I had the best of intentions for today’s post – it was to be a follow-on to my “wondering” post from last week, specifically around why marriages are work.

But I’m currently battling myself and thought the best way to get it out of my system was to blog it out. My favorite, as you know. πŸ™‚ So my post on marriage will have to wait, I hope you don’t mind.

So – this battle. Against myself.

It’s actually a take-off of a conversation my sister and I were having this morning. Very much around body image and balance.

My issue of late? Striking the right balance.

I *think* I generally have good balance going on but then “Overthinking Ollie” comes into play and I start to doubt myself, and thus, the battle ensues.

Today’s issue? Am I not being strict enough?

I hate, hate, hate the word “strict” because it has such a negative connotation and to me…it signifies everything I try NOT to be. I used to count every single calorie. I used to track every single morsel that hit my lips. I became obsessed with food and not making wholesome choices, but choices that would allow me to stay within my points for the day, even if that meant eating jello versus the banana I wanted instead.

Today, I try to eat balanced meals that are a good mix of protein, fiber, and dariy. Lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains and smart protein choices. I workout 6 out of 7 days a week…and it’s hard for me not to want to work out on that seventh day. On the weekends, I usually “give in” a little bit more to cravings and tend to be more strict during the week. This also pertains to my love of wine that I try, try, try to avoid during the week and save for a weekend treat. Sometimes it happens that way, other times not so much.

And up until now, that’s been OK. But now that I’m thinking about it, I’m wondering (as was my sister earlier today) – have I let go of balance in favor of “treating” myself or is this just me being paranoid?

I guess what I’m trying to say is this – am I tricking myself into thinking I have good balance when really, I”m “letting myself go” for lack of a better phrase and that’s why I’ve had body image issues, self-doubt and all of those bad “fat talk” thoughts swirling in my head lately?

Or is this my version of the right balanceΒ  and I just need to fully accept that I am who I am…a workout loving, wine-drinking, food-loving, anti-calorie counting fool?

I just don’t know.

And the battle continues.




29 thoughts on “Battling…me.

  1. Clearly I could have written this myself. I battle the same. Do I have the right balance or am I kidding myself. Hmmph. PMS ain’t helping!! In all seriousness, I think we do, but it’s days like today where I wonder if I really do or not. Wow, that doesn’t even make sense, does it? *crawling back to my overthinking-trying-not-to-have-a-fat-day corner now*

    • YES. That’s exactly what I was trying to get across. Am I just kidding myself here or is my version of balance the right one for me?? Bah! I just don’t know anymore. I think I’m thinking about it too much now. Shocker.

  2. Back in my day of watching every morsel of food and struggling with the battle between my sweet tooth my idea of the perfect body image, I still lived by the 80/20 rule. It is a rule I picked up from Mens Health. Exorcise and watch your diet 80% of the time and indulge 20% of the time. This allows you those things you love while still doing the right thing most of the time.

    These days I would be happy with 80%. I am married to a person who is not so health conscious and that makes controlling your diet even harder. I am a beer snob, meaning I only drink full flavored hand crafted brews, preferably from smaller breweries. That means no light beer for me. Therefore like you I limit my consumption to the weekend and only a six pack for the whole weekend.

    In 26 years of on again off again diet and exercise I have learned that if you really are concerned about body image and overall good health, you may stray, but you always come back to the path that leads to a better healthier life.

    Just don’t beat yourself up to much when you do stray.


  3. I just want to give you a hug for starters. This is such a tricky thing isn’t it? You want to stay on track, but you don’t want to become obsessed either. Such a fine line with balance.

    First off, kudos for trying to refrain from the vino during the week. There are just some days that demand a glass in my world. I think when I say something is a off limits, then I tend to want it more.

    As for being strict with eating, I think you need to maybe come at it from another angle. Redefine it not as a bad thing, not as jello over bananas, but as eating clean, eating healthier choices. I’d say banana over jello any day. And I don’t know that I’m making a lot of sense, not really conveying what I want to say very well. I know that many people think of my diet as strict, but I don’t see it that way at all. It’s just how I eat. Period. There are things that I refrain from, and in that sense, I am being strict on myself, but only because I know how I’ll feel if I give in. Usually like crap.

    I think you can still have your wine, your pieces of chocolate, and be happy with your weight with just some minor tweaks. You obviously workout plenty. So just take a look at some of the foods, but don’t start thinking about numbers (other than maybe 1 piece of chocolate vs 3). I’ve found the more balanced my eating is, the less I crave any junk. Hell, my idea of a sweet treat is a freaking caramel rice cake!

    • Bingo. You read me so well, Heather!! I honestly do think I eat pretty wholesomely overall and I LIKE to eat that way. I don’t feel restricted in that regard. It’s when I start to put things on an “off-limits” list that I start to get down about the whole thing and feel like I’m living too restrictive of a lifestyle. So I agree – I will not start an “off-limits” list. Instead, I’m just going to focus on paying more attention to my eats – not in a way that I’m going to over-scrutinize things, just pay closer attention just in CASE there are areas for me to improve upon. Again, I feel like it’s suuuuuch a slippery slope. I don’t want to swing too far to the left or to the right and I know I have the tendency to do just that.

  4. I totally know what you mean, I struggle with this a lot. I often think I am just telling myself that I am treating my body well, but worry that I let this go to far- into an extra chocolate or ending my workout 10 minutes early.

    • At the end of the day, ten mins shorter of a workout won’t kill you or change you in any way, I do know that. But you’re right…like I said to Heather below, it’s a slippery slope, scarily so, and I just need to make sure I’m being smart, balanced and am still having some fun along the way too. Life is too short, right??

  5. I can totally identify with the points you’ve brought up. I too want to workout on the 7th day as well and have to stop myself. But maybe we can think of this as our love of fitness and exercise and it’s something we love to do. It’s not like we’re torturing ourselves when we workout (though some of the Cathe workouts feel like torture when I’m doing them!).

    I think you do have the right balance and you eat well and have treats incorporated into your eating plan as well so that’s all good.

    • Ah, Susan, you just made me feel so much better and less crazy! Like ok – sometimes we go overboard now and then but for the most part, if we’re eating wholesome and healthy foods MOST of the time and working out like crazy women, then we’re doing a fine job. Sometimes I get in my own way and it clouds my ability to see clearly that I am a healthy and fit person most of the time. We can’t be perfect, right?? Duh. Thank you for this!

  6. I can so relate to this. I have been way more lax in my typical habits during pregnancy. I know that when I’m working to get back in shape after the baby those habits will have to change. I will have to be more “strict”. although I don’t like that word either – because it will be a choice I happily make to do what I want at that time. I think you have to do whatever leaves you feeling best, physically and mentally.

    • I totally agree – the word strict sends SUCH a negative feeling through my body. I just hate how it makes me feel. I think that’s why I fear swinging too far to the left or the right. I’d hate to HAVE to be super-strict or feel that I need to be super-strict. It’s definitely a mindset thing, though, you’re right. If I’m feeling my best with my version of balance in place (not someone else’s definition, but mine), I’m doing pretty darn good and need to be happy with that.

  7. It’s hard for me to comment here, because I think you are the definition of balanced. I think that restricting too much really gives food more power than it deserves…and that you obviously work out enough to indulge from time to time. But we can all tell you that ’til we’re blue in the face and it won’t matter until you feel comfortable with your own choices. And I think you are for the most part, so I’m just sending you a little “keep doing what you’re doing!”

    • Ahh friend. You are truly the best. What a compliment – you think I’m the definition of balanced, huh? I guess I better start looking at things with a different perspective then, I think. Because you’re right, food shouldn’t have such power, it really shouldn’t. And I always, always, always go back to the whole “life is short” mantra which I am a FIRM believer of. So…long story short, I need to trust my gut, trust my choices and be happy with who I am and the decisions I make. Amen sista. πŸ˜‰

  8. Wow! I love your post. Today I was thinking about everything I mean everything you said at work. I constantly count my calories. I know everything that goes into my mouth. I am trying to tell myself to stop but I fear that I will just lose complete control. I don’t know why I am so scared. Well I do.. I don’t want to gain the weight that I worked so hard to take off. I feel like I am at the stage now where I know how to lose the weight but how do I maintain it? Ahh….Do you/have you ever felt this way?

    • Wow, thank you for such a thought-provoking comment, I’m so glad you stopped by! I know how you feel, I really do. Like I said in my post today, I used to keep a detailed food diary. I used to count weight watchers points. It felt safe. It gave me a sense of control. It gave me the confidence I needed to understand what it took to lose a few unwanted pounds but then how to maintain that weight while still being able to give in now and then too. It wasn’t easy to give up that food diary though, and the counting. It was scary at first. I was so afraid I’d suddenly go hog wild or something. But after a week of no counting (not gonna lie, I used to count in my head before I drifted off to bed just to make sure I was still on track, food diary or not), it got a little easier. The second week, I started to have faith that I knew my body, I knew how to control my portions and dammit, I did NOT need some darn food diary to prove that. By the third week and onward, I felt confident and able to just do it myself and it just happened. I still know roughly how much I”m eating in a given day but I’m not obsessive about it, and guess what? I haven’t suddenly ballooned up as a result. The first step truly is having confidence in yourself. That you CAN do this. Hell – you’ve already done it by losing the weight, now have faith that you can keep it off. Faith is half the battle. Hang in there!

  9. I can definitely relate to your battle. When I was losing weight, I really paid attention to food and calories. Now I am maintaining, but I am also more lenient when it comes to treats. Sometimes balance is the lunchtime salad and sometimes it’s the unnecessary handful of M&Ms. I also feel like the pendulum is always swinging. What is balanced for your life today, might be different next week.

    • GREAT point – balance does change day to day and week to week. It’s more about getting comfortable with your choices and again, accepting and embracing your version of balance as what works best for you and your lifestyle. That’s the hardest part I think – that it’s so different for everyone.

  10. I battle the same demons. Every time I take a day (or two) off from working out or when I eat a meal that doesn’t have a single vegetable in it, I wonder if I’m living a healthy lifestyle. I used to restrict myself so much. I used to do count every single calorie and I worked out seven days a week for about an hour (or even two). Now that I am trying to live a healthy life, I have to remind myself that it is a slippery slope to my old lifestyle. Listen to your body. Rest when your body is telling to and if you have a craving for a cheeseburger or pizza, go for it. You are doing great!

    • Thank you for stopping by! I loved your comment – my favorite piece of advice from you (and one I try to live by, too) is listening to your body. Giving into that pizza craving is ok sometimes. Working out when your body craves it is a good thing too!

  11. I am new to blogging and I have to say each and every one of ya’ll have made my night. Not only am I worried about what I say online for everyone to read (judge me), it is so hard for me to talk about. Some days I really want to start blogging but then I worry about friends or family members reading it. I am amazed at the courage so many people have to share their struggles. It has put my mind at ease tremendously tonight. Thank you everyone for your kind posts and I am so happy I found your blog!! I listed it as one of my favorites πŸ™‚

    • Oh your comment made my day, Rebecca!! I just LOVE to help and inspire others, even though half the time I think my blog posts are just a bunch of rambles. So it makes me SO HAPPY to hear that it spoke to you on some level or another. Blogging can truly be so cathartic, and can totally open you up to new possibilities and insights and realizations. I think if and when you’re ever ready to take the plunge, you’ll be so awed by this whole world that is now at your fingertips, a world that in the past year since I started blogging, I don’t know what I’d do without it. Seriously.

  12. girl I have a glass of wine every night. Its balance its my life. haha. But as I totally can see your perspective, I think balance is different for everyone. You are super fit and healthy already. But what make you happy? Is is that little bite of chocolate at night with wine? If so, go for it. Take an extra walk later, park the car farther away, etc. Then again, this is what would work for me, not necessarily you, ya know? Bottom line, what makes you feel happy, healthy, and balanced with all the restriction? Cheers!

    hope I made sense. haha.

    • Seriously, you ladies are a smart bunch – you’ve all made me realize that my version of balance can and should be different from your version of balance and that that is a-ok. In fact, it’s totally normal. Obviously, I’ve let the overthinker in me loose a little too much these days πŸ˜‰

      I totally appreciate your insight, and yes, it did make sense, ha!

  13. honestly, it seems like you are slowly finding the right balance. I think when you’ve truly reached a point of balance you stop thinking about even what you are currently thinking about! Eating and exercising just become normal ways to feel good, keep healthy, and keep you satiated. The little extras: a brownie here, glass of wine there, are ways to ENJOY foods. I completely understand what you’re talking about bc I still struggle with this balance. Lately I’ve had ALOT of holidays parties with lots of dessert, alcohol, indulgence, you name it. I’ve been feeling guilty for indulging (not too much)but enough and this makes me feel like I am lacking balance. If I was truly balanced, I wouldn’t care. I would just eat normally.
    I think it’s just the time of year where EVERYWHERE gets scared of eating too many desserts and not spending enough hours on the treadmill. Just relax and enjoy life!! It’s not worth the stress πŸ™‚

    • Very good point, actually – it’s true that balance is totally a work in progress and to truly feel balanced takes time…and patience (not my strong suit). But your comment totally made me feel better in that I do have balance for the most part and that part of my issue has clearly been the holidays approaching. I would just hate to ruin all of my hard work on one too many treats at the holidays. So I think I’ve been oversensitive to that -when I also need to remember that balance DOES mean indulging in a treat during the holidays and savoring it versus feeling guilty about it too. Lots to think about…or not, as the case may be πŸ˜‰

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