I have discovered in recent months that I am not very good at doing things in moderation; it is all or nothing in my world.
About a year and a half ago, I decided to give up sugar for a month. I wrote about my commitment here on the blog, giving me accountability and cementing the fact that I was going to stay strong, come what may.
I discovered that it was crazy hard for the first week and a half, but surprisingly easy after that. I did not even want sweets after my initial detox period. I even stuck with it for an additional two weeks. Then the holidays came, and sugar was just so darn easy to find. And once I started eating it again, it was a slippery slope back to old habits.
Since then, I have tried the moderation route several times, telling myself that I would only eat treats on Sunday and Monday (the only two nights we routinely plan dessert at our house). But once I ate something sweet on Monday, the chocolate chips would call to me on Tuesday, and I could not resist. Then Wednesday came along, and I might as well not even try since I had already blown the week.
Moderation is SO much harder for me than abstinence when trying to create new habits. Moderating requires me to make a decision about whether or not it is worth cheating on my goal every time there is an opportunity to do so. Abstaining, on the other hand, only requires me to decide where I stand once and while it may be difficult for a time, it requires far less self-control than the alternative.
Now I am again addressing the issue of sugar consumption, and Greg and I have decided that we will avoid eating dessert for the month of April. Completely avoid it. No cheating allowed because cheating will surely lead to more cheating, from which it is difficult to recover and get back on track.
You’re a moderator if you…
— find that occasional indulgence heightens your pleasure – and strengthens your resolve
— get panicky at the thought of “never” getting or doing something
You’re an abstainer if you…
— have trouble stopping something once you’ve started
— aren’t tempted by things that you’ve decided are off-limits
In which category would you place yourself? Do you find it easier to create a habit of avoiding something when you can indulge a little or when you give that thing up completely?