Do you struggle to find balance in your life with health? Do you find yourself eating healthy and working out regularly for months only to lose that excess weight and then gain it all back again? The struggle is real y’all. I’ve been there done that.
Let’s get real. It is SUPER hard to eat healthily and work out all the time. Which is exactly why if you try and be perfect you will burn yourself out. Orthorexia is a thing and, just like eating unhealthy all the time, it leads to an imbalance. You may find it difficult to go to parties where food or drinks may be a temptation or stop doing activities you find enjoyable so you can spend all your time in the gym.
That’s why it’s so important for you to realize that your health does not revolve around a diet or new exercise plan. It’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle that allows you to sometimes have those fries, maintain a healthy weight and feel energetic and content is one that is sustainable in the long run. You also know that sometimes you need to exercise when you don’t want to or that a second cupcake may not be the best idea. Find your balance to find your wellness.
Ever since I can remember my weight has gone up and down. I wouldn’t necessarily call my self a yo-yo dieter. I never jumped onto any kind of diet bandwagons like no carbs, keto, Atkins or any of the other fad diets. Instead, I would go through periods of time where I would focus on my health by working out all the time and eating well. I would then drop down to my desired weight and once I reached my goal I would get complacent or I’d hit a rough patch in life and eat my feelings. Before I knew it all the work I had done was gone and I was back to feeling unhealthy and out of touch with my body.
No matter what I did I could never seem to find some happy medium. My first time losing weight was the summer I went into 6th grade. Determined to reinvent myself I spent those hot summer days at the track running to burn off the 20 extra lbs I held on my frame and ate healthy besides the Friday splurge on a piece or two of deep dish pizza.
I managed to stay relatively the same size until the end of my Freshman year when eating with my HS boyfriend all the time, out of whack hormones and antidepressants caused me to balloon up from my normal 130sh to almost 200 lbs. I was severely depressed after my dad died and the extra weight just made it worse. I felt like I was drowning and couldn’t figure out which way was up.
Eventually, I got on a mix of meds that brought me out of my depressive funk, I found a good group of friend to hang out with and I began to work out again. Slowly, but surely the weight started to come off and when I met my college BF I started to run with him since he was on the cross country team. I hit my normal weight of around 130 lbs again, but I would always just eat a ton and work it all off my running. It was definitely an unhealthy pattern.
Then I underwent my first hip surgery, got super depressed and broke up with my college boyfriend. I was in a super bad place again, eating my feelings, drinking more than I should be and not working out. Within two years I had bounced back up to 160 lbs and felt out of place in my own body.
Eventually, I got back into the swing of things and started to eat healthier and workout. Running had gotten too hard on my body so my main way of working out became weightlifting. Over the course of three years, I put on a ton of muscle, was super lean, sported a 4-pack and hit a one-rep max of 210 lbs for my squat. I could barely pinch any fat on me because my body fat was so low. I would eat super clean and when I didn’t I would feel disgusted with myself. I swear I could feel the fat growing on me if I dared to take a bite of a pastry or some other “unclean” food.
Again, I lacked any form of balance. I’ll never know if all of this pushing myself resulted in my getting Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, chronic pelvic pain and hip issues that eventually led me into my second hip surgery in 10 years, but it certainly didn’t help!
I won’t lie, all of these health issues bite the big one and I really miss being able to work out until I want to pass out…yeah, I’m one of those masochistic types apparently…but I am honestly happy that I had this happen because it pushed me into having a more balanced lifestyle. I can no longer just spend 2 hours working out to burn off extra calories, I have to give my body rest days and respect it.
Respecting your body. Hold up because I’m not your mother telling you not to let your date get to third base. That’s a whole other box of animal crackers. What I mean by respect your body is to feed your body nourishing, whole foods that help it function, keep it healthy by working out and giving it rest so it can rebuild. Find your balance.
When I was working out 7 days a week without any reprieve, not allowing myself the time I needed to rebuild emotionally and physically and deeply restricting or overindulging in food I was disrespecting my body. We only have one body ladies and gents and you gotta take care of it! Health is wealth and no amount of money can buy you a working body. Find your balance.
I repeat, find your balance.
Being healthy is not a diet you follow for a month, lose weight on and then go back to your overindulgent ways. It also isn’t exercising constantly for months at a time and then burning out because you got sick of the gym or injured yourself. Being healthy is a lifestyle. It’s scheduling in workouts so that you know you’ll get to them. It’s choosing to eat healthy during the week because your friend’s birthday is this weekend and you know you’re going to want a slice of double fudge chocolate cake and some wine.
I made a commitment to myself two years ago that I would do everything I could to respect my body and make choices for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. That meant not working out when I wasn’t feeling well or my muscles ached, not freaking out that my body looks different than it used to, taking time to meditate and journal, and feeding my body for nourishment the majority of the time. This has been hard. So hard. When I first began not working out each day I literally felt itchy in my skin, but when my muscles and brain were finally able to relax a little I realized how high-strung I had been feeling.
Do you recognize yourself in any of that? If you do I would love for you to look for where you might be able to find more balance in your life.
One of the biggest tools I always suggest is meditation and journaling. Without them, it would have taken me a heck of a lot longer to find my balance and become more at peace. Trust me I am no zen-like buddha (despite the name of my blog). I have days where I hate my body, feel cranky and just want to sleep all day. BUT those days are much less when I’m practicing meditation and journaling regularly. So get to it!
If you’re looking for balanced workouts check out Yoga by Candace who loves both yoga and weightlifting. Candace stresses the importance of wellness being a lifestyle too.
You are never too old, too young, too tired, too whatever to build a new, healthy lifestyle for yourself!
Do you have a similar story? Have you made healthy lifestyle changes for yourself that have had a big impact (or even a little one!)? I want to know all about it below!