Published October 23, 2012

Weight Loss Is About The Letter B: Balance

by Helen M. Ryan
out of order written in the head

When you are sneaking furtive glances at that cookie, what do you end up doing? Not eating it? Eating it and feeling guilty? Or eating it, and moving on with your life, knowing you already exercised and ate 'cleanly' earlier in the day?

Weight loss is indeed about balance: calories in versus calories out. Eating too much or too little. Exercising a lot or not enough. Finding the perfect balance is hard - each person is different - but getting there takes just takes a little fine-tuning and practice. I still struggle at times. Sometimes I eat too much sugar or don't sleep enough. (Those two seem to go hand in hand, but which came first? The chicken or the egg? The lack of sleep and the sugar eating, or the sugar eating and lack of sleep?)

Living balanced for weight loss and weight maintenance is when you eat and exercise for good health most of the time, and indulge every now and then when things come up—without guilt. I have fit friends who exercise regularly and eat (or have a drink) when they go out. I have fit friends who exercise like maniacs and won't touch anything remotely "fattening." Guess what? They have the same fit bodies. The one who sacrifices to the extreme doesn't look any better than the one who sacrifices moderately (of course, if you are in a fitness competition or an athlete, different rules do to apply when you are 'in training.' But for the rest of us peeps...we don't have to be so strict.)

Eat healthy most of the the time (I got that one). Exercise a lot, but not crazily (I got that one, unless one of our instructors needs a sub). Sleep more, laugh more, play more (I'm still working on those). Rules are meant to be broken, so break a few, but break those that mean something to you (don't eat a donut if you don't really want it just because it's there—save your calories for the small slice of cheesecake you really love instead. Mmmm).

Remember: put your health first and prioritize everything else behind it. Without our health, we have nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip.