Something that you hear us talk about a lot is a 'Balanced Lifestyle'. But what is Balance? and where do you get it?
For a long time there it was an expectation, portrayed all around us. Written in the magazines, on the TV, on social media and drummed into us, that to be healthy you had to eat only certain foods and exercise all day, everyday. Or so it seemed.
But thankfully, the views are changing and most people are becoming more educated about health, fitness and their own body.
As Personal Trainers, sometimes those expecations can be heightened, or at least it feels that way. It took me a long time to personally live a balanced lifestyle. I felt like I needed to be a Personal Trainer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. I would walk into a supermarket and avoid walking down the confectionary isle, even if it was just to get peanut butter - incase someone saw me down there! Not that anyone there actually knew who I was or what I did.. Crazy! If there was a social event and everyone was having pizza for dinner - not me, because I'm a Personal Trainer and Personal Trainers don't eat pizza... (apparently)
Even after having children, it felt like there was this expectation to bounce back straight away. To be fit and strong straight after giving birth.
This of course is not what people expect at all. Especially women who have been through child birth. They know! Your post natal journey is exactly that - a journey!
But this is an example of the expectations we place upon ourselves and the effect the media can have on us.
To live a healthy balanced lifestyle - should be a balance! A balance of eating well most of the time and treating yourself a little of the time. A balance of exercising parts of the day/or week (depending on your goals) and resting when your body needs it. Its a balance of being focused and disciplined enough to achieve your goals but taking a step back from time to time to appreciate just how far you've come.
Although I knew exactly what I should be doing, or not be doing, living a balanced lifestyle took practice. Just like you need to coach your body towards different goals, you also need to coach your mind. Appreciate your body, PHYSICALLY, for what it allows us to do and reward it by fueling it with good food &rest when it needs it. And MENTALLY, give yourself a high 5 when you do hit milestones or achieve a goal. Big or small. But if you don't - acknowledge what has happened, make a note for what to do differently next time and move on. We are after all human and we can't be perfect all the time.
Its easy to get caught in the hustle and bustle of life. Work, gym, study - make sure when you are planning out your weeks you include time to just 'be'. Whether it is scheduling a day to catch up with friends ( which as a mum can seem few and far between thanks to our busy schedules and many km's between us) or blocking out a whole day - thats right, plan to do nothing, and see what the day will bring!
Allowing time or a day out from normal routine can give you clarity, allow you to refocus and get back into things the next day fully rested and ready to hit the ground running.
Having goals doesn't mean it has to be all one way. A balanced lifestyle is not only good for the body but good for the mind.
Taking your foot off the pedal for one day will not undo all your hardwork. Its all about that moderation. And everything in moderation makes for a happier, healthier life.
Now, go and make that Cake.. and you can even eat too! ;)
Feeling a bit defeated? Gain some inspiration and strategies to finding more balance at our Empowering Mums Workshop - July 22nd at the Move Your Body Studio!