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Everything in Moderation, including Moderation

Posted Sep 17 2010 1:00am


My name is Karen and I am a reforming yo-yo dieter, on my way to what I now consider a lifelong journey of healthy living; I blog about my progress (and missteps) at Waisting Time .  I’m excited to be here today because, while I started out blogging for myself, what keeps me going is being part of this amazing community filled with inspiration, camaraderie, wisdom, support, and laughter.  Thanks to Miz for inviting me to stop by.

I can’t eat one cookie.  Or piece of candy.  Or slice of bread.

Some people swear by the dieting philosophy “everything in moderation.”  But 100-calorie packs aren’t only 100 calories when I eat three in one sitting!  And Skinny Cows can make me feel like a fat cow when I eat the whole pack in a day:(

All my years of yo-yo dieting have taught me things about myself; now I need to apply what I have learned.

I know that I have very little willpower and self-control as relates to food.  I do better with a black and white approach – no gray areas.  (Like the one serving of pasta that supposedly won’t kill me.  It may not kill me but it can easily lead to a week-long binge!)

I am most successful when I cut out all refined sweets and “bad” carbs – no moderation.

Last year when I was consistently eating well and had cut out junk food and refined carbs, I didn’t even miss the stuff.  I could buy my boys pizza and treats and serve warm bread with meals and not feel the slightest craving or sense of loss.  I could walk through the grocery store and not hear Milanos calling.  I could keep my hand out of the chip bag.  I felt great – physically and emotionally.

So I decided I could handle moderation.

And I did, for a time:  the occasional treat was always followed by a quick return to healthy eating.  But then came a long weekend away with family and my sister-in-law’s zucchini bread and brownies.  And bagels.  And ice cream.  And when Monday rolled around I didn’t get right back on track.  I started eating more and more crap and regaining more and more weight.  At first it was just one little pound.  Then two.  Then before I knew it I no longer fit into my skinny pants and my days were filled with thoughts of food.

I’m torn when I envision my future – the future of a fit and trim, healthy eater.

Will staying there mean a lifetime without another piece of fudge or toasted bagel?

Maybe I need to adopt the paradigm that, much like an alcoholic should never take another sip; I should never eat another “bad” carb.  Maybe I will eventually forget the taste of chocolate cake and not miss it.  I believe that the old cliche is true: nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels.  So am I willing to sacrifice certain foods on the altar of healthy eating?  I have learned that, at least for now, I can’t eat just one.  One becomes two, two becomes three, three becomes an avalanche.

But on the other hand, I think that at some point I should surely be able to have enough daily control over my eating that I can indulge in a rare treat.  And not have to classify any food as “bad” or off-limits.

Doesn’t that seem like a more balanced and realistic lifestyle?  After all, no one gets fat from one piece of cake.  But can I do it?

I know that I will need to be very, very careful.  I have learned from my painful mistakes of yo-yo dieting years past and I am slowly making progress.  And I feel confident that I will eventually come up with a livable, lifelong plan that I can and will stick to.

Maybe I need to come up with a new definition of moderation for myself.

Or maybe I need to throw the idea of moderation out with my fat pants.  But for sure I will not buy any more 100-calorie packs of anything!

How do you handle moderation in your eating?  Are there certain foods you just avoid?

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