That’s me. Very little gray area from my perspective, all one way or another. For this computer geek (and the others of you in hiding out there), I think of things in a very binary way.
And I’ve really been like this most of my life, though even more defined the older I get. Of course, being a little slow on the uptake, it wasn’t until I took this quiz from The Happiness Project about whether you were an Abstainer or a Moderator that I figured this all out.
And I am TOTALLY an abstainer. Without a doubt. I can see it most clearly in my dealings with food: I can’t say that I’m going to “just have one” or otherwise allow myself a small portion of what I’m trying to quit. I need to completely give it up. This is how things go in my house: Go to the store and buy ice cream, promising myself I will just have a small portion each night. Then I go home and have a small portion. And another. And then decide that I need to eat the rest of it to get it out of the house so I won’t be tempted anymore. And when I’m shopping next? I muse, “Hmmm… I think I’m out of ice cream…I should get some more…”. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Create ice cream scoop hips.
So, I need to have a house that is utterly devoid of the food I can’t eat if I’m trying to lose weight. I just can’t stop myself at a little bit. Last year, I gave up sugar and all artificial sweeteners for a month. Truth be told, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I allowed myself fruit and that satisfied my raging sweet tooth. And because I was giving it ALL up, it was easy to resist temptation. Nothing to make a “ruling” on, whether it was allowed or not. I just couldn’t eat it. Period.
And once that month was up? And I was allowed to eat sugar again? I went into it headlong, like a starved person who hadn’t seen food in weeks. And never looked back. All. Or nothing. That’s just the way I operate.
I would love to be a moderator. To still have chocolate in the house. To be able to say that I’m only going to have one piece of chocolate a night to satisfy my chocolate urges (because lord knows, my unfulfilled chocolate urges can make me a big ol’ crankypants) and then actually have only one piece a night. The idea astounds and amazes me. And people who exhibit this kind of self-control? I bow before them.
You should go take the quiz. Like, now. It’s easy and painless! And fun! And who knows – you just might learn a thing or two (but I promise it won’t hurt).