Crunch crunch crunch. Yesterday, I found myself helping myself to a number of crisps. I was attending a Ben Franklin circle (1) run by my good friend Julie and she had provided snacks. I had eaten dinner so wasn’t hungry but the crisps were right in front of me…

Later in the night, I didn’t feel good as I knew I didn’t need those crisps. Suddenly I remembered Gretchen Rubin’s book “Better than Before” and about Moderators and Abstainers (2). I’m an Abstainer.

Let’s say you have a chocolate bar, a moderator will happily eat a piece or two and leave it. Moderators feel pleasure when they indulge occasionally and the pleasure diminishes the more pieces they eat.

Abstainers, on the other hand, find that difficult, it’s actually easier for us to not have any chocolate because we feel the same pleasure for every piece of chocolate we eat, so we can eat the whole bar and typically do – hence all or nothing.

Gretchen is also an Abstainer and she noticed that it’s easier for her to do tasks every day instead of a few times a week. So now I also understand why it’s easier for me to do 100 blog posts in 100 days instead of trying to blog 3 – 4 times a week. I love it when the penny drops.

Are you a “Moderator – A bit won’t hurt” or an “Abstainer – All or nothing”?


1) Ben Franklin Circle
Ben Franklin Circle in Zurich

2) Are you an abstainer or a moderator?