Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Moderation: Maximum Happiness

Coming from a rising foodie, this may sound queer. But perhaps, moderation is the key to enjoying things to the fullest.

If you asked me about the importance of moderation a short while ago, perhaps even a week ago, I would have psh'ed at you and said "bullsh*t." Or perhaps, have quoted from my favorite author, Oscar Wilde ""Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess"(if I can remember it at the moment). In fact, I am so anti-moderation that I have a fridge magnet which says "Moderation is for Monks." If one just briefly ponders it, considering only the state of one's happiness, Oscar Wilde is perfectly honest. Why should we limit ourselves when we are around a great quantity of enjoyable, beautiful, or delicious things?If you love ice cream and you are surrounded by a quart of it, why limit yourself to a scoop? From the healthy point of view, moderation keeps our health in balance. But most of us live without moderation when we are surrounded by many things we enjoy-heck, that's why buffets are still open. We all "know" moderation is good for us, but we "feel" its bad for us. However, Wilde wisely saw through human beings, and summed it up in one great epigram: "Man is many things, but he is not rational." (Women too, Oscar!) Translation: Our emotions have greater control over our actions than our reasoning, usually in the realm of comestibles. 
How can we "feel" moderation is good for us?

Be Optimistic 
Be happy. That makes you pleasantly unique because most people are not optimistic.
Picture courtesy of http://royalsblog.kansascity.com/?q=node/490
Today, after my daily morning ritual of checking my weight on the scale, a pretty exciting thing, because I was trying to lose some weight, I found that I had (thankfully) not gained any weight but also did not lose any weight, which defeated the purpose. I have tried weight loss many times before, but usually, gave up due to my former life principle: Moderation is for monks. This time, I didn't tell myself that I just couldn't lose any weight and instead, tried logically reflecting what that I did kind of splurge a bit on dinner. I didn't tell myself, like I usually did, that I really didn't make an attempt to lose weight and instead, just lived life like any other time. This gave me hope in that I will get results once I really put all my effort into this endeavor.

Basically, give moderation an actual go before denying yourself.  THINK POSITIVE! Really.

Small portions make food look all the more pleasing, doesn't it?
Photo courtesy of http://bentobox.bzzagent.com/?page_id=8

For breakfast, I started limiting my portions. This means 1 slice of homemade raisin bread, 1/2 bowl of bitter melon stirfry from yesterday (they are so delicious, but an acquired taste. Will post recipe next time), and green tea. Also, I had some leftover fried anchovies and exactly 11 peanuts.
What I found was that this made breakfast...fun! I ate slowly and carefully so that I would finish everything at approximately the same time. It was like a game where I had to plan out every bite. And along the way, I was enjoying the flavors of the food more, and I could distinguish the flavors more distinctly. This was way better than eating just eating mindlessly while thinking "food is awesome!" When all the food ran out, I felt I was just pleasantly full, and did not feel like my stomach was about to burst. I then finished with 3 strawberries, which I also ate in a pleasant manner.

So moderation makes everything all the more enjoyable because you know its limited, and therefore, you savor/value every bit more.

I examined my previous lifestyle and in the end, felt the importance of moderation. 

Food and Film Should Be Tastefully Enjoyful, not just Enjoyful Tastefully

not like that ^^

We think that in order to have the maximum enjoyment, we should indulge in our whims as much as possible. However, the whims we indulge on are not necessarily beneficial to us in great quantities. For example, cookies and television (har har) are good in measured doses. A cookie a day won't kill you anyway. A movie a week is a great treat.

Although 20 cookies a day may seem swell, afterwards, your conscience (and stomach) won't feel so well. It may seem luxurious to be a couch potato for a day, but the pounds will dramatically increase at a quick rate. So do you still like the life of a fat glutton? Or would you like to slim down and wear Louis Vuitton?
Haha that was fun ;D

Moderation does not mean that you cannot indulge in your whims, just that you cannot make a habit of indulging in large numbers. Less is more (satisfying). You also have room for dessert. Guilt free.
 A small portion of dessert leaves you with a pleasant craving. And you will never grow sick of the things you love. Enjoyment will leave you with pleasant memories and improved self esteem, not guilty recollections of thoughtless and wasteful indulgence.

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