I used to think that people with "perfectionist" personalities were the primary sufferers from this mentality but I am now coming to believe that it is a bit more wide spread. This one Pitfall alone was enough reason to cause me to fail at my 2 prior attempts at losing weight. When I failed before it wasn't because I didn't have enough motivation or the right tools, or even because I didn't want it as much as I want it now- it was because I would inevitably make 1 "bad decision" and then believe that I had completely ruined everything so I would just give up and eat what I wanted the rest of the day- and then if this happened on a Friday it would only make sense to wait till Monday to start again...blah blah blah and the cycle would continue. And this time around, the time I have been successful and will achieve my goal of losing 100lbs in a year, this lovely way of thinking has try to rear it's ugly head many times.
I believe this is because for the most part we really do view our decision to change not as the only new reality of who we are but rather just a kick that we are on and the only thing keeping us on the kick is the good decisions that we make and the moment we give in it is proof that we never have really changed in the first place. We really do live with the "fall off the wagon mentality." But who says we are on a wagon? And why the heck would we pick that metaphor for something that is a lifelong journey and process?
Get rid of that freaking wagon- burn it in your mind. Wagons are for children and horses and hayrides, not for developing a new way of life!
When I say this I am being as serious as I can: I have removed the option of failure for myself on this journey. I'm not saying that as a motivational statement but as a fact. I don't care if for some crazy reason I make a choice one day that I totally wish I could take back- I will not allow 1 bad choice to turn into living another year of my life as an obese person. Failure CANNOT be an option on this journey b/c if it is than sooner or later you will choose it becasue it is easier and this journey is sure to get extremely hard at times.
Again- screw the "wagon." The moment you make a bad decision- own it as just that- a decision, not a mistake- a mistake is something you do on accident. Understand why you did it and make plans so that you don't do it again, then MOVE ON! Do not allow this one Pitiful Pitfall to keep you fat and unhealthy- no one else is expecting perfection so break that expectation and walk in the freedom of being human but also being strong.
We all have overcome the "all or nothing" mentality at one point in our lives- we probably just never really thought about it. Did any of you come walking out of your mother's womb? Uh... I hope not! lol No, at one point we all had a "goal" whether we knew it or not- of wanting to walk.
What if say, in your first 50 attempts at walking when you would fall you had just given up and said, "Nope, I keep falling- it's just too hard." Or what if you had just gotten discouraged because your crawling stage seemed so much longer than everyone else's? I know it's not a flawless analogy but it just shows that if we have never been able to do anything in our lives with complete perfection we shouldn't expect any different in this journey.
So the next time you go to that office party and have those chicken wings you weren't planning on eating, don't just throw the town in and figure that you've blown it so you might as well drink 2 cans of Pepsi- no! own your decision, understand why it happened, plan for the future, and MOVE ON!
Again, hope this helps someone- I know I need to hear it AND I BY NO MEANS and perfect w/ this either- and I don't expect I'll ever be! Perfection really isn't the point anyways- growth is.
Now blow up that dang wagon and keep on crawlin!