Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
185-lb. hang power cleans, 3 reps
6 strict ring dips
9 box jumps, 30-inch
27 double-unders

Are you an abstainer or a moderator?

Are you an abstainer or a moderator?

Are You an Abstainer or a Moderator?

Seven years ago I found CrossFit and shortly after CrossFit I found the Zone and Paleo Diets – and the combination changed my life for the better forever.  Over the years I’ve been criticized by friends and family as being “extreme” about my diet or “ridiculous” about my commitment to my workouts.  It’s not uncommon for friends outside of CrossFit to shake their head as they look at me eating and say, “You’re so strict all the time, can’t you just give yourself a break?”

Those comments always piss me off.  I don’t want to give myself a break – this is who I am.  I’ve experimented A TON over the years with various forms of moderation and the results speak for themselves – moderation does not work for me.

Cara sent this article to me a few days ago – Are You an Abstainer or a Moderator? – and it resonated with me because it helped me embrace the kind of person and athlete I am – I’m an abstainer.  

It’s written by Gretchen Rubin.  She’s the author of a few books and is a #1 New York Times and international bestseller of The Happiness Project—an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

She writes:

“When dealing with temptation, I often see the advice, “Be moderate. Don’t have ice cream every night, but if you try to deny yourself altogether, you’ll fall off the wagon. Allow yourself to have the occasional treat, it will help you stick to your plan.”

I’ve come to believe that this is good advice for some people: the “moderators.” They do better when they avoid absolutes and strict rules.

For a long time, I kept trying this strategy of moderation–and failing. Then I read a line from Samuel Johnson, who said, when someone offered him wine: “Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.”

So many times after food challenges we hear from athletes that they did great on the challenge but that they find it hard to find moderation afterward.  They try to find balance but end up failing and feeling guilty for it.  Well, you just might be an abstainer!  On the flip side, I have many friends in CrossFit who are top-notch athletes and find moderation to be the key to their athletic success.

The point is that one is no better than the other BUT figuring out which one you are can help you approach your workouts and diet with the best approach for YOU so that you can be successful no and long into the future. 

So, are you an abstainer or a moderator?  Post to comments.