An exploration of moderation

Speaking of wellness, moderation comes up a lot. I'm a firm believer in moderation; however, my perspective has shifted a bit over time as I've discovered moderation can lead positively lead to elimination.

Moderation is part of the journey and what is moderate to some well may not be the same for someone else. It's definitely a personal path and as you progress along it, what may have been moderate 5 years ago (only drinking on weekends for example) to what is moderate now (maybe a few times a year) adjusts along the journey. 

A growing tension about moderation surfaced for me recently and the questions that arose: one, does it sabotage the desired outcome and, two, is a better picture of success not even needing to lean back on moderation?

Are you using moderation as a cop out? An excuse to indulge? Is moderation the ultimate goal? I think across this journey I'd answer yes to all but now, for me, moderation isn't the goal. Once you know what if feels like to no longer desire something that doesn't serve you elimination comes natural, on the very rare occasion when you do have it, that's not moderation that's success!

I recently kicked sugar. In hindsight, moderation was sabotaging me. And although I consumed it in moderation, and consumed less and less each passing year, there was still an underlying desire for it. Now that it is eliminated from my diet, I now no longer desire it. If I'm out to lunch and everyone orders dessert, I actually don't want it. There is no resistance exercised. Why? Because I'd moderated it enough over the years that when one day I woke up and said enough. That was it. I no longer crave it, need it or desire it. That is my first hand knowledge that sugar is an addiction. My son also isn't into sugar. I now understand why it's so easy for him to not have any when everyone else does. He isn't addicted. We both prefer nutritiously dense food. (Disclaimer, if I'm at a social occasion, for example, and someone has gone to the trouble to make dessert and it's something I like, I'll have some.) In the last year months, I've averaged 1 sweet/junk food a month. Keeping it real folks.

Alcohol worked the same, when I slowed down my consumption of alcohol, I considered I was drinking moderately. But is 1 x a month but 5 drinks at a time really moderation? For others yes. For me, no. Especially if I felt miserable the next day. As I always did and as my wise son says, alcohol is borrowed time and therefore not a good use of time.  Over the years, I've moderated my consumption so much, that I could happily go the rest of my life without it. I don't say I'm 100% sober, I'm just highly selective.  In 2018 I don't think I drank on more than 6 different occasions. 

A caveat, I have a yeast intolerance. That negative reaction definitely made it easier to quit alcohol and sugar. Knowing how bad it was for me personally and the illness that resulted was a motivator. 

Also, 'you only live once, eat cake' never made me feel better. It truly never did.  Doing what is best for my body means doing what makes me fully prepared to enjoy this wonderful ride of a life.

In hindsight, I'd wish I quit what didn't serve me best a long time ago. My life is better without the sweets, junk food and alcohol and it would have been so much better if it was like this from the beginning. But life isn't like that and I value the lesson. 

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