Like I said in my last post – I am tired. After the long day I had today dragging my stuff around Washington D.C. I am even more tired, if that is possible. But I must press on and see and do more things! As far as the Couch To 5K I am starting this week… the others did it today but I’m waiting until Tuesday. I just got to the apartment I’m staying at and had to do laundry before I could run and by the time laundry is done it will be dark and I’m in an unfamiliar place where I’m not sure about the safety. Yeah, I’ll wait until the morning.
As far as everything else goes, I feel like my finances and my health are both spiraling out of control on this trip. In D.C. food costs much more than I expected. The cheapest solutions are always the least healthy and I’ve resorted to those unhealthy choices several times in order to stay relatively on budget. When I must spend a ton of extra money on the healthy kinds of food I can barely justify the extra expense. But I do justify it sometimes. I tell myself that I have to balance out the unhealthy stuff I’ve eaten with the good things I want to eat. If I ate a “bad” breakfast I make sure my lunch is a healthy one. If my lunch is bad for me I make sure I eat a low calorie healthy dinner. I justify the extra expense because I need to create a balance that will not undo all the hard work I’ve already done.
This trip is all about learning how to balance… just like everything else in life. Balance is something that we should be striving for in our lives. A lot of sources (diets, gurus, etc.) will tell you that one thing is causing you to be fat or stressed and if you get rid of that you will immediately lose all the weight and find success. That is not true. Sure you might eliminate something for a while and find success, that part is true. But there is never just one thing that causes a problem like being overweight. And for most of us a strict, almost ascetic lifestyle cannot be sustained. The more we eliminate and drastically change our lives the higher likelihood we will fail. The long term success rates of most diets suck for exactly that reason – they focus on elimination for quick weight loss instead of balance for long term successful weight loss.
So I continue to seek balance while I am traveling. I am not eating perfectly, but I am not throwing in the towel. I am eating a mix of good and bad, expensive and cheap, delicious and necessary. I’m trying to achieve a balance that is acceptable and healthy. I’m trying to get away from the mindset that I must eliminate all the fast/bad/sweet food forever, or else I will just keep gaining weight. Instead I am trying to focus on the balance between eating some of that and also eating the salads and other healthy, unprocessed foods.
My own attempts to find balance in my eating on this trip have forced me to think about it in other areas of my life as well as in others. I spent the night at a friend’s house who works until 9 p.m. on weekdays and then does work or studies for work while at home. That lifestyle which is so focused on work seems out of balance since it leave so little time for play. It’s important to enjoy our work but also balance that with other activities. You can’t fully eliminate play and expect to enjoy life, just like you can’t fully eliminate everything you enjoy eating and expect to joyfully keep weight off.
What about you? Do you struggle with the balancing act? Eating wise? Job wise? Otherwise? Have any tips for how to keep things in check?