Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All or Nothing


On the heels of a series of conversations my colleagues and I have been having, today felt like a great day to blow up a common weight loss/ goal pursuit mentality.

"All or Nothing"

The reasons why people may come to adopt this mentality vary as much as the reasons said people want to lose weight, save money, meet the right guy, etc. Regardless of the cause, here is a litany of reasons why you have more than 2 choices (pass or fail);

1. All or nothing means 'win or lose'. It's very hard to take lessons from adversity if we aren't open to that possibility. If we don't learn to view the odd failure as 'adversity' with valuable lessons to learn, we will lack the requisite knowledge required to truly succeed in our most important pursuits
2. All or nothing is an individuals game. The biggest wins I know require team. If you're not mobilizing others to help you - you're limiting yourself. As importantly- if you're not empowering others along the way - you're walking a lonely path my friend.
3. Specific to weight loss, 'all or nothing' = calorie restriction and sacrifice. Reduction, restriction, sacrifice, and endless discipline are not sustainable ways of life. Sensibility, reason, moderation, enjoyment, solutions, replacement - those sustainable wins come out of a 'third possibility' approach, not 'all or nothing'.
4. Tunnel vision works great for trains, not people. A train must stay on track, or the consequences can be deadly. When it comes to continuing results, you have to switch trains every now and then, or hop on a hot-air balloon to get a different view. A lot of people keep chasing down the same rabbit hole hoping for different results after the same action (the definition of insanity, remember). Again using weight loss - if you keep reducing your caloric intake to lower & lower levels, eventually the results get worse & worse (harder to lose weight, less energy, potentially even irreversible damage to your RNA & DNA- yes, you can screw up your genetics & therefore your off-spring if you choose to be that stubborn, short-sighted & selfish)
5. The world ain't flat my friends. An 'all or nothing' mentality would insist that you are headed west by chasing the sunset. Do that long enough, and you'll end up in the easternmost part of the world. That can only happen in a round, 3 dimensionally world. This may be hard to grasp but if we live and breathe in a (at least) 3-dimensional world; the laws of metaphysics deem that a one- or two-dimensional mindset should be less effective than one catering to the laws of the natural world.
6. As my dietitian friend is fond of saying, "if you don't enjoy the journey, you'll never reach your destination". If putting every available penny in the bank, or cutting every calorie makes you miserable, you'll be prone to eating or spending binges far more damaging than the occasional treat. Not to mention, as point # 5 above speaks to, our very mindset manifests in physical ways. The physical laws of "calories in vs calories out" do not paint a complete picture of weight loss; just like save more than you spend sounds simple but doesn't take into account "tipping point" opportunities that may come into play and only be seized by those enjoying their journey not miserable in their saving process.

If you need more than the above evidence, than you are reading what you want to read, believing what fits your view, and hearing what you want to hear. For you, whatever adversity you've witnessed obviously isn't enough because you haven't hit your rock bottom. For everyone else - consider a 3rd (or 4th or 28th) point of view, because the world is neither black nor white, so neither should be your thinking.

We wouldn't be born with over 2 billion brain cells if all we needed to consider is one choice or the other.

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