As a verb, balance is defined as: “to keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall”. As a noun, balance is defined as: “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” When it comes to my new series “A Balanced Life” I have chosen a few lovely ladies to feature that I believe embody what it means to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. These women inspire me to keep buying organically (even if it is more expensive and some people just don’t get it), to keep working out (even if it is the first time in my life I am getting fit in a healthy way) and to keep up the positive attitude and energy.
It comes as no surprise to those who read my blog on the regular that I am now starting a Balanced Life Series. I’ve talked about it here, and then collaborated with the lovely girls of ThePartyof2 on a balanced recipe here.
Although I am a food blogger and instagrammer who likes to eat at the hot spots in Boston and beyond, I’m taking my blog further and starting to focus on balance and happiness; as well as positive body image and inspiration. Too often we are bombarded by images in the media that tell us we need to look a certain way or have a certain “thing” (whether it’s physical or costs $25,000.00) in order to be happy, and sadly it becomes “bible” to some young women, men and older people as well. Trust me, I’ve fallen victim to the brain-washing of it all and developed an eating disorder for many, many years. (read here)
Pretty strong title, right? I know. A strong title is needed in order to typify my very strong feelings towards the word “diet” and all of its negative connotations. As all of my Day 1 readers know, I suffered from an eating disorder starting when I was 19 for 4 years. It was a horrible time in my life and I am so happy that I have come up on the other side (hello!).
The one thing they definitely do not teach you in a treatment facility is how to adopt a certain fad”diet”. The average person describes a diet as a label/ program where you eliminate certain things/ restrict yourself from having certain “bad foods” as a means to lose a certain amount of weight. In treatment, we are taught that there is no such thing as “bad food”, but there are foods that are much better for us than others and all food is great in moderation. (unless you have a food allergy of course)
After conquering treatment and beating my disorder (FYI: you’re never fully cured from an eating disorder….it’s a daily struggle) I never “dieted”. I was too afraid I would spiral out of control and go back into that dark hole of binging and purging and restricting.
I say all this to say that as I sit here in front of my computer screen, I’m realizing that I have never lost weight in a healthy way in my life. The moment I became conscious of my body and decided to lose weight, it was a restriction thing which then turned into a full blown bulimia fueled chaotic lifestyle. My problem is that I want to see results pronto and when I don’t see a drastic change in a month, I get discouraged. I’m used to dropping weight quickly, even though it was due to unhealthy and possibly deadly practices.
So here we are ladies and (possibly a few) gentlemen, we’re at this point in my life where I have retrained my brain to love food and now need to train my body to fully commit to balance. Throughout my years after treatment and reading up on inspirational people such as Hannah Bronfman and Gwyneth Paltrow and their daily lives of balance, I have learned that in order to have a healthy, happy and feel-good-life/body and mind you need live a life of balance. Balance means leading a lifestyle of mostly nutrient dense, organic, super-foody foods as well as working out multiple times a week; but still allowing yourself to have indulgent foods once in a while. It’s knowing that what you eat most certainly effects how you feel/ your mood, as well as your skin, nails and hair. As someone who not only suffered from an eating disorder, but also suffers from high anxiety, it is extremely important that I focus on the foods I’m putting into my body (but not in an obsessive way, of course).
I notice that when I work out 5 or 6 days a week and eat fruits, veggies and fish, I feel amazing! I have so much more energy and drink a lot more water as opposed to eating fried foods multiple times a week with wine or beer and not working out. It’s all about listening to my body, after all, it is my temple.
This is just a random rant filled/ diary type post and also a way to hold myself accountable. Thanks for listening.
What does balance mean to you? Leave a comment below! I’d love to gain some inspiration from some of you guys