One thing you NEED to figure out about yourself right now - Are you a moderator or an abstainer?

Shot by Vlad Petrut.

Shot by Vlad Petrut.



either want it bad or not at all.


"Why are you always so extreme?" he asked with exasperation after hearing me out.

I had just told him about this brilliant idea I was excited about. But his reaction was not what I was expecting.

"You should aim for balance, didn't we already agree on that?" Andrei asked, now looking worried.

"I guess.." I said, looking down, feeling as if all that enthusiasm just drained down my legs to the floor, now impossible to gather back.

We were talking about my goal of letting go of sugar for the entire year.

It took me a few hours to get my reasoning back in place and continue what I was doing on my own, not asking for anyone's opinion any longer. They just didn't get it.

No, my boyfriend isn't an idiot, nor did he want to upset me. Actually, he was looking out for me the way he thought it was best.

And that's the problem.

. . .


You see, he's a moderator and I'm not. I just don't click that way.

My brain just can't seem to work like that, so all of these types of advice are just making more harm than good. Not only does it rob me from my own, natural solutions that I find to fix my issues, but it also makes me feel guilty or bad about who I am and what I'm like. Which, as you guessed, only makes matters worse.

You really can't start a new habit or let go of a destructive one if you think you're a looser, now, can you?

Okay, so then, what's the alternative? 

It's the all in or all out approach. It's the abstainer, as author Gretchen Rubin likes to call this personality type. Of course, some people are sometimes a bit of both. We can't really split the entire humanity into just two groups, but it does make sense if you consider the idea.

Gretchen is an abstainer herself and she wrote a about it on her blog. She explains:

"If I try to be moderate, I exhaust myself debating, “Today, tomorrow?” “Does this time ‘count'?” etc. If I never do something, it requires no self-control for me; if I do something sometimes, it requires enormous self-control."

This is extremely helpful to identify so you can not only get on with your life and stop feeling guilty for not being in perfect balance, but it can also help you reach your goals YOUR WAY.

That means you just do what works naturally for you, not against it. 

Moderator vs. Abstainer

So, are you like my boyfriend, who feels it's easier to have a cookie every now and then, but with moderation, so he can still keep his abs looking ravishing, or like me, who must literally let go of sugar all together, because thinking about exceptions, rewards, rules and all that makes me just forget it and have an entire cake for breakfast.

Most people would feel they're deprived, but me, I feel like I'm free.

I'm free of ever having to negotiate with myself again.

The most interesting part, is that I actually always dreamed of being a moderator. I've always looked for balance. (Probably because I felt I was missing it.) But I never noticed that was never my natural state. Come to think of it, literally everything I do is a clue!

Let me explain. In love, I've never had just a fling: I either love the hell out of you and you must literally be willing to die for my love, or I don't care one bit about you -- I'm just not interested. I can't just go on having one foot in a relationship and one being single, you know what I mean? I've noticed this when it comes to my writing too. When I was in the States, I set out to find a balance between my experience over there and my writing over here, but it never worked out. So I took a break on writing -- I just couldn't do it any other way. That's been the same for watching TV or drinking soda. I can't just do it sometimes, so I just don't do them at all. It makes me feel clear about my identity and my values and it just keeps me going. That's just who I am and I'm ready to accept it, so I can let it work in my favour.

How about you?

So, let me know in a comment what type you think you are. I'm really curious.

If you're having trouble moderating, you should try abstaining just for a short bit as an experiment, you may find it way easier than you thought.