All or nothing eating screws with your mind and your body…
I spent years in a miserable, unhealthy, unsustainable relationship with ‘food’… I punished my body, messed with my mind, and chipped away at my self-esteem. In my early twenties, I worked part time as an aerobics instructor back in a time when aerobics was booming. I worked at ‘the’ most popular gym in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. I also did a short stint on the TV show ‘Aerobics Oz Style’.
One of my biggest goals was to teach the 6.15pm class… Every instructor wanted that class because it was full of the fittest people in the gym; it pumped with obsessive energy, and it was the most popular time slot given only to the ‘best’ instructors. I noticed that the leanest instructors with the shapeliest bodies were given the 5.30pm and 6.15pm classes… especially on the weekends.
In the pursuit of seeing my name on the roster for the 6.15, I began my ‘all or nothing’ rollercoaster ride with bingeing and starving. I would wake up Monday morning with the intention of being ‘good’. Only healthy food entered my mouth until Friday… then came the binge. Because I had ‘deprived’ myself all week, weekends were all about making up for my ‘loss’.
It took years for me to realise that deprivation was not the answer. You don’t have to divest from the things you love. If you love chocolate, have some. If you love fries, have some… The trick is to commit to the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time, you eat healthy nourishing food and twenty percent of the time is for ‘cheat’ food. The best approach is to do this ‘daily’ so that there is not one single day of your life where you strip away the things that bring you joy. I enjoy a full fat latte or two every day.
Food is a vehicle to celebrate. Humans have been ‘feasting’ since the beginning of time. The thing to remember is ‘moderation’. Everything can be had with restraint and composure. I still remember the day I fetched back a cake I had thrown in the bin and shoved it into my mouth like a viking. I had to get it in as fast as I could before the ‘window’ of ‘allowing’ myself slammed shut for another week… It wasn’t pretty but it shocked me into realising that I had a problem.
I now know that ‘all or nothing’ thinking is a form of ‘negative’ thinking. It doesn’t set you up for success… it sets you up for collapse. Deprivation is a slow form of torture that leaves you feeling ‘disadvantaged’ and ‘wanting’. Before you order your next burger with fries, ask yourself… ‘Do I really want this?’… If the answer is a big fat YES… then HAVE IT… I guarantee that once you feel good in your skin and arrive at a weight that suits you, burgers will naturally move into the 20% piece of the pie.
Eating well and loving your body encourages self-love rather than