Black and white thinking is probably the most common mistake among people who struggle with their weight. This mindset creates an all-or-nothing cycle that pushes one toward failure as soon as one single thing goes wrong. They step on the scale after a particularly difficult week of sticking to their plan, but discover they didn’t lose an ounce, “That’s it, I just can’t lose any weight.” But they can.
Black and white thinking is the mindset of habitual dieters because they constantly see themselves as being either on a diet, restricting themselves from foods they love; or off the diet, eating “forbidden foods” they enjoy.
When we think in black and white, we get angry and tell ourselves we screwed up royally (again). We are deflated and beat ourselves up. We see losing weight as an impossible task and may even abandon our plan completely at that moment. We end up wallowing away the rest of the day with our head in the refrigerator and worrying what we are going to see when we find the nerve to step on the scale.
People who live in black-and-white thinking fail to consider that there are choices between all or nothing. They have a difficult time getting back on track when deviation happens. They view their day as ruined instead of accepting that one decision was just one mistake and it’s time to forget about it and move forward. When repeated over time, this kind of thinking creates a consistent barrier to success.
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