The saying goes, Everything in Moderation. Even Julia Child believed that any food could be enjoyed regardless of what your dietary needs were in terms of calories. Fifty years ago no one was really all that concerned with fat grams, calories, trans fats, fiber content, or carbohydrates. Really, these are concerns of the excesses left over from the 1980s and 90s. I’m not sure what the impetus was that got us focused on these things, but I’m not sure it was a good thing.
So here we are now, turning over packages and reading labels very closely. This, I’m all for. I think it’s made us more aware of the stuff in our food that isn’t real and has gotten many of us to return to fresh foods. At the same time, we have more dining out options than 20 years ago and are faced with the uncertainties of that experience. In addition, we socialize more with friends and family, thus requiring us to eat food prepared by others who may not be as focused on their daily food intake as we are.
This is where the idea of everything in moderation comes in. Sure, when we’re at a restaurant we can ask for our veggies steamed with no butter and push the bread basket aside. We can ask for no sauce or gravy and pass on the dessert menu. We can go to our friend’s house and no have wine or a cocktail, instead opting for club soda or sparkling water. We can restrain ourselves from the ooey-gooey, cheesy side dishes by loading up more crudité or fruit.
The reality though is it’s not alway easy. We don’t want to offend a friend who has made a delicious meal. We may want to share an entree with a family member. And, really, we want to enjoy our food and not feel like our only option is some rabbit food and a glass of water.
This is where everything in moderation comes in. No one said we had to eat a man-size meal, have 3 cocktails, or take one of everything from the buffet. If we’re not sure what’s in something and we need to manage calories, fat, points, grams or whatever we’re allowed to take a very small amount. And if it appears to be swimming in butter, oil or something we’re not willing to try then pass it up. But we can’t feel paralyzed by the choice in front of us. We’re strong! We can make good choices! And it’s not the end of the world if we do have 2 pieces of cake or fried chicken or mashed potatoes with butter and cream.
Every day we make hundreds of choice. For 90% of them we don’t think twice, we just decide and move on. It’s those 10% of the choices that we spend 90% of our day beating ourselves up for. We second, third and fourth guess ourselves about choices, especially food choice, that we can’t take back. Can we offset some of the food choices where we’ve strayed? Absolutely!
Being mindful is an important part of every day. Besides remembering that we’re not in this alone, if we remember the little phrase everything in moderation success is just a decision away.
I’ll leave you with this little gem my first Weight Watchers leader said (frequently): Nothing tastes as good as the first bite.
How will you feel if you remind yourself that nothing is off limits, everything in moderation.