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On Balance

January 21, 2011

Morning! Went to bed at 9pm last night (mmhmmm 🙂 ) and was ready and raring to go to Yoga this morning. NEWS FLASH: morning exercise is a lot easier when you’re rested.

OUTFIT:

Classic jeans, T, and a blazer.

 

BREAKFAST:

Yesterday when I grabbed lunch at Whole Foods, I also picked up some soy yogurt. Giving up Greek yogurt was my main concern with a Vegan diet, so I wanted to try a soy version to see if it would work as a replacement. I bought So Delicious yogurt in both plain and vanilla.

For my breakfast this morning, I made my usual yogurt mess but with the plain soy yogurt. IT was already sweetened with agave (weird for a plain flavor to have sweetener?) so I didn’t need to add any stevia. I noticed the yogurt was much runnier and not as thick as my Greek, but hoped it would thicken up nicely when mixed with flax seed and chilled in the fridge.

Into the bowl went:

  • 1 So Delicious dairy free plain yogurt
  • 1 T peanut flour
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup Kashi Go Lean
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3 strawberries sprinkled with cinnamon

This morning the yogurt had thickened, but it was still much more…gooey? than Greek Yogurt. The bowl tasted good and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it definitely wasn’t the same as my normal Oikos bowls. I’ll have to think about whether or not this change can be more permanent.

ON BALANCE:

Last night I started talking to a friend about our eating and body image issues. She, though being an avid exerciser and healthy eater, has been feeling a little blah lately and not happy with her body. She also was getting frustrated with a recent spike in hunger and how that isn’t helping the problem.

One thing we discussed is that thin, fit people can have insecurities too. Lots of times others tell us to just “shut up” if we mention anything about the way we look. But everyone has “fat days” and times when we aren’t happy with our bodies. For those on the thinner side, it’s not we think we are overweight or unheathly, but there is a constant pressure that we put on ourselves to be better.

Having had my ups and downs with weight in the past, one thing I struggle with is finding balance. I know that I have the tendency to get very strict with my eating, but I also know that when I try to be more carefree and “normal” I go overboard. The problem lies in that I really do feel my best physically when I am eating very clean and exercising consistently. Because of this, I often think that I should watch what I eat more carefully and that I should make sure to get in a good work out every day. But there is more to health than just food and exercise — our mental health is important too and that means we need to laugh, not stress out, hang out with friends, and go with the flow. When I’m overly concerned about the former, I often avoid situations that allow me to experience the latter.

So for me, it’s all about toeing the line between feeling clean and physically great but also allowing myself to let loose and occassionally put my food and exercise to the side. I get frustrated because when I try to relax, I often end up binging and feeling awful. I struggle with truly listening to my body – it tends to be all or nothing.

Then my friend told me about this quote: “Balance is smoothy moving through the constant flow of imbalance”.

And I loved it. It made me realize that maybe my constant ebbs and flows and struggles with being too regimented or too loose are my balance.  It’s not to say I shouldn’t keep striving to find a middle ground where I can stay happily, but the quote made me  instantly feel more at peace.

  • What does having balance in life mean to you?
  • Do you struggle with being too regimented or being too carefree?
  • Have you entered my Lara Bar giveaway yet? Picking the winner tomorrow!
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12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2011 11:04 am

    Having balance in my life looks different for me every other month. I think I adopt a new mantra for eating and exercise almost weekly. And there are days that being my jeans size is OK, and then others that it absolutely is not.

    Like you’re saying, we all have days that we don’t feel great about our bodies, but ultimately I know that that’s not what life’s about so I shouldn’t be consumed with it. Also, like you, I can be way too strict on myself when it comes to diet and exercise, and then being more lax turns into going overboard in a hurry. So I try to keep in mind that trying to eat healthfully and staying active every day are important, but that it’s OK to treat myself because I work so hard to take care of myself. Which is why last night, after a mostly healthy day with some exercise in the mix, I indulged in an ice cream sundae and it was fantastic. I think that’s what balance means to me.

    Also, being married has been so encouraging for me because my husband constantly tells me how beautiful and attractive I am, even when I don’t feel like it – which has honestly made a huge difference in the way I view myself and the way I view “beauty’ altogether.

  2. January 21, 2011 11:05 am

    LOVE that quote. Someone also told me once that the quality of your life is proportional to your ability to deal with uncertainty. So true!

  3. January 21, 2011 11:11 am

    gorgeous blazer. you look like a ralph lauren model!

    Also – just wanted to let you know I’ve given you a Stylish Blogger Award – announced in my post today since one was given to me. I love your posts, photos and style. Check out my post to accept and nominate your favs, too!

  4. January 21, 2011 12:48 pm

    Thanks for the yogurt review! I looove my Greek yogurt but it really upsets my stomach and have wanted to find a good soy yogurt I like. I’ll have to experiment a bit. Also, I absolutely LOVED everything you said about balance! I definitely put wayy too much pressure on myself sometimes and completely lack balance. I need to constantly remind myself how important our mental health is too 🙂

  5. January 21, 2011 12:59 pm

    I don’t think I could ever give up Greek yogurt. Props for trying!! For me balance is about eating healthy but still having a slice of pizza or bbq ribs every once in a while, working out but making sure it makes me feel great and being with the people I love.

  6. Olympe permalink
    January 21, 2011 1:21 pm

    Love your outfit and the necklace looks amazing.
    I try to find my balance right so when I find it I will be able to respond to your question but I can tell you that I do struggle with being carefree more than being too regimented.

    I have a question, when you decided to become a vegetarian did stop eating meat, cheese etc… right away or was it a step by step process?

  7. squigglefloey permalink
    January 21, 2011 4:13 pm

    This is a hard question about balance. I’m trying to find my balance right now, and I don’t know if I’ve been able to find the right kind yet. I know I’m still looking– but that’s a great quote — to say that there’s balance in imbalance. Seems like one’a those metaphorical things.

  8. January 21, 2011 5:15 pm

    I struggle with what balance means to me A LOT. I think it just means doing what is right for my body most of the time. I need to be able to have a piece of cake, but I feel best when I work out 4-5 days a week, too.

  9. Paulie D. permalink
    January 21, 2011 5:17 pm

    Here is a man’s view and it may surprise you. I think almost everyone cares about how he or she looks. I do believe advertisers and society in general put much greater pressure on women to conform to certain standards of beauty. For that reason, I think women are much more attuned to how they look, while they may be more prone to anxiety about measuring up to ideal and elusive kinds of beauty. Perfection is impossible to achieve but what each of us can do is try to be the best person that each of us can be.
    In the inspirational book that I am writing, one of the chapters — based on advice from a wise priest — is to strengthen your support system. Even the most mentally resilient people can be affected by self doubts. Mother Teresa is a great example and she is viewed as a saint! A good support network is important to keep the negative vibes in check and to let the positive feedback propel us to perform well and stay motivated to try to do our best.
    I agree with Clare, our blog queen, that fit people can have insecurities but we also are able to counter it by connecting with those who can encourage and nurture us in our pursuit of good health — both mental and physical. They go hand-in-hand. We also need to be a little forgiving if we opt to enjoy a treat or a special meal that someone offers to us. The key is moderation. We need to temper our appetites in life, whether food is involved or not. For example, a drink or two may be fine, but not too many. Our bodies give feedback, too!
    One difference with men is that we tend to emphasize performance with our bodies, rather than appearance. How fast can we run? How much weight can we lift? How far can we throw or hit a ball? Are we fit enough to compete and win? The reality is that each person is unique and really should evolve toward trying to be the best each of us can be, rather than comparing ourselves to someone else who has a different set of genes.
    Instead of feeling constant pressure to be better, we can use forums such as this blog to encourage each other to keep trying, sharing recipes and posting appealing photos of healthful food options. I genuinely enjoy learning about nutritious food that also tastes good. Great goals would be to eat healthfully, work out consistently and try to be as good to bodies as we are to our cars by fueling and maintaining them properly. You’re worth it!

  10. Natalie permalink
    January 21, 2011 8:05 pm

    I agree with everything in this post. It’s very tough for me to find balance sometimes. For example, I absolutely LOVE going to the gym in the morning. However, my shift at work changed this week (we are on rotations) and I had to work 6am – 2:30pm. I freaked out mentally because I worried about being too tired to get to the gym or have good runs. I worried I wasn’t going to be as alert or happy at work because *God forbid* I didn’t run before I went to work! And I look back and laugh – because I managed to get to the gym 4 days so far this week. Being a very regimented person, I can completely understand where you are coming from with the balancing aspect in life. I don’t want things to be “all or nothing” – I want to be able to be in tune with my body. Skipping a few workouts or eating “bad foods” for a couple of days doesn’t mean bingeing, the day after drinking doesn’t mean bingeing, etc.

    I love that we are all able to share these things throughout the healthy living blog world, because a great deal of my friends have not had some of the eating issues I struggle with. I think without it I would go insane obsessing over every meal, every workout, etc. It is nice to know there are others out there who suffer with the same battles I do! We can all help/learn from each other!

  11. January 21, 2011 10:38 pm

    Having balance is a huge thing I struggle with and am still trying to get a hold of in my life. I’m just like you and feel best when i eat clean and exercise regularly. regiments are a huge thing that I’m trying to deal with and be more spontaneous and carefree!

  12. January 22, 2011 4:57 pm

    i know I commented on today’s post, but i’m just reading some of your old ones and this one struck SUCH a chord with me. I have such a hard time letting myself eat “normally” without goig overboard on unhealthy stuff vs. eating clean. Balance is such a difficult thing.

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