The Beauty of Balance

When I was younger I always remember my parents saying “Everything in Moderation!” and it took me a long time to understand what that meant.
I’ve always been a very black & white, perfectionist, all or nothing kinda girl. I’m either doing working out for 3-4 hours a  day or I’m binge watching Netflix and taking zero steps out of my bed.

I’ve found this to be a common theme my whole life. I’ve always managed to kind of take it one step farther in either direction. I push myself too hard to injury or burn out, and then I’m unable to keep it up and end up doing nothing. I’ve never understood the concept of balance as it applies to eating, working out, life.

I think this problem applies to a lot of people. Probably not the degree that I’ve struggled with finding balance but perhaps sometimes. Do you ever find yourself following a diet perfectly for a week or so, giving in to some chocolate and feeling like you “ruined” that day and so you continue to keep indulging? Do you workout consistently for 3 weeks and then miss a few days and feel like you can never get back on “track”? Do you try to cut out all alcohol in a sudden fit of health, and then find yourself on a bender a few weekends later?

I believe that there is this myth out there that in order to achieve goals you need to be extreme. If you want to lose weight you need to cut out all sugar and carbs and never enjoy a slice of cake. If you want to get fitter you need to work out for that magical “hour” every day.

It took me a LONG time to realize that this is simply untrue. In fact, the people that practice moderation and balance are much more successful in their chosen endeavours. What if you could just do small things.. Sometimes? Would you see results? YES! You could work out for 20 minutes, or an 45, or whatever you have time for. It’s still going to help you reach your goals. You could go for a quick walk around the block instead of watching another episode on Netflix. You could have an apple for a snack and later on have some chocolate.

I think we need to stop going to extremes. We need to find a way to make fitness and health a priority in our lifestyles without letting it BE our life.

I encourage you to think about balance today. Is your work/life/friends balanced? Is your eating balanced? Are you nourishing yourself with healthy foods and still enjoying some wine in there too? Is your exercised balanced? Which way could you tip the scales a little?

Lately I have felt that my work/life has been very unbalanced. I’m prepared to continue this because I love my career more than anything, but I’m making positive steps to spend more time with friends and book vacations and make sure I spend a little time each day doing something for me in the midst of working. I used to be very unbalanced in my eating and exercise, but recovery from bulimia and also this back injury has really turned that around. I can finally say that I enjoy all foods in MODERATION. If I eat a bowl of ice-cream it doesn’t turn into a day of unhealthy eating. I just move on. I walk and strength train and do what I can without pushing my back past what it can handle.

I think everyone can benefit from finding balance in their life one way or the other! What do you feel like you could improve on today?

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The #1 Secret to Weight Loss

Did I get your attention?

There is literally one thing that if you practice, you are GUARANTEED SUCCESS. I can tell you this with 100% certainty and it is something that absolutely anyone can do!

First of all- everyone probably knows that the diet/supplement/weight loss industry is a billion dollar industry. There are sooo many success stories out there. People have success on Paleo, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Clean Eating, Calorie Counting, Exercising, Eating Clean, or even eating Subway everyday. Here’s the thing; everyone tries to push their own “way” as being the “only way”. There is no right way. Of course there is proven scientific research in the area of nutrition and there ARE obviously “healthier” ways to eat. But no method is better than the other when it comes to reaching your goals. There is one thing that all of these things have in common.

CONSISTENCY. 

That’s it. Literally that is the secret. If you stick with ANYTHING long enough it WILL WORK. Success comes down to what you can do long term. Trust me I know that every “Lose 10lbs in 10 days!” diet and quick fad seems so tempting at first. I know this because I’ve tried them all. I ALWAYS thought that a new diet, or meal plan, or supplement, would finally help me reach my goals. I was sucked into promise of a new start every-time. Every new diet felt I thought “this time I will achieve what I want”. Guess where all those diets got me? Hmm.. About 20lbs HEAVIER and about 14 years of an awful eating disorder that I am still trying to recover from. I’ve never been consistent with any way of eating. I always thought there was ONE way that was going to change me. But I could never stick to any of these because they didn’t fit my lifestyle.

I encourage everyone to figure out what works for you. And the number one this is to make NEW HABITS AND NEW LIFESTYLE CHANGES. If you go on quick fix diet, sure.. you will lose weight. You’ll feel so amazing as the number drops down on the scale, but one day you won’t be able to stand those foods anymore. (I can still never look at a Slimfast again, and even salads still make me cringey because I think back to the days when that’s all I ate and I lived in a state of perpetual hunger and exhaustion). And then you’ll see people eating your favourite foods and start to feel resentful. Why can’t I enjoy some chocolate or ice-cream? And then you start eating them again. And since you deprived yourself for so long you feel like you can’t get enough. You can’t fathom going back to eating salads or shakes all day. And slowly you gain every single pound back. Plus more- because you messed up your metabolism in the process.

I GET that quick fixes seem amazing, I still sometimes get tempted. Me and my friends booked a trip to Cuba and I instantly felt like I needed to go on a diet and lose weight. I started critiquing a body I felt perfectly happy in the week before. Here’s the thing. You need to make sustainable changes and you need to LOVE and NOURISH your body. If your ultimate goal is to be skinny- then fine- go ahead and try that Master Cleanse diet and I promise you’ll feel skinny for about 3 days.

If you want to feel healthy, happy, confident, strong, and energetic- start incorporating new habits. Learn to how cook. Learn how to prep some meals for the week.  Try out new recipes. Read up on nutrition. When you learn about WHY you are eating certain things it makes it a whole lot easier to eat healthy. When you learn what that processed crap does to your body you won’t want to eat it so often. When you start just feeling great without feeling deprived- thats when you are making a sustainable lifestyle change.

Dieting has created a really bad image in peoples minds. Everyone thinks that they need to live in a state of deprivation and hunger to reach their “goal weight”. IT IS SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH. You can eat TONS of filling, nutritious, delicious foods and reach your goal body. You should never be going hungry. Yes, you cannot eat McDonalds everyday. But if you learn how to cook and create meals that you LOVE then it becomes easy. It becomes your life. And you will only be successful in the long term if you start creating a new life.

So think about what habits you need to change. What do you envision your life as at this healthy happy weight? Start living it today. Live that amazing joy filled life everyday and soon you will wake up right there.

I imagine my life to be filled with love and laugher and fun workouts with friends. I see myself pushing myself everyday to be better in the gym. I see running races and challenging myself.  I also see myself drinking wine, eating ice-cream, and never looking at the calorie content of things. I see myself cooking delicious meals for myself and my family and creating a healthy life that will always feel just right for me. I will never diet, I will never pass up a night out with my girlfriends at a new restaurant, and I will never pass up curling up on the couch with a movie. I’ll also always prep my meals. I love being ready for the week! I’ll always pack a lunch. I’ll always bring healthy snacks with me everywhere I go, these are just a part of the life I live. What life do you want to live?

Just remember when you start creating new habits: can you be consistent? And remember it’s what you do the majority of the time that shapes your health. Think 80% healthy, 20% “treats”. Please live life and be happy and love yourself!