balanced babe fitness

Cupcakes, running shoes, & finding a balance

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 Brittany Lohmann

I was scrolling through Pinterest yesterday looking for motivational quotes to put on our goal board in the gym where I work. In the midst of all of the words and images of people running, lifting weights, practicing yoga, there was one particular box that made me pause. It said: “Don’t listen to your inner fatty. She’s an evil b*tch. She misses cupcakes.” Sure, it was funny. (Because who doesn’t like cupcakes? They are delicious.) But it was the reference to the inner self that made me think about the quote beyond its basic humor.

We all have voice in our head that dictates what we do throughout the day. It determines whether we go to the gym after a long day at work or we head home to the couch; whether we eat the salad at lunch or the massive burrito; and whether we decide to continue working towards our fitness and health goals or let them fall to the wayside. According to the quote mentioned above when we make the choice to head to the gym, eat the salad, or keep pushing towards our goals, our skinny self is in charge; when we sit back on the couch, eat the burrito, and give up on ourselves, our inner fatty is wheeling his or her ugly head. However, what if we consider that we are not simply one or the other – fat or thin – but rather a combination of the two?

Trying to be just the skinny self is hard – it requires a lot of commitment, time, and effort on one’s part to stay motivated on a daily basis. However, channeling only our inner chubby self does not necessarily make life easy either; it can lead to a load of problems, including weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, among other issues. As a result, like most things in life, the trick is to find a balance between the two and acknowledge that while our skinny and fat selves are at odds with one another essentially they are one in the same - because they make up you.

So who do we achieve balance in fitness, in our diet, in achieving better health? Begin by starting small, making sure that your goals are specific, realistic, measureable, time bound, and achievable. Being prepared to run a marathon in a month’s time is time sensitive, specific, and measureable; however, if you are hitting the road for the first time and have yet to run even a 5k that goal is neither realistic nor attainable. Likewise, if you are looking to drop a few pounds before the holidays arrive, that is fantastic. But you need to determine exactly how much weight you would like to lose and by when; what is realistic for your body type (and your schedule); and then create a plan to establish healthy eating habits that you can maintain for the long-term, not a fad diet. Whatever type of plan you are creating, whether it is a training schedule or diet strategy, be sure to give your lean self a break once you have established those healthy habits and give the chubby bunny inside a nod once in awhile.

Reason being? It will prevent burnout on the fitness side. It will keep you from binge cheating on your diet (e.g. not just eating the one donut – but eating the whole pack of donuts). But even more so, it will bring a sense of balance to your life, allow you to sustain your healthy habits, and still work towards your fitness and health goals rather than contribute the vicious yo-yo dieting and “get fit – fall off the wagon” cycles. 

Our inner fatty is there, but s/he is not necessarily evil. S/he simply needs to be heard once in a while in order to give the skinny self a rest from all that exercising and clean eating. But more importantly, the two have to work together to keep our whole self sane and to keep ourselves on a path to better overall health. So… if you’ve already hit the gym everyday this week so far: cupcake, anyone?  

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