D is for deceptive, and that is exactly what December can become for some. This article is deceptive in itself because December is not the only month which should be focused upon. Why not the others? In fact, why not all of them or none?
The concept of moderation is a self-made decision, based upon modifying your behaviour and rating its occurrence and effect.
Image by various brennemans on Flickr CC
Whether you celebrate Advent, the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hogmanay, Boxing Day, New Years Eve or just plain old December work parties, you might be faced with one occasion to exercise your moderation muscle.
I personally describe moderation as: "The act of moderating and remaining aware of one's behaviour in order to achieve mindfulness."
The moderation muscle needs to be exercised just like any other muscle, and in time it becomes better equipped to cope with the usual pains and temptations. The scenarios where you can test and strengthen your moderation muscle might be related to diets, physical exertion, even emotional control.
It is important to be aware that moderation is a mental activity, not purely a physical one. So think before you accuse someone of being too health conscious over the December period because they won't eat your amazing turkey stuffing. You don't know where their mind is at; perhaps they are being mindful of the previous day's indulgent splurge and are adjusting their intake to balance out the excessive intake.
Sometimes moderation can seem like you are missing out. // Image by Wesley Fryer on Flickr CC
Lets challenge the misconception that moderation means you miss out.
Image by Mountain Roamer on Flickr CC
Do you remember a time when you couldn't afford alcohol, let alone being legal enough to purchase it yourself?
You sure weren't missing out on late night benders that detracted from your sleep, let alone your health or your pockets.
It was a time when all that really mattered was whether you liked strawberries or hated them.
Trade-offs can be rewarding and don't have to detract from experience.
Think about the difference between getting sloshed and drinking water at the next party, whether you are footing the bill or not. One can of coke requires thirty minutes of vigorous exercise in order to burn it off and return to where you were before drinking.
So are you missing out if it means you have to wake up the next morning and get your run on?
The answer is no. You gain a new experience in response to your actions and mindfulness, whilst building your mental muscle power.
Strawberry picking at the markets, be mindful not to take home the whole stall!
So this December, or the next, or whenever you so choose to try and find the moderation muscle within you, remember to strike a balance between what you take in and what you give out.