Monday, February 16, 2009

Ditch the Diva!

I've written quite a few posts about this in the past - I am talking about the "All or Nothing Continuum" - that is you're either "on" or "off" with no happy medium in between.

When I coach clients, I ask them to fill out a questionnaire and when I ask clients to describe their relationship with their eating, at least 80% of them will respond with, "I'm an ALL or NOTHING person". When somebody writes to me and tells me that they've had a big binge they will say - "I totally overdid x, y or z - BUT I'm an ALL or NOTHING person". In the meantime, I'm thinking, "so that statement gives you permission to act like a complete doofus then, does it? You'll just shift the blame to some other out there side of your personality.. because you're ALL or NOTHING and you CAN'T do anything about there IT IS". It's the same principle when I hear people tell me that they're ALL or NOTHING with carbohydrates (yes, my poor misaligned macronutrient mate) - they're not intolerant to carbs usually, but their belief system is.

Let me be the first to say that all of these people that I deal with are totally worthwhile human beings - some of them may even be reading this and thinking.."geez Louise, she's being pretty harsh today". Let me also say that whilst I can find the "all or nothing continuum" frustrating, I also get to witness first hand the amazing changes when these beliefs are left at the roadside and as Tony Horton would say, "it's a beautiful thang".

What characterizes the "ALL or NOTHING" type - as I wrote in my post about the Beast yesterday, the AONT (abbreviation people!) breeds off absolutes and negativity in their self talk whether they know about it or not. For example - the statement of "I'm such a failure when I eat carbs, they are all bad for me" would be a classic example - Negativity - "failure" and Absolute - "all". The problem with the AONT is that they stop there - they don't question their Beast - eg "are carbs bad", "what evidence do I have to suggest that I not eat carbohydrate?" , "what does failure and carbohydrate have in common". When an AONT can see how nuts their type of thinking is, then there is the opportunity to learn and grow - for example: " I can see that some types of carbohydrates don't react so well with me - like sweets and cakes - but from doing more research I can see that they don't work well for a lot of people - so I'm not alone - I'm not a failure. I'm going to find out what role carbs play in the body and make an educated decision about my beliefs".

A belief is just that - a belief. It doesn't mean that it is FACT.

As well as self talk, the AONT fears letting go of the dramatic, diva-ish behaviours that come with the territory - is it so AWFUL that the scale goes up 0.5kg overnight, is it so TERRIBLE that Aunty Betty (who you haven't seen in 25 years) invited you for dinner and served you tiramisu, is it a DISASTER that it's raining and you have to change your training plans? The AONT feeds off catastrophe - these issues are minor compared to the disaster in Victoria last week - that really has been tragic.

The AONT may also believe that if they lose the drama, they'll lose the edge. Who said that taking a level headed tack about most things was the same as accepting mediocrity. Being even keeled may seem to good to be true for the AONT, but if it is continually practiced, eventually it becomes second nature - nothing worth fighting for is ever "natural" at first - tennis may be "natural" to Serena Williams but that's after 10 million hours of practice.

Taking a more level headed approach to things can actually bring our goals into razor sharp focus - lose all the drama and what do you have - your goal and a pathway to reach it.

Now it's back to me:
Training today: RPM 42 - learning the new choreo! Meg Chalker, who is an Aussie, is on this DVD - she's a mountain bike expert and a superb rider - look out for Track 7 is all I can say.
Cathe's new STS - Mesocycle One, Disc One - I thought I was really improving on my push ups but Cathe's 16 Bootcamp ones knocked me for six.
Rest: taken
Eating: superb!
Dirty Di: 1 can of Diet Coke


Flea said...

Wow it's almost like the T-shirt Craig Harper advertised saying "suck it up Princess" isn't it? Stop making excuses and come up with a plan, stick to it and witness the magic.
Myself, I told myself I have to take responsibility, no one is asking, telling or forcing me to eat something "wrong" only me me me!
And therefor only me me me can be blamed.
I like these two posts Liz, very educational and thought provocing.

LizN said...

Thanks Flea, was thinking of Craig after I wrote this. Don't worry, I've been there and done that and still have arguments with Gollum. Taking the first the biggest step :)


Sam D-M said...

Liz, this was a rock'n post! This is also why I have my 80% principle, it leaves room for failure without the guilt! - no more binging in my household :)

I know your blog started out as a personal journey, much like mine, but I think your like me, and maybe you can use your blog as an outlet for your passion for good health :)

Have a great day :)

little rene said...

I always LOVE reading your posts Liz! Please don't stop blogging.I will start a petition if I have to ;)

After doing a lot of thinking I have realised that during pregnancy I was SO happy because I too (like Sam) was applying the 80% rule. I never binged, just enjoyed mostly healthy foods with regular little treats thrown in and I was very consistent with exercise.
Hubby and I were only having a similar discussion last night and he said "Less talk more action. Just suck it up if you veer off course slightly and keep going". Very wise man!
You would get on very well with my PT. She is such a focussed and driven woman but she constantly tells me that "perfection bores her". She likes the ever elusive "balance".
Thanks for this post :)
Have a great diva-less day!

Raechelle said...

Yep-ditto on everything you just said. I'm all about the middle ground!

Kerry W said...

Really enjoyed your post Liz. Keep it coming!

Hilary said...

Great post Liz!

I'm planning on coming to one of your Saturday RPM sessions in the near future... cant wait!

Hilary xx

PS yes my cat is a Siamese

Shannon said...

Loved this post, Liz!