Why is moderation so damn hard?

Meet Little Miss Moderation, illustration by the author Sarah Healy

‘Everything in moderation’ an adage I am sure you have heard many,many times before.

Simple advice that becomes difficult when actually try and put it into practice in your everyday life.

When staring adversity in the eye, in the form of a delicious bar of chocolate, choosing to eat just one teeny tiny square becomes an arduous task. As difficult as scaling Kala Patthar in the early morning darkness with only a dinky flashlight to guide your way through the black abyss,

Eating just one teeny tiny square is not going to happen. You know how this story is going to unfold. Continually returning for one more tasty morsel until the whole bar has been demolished.

Ecstasy as the endorphin's and sugar flood your bloodstream, intertwined in a intoxicating dance. A high that is immediately followed by chocolate remorse and the familiar wail - ‘Why oh why did I have to eat it all?’

While some cultures seem to have perfected the fine art of moderation. They can eat just one or two squares of chocolate and then simply put the bar of chocolate away.

Moderation especially when it comes to chocolate seems to be a real struggle for a lot of people I know, myself included. The question is why?

I can really identify with a comedy sketch created by the very talented and hilarious Dylan Moran. Using an individual with a Catholic background as an example his sketch illustrates the mental talk that accompanies failure to carry out moderation. (link to the sketch is below)

Dylan Moran comedy sketch

Moderation is a choice.

You can choose moderation.

However, it is rarely an easy choice.

It is a difficult choice that requires discipline, mindfulness, and will power.

It is much, much easier to not choose moderation, and revel in the choice of extravagant excess. Eating and entire bar of chocolate, wolfing down an entire fresh cream cake or hoovering down an entire pack of chocolate biscuits.

Moderation is by far the healthier and saner choice. Yet, so hard to adhere to.

Within the limits of moderation may be the satisfaction we seek.

When we limit ourselves to one square of chocolate. We tend to enjoy and savor that one square so much more than mindlessly munching down an entire bar. When we limit yourself to less, we tend to value and enjoy what we have much, much more.

Moderation pares our focus down to a fine point and enhances our enjoyment ten fold.

It is easy to roll around in excess of overindulgence, until the aftermath when shame and remorse begin to kick in.

Moderation while difficult in the moment can lead to satisfaction in the long run and build a solid foundation to house discipline, mindfulness, and will power.

Moderation is a choice. A choice between what you want now and what you want in the future.

The question is what will you choose?

Choose wisely.

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