The title of today’s blogpost may throw you off a bit. After all, how can something (or someone) be balanced, and still have “too much” of something else? Doesn’t make much sense, but then again, I find it makes an incredible amount of sense. When looking at food/fitness blogs, instagram accounts, “fitspo” or “healthspo”, I often find myself thinking that there is just too much of the balanced life going on there. My own blog and instagram account included.
I don’t follow a specific health regime, I have never done well on a certain kind of diet or way of eating, such as low-carb, and I don’t do just one type of sports. I still find myself “slipping” up, though, and coming dangerously close to the restrictive ways of my past. Less in the “amount” sense, but I still have food that I tend to avoid or have cut out of my diet completely.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s totally fine, and I have removed several things from my plate for good reasons. Take wheat or dairy, for example, my body just doesn’t tolerate them, so obviously I don’t eat them on large. There are other foods though, like butter, for example, that I haven’t touched in ages. At first, it was because of the dairy thing, but, honestly, I also (despite enjoying butter spread on fresh bread) relished the excuse of not being able to eat it. After all, butter is pure fat, so it’s bound to be bad for ya.
This will not turn into a sermon on what is healthy and what isn’t in the nutritionist sense. But, speaking for myself, I find that the more time I spend on food blogs, the higher my motivation is to eat healthily, to cut out the “unhealthy”, simply put: to be more rigorous on the health regime.
It really is. I love reading food blogs, getting back on track by reading about the success of others, and working on myself. But, it’s also a dangerous road, at least for some of us. Too much balance…when you focus more and more on “health” foods and can’t ever allow you to eat something you’ve deemed unhealthy without a) feeling horribly guilty or b) feeling like this day has been wasted (or both), then that’s too much balance you’re aiming for, in my opinion. When you allow yourself to eat exactly one piece of chocolate, even though you’d much rather have a second, you’re not eating “balanced”, you’re restricting yourself and denying yourself what you actually want. This obviously isn’t an issue for everybody, but it is for me.
So, what to do?
Sadly, I don’t have the grand solution. After all, telling you that it’s all about the balance really won’t work in this case. I think it’s a lot about accepting your body’s wishes. I often find myself ignoring what it’s telling me completely, simply because it’s craving things I’ve put on my little red list of “no”-foods, or denying it a break from a workout because I have put my mind to it. Both of which aren’t horrible things to do, but for me, they are. I easily slide back down a road of restricting too many things, and the result is a horribly empty feeling of desparation.
Whenever I notice that I am saying “no” to too many things in my mind, I try to to listen to my body, my tummy, my mind. If it turns out I actually do want some fries, and really I’m only saying no because they are terribly fatty and unhealthy, I will try to have them (without feeling guilty) anyways. What really helps me is eating those kinds of foods with friends – and then focussing more on the social aspect than the food aspect.
Easier said than done.
I know. I struggle with “allowing myself” things so much. It’s really a step-by-step process, getting out of the “too much balance”-regime. But that’s only the case because we are scared that once we break our regime, we will fall off the wagon completely. Which is ridiculous, because just as you crave fries now and then (or butter, or milk chocolate, or just plain sugar in your baked goods), you’ll crave a fresh salad again.
Trusting yourself is the issue here. And anybody who’s ever restricted themselves has major trust issues when it comes to themselves. Trust me – it’s not easy to put faith in a body you constantly fought (or are fighting) against. Which is why it’s so important NOT to strive for too much balance. I fool myself into thinking my eating has to be perfect (according to my own standards) and then get incredibly fed up with myself when I find myself eating or drinking something I “shouldn’t”. That’s the balance part right there, though! Balance isn’t about planning ahead and allowing you to have a small tiny snack every now and then. It’s about trusting your body’s needs, and wishes, and giving in to what your body is telling you.
It’s hard work. Trusting a body and mind that you have learned to fight is an even bigger battle than fighting it in the first place. Let’s get ourselves back on track – not in the food sense, not in a sports sense, but in a “listening to myself”-sense. Yes, it’s easier said than done, no, it doesn’t mean I’m gonna pig out every day.
It does mean that I try hard not to ignore myself. I try hard to stay on the track of listening to what I actually want. And I try hard to forgive myself when I feel like I have failed at eating healthily. I think you should join me.
P.S. The goofy pictures aren’t really related to this post, but I rarely post pictures of myself, so here’s a whole buttload of them. 🙂
P.P.S I’m having grilled cheese for dinner. With actual toast, not rye bread.
P.P.P.S. I refuse to feel guilty about it.