50 Shades of Gray for Black and White Thinkers

Do you struggle with black and white thinking when it comes to dieting, food, fitness and body image? Many of us do and that is normal. We expect our lives to operate around an on/off switch but unfortunately for many that come with understandable negative consequences. Case in point. You’re either eating kale all day long or diving into dunkin donuts. You’re either sweating profusely at the gym or lying on your couch asking someone else to get the remote control for you. You’re dutifully tracking every calorie and micromanaging your protein, fat and protein grams or going balls to the wall and saying “forget it” as you chow down on a bloomin onion. You’re either loving your body or hating it. Sound familiar?

I can tell you that there can indeed be 50 shades of grey when it comes to dieting and fitness and it can be as sexy and enticing as the title suggests. Below are some suggestions on how to deal with your own black and white thinking – sample a few of these and let me know if you’ve moved from white to a nice gunmetal or slate gray!

1. Make shifts in your favorite foods – Enjoy ice cream? Sample a fudgcicle or all fruit ice pop instead. Or opt for full fat Greek yogurt made in the freezer with fruit.

2. Too tired to do your full workout? Sample going for smaller bouts of walking. If you do 3 small bouts of 15 minutes by the end of the day you’ve got a good 45 minutes of activity

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3. Sample tracking only 1 category of food for the day versus every calorie. For instance, focus on any healthy foods you take in for the day, like vegetables and fruits. Focusing on a positive behavior you did versus lamenting the unhealthy ones will keep you in action and motivated

4. Instead of looking in the mirror and dissecting every body part, focus on putting on clothes that make you feel comfortable and good and practice embodying your body with deep breathing, meditation and/or yoga practice

5. If you accidentally indulge in your favorite “junk” food, it doesn’t mean the day is lost! Combat the desire to throw in the towel by reaching immediately for a healthier food for your next snack or meal. Good options include fruits, veggies, healthy proteins and high quality whole grains.

What are some of the ways that you create a “50 shades of grey” mentality?

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