This has been on my mind for quite some time, more so the last few weeks...
As the title of my blog suggests, and as I explained in my introductory post, I was very into dancing at one point. I started when I was 20- initially to accompany a friend who was too shy to go herself, and I fell in love. Over the few years that followed, my passion grew and I attended more and more classes. It was hard to define what was healthy for *me*- it gave me a reason to nourish my body, maintain some semblance of "health" and let me see my body in a new light (in terms of what it was capable of, as opposed to merely what it looked like). There were definitely periods when it was more an anorexia-driven compulsion- I would "let" myself eat if I danced. I worked with my treatment team to try to keep up with dancing as it was the first "hobby" I had had...double-edged sword and they also had a hard time figuring out when it was a good idea for me to dance, and when it wasn't.
I sustained a few injuries when I relapsed pretty badly in 2006. My muscles weren't strong enough to support my bones, and the classes became too exhausting and definitely weren't for fun anymore. I pretty much stopped dancing completely as my health declined. I don't know if NOT dancing made things worse for me, but I was too depressed/deep in anorexia to feed the creative part of me that loved dancing so much.
Since then, my health has been up and down. I've taken a few classes as I've moved around, but never 1) found a studio/class that I really enjoyed, and 2) never managed to find that love of dancing that was once there.
(I am rambling, but am getting to my point!)
Anyway, about 2 years ago I stumbled across a food blog. For those of you not familiar with them, there are bloggers out there who show photos/post recipes of what they eat. The first one I found was a registered dietitian and this blog was part of her job. It FASCINATED me to see what "normal" people eat. Part of this is, no doubt, my obsession with food/nutrition. The other part is definitely sheer curiosity of how someone without an eating disorder fuels their body whilst going about living their life. Over time, these blogs have grown more and more widespread and my obsession has grown. They have been real eye-openers to read- I've spent so much time obsessing over my own food intake, or in hospital on "prescribed" diets that I really had no concept of what is normal in a world outwith my anorexic bubble. I now have about 40 blogs bookmarked, over half of which I read daily. I know the ins and outs of their every day lives. I know about the "barney butter" obsessions, the oatmeal creations, the holiday eats, the family occasions. It has helped me to widen my food choices, try new things- I do THINK about these blogs when I am making my meals/snacks and I do add/change/try ideas I would never have the courage to do without knowing there was someone out there doing the same thing.
A common theme on the majority of these blogs is exercise. I generally skim over the working out parts- I don't belong to a gym, I've never gone running and I don't think I could even identify an elliptical machine in a line up :P It wasn't until recently that I noticed quite how much exercise these people do, and quite how often. Working out for 2 hours a day? Running 7-10 miles a day? Woah. I don't know anyone in "real" life who does this. I get chastised for my long power-walks, but these people get admiration (so they should- hell, I can't lift 30lb weights and do 3 spinning classes in a day!)
But now I am wondering what is normal after all, and I am really confused. Does everyone do this much exercise? Do these bloggers eat the amounts they do ONLY because they exercise, or does their love of exercise fuel their desire to be healthy? Do they enjoy it? Do they even consider whether or not they enjoy it?..
I know if I joined a gym, I would do what I always do and give it 110%, setting crazy goals for myself and either giving up completely too soon to achieve them, or run myself into the ground (literally) and relapsing.
How do these people manage eating, exercise and their jobs/work/relaxation stuff on top of everything else? How do they keep it all balanced?
Or, is it not balanced/"normal" at all?..