I have been thinking a lot about balance and moderation lately. What a tricky tricky bitch. Balance is so important and fascinating to me, that I even got a tattoo of a circle on my 21st birthday. A perfect circle…. Equal and complete – balanced. We all want to achieve a balanced lifestyle, a mixture of fun and hard work. But it is so much easier said than done.
Like so many others, I have a tendency to act in a very “all or nothing” kind of way. I’ll go days eating so pure, clean and healthy – all whole foods. And then it’s movie night with my roommates and all of the sudden I’ve eaten a family sized bag of popcorn and I’m on my second glass of wine. Oops.
There are a million and a half reasons to indulge – birthdays, weddings, holidays, snow storms, date nights, stressful Mondays… and I’ve always thought as long as I eat really healthy in my “day-to-day” life, and only indulge on those occasions, that I would feel great and still be super healthy overall. But what happens when those reasons start to creep up and up and up?
I don’t ever want to live my life obsessively counting calories or “cheat meals” or trying to be perfect. Because I know that I will fail. I also know that I want to feel good, and I want to eat clean and treat my body well. So the big question is – how do I fit in a few drinks? Or a cupcake on my friend’s birthday? Or a big carb-filled brunch on a sunny Saturday afternoon? Sometimes I wish there was a formula…
Did you know that there is such a thing as too healthy?
Orthorexia – an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy
This is a real thing, and something I consciously avoid. I honestly believe that life is too short to obsess over being perfect. But it can be really difficult! There’s always a thinner body, longer hair, or clearer skin to compare yourself to. Instagram pages of fitness gurus. Timehop photos of your skinnier college self. This is why it’s easy to become obsessive.
The truth is there is no formula – and it is a constant ebb and flow, push and pull. Health is a journey, not a final destination. It’s true that some people do it 100%… there are people that eat only 100% clean, healthy whole foods and never eat treats or drink alcohol. But I will never be one of those people. So I continue to walk on the balance beam, slightly swaying back and forth, forward and backward. I will go too far some weekends, eating carelessly and my body will quickly remind me that it doesn’t function well that way. And I’ll reset.
Today I had to push the reset button. After a weekend of birthday parties and junk food, I woke up feeling absolutely dreadful. When that happens the hardest part for me is dealing with the guilt. I’ve always had an annoying need to be perfect at what I do, and when I fail, I totally beat myself up. Like the world is going to implode because I chased a shot of vodka with strawberry frosting. YES, I DID THAT.
Thankfully, the world didn’t implode. The sky is still blue and the grass is still green. I have a raging headache, but this too shall pass.
Regroup, reset, move on.
Today I will hydrate and drink a lot of juice. I will make some healthy vegetables for dinner, and I will get to sleep early. I’ll go for a long walk instead of sitting on the computer. And I’m sure that I will wake up tomorrow feeling clean again.