Finding a Balance: Burgers and Big Workouts

Hi Friends!

Farmer Ben and I are back from our road trip/vacation down south! Can I tell you a secret? I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much barbecue in my life…I loved every morsel…but I must admit, it is good to be home, sleeping in our own bed and cooking at home. I’ll do a full post on that later…

I need to get something off my chest.

I was perusing instagram the other day and came across a photo of a giant cheeseburger with French fries. To put you in the right frame of mind, the burger was similar to this one, minus the braised kale:

Pictures like this speak to me.

Pictures like this speak to me.

Anyway, my immediate thoughts? “Oh my, that looks delicious!”

Obviously, I was drawn to it and stopped to read the caption and comments.

I won’t tell you who the user was but the caption was something along the lines of “Yes, I ate this…trying to tell myself that my ridiculously long, strenuous workout makes it okay.”

Cue screeching record sound… What?! 

I’m sorry… but that is ridiculous.

Why do you have to do a ridiculously long and strenuous workout in order to justify eating a cheeseburger and fries? Why do you have to burn a million calories in order to enjoy it? Or, make a vow to run a million miles the next day? Why can’t you just eat it and say, “man, that was delicious,” without feeling guilty?

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I am in no way saying that you should go out and only eat cheeseburgers and fries (or whatever your guilty pleasure of choice may be), obviously.

Not at all… but if you eat well most of the time, and yes, if you do ridiculously long and strenuous workouts more often than not (as this person does), then what the heck? Eat a damn cheeseburger!

Occasionally enjoying an “unhealthy” meal is not going to “ruin all of your hard work,” and it’s not going to make you gain 20 pounds or ruin your diet/workout regimen. Depending on the burger and your digestive system, you may be a bit bloated or gassy after…but it’s not going to ruin your overall health plan. It’s about balance, people!

I guess what I found most disturbing was the user who posted this picture. You are a role model in a healthy living community. That is not a healthy state of mind…and it’s a common theme I am finding as I peruse my instagram and twitter feeds of bloggers/people who claim to have a healthy lifestyle…people I look up to!

People would rather drink a protein shake or eat an energy bar full of artificial sweeteners and ingredients they can’t pronounce, than enjoy real, whole foods that happen to be calorie dense. I see more protein shakes with a side of celery or a few apple slices  than real, balanced meals on my feed. WHY?!

When did we get so far away from balance…and eating real food?

Again, I am NOT saying that a cheeseburger and fries is “healthy meal,” nor am I saying that all protein shakes/energy bars are bad…not at all!

I’m just saying, everything in moderation.

Neither of these options is going to completely nourish/sustain a person, especially a highly active person.

Balance is necessary.

When you start looking at food as the enemy or depriving yourself…or even trying to justify what you are eating with ridiculously long and strenuous workouts, then there is a problem…and this I am saying from personal experience.  On the same note, you also can’t look to food for comfort/stress relief…again, it’s about balance.

I am in no way perfect, and I am totally guilty of having that small voice in my head saying, “are you sure you want to eat that? Do you know how many calories are in it?!”

But, I’ve come to appreciate balance and I’ve finally learned the “everything in moderation” principle…Yes, I watch what I eat…but I don’t completely deprive myself and I don’t freak out after eating a burger. I’m no expert, but I think I’m a lot healthier now because of this.

Thanks for letting me ramble.

So tell me, what are your thoughts? Cheeseburgers, yes or no? Are you guilty of trying to justify your meals with workouts?  Favorite food to drool over on Instagram?


Notes to Self for Friday…

Happy Friday!

It’s going to be a busy weekend… Here is a look at what’s going on in my brain:

1. This is one of the most unproductive work weeks I’ve had in a long time…which doesn’t make sense because it’s also been one of the quietest.

2. My body is so confused from all of the crazy things I’ve eaten lately. Weird things are happening. Oy Vey!

3. There is so much snow!!! Finally…

4. The snow isn’t so bad, but all the wind is killing me!

5. I’m craving more of this granola. Quinoa…cocoa nibs.. pistachios. So good. Make it!

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6. In case you’re behind on the blog, here is what you’ve missed:

7. I’m still working on the last Daniel Fast post… it’s coming soon!

8. I also still owe you a post on the Food Experiments Championship and the rest of Farmer Ben’s birthday! Stay tuned.

9. I can’t believe 2012 is coming to an end. What a year.

10. I also can’t believe that Dick Clark won’t be around to ring in 2013. How sad.

11. I can’t participate in today’s #elf4health challenge because I don’t own a microwave. Bummer.

12. On second thought… I’m okay with that.

13. I have a really bad habit of putting my foot in my mouth. Not good.

14. I impulsively bought Taylor Swift’s Red cd at Starbucks yesterday. I’ve been jamming out in the car ever since. Latest guilty pleasure? Yes. Am I ashamed? Not at all.

14a. Where was this in 2009 when I so desperately needed it?!

15. One of my Christmas presents was a giant bag of pistachios. Probably my favorite gift. #nuts4nuts. See number 5… I hope you’re getting the point!

16. I know that I caved and joined Twitter (@noellesnotebook)…but I still don’t get the hashtag thing. How do I know if I’m doing it right?! This is the stuff that keeps me awake at night.

17. I have so much to do in the next few weeks. I can’t even deal.

18. I’ve been really bad about logging on myfitnesspal lately. I’d appreciate some help-add me! nre820

19. Looking outside is really discouraging the running part of my brain.

20. My body is really mad at me for being a bum about running lately. Vicious Cycle.

21. 1 Corinthians 13 has been all over my brain lately. There needs to be more love in this world. Seriously. I’ve been keeping these words close to my heart and whispering them to myself when things have been tough.

22. After spending a couple of days in Boston for Christmas, I’ve come to realize that my two teenage cousins are way cooler than me. 

23. They also make me feel old.

24. Farmer Ben and I had a wonderful heart to heart on Wednesday night. One of the many reasons why I love this man.

25. Shout out to my friend NM. Your email made me smile and I am so glad things are looking up. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. 2013 is going to be your year. Red lipstick and all.

Happy Weekend!