Balance. It’s a very tricky word. It’s something I’m still learning about myself.
There are many opinions on balance and a lot of people struggle to find their balance. I feel as though I could talk about balance forever so I will try and sum up my thoughts about balance with a few key ideas of what it means to me!
It seems like “balance” has almost become a term to use as an excuse for poor decision making when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.
Over the last few years I have found that people use the term “balance” very loosely. Such as “Oh well it’s all about balance!” as you might slice an oversized piece of cake, or “I worked out yesterday so that will balance out what I’m eating today”. It seems like “balance” has almost become a term to use as an excuse for poor decision making when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do strongly believe that listening to your body and giving into that sweet tooth craving once and while is the right thing to do! However, after learning over the years about balance there is a way to give into those cravings without paying for it later. By fueling your body with nutrient rich food, eventually your body will crave the right foods, allowing you to have balance. Then you will lose the binge tendencies on sweets and greasy food which will often times make you feel sick. Instead you will learn to treat yourself to soul comforting foods in a controlled manner and guilt free.
I’ve struggled with balance in the past because I have always been kind of an all or nothing kinda girl. By this I mean if I didn’t make it to the gym on a Monday, typically that meant that it would be a “no gym week”, same with the “weekends don’t count” in terms of eating well. I now know that this is not balance! I’m now learning and understanding how it feels to be truly balanced and to be in control. I don’t follow “rules” per se, however I do follow my own simple guidelines. I do this because over the years I have learned when I don’t feel restricted or deprived I am much more consistent and successful! I feel in control, I listen to my body and what it needs, I give into cravings but in a way that feels good. I have balance. Those who know me well know I have a major sweet tooth, I love baked goods, homemade cookies, anything with coconut, dark chocolate, and more! However, over the years I noticed that once I was “off” sugar, I would be ok for a few days but once I went to a social gathering, which we all know are all year round (holidays, birthdays, showers, weddings, it never seems to end!) I found myself out of control at the dessert table. I now know if I give into these sweet tooth cravings (that happen daily might I add) I can control myself in “abundance” situations where the desserts are endless and generally not “healthified” treats. Therefore, I keep my sweet tooth options prepared for these cravings with my own sweet tooth hacks. By working with my cravings instead of against, I don’t feel like I’m struggling “to stay on track” whenever I go to events, or if I’m tempted unexpectedly. Instead I’m just keeping my balance that works for me.
To ensure that you are balancing your insides its important to find things that keep your mind and soul feeling good.
It is important to understand that balance allows you to feel good from the inside out. This includes mental well being and physical well being. To ensure that you are balancing your insides its important to find things that keep your mind and soul feeling good. Sometimes I just want to spend that extra time with my little so I do something fun with her instead of going to the gym. I may spend an extra hour in bed snuggling and giggling with her rather then jumping up and getting the day started. Maybe we go out for breakfast instead. These things keep me balanced on the inside, when I am able to put aside all the busy stuff in life and enjoy extra family time guilt free.
Being able to find balance on the inside helps with confidence on the outside as well. To be honest I’ve struggled with body image more recently in my life due to social media. I would spend so much time looking on Instagram at these perfect bodies, and following women for “inspiration”. Eventually, I began to realize that not everything we see is authentic as well as every body is its own and I shouldn’t strive to “look” like someone else’s body, instead work with what I’ve got and be proud of it! I’ve always been very lean and almost lanky my whole life. Small boobs and tiny bum, not that I’ve ever been ashamed but I just never had really natural curves that a lot of women have. However, after learning about my body and working on it, lifting weights, eating the right foods, I’ve been able to build some curve into areas that I never had before! And I love it! It also helps that I don’t pay attention to the number on the scale anymore but instead on how I feel, and the strength I’m gaining. Just so you know I now only follow women who are inspiring in the sense of empowering yourself, I unfollowed anybody who when I looked at their images made me feel disappointed or crummy about myself or body. Nothing against these women but for me just didn’t help me with self-confidence or my journey! All in all, learn to appreciate what your body can do, appreciate your health, and don’t be so hard on yourself! Confidence is beautiful and every body is different and should be celebrated.
You don’t have to go to the gym and pound out an hour of cardio and 100 squats to consider it a workout.
Another important aspect of balance to me is body movement, which most people refer to as exercise. I do myself call it working out but I think its important for people to understand that any form of movement for your body feels good and does the body good. You don’t have to go to the gym and pound out an hour of cardio and 100 squats to consider it a workout. I feel like part of finding your own balance is finding the movement that works for your body and that you enjoy. Walking, swimming, biking, yoga, lifting weights, all these are forms of movement! Celebrate this movement multiple times a week and your body will thank you and your mind will too. Release those endorphins!
Balance to me is committing myself to making choices that will ultimately only positively impact my physical and mental health. Thus, I believe that balance looks different to everyone, and each person’s discovery of balance is different. It comes with practice, lots of trial and error, fails, and learning as you go. What works for me may not work for somebody else. Beginner balance is tough, and I still sometimes need to take it one day at a time. But I continue to make the choices that are good for me and my health, make me feel good, and allow me to live my life guilt free. Do I make mistakes? Often. But, I never “give up” on working towards discovering balance and working towards the best physical and mental health for me.
What does balance look like to you? Let me know in the comments! 🙂