Some of the above terms scream indulgence and others evoke thoughts of discipline, perhaps even deprivation.
At the ripe old age of 35 (fine, almost 36) — I have embraced a life filled with all of the above. Do I still have parts of my body I’d like to improve/change? Absolutely. Of course! I’d still like to run faster, be stronger, improve my flexibility, have nicer arms. But I can’t think of a time I have felt more balanced, to use a tired cliche.
I was thinking about this in Boston last weekend. There were treats galore. There are certainly bygone eras of my life when I would have beat myself up for enjoying them (though I still wouldn’t have abstained 🙂 ). I am now at peace with the idea that sometimes it is time for enjoyment/celebration/what have you and other times it makes sense to eat more for health and energy . . . and maybe even vanity to some extent. I am happy on either occasion and the balance seems to come fairly naturally.
I don’t necessarily eat the same as I used to. I certainly don’t have as many rules. I am more likely to grab a bag of chips (the ones with ridges!) in the afternoon if I am hungry and that is *really* what I am craving. But at the same time, I usually run in the morning without eating beforehand now — it’s just more convenient. I am more aware of carbs/sugar, and I try not to eat 834837 grams of carbs on a typical morning (as in — I’ll go for one waffle, not two). I will sometimes skip the bread, and sometimes eat it with butter. I will cancel out a totally rich meal with a salad at the next without feeling all repentant about it.
And for the record, I am essentially the same weight/size as during my Paleo phase, and also similar to pre-kids.
So what’s next in the fitness realm? Continued running. Continued barre. More strength (debating trying Barry’s Bootcamp vs at home Les Mills vs Beachbody). Someday I want to revisit the marathon again, when the kids are older. But I think I’ve mostly found my happy place in realm of body image, nutrition, and fitness. And I’m really glad it includes all of the items in the above list.