The "B" Word
There are some words that are just plain overused. The word "Balance" can be one of them.
In a world that is saturated with diet culture, the "B" word is being thrown around very carelessly - by diet programs masquerading as self-love, workout gurus who push grueling routines, and social accounts who claim to be all-inclusive and body positive. All the while, none of their respective content actually reflects balance.
How many Instagram accounts have you seen proclaiming food and body love + balance, only to see a beautiful feed filled with nothing but...acai bowls, avocado toast, vegan dinners, and "super-food" ingredients? I'm not a doctor and I'm not a scientist, so I won't be debunking the science of nutrition on this blog...much. However, I know that the almighty "super-food" does not exist. Let me just add a disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with any of those foods. In fact, they are all delicious, and each food has a special way to fuel the body. Regardless of this fact, these accounts don't show balance. What they show are pretty, carefully curated images of something that is not always realistic 100% of the time. The illustrious idea that every meal can be beautiful, full of color, and extremely nutritious is misleading.
Come on, who eats like that all. day. long?
Where's the pizza on a Friday? Where's the glass of wine? Where's the burrito bowl you got when you just didn't feel like cooking, or the cookie you got from the gas station when you had a bad day?
I came across a very popular Instagram account with a huge following that preaches "balance" in the content. The individual actually had an eating disorder, which led them to create the account. At one point, it may have truly pointed to a "balanced" lifestyle, but I was shocked upon what I found. The same individual preaching balance was preaching tactics for water-fasting (for days at a time) and going on a completely plant-based diet. While people's food choices are their own and I respect the mindfulness of this individual to heal the body, it's in no way a balanced approach to eating - and it's not fair to claim that balance applies to it any way.
So many accounts, blogs, diet plans, celebrities, websites, and programs use balance as a way to attract people to their content...and we fall for it. We're all searching for the elusive neutrality around food and exercise, the shimmering middle-line of even ground that allows us to both enjoy our life while remaining happy and healthy.
The balance that I'll talk about here is real. It's about doing your best to stay in that middle area, but falling onto either side of the line once in a while. It's about overdoing it, under doing it, and waking up the next morning knowing that it's a fresh start. It's about living your life day-to-day and doing as best as you possibly can to find that middle ground.
REAL balance is not always beautiful. It's certainly not easy. But it's definitely attainable with some hard work.