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What’s a balanced diet, anyway?

Some days I’m fueled by lean meats, leafy greens, and quinoa. Other days, I’m fueled by Starbucks, cupcakes, reddi-whip, and Diet Dr. Peppers. And you know what? That makes me happy. Getting healthy isn’t about being militant with your diet and exercise. It’s about being proactive. Sure, eating like a garbage disposal for 4 days in a row for lunch and dinner isn’t going to make me feel the best (I’ve totally done this), but it sure doesn’t make me a failure. Even if you eat like a tornado for 7 or more days in a row, YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE.

You know why? Diets don’t teach you how to eat at the ballpark. They don’t take into account birthday celebrations and Christmas parties. They don’t consider and acknowledge your existing relationships with food. That’s why when we start a new diet or exercise plan with great intentions, often times we feel like failures for having an “off day.”

We feel like we’ve made a mistake for eating the hot dog, even though that’s all that was at the concession stand at your son’s little league game. We feel lazy for skipping the workout. Or worse, we feel intimidated or unnacepted by mainstream fitness marketing tactics, so we run for the hills (I wouldn’t blame you - even we feel like outsiders at times).

You don’t need to be perfect in order to change your health. There’s no one diet or workout to rule them all. You just need to move a little more and eat a little better, and you’ve got lots of great options to try in order to do that, but pick options that keep you sane, not shackled.

Getting healthy isn’t just about your BMI. It’s about your brain, too. They go hand in hand. You can’t have a healthy mind if the diet and exercise regime you’re on triggers anxiety and stress. Likewise, you can’t have a healthy body if you focus solely on the things you want versus the things your body needs (but man, I wish my body NEEDED cake, all the time, all the days). We often just acknowledge the body without taking care of the health of our minds, and perhaps this is why we are in a constant tug of war when it comes to what we really need to do versus what we choose to do when it comes to our health.

At the end of the day, remember that fitness isn’t about striving for physical perfection. Burke and I are striving to live longer, joyful, energetic lives. Sure, we enjoy recreational sports and have to train for those activities to avoid injuries, but we don’t have to do these things to be healthy. We CHOOSE these things because they bring us JOY and y’all bring us joy!

No matter what, remember that your value doesn’t come from how many days in a row you worked out or how many pants sizes you’ve dropped (although those are things that should be celebrated if that’s been a big goal of yours).

What we mean is, even though we are engrossed in all things movement and nutrition, we don’t love others based on these things. Pshhhhhhh. That’d be so lame.

At the end of the day we really do believe that all of this is meant to be fun and give life rather than take life from us. So find the people, movements, and food that bring you life, and enjoy them. Likewise, identify the people, movements, and foods that take life from you as well, and limit them.

We do believe a life of abundant joy is within reach.

And we know that you are worth that life and deserve it.

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