The “Everything in moderation” excuse
Are you using "everything in moderation" as an excuse to not stand up for yourself?
I cannot tell you how often I hear from clients that they do not want to go to extremes with their diet and lifestyle. That their ultimate goal is “everything in moderation”. As someone who has been obsessed with food quantity and quality for many years, I absolutely agree to that notion. However, more often than not it is used as an excuse to not go to the uncomfortable places – to not do the work that would be required for true healing.
Yes, “everything in moderation” is very comfortable. It allows you to blend in with the rest of us, to pass as “normal”, to have others like you, because you are not being “difficult”. It also allows you to feel good about yourself, because you made a few changes on the surface – yet it doesn’t require a profound re-structuring of your life.
But maybe it’s your soul’s plan that you learn to really stand up for yourself and to assert yourself and your particular needs no matter what. Maybe it wants you to learn to say “no” to things that harm you and say “yes” to yourself. Maybe it wants you to face the fear of being rejected and not being “loved”. Maybe it wants you to learn to handle the discomfort of being “different”. Maybe it wants you to restructure your life and challenge your priorities. Maybe it simply wants to teach you SELF RESPECT and TRUST in a Higher Power.
As I have discussed before in this article on orthorexia: NOT all people following “strict” dietary rules are “sick”. There's nothing wrong with any (self-imposed) "rule", as long as it is not motivated by fears, but by true self-love in combination with a sense of responsibility and the consciousness that what is best for myself, will ultimately also be best for the farmers, the animals and the planet.
I guess ultimately I am a proponent of "everything in moderation", but on a high quality "Real Food" level.
How do I know when people are using "everything in moderation" as an excuse? Very easily: I just have to look very closely at them and listen carefully to what their body is telling me. Notice how I am saying “what their BODY is telling me” – not “what their HEAD is telling me”. Ideally, the two should be aligned with each other, but as we all know, that is easier said than done – and that’s the reason why we actually do get sick. The physical symptoms are nothing more than the soul’s way of trying to TALK to us and to make us aware of some discrepancy between our soul’s plan and our mind.
So if a person tells me, that being able to have “everything in moderation” is their ideal goal, I have to make sure this works for their body, too. Because if it doesn’t, he or she can hold this ideal for as long as they want – their bodies will not collaborate and continue to talk to them through digestive issues, weight loss resistance, skin issues, fertility issues… whatever their weak link is.
So if you are one of those who go by “everything in moderation”, look if that approach is really working for your body (and thus your soul) as well - or if it is actually a strategy of the mind to avoid having to face some uncomfortable realities.
Yes to "everything in moderation", but on a high quality level
Should you wonder how I go about this in my own life, I can tell you that by now I have found a way to eat that really works for me. Even though it does seem “extreme” to many people – to me it doesn’t. I actually feel that it should be the "norm" and that if MORE people ate like that, they - and this world - would be a much healthier place…
I actually eat “everything”, incl. occasional cake and pizza – just not in any quality. I make sure that what I eat is Real Food, and mainly bio. I eat more of certain foods (i.e. veggies) than of others (i.e. fruits) and in general I do avoid anything processed and refined as well as alcohol and coffee, because they don’t work for my body (I don't have anything against their moderate use in other people though, if it works for them). I do eat grass-fed meat, sourdough bread, grains and also quality (usually home-made) sweet treats or (cauliflower) pizza.
My way of eating is based on cooking, so it requires a certain organization and planning. By now my partner and I are an oiled machine: We use part of the weekends (and a bit of time in the week) to prepare the meals for the week: breakfast, lunch, and 2 snacks. Dinner is usually soup and bread. We have an array of recipes that are tasty, easy to prepare and can be frozen.
I also eat out sometimes, but try to choose quality places – and if not possible, I stick to simple, pure foods, such as fish with veggies and potatoes prepared in butter or olive oil (that's what I would go for if I had to eat at a cantine). Throughout my journey, I have gone through times where I avoided whole food categories, like meat or grains or dairy. While this was necessary to heal my gut, I am someone who at least needs to have the right to “try” everything - incl. my partner’s dessert or the white bread in the restaurant - one little piece is usually enough to satisfy that need though. If I am invited and people don’t know me well enough yet (or don’t care), I choose whatever suits me most, trying to avoid the worst “offenders” – although depending on the situation, when the emotional value truly outweighs the nutritional lack of value (i.e. when my grandma cooks for me), I might choose to simply eat and trust that my body can handle it this one time.
This way of eating works for me even on holidays – it even worked when walking 3 months on the Camino de Santiago! I usually like to take care of my own breakfast (and sometimes also lunch) buying stuff in the local supermarkets (or a local farm if I am lucky) and then go to a restaurant in the evening. I learned that as long as I radiate out that I am fine with my choices, in general people really don’t care that much what I have on my plate or in my glass - or whether I eat the cake or not – what counts most after all is the fact that I am there, that I am relaxed, happy and we enjoy our time together.