Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Suck At Moderation

Hi guys, sorry I've been MIA over here lately. I could say it's because I'm really busy or because I'm having lots of fun (both true) but the real reason is because I've been having such a hard time coming up with a topic to post on. But today I finally have one, and it's about moderation.

On the Today Show this morning, there was this little bit about how everything in moderation is really good for you. I wasn't really watching it, but my mom started talking to me and my sister (I have a feeling she was talking more to me...) about this thing she saw about this woman whose doctor told her that she could eat everything she wanted to, only in small portions, to lose weight. Apparently, it worked for her. Then I started thinking about how moderation and I do not get along. At all. I mean, having an eating disorder, by definition, is the opposite of moderation. For me, it means restriction, avoiding foods I deem unhealthy and feeling like I have to exercise every single day.

I feel like moderation is something that works for some people, but not for me! That is probably another stupid lie ED is feeding me, but that's how I feel. I think that if I eat some ice cream, or real French fries--even in a normal, or small amount--that I will become HUGE and I'll love the food so much that I'll have it on a regular basis, and that would be bad. Logically, that's probably not true, but I've become so attached to eating as healthily as possible that it's really hard to let it go. Honestly, I don't think anything's wrong with the way I eat now but some people might view it as restrictive. I eat organic whenever possible and I look for foods that give me a lot of bang for my nutritional buck--things like rolled oats, fruits & veggies, unsweetened soy milk, sprouted grain tortillas, Pure bars, beans and almond butter. None of those things are bad at all, but the problem is that I cut out other things to make room for those things. For instance, now I refuse to drink cow's milk (even skim) or eat corn tortillas, just because at one point I deemed those "less than healthy". There's nothing wrong with eating healthy, as long as it doesn't go too far. It did for me, and now I still struggle with orthorexia. However, I have to admit that eating healthy actually does make me feel a lot better, but I wish I could do it in a way that's balanced, not restrictive.

Fruit is great, but you shouldn't eliminate other things to eat it
 I've talked about my recent addiction to exercise. Everyone knows that being active is a good thing, but what about if you can't go a day without it? What if you feel guilty for only working out for 45 minutes when you could have gone at least an hour? What if you feel like you have to exercise in order to eat a normal amount? That's when I think exercise has become an unhealthy obsession. I'd like moderation in this area of my life too.

I'd like to workout when I want to
 Basically, right now I really suck at moderation. I'm so much better with not restricting the amount I eat (though I still deal with that, too) but I'm having such a hard time letting go of my rigid food rules and exercise schedule.

Do you "suck" at moderation, too?


  1. Sometimes moderation in term of eating can be scary word for anybody. To a recovering Anorexia, it could be too restricting. To a Bulimic, it could be too restrictive. And to a normal person, it could mean anything to them.

    Do follow your meal plan that WORKS for you. Build up to the moment when you can feel comfortably eat stuff that aren't necessarily healthy. Continue to communicate with your therapist and dietitian and go from there.

    I'm glad you are out having fun somewhere! That's what summer breaks are for!

  2. I suck at moderation too. Case in point, totally beating myself up over not working out today (even though I didn't feel well). I've often felt the same way over foods that I enjoyed, like ice cream or something, that if I ate it I'd like it and just want to eat more and more of it. And the Today show lady was totally right- restricting the ice cream really does just make me want it more and more, resulting in a binge or something. Totally not fun.

    Just curious, but was the person saying that on the show a beauty pageant contestant? My friend Bree won the Ms. South Carolina pageant and has been on two morning shows this week promoting weight loss and she always says that. I still think it must be hard for anyone who's lost a lot of weight because I think many people who lose it still see themselves as the person they were back before they lost the weight.


  3. I can completely relate, Ash!!!! I think the problem with EDs is that everything becomes so black and white- not only eating and exercise behaviors, but thoughts as well. It's like, I find myself thinking that if I'm not an Anorexic weight, I must be obese. It's very all or nothing, love or hate. I think it's definitely possible to overcome, though. I am much better at moderation than I used to be. I used to be terrified of ice cream and french fries too, but then I ate them with my dietitian and saw that nothing bad happened; since then I'm able to eat them once in awhile and prove to myself that they don't cause me to gain weight and I won't overdo them.

    Eating healthy in a way that's balanced and not restrictive is an awesome goal! It's going to take time, but I know you can do it!!! Maybe have ice cream or french fries just once, to prove to yourself that you won't gain weight/overdo it? When you're ready, of course! And with a supportive person. Then even if you never choose to eat them again, at least you will have proven to yourself that you can.

    Exercise moderation is an awesome goal, too- I can relate to having trouble w/ overdoing it. Wish I had some tips for both of us! I'm going to talk to my dietitian about my own issue with it and let you know what she says.

    Hang in there, Ash! Thinking of you!!! <3

  4. I can sort of relate. I have a problem, not so much with "moderation," but my "all-or-nothing" mentality. I know I can eat chocolate, ice cream, or white bread, and I don't really feel like I'll go out of control. But usually, I take a certain amount of food and feel like once I've taken one single bite, I HAVE to eat it all. For example, I might plan on eating 2 tbs of nut butter and a banana. Beforehand, I might take just a small drop from the nut butter and eat it. Later, I change my mind that that's not what I want for a snack. Well too bad! I've already eaten that one small spoonful of nb, so now I have to eat the rest of the whole darn snack I'd planned on having. It's a stupid, horrible way of thinking, and it's something I'm definitely working on. And I guess in the end it might be connected to the whole "moderation" thing. All I can really say is that your body is smart, and if you eat out of your confort zone and go "out of control" for a day, the next day, your body will make up for it by not craving those foods.

  5. great post.
    yes. i understand completly. I too struggle from otherexia.. and suck at moderation..


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