This blog post is the second part of a two-part series on the word “moderation” and how it may be affecting your health goals.
You can read Part I here.
Is it possible that your definition of moderation, in relation to your health, isn’t working?
Entertain new “moderation” guidelines for yourself.
If your current “moderation” entails consistently justifying decisions that do not support your health - that piece of cake (it was my neighbor's daughter's friend's bday!), drinks at happy hour (I had a rough week), or greasy takeout (it’s Friday?!) – it’s worth checking in with how dependent you are on this term.
What is so bad in your regular day-to-day that you need consistent ways to escape? Why do you need so many treats? Make every day a treat. Come up with new treats.
In order to support your best health, you will need to say “no” to things sometimes. Most of us don’t want to do this because we feel deprived.
Deprivation is not a fact. It’s a thought.
And you don’t have to have this thought. You can change it.
If deprivation were an objective fact, 100% of people would feel deprived when they didn’t get to eat the birthday cake or have drinks at happy hour. But not everyone feels deprived.
I think it can be helpful to adopt a “moderation” mentality from the standpoint of not beating ourselves up when we do something that is not in alignment with our health goals. For example, I choose to not scold myself if I have dessert three nights in a row or drink too much one Saturday night.
However, I find it helpful to choose more empowering terminology than “moderation” -
the verbal equivalent of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- to describe this.
For me, rather than moderation, I chose to call it self-compassion. Choosing to be kind to myself feels more proactive than defaulting to a vague moderation statement.
To keep yourself on track, keep your health goals on the front burner. Remind yourself of these several times a day. Especially at the beginning and end of the day. Not in a taskmaster, guilt-ridden sort of way. In a way that makes you feel vibrant, motivated, and energized.
Counter with new rewards. Do your rewards include “cheat days” (another term I loathe) or special treats – “I didn’t sleep well last night, so I am going to splurge and get fries with lunch” – or other things that impede your success?
Choose thoughts and actions that can actually help with the problem at hand.
A new reward might be that you are going to take a 30-minute leisurely walk to get away from your phone & emails and enjoy nature.
As always, feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts on moderation, how you use this term, what it means to you, and if you find it helpful.
Much Love Y'all,