Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Healthy Life: Finding the Balance

Last summer I was on a mission. A mission to hit 18% body fat. I just knew, when I hit that number, I'd finally be 100% happy with my body. During the struggle to hit this goal, a number that I literally snatched out of thin air, I began to have some real issues with food. Restrictive eating was not working for me. Some days I'd make myself commit two a days, killing myself with half assed work outs, because I was energy-less.  Lesson learned: It's better to give 100% for one hour than 50% for two and a half. 

I reached a point where I had to look inwardly and ask myself, 
Why do I feel the need to be smaller and leaner? 
What am I really not happy about on the inside? 

At 6'0 tall, wearing smalls and a steady 4-6 and the occasional 8, why did I really need or want to be smaller? Why couldn't I be happy with what I had already achieved? I had to do some soul searching. I don't want to spend my life critiquing my physique and always wanting to be smaller. To look better. To be blunt, I want my life to have more focus than to simply be aesthetically pleasing. I have more to offer the world than my pant size. Over the last six months, I've allowed myself to maintain. To be happy with the status quo. 

It's really incredible, for me personally given my yo-yo history, to have all of the same cloths fit year to year. To not stress about summer vacation, to not stress about I have to buy something new because XYZ doesn't fit anymore, and it also feels incredible not to be putting pressure on myself to become even smaller, my body goal since 2011. I needed a break. I needed a break from so much body focus. Enter the marathon, another reason why I love running. A goal to focus on outside of physical appearance. It felt like weight loss had become me. A definitive characteristic of my life. That was scary to me.

I'm Leigh Ann. I'm a goal oriented, type A, cafeteria neat freak who is focused at work, and determined to succeed. I'm competitive to a fault.  I dominate on Cadillac night. I can sniff out a bargain and hold on to some dollars. I love to entertain and party plan. I've got an arsenal of fun stories and things I've done that I would NEVER share on social media. I am supportive and loyal to those I love and who love me. If you share a secret with me, I can honestly take it to the grave. 

In my mid 20s, I once lost more than 60 pounds and 15 percent of my body fat. That's not WHO I am.

This all plays into my re-brand here. I need more balance.

I've stopped obsessing about food. I weigh myself meh once a month, and I stay within 3 pounds up or three pounds down of the same number. At social functions on the weekends, I allow myself to sample the appetizers, eat a small dessert, have drinks, but I always make sure my entree is the healthiest option I can muster. My husband and I have a deal, when out to eat, one does not mention the C words: Carbs and Calories. I really truly feel that I'm finding the balance that I need to live my best life

The less I stress about food, the less it controls me. When I stress about food, it controls me. I feel like I can not get enough, and it's not a fun way to feel. I admire people who can count their macros in a healthy way without it affecting their day to day life, I'm just not one of those people.

The one thing I never slack on his a work out. I genuinely love hard exercise. I love whipping my own ass at the gym. I love being strong. I love being fit. I love out running myself. I love being able to use my body in a practical way. I will never have six pack abs, because it's not important to me. What's important to me is that I feel good in my skin each and every day. I still critique myself. I still have the dreaded fat day. I still feel insecure at times, but I'm working towards total self acceptance. Living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. That's the way I want to live my life.

OOTD: All pieces from last summer. That feels purty darn grand

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  1. OMG I LOVE THIS POST!!! this is SO ME! At 26 I lost like 22 pounds but I was like okay, honestly this isn't me. Now I just wanna drop a couple inches off my waist, i dont care about weight or sizes anymore really besides that. I really love this post and its very motivating and empowering! Thanks so much! I just started following your blog and I love it so much already!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away

  2. YES to all of this. I've struggled with this too...but I'm coming to terms with living my life in balance. And if that means I wear the 12s instead of the 8s, I'm cool with that.

  3. What an awesome post! I have been trying to focus on finding balance for the last few months. To prep for summer, I was going on extreme diets, then when they were over I would totally overcompensate and actually end up gaining weight. Sadly, that cycle happened about 3 times since May, and I should totally know better by now! I'm still trying to get back into a healthy balance, and recent stress isn't helping, but I'm trying to remember it's best to take it out on the pavement or with Jillian, instead of on a big bowl of ice cream.

    This post was so well written, you make it all seem so simple....hello, stop putting so much pressure on yourself! Easier said than done, right? Again, so excited about your rebrand and I just love reading your posts. Happy Hump Day!

  4. ahh! this is perfect! i recently went through a little overhaul with this kind of thing too. i had never been overweight but i became really into fitness and nutrition a couple of years ago. and it became an obsession. i suddenly found myself needed to get to 19% BF and i wanted it so bad. i never once stopped to think why the hell do i want to be there? then what? i, like you, pulled that number out of my ass and went with it. food became such an obsession that it consumed me. it was so ridiculous. now, i have no idea what i weigh or what my body fat percentage is. i fit in the same clothes. some are a little tight. but knowing food doesn't control my life makes me so much happier. i read the book intuitive eating. it helped so much to gain a different perspective on dieting! congrats on this breakthrough. its such a freeing feeling.

  5. This is what I needed to read today, same boat...

  6. This post hits home. Thank you for your honesty!

  7. LOVING THE REBRAND GAL PAL!!!! You rock my socks off. #shamelessgirlcrush

  8. You said it sister!! Body image can be a scary thing when it controls to much of your life. Living healthy is one thing, letting food and calories control you is another. I have been having the same internal battle lately, just trying to find a balance for myself. I think you said it just right and you have been an inspiration and will continue to be!

  9. Love this!! Glad to have you back blogging, and I totally agree with your perspective. Balance is good, and you're right, life shouldn't revolve around weight.

  10. You put my exact feelings into words! I was also counting my macros very closely last summer, and I too felt like it was taking control of my life. I have such a hard time not obsessing! It's nice to know I'm not alone! Thank you:)

  11. Excellent post, doll!!! Couldn't have said it better myself.

  12. Oh girl, I struggle with this so much. You put on the page what many of us have been thinking. I counted macros for awhile too and suddenly realized I truly don't like meat. Why would I force myself to eat chicken all the time? Now I stick to plain ol calorie counting and working out. :)

  13. I love this, Leigh Ann! I'm so glad that you decided to share and I'm excited to follow along as you share more. I have so much more bouncing around in my head, but I'll just leave it at that. You're the best!

  14. Thank you for sharing this! I struggle with this too, not so much as it relates to body image but as it relates to training, I guess. I have triathlete friends who are all about eating clean and they have successful workouts and races to show for it, and sometimes I am like, maybe I should be doing that too? But then other times...most of the time (like right now) I just want to drink wine and eat veggie straws. I think it's definitely important to find a balance. The thing that keeps me from really diving off the deep end is I know I just wouldn't be happy living that way. Self-acceptance is HUGE and if you've got that, then good on ya! Can't wait to follow along and see where this new path takes you!

  15. I really really really really needed to read this today...definitely will be reading again when I need a reminder of who I am, not who I have become. I just love you!! MUAH