Balancing Act, Part 1: Dieting Ruins Your Life

Congratulations! You’ve made it to 2018. ALIVE! In this season of new year’s resolutions, we often tend to think about balance in some shape or form. So, I’m sharing a short series called Balancing Act: two surprising truths about having balance in your life. This is Part 1.

Dieting Ruins Your Life

If you’re looking to shed some pounds, or just be more healthy this year, I have to tell you this: dieting will ruin your life.

Today I started an eating plan that helps you make healthy choices to lose weight. Every day for 21 days, you eat a set portion of proteins, carbs, whole fats, fruits and vegetables. In other words, a balanced diet.

Sounds simple, right?

This will be my second or third time doing the 21 Day Fix plan (in the last few years), and every time I follow it, I feel good, I feel satisfied, and I tone up. It’s supposed to be a way of life, with a “21 Day Fix plan” that has you eating less portions until you reach your goal and a “maintenance plan” with a few extra portions added in later. Welp, I never reached my goal, so here I am again.

Balance is Disruptive

The reality for me is that eating balanced, nutritional food completely disrupts both my foodie lifestyle and my social life! I have to plan (or at least think ahead about) my meals, chop way too many fruits and vegetables — and the hardest part — refrain from eating that extra slice of cheese or drinking one more glass of wine (at least you can have wine in this diet; small win!).

It’s not fun. If you feel like your life is chaotic now, try living a more balanced life; it will mess you up.

However, if balance is your goal or the key to reaching your goals, like eating healthy is mine, it’s worth it (right?). You have to change in order to change. You have to disrupt everything in order to get where you want.

My Mom’s Balance is like Health Nirvana

Ask any Weight Watchers lifetime member how they stay a lifetime member and they will tell you that yes, it becomes easier, and no, they don’t just go back to their old “stuff your face” ways once they lose the weight.

My mom is one of those members, and to maintain her reduced figure, she carries around little snack bags of raw spinach or blueberries in her purse and eats them at the movies or in between errands, while the rest of my family is eating buttered popcorn (or anything fun!) and drinking soda (my vice is Diet Coke — zero calories, but probably worse than regular Coke when you think about it. Yikes.).

She had to completely disrupt her lifestyle when she swapped out water for soda, basically all breads for veggies, and the list goes on. At the beginning, she hated eating altogether. She was miserable for at least the first few weeks of her new lifestyle. But in the end, she found balance in that area. Balance for my mom resulted in less stress on her main organs, less chance of getting diabetes or a heart attack, lowered blood pressure, and a smaller jeans size. Not to mention a mountain of positive emotional and mental benefits!

Balance Doesn’t Mean Change Everything

Achieving 100% balance in every area of your life shouldn’t be your goal for 2018, but this is the perfect time of year to think about eight key areas of your life:

  • career
  • family
  • fun/recreation
  • health/fitness
  • spirituality/personal growth
  • love/romance
  • home/living environment
  • finances

What areas are you most satisfied with? What areas need some work?

Try to narrow down three key areas of your life that need a little extra love and do your goal-setting around one or all three.

Health/Fitness is mine for this year. I was able to kick my workout schedule into gear last year, so now it’s time to add in some nutritional awareness and…balance (yuck).

What are you working on?

Helping powerful women get clarity at The Happy Cactus. Producer of the Color Forward podcast, co-host of Seriously Though podcast. More: thehappycactus.club