First things first…. who has tried a diet or some form of “system” or “magic bullet” and found it unrealistic? Let’s go back to the last one you may have tried…

  • Was it expensive?
  • Did you only drink shakes?
  • Did you cut out an entire food group?
  • Did you have days where you couldn’t eat anything?

I’m going to be 100% honest with you here. I started a shake system shortly after having my daughter, Rowyn. Did it work? Oh yes, I definitely got the results I wanted: I lost most of the baby weight and inches within my first 30 days…. but here is what my day looked like:

  • Breakfast: Shake
  • Snack: 100-200 calories
  • Lunch: Shake
  • Snack 100-200 calories
  • Supper: 600-800 calories

Again, it worked, but I didn’t find it sustainable. Was this what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life? Would I expect my children to do shakes as a meal replacement? If I didn’t what would they think of me sitting at the table for our family meal and only have a shake?

Diets are defined as a restriction to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight. So instead of looking at starting a diet, what about making a lifestyle change? A lifestyle change can be defined as a change in habits, lifestyle and nutrition. Let’s think about it, usually when someone starts a diet it’s to lose weight for an upcoming class reunion, wedding, etc. Something they do to achieve those quick results. A lifestyle change is when you want to live life in balance, make a sustainable change to how you live, eat, work and play.

Ok, so the shakes definitely helped me drop those first few pounds and I’m not knocking anyone that finds that it works for them. It’s just not for me. As most of you know, I have a huge candy addiction, (see my last blog) but I can also run a marathon. Instead of completely cutting out my candy, I have limited myself to only one serving of candy per day. You may find this silly, but honestly, this is difficult for me… but I am now on day 24 of only having one serving of candy per day, some days, I didn’t have any candy! I tell you what…. it has gotten so much easier. Little fun fact, did you know it takes 30 days to create a habit? That means I’m only 6 days away from instilling the one serving of candy per day habit!!

On another note, I still eat dessert! Not every day, but if it’s something I really like, (carrot cake, mint chocolate brownies or mountain bars) you better believe I’m going to have a piece.

How do I balance that? Well here is what I do (mind you, this is not me justifying to you why I’m entitled to my dessert or serving of candy):

  • I try and drink at least 64 ounces of water a day
  • I go to the gym for weight training twice a week
  • I run at least twice a week (3 miles)
  • I participate in 30 day challenges- with friends or on my own (plank- abs, arms and glutes)
  • I meal plan my lunches and supper (attempting to keep them nutrient dense- proteins, fruits and vegetables, but yes, we still eat pizza!)
  • I practice gratitude
  • I allow myself one serving of candy a day 🙂
  • I practice Quiet Time

Yes, I’m sure you are thinking, geez, Sara, you know you can’t outrun a bad diet, and how does practicing Quiet Time and gratitude help you live in balance when you still eat candy and desserts?

Well, balance comes in physical forms, emotional forms and a spiritual form. Being in balance to me may mean something entirely different to you. Eating healthy, having the occasional dessert and serving of candy, making dates for physical activity, ensuring adequate sleep, spending time with family and friends and finding down time to refocus are what creates balance in my life.

What does balance look like to you?

We are only given one life, one body, which is why it’s so important to cherish our temples and live a life filled with things that bring us joy.

“Don’t put a ban on your favorite foods. Enjoy the food you love in moderation, getting fit and living healthy isn’t a punishment.” Unkown.

Photo Credit: Rebecca Wenisch

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