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CATS_MEOW_0911 Posts: 2,574
6/16/12 2:02 P

You admit that you are an all-or-nothing thinker--I used to be that way, too. I had to let go of the idea that there was going to be a single "day" that I was going to change. The other idea I had to let go of was the idea of "starting" and "finishing." This is my life, it all flows together, and I want to be healthier permanently, not just reach the "finish line" of a goal weight.

I have been blogging recently about this very thing, of how change takes a lot of time and effort. I just became a SparkPeople Motivator this week, and a few years ago, I never would have imagined how much I could change once I learned to stop being so hard on myself. It takes a lot of self-exploration to get to that point. Blogging and journaling helps to sort through those issues. If you aren't sure where to start, perhaps join one of the SparkLive meetings? Maybe start making some connections on Sparkteams? Your family has probably not "given up" on you, but they may not know what to do to support you (very common issue).

It is "one day at a time," but it is important to learn to see the bigger picture while you are getting through the day. When you look at the pages of people who have been successful at losing weight and leading a healthy life, remember, they were all once like you. They decided that they could be a success and started plucking away at it. They have gone through a lot of trial-and-error. You are a success because you have not given up--just having the books and DVDs and sticking around SP shows that you do want this. Just keep working at it, make some connections for support and to learn from others on a deeper level, and you will soon know that you are a success.

SHELL1400_85 SparkPoints: (53,179)
Fitness Minutes: (49,514)
Posts: 591
6/16/12 10:11 A

WOW @ sparker87! That was awesome, it moved me!! emoticon

SPARKER87 Posts: 366
6/16/12 1:59 A

I too am so scared of the slips. I fear that I will give up on this fight. I fear I will fall halfway through. But I'm coming to copes that there are fears the come before us BEFORE every challenge or feat! Before a boxing body trembles, I get scared that I will be beat to a pulp, of the embarrassment...oh yeah---it's there. Before I take a hike with my friends, I get scared that I will pant, I'll sweat, I'll give up and they'll all have to wait for me--I struggle, but I DO IT!!

So here it is. You've accepted that you want to make a change. But damn you're scared. I'm scared with you....I haven't even made a dent in my goals yet. But I compare this to everything else that has or does scare me in life and it humbles me AND hypes me up.

I'm scared that I'll give up on eating or working out.
But you know what? I sit midway on that hiking trail sometimes, and I STILL make it to the lake that waits for me. So yes, I may give in to that damn caramel brownie, but it will not STOP me from making my goals.

I had a friend tell me once ''you are not afraid of failure, you're afraid of success''. It took me a LONG time to realize what she meant. I realized that I wasn't scared of failing at something, it was just that I had gotten so comfortable with my life...that I was actually afraid of something different. What happens when I succeed? I really hope I find out.

BE AFRAID. It will drive you. Accept that you were right, but keep going. Get out of you security blanket and see where you find might love it.

--sorry...I ended up feeling like I was giving myself a pep-talk halfway through. But nonetheless, I wrote this for you too.

good luck!

MAYBER SparkPoints: (120,147)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 9,764
6/15/12 6:54 P

For me it is not fear of failure
But fear of reaching that goal number
Have been working on the last five pounds for six months
Up and Down
One day at a time

GALINAZ Posts: 743
6/14/12 11:46 A

I can relate to being a perfectionist. It brings on fear, especially of criticism. I over-react to being criticized because I have this image of being perfect in my actions.

GRACED777 Posts: 4,348
6/14/12 11:11 A

I have always been all or nothing too. Now I'm beginning to do what I planned even when there are setbacks. I am working on exercise now--hurt my knee and had to stop 2 weeks after I started. But kept eating in a healthy way even though the weight loss really slowed. A month after I hurt my knee I was finally able to start slowly again. Got back into it, then got a pedometer. Saw my best was not even 3000 steps a day, and began working toward 10,000 a day. Hard for me as I'm not nearly as fast as I was before the stroke I had four years ago. But I'd get nowhere anymore with all or nothing thinking. I want to be healthy and I'm getting there bit by bit.

You can get there bit by bit, too. After all, you're here and talking about it. That is one step in the process. Then as in the movie What About Bob? you do baby steps till you get there, and then make new goals for new baby steps. Our whole lives can change as much as we will let them.

CICELY360 Posts: 4,140
6/14/12 10:30 A

Instead of being an all or nothing person, set one or two small goals a week. I've always read that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit. Another option is writing down specific goals. Make it a mixture of short-term, medium and long-term goals. When you see small changes, it will motivate you to go further.

JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
6/14/12 9:51 A

What do you have to lose by trying? So what if you fail at first? You won't gain anything if you never try. Pick one habit to change/start. Do it for a week, add another small change. Go from there. Baby steps. You can do it.

GOOSIEMOON SparkPoints: (237,399)
Fitness Minutes: (107,360)
Posts: 6,680
6/14/12 8:40 A

So much wisdom on this thread.

I agree. Start small. Make tiny, positive promises to yourself and keep them (remember, start with tiny things that you will accomplish), build on these promises, add to them, celebrate your successes and keep going. Stay positive and focus on the things you are doing right. Forgive yourself for those things with which you still struggle. Be kind to yourself - you are worth the effort and time it takes to change your lifestyle for the better. Really.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
6/14/12 7:07 A

Oh my gosh --been there and done that. Here is what helped me. Take some time and figures different ways to measure your progress. Log on every day and fill out the nutrion portion, develop a spreadsheet that provides calories in and out versus need. (This one is great - because even if you do not see the scale move you can see you have decreased your in take and it will move in time). I use that spreadsheet everyday and only hop on the scale once a week. I can see that I am moving in the right direction whether or not the scale moves. The other big change is that I do not diet. I made healthy lifestyle changes, so if I have dinner out, I have dinner out - I have not blown anything at all. It just gets logged into the spreadsheet with every other calorie. You did not gain the weight all or nothing in one day you are not going to lose the weight all or nothing in one day.

CORGIGIRL2 Posts: 55
6/13/12 12:41 P

Thank you all so much for responding - can you come stay with me for awhile? I took away something from each of you and agree with what you said. I have countless unfinished projects at home because I am afraid they won't be right. I have felt that I can't fail if I don't start; now I see that the failure is standing still. I should have remembered the basis for SPARK - setting small attainable goals that will motivate me further. I will set a few, small goals today and write them down and keep track of them. This is what makes SPARK different from other programs - support from a lot of people, some like me, some not so much, but all caring people. Thank you - I hope I can pass this on to someone in the future!

SHELL1400_85 SparkPoints: (53,179)
Fitness Minutes: (49,514)
Posts: 591
6/13/12 12:19 P

I agree with everyone else as well, this is a slow process. You can't expect to change all your bad habits over night. I don't know if this will help you, but when I sat down and really thought to myself are YOU ready to make this change for YOU? For the longest time the answer was no, I did yo yo diet on and off all the time. I would lose a few pounds here and there, but I would always gain it back. Then about a month ago was when I finally answered yes to that question. Yes I want to get HEALTHY, not thin for myself to be happier and be around longer for my family not just to look better in a bathing suit. I don't know if you are on any teams yet, but joining teams has really helped me. Having the support and having other people around to challenge me daily. I still have days when I slip up as most everyone probably does, it's normal. Every day is a challenge. Take small steps and never give up on yourself!! emoticon

JUFOME Posts: 89
6/13/12 11:05 A

Just a few thoughts that popped up when I read your post.

All or nothing usually leaves you nothing. I can't think of anyone in this world who truly has it all. "Some" is enough. I imagine if you look at your life, you really have lots of "some" - some clothes, some friends, some family, some pillows, some place to live - I would imagine you don't have all the pillows in the world. So really some is okay. You don't need to have it all at once. So tell yourself today "some is okay."

I agree with all the others, don't expect to change overnight. This is not a diet, it's a one moment at a time process making healthy decisions throughout the day, week, month, etc... Break it down into very small goals, 10 minute walk daily, just logging into Spark daily, just logging your food daily.

How about knowing just as you are YOU are a success already? No failure to fear, you can't fail unless you stop trying and you haven't stopped trying because you're still here posting. And I agree with Archimedes - it's more common that we fear change or fear success. Failure is easy, just stop trying. Success - well now - that means change and that can feel scary.

You got this, you can do this. One little step at a time. :)

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (195,741)
Fitness Minutes: (291,913)
Posts: 26,957
6/13/12 10:18 A


Remember, you're trying to change habits learned over a life time. That's not going to happen overnight, a week, a month or even a year. Change takes time, thus the need to be patient with yourself and your body. That's why you can't look at weight loss and good health with an all or nothing mentality. As the old song goes,"accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative". You have to learn to give yourself credit for the POSITIVE things you do for yourself and not beat yourself up if you're not perfect. You don't have to be perfect to be healthy. Every little bit really does add up.

The Daily Spark just did a blog about a study that showed that ONE small change makes a world of difference. One small change leads to another, which leads to another, etc...

Start with that one small change. Don't try to do everything at once or you will end up frustrated. Start with some simple goals you CAN stick with. Example, if you're not used to eating 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies, set a goal to eat 2-3 servings each day for one week. If you're not used to drinking 8 glasses of water, set a goal to drink 2-4 glasses each day for one week. If you're not used to regular exercise, set a goal to take a 30 minute walk each day for one week. once you've achieved these goals, then you set new ones.

And that's how good health starts. It starts by eating a few extra servings of veggies, drinking your water and taking a daily walk.

Here's something I've learned from my own years of yo yo dieting. I've learned that people don't fear failure. They really fear success. we're used to failing. It's happened to us all on a regular basis. success is scary. what do we do when we accomplish our goals ? It isn't a fear of failure that holds people back. It's a fear of success.

You CAN be a success ! But, you're going to have to do things that are going to take you out of your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to take a leap of faith. I think you'll be pleasantly surprized by yourself if you do.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
6/13/12 9:18 A


I spent 30 plus years stuck in the diet mentality, but what I realized 7 years ago was living that way was keeping me stuck. I gave up the notion that I have to live a perfect life/diet in order to have a healthy lifestyle. Every meal, every minute allows me to make a healthy choice. Just because I had a not so healthy breakfast, that does not mean I can't have a healthy lunch or dinner. Working in a 10 minute walk before dinner may not seem like much, but something always trumps nothing--it is the small changes we choose to make every day that gets us to our goals.

Hang in there!

Coach Nancy

CHRISTINASP Posts: 1,856
6/13/12 8:32 A

My thought is that probably, you are indeed setting your goals too high. It would be good if you could break them down into very small steps. Then just do the tiny steps so you can begin to feel that 'I CAN do it!'.
Better taking a few small steps than none at all.

You could start by working out your goals on your Sparkpage.... You say there that your goals are 'eat healthy', 'exercise', cut out soda and other sugars, and drink more water.
If you ate one candy bar less per week (just using this as an example) and eat an extra apple instead (or another piece of fruit), it means you are working on goal nr. 1.
If you get yourself to go out and just walk for ten minutes every day, or every other day, it means you are on your way with the 'exercise' goal.
How much soda do you drink right now? Can you lower that by just three cans per week? And maybe replace it by trying herbal tea, or another healthy beverage that you like or haven't tried yet. If so you are again, working on your goal!

You could put these goals in the 'other goals' list that you get when you click on 'other goals' under 'My trackers': 1. eat one candy bar less per week, 2. eat one (or more) pieces of fruit extra per week, 3. walk ten minutes every day and 4. drink one (two, three) cans of soda less per week. If you need to you could also make it a goal to start tracking just how much soda you drink per day.
And fill the other goals in every day. My idea is that this will give you more of a feeling that you really CAN make progress. Just take baby steps and you will get the taste (pun intended!) of it! I'd love for you to become proud of yourself instead of frustrated!

I'm writing about this in such detail because I hope it will help you realize that small steps really do count! Also if you have to lose a lot of weight... It helps me personally to not focus too much on the weight itself but on 'what can I do TODAY to help myself'. If I take a small step today I deserve a pat on the back. And so do you!
Blogging about how hard some steps are, or how easy, or about your findings as you go along may be helpful; it works that way for me. And that way others can give you comments, support, advice, encouragement and so on.

Edited by: CHRISTINASP at: 6/13/2012 (08:38)
CORGIGIRL2 Posts: 55
6/13/12 7:29 A

I am so frustrated with myself. Everyday is the day I am going to start and then nothing changes. I had a health scare earlier this week, which should have shocked me into action. Everything turned out okay, so now back to normal. I am an all-or-nothing person so I think it is the feeling of "why start if I can't finish?" My family has given up on me (I think) because all I do is talk about losing weight and exercising, I keep buying books, and DVDs and some are still unopened. I look to motivational pages and am so excited seeing others' successes but I can no longer feel "that could be me!" I know it is "one day at a time" but I can't seem to make it through one day.

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