That word gets thrown around so much in the fitness community. Does “balance” mean sweets every day? Does it count as “balance” if you are still counting it in your macros? Are you “balanced” if you never say no to treats or are you “balanced” when you still deny yourself occasionally? How much is too much? How much is right?
I’m sorry to say I do not have the answers to these questions. However, I have learned a lot about what balance means to ME, so I thought I would share with you.
Let me start by telling you my weakness. It’s overeating. I can tell you the exact pattern because it happens to me ALL. THE. TIME.
I’ll start a tempting weekend (vacation, parties, etc.) with the best of intentions. I’ll plan my macros and either plan in a treat (like cake at a bday party) or eat beforehand to avoid all temptation. Then something unexpected will sneak up, I’ll have a little bit and try to be “balanced” only to then just say “eff it” and go crazy. Then I’ll go crazy all day. I’ll keep eating and eating (not a binge necessarily, but indulge in things I normally wouldn’t in quantities that are too high) until my stomach hurts and I feel really bad for “messing up.”
Anyone else do this?
Yeah so a few weeks ago I decided to really think about WHY I struggle with this. I think the reason is that even though I can fit anything into my macros, technically I cannot fit as much as I want into my macros. I mean, I cannot fit 3 cookies and an ice cream sundae and still have room for the rest of the day’s eats. I just can’t! And the reason I can’t is because I should never eat that much. Truly. There is no reason any of us should ever eat 2,000 calories of dessert in one day, yet of course we want to because it tastes so delicious!
I had a tempting weekend last weekend that led right up into my birthday. Classic “Claire overeating” recipe. But you know what? I BROKE THE HABIT! How? I started by writing down what I knew would tempt me. I wrote something like this:
- Saturday – game watching party
- Sunday – family party
- Sunday – friend’s birthday party
Then, I wrote down how I would feel after if I overate and it went like this:
- Stomach ache
- Lacking confidence
Even though I love the treats, truly I do not like how they make me feel after I eat too many. So there really wasn’t a magic trick, I just refused to listen to that trigger in my head. I went to all my normal events and stuck to a normal portion on the treats. Yes, they taste good and I want to keep eating them but I stopped when I was full and you know what? After the first one it wasn’t that hard! I am so proud of how I handled the weekend and my birthday! Of course I indulged in things I wouldn’t normally have within my macros (cake, Cheetos, and a cookie in one day!), but I didn’t go overboard and I got right back on track after.
In fact, I even logged everything I ate in My Fitness Pal just so I could see that the damage really wasn’t that bad.
Remember, one day won’t crush your progress. Heck, one week or one month won’t, but those bad habits will ruin your progress if you let them take over. If you find yourself struggling like me, try getting to the root of it and figuring out how you can do better next time. The lists really helped me this past weekend!
I know I will never be perfect and of course will overeat at some point in the future, but what’s important is making those instances less and less frequent. We will never hit perfection, but we can always strive for progress!