Usually I’m an all-or-nothing type of person. Sometimes, I really take things to the extreme.
You want examples?
All of my time spent researching health/fitness shows that we should focus on eating complex carbs, that they have a lower glycemic index which is better for fat loss. Fine, I’ll do you one better– all of the carbs I eat will either be whole grains or fruits/vegetables.
Low sugar diets are all the hype. Alright, c-ya later added sugar.
Fruits and vegetables are important in our diets. Duh, that’s why I eat at least a serving at every meal. Beat that.
Whaaaa? Who exactly am I competing with and why?
We most often associate deprivation with dieting and cutting calories. But even though I am eating more now than I ever have, I have still been depriving myself of foods I truly want to eat because I could always “do better.”
At the grocery store today I reached for these…
…looked at the nutrition label and then automatically put them back on the shelf because they were made of “enriched wheat flour” and I read somewhere that “enriched” means the whole grain wasn’t used.
Then it hit me. In what world are these considered unhealthy? They are a lower-calorie alternative to regular bagels and have 5 grams of fiber but I wouldn’t buy them because they have enriched wheat flour in them?
I know what some of you are thinking, “This gal is crazy, bagel thins aren’t junk food. They are DIET food for goodness sakes!” I know– I’m right there with you. That’s exactly what I’m saying!
Somewhere in my quest to become more nonchalant about my eating habits, I have in fact become more strict with myself.
I have failed to keep focus on the big picture and have instead been fixated on the small details.
Basically, I have lost my sense of balance.
A year ago, I would have considered those bagel thins to be “healthy enough” and I would have bought them and enjoyed them day in and day out. Why now am I insisting on only eating the “healthiest” foods I possibly can at every meal?
I started thinking, “Have I subconsciously (consciously?) kept myself from doing other things that would make me happy in lieu of this apparent pursuit for ultimate health?”
A skipped night or two out with friends comes to mind.
So does a much needed day off from the gym gone ungranted.
I truly am a firm believer in balance being an important tool in achieving a fulfilling life. I’ve decided I need to stop being a hypocrite and start “practicing what I preach” so to say. So when dinner time rolled around tonight, I asked myself what I truly wanted.
Pita and hummus– that’s it. I didn’t force myself to include a lean protein or worry about getting that serving of veggies I just wasn’t feelin’. I ate delicious pita bread and hummus until I was full.
I need to remember that being too strict with my health isn’t any better for me than being too careless. It is actually counterproductive.
Yes, I realize and importance of eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables; remaining physically active and limiting unhealthy behaviors (staying up late, drinking, etc.) And my beliefs about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle still haven’t changed. But sometimes, a girl’s just gotta live.
At the end of the day, I want to be healthy and happy. Not just one or the other.
My humble advice to you?
Next time you find yourself obsessing over a less-than-stellar workout, an overly indulgent day of eats, or something in your life not going exactly how you wanted it to: take a step back, let it go and take a look at the big picture.
Here’s to living life to the fullest– being the healthiest and happiest we can be.
And you can bet I’m making a stop along the way for those bagels…
Have you ever found yourself becoming too concerned with details rather than the bigger picture?