Carolyn Chaffey
Today I'm thinking about moderation. Moderation is key, I believe to success in maintain a healthy body weight and a healthy lifestyle. I think it's important to discuss the idea of moderation because the opposite of moderation, excessiveness is what leads to much of the weight gain we experience. I believe we should practice moderation in many aspects of our life but for our purpose today we'll focus on food.

How many of us ever have one serving of potato chips? One serving of potato chips is not a lot of calories. It's not a lot of chips either. It's enough chips though. I don't think there is anything wrong with potato chips if eaten in moderation. What happens though is we eat the whole bag, many many servings. We leave it around, we two or three, we go back to them. We can't stop, they sing to us, they beg us and we succumb to the temptation. Either buy a small bag, eat them and move on or buy a big bag, take out a serving, enjoy every last crumb and move on. Practice doing this and eventually this is how you will live.

I went to a party last night. My goal at the party was to practice moderation. I knew there would be food. My cousin, whose birthday it was, is a chef. I set my goal to eat whatever was appetising, to try small portions of what I wanted and to move on. I did quite well until they sat something in front of me that made my heart skip a beat. I knew it was a test. It had sugar, my weakness. It also had some good things, apples and cream cheese so I could convince myself easily it wasn't a terrible thing to eat.

It was a long ceramic dish, The bottom of the dish was spread with cream cheese. This was topped with caramel sauce, the kind you put on Sundaes and then sprinkled with skor bar bits. Beside it was a bowl of quartered apples. It was absolutely delicious as most simple things are. I though, now I really am getting tested. I tried not to over-think it but I really liked that dessert. I had 6 or 7 pieces dipped in the cream cheese and stopped. I thought that was a nice moderate amount. It was. I didn't feel deprived, I didn't feel stuffed and I knew for all the sugar in that confection there was some good as well, apples and cream cheese. It feels good today to know I enjoyed a delicious dessert just enough.

So I consider that a success in moderation. Little bits of the things I love and then stopping.

There will always be another cake. Why do we feel compelled to eat the whole cake then if another is coming down the pike. Why do we feel pulled to over-eat something when there is an abundance in this counry?

I think we were raised by a generation of parents who directly or indirectly were affected by the famine of the Great Depression and somehow the idea that every meal might be our last one has seeped into the collective psyche of our society.

My mother-in-law once told my daughter to eat everything on her plate and I corrected her immediately "no, she doesn't have to" and confused by this idea she asked "she doesn't?" and I said "No, we have an epidemic of obesity in our society, we are nowhere near a shortage of food, they don't have to eat everything on their plate, just eat until they are satisfied". She agreed and moved on but I could see she hadn't really ever considered that. I consider that.

We've gotten these messages through society and it has led us to eat to excess because somewhere deep inside we've adopted the idea that we have to get what we can right now. It's an incorrect and dangerous thought process that we need to alter.

We need to practice moderation, not deprivation. We have to practice and with practice we'll get better at it.

So make that today's goal, that you will eat smaller amounts, single servings of the things you like, and move along. Exercise, get out and walk, do as much as you want, don't be excessive in that either, just move and be active.

Practice moderation regularly and things will slip into place after a while and the habit of excessive eating will become a distant memory.
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2 Responses
  1. Hello, I sneaked over from MDC where I found your link in your sig ;) I thought I'd follow along with you and hopefully mooch some motivation!