Learning Moderation Puts an End to the Dieting Cycle

Heather is the author of Not a DIY Life, where she shares her journey of healthy living, parenting, faith and everything in between. After all, life is not a Do-It-Yourself project.

I’m not really a professional dieter, but I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life. I’ve tried several different “diets,” including a low-fat diet, Atkins, and South Beach. Even though I am losing weight currently, I am not on a diet in the same sense. I am on a journey of healthy living, and that includes learning moderation in all things.

When I was in college, I lost 50 lbs on a low-fat diet with lots of activity and exercise. During that time, I gave up bacon. Oh, how I missed bacon. But it wasn’t “low fat” so I thought that I “couldn’t” eat it. I did not eat bacon for SIX years.

After college and graduate school, after gaining back some of that 50 lbs that I lost, I tried the Atkins diet. You know, low carb, high protein, fat doesn’t matter. Woohoo! I could eat bacon! And I did. In addition to all the other delicious protein that was allowed.

I rediscovered my love for bacon. But there was nothing “moderate” about eating bacon during that period of my life. I did lose 30 lbs, but I still had not learned moderation.

Fast forward to 2022. After getting married, being happy and gaining weight, and two pregnancies, I was approaching a milestone birthday. A light bulb finally went on for me. Yes, I needed to lose weight. But more importantly, I needed to learn to be healthy. And I wanted to teach my family to be healthy too.

Finally, I am learning moderation. I am learning proper portion sizes, and that whole foods are better fuel for my body than processed foods, no matter how many healthy claims are on the label. But nothing is off-limits. Including bacon. I don’t eat a lot of it because I know it’s not the best choice for me, but I enjoy bacon when I have it, and I don’t feel guilty.

I think that’s the biggest lesson that I’ve learned: when all things are done in moderation, there is no room for guilt and for mentally berating myself for “making a mistake.” There is more self-love, more self-belief. And sometimes, there is more bacon.


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