The Beauty of Living a Balanced Life
As I sat down to eat a piece of ice cream cake, last weekend, I started thinking about how good is feels to live a balanced life. Like, man, it feels real good. Most of you all know that I battled an eating disorder for three years. Through those years, my life felt like a blur as I sat through countless meals, family functions, birthday parties, showers, church potlucks, and holiday gatherings depriving myself of whatever everyone else was having. I chose to simply live vicariously through whatever everyone else was enjoying, whether it be pie, ice cream, cake, pizza, you name it; and I decided to either eat whatever raw veggies were around or guzzle cups and cups of coffee. No treat foods over here, I was stronger than everyone else. I was more disicplined. I was the skinniest. And man, was I proud of it.
Looking back, I cringe at the thought of that person I had become. Who was that girl and were did the carefree, confident, happy-go-lucky Bethany go?
Praise Jesus that as time passed and as I got counseling from my mom and others, Jesus opened up my mind to see that, woah, I had become a self-absorbed, selfish, and sick woman. And I was paying for it. It took a while, but eventually I gained the weight back and my mindset shifted.
As my mindset shifted, I soon began to see food in a different light too. My fear of ‘losing all self control,’ and gaining endless amounts of weight proved to be a semi-irrational fear and I started living life again. I say semi-irrational because through recovery, I stopped caring about being too picky with my health. I started enjoying food again and I began to maybe be a little too lax into my eating habits. As I was talking to Landon about this the other day, I realized though how necessary this was. Eating ice cream, enjoying pizza (and maybe an extra slice too much) was healing for me and necessary.
When I got pregnant with Benaiah I was about 7-10 pounds higher than I would like to be. I felt a little uncomfortable in my clothes and realized that I had become a little too lax in my diet. It was through pregnancy and my postpartum journey that I’ve become more aware of macros, how important they are, how to best fuel my body based on the workouts I am doing, and how to simply, balance life.
Now that I am living balanced, I’ve noticed the best results that I have for a long time. I have more muscle tone, energy, definition, and most of all, I have life. I love being able to eat healthy, to be disciplined, to say “no” to whatever crazy craving I am having during the day, while, however, being able to enjoy a slice of ice cream cake or pizza in moderation.
Living a balanced life is a beautiful thing, because I can, we can, still reach our goals, run fast, while still living life and sharing moments and memories with the people we love. I don’t want to look back on my life and see how many memories I chose not to make with people I loved because I wanted to have bigger biceps. BUT, I also don’t want to look back on my life and see that I fueled my body incorrectly and never reached my body’s fullest potential of health and fitness. There has to be a balance and there is.
So, my encouragement to myself and to you is to eat good, whole, nutritious and dense food. Stay disciplined and have self control. But, if your husband surprises you with a trip out for frozen yogurt, eat the frozen yogurt and enjoy it. Enjoy the memories, the moments, and everything in between.
I’ve learned, life is beautiful and best when balanced. I feel the best when I am eating clean, fueling with whole foods, while still allowing myself wiggle room and freedom to say ‘yes’ to treats.
So, friends, enjoy life, savor each moment and memory and spontaneous adventure. Eat your kale, and if there comes a time when you are offered a slice of pie made by your grandma, eat the pie.
Questions of the Day
- Have you been back and forth with your ‘diet?’ How do you balance life?
- What is your favorite treat food?
- Current snack you can’t get enough of? (Me: COCONUT OIL POPCORN.)