Weight loss support with a spiritual element. I will keep you posted on my journey in the hopes that you will join me in becoming the person God wants you to be. Don't worry about being religious. Come as you are.




Friday, March 28, 2014

Abstinence or Temperance?

"Abstinence is as easy for you as temperance is difficult for me."  -unknown

I read this in a magazine while waiting for my doctor's appointment where I had the EKG - was diagnosed with A-fib and you know the rest of the story.

Sometimes abstinence is easier because there is no choice to be made. With temperance there is a choice.

There is a pan of brownies in the kitchen. What idiot made those? :-)

If we have made the lifestyle change of "I don't eat sugar" then it is much easier to stay out of them.

If we start with "should I or should I not" we might as well go ahead and dive in. We can also play the mind game of we will just have one (or two) and then of course we have to straighten up the edges (those bites don't count). We then might just have to eat the whole pan in order to hide it from the family that we ate several of them. We had good intentions of temperance at the outset but that was just a game we play to eat some brownies.

We don't have this trouble with the bowl of fruit in the middle of the table (you know - where the brownies used to be). We don't have trouble with the fresh vegetables. How many times have we felt like we had to finish off a bowl of salad before anybody found out?

Having no choice (abstinence) is the way to go don't you think?

14 comments:

  1. Great post. You really put the words together right, Myra.

    Once I realized I was an "all, or nothing at all" person with certain foods (and oh, yes...straighten out the edges...one bite turns into half the pan which turns into the whole pan so no one knows...that was me; all the rituals of binge eating), I understood how I had to treat those foods as off-limits. No bites, no tastes, no samples, no licking the spoon -- most importantly, no box of mix in the cabinet to begin with (and I'm not much of a baker anyway, so there is no risk of my cobbling together brownies from scratch...even if I wanted to, there is no sugar or cocoa powder in the house, either). Off to eat my secret breakfast of eggs, avocado, and sweet potato...

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    1. Hope no one walks in on you while you are eating your eggs/avocado/sweet potato :-) "Ritual" is the perfect word to describe how we walk ourselves down the path to a binge. I may have to work up a post on that. Once we accept that there are things we must forever abstain from life becomes so much easier and we realize we are so much better off for it. Be careful out there today.

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  2. I have an addictive personality. Abstinence is the only way I can go! I know I cannot just have one of anything that I really want. Very good food for thought. And I'm glad your break was a short one:) xox

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    1. Me too Leigh. I could be an alcoholic, a compulsive spender, or a compulsive gambler very easily. It's just in our DNA I guess. Accepting that we can never be like other people who have no issues with food/eating is a huge step toward recovery. I feel better now that we know what we are dealing with in the area of my heart - I was in a "funk" as they say for a while because I felt like nothing was working. The edema was causing such weight gains I was having trouble handling it even though I knew what it was. Now I can get back with the program. Be careful out there today.

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  3. First of all, I wonder how you're going to treat the A-Fib. (My husband was diagnosed a few years ago.) Sorry for another "blib" on your screen of life, Myra.

    The abstinence/temperance issue is an interesting one. I've tried both. For me, neither has proved to be 100% effective when it comes to eating. The breaking of abstinence seems more devastating and defeating to me than breaking temperance - maybe because it is so abrupt and defined (?)

    I'd give more thought to this, but the pain medication I'm on seems to give me a VERY short attention span :)

    Hope you're well and making any adjustments necessary to accommodate the A-fib smoothly.

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    1. I am taking Metoprol to slow down my heart and Warfarin (generic of Coumadin) to thin my blood as a protection from a stroke. If my heart doesn't get back in sync a cardiologist might have to do it. My doctor said we can have the cardiologist do this if necessary after Medicare kicks in in November. Sometimes it depends on what day it is for me when it comes to abstinence or temperance. I am much better at temperance than I used to be but I have also noticed that I am temperant on Day 1, on Day 2 I am a little less temperant, and on Day 3 I am not temperant anymore. When you are off the pain meds we can talk some more. Hope you have a full recovery and are up and about soon. Take care.

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  4. Addictive personality, checking in. BUT BUT BUT it's not only us with addictive personalities that have this issue. Plain and simple, it's the body's chemical reaction to sugar that causes the brain chemistry changes that - literally - cause the cravings. Pure and simple.

    "Moderation on all things" is a pipe dream. Especially for our 'trigger foods', which, by their very nature, cause cravings. Abstinence is the only sane way to deal with those trigger foods. :)

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    1. I agree. I do think it's an emotional issue as well as the brain chemistry thing but then it could be argued that emotions are brain chemistry I guess. If sugar is our drug of choice even a small amount can set all the self-destruction in motion once more. The insulin spike that sugar causes will only be satisfied by more, more, more. Take care.

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  5. Good post with great points!!

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    1. Thanks Marc. It's good to have you back. Take care.

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  6. I think it depends. I find that I do pretty well by compartmentalizing certain foods. Take cookies, for example. They tend to be a food that I have difficulty not eating them when I have a bunch of them in the house. On the other hand, I do fine with occasionally eating one cookie. So I don't feel that I totally need to abstain from ever eating cookies. I don't, however, buy packages of them for the house.

    I think there are two issues also. First, is something so unhealthy that it represents real health danger no matter the size of the serving. That is, even in moderation it does bad things for your health? For that, it seems abstinence is more appropriate. Other foods, may be like that but only above a certain threshold. For example, I don't feel it is all that unhealthy to eat a food that has a small amount of added sugar (ex: salad dressing with 1 or 2 grams of sugar). So I don't have to abstain from it for that reason.

    Second issue is the psychological one. If I am temperate on something can I hold to that or will I go off the rails? If I'll go off the rails, then abstinence is better for me.

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    1. The important thing is that we know ourselves and our limits. I agree that some sugar in something like salad dressing or ketchup is no biggie. I am not a purist either. It's also important for us to make our own rules that work for us. Take care.

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  7. Sometimes it's easier just not to start, as alcoholics will tell you.

    I consider myself a sugarholic. If I start, I'm doomed.

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    1. Amen sister. We are our own worst enemies. Take care.

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