If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw the photo I posted last Friday, but I wanted to go in to a little more detail here and touch on a question I get asked a lot-- how do you find balance and still achieve your goals?
The short answer is it's something that comes with time. Let's face it, balance is an extremely subjective word- it could mean one thing for someone and completely the opposite for another. I have the photo above here because this is one of the food preps I did when I was getting ready for a photo shoot. This helped me stay on track when I had a big goal in mind, but this would not be 'balance' for me today. I don't take my food with me places in tupperware, and if I go 4 or 5 hours without eating- it's okay. For me, balance with food is having a general idea of what my meals will be throughout the day but understanding if the day doesn't turn out exactly as planned, that's okay too. When I started relaxing a bit with being rigid and super strict with my diet is when I became so much happier with the way I looked AND felt. Now obviously I'm not saying eat Taco Bell three times a day, but incorporating not perfectly clean foods into your diet moderately is perfectly fine- and that's something I've just had to learn over time.
When I put these two pictures side by side I was so amazed with how different I look. On the left I see someone that ate out of tupperware all day long, never considered having anything off the plan, and forced workouts even though energy was low from carb cycling or low carbs. On the right I see someone who understands macros (although I don't track daily I do spot check and I'm typically right where I think I am by keeping track in my head) and knows my body does well with high amounts of carbs. I also know that my goal of building a more solid bottom half is more important than feeling hungry to have abs. (and so is drinking wine!)
So how do I know I've found my balance? Because I'm not only happy and fulfilled with my lifestyle but I'm so content with how I look. Are my abs as flat as the first photo? Nope, but I'm stronger, happier, and my jeans fit SO much better :) If I miss a workout I know it's okay and never feel like I have to make up for it. Lastly, I can honestly say going to the gym and eating healthy are part of my life but they don't rule my life.
And back to the original question- How do you find YOUR balance?
- First look at your current approach and ask yourself if it's working. You're never going to find balance in a regimen that has you chasing your tail.
- Educate yourself on the most sustainable, long term approach that is going to work for you. For me that was learning about macros and tracking my food for a good while until I could begin eating more intuitively without having to track every single day.
- Prove to yourself that over time your body will change in a positive way as long as you are looking at your health and fitness approach in a positive way. If you wake up every day dreading the food you have to eat, change it. If you hate your workouts and drag yourself to the gym everyday, change them. If you don't like protein shakes, don't drink them. Remember, this is a lifestyle and you want it to be a good one!