I am a firm believer in "Moderation in all things, including moderation." I think I've just slowly come to this conclusion over the years, through personal observation and experience. For example, when I graduated from college, I lost 30 pounds. I didn't have a specific strategy, I just figured it can't be all or nothing. I don't do well with Absolute Musn'ts. There's gotta be room for dessert, for home baked bread, for birthday cake. I think this is why I've been able to keep it (mostly!) off for the last 8 years (good lord, where has the time gone).
This is also how it has gone with me and vegetarianism. Many years ago, I thought I'd be a vegetarian. I checked to see if things contained gelatin, I refused things fried in animal fats, and eschewed any and all meat. It didn't go well. Inevitably, there came a day where I just
needed wanted something meaty. I caved and there went my vegetarianism. I chalked it up as a personal failure of will.
This last year, I decided to give it another go. But I decided to be more flexible about it. If I really craved something, or if it meant a choice of going hungry or eating meat, or if it was something being served to me as a guest (a personal guest, not as a restaurant guest), I gave it space. This has 100% worked for me, and as a result, I eat meat very rarely these days and feel really good about the choices I make. The Middle is a much better place to be than All or Nothing.
These are just a couple of examples of how moderation has really worked for me in my life (and no, they are not all food related :)). During my yoga retreat, the concept of "the middle way" came up a few times. The "middle way" or "middle path" was something that the Buddha talked to his followers about, after living a life of ascetecism and still failing to achieve enlightenment. I do not consider myself a Buddhist (or an anything, for that matter), but many of the Eastern religions/philosophies hold a lot of wisdom, and this is one of them. I just think it is such a lovely concept to promote, and it doesn't get enough play in our culture of extremes. Thoughts? :)
shanti >> sondra