“I have an all-or-nothing mindset.”

Sound like you?

If it does, you might even be proud of it! When you put your mind to something, you give it 110% effort, and nothing else matters. I mean, a lot of successful people in the world are wired that way. At least at first.

It sure as hell sounds a lot like me a few years back. When it came to my career and competing, I gave went in 110%. And for a while, it served me.

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But let me tell you something. It might sound all badass to say this is how you operate, but in fact, it could be the thing that is holding you back. (Cue self-sabotage…)

Because the truth is, no one can operate like this forever. And while it may serve us temporarily, it can also subconsciously create scapegoats. Let me explain.

What All or Nothing Looks Like

What does it mean to be “all or nothing?” It could look like this:

You hit your macros perfectly daily for months on end, but one night you are tempted on a night out. “Fuck it! If I’m going to have a piece of pizza, I might as well get hammered and eat 10 pieces.”


You have consistently been going to the gym, but then you get COVID and have to isolate for two weeks. You could do home workouts once you feel better, but they won’t be as “effective” as the gym, so you say screw it, do nothing, and binge eat.


You have been working 10-hour days the past four months straight, and while business is booming, you are completely fried. You spontaneously decide to take a trip last minute with no prior planning and leave your work to fend for itself. Ignorance is bliss. You’ll deal with it when you get back.

Sound familiar?

Well, I hate to break it to you, but an all-or-nothing mentality is not badass. It’s a cop-out.

The fact is, all or nothing requires little to no discipline. It requires little to no decision-making. It requires little to no modification.

“Fuck it! If I’m going to have a piece of pizza, I might as well get hammered and eat 10 pieces.”

All or nothing is easy.

The Mindset Substitution

However, MODERATION requires extreme discipline.

It is vastly more challenging to find the middle ground because it requires discipline to still get a workout in, even if it’s not perfect. Discipline is required to have one slice of pizza versus the whole pie. It requires discipline to plan days off of work ahead of time and not get overloaded.

“All or nothing” is code for a cop-out. “All or nothing” requires zero accountability and a lot of excuses—therefore, shitty results and a miserable life.

So if you find yourself labeling as such, try to rethink what you are actually telling yourself.

Moderation may not be sexy, but it’s required if you want to see long-lasting results!

Alycia Israel is a nationally qualified NPC figure and bikini competitor and raw powerlifter. She has a master’s degree in exercise physiology, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, and an ISSN-certified sports nutritionist. As the former personal training coordinator at Ohio State University for seven years, she currently owns and operates Alycia's Barbell, an online training and nutrition business that helps clients lose fat for life or jump on the competitive bodybuilding stage. She can be contacted at alyciafit@gmail.com.