June 5th, 2013
by Jodi · Filed Under: Ponderings
I entered into 2008 with a very different mindset than 2007 in that I was not going to let this take me down but I knew I was far from being healed emotionally. I will classify this year as the “rocky” year–not Rocky the boxer– but rocky as in a ‘rough ride’ type of year. I was coming out of a 12 month funk and I was realizing that I could not keep going the way that I was going if I was ever going to get my act together and “get back to normal”.
One of the things that I hear from girls all the time is, “I’m an ‘all or none’ type of person”. They tend to say it in such a way as if to say they are the only person that is like that and it is completely unique to them. Poppycock. If you are in the lean community and you follow the culture/magazines/facebook pages, then you are most likely an all or none type of girl. I have one thing to tell you: go eat some dairy—like Greek yogurt or something, pull up some spit from the tips of your toes and then spit like a sailor on that concept because it is a curse! All or none is a jail sentence that keeps you locked up in your junk like no other principle can. Here is what All or None says and why we do it:
- If I can’t do this to the absolute best of my ability and see the results as I am doing it, then I just won’t do it at all.
- I can’t be bothered with subpar work. Do you know who I am?
- No! I’m going to start this when I know I can do it the right way because anything less than that does not make sense. There’s no reason why I can’t…[diet harder, stay focused, do better...]
- I must do this perfectly and I will not start/finish/try/do this until I know that I can do it perfectly.
We never say any of this out loud–or even admit that we think this way–but if I prod you long enough and ask just the right questions, this is what you will say to me when I corner you like a raccoon on a back deck in the day time.
I have a saying that I gleaned from a favorite author of mine that I like to use all the time because it is so true: the gates of hell are locked from the inside. I spent off and on at least two years of my life wrestling with this crap until I finally went out and bought a shot gun and put it to death. Every so often I hear it whimper a little in an attempt to resurrect itself and I just load the gun again and kill it dead. If you want to come back from something like this, an injury or a major interruption in your life like a death of someone close, you had better release yourself from the curse of All or None or you will get nowhere fast.
I know some of you are going to know exactly what I mean when I say I spent the first half of 2008 ‘starting and stopping’ in terms of eating clean and working out because it was not like a perfect 12 week diet type of set up. I could not comprehend just “working out and eating right” for the sake of working out and eating right. What kind of nonsense was that? I needed to be dieting, working toward a goal, checking off a chart…you know…being “perfect”. I didn’t fall off the wagon and binge eat because I couldn’t get it together, I just subsisted. I had no structure therefore I had no peace. How do I work out without aiming for a PR? When do I look for results or do I look for them? Is what I am doing now doing anything at all because this isn’t like the way it was before? What the heck is wrong with me????????? I had been so rigid previously that I didn’t know how to just eat 5 small meals a day and have a cheat here and there. Now I could tell you how to do that, but I was a flippin’ fish out of water trying it for myself because I was doing an amazing yo-yo act between Damned…All or None…PASS…Demolition Derby…Arrrrrrggggghhhhhh!! I could not get out of my own way. Not to mention, back then I was just beginning to fully embrace the way I think now. I still had one toe in the culture that at all times we were to be on point. It was awful.
So…I hired a trainer. I’ll get back to this in a minute.
All or None (AoN) is not the same as Damned If You Do (DIYD); with DIYD, you don’t do anything (i.e. 2007 was devoid of movement) and you’re angry about it. AoN, on the other hand, causes you to start over continuously (or perpetually be in the planning phase) because it is not *exactly* the way you want it to be. Every Monday is ground hog day and you get nowhere, although I will say it is better than DIYD. Ultimately, though, I wanted perfection in an imperfect situation and I had not yet gotten to the place yet of realizing that that was crack pipe material. For starters, I was working 90+ hours per week—no exaggeration. Why was I doing that? Because I set up that hellacious situation back when I was in DIYD land (this is why I call a lot of you to the carpet when you try to add distraction into your schedules/lives because I was the queen of distraction and I know what it looks like). I had to walk that out to completion and that took 9 months to change so AoN would have held me back if I kept that nonsense up. I, also, hated food/life/my body/people and etc. so trying to create this utopian environment was quite disingenuous. Having the right diet in place was not going to solve a thing since there was an 800 pound gorilla in the room (aka my emotions) and he was blocking me from eating my 5 meals. Lastly, I was still trying to come to terms with the fact that I did for a living the very thing that I, personally, failed at. With every ‘start’ came this flood of voices that reminded me of how much I suck and why am I doing this if I can’t even get it together and if I just learn a little more or work a little harder or if I didn’t do this in the first place or I’m back on the “I’m just lazy rant” or…or…*gasp*…does this sound familiar to anyone? Now you know why the sodium lady was so important to me. But while that’s all going on in my head, I also had this other part of me that did not believe any of that so Lord only knows who you may have met at that time.
Back to the trainer…
Hiring a trainer was the best thing I did that year because it allowed me to do a few things:
1) Get over myself. Humbling myself to another fitness professional cured me of the “do you know who I am” disease real quick. For one, he was a guy so he spelled stuff out in frank terms and it hurt to hear them like that. Two, I hadn’t moved like that in a little over a year and that brought it home to me in 3-D! and 3) I knew I needed him. If I didn’t do this, I wasn’t getting out of my hole.
2) Go slow. With him in charge, the AoN had to be tossed out the window. It was stupid. He knew it. I knew it. Nuff said.
3) Have some form of success. At that time what I needed more than anything else was to finish something that I started. I would not need something like that now, but back then it was like gold to me. It is amazing how we can get stuck in a rotary and keep going around the thing until we finally get sick of the scenery and move on.
I want to make this point right now for those of you who have made it this far: I don’t want to give you my conclusions or “a-ha” moments so that they can be yours, too, as much as I want to give you the process that I went through to get to the conclusion that I arrived at. The point here is to get out of AoN as fast as you can. Do not pass go and do not collect $200—just get out. It is inefficient, it is pure vanity and it, ultimately, is a time sucker that keeps you from any kind of progress. Get out!
Tomorrow we’re going to a Demolition Derby. Hope you wear a helmet. Woop woop!