Friday, June 25, 2010

All or nothing . . .


When I take on new hobbies or interests, I go into it with an "all or nothing" attitude.  I find myself obsessing over that particular subject matter--my boy has inherited this from me.  When I started knitting, I got as many books, needles, patterns and yarn as I could.  When I started spinning my own yarn, I needed to start off learning through simple means, then buying a spinning wheel, and exploring the intricate nature of spinning yarn, and dyeing it, then knitting some more.  Because I had a blog, I wanted to take better pictures, so I went full force with photography books from the library to learn how to best use my point and shoot camera.  When the point and shoot was no longer sufficient, I had to get a top of the line DSLR--it didn't matter that I couldn't afford it (or the lenses) . . . it was all or nothing, right?  Then my need to make a quilt for each of my babies.  Yeah, that stopped at 2 quilts and both were for one baby.  Recently, it was reclaiming thrifted furniture to refinish and redecorate my home; all the furniture is sitting in the basement waiting till I make the time.  Once I've achieved my goal of learning a subject, I get bored and I move onto something else.  However, that means I dump the previous projects and barely consider it again.  They are all piled up in the basement.

When I started running (so I could complete a 5K in Fall of 2009), I went full force.  I created my own version of C25K.  I got up at 5 a.m. to run on the treadmill.  When race day approached four months later, I got a babysitter and ran my race. Nothing could stop me. I was so proud.  I made many goals of maintaining my new exercise "obsession".  It's been a year since I started training for that first 5K.  Since then I ran another one in January of 2010, with the hopes of running a race every month in 2010.  That stopped short after experiencing my first race in Wisconsin's wintery conditions.  And then I started letting my 5 a.m. workouts slip from at least 5 x a week to 3.  Then they became very inconsistent to none existent.  The same has occurred with Yoga and Jillian Michael's DVDs.  

I had many lofty goals when I started this journey (including consistent blogging) and I've let those goals lapse . . . often.  I have improved on many things, but that "obsession" and need to master something is gone.  I no longer knit, spin, take pictures like I used to, or quilt.  I don't run as much, if at all lately.  I am taking more liberties in the eating-of-crap department. I just don't want to commit . . . to fail. 

Part of me wants a solution to "why I do that?"  I do know why I do it, but I want a solution.  How do I fix me?  I am quite sure it is adult ADHD.  I can't complete things.  I can start a book and never finish it.  I can start a project and let it linger . . . for years.  I can set off to run and bike for fitness, but never lose a pound which was the intended purpose.  And I am struggling with how to change this mindset.  I want to do all of those things that I've mastered and loved (at the time), and finish something, then move on.  I want to go back and forth with multiple things and never give up until complete, but I want to continue doing those projects or exercise that I enjoy without terminating the activity forever.  And I want to learn how to do all this without taking medication like the commercials advertise.  I also don't want to see a therapist to work through it all.

I have decided to put all those activities on a schedule or "to do" list.  I need to schedule the time to start, work through, and finish an activity.  I don't want to let the projects pile up and feel guilt for never finishing and never returning to it. I also need to learn to just let some of those old, not completed projects go.  Find them better homes through donations.  I am sure that my lack of weight loss has a lot to do with not really wanting to see the results of my hard efforts.  I am not sure if I want to see my body at the final stages of this lifestyle change.  I don't want to see failure (that is  loose skin or stretch marks) after putting in the time and effort in exercise and eating well.  I don't want to be disappointed in seeing the damage of all of those years of obesity and pregnancies.  So when it comes to weight loss, this "all or nothing" means that if I don't get my all (slimmer, tighter and fit figure), then I want nothing (flab and stretch marks).   And I must find a way to lose this attitude because what I gain from this loss of weight is health, longevity, fitness, easier breathing without meds, and a higher degree of happiness than when I started.

Do you have an "all or nothing" attitude?  If so, how have you worked through overcoming it? 


  1. This seems to be a common attitude, the all or nothing. Lately, I'm afraid that I'm spending too much time/energy and attention on the blog. Reading it, writing it, reading other blogs, commenting, etc. I fear that I will move onto another thing quickly. Which may also mean abandoning my plan for healthy living.
    Rosa, remind yourself it is about health and nothing else. Hobbies like blogging may come and go.It is your health. My health. Our health.

  2. Its like reading the thoughts in my head lately. I am an all or nothing person. It drive both me and my husband batty!


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