Have you ever eaten a whole pie? Like, actually eaten a whole Vegan Gluten Free Blueberry Pie, by yourself, watching 2000s Chocolat starring Johnny Depp? I have. Oh, I have!
Even if you’re not guilty of eating a whole pie to yourself, one thing I have learned is we will always be teaching and re-teaching ourselves how to use moderation for as long as we live. We are in a constant ebb and flow of learning lessons, breaking rules and resetting limits. Though when you’re in the flow of tightening ‘dem bootstraps and using self-control, I have some quick tips and tricks that will make moderation seem less of a big scary boss we need to work against and reveal it as a handy helpful tool we can stick in our toolbox to use on a regular basis!
Just maybe not when Johnny Depp is staring in a movie about desserts...
Let your moderation flag fly:
Don’t be afraid to tell your friends and family you are practicing mindful moderation. Loved ones love to encourage us, in many senses of the word! My Mom makes the most amazing vegan apple crumble with coconut cream, and to say she encourages going back to seconds would be an understatement. Not only having external accountability, but to give your friends and family the tools to help support you by pushing just a little less can do wonders!
Go to a dark place: Visually!
One of the coolest experiences I recently had was at a restaurant called Dark Table here in Vancouver. This is a restaurant where the servers are blind and the patrons eat in the dark, experiencing what it is to be without sight. I know what you’re thinking and no, I didn’t spill food everywhere! I actually think I’m a messier eater with my vision, but that’s beside the point. What was most interesting to me is that, when my entree came, I made it about 1/3 of the way through this beautiful brown rice and roast veggie dish and realized I was full. Normally, I would keep eating. Pick away at my plate until it is all but licked clean. I was reminded that my eyes really can be larger than my stomach, who tell me everything looks like “more, please!”
I seriously recommend trying to eat a meal with your eyes closed or, at the very least, when you want to entice moderation, just close your eyes for a few minutes. Or if you’re at a restaurant, ask the server to remove your food and box it up. It’s one simple step that big time works, and can help you to re-touch in and recognize when you’re full versus when something just looks like “more, please!”
Moderate your space:
Sometimes we need to create the space for moderation. Physically! When was the last time you cleaned out your office desk drawers, or went through your pantry and checked for expired canned goods, or even scanned your Facebook friends list and severed a few less than acquaintance ties? Recently, I went through my clothes and (brutally) got rid of anything that I hadn’t felt against my skin in 6 months or more (save some seasonal and special occasion garb). Things got real. I had a glass of wine. I laughed, I cried (mostly cried), and I cut my wardrobe down by 2/3. But being more moderate with my clothing collection (and spending) made me want to be more moderate in other ways. I thinned out my makeup collection, went through my pantry and even did ye ‘ol Facebook cull. A little spring cleaning, any time of the year, can help to ignite moderation in all aspects of life!
This all being said, whether you’re a whole pie eating girl like myself or indulge in less deep (dish) ways, know that it’s okay to let moderation go from time to time. Because even moderation itself needs to be used in moderation, and if you give yourself the freedom to relax from time to time, you will also give yourself to freedom to come back to moderation stress-free and unscathed.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I suddenly have the urge to re-watch Chocolat...