I can be a little extreme at times.
I’ve talked about this before here, here and even here. I’m a go big or go home type of girl. When I sign up for something I tend to hit it hard until I’m done. My drive is actually one of my greatest strengths. It can also be a tremendous weakness if taken too far. The same is true of virtually anything, and I want to talk about this today. Out Loud. Thanks for hosting, Amanda.
I love to accomplish all the things. Heck I can be a little crazy about it at times, but I also recognize rest and rejuvenation make it possible for those things to happen. Taking some me time helps me recharge, not to mention it’s good for my mental health, and we all know I need to keep what sanity I have left, assuming there’s any remaining. The jury is still out on that one.
So I make it a point to relax for a handful of hours every single week. The majority of my down time takes place on the weekends, but I try to squeeze in an hour or so every night during the work week. Some days this is practical and other days, I need to shift my expectations. Either way, I schedule Meghan time on a regular basis because I’m trying to achieve balance.
The same goes for my time at the gym. When I’m there getting my sweat on, you better believe it’s balls to the wall (in my mind, my cojones are huge). I will push myself beyond what I think I’m capable of, and much to my surprise, I usually come out on top. I didn’t think I could do a Tough Mudder. I didn’t think I could run on a treadmill for five minutes straight at a 7.5, clip, but I did. I pushed myself, I went for it, and I made it possible.
That being said, I take lots of rest days. When you’re in maintenance mode, you get to do that. I usually workout about three times a week, four if I’m feeling lucky. My workouts don’t last more than an hour and that’s on a good day. On my off days, I rest, and by rest I mean I don’t do any kind of workout; not a light yoga class, or a quick and easy jog because I’m trying to achieve balance, and let’s be honest, yoga can be a kick ass workout.
When it comes to food though, I don’t go to extremes, unless you count crazy obsessions over a particular fruit or vegetable, but I blame my CSA for that. If you get a bazillion tomatoes every summer, you’re going to make a lot of tomato dishes. That’s statistics right there. I’m pretty straight forward in my desire to eat real food. Specifically, I like to consume as many good quality, nutrient dense, ingredients in the right quantities. I eat the less than healthy stuff in much smaller quantities, and I try to keep it all as chemical and crap free as possible. It’s all about balance.
I wish this concept was reflected in the media. Sadly it’s not, especially of late.
The widely popular television show, The Biggest Loser, just finished another season and Rachel, the winner of the whole show, took things too far. She went from being morbidly obese to stick figure thin, neither of which exemplifies a healthy lifestyle. The public outrage over her extreme weight loss was swift and loud with cries of her having an eating disorder circling the internet and talk show circuits. I don’t know if that’s really the case or if she simply took the challenge too far in order to win the big $250,000 prize. Maybe she has a problem, maybe she doesn’t. Either way it’s not for me to decide.
What I do know was Rachel needed to lose weight.
I’m not saying that to be derogatory or inflammatory. Her being overweight doesn’t make her any less of a person, although there was a reason she went on the show to begin with; she wasn’t healthy.
I need to throw in a side note: I’m an advocate of being healthy, and only blood work can truly tell you that, not the number on a scale. That being said, generally carrying too many extra pounds can lead to negative health consequences. The same can be said for carrying too few pounds. Both can be incredible taxing and damaging to your body, short-term and long-term. At the end of the day though, it’s your life and you get to decide how you live it.
Rachel needed to lose weight when she started, and she needs to gain weight now that it’s done. Unfortunately, she traded in one unhealthy extreme for another, and while neither is ideal, at least she’s out there and trying. I can’t fault her or The Biggest Loser for that. Can you say the same about yourself?
Hopefully Rachel is still a work in progress and will one day obtain a healthy balance, but I say instead of attacking her or the show, whose true goal is to promulgate health and wellness, we need to start trying to find a good balance between obesity and thinspiration because neither one is a good fit for our physical or mental health.
While balance is great in concept, it can be much harder to put into play. So how do we do do it?
We do this by working towards balance in our own lives.
We do this by realizing it’s an ongoing process with hiccups along the way.
We do this by being open to change.
We do this through self-love.
We do this through self-reflection.
We do this by being an example.
We do this by supporting one another.
We do this by encouraging those working towards a healthier lifestyle.
We do this by not judging those who aren’t.
How do you achieve balance in your own life? What things do you do to excess and how do you try to balance them out?