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All or Nothing or Me

Posted Sep 16 2010 10:48am


When I actually make the rare effort to get out the mop and bucket, I tend to go to town.  You know what I mean?  Not only is the floor washed – it is bleached.  (When you do it as rarely as I do, a little bleach is necessary.)  And not just the floor either, the baseboards, the lower cupboards – I would do the top cupboards too if only the water wasn’t black and dripping on my countertops – the oven door, the bottom of the fridge.  And why stop there?  I have the bucket of water – and after careful consideration of whether the water is dirtier than the current state of the bathroom floor, we go there too.  And heck, sometimes I can even get the entryway floor done.  But then in the entry way there’s the outside door, and the garage door, and the horrible baseboards, and the stair rails – they need it.  But then the doorknobs are gross too.   That my friends, is all or nothing.   I’m queen of it.

Why quit coffee if you’re not going to also switch to green tea, remove sugar and caffeine, white flour, and heck, while we’re at it – all gluten all together from your diet?  At least until lunch.

Walking?  Thats for wimps.  Why even bother?  What I really need is a couple hours at a gym.  And a new gym outfit.   I can’t afford that right now – so I can’t walk.

They say all or nothing thinking is bad.  For years I’ve been working on ‘doable’ goals – 8 glasses of water a day.  After we get that successful habit underway, then we add veggies.  After we do that, we add more fruit and veggies so I wont notice that we’re cutting out some of the junk food.   Small, measurable, attainable goals.  That’s good, right?

Then, I read in Food Matters by Mark Bittman, that he is rather an all-or-nothing sort as well.  Maybe he didn’t say it in those words, but still.  He did say that he found it easier to quit drinking for a year than to have less than 3 glasses of wine at dinner.  He did say that for him, he’s strict in his healthy-eating-plan all day until dinner.  And at dinner?  Anything’s fair game.   The key to his diet changes is that he picked a system that worked for him.  I wonder how long it would have taken him if he drank 8 glasses of water consistently for 3 weeks before moving onto the next goal?   When he wrote the book, he had been eating that way for 3 years (I think – not so good with details and the book is upstairs – and well, thats a long way away right now) and he had managed to actually prefer healthy meals for dinner toward the end of a year.  However, he needs the freedom, so dinner is still fair game – for anything.  Even that big ‘ol Big Mac & Fries.

I’m thinking if Mark Bittman can be an all-or-nothing dude, I can be an all-or-nothing gal.

Possibly related posts –  How to set goals, Doable Goal Setting

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