Achieving Happiness: The Balance of Mental and Physical Fitness
Posted by at November 19th

I’ve spent some time over the past month thinking about the importance of balancing physical and mental wellness. It’s been one-year since I competed in Fitness America, Ms. Bikini America. Competing taught me a great deal about my body, its wants, its needs and its happy place. Competing was truly an exercise in will power. Through the process I learned a tremendous amount about my physical and mental needs. Most importantly, competing helped me understand where I’m most comfortable physically.

 

The thing is, there is a definite draw to looking a certain way as people perceive you to be fit. Obviously I aim to be a resource in that respect so there’s a great deal of pressure to maintain that. At less than 10% body fat, 5’7” and 120 pounds on stage, I definitely received a lot of compliments on how “fit” I was. While I was certainly physically fit looking, toward the end I realized I was mentally unfit. For me, mental fitness is critical. Your happiness factor is dependent on being mentally fit. Mental fitness is achieved by balancing health, wellness and attitude. If you want to have a good attitude, it’s imperative you provide your body what it needs to function efficiently. Everyone is a little different in this respect and you have to figure out your place. Trial and error is the only way to get there.

 

When I overeat to excess, fill my body with unhealthy food on a consistent basis I begin feel lethargic. This is accompanied by feelings of frustration, self-loathing, and depression. I feel alive when I move, and in order to move efficiently I need to eat to fuel my body with healthy meals 90% of the time. On the flip side, when I begin to deprive my body of what it need in an effort to achieve a look, I find I’m equally unhappy. If I cross the line I’ve set in my mind I begin to feel like a shell of a person. I look amazing, I feel terrible. Furthermore, I feel unfit. At my lowest weight and body fat, although deceivingly fit looking, I was not at my highest athletic ability. While exercise was a part of my routine, my look was significantly based on a restricted diet.

 

For me, diet and fitness are carefully balanced. I eat to fuel my body and my workout. I work to accept that being a few pounds heavier and less lean allows me to be a better athlete, a more well-rounded person, and most important, happy.   I believe every person has an internal “set-point”. It’s that place where you are most balanced physically, mentally and spiritually. If you work hard to achieve it you will find it. But you need to me mindful that it’s personal. You have to see through the comments and expectations of others. We are easily often clouded by that. When people begin to notice changes in you at any level it feels rewarding. We figure we should keep at it. This can be valuable when we are aiming to lose weight and get in shape. It can also be detrimental when we find ourselves crossing the line and engaging in unhealthy behaviors. (In walk things like eating disorders, obsessions and bad habits) “This is good,” you think to yourself. I’m obviously doing something right because people are taking notice. That’s not necessarily true.

 

Our bodies need to be challenged and they need to rest. We need to nurture our mind as much as we nurture our body. We need to be cognizant of how our behavior and habits effects our attitude and I truly believe to achieve optimum happiness all these things need to fall properly in place. Beauty is found in diversity and those who we seem to be most drawn to have a peace about them, an acceptance, a consistent desire to be the best person they can physically, mentally and spiritually. They are balanced. For me, that is and will remain the most important goal.

 

Featured pictures

Picture on the left taken one-year ago: Less than 10% body fat, 5’7”, 120 pounds, Size 0, hair extensions, false eyelashes, heavy make-up, feeling very unbalanced.

Picture on the right taken recently: 11.5% body fat, 5’7”, 124 pounds, Size 2, no hair extensions, no false eyelashes, very light make-up, mentally balanced and more physically fit.

Post Author: kimmiller2000.

More Posts by Kim Miller

Kim Miller

Post Author: Kim Miller


Bio: Kim Miller is a writer, lifestyle consultant, runner and mom. She believes that life is about being real and sharing her story in the hope that people don’t feel alone. She wants her passions and actions to inspire other to achieve their own. She believes strongly in the concepts of empowerment, community, mindfulness and genuineness, and strives to make her blog reflect those principles. Her website is http://www.kimmillerstyle.com


Website: http://www.kimmillerstyle.com