It’s a word many of us believe we understand. It’s also a word many of us are confused about. I know it all too well, struggling with the thoughts of “How do I balance everything in my life?” It took me a long time to understand what balance meant to me, and to be honest, i’m still figuring it out.
About five years ago I was in my senior year of high school and unbelievably unhappy. I put on some weight out of no where and didn’t know how to change it. I didn’t want to give up all the foods I loved to eat so much. This is the year I started testing out fad diets. I tried low carb, I tried low fat, and while they showed me temporary results, the weight came right back.
I went to college the next year and was determined to make a change. I was dancing, and being active. I started going to the gym 7 days a week and I started to clean up my diet- or what I thought was cleaning up my diet. I dropped 10 pounds and thought I could just go back to living life normally. I went back to eating whatever I wanted and doing little to no exercise. How did that work out for me? Well, the weight came right back.
I lived this way until last year when I decided I was going to make a change. Not just a diet change, but a lifestyle change. This is where I started to find my personal balance.
I started educating myself in nutrition and exercise. I realized that there was no quick fix. I started to workout and follow workout routines that were sustainable and enjoyable. Quickly after, I fell in love with working out. It became my outlet for stress, anxiety, and everyday life. Finding this outlet opened the door to balancing other aspects of my life.
I started to change my eating habits. My grocery lists were compiled of whole, clean foods. I found ways to make even my favorite, unhealthy foods into much healthier recipes. I still indulged in cheat meals and sometimes made unhealthy choices.
Today, i’m 25 pounds lighter, but i’m also happier. I can breathe better, I can go to the gym and think about whatever else may be going on in life. I can go out with friends and family and make the CHOICE to order a healthy, satisfiable meal, or order something a little more indulgent. To me, that is balance.
I believe balance is different for everyone. It’s all about finding your own balance and not feeling deprived of a happy, healthy life.
Eat your protein and veggies, but don’t forget to have a cookie sometimes, your mind will thank you later.