Just Live

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…

image source

…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.

For those of you who already do: I read your blogs daily and you are my inspiration.  What’s up? I’m finally along for the ride.

And you can bet I’m making a stop along the way for those bagels…

Question:

Have you ever found yourself becoming too concerned with details rather than the bigger picture?

Amy

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11 responses

  1. LOVE this post! I say tomorrow you stop by the bagel store and get yourself a fa realz bagel!

    February 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    • I think I’ll take that advice!

      February 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm

  2. oh my gosh!! so FREAKY WE WROTE ABOUT THE SAME THING~~~~~~!!!!
    I am SO right here with ya girl.. and i can TOTALLY relate to the hummus and pita thing.. so many times I force myself to eat a meal that is more balanced when all i really want is a pb sandwich or something !

    February 18, 2011 at 6:57 am

  3. Catherine Culligan

    Stumbled upon your blog this morning and wanted to thank you for writing this post – so fitting for me!! This happens to me all the time!! This hit really close to home … thanks!!

    February 18, 2011 at 9:37 am

    • I’m glad it was something you could relate to! I feel like we all struggle with this in some situation or another.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:40 am

  4. I can definitely relate to this–I struggled with it more in the past, but now I’ve found a pretty great balance! 🙂

    February 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm

  5. I used to be really bad about it. I went on a low-carb diet a few years ago and became totally obsessed with my carb intake. I finally realized that’s not what “living healthy”is all about. I pay attention to what I put in my mouth still but I’m also not afraid to eat things that are “off limits” every once in a while. It’s all about balance 🙂 Great post

    February 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm

  6. Yep, I’ve definitely been there! I know that this is different…but once I was going for a run and realized that I was calculating my calories for the day and deciding that I should stop eating a 100-cal serving of cottage cheese every day. It hit me that I was stepping dangerously close to the slope that leads to disordered eating. I try to be as balanced as I can – which for me means no longer thinking in terms of calories.

    February 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    • I have been in that same exact position as well. Unfortunately, for me it took quite a while before I was able to separate myself from those types of obsessive thoughts. Like you said, it’s a slippery slope…

      February 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm

  7. Completely! I JUST had a post about this, I worry so much about if I’ve had too much of one food group, that I should eat raw nuts instead of nut butter and stupid stuff like that I always just remind myself to step back and breath and everything will balance naturally!

    February 18, 2011 at 8:06 pm

  8. Pingback: Scenery and Veg « Chic Fitness

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