They say everything’s good in moderation, right? Even moderation. It seems like a smart rule to live by, perhaps the real key to keeping things balanced. Too much of a good thing can sometimes result in a bad thing. Too much of a bad thing…well, duh, it will just get worse.
Anna, Katie and myself have been talking about balance all month. What does it really mean? Where do you draw the line between ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy?’ The truth is it’s different for everyone. There is no easy answer. What’s healthy for one person can be toxic for another. We’ve come to one very clear conclusion though; one suggestion that applies to everyone:
Get to know yourself better: know your body, know your limits, honor what works for you, and long term changes are achievable.
I work with a lot of clients who have food sensitivities. Many times a week I discuss cutting certain foods out, either temporarily or indefinitely. It’s not always a fun conversation, telling people to kiss goodbye their morning routine or favorite treat. Hey, I get it. When I was really diving into the world of nutrition, really trying to figure things out, I knew I had to eliminate some things but was having a hard time giving them up. I remember seeing my esthetician and talking about food. Here’s how this conversation went:
Esthetician : “Megan, we’ve really got to give dairy a break. It’s just not working for YOU.”
Megan: “No , I know. And really I’m not having it, barely at all.”
Esthetician: “What’s barely?”
Megan: “Hmmm…I’ll have cream in my coffee, but that’s it. Oh and maybe ice cream, on Sundays.”
Esthetician: “So when I say ‘rarely,’ for me, that means on my birthday. Or Christmas.
Oh. Ohhhhh. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew I was reacting to dairy but I wasn’t honoring that. I wanted to feel better but I wasn’t taking the real steps I needed to. And this is just an example – for some people it’s food sensitivities, for others it shutting down from work earlier, increasing sleep, getting more (or less!) exercise…etc. Do these changes happen over night? Nope, not for everyone. Some people can go cold turkey while others need time. It’s taken me a long time to be where I am now. Everyone is different. The point is once you truly know your body – once you have given yourself an opportunity to experience what feels good and what doesn’t, testing the limits won’t be so common place anymore, because it becomes ‘not worth it.’
So how to tune into what’s going on with you? We like to say “clear out the clutter and turn down the noise.” Eliminate the stuff you know isn’t serving you: sugar, refined carbohydrates (think bagels, bread, pastries, cookies…etc.), artificial sweeteners and preservatives, packaged food, stress, late nights, etc. and add in the good stuff – eat veggies with abandon, fresh fruit, clean and healthy proteins and of course some healthy fats. Be outside more. Laugh often. When you get rid of the bad stuff and add in the good stuff your body will become more of a ‘clean slate,’ one that you can work with to fine tune what works for YOU.