Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The all or nothing attitude

I've found it interesting to read some of the responses from my last post. One of the pieces of advice was that you need to allow yourself some of those treat foods in moderation. After all, the all or nothing mentality can be dangerous.

While I agree that the all or nothing mentality can spell trouble, I look at it differently.

Here's some examples of how I try to avoid "all or nothing":

If I do slip with my eating, it doesn't mean that I throw in the towel since I've blown it. I fight my way back to a balance and continue on my journey.

When I am too sick to work out, I take a day off. It doesn't mean I'm quitting my training program; it means I'm taking a break to let my body get strong again.

I have days where I eat more food because my body is legitimately telling me I need it. For me, there's a difference between a bit of hunger (needed to lose weight) and feeling low (like I'm about to crash). I don't ignore those feelings.

This is where the "all or nothing" is needed for me:

I don't eat small quantities of "treats" on a regular basis. A once of week chocolate bar or a small daily candy don't work for me. Even special occasions have to be approached with caution.

I'm not saying that everyone is like this, but for me, sugar is like a drug. Avoiding it doesn't make me want it more. Eating it makes me want it more. If I allow myself a moderate "treat", I crave more and I obsess about it. It's like a drug in my system. I start to get irrational and think about nothing but.

For me, moderation when it comes to sugary and refined foods is not good. Nothing works for me, and the cravings subside. Moderate treats lead to excess.

While I'm typing this, I'm still in detox. I've had 3 mandarin oranges today to avoid going for the junk I don't need. Now that we've all eaten lunch, I'm leaving the kitchen and the house and taking the kids to the park rather then thinking about the sugar that I'm trying to get out of my system.


  1. I think that cutting out a food or a group of foods or an ingredient is a personal decision. For you, sugar is like a drug - so you cut it out because you can't have it in moderation. Someone with a nut allergy or a gluten intolerance, can't have what they've cut out 'in moderation' - while your sugar issues might not be life threatening, it's not going to kill you to not eat chocolate.

  2. I get where you are comming from and often have to do that myself. I can then usually let it back in in moderation but we are talking months down the road. :) It is like a drug for sure.

  3. I just found your blog and I agree with you 100%. I was just reading Allan's rant to God only knows about basically the same thing. There are things that I just can't eat anymore and in the beginning it was frustrating and even sad to me. As I've found more success and am in sight of my goal, as I feel healthier and am able to do things that I once couldn't, as I see this gorgeous (yes gorgeous) woman emerging I keep trying to figure out what the hell I need with those things...those food things that I seem to want so desperately.

    I think that equating certain foods with drugs/alcohol/cancer as Allan has, is a good comparison. If moderation is possible for some people, that's's just a door that I'm not willing to open cause the damage on the other side is something I just don't want anymore.

    thanks for sharing this. it was helpful to me.

  4. I don't have this problem with desserts, but definitely do with bread. Eating once slice of Italian bread with butter can lead me to eat 1/2 the loaf. I just need to stay away from it. No one ever died from not eating Italian bread. Although maybe they wanted to!

  5. As usual, you make a very good point. Use your knowledge and you will continue to succeed.