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: 

For Moderators, the first bite tastes the best, and then their pleasure gradually drops, and they might even stop eating before they’re finished. For Abstainers, however, the desire for each bit is just as strong as for the first bite—or stronger, so they may want seconds, too. In other words, for Abstainers, having something makes them want it more; for Moderators, having something makes them want it less.

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!