I I had to give myself a headline, I’m pretty sure it would read something like this: “Libra Seeking Balance.”
Of all the things I strive for, balance has been the trickiest.
I do really well at over-achieving, and I admittedly suck at failure … I don’t know how to “half-ass” something. I tend to over-analyze things to death, so I’m very reflective … but balance has remained elusive, a Holy Grail for me, if you will.
I’ve had moments of clarity over the past year and a half, but try as I might, in spite of being a Libra (for which balance should be more natural), I struggle relentlessly with finding it and, more importantly, maintaining it.
As a naturally anxious person, this makes perfect sense. But I’m learning to work through my anxiety, and being away is always a good opportunity to put the pedal to the metal.
And so, this weekend, I let go. I lived the life of a recovered disordered eater. (You heard me; go ahead and nix the “ing” suffix, ok?!)
I was flexible, I went with the flow when it came to restaurant options and meals my mom cooked. I ate sensible portions, but didn’t obsess. I didn’t talk about food. I didn’t talk about exercise.
I was at a wedding with the most amazing food that I wanted to enjoy. I was with my high school gang, the people who knew me since we were kids and don’t judge me.
I drank wine, I savored a bagel, I had lots of sweets. I got in three awesome runs (not five, like I technically might have “HAD TO DO” in the past).
And then I came back, and had a “normal” healthy day. I journaled, I ate balanced meals, and I worked out.
Because life is ultimately about finding that “gray,” that balance, that middle of the road … you can throw yourself whole-heartedly into perfecting something … but then your life passes you by. And then what?
I know this from experience, and I never want to go back there.
There 10 or so pounds on me that I get so frustrated about, they’re better on me than my thoughts being ravaged by food and exercise and Points and calories.
It made for a far more enjoyable experience for everyone. My family noticed it, my friends noticed it. And I felt good about myself, even with the added weight. I felt “normal.”
In a way, it’s like a weight was, indeed, lifted. And it feels amazing.
How about you? What’s your #1 “feel balanced” method? Have you had a cathartic moment recently?
9 thoughts on “Libra Seeking Balance”
This was a great post for me to read, as balance is a tricky subject for me as well. I’m very black and white (so typical, I know) and gray areas confound me. In the past several months, I’ve been balanced rather accidentally. I don’t really notice the balance until the day ends and I reflect. Then, I go into this mode of trying to remember exactly what I did so I can recreate it next time, which is decidedly UNbalanced 😉 I think balance is about going with the flow, not having so many “shoulds” and listening to what I FEEL like doing. For me, that’s meant not exercising if I don’t want to, eating something “not perfectly healthy” if I want to. There doesn’t have to be rhyme or reason about it. What’s hard for me to grasp is that there really is nothing to grasp. You just gotta BE and trust in the moments. There doesn’t have to be a “way” to do it. That, for me, is balance.
I’m so glad you lived your life as a recovered disordered eater. You lived to its fullest and practiced balanced everything! That must have been an amazing feeling. I hope I feel that way soon too.
I’m so glad to hear you feeling so great! I get pangs of this feeling as well and it’s fantastic. I have been going back and forth but sometimes I am able to remind myself that I am happier with these extra pounds. Life is less complicated with them .. I just need to embrace it and keep buying bigger sized clothing so I don’t have to feel badly about it.
So glad you had a nice weekend.
Melissa, it’s so exciting that you were able to do this. It sounds like, in some sense, you were really able to “fake it until you made it”: you went into the weekend knowing that you were going to be a recoverED disordered eater, and sure enough, you were!
What an inspiration. Congratulations! Stay happy!
Thanks, Nell!! I think so 🙂
“The 10 or so pounds on me that I get so frustrated about, they’re better on me than my thoughts being ravaged by food and exercise and Points and calories.”
This is exactly how I feel! I think it makes me easier to be around, in general–happier, actually!
I’m going on vacation next week and normally I would spend the month prior working out hard every day and dieting hard so that I would be “happy” with myself on vacation. This time I decided that I’m just fine how I am (or trying to tell myself that, anyway—it’s a long process!) and will NOT go crazy before I go, nor go crazy while on vacation (I would deprive before I went and eat crazy while there). Life is too short to worry about 10 lbs.
On another note, I’m on a message board on FB with some WW friends (all about at maintenance now) and I am having a harder and harder time with being sympathetic to my friends trying to lose the extra elusive 5-10 lbs. and all the unhappiness that goes along with it (ie taking “safe” foods to events, etc.) I just want to say something because it’s so clear to me now but can’t seem to find the right words to express my concern. I feel like I want to spread the word about being happy where you are now (and again, all of these ladies are at goal weight) but perhaps it’s something you have to figure out for yourself??
Thanks again for the great post!
Thanks everyone! Melissa, it’s not easy, that’s for sure … I think in a way it IS something one needs to discover on their own. People told me I was obsessive, being ridiculous … but til *I* realized it … it didn’t matter.
I am working on finding my balance as well. In progress of recover-ing and this gives me hope that I can be fully recover-ed. Thank you for this post!
My pleasure, Sarah!