temptation: abstainer or moderator
I promised I'd tell you more about how I'm applying Better Than Before to my life, and I totally forgot about that promise. But, I remembered, and now I'm here!
One of the best things I found in that book was in the chapter, Free From French Fries.
This chapter was all about temptation and whether a person is an Abstainer or a Moderator.
Here's how Gretchen describes the two:
With that definition, what are you?
I am 100%, without a doubt, an Abstainer. Or, I should be.
It's the reason I don't keep oreos on my counter or cocoa puffs on my fridge.
It's the reason my chips are above the microwave in a closed cabinet.
It's the reason the ice cream is on the third shelf instead of the first one--and I didn't even buy that ice cream, but I still want it if I know it's there!
It's the reason my phone goes in my drawer when I lay down to go to sleep.
It's the reason I only allow 15 minutes of reading on my Daily Wind Down, and I set an alarm.
It's the reason I use a Daily Wind Down and a WorkDay Close Out.
Friends, I get carried away with anything. Food is an obvious target, but social media, Netflix shows (I'm just watching Friends, and I love it), reading well into the night, working past time to quit--those are my vices, and in order to control them, sometimes I have to simply abstain from them.
Two years ago, after I realized I was 30 pounds heavier than I was when I got married, I decided I'd get back in shape. I counted calories and worked out with my friend Sarah, and we were diligent and disciplined. To take it a step farther, I decided I'd give up sugar for the whole month of June.
It really wasn't that hard, honestly. I wish I could give you this life-changing formula to tell you how I did it, but I just told myself I wasn't gonna eat any more sugar, and I didn't.
June 30 rolled around, and my family was in town. We'd decided to make homemade ice cream for 4th of July, so I held out for that ice cream.
Oh man. It was so good. I had 4 cups.
FOUR CUPS. And a cup every day after that until it was gone.
That following September, I decided to do Sugarfree September to get my sugar intake back under control! But it wasn't the same. I don't think I even made it all the way through. I had already given in.
I've tried to go back to no sugar for a month, but here's what I know: I'll just take it right back once the month is over. So, I've decided that unless I'm giving it up forever, I probably won't give it up at all. I can try and try, but I'll just be disappointed when I go back to it--no matter what it is.
An interesting thing Gretchen says is, "I discovered that the question 'Could you eat one square of chocolate every day?' is a good way to distinguish Abstainers from Moderators. All Moderators seem to keep a bar of chocolate stashed away to eat one square at a time."
Now this is where I reach a problem: I keep a bar of 90% dark chocolate at all times. If I haven't had--or don't plan to have--any sweets that day, I'll eat a bar. It's my reward, of sorts, for not eating sweets that day. So, maybe that hits on a different foundation in my life, like a Safeguard.
We'll dive in to those next week.
So, are you an Abstainer or a Moderator? Let me know in the comments!