“Everything in moderation”
It’s a phrase that we hear often and that many fitness folks throw around. But what exactly is moderation? Should we all have the same kind of moderation? What’s allowed and what isn’t?
A few weeks ago, I was circling the snack table at my Tuesday morning Bible study. There are generally few foods that fit into my nutrition plan, but I always check it out. My eyes spotted a plate of mini chocolate covered donuts (with sprinkles!). I’m not a donut fan at all, but miniatures always get me and I happen to love a chocolate donut. As I was deciding if I was going to take any and how many I should take, a gal next to me said, “I think you can afford to eat 5 of those.” I responded, “5 MAY be okay, but 10 isn’t.” She looked at me confused. I told her that I know my propensity to overindulge on certain items and that “moderation” for me in this instance is better off at nothing. (Although, I admit, I did take one and scooted out of there). As she was contemplating what I said I chimed in, “You have to know yourself. And since I am a 0-60 kind of girl, moderation looks really different for me.” She nodded in agreement.
I talk to a lot of women who try to find out what really works for them in regards to moderation. I call it finding your “moderation prescription” or “Moderation Rx.” It looks just a little different for all of us. And the truth is, I don’t know any fitness or healthy person who doesn’t do some sort of moderation….it just may be on a different scale than yours.
I am not the moderation police. I can’t tell you if your piece of dark chocolate every night is okay, or if your Friday night cheat meal works, or your every other day bowl of chips and dip is okay. I cannot tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. I can tell you what works for me. Why? Because I’ve failed enough times to know what is successful!
So how do you find your “Moderation Rx”?
1.) Consider your personality
This is probably one of the biggest areas people forgo when talking about this area. I’ve mentioned before how I’m a 0-60 kind of gal. There is no middle ground for me. So moderation will look different than my friend, Leslie, or my husband, Kory, who are both middle of the line folks. They can indulge in a small treat every day and let it be just that–a small treat. For me, a small treat ends up in 4 handfuls later, so I have to build my plan around my personality.
2.) Consider your goals
I could definitely eat more calories and empty calories, at that, in a day and have small bearing on my body. But that’s not my goal. I am trying to build muscle mass and keep a very lean look. Because of this, my moderation plan will look different than someone who is trying to maintain their weight or trying to lose some. So yes, my friend was right that I could have eaten 10 small mini donut holes that day, but that wouldn’t have gotten me closer to my end goal.
3.) Consider your schedule
Maybe you know that every Friday night is pizza night with the family, or that Monday is a girls night out. Build those times in as your times for moderation so that you may enjoy those moments. Make it work for you, so you don’t feel deprived.
Here are a few points of caution:
1.) People around you will not necessarily understand your Moderation Rx especially if they aren’t following one themselves.
They will look at you funny, probably make some sly comments about “living up life since it’s short” and a whole host of other things. So expect a little kickback and watch out for folks trying to get you to slide. You need to decide for yourself what works and then stick to it. (And tell them, kindly, that you are “living up” life–feeling healthy and strong, fitting into your clothes, and enjoying your moderation when it’s time to! 🙂 )
2.) Your “moderation” may be what’s keeping that last “x” lbs on you.
Moderation is fine and dandy if you are happy with where you are in your journey, but if you are struggling and still need to lose weight, or get stronger, you may want to start evaluating your Moderation Rx.
3.) There will be times when you are just DONE with moderation.
You are tired of being disciplined. You are tired of saying no when others are saying yes. And yes–you want that cake tonight, tomorrow, and the next night! Expect these things to happen and if need be, throw it out the window for a while. Chances are, you’ll be back at it once you realize how good it actually was for you! (I’ve totally been there!)
So what do you think? Have you found your Moderation Rx yet? Is it time to adjust what you are doing? I’d love to hear how moderation looks for you, so comment away below in the box!!
Great post!!! Thanks for sharing yourself with us.
Moderation for me depends on if I have run out of my level G or not. When I have my level g mpderation would be 1/2 to one whole donut on Sundays at church
Clare you really hit it out of the park on this one:p! I live by this and I definitely have up and down seasons. I try to stay disciplined during the week because a few chips, candy or cookies end up being just to good to stop for me. My husband is Italian and we celebrate every Friday with homemade pizza, brownies and ice cream! That’s my cheat day and Saturday I pick it up a notch with cardio:) I have come to realize my unclean eating is often because I am stress eating, not drinking enough water or not balancing carbs, protein, fruits, veggies, or eating to much sugar so I am still working towards a better moderation Rx here. Thanks for a great post!
Definitely what I needed to hear today! I’m in a season of no moderation, and I’m heading towards the point where I need to reign it in again. This will help me refocus. Thank you!
Great Post! I am also an all or nothing kind of gal, but the flip side of that is when I slide (we all do) I just say “to heck with it” and instead of just a brief lapse, I throw in the towel completely! Thanks for reminding me to build in moderation to make this journey realistic for me and my family. Blessings!
Great Post!! I find the same responses when I am faced with eating decisions. People just say “oh well, it’s a special occasion” But really the older I get I cannot afford it. lol
I just had a moment of theoretically smacking my forehead… as in “Duh!” I am the kind of girl that *thinks* she can take just one and reason out in her head that there is enough willpower there to handle it. I am wrong. I simply just can’t stop the majority of the time. What an eye-opener (and even a kind of freeing moment) to realize it’s okay to accept that maybe that’s just who I am. I am someone that has a weakness for 3, 4, maybe more. Now I have a better reason to walk away. I can say to myself, “no, you can’t handle that. It’s just not the way you are wired. Walk away and don’t make it harder on your natural self.” That seems a little more realistic and productive than trying to test my willpower by having a so-called treat and expecting only my best intentions to win the battle over my tastebuds and addictions. Let’s face it, we can’t always trust our own minds to do the right thing. Sometimes we just have to lean on fact and override the desires.
I’m also a 0-60 kind of girl, so I really appreciated your point of view. I just need to figure out how to give it all up!
I haven’t completely found my moderation Rx yet, but the 0-60 personality type fits me & my eating habits. Sometimes I can be disciplined and have just one piece of chocolate while other times I eat 6 cookies before I realize what I’ve done.
And I fail more often than I succeed lately.
I am trying focusing on asking myself questions before indulging like ‘is eating this going to get me closer to my goal or farther away from it.’ or ‘although everything is permissible is this beneficial’.
I continue to learn and hope to string together more good choices than bad, seeing results that will last.
Thanks again for great insight and food for thought!
I am on the journey for my Rx. God is faithful, and I am learning how NOT to stress eat. In the past, I have NOT known my Moderation Rx. thanks for giving it a name. I like that. Now I can set a goal and with God’s help and my obedience, I will succeed! Thank you for an amazing, truthful, and transparent ministry. May our Lord bless you abundantly!
Today is amazing for me. But it really didn’t go well till afternoon. I’m a 0-60 girl. But starting today over after months of being lost. So excited to get my moderation rx back!
Clare you hit the nail on the head with that one!! That is so me!! I’m trying so hard to get my eating & portions under control. I’m an all or nothing personality & it is so hard to practice moderation for me!!
Love your honesty girl!! Your 0-60 personality comes in handy though when it comes to working out:) I have found that if I plan ahead or set a limit beforehand then I will do better at saying no. I have 2 boxes of thin mints in my cupboard and I have had maybe 6 in the last week.i allow myself 2 at a time. The other day I didn’t order dessert at lunch like I sometimes do but I just had a little bite of someone else’s and that was all I needed:) my problem comes at pot luck meals where there are so many good things to choose from!!:) I am also a snacker so I have to watch I don’t “snack” too much.
Have to be disciplined, 0-60 for me to, one leads to many….have to be structured.
Thank you for the post.
I’m not sure how to make moderation work. I make meal plans. I don’t put treats on the shopping list. Then I just end up eating the kids cereal and walking to the corner store for snacks. I have the best intentions and never follow through:(