Balance Over Perfection
You are at the end of our slim down challenge!! What now? You have created the goal of
eating clean for 6 weeks, you accomplished the goal, and now you do not have a specific goal. Transitioning out of a diet or maintenance phase is one of the hardest struggles in the nutrition world that is not talked about enough. This transition should be a time of balance. This is usually the place where you discover that you are one of the following people:
Person 1 - You’ve struggled to stick with a “diet” telling yourself I have gotten way off track. You punish yourself by jumping full force into the “diet” only to find a few days later you are off track again. If only I didn’t love *insert your guilty food here*. The cycle continues. Each time you head back into the cycle, you condition the brain to think that is how we lose weight. You constantly live in your world of guilt.
Person 2 – You don’t need to lose weight, but you believe you are not eating healthy enough. Performance has gone down in the gym, and energy levels are low. You love vegetables and meal planning, but occasionally opt for the most convenient thing. Even with eating well, you believe you look “good enough” and nothing really needs to change; however, every time you eat something, you cannot chase away the guilty feeling. I am not eating healthy enough. You are constantly stressed about this dilemma.
The one common denominator with the two people above, is the absence of balance. If
you find yourself in the description, perhaps you have struggled with balance as well. Try
viewing life on a spectrum where living on either end is not ideal for longevity. On one end, if you are constantly stressed about eating right, it will hinder your ability to properly absorb nutrients no matter how well you are eating. On the other end, if you are eating sugar all day, you are bound to end up with some weight gain or health condition. Whereas right in the middle is where you can enjoy life and food.
Mental health plays a role in our whole health. Its effects are long lasting and can either
reinforce or hinder progress. We often push energy towards attacking the feelings circulating in brain i.e. I love ice cream, but I hate the way I feel. Feelings are healthy, normal even. Feelings are inevitable and at times are unreliable due to the fleeting nature of them; however, they can come from a place of validity. It is not the feelings that are always the problem rather it is the dwelling on them that is self-destructive. Instead of wasting energy on the dwelling, let’s take that energy to finding a balance.
Balance practice to consider:
1. Start with scaling first (I will have half a bowl of ice cream instead of a full bowl)
2. Move to frequency of your habit (I will have half a bowl 2 days instead of 5)
3. Then enjoy in moderation (I still get to enjoy my favorite ice cream flavor once a week)
Balance does not always mean removing something completely. If a certain food makes you happy, there is a time and place for it. Practicing balance means the commitment to be consistent must be there, but also the ability to be comfortable in your choice that is not radiating perfection. The amazing benefit of balance is there are no mistakes, only lessons. It takes time and practice to build this skill, so be patience with yourself.
- Mickey Crist
RevEssentials Nutrition Consultant