How to become confident in your body
WITHOUT wasting time obsessing over food! 

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Is It Healthy Discipline or Black-And-White Thinking? How To Stay Out Of All-Or-Nothing Thinking Around Your Food and Fitness!

For anyone with a history of black-or-white thinking, trying something new or setting a new goal can be overwhelming…. Because when we operate in black-or-white thinking, we are operating in a PASS OR FAIL mentality.

Then there is this other word I want to unpack: healthy discipline. If you are like me, you may have a bit of an aversion to this word. And after years of exploring I have come to find that black-or-white thinking taints discipline. This in turn inhibits our ability to set and accomplish new goals… ultimately, keeping us stuck in our health journey.

So today I am making a case for discipline, and spelling out why it is SO different from black-and-white thinking and how to not confuse the two so we set ourselves up for success!

I am so pumped to cover this topic because I wish someone would have sat down and talked this through with me years ago. It honestly took me years to navigate this and find a safe, empowering way to return to discipline without becoming obsessive or becoming engulfed in shame, or returning to rigidity.

I have noticed lately this has been a theme in many of my 1:1 topics of conversation with clients. It is a personal discussion and one that often requires outside prompting to work through. We live in our own stuff- we need someone who isn’t in our heads to ask us questions to get out of our heads and into the work. I would love to be that person for you. Details on working 1:1 with me can be found at jessbrownrd.com

black-and-white thinking food fitness

Ok, let’s dive in!

According to research, thinking in binary terms can actually change the way we perceive the world, conditioning us to miss nuances.

In the Empowered Eating world- I see this pop up the most when someone is working to introduce intentional eating, or targeting eating, after years of dieting and possibly disordered eating.

If you are early on in your journey. Maybe you have only recently started your Empowered Eating journey there are steps you must go through first. You have to deconstruct some of the negative narrative. You have to identify your values and how they ignite your health goals. This is what we do in steps 1 and 2 in my signature e-course before we move into nutrition. When people skip these two steps and jump right into the nutrition actions like reducing sugar or eliminating gluten (ps I am not recommending that, I am just passing on what I hear y’all say) we set ourselves up for there to be a right way and a wrong way.

And then when we mess up – we get in stuck in a shame box.

We stay stuck.

When we are making changes to our diet and exercise will it be hard? Yes! Will it require commitment and discipline – you betcha!

Can you do it without getting caught up in black-or-white thinking – absolutely!

Here is how:

Discipline rooted in values creates resiliency.

We can do the hard thing because it means better things are on the way. Discipline rooted in shame or insecurity makes us anxious. We end up avoiding, procrastinating or repeating old patterns.

👉🏼 Rigidity operates with the currency of shame.

👉🏼 Discipline operates with a focus on curiosity and a goal of growth.

👉🏼 Rigidity is rooted in insecurity and comparison

👉🏼 Discipline is rooted in a desire to be better than yesterday’s version of you and to serve a greater purpose.

👉🏼 Rigidity doesn’t allow error, discipline learns with every step.

 

Here is your litmus test:

When things go awry, how will I react?

 

If you are trying a new workout routine that requires getting to the gym: When I don’t make it X amount of times how will I react?

Black or white thinking: I didn’t make it to the gym today and taking a walk isn’t worth it.

Discipline: I will look at what limited my ability to make it happen, and work my week differently next week. OR, I didn’t make it to the gym, but I could go for a quick walk this afternoon.

 

If you are trying to follow a fuel plan that keeps desserts for the weekends only: How will you react if you decide to have a cookie at the office?

Black and white thinking: Well now my diet is ruined! May as well stop for fast food on the way home!

Discipline: Well, that didn’t go as planned! That cookie was so good. What did my biofeedback say about that cookie and is it in alignment with my values and goals?

 

Bottom line: “discipline = freedom”. And as my favorite verse says in 2 Timothy— God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Will we struggle? Yes!

Can we overcome this? Absolutely.

Leave space for some grace and you will no double stay out of black-or-white thinking and stick to discipline.

 

This podcast is here to support you weekly, but it only scratches the surface. For more info on how you can become an empowered eater grab my FREE WORKSHOP on how to become confident in your body without obsessing over food at jessbrownrd.com. Don’t forget to join me right here next Monday… where I can’t wait to fuel your awesome.

 

Cheers my sweet friend, and happy eating!

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