychelc- I WISH there was a magic pill to help me! I can understand your frustrations. For example with cleaning, I'll let my kitchen get disgusting and have no dishes left to use, then I'll go on a massive cleaning spree to make the house absolutely spotless. I know this happens to everyone SOMEtimes, but I really think I have a problem because I let this happen EVERY time Yell 

It's really unhealthy if anything. 

I hate how this kind of behavior carries into all aspects of my life. And I can't quit it, it's one of those things that's so much easier said than done. Frown

Well, I did some NLP sessions this year to help me with procrastination that had long passed the border of self-sabotage. It was interesting (if expensive) and although it hasn't 'fixed' my problems it has really helped.

The all or nothing attitude also get's less severe with age. Not sure why that is, maybe a higher tolerance for al things unpleasant (also called 'resignation')?

Yes mimi I can completely relate with this in regards to food and everything else in life. It's really bloody tiring!

Original Post by mimi_js:

[...]

And it's not just about food, it's my whole life. I have to spend 20 hours straight writing my research paper, otherwise I won't be motivated. I can't just allocate 2-3hrs a day on my homework. It's like I'm binging and starving myself with all of my life activities!

[...]

I've always considered myself all-or-nothing/perfectionistic, but I'm more of the type to work 1/4 or 1/2 a day on a project for a longer period of time.  I like to feel in control, so for me it is less stressful and more productive to plan/start in advance.

me too :( with other things as well!

Though lately I've been 'all-or-nothing' about being 'all-or-nothing' ha ha. As in I try to be moderate with things (work, exercise, eating) not all and not nothing, but then it eventually slips back to all or nothing :/

I don't know if it qualifies as "all or nothing", but when I decide to do something, I end up doing the f*** out of it.

So not so much "either I do it all or there's no point", more like "whatever I feel like doing I'm going to take it to the extreme".

Which has its good points... and its bad.

Hatamoto- I would trade my problem with yours any day! If only I could lose the "or nothing" part haha. Honestly I can't bring myself to shed the pounds unless I go hardcore and deprive myself completely. It really scares me because I have never felt this out of sync with my body, I feel like I have no control over my own actions.

Original Post by mimi_js:

Raychelc- I WISH there was a magic pill to help me! I can understand your frustrations. For example with cleaning, I'll let my kitchen get disgusting and have no dishes left to use, then I'll go on a massive cleaning spree to make the house absolutely spotless. I know this happens to everyone SOMEtimes, but I really think I have a problem because I let this happen EVERY time  

It's really unhealthy if anything. 

I hate how this kind of behavior carries into all aspects of my life. And I can't quit it, it's one of those things that's so much easier said than done. 

 I think you have it worse than I do..I don't let dishes and seriously icky things sit, it's more like clutter and dust, but I feel your pain, believe me.

Crazy as it sounds, sometimes I have to go somewhere fairly early in the morning, so I'm thinking of that, and worried I won't wake up on time or get ready on time, etc..then I can't sleep. So then, I start thinking well..screw it! I can't only sleep for three hours, may as well just stay up all night, then give myself lots and lots of time to get ready and be there. So, I do. Thankfully, it doesn't happen often, but many times I've found myself exhausted yet, perfectly on time, haha.

The attitude can seep into everything, though..as I'm sure you know. I have no idea how to quit it, but suspect it's just how some of us are wired and will take a constant fight with ourselves to keep it in check.

 

For most of my life, I believed that I was an all or nothing person. In fitness, I went all out and did ironman races. The same thing happened for every thing else including washing clothes, dishes, etc. I'd let thing fester until the tasks became sizeable. At work, I procrastinated until the last minute then with adrenaline pumping, heart pounding, I went on incredible work binges until thing were done to great quality. Of course after that work session, I'd go home with piles of clothes to wash, kitchen sinks overflowed with pots, pans, and dishes on the dinner table, on the counter, on any surface. Then I'd dive in and did a superb house clean up until I was done. I'd then have a clean slate at work and at home, a tired tired body and that vicious cycle started all over again.

My love life was like that as well. I'd be the most romantic hubby in the world doing all the awesome things, then I got into the work binge cycle and my lady had little time with me.

One day after one vicious cycle I said to myself: "You are getting too old for this crap. You obviously got every thing done so they all must fit in your life. You are killing yourself over doing all this yet there's nothing you want to give up."

In the usual fashion, I spent 2 days recounting, writing down the things I did and here are the things I found.

  1. I didn't plan much any thing so things were not done until they became critical and I had to dive in.
  2. My high entropy lifestyle meant I seldom know where things are and it's hard to get any thing started. This also caused me to not do things until they became critical.
  3. I did not set a standard for when things are considered done before I started. Hard to get started + No decided stopping point + Good sense of quality =  Doing the snots out of things once I got going.

 The solution that I'm implementing right now.

  1. I plan all major things in advance and set aside time for minor things. This means a construction project will not get started on weekends on a whim and washing dishes means doing it after dinner whether I have a pile or just 2 or 3 dishes to clean.
  2. I make up kits to get thing going easier. For example: Changing the oil in my vehicles usually involved finding the right wrenches, funnel, oil pan etc. I now have an oil change kit with all the right stuff. Sure some wrenches can be used for other things but I won't. My time to dig them up at every oil change is worth far more than spending an extra $10 once to keep the tools exactly where they are.
  3. I now stop and think about what I'm about to do and set up stopping point. Once again to the oil change example, oil change means changing the oil, returns the kit to where it belongs, and the waste oil in the place where I keep all recyling stuff for the monthly recycling task. It will not mean: "Hmmm, while I am at this why don't I wash and wax the car and change the oil in the tractor and the truck."

My life is getting much calmer. Things are done on time and with a lot less stress. If only I can get LadyRider to stop "Honey, I need you to do this now".

The next step: Doing the same with my weight. It's a little harder during the holidays with all the kids home and my propensity to cook for my children. I'm in a healthy BMI range but the same 12 lbs I need to shed to feel lean and athletic keep jumping back on me. 

Original Post by cajunrider:

For most of my life, I believed that I was an all or nothing person. In fitness, I went all out and did ironman races. The same thing happened for every thing else including washing clothes, dishes, etc. I'd let thing fester until the tasks became sizeable. At work, I procrastinated until the last minute then with adrenaline pumping, heart pounding, I went on incredible work binges until thing were done to great quality. Of course after that work session, I'd go home with piles of clothes to wash, kitchen sinks overflowed with pots, pans, and dishes on the dinner table, on the counter, on any surface. Then I'd dive in and did a superb house clean up until I was done. I'd then have a clean slate at work and at home, a tired tired body and that vicious cycle started all over again.

My love life was like that as well. I'd be the most romantic hubby in the world doing all the awesome things, then I got into the work binge cycle and my lady had little time with me.

One day after one vicious cycle I said to myself: "You are getting too old for this crap. You obviously got every thing done so they all must fit in your life. You are killing yourself over doing all this yet there's nothing you want to give up."

In the usual fashion, I spent 2 days recounting, writing down the things I did and here are the things I found.

  1. I didn't plan much any thing so things were not done until they became critical and I had to dive in.
  2. My high entropy lifestyle meant I seldom know where things are and it's hard to get any thing started. This also caused me to not do things until they became critical.
  3. I did not set a standard for when things are considered done before I started. Hard to get started + No decided stopping point + Good sense of quality =  Doing the snots out of things once I got going.

 The solution that I'm implementing right now.

  1. I plan all major things in advance and set aside time for minor things. This means a construction project will not get started on weekends on a whim and washing dishes means doing it after dinner whether I have a pile or just 2 or 3 dishes to clean.
  2. I make up kits to get thing going easier. For example: Changing the oil in my vehicles usually involved finding the right wrenches, funnel, oil pan etc. I now have an oil change kit with all the right stuff. Sure some wrenches can be used for other things but I won't. My time to dig them up at every oil change is worth far more than spending an extra $10 once to keep the tools exactly where they are.
  3. I now stop and think about what I'm about to do and set up stopping point. Once again to the oil change example, oil change means changing the oil, returns the kit to where it belongs, and the waste oil in the place where I keep all recyling stuff for the monthly recycling task. It will not mean: "Hmmm, while I am at this why don't I wash and wax the car and change the oil in the tractor and the truck."

My life is getting much calmer. Things are done on time and with a lot less stress. If only I can get LadyRider to stop "Honey, I need you to do this now".

The next step: Doing the same with my weight. It's a little harder during the holidays with all the kids home and my propensity to cook for my children. I'm in a healthy BMI range but the same 12 lbs I need to shed to feel lean and athletic keep jumping back on me. 

Those are good strategies. Thank you for sharing.

i've never been an all-or-nothing person. i'm a close-enough person.

I didn't realise until last week that I am.

I was willing to skip exercise altogether instead of burning less than 300 calories. I finally realised how stupid it sounds to prefer burning 0 calories instead of 250.

Now I'm working on not being a perfectionist. Smile

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