Recently I converted my blogs from another site to this one, wordpress. In doing so I have started exploring some of the other health and fitness blogs on here. Along the way I came across a simple three words an author had written. “Leanest liveable weight”. These three words struck me greatly! I think finding your leanest liveable weight is what so many people struggle for!
Most of us have had an experience where we are ‘trying too hard’ to be lean, fit, and skinny. We are doing things like 1) Eating too few calories, 2) Exercising too much, 3) Taking pills or supplements etc. to get leaner 4) Doing things that aren’t so natural, to achieve our results. Most of the time we do get very skinny, while at the same time we may start to be freezing cold all the time, choose going to the gym over social situations with friends, having anxiety around dining out at restaurants, decide not to go on vacations in fear of missing out on our ‘routine’. Can you relate? I know for me when I thought I was living most ‘healthily” my LIFE was suffering. You couldn’t have argued with me about it then. I would have told you I was ‘just being really healthy’ or I would have even judged you that you weren’t trying to be as a healthy as me! In the end though, I was giving up too much of my life for this idea of being lean.
Some people are lean, and can become leaner with some small changes, dedication, and motivation. There are many other bodies out there that are happiest around a 20-25 % body fat. These people too could get lean, and often this is at the expense of their livelihood and happiness, and sometimes health!
Recently I noted how nice it is that I can visit restaurants 1-2 times a week. I get to try new foods, explore new areas of Vancouver, and connect with all types of friends. I have been reflecting a lot to 2-3 years ago when dining out was something I would only allow myself to do once a month. And it was a BIG DEAL. I planned it out, looked forward to it, and it was an event! I was too paranoid about going ‘off plan’ to dine out more than that. Is that liveable?? Some people may say it is! For me, it wasn’t. My boyfriend, friends, and even myself enjoy going out for dinner. By trying to be ‘leaner’ I was missing out on some valuable connection, relationships, and love! Obviously there are plenty of other ways to enjoy time with friends other than food, I know 🙂
What about exercise? Back in the days of trying to be super lean exercise was something I didn’t miss for the life of me. Maybe I had a horrible sleep and only slept 5 hours, or had just worked a 12 hour day, or hadn’t gotten a good meal in that day. Or maybe friends were going out, or getting together, or I was supposed to be calling my mom that night. Exercise came first. It didn’t matter what suffered. This wasn’t liveable. It was unhealthy in a physical and emotional sense. It’s important to be dedicated, and exercise and your lifestyle should be in a happy balance! Yes you should MOVE your body everyday in some form, for sure, but you don’t have to be CRAZY about it! So for me, trying to stick to some crazy plan of exercising to get lean was not liveable, but what is liveable is balancing exercise with my life!
And what about sleep, cooking, fostering hobbies, enjoying time with family? Are you dropping these to the wayside to ensure your weight, fitness and health don’t suffer? Just take a look.
Obviously I am not posting this for you to give up all dedication and motivation to be lean, strong, healthy, and at a comfortable weight for you.
When it comes down to it, make a decision. If you know it’s going to take cutting wine down to one glass a week, really lowering your carb intake (way less sushi!!!), and going to the gym everyday after work instead of giving yourself a day off to be social, then is your ‘weight’ that important to you? It may, it may not be!
Find the balance. Find what allows you to be happy, fulfilled, and fit!!
Oh and as a side note. When you are online, looking at all types of fitness models and celebrities etc. this is another reason not to compare yourself to them! Maybe their ‘leanest liveable weight’ is because as part of their day they are given time to exercise, perhaps their meals are prepared for them, perhaps their kids are looked after so they can manage their stress. Perhaps they have access to all types of support to make it happen. You don’t know, right? So don’t aim to be their leanest weight, aim to be YOUR leanest, liveable, HEALTHY, weight!