Finding balance in eating and exercising is a conscious, daily effort I make. For instance, I purposely pack my lunch and cook my dinners so that I am controlling both my budget and caloric intake. I will be the first to tell you I struggle with this from time to time. My coworkers will laugh and tell you most days, I hate my lunch. I’d much rather eat the amazing smelling pizza, grabbing sushi (that includes crunchies thank you very much) or something fast like a soft pretzel. I don’t want to eat my tuna or pb and banana sammie I packed. However, I eat it with the understanding that you never regret a healthy meal.
Fighting the scales
As I mentioned yesterday, I used to determine my self-worth and accomplishment in healthy living through the number on the scale. I received a number of emails from readers saying they also have weighed themselves as a barometer of their feelings of accomplishment.
I have since thrown out the scale and used my clothes and how they fit as a means to measure my weight loss and gain. My mom has always told me this works for her, and now that I am feeling the snug pull of my jeans, I believe her.
I would be lying if I said I had this all figured out. As a matter of fact, since I have stopped frequently running to train for an event, I have put on weight. My jeans feel snug, I feel puffy and uncomfortable and it makes me ultra sensitive and crabby. In the back of my head, I know this is typical of me. ( I gain weight in the summer instead of winter- I prefer to run in the cold) So instead of obsessing about every bite that goes in my mouth, I have tried to balance my meals with more protein (to knock off the impulsive snacking) and bumped up my exercise again. Since I am not training, I am trying to do 3 days of cardio a week with 2-3 days of strength training with power yoga and body pump classes.
My reality is the effort to find balance will be everlasting. I am grateful I learned this lesson of balance early in life because now it has become second nature. I don’t treat eating healthy and exercising as a punishment- rather as a privilege. As a friend has described before about his mom, “Mom said she ate healthy and exercised and she still got sick. Would she do it again? Yeah, because it just made her feel good.”