Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lessons everywhere...

There are two types of people in this world.

Some, who believe that nearly everything can be reduced to the trope of there being two types of people in the world, and some, who do not.  Want some examples?

For the two-types school of thought, everybody can be broken down into groups as to preferences, such as Coke or Pepsi, City or Country, Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, Paper or Plastic, White or Wheat, Dog or Cat, Christmas Eve or Christmas, Stuffing or Dressing.

Then there are the people who have already clicked off to read a more interesting page, elsewhere.

I fall into the first category, the two-types buy-in group, believing I can simplify my world view by sorting folks out according to their behaviors as expressed in a preference for this versus that.  

A prime example: recently I was sampling posts on The Happiness Project site where I came across an article that asked if I was an abstainer or a moderator?

One group contains all the folks who are good at moderating their behaviors (the not-me group), and the other group contains the rest of us - the types who have more success abstaining entirely from temptation rather than trying to moderate behaviors. 

There are days I run across a sorting question and I slightly dither.  Not this time.  No sir, when it comes to this I immediately knew my answer.  I am absolutely, positively, an abstainer.

That is, I run on one of two speeds.  One hundred percent, or zero.

If I am in for a penny, I'm in for a pound.  I am either all the way SOLD on an activity or it leaves me cold.  I am either exercising every single day, or going through a phase (like currently) when I am not exercising at all.  None.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  Bupkis.  Not even a little bitty teeny tiny bit.

I am either eating quite healthily, or variously indulging every one of my bingeing impulses (again, like right now.   Halloween candy, thy name is anathema to me, thine effects are evil and thou art to be banished, forever!  And/or thou art eaten all up so we are clear until next year.  Onward.)  

The brief HP article does not attempt to examine the whys or wherefores, but rather simply postulates that we all tend to sort out into one of these particular groups of expressed behaviors.  Once we understand this about ourselves (so the thinking goes) we will be much more successful at doing what we want to do, and thusly, we will be happier.

I'm not sure about that happier part, but I'll readily admit that working with rather than fighting my own nature makes for a better day.  

I knew about this particular tendency of mine well before I read the article.  If I had to pinpoint it,  I'd say I spotted my abstinent patterning about the same time I recognized my perfectionism.

It might surprise you to think a relatively insightful adult could go about her daily routines for years without recognizing the role perfectionism was playing in every waking moment but I assure you - it can happen.

Once I did recognize my perfectionism it was a short hop to sussing out the ways it might work to advantage or disadvantage and trying to moderate those behaviors.  Which it turns out I stink at, so, in order not to be a perfectionist?  Apparently I must abstain from perfectionism (or in other words, keep completely away from being expressing my perfectionist behaviors........ perfectly).

Yeah I know.  Years (and years) of therapy.........

How about your-own-self?  Are you an abstainer or are you a moderator?

Do you have success following some sort of 85/15 rule when it comes to indulging in otherwise verboten behaviors?

Or are you somebody who functions best when completely avoiding opportunities to indulge?

If you aren't sure, then feel free to weigh in on which side you land in for any of the other dichotomies listed or simply add your own.   Because there are two types of blog post readers.  Those who will comment, and.....





4 comments:

PassivePastry said...

I love that you posted this... Or I love that this happened to be a post I read since finally getting around to reading. I was just thinking about my trip home to the States, trying to convince myself that it would be possible to eat in moderation and keep my island physique. Ha. Only kidding myself.. I intend to totally indulge in every food long missed, my first stop being Mexican....Maybe Trudys or Torchys and a large Margarite. However, hopefully by also indulging in yoga and gyms (with television attached to cardio machines!!) Those things will equal eachother out. :)

TexasDeb said...

Jen!! I am so excited at the prospect of having you stateside for a bit. I am absolutely positively certain that you will both thoroughly enjoy getting caught up on foods you've missed for the time you were away and that you will pay a bit of a price for over-indulging. All part of the fun, yes? Thanks for dropping in.

kris said...

Oh yes! I'm the latter, like you. It's how I've succeeded at weight loss, my career . . and also how I've fallen at times in both. Wish I could find more of a balance, but I suspect this is how I'm built -- or wishing I was? ;)

TexasDeb said...

Kris: Welcome! So nice to have you drop in. I hope that your newly recognized Abstainer status will help you sort out some of the decisions you listed as the struggles o' the day. I also hope you'll feel free to drop back in occasionally. Always nice to have a new set of eyes around.

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