The Weigh It Is

All or nothing December 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 12:13 am

The past week hasn’t gone the way I’d wanted it to, ideally.


I only made it to the gym twice this week. I did exercise the other three days, though–I did the Leslie Sansone 1 mile “easy” walk on Wednesday, the 2 mile brisk walk on Thursday, and the 1 mile again yesterday, and added five minutes to it, so that it would be at least 25 minutes total. I love Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds videos. If you are unfamiliar with them, they are a walk at home workout, using four moves: marching in place, side steps, knee lifts and kicks. The videos I have come with a “stretchie band” for upper body work that you do while still marching in place. It is a simple concept, but the videos still give a good workout because you are moving to the beat of the music (which increases as you go), and using muscles that you normally would not use while simply walking. Despite the fact that the one mile video is only about 18 minutes or so with stretching, and I am used to doing 40-45 minutes of cardio a day, it was still a good workout for me. The 2 mile one was definitely much more brisk than I am used to walking (it is essentially a 4 mph pace), but I did it and finished it–and I haven’t been able to do that video in a long time.


One of the hardest things about losing weight is the mental aspect of things.  I’ve mentioned it before, and I will surely mention it again, because really, it is much more complex than someone who has not struggled with their weight could possibly imagine.  I didn’t get to the gym like I wanted to, but I did workout, and that’s a lot more than I would’ve done before. Still, I ended up feeling a little down. Why? The All-or-Nothing mindset.  Have you ever said this to yourself?


“I already blew it by eating _______, I might as well have enjoy myself the rest of the day.  I’ll start again tomorrow.”



I’ve done it. Chances are, you have, too.   For me, it manifested this way: Even though I exercised every day , it wasn’t what I usually did. Because it wasn’t as much as I usually do, it wasn’t good enough.  I should have been thrilled that I did some form of exercise; it’s much more than I would’ve done two months ago! You see, the all-or-nothing mindset is really a form of perfectionism in disguise. Because you don’t perform perfectly  (or in my case, to whatever standard you have set for yourself), you just chuck it all in the garbage. (Or at least you feel like it.) The idea of a perfectionist mindset holding us back is addressed in the book, Body Clutter, by Maria Cilley and Leanne Ely. Otherwise known as “the FLYlady”, Maria talks about how being a perfectionist holds us back from living, from changing and losing weight, because the soundtrack in our mind repeats,


“If you can’t do something right, don’t do it at all.”


While I am not a fan of doing things halfway, the idea that something has to be done in a specific manner in order for it to count has seriously kept me from progressing in this journey for fitness.  Should I lift weights first, or do cardio? Lift heavy, lift light? Should I eat before I work out, or not? I become so paralyzed by all the options, and figure if I’m not doing it “right”, then I may as well  just not do it.  BAD thinking. Something is always better than nothing. To succeed in this endeavor, I have to learn to keep my eyes on my successes, and not my (perceived) failures.


Despite the fact that my journey will be long, here are a few of the triumphs I’ve already experienced:


8 weeks ago:

  • Could only do 10 minutes on the treadmill. Walked at 2.2 mph. 2.5 was considered a fast pace for me. Any time I would increase my speed, my ankles, shins, and the sides of my lower legs  would hurt.
  • Only lasted 7 minutes on the elliptical. Did not get above 100 rpm.


  • Was on the treadmill for a total of 30 minutes.  2.5 is now my warm-up pace. Was cruising along at 2.7-2.8 mph, with occasional bursts of 3.0. Shins and ankles no longer hurt.
  • Did the elliptical for 20 minutes, which is five minutes less than I normally do. Am able to go much faster, and at much higher resistance.

Truly,  I thank God for this progress!!

Lately I have been grooving to this song off of Mercy Me’s new album. I really love the lyrics, and it reminds me to just keep moving!! (The song’s called, “Move.” Imagine that!)

I’m not about to give up
Because I heard you say
There’s gonna be brighter days
There’s gonna be brighter days
I wont stop, I’ll keep my head up
No, I’m not here to stay
There’s gonna be brighter days
There’s gonna be brighter days

I just might bend but wont break
As long as I can see your face

When life wont play along
And right keeps going wrong
And I cant seem to find my way
I know where I am found
So I wont let it drag me down
Oh, I’ll keep dancing anyway

I’m gonna move (move)
I’m gonna move (move)
I’m gonna move [gonna move]

Ive got to hold it steady
Keep my head in the game
Everything is about to change
Everything is about to change

This burdens getting heavy
But I’m not about to cave
Everything’s about to change
There’s gonna be brighter days



8 Responses to “All or nothing”

  1. Amanda Says:

    This is my very biggest problem. I absolutely, 100% understand. I’ve got that perfectionist streak going on in all areas of my life but it’s most apparent to me in the weight loss. It’s always nice to hear that you aren’t alone (even when you wish nobody else had to deal with the same situation!). Great post!

  2. Sarah Says:

    Excellent post!! I never looked at the ‘all or nothing’ mentality as a form of perfectionism before – and it so is. It’s definitely my downfall with regards to eating more than anything else – I might pick a something that’s not healthy, then I just think: that’s it, I blew it, might as well quit trying now. Gotta change that.
    BTW – I’d never heard of Leslie Sansone until you mentioned her the other day. So I did some googling, and now I’ve got 2 of her workouts – they look great! I can’t wait to try them. So thanks for that!

  3. Aunt Vic Says:

    insightful! thanks for sharing.

  4. Laurie Says:

    Billie, yep, I hear ya.

    I was just thinking today that my mind is slowly shifting on this exact thing! For me, I have finally figured out that my perfectionism has given me an excuse to quit (not good enough, just quit). Now I have forced myself to do exactly the opposite (if the opposite is good). When I am feeling like I didn’t do enough, I find anything to give myself a pat on the back about (and there are a couple of days it gets ridiculous). Ugg, it’s so Polly-Sunshine (lol, not really me), but it has slowly started to work.

    Wow, I am babbling. Anywhoo, you are doing fantastic!


  5. Says:

    i just commented but i don’t know if it worked because it blinked out on me. Anyway i was just saying that this is a great song and very encouraging because i have had a hard day. I LOVE Mercy ME!!! They rock 🙂
    I can also relate to the whole “all or nothing” mentality. This is the all time WORST time of year to try and lose weight and look at you going to the gym in Horrible weather and also making awesome blog posts!! You’re amazing!!

  6. Jen Flick Says:

    I know exactly what you mean by the all or nothing feelings. My goodness, sometimes I look at my house and say, “I can’t do all of this! I can’t clean all of this.” And so I throw some laundry on the couch and give up. In fact, over the last several months (as you know) I’ve been running. Not every day and not crazy fast, but as often as I can escape my house and children my feet hit the street and I get in about a mile and a half before the house turns to Chernobyl and I’m sprinting back. I have been feeling so blue and defeated because even though my pace and distance have increased, I’ve lost no weight! “Well, if I’m not losing weight then heck with it,” I thought; and I headed for some delicious food and cinnamon buns. You are right, I cannot think ALL or NOTHING. I am going to do SOMETHING. I will unload the dishwasher, I will run a mile and a half when I get a chance. What a better perspective. And today, thanks to you 🙂 I did run, and even after taking about a week and a half off I was able to run as fast as usual (only slightly slowed down because it was a white out!) Thanks for posting Billie! We need you to keep encouraging us! Lol. 😉 You are doing so great.

  7. Jennifer Guermonprez Says:

    Billie you are such an inspiration! I keep thinking I’m going to get back to exercising too. Of course that’s my biggest trouble is I keep thinking but not doing. I so wish you lived here (cause I have no desire to live back east) cause the thing that holds me back is going alone. All that about me aside, I am so proud of you!

  8. barbara Says:

    Great blog, Billie! Love it!

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