Hey everyone! I’m Amy, from over at Fruit Salad Life. I want to cover something that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. It's so easy to get wrapped up in extremes when you're on a quest to lose weight and get fit (finally!). We've all been there. Starting Monday, you're going to run 4 days a week, do yoga 3 days a week, go to 2 spinning classes, eat zero carbs, drink 10 glasses of water a day, get 8 hours of sleep, and be the happiest, healthiest, and fittest that you've ever been!
I can't even begin to count the number of times I've written plans like this down. The plan would be incredibly rigid, and if I slacked off a bit, more often than not I'd completely throw in the towel. The first time I consciously remember doing this was the summer before sophomore year of high school when I would bring measly lunches of Triscuits and hummus to my job as a camp counselor.
My quirky plans increased with my income. I fell into a costly Kombucha-a-day habit, joined a fancy gym and obsessively took classes twice a day, and stuck to a strict shopping list at Whole Foods.
I drank a daily concoction of water and apple cider vinegar. When that fizzled out, I moved on to warm lemon juice every morning in order to "alkalize my body." I've forced myself to eat vegetables that I hated in order to reap the nutritional benefits. I cut out white foods, cut out carbs, cut out meat and dairy.
Then, I moved to San Francisco.
Maybe it was being so far from home, or maybe it was the shock of living in such a healthy city. Seriously, it was really hard to find an overweight person in SF…people in general are incredibly fit there! It was as if I had a clean slate, and everything from then on could be fresh and new. I started walking everywhere. Granted, a lot of this was hitting the pavement trying to find a job. I allowed myself to try In-N-Out and not feel guilty about it.
I joined a gym, but instead of building my life around classes, I scheduled classes around my life. There was a complete change in my approach to health and fitness. I started running consistently, and completed a half-marathon in November of 2010.
Gradually, my old weird health quirks started to fade away. I still get excited about health and fitness fads, but I've learned to take things with a grain of salt. I've replaced my former extremes with moderation. And you know what? I've never in my life been happier.
Moving to San Francisco was one of the best things to happen to me! It was the shock that my system needed to snap out of my crazy-obsessive way of thinking. We've all gone a little diet/workout crazy in our quest to better ourselves, but I think that everyone eventually has an AHA! moment. There is nopanacea for health. I'd always be looking for that cure-all, but when it comes down to it…the only thing that really, truly works for the long run is moderation and common sense.
Where am I now? I just recently moved to NYC, and my resolve has never been stronger. I'm making a conscious effort to cook more, finally stick to a manageable workout plan, and explore every inch of this incredible city…