I’ve stopped and started writing various different recipes and blog posts all evening. It’s not that I’m struggling for things to write about, in fact I would say it’s the complete opposite; I just can’t seem to decide where to begin and what post to write first! #Balance is something that I’ve been seeing a lot on various social media platforms lately and I know lots of bloggers and health professionals are huge advocates of leading a balanced lifestyle. But what does this actually mean? How can I achieve balance?
Sadly, I don’t have all of the answers to these questions and can’t offer you the magic formula that will enable you to achieve a balanced, healthy lifestyle.. because quite simply, balance will probably be different for all of us and is something that we discover for ourselves. What I can tell you however, is my own personal outlook on what I think a balanced lifestyle is and how I am working towards achieving this in my own life.
For quite a while now, clean eating has taken the world of social media by storm and being healthy has actually become pretty fashionable. Whether that be fancy new gym kits, brunching at the top London hot spots or preparing pretty, instagramable breakfasts, these are things that lots of us can’t seem to get enough of (me included). The fact that being healthy and looking after our bodies has become so popular is wonderful. It’s great that so many people are consciously making changes to improve their health and social media has become a great way to document this and also connect with other people who share similar hobbies and interests. However, like with lots of things, it is possible for things to be taken a little too far and simple ‘clean eating’ can turn a little obsessive. This is something that I’ve had to learn the hard way through personal experience and it is something that still effects me today. At first, the changes I experienced after adjusting my lifestyle were only positive ones and I’d never looked and felt better! However, after a short while, a large portion of my life revolved around food; what I was going to eat, when I would eat it, calories, macros, how I could eat less.. these thoughts were literally whirring around my mind from morning to night. I became extremely obsessed with having a diet that was 100% clean, which I did, but just because I was ‘eating clean’, I wouldn’t say that I was healthy. Yes I was slim, I was active, I was fit.. but I also felt tired, had low energy levels, became underweight and eventually lost my periods.
Living the way that I was, was actually pretty stressful and damaging to my health, both physically and mentally. So, this is where the ‘balance’ aspect comes in. I can now see that, although eating natural wholefoods is very important for good health, having a clean eating obsession and being afraid of certain foods is not and I did not have a healthy balance in my life. I am now trying to nourish my body as best I can, without allowing it to consume or have negative effects on other aspects of my life. To put it simply, I want to be able to go out to eat with friends, have a treat on a Friday night, not have to calculate every single macronutrient and calorie in each meal, exercise because I want to and truly enjoy my life. I’m not entirely there yet and still have a long way to go; I am still cautious of what I eat and do feel guilty if I skip a work out, but I have made and continue to make progress with this and that’s what’s important.
These are some of my personal experiences and everyone will be different; but it’s important to listen to your own body and find what works best for you. Think about what it is that you want to achieve and strive for something that is both healthy and maintainable for YOU.