Balancing Val

Archive for the ‘Intuitive Eating’ Category

How awesome of me to leave on that last note and not post again 😉

sorry . . .

Thanks for your comments.

I’m feeling a bit better now. I sat in silence thinking about what I was actually feeling and it boiled down to FRUSTRATION. I’m having all of these lightbulb moments and learning lessons and then get knocked down back to this point of limbo where I’m stuck in the middle of it all. A place where I know dieting does not work but yet all of the things happening now don’t WORK either.

Then that brings me to wonder what WORK is? Is there a defining moment where I can call myself ok? What turns my situation into a success story? Is it dropping excess weight? Is it loving yourself without lying? Is it being able to be your raw self no matter what?

I’m done whining though. I’m taking what is happening to me now as something I’m supposed to learn something from or go through.

I am moving on

This is the first time we took a vacation where we didn’t live at home. Now instead of just laundry to tend to, we got cleaning, mail, dishes unpaid bills and work. I think a perfect vacation is 2 weeks long. One week going somewhere and the next to relax and take a vacation from your vacation 🙂

I do feel better after eating more foods that have life in them and drinking more water.I had a great run yesterday and am hoping to repeat one today. My goal for the totally undertrained first ever 5k race is to have fun and finish in 50 minutes or under.

I got TONS of laundry to tend to now.


Hi all!

My name is Anne, but you can call me Happy Fun Pants. Since we’re sharing here, I’ll tell you that as long as I can remember, I’ve been trying to get into Smaller Fun Pants…and that’s the name of my blog.

Val asked us to share something that we struggle with and how we are trying to overcome that struggle.

For those that read my blog, you know that I used to weigh 280 pounds and that I now weigh about 60 pounds less. You may know that I’m 5’10”, that I still have some weight to lose, and that I’m a sucker for Reece’s Pieces. You probably know that I’ve been practicing mindful/intuitive eating for about 5 months now and that it’s been the most rewarding and healthy thing that I’ve done.

But what I’m really struggling with is: BEING PERFECT.

See, I always thought that my life would be better if I would just lose the weight. Having been overweight for decades, I idolized thin people. You know the kind I’m talking about…the lithe women with long flowing hair in beer commercials laughing, getting a piggy-back ride from their svelte boyfriends. Or those in the new picture frames from the store – where they’re smiling down at their husband and kids. The shining, happy, smiling women in those images represented this un-attainable goal of what I wanted to be – perfect.

When I looked in the mirror twenty years ago, I was very aware that I fell short of the expectations of others – and myself. I saw a young woman with stringy hair, metal braces (trying to push back a wicked overbite), a face full of freckles, an extra 20 pounds on her frame, and someone who just wanted to be loved for who she was.

The thing is, I’m starting to realize that just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I have had worth all along. I’ve realized that even though I’ve been treated badly in the past, I don’t need to continue to heap the abuse on my body by over-filling it. I’ve realized that there’s nothing wrong with eating what you are hungry for. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying food and showing appreciation for all the things that happened to get the food to my plate. There isn’t even anything wrong with over-eating. I don’t have any thing to feel guilty for and I don’t owe penance for anything that I’ve done in my life.

Some days those realizations are 100% true. And some days I struggle. Some meals I overeat mindlessly – without even being aware of it. I pick up on social cues and eat even though I’m not hungry.

And on those days? Well, those days I’m aware that I’m not ever going to be that girl in the commercial. The difference between the two of us seems so staggering.

So how do I overcome it? I start being gentle with myself. I ask what I’m really feeling. I become aware of my breathing and any anxiousness that I’m experiencing. When I feel that I’m not being perfect at being mindful (about my eating or something else), I remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect. There is no such thing as perfect. The lady in the picture or the commercial doesn’t exist – at least not like how she’s portrayed. And I’m willing to bet that even SHE thinks that she’s not perfect sometimes.

I accept myself and my actions. I accept the repercussions of those actions.

I breathe in calmness and acceptance and breathe out the disappointment and negative feelings.

A few cleansing breaths later and I’ve usually got my perspective back.

I’m still overweight. I’m still not perfect. But the difference between me now and 20 years ago is that progress, not perfection, is my goal. As I learn to love myself – even the deeply flawed parts of me – the weight is starting to shed. As I care more about my health, and less about the number on the scale, I can run faster and longer than I ever believed. And as I count my worth in ways other than my dress size, I find that I’m more comfortable in my skin than I ever thought I’d be.

No, my life isn’t picture perfect, it’s real. That’s better anyway.

**This post is by Kate from Walking In The Rain

I was in third grade when I decided there was something wrong with me.  According to other people I ate too much, watched too much TV, read too much, acted too weird.

I weighed too much.  

So I began to overcompensate.  I did my best to be quiet, well behaved, and loyal to offset my “shortcomings”.  I became a doormat, letting people take advantage of me in hopes I could grab and hold onto a small sliver of acceptance.  I buried who I was deep down and became a chameleon.  I pretended what my family and friends liked, I liked.  I made sure I was average to avoid drawing attention to myself.  I blended in.  

I learned to live by just scraping by.

As a result I gained weight, so I took the next logical step—I went on a diet.

I’ve probably been “on” a diet more in my life than “off.”  

Still my soul was dying.  My confidence was low, and I let other people decide my fate.

My sophomore year in college I began having panic attacks and depressive episodes.  After graduation I was still plagued by anxiety, the only relief was to eat as much food as I could stomach.  That sick feeling was the only respite from the soul crushing weariness I faced every day.

Are you familiar with the definition of insanity?  Repeatedly doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result?

I was insane for expecting my diet plan would somehow bring the salvation I was seeking.

In 2009 I had enough.  I quit the diet and I read Intuitive Eating.  I discovered blogs written by amazing people who didn’t let their weight stop themselves from being who they truly were.  I started bring this new awareness into my daily life and found I no longer dread the morning. I love rediscovering who I am.  I still have days when my old self resurfaces and I fall back into old habits.  I began to overeat and hide myself from the world.  Every time I overeat I have to remember who I am.  

I am someone who loves to eat squash and dark chocolate.

I am someone who loves flavored coffee.

I am someone who can’t eat dairy.  (Well I CAN eat dairy, but I don’t appreciate the stinky side effects.)

I am someone who reads fantasy novels and wishes she received a letter to Hogwarts when she was eleven.

I am someone who has finally found a place she belongs both in real life and in the blog world.

I am someone who will give blood to her nearest and dearest if they ask, even if the sight of blood makes her faint.

I am someone who enjoys putting music to movement.  

I am someone who enjoys walking in the rain.  

Hi Balancing Val Readers! My name is Lisa from I’m an

First, I want to say thanks for Valerie for letting me do this guest post! I hope she’s enjoying herself on VACATION! I’m just a little jealous. She’ll be relaxing and enjoying herself, and I’ll still be here working and studying. Bitter much? No, j/k :).

I’m a 25 (soon to be 26) year old female who works full time and is currently taking classes for Nursing School. I am extremely busy and am trying to find the *balance* between work, school, relationships/social
life, and relaxing downtime. It’s a constant struggle, but something I will always work towards maintaining. I think I do a pretty good job of it.

I love fitness and treating my body with respect. I spent a few years of my life riddled with disordered eating and over-exercising in an effort to have
the perfect body. It was a horrible time in my life and am happy to say that I’ve made my way through the other side. Through prayer, patience, and trust
in myself I’ve learned that enjoying life is much more important than having a perfect body.

I know that Valerie has a few questions she’d like us to answer, so here goes.

*What is something in your life that you are struggling with that’s holding you back from having balance in your healthy life?*

Prior to August 16th, I was doing fantastic with balance in my healthy life. I was eating right, exercising a way that honored my body, and spending time with friends and family. I never felt overworked or stressed.

Well, as you know, life always brings about changes. School started. I’d like to become a Nurse, so I’m taking some pre-requisite courses in Science
while I work full time. So, I work full time and take 10 hours worth of Anatomy and Physiology. It’s exhausting. I’m still learning to balance work,
school, exercise, eating right while maintaining a social life. Relationships are VERY important to me and making those a priority when you are so busy is difficult. It’s also difficult for me right now to maintain a work out schedule because my life is so crazy. Luckily, that is OK with me. That being said, I never want exercise to completely fall by the wayside.

Stress is playing a major role in my healthy living. I am stressed far too often because of all the directions I am pulled in.

*What have you learned so far and what are the steps are you taking to overcome it?*

I’ve learned that nothing is life or death. If I don’t study for 2 years EVERY day, it’s OK. If I don’t make it to the gym, it’s OK. If I overeat due to stress, it’s OK. I can’t put too much pressure on myself (which I tend to do) otherwise, I will crumble.

Also, a weekly goal of mine is to spend time with friends or family once a week. That’s very important to me and keeping that goal always makes it happens. Friends and family will always be more important than the gym or a test grade in my opinion.

Everyday is a struggle and a new learning experience. I am extremely proud of myself for taking this on.

*When I start struggling, I always look at the end result and that thought keeps me going when it gets rough. *

Hey Balancing Val readers! I’m Maria from the blog La Piattini {The Little

Thank you for taking the time to read my
guest post. I hope Val is having an amazing time on her vacation.

When Val suggested the guest post topic of *something that is holding you
back from having balance* a few different things came to mind.

1. Eating habits
2. Maintaining a healthy weight Body Image

Why the scratch off? To be 100% honest, I have a poor self-image. For my
body type I AM at a healthy weight- but it never feels good enough for me. I
am aware of the negativity in this, and do try to change my mindset on a
daily basis. I’ve come to realize that I need to be happy in my own skin
and focus more on improving my self-image and accepting my body rather than
worrying about the number the scale says. Easier said than done.

Many of the poor eating habits and body image issues came into play last
year when I gained twenty pounds. I have since lost 13 and feel I am at a
healthy maintenance weight, but it’s important to reflect on how I got here
in the first place because it kept me from feeling balanced.

My eating habits were poor…awful even. My dinners typically consisted of
eating either Chex Mix, a bagel, or maybe just some pretzels. Throughout the
day I snacked on whatever was in sight and hardly ever thought twice about
it. There is/was constantly food up for grabs at my job and I would grab it
whenever I saw it just because it was there. When I was feeling bad about
myself, I often binged and then would cry about the binge and then just
binge some more. It’s no wonder I looked at the scale in February and knew
that my life had to change.

It was then that I started my blog. I began what I call “Judicious
” This system allows me to eat only when I’m hungry, listen to my body’s
signals when eating, and monitor portion size. It’s just one step towards
maintaining the healthy balance that I seek and so far I’ve never felt more
happy and free in my life. I’ve come a long way from the Chex Mix days!

I still have a lot to work on and feel blessed to be part of the supportive
blogging community.

*What do you do to try and maintain balance in your life?*

Hi! I am Val from Balancing Val.  

Val asked me to guest post for her while shes on vacation, and since I think shes awesome . . . I jumped at the chance.

……kidding . . . aren’t I always lately 🙄

^ my favorite picture ever, I kept jumping in front of the camera while we were playing mini golf while Chris tried to take pictures. Cracks me up every time.

Anyway . . .

I wanted to jump in and take this spot since Sundays arent the greatest day for exposure and it wouldnt be fair to my guest posters.

I never even wrote my OWN responses to the questions I was asking!? and I figure I would take up an open spot 😉 

So, shortly and sweetly . . . here goes . . . 

What is something in your life that you are struggling with that’s holding you back from having balance in your healthy life?

Honestly, there are quite a few things holding me back.  Id have to say the number one thing is LOVING AND ACCEPTING MYSELF THE WAY I AM .

Even thinking about the those two words ‘loving myself’ make me feel very uncomfortable, almost like Im not allowed to do such a thing or deserve to do such a thing. 

This is the reason I put myself last in everything.  This is the reason I don’t go after what I truly want even if it may not be what someone else wants. This is the reason I dont take chances in life.

What have you learned so far and what are the steps are you taking to overcome it?

I’m learning that just the mere fact of being alive is enough to deserve to put myself first.  With the help of this community and intuitive eating, I am taking baby steps, having lightbulb moments and forcing myself to be uncomfortable so I can work out these deep rooted issues and be on my way to my happiest self.

Its a long journey and I know this, but a journey I have started 🙂 A big thanks to all of you who follow me along no matter how random I may be!

PS . . . mine is way better than Chris’s attempt right? Come on . . . tell the truth 😉

**This special guest post is brought to you by my little sister Marie. When Marie was little, she thought her middle name was Internet because she couldnt pronounce Antoinette . . . I still find this funny.

Either way, Marie deals with a lot of the same issues we all deal with and would like to share a part of her life that has given her confidence and balance. Feel free to show Marie Internet some comment love!**

One thing I always hated when I was little was being compared to my older sister Val. Her friends would constantly joke around that I was her little twin and what not. But the truth is, Val and I have a lot in common: we both have body issues (doesn’t everybody?), we both struggle with having tree stumps for thighs (and she swears we’re just big-boned), we share the same knack for cooking (though I prefer baking), we both like similar music, and we share similar struggles everyday.

But what really sets us apart is that…I’m actually talented at a sport!


Anyways, I’m talking about tennis, you know, the sport that never gets any recognition in America? Yeah, the sport where you run around a court and hit a ball over a net with a racquet, in case you weren’t familiar. But of course, tennis is more to me than just that; it has forever changed my life.

I was always a chunky kid and was always teased when I was little… thanks Val! When I was eleven, my father was told by his doctor to start exercising, after that, everything changed.

My dad played tennis in his college days and decided to head back to the courts once again, with my sister and I tagging along. From that moment on, I fell in a lifelong relationship with tennis. I played it constantly and joined a tennis league. I was playing so much and having so much fun, that I didn’t even realize I had lost 20lbs! Not only did tennis affect my physical appearance, but also it gave me confidence and belief in myself. It made me realize that I wasn’t going to let my body image affect my entire being.

I’m now sixteen and playing varsity high school tennis and I’m really enjoying myself. I have gained so much confidence in my schoolwork and in the classroom. I used to be the shy girl in the corner, but now I can’t stop talking! Tennis has done so much for me, I feel I have to give back something to it!

To all of Val’s followers, I ask you this: Have YOU ever had a “revelation” type event in your life that completely changed you as a person? Good or bad, happy or sad, you will always be able to take something good out of it </strong

PS. Watch and/or play more tennis!

P.P.S. I’m the better twin!

  • None
  • Ayla: My easiest dinner recipe? PB + banana sandwich. Takes 2 minutes which makes me a very happy girl.
  • kristisn: Yum! That looks like a great dinner.
  • Kate D: After two scarring experiences stuck in big city rush hour traffic (facing the wrong direction) while on vacation with my parents I totally understand

Follow Me! @BalancingVal