“All or nothing” mentality is bullshit.
It is not so long ago that I saw one quote on Instagram. It went something like “99% is the same as 0%. If you don’t give it 100%, don’t even bother showing up.” …well, it is not word for word, but the essence is the same. I like quotes, they can help you to find motivation, but this one must be the stupidest quote I have ever read. If you don’t do something 100%, you shouldn’t even try?
Well, that is some bullshit if I’ve ever seen one. In that case, the majority of people would do absolutely nothing. You are free to disagree with me, but I think it is always better to do SOMETHING than NOTHING. Because not always you can do EVERYTHING, but you can always do something. That goes for every aspect of our lives but in this article, I will talk specifically about movement and diet.
“All or nothing” mentality is often the reason why the majority of people don’t do anything and they don’t even try. Because if I can’t work out every day and control everything that goes into my mouth, why should I put energy into the few things I can actually change? “It is worthless” … the problem is, that is a LIE that we tell ourselves. To control the things we can is exactly what will be worthy of your time. And we can always find a way if we want.
It won’t be always optimal for the best results or the best performance but it will move us forward in some way and we won’t destroy all the progress that we have achieved. I will tell you that finding an excuse is very very easy – and something even remarkable to watch the mental gymnastics some people are capable of. But to look at the issue from a different perspective and find a solution is a tad more difficult.
I don’t like exercise…
Not everyone will like running, not everyone will love going to the gym and do heavy squats …and that is completely okay. If you hate it, don’t do it, no one is forcing you. The beautiful thing is, though, that there are probably hundreds of different types of exercise, movement, and cardio. The human body is simply made to move. Sitting on your ass the whole day doesn’t do you any favors. That can be seen in the obesity epidemic, shortened and weaken muscles, and all the other health problems. If you hate to move, you just haven’t found the movement that you would like. So keep trying and I am sure you will find something. And in the worst case, you can always walk while listening to music or podcasts…
I can’t do that…
Injury, a congenital defect, body limitations…we all had them or have them. Our bodies are built differently. Someone has flat feet, some have problems with their spine, some have broken their arm and some have knee problems. It is important to know what you can and can’t do, of course. But the fact that you can’t do something doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything. When I was running a lot and my feet started to hurt, there came a time when I had to stop. So I simply didn’t run but I found a different way to move – only walking or home resistance training.
When I had problems with my shoulder, I just did the exercises I knew were safe. There is always a solution. Do you have bad knees? Okay, just don’t do exercises that will put pressure on your knees (and in the best case just work with someone who understands the injuries, so that you won’t make it worse). What I want to say by that is that there is always a way. When a guy with crutches can come to a gym and work out their upper body, you can find something that you can do as well. And now I don’t say that if you have your whole body fucked up, you have to move. No, this is about the long-term excuses people love to make.
I don’t have the time for it…
Sometimes we are out of time even if we do everything in our power. Hectic weeks, work everything you look, early morning, burning the midnight oil, responsibilities, or exam periods. And that is okay. It is OKAY to take some time off when you are extremely stressed and don’t have time to even use the restroom. However, for some people, it is beneficial to actually work the stress out a bit but that is individual. Key thing is that it is only a short period of time. It is not like my school semester is stressful so now I am not going to move for 5 months because I don’t have the time.
That is about the priorities. You can say whatever you want but don’t tell me you can’t find 10-15 minutes to move your body ever. To wake up a few minutes earlier, go for a 15 minutes run, or squeeze a quick home workout is ALWAYS better than not doing anything at all.
To me, movement is a priority and that is why I will always find the time for physical activity. Although I understand that not everyone has it like that. But movement doesn’t mean only sprints and heavy lifting, it is a brisk walk before going to work or a short yoga session before bed too!
What about food?
If you think that you have no control over your diet and just have to go to the restaurants or eat anything that will land on your table in front of you, there is not much to say. If you don’t open your mind to the thought that you are the only one who has control over what you put into your body, nothing I write here will change that. However, even with the take-out, food at work, or evening beers with friends, there are still so many ways how to do better choices for yourself.
If you know that you will go out in the evening, just eat enough protein and vegetables and drink enough water during the day. And you can enjoy your evening without any worries. Just don’t write off the whole day because you will have pizza in the evening and therefore nothing you do during the day has any meaning. One food doesn’t ruin your progress just as well one salad doesn’t make the progress. If you are not happy about the place you are with your diet, just take a step back and find the small things you can improve. Because those are the ones that will help you to be healthier. And if you don’t know where to begin, I have a whole article about it…