Thursday, July 18, 2013
I agree that moderation -- not deprivation -- is the answer to successful long term weight loss.
Deprivation - or abstinence - for me, has always led to a rebound - where I usually returned with a vengeance to the forbidden food(s), feeling that I was justified because of my long period of self-denial.
Deprivation reminds me of all those diets I was ON in years past - that I would soon go OFF of when I felt ... well.. DEPRIVED.
Abstinence to me has an 'all or nothing' feel to it. And for that reason it feels almost fragile, as if it could be broken - and that would be seen as a failure.
Moderation, on the other hand, has a more flexible feel to it. It is like the tree that bends in the wind, rather than the rigid tree that cracks and breaks.
What is moderation, anyway?
The dictionary defines moderation as avoiding extremes or observing reasonable limits.
And what are 'reasonable limits' when it comes to food?
I feel confident that regularly bingeing on food would not qualify as being within 'reasonable limits'...
..but what about an occasional binge?
Are the portion sizes being suggested here at SP considered to be 'reasonable'?
When I first began my weight loss journey here on SP (as PennyAn45) in 2010, I probably would have defined moderation with food differently than I do now.
When I was overeating, I had a skewed view of what an appropriate portion looked like; it was larger than what I am eating today.
In fact, I believe that many Americans are used to much larger portion sizes than those in other countries.
During the year that my husband and I lived in London, England, we noticed right away that the portion sizes in restaurants were considerably smaller than they are here.
Portion sizes also differ from family to family. Some families pile the food onto their plates, while others ration the food - in portion sizes that would be considered insulting to some.
I believe that moderation is something that we are learning here at SP.
It is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things we learn.
We learn to moderate our eating habits so they work best for us. And there's a lot of room for flexibility in how we do that.
And for me, flexibility is the key. It allows each of us to define what works. We can individualize our program to meet our own needs.
Each of us can define for ourselves what successful moderation is...within the broad guidelines set for us here at SP.