Balance: A Mental Victory

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This is a tough one. I sit here in front of my computer screen and keep typing things.... Then back spacing.... Typing... Back spacing. Vulnerability and being open and honest and raw, is freaking tough. I'm about a solid 1,000 miles away from my comfort zone here. However, I really felt the tug on my heart to share... Actually, I've felt a tug for quite some time and have ignored it. I hope you find encouragement in this. I hope you're encouraged through this raw honesty and hopefully it challenges you.
Balance is something that I'm pretty passionate about. And here's why:
I don't like to say my "fitness journey" is different than most... because I feel like this is a battle many others face. Maybe it feels different because it's not one people typically talk about. It's not fun to talk about. Or admit. And it surely isn't pretty.
I have struggled with disordered eating and honestly, disordered "thinking" for years now. Since I was an early teenager. I have struggled with behaviors that have many different names and classifications. I dabbled in just about everything but the main cycle was this: Unrealistic restrictive eating then binging because the restriction wasn't sustainable and my body was malnourished then feeling like complete crap and beating myself up over my insane indulgences, so I would repeat that cycle. Over. And over. And over again. I was at war with myself. It never really looked the same but the issue was the same in all. I feared losing control and my body was the one thing I felt I had complete control over. When in reality, it was everything BUT "under control." I was obsessed with my own view of "perfection" and quite frankly, obsessed with "self." Rather than glorifying God and being confident in His creation of me, I put everything I had into that strive to be what I thought was perfect. The negative thoughts consumed me. Literally took me captive.
If I sat here and told you I don't still struggle daily with the thoughts, the "down" times, I would be a complete liar. Every single day it's a battle to take my thoughts captive and keep my focus on why I do what I do. To take care of the body God has given me. To fuel it properly and honor it in a healthy way because I'm HIS. I'm not mine.
I have come a long way, and Get Fit is a huge part of that. Get Fit has changed my life. Like many other people's as well. I am consistently surrounded by positivity. Surrounded by people who value strength more than the number on the scale. Surrounded by people who workout because they love their bodies, not because they hate them. Surrounded by people who see the purpose of quality of food vs quantity of food. God knew what He was doing by placing me here at Get Fit. He knew by me working here, I was going to have to face my hidden demons. I was going to have to admit to struggles, unhealthy behaviors and be honest about where I was at. I will forever be thankful for this place and the people that make it was it is.
My point for posting this was this: to share with you my victory. My victory with balance. And living a healthy balanced lifestyle. And how I FINALLY reached a point of understanding what that meant. It took a lot of prayer, encouragement from loved ones, and understanding that life is meant to be enjoyed.
Bootcampers, you took this step in changing your life. You have committed to fuel your body properly and crush goals. For your families and for yourself. But I assure you, the battle is not won when bootcamp is finished. The war will continue and honestly, it will probably intensify.
Balance. What is it? How is it even possible? Balance is something I see that so many of us struggle with and I'm extremely passionate about this because I have struggled deeply with this. Maintaining true and honest healthy balance. I heard a quote once that said "extremes are easy, balance takes work." It hit home hard for me. Because our thoughts are this:
"I can't ever have ice cream."
"Definitely no wine."
"Or cheese."
"If I'm not 100%, then I have to be nothing. There's no in between."
I hear it all the time. And it breaks my heart. Because it's such bondage. Bondage some of us don't even realize we are under. It's a ticking time bomb. Let's break it down practically.
Saying you will "never" have this. Or "never" have that.... Is setting yourself up for complete failure because I can assure you, you will eat or drink something eventually that maybe isn't on your list of "approved and not approved" and you will feel defeated. You will feel like you messed up. You will feel like you set yourself back even further. You will punish yourself either physically or mentally or both.
Ticking. Time. Bomb.
Life is meant to be enjoyed. We encourage this idea of 80/20 post bootcamp. "Yeah yeah... I've heard about that before but it's not realistic. I'm either all in or I'm nothing."
No.
Stop.
It actually is realistic. And it's so freeing. But it takes work. Mentally, it takes work. Not beating yourself up when you enjoy things every once and awhile. Not thinking about that yogurt mill you had 3 days ago during your workout and using it as mental punishment to work harder or "work it off." It's realizing and coming to grips with the fact that unless you're overindulging or binging, YOU WILL BE FINE. Let me say this again: you. will. be. fine. (I say this because I have been there and still struggle with believing this.)
80/20 means 80% of your daily intake is real, raw, clean foods to fuel your body. That 20% consists of "fun" things. Foods and drinks that you enjoy. The "live yo life" indulgences. Some practical things I do to maintain that is this: I try very hard to keep things out of my house. My house is filled with good clean foods. Otherwise it's harder for me to withstand temptations. However, when I go out to eat, or feel like having yogurt mill once a week (are you seeing a trend? Lol) then I go and enjoy it. It's a choice. I made the choice and don't think twice about. I MAKE myself NOT think twice about it. I don't make it a big deal. Why? Because I know majority of my daily/weekly intake is real. It's clean. And it's proper fuel. I take care of my body these days. I don't restrict my body of needed nutrients and I don't excessively binge when I feel like I've failed. I try and practice this balance everyday. And it has been the most victorious and freeing thing for me.
I hope you can find this balance for yourself post bootcamp. I pray this becomes a victory for you. I pray your journey doesn't stop in a few weeks and that you feel like you can't do this on your own. I pray it continues, and continues in a way you can realistically live out. The end of bootcamp is not an ending point, but a continuation of things you've already learned and it's about incorporating it into your life. Realistically.
I hope this post has encouraged you. If it touches, motivates or uplifts just 1 of you, I will know why I felt such a tug to do this. I see the battle of this daily and my heart breaks. The feeling like people have to be all in or nothing at all. I hope you can see the freedom when you remove that mindset. It's unrealistic and unsustainable. But balance, that can be for a lifetime.

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