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The Evolvement of Moderation

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I have heard a lot of people say that a life of moderation is key in keeping balance between real life and fitness. I completely agree, but I've come to find that my view of moderation has had to change as my fitness journey has progressed. What used to be moderate for me would now be considered excess.

The changes in what I considered "moderate" happened gradually as I progressed. I'd stall and realize I had to take an honest look at what I was doing, then figure out what must change to get closer to my goal. This usually involved giving something up. (Okay, I was "substituting" one thing for a healthier option most of the time, but the fact is that I had to give one thing up in order to substitute it with another.) My definition of "moderation" had to change once again.

It's a natural process that you will have to go through, too, as you get more fit.

When I started my journey to weight loss at almost 200 pounds, a small serving of dessert every day was moderation. I have found that at my maintenance weight a serving of dessert perhaps every week or two is now moderation. At the beginning of my weight-loss I could eat almost every food I'd eaten before I was trying to lose weight, just in controlled amounts. Now I have had to abandon many of those foods on all but a the very rare occasion to maintain the health I have worked so hard to achieve. This has been hard for me to accept, but I have had to wrap my head around the fact that if I do what I used to do, I'll look like I used to look. Worse yet, I'll be as unhealthy as I used to be. Not cool.

I miss ice-cream with magic shell. I miss baking several times a week and eating it, to include sampling the dough/batter/frosting. I miss my Chili Dog Pie recipe and my Grandma's biscuits. I really do. But if I continue to indulge in these things regularly I won't be able to maintain my current level of health.

I guess I've decided that I'd rather live a longer life enjoying these foods hardly ever than live a shorter life eating them as often as I'd like.

It's your call. It's your body. It's your life. I'm not judging you. But if you want to continue to see the fat come off and/or the muscle come on, you are going to have to adjust your definition of "moderation" as you progress. I'm sorry if I'm the bearer of bad news...... I didn't make this rule up.... It's just the way it is.
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  • ROCKMAN6797
    Excellent blog!
    I, too, miss so many of the foods I ate when I was obese but those foods were the reason for me being in the state I was. I have accepted this. I will indulge in these foods every blue moon but I have come to realize that if I wish to continue on my weight loss journey I have to eat healthy. Quite honestly I am extremely proud of what I have accomplished and relish in the fact that I still can achieve more! I am taking my body to a point that I have never dreamed of and I love it! I love to pay this thinking forward but I realize that not everybody thinks like me. I will encourage but I won't push. I save all of the pushing for me!
    Thank you so much for your thoughts, they are thought-provoking!

    2167 days ago
    Sad but true. I'm having a hard time getting my calorie range where it needs to be because my metabolism is so slow and broken. It's probably actually less than the Sparkpeople recommended range, but I'm experimenting to find the sweet spot.

    The upside though is that when you do have that occasional treat or those baked goodies you will truly savor them and appreciate them as something very rare and special.
    2168 days ago
    I totally related to this. My "moderation" changed as I lost weight and got older. In my 30's I could eat "moderate" amounts of bread, rice, pizza and pasta and still lose weight. Now, in my mid 50's, fruits and vegetables are my main carb source. I can easily get over 50% of my calories from these without eating anything processed. I also have to exercise more vigorously to maintain my weight than I did 20+ years ago. .
    2168 days ago
  • BERRY4
    Guess this is part of the journey... Thanks for putting it out there, and confirming what I've been coming to a SLOW understanding of.
    -- It probably explains why I added 12#'s back on after coming w/ in 5#'s of goal weight. I didn't realize that what I was doing in moderation needed to significantly CHANGE.

    Less is now more. Still adjusting. Still in process!
    Thanks for making the point! emoticon
    2168 days ago
    I completely agree Nancy. The longer we're on the fitness journey, the more things change as we go along. We gain more knowledge and learn what we can live with.
    2168 days ago
    Amen. The hardest thing I've had to come to grips with is that I HAVE TO delete the carbs, especially the breads and deserts...even in "moderation". I've learned that my body can function fine on less carbs and higher (healthy) fats, and if I want to keep the level of fitness I've gained (and the look), or for that matter push it further, I HAVE GOT TO STAY AWAY FROM THIS STUFF!!! Sad thing is that although I've figured this out for me, most of the people in my life haven't, or don't care about how these things impact me and it can make for some very challenging times (like family outings or visits to the parent's house). I know my willpower stinks, so I've chosen to keep these things out of my house. My new norm. Anywho, I'm glad that you have shown me that I am not the only one who has had to make these changes, and I'm also thankful that I have you as an example of the fact that it can be done, and that you can reach your just have to learn about the "new" you. Thanks for this blog!! Just what I needed to read right now!
    2169 days ago
    I have definitely had to change what I would consider moderation along the way. It's so worth it though to see your body change for the better.
    2169 days ago
    YES! I completely agree. What I considered 'moderation' before losing almost 100 lbs I'd consider excess now as my body honestly needs fewer calories to even function. As well, like you said, I won't be able to maintain my current fitness level/weight loss if I indulge in treats on a regular basis anymore.
    2169 days ago
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