The following is a guest post written by my friend Georgie of In It for the Long Run.
Hi! I’m Georgie. I’m the blogger behind In it 4 the Long Run, my little piece of the interwebz. I share my favorite vegetarian recipes, running adventures, social media tips and open up the dialog about self love and body image all with a sprinkle of sass. When I’m not blogging you can find me sipping on an almond milk iced latte, hunting for treasures in a thrift shop or plotting my next adventure.
Balance hasn’t always been my strong suit. I have a tendency of looking at things as black or white. Yes or no. All or nothing. When in reality 99% of life is pretty damn gray.
A little background on me: 6 years ago I struggled with an eating disorder that I relapsed into 3 years ago. Extremes were my coping mechanism. To recover and heal, I had to learn what balance looked and felt like and how to embrace that balance when times get tough.
My two biggest turning points in finding and embracing balance have been:
1.) Tuning into what healthy feels like, instead of what I think it looks like.
2.) Living with a “Long Run” mindset.
Number 1 is big. In my own experience, once I learned how healthy felt and stopped paying as much attention to what I thought it was supposed to look like, I was able to make the right decisions for myself. This mindset goes beyond what I put in my body and how I chose to move and exercise. It’s also the mindset I take when I’m making decisions about my career, my social life, my happiness. Tuning in to how you feel is surprisingly really hard. I think it’s because we’re surrounded by so much noise blasting contradictory messages at us. Preaching what we “should do” without paying any attention to our individuality both with physical and mental health.
Tuning into my own needs meant that I stopped reading magazines and websites that told me I had to eat 1400 calories a day or that I needed to do A, B, and C to be successful by 30 or telling me who and how to date. Sometimes when I see a bullshit headline like “10 Reasons Your Smoothie is Making You Gain Weight” (that was a real article) I just say out loud “YOU DON’T KNOW ME!” First of all, I crack myself up and second of all, they don’t. No one knows you like you do. You know better than anyone how to make yourself happy. You’re the you expert. When you remind yourself of that, you make better decisions about your own well being.
The second turning point was adjusting my mindset from short fixes to living in the long run. What I mean by this is that when I struggled in the past it was because I tried to change too much too soon which sent me spiraling into extremes. Having a short term mindset meant that every day I wasn’t “perfect” (whatever that meant at the time) was a bad day. Now I’m able to put days in the context of a bigger picture. Bad days make way for better days. Every mistake is part of a bigger lesson. It’s ok to indulge when you’re on the long run path. As long as you’re consistent, bumps are not mountains.
Now, before I leave you I don’t want you thinking I’m this super-zen, ultra-confident health guru. Far from it. However, a few years ago I would have had serious anxiety if I didn’t know how many calories were in a meal or turned down a fun invitation with friends if it meant skipping a workout. Now I’m able to better asses when to push harder and when to ease up knowing that I’m in it for the long run. (see what I did there? Ok, I’m kind of the worst, but I just couldn’t help myself)
What does balance mean to you?
How do you maintain a balance in your life?