Tuesday, June 21, 2011
No Fond Return of Love
Feature Entry: "No Fond Return of Love!"
Gretchen Rubin in her Happiness Project blog ask a relevant question for those of us that walk in order to avoid gaining weight. Her question, “Are you a moderator or an abstainer?” Think chocolate chip cookies. She provides a simple test:
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
The MoneyWalker is a moderator. Offer him a plate of chocolate chip cookies and he can easily eat only one. One of his best friends is an abstainer. If he has vowed off of sweets, he can say no to the chocolate chip cookies. But if he eats one, he will not stop until the plate is finished.
For me, I need a little something sweet after each meal. Gretchen believes that people losing weight or maintaining weight loss should be attuned to their own moderator/abstainer style. She quotes Dr. Samuel Johnson: “Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.” Johnson is an abstainer.
Rubin’s point is directed toward the person that is trying to give up some specific item—ice cream for example. She encourages us to be true to our personality type and not be drawn into someone else’s. If you know your style to be an abstainer and know that eating just one bite will lead to the devouring of the entire container—just abstain from ice cream. But if you know that you are a moderator and fear that you will be miserable without an occasional taste, then follow that style.
Either way, remember the big five secrets to weight loss/maintenance—weigh ever day, eat breakfast, exercise, journal your food, and practice portion control. If you are trying to lose weight, Barbara Pym is a prophet: neither ice cream or chocolate chip cookies will return you love.