You hear the word balance in most areas of life these days. Some say it is an overused tag used for work, career, home, parenting, health, diet, exercise, and just about anything. I am just as guilty of falling on the word balance as the next person. My tag line is “Empowering You to Live a Balanced Healthy Life at any age”. I know that can sound so trite, can’t it? But I’m here to tell you it really is “a thing”. (as my boys often say). You really can find that sweet spot of a balanced healthy lifestyle so that your body is doing what it needs to do during and between meals, you feel good and energized, and you learn to manage all that you do and want to enjoy.
I want to encourage anyone I come into contact with to establish a lifestyle plan. Not a diet. I continue to repeat: Diets Do Not Work. I do not think that having a list of “good foods” and “bad foods” works. Having foods that are strictly forbidden from our diets can backfire, making us food obsessed. If I tell myself I can never have another chocolate chip cookie, you better bet I am going to obsess and obsess over that chocolate chip cookie until I totally give in. Then I am going to feel like a failure, probably eat eight more chocolate chip cookies, feel physically sick and an even bigger failure, and therein begins that awful vicious cycle. Now that I have consumed these empty calories, I think I have to do something to get rid of them. This might be from over-exercising, restricting food or going on some crazy three day juice-only cleanse.
What happened? My restrictive eating plan completely imploded on me. As they all eventually do. How is this healthy? Well, it simply is NOT. Our bodies are these wonderful, amazing, ever-changing machines that do not stay the same each and every day. But if we know this, and how to understand and appreciate our body we can begin to create that balance . Balance isn’t easy and I know this. I still struggle with it regularly. I want to go out and have fun, enjoy vacation, eat yummy food, but also sweat, workout, and eat healthy foods. Balance is being able to do this and having the freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle without a restrictive diet and crazy exercise plan.
Balance is learning how to eat intentionally, exercise for your body, taking time to prioritize your gifts and forget about perfectionism. You can build your own lifestyle based on your health. This is where you can find that sweet spot of balance.
This kind of balance allows you to have a night out with your girlfriends, enjoy a celebration, and go on vacation without stressing. You can learn the tools to realign after those fun life things! Imagine being able to enjoy without feeling so guilty, obsessing, or holding back out of fear of “messing up your diet”! Imagine no more feeling as if you have to go on a super stringent plan, juice cleanse or cabbage soup diet to realign your body to its sweet spot. That is why learning to live a healthy balanced lifestyle is so freeing.
THE SCIENCE STUFF
I am not just typing words here that sound good. Although they do sound pretty awesome, don’t they?
Over the years the calorie has taken on far too much importance. That is why most diets do not work. This idea has been so ingrained in us that we think the only way to live is by the calorie. Constant counting and tracking is no way to live and relying on counting calories takes away our own ability to feed and nurture ourselves.
A calorie is not a calorie. Simply counting calories ignores the importance of your body’s needs, hormones, natural body fluctuations, metabolism, blood sugar, AND, most importantly, the body’s natural ability to find its healthy weight.
If you are following a restrictive diet – by that I mean that restricts calories OR restricts basic groups of foods, you will lose weight- or usually bloat- in the short term. Usually a restrictive diet is not sustainable. When you find yourself starving with a big blood sugar crash, what happens to your body? Insulin pushes out too much sugar into the cells. That’s why you feel shaky and lightheaded. Then you crave a carb fix to get you over the hump. You grab a bagel, protein bar, cookie or other snack. Then begins the frustrating cycle. Blood sugar rises, insulin pushes out sugar, blood sugar crashes, you feel like crap so you grab the carb your body craves, so it shoots up again. This is exhausting to think about so imagine how it is taxing on your body!
This is a key point, so pay attention ya’ll:
That constant feeding cycle and force feeding your body does not allow the body to do what it was designed to do. It does not allow the body to fully digest food before it has to begin again. If the body is not using and digesting all the food, what do you think happens? Yep. It turns to fat.
There is a way to circumvent all of this. When you learn how to feed your body with the right macronutrients to keep you full between meals and keep you energized, you learn to eat intuitively so your body can process as it was designed to burn fat and lose weight and eliminate all of those terrible sugar cravings and sugar crashes.
Your body CAN fall into balance naturally, feel nourished and content and reach its healthiest weight. A weight that is balanced and healthy for you.
Does this sound like a plan? Better & Beyond is based on learning to eat intuitively for a balanced healthy lifestyle. It is NOT a diet! Our next round begins May 27!
Enjoy Your Day!