Hey there and happy Monday! We have a lot of new people around here, and I could not be more excited to share a small slice of my sassy world with you. Welcome! Today, I’m talking about balance. Ah, the elusive “balance” that we all strive for. Does it really exist? Yes and no. And my all-time favorite phrase, “It depends”.
I’m a straight shooter, so I like to tell people like it is. This is sometimes a good thing and sometimes it pushes people away. I get it. However, I’d hate to say that something like balance is always achievable to make you happy only to let you down in the long run. So, to summarize before we even get to the meat and potatoes of my post, balance is possible but not 100% of the time and not in the way most would imagine. Balance means different things to different people and it looks different every day for most. If we strive for perfection, we will miss out on a lot in life. So, find the balance that works for you and be comfortable knowing it will change every.single.day.
What is Balance?
Balance, as defined by Merriam Webster is nothing more than “physical equilibrium”. Well, if you ask me to stand on one foot, I immediately topple over. So, like a true swimmer, I lack the balance that is physical equilibrium. I’m going to take a wild guess that the definition one would find in the dictionary would NOT have me as an example, and I’m okay with that.
However, I think balance is more about how we handle the stressors of life while keeping our feet under us and our humility intact. It doesn’t mean that we have a perfect proportion of work, life, love, happiness, etc. It means that we are comfortable with our decisions on how much we work, how much we make time for life, how much we love and so much more.
Balance is usually not what we see on social media. It’s the complete opposite. Real life balance is spilling wine on your friend’s new couch only to be able to laugh it off. Social media balance is a perfect looking wine glass with a quote or 2. Real life balance is staying late at work to meet a deadline even though you made plans to go to the gym. Social media balance would say you can do both. Balance is telling your friends you have to cancel because you are tired, and them forgiving you for it. Social media balance would say you need to strive for better work-life balance.
How To Find a Healthy Balance
Finding a healthy balance looks different for everyone. If we take food, for example, some people need to have a weekly treat in order to not splurge on everything in sight. For some that is a donut, others a bagel, others a pint of ice cream. However, for those who may struggle with health conditions such as allergies, intolerances, autoimmune conditions, etc. they may not be able to just indulge in a food once in a while because it will do more harm than good. Them avoiding some foods is actually their balance.
Balance is what makes you happy, sane and able to function at your own potential. Sometimes this balance is anything but a “physical equilibrium” but it’s what works for the here and now. Often times we don’t get to the gym because we have a work event. Or maybe we have to order takeout because our life got in the way. Sometimes we need to go to bed instead of going to dinner with our friends. Sometimes it’s not balance but survival….and that’s okay too.
How do we find a “healthy” balance and still reach our goals? I’m so glad you asked. I’m by no means a life coach, but I can certainly help you when it comes to finding balance with your nutrition. We are not looking for perfection, just some sort of balance that doesn’t sink our life-ship.
A Dietitian’s 3 Easy Steps to Healthy Balance
- Don’t dwell on the past.
If you ate the pint of ice cream or every appetizer at the Superbowl Party, OKAY. Take a deep breath and move on. Do not dwell on the calories, the poor decisions, the lack of control, etc. Instead, enjoy it for what it was and move on with your life. Hop right back where you were and it will all be okay. It’s when we dwell on this that we end up sabotaging our balance, don’t do that!
- Enjoy your food, it’s that simple.
Instead of inhaling your food, sit down, put your fork down and chew your food. It sounds silly but I bet next time you eat you’ll be surprised by how you eat like a savage. Instead ENJOY your food, like REALLY REALLY enjoy it. You’ll probably end up eating less and will be happier for it.
- Focus on the event, not the food.
I know, I’m a dietitian telling you to not worry about the food. When we gather at parties or events we are not usually there for just the food. We are there for friends and occasions. So, instead of ONLY focusing on the food, focus on the people around you and enjoy the small moments, the ones you’ll be making fun of your friends for , for forever and ever.
Healthy Superbowl + Special Events
The main reason this topic of balance came to me lately is that the Superbowl is around the corner and it’s a time for people to splurge. Sound like you are in the same boat? Most of my clients at Designed to Fit Nutrition are too, so we talk about balance and how to enjoy the day without making the day a chore.
Many people are all or nothing, in or out, & black or white when it comes to diet. I strongly dislike this approach because it usually backfires for many reasons. As I have said many a time if you were to trip would you just keep tripping and/or lie on the ground or would you pick yourself up and keep going?
You would keep going.
So why then, are we so all or nothing with our diets? Why can we only have ice cream if we are going to have ALL the ice cream (on top of cookies, cake, pizza, beer and everything in between)? I get it, we all make habits differently and have a different way of looking at food. I follow the logic of Gretchen Rubin and understand there are abstainers and moderators.
However, we usually sabotage ourselves. We set ourselves up for failure. I encourage you this Superbowl Sunday to do the complete opposite, set yourself up for SUCCESS.
My goal this week is to bring you some sassy original recipes for the Super Bowl as I promised in my Instagram post last night. I hope this brings you a balanced approach to the event. In case my week of balance turns into a different one than planned, here are a few resources for Super Bowl recipes to get you started.
If you have some favorite recipes, share them below! Oh yeah, and…Fly Eagles Fly!