Pick your fights...

Ok, so balance. What does that really mean? It used to mean if I ate a bacon sarnie at breakfast, I would probably eat some kale for lunch and skip dinner. Balance to me always sounds too vague. It's a lazy persons way of saying 'Everything in moderation' or 'only eat one slice of pizza, not the whole thing' PAHAHHAHAHA! One slice, who are you kidding. Why would I only have one slice? This is not the school canteen where they limit you to one measley slice. This is life, my life, and I will not only eat one slice of pizza. But that is the toss up. How much do you want to 'feel' good in that bikini you saw on that girl on Insta. You are pretty sure that just buying the bikini means that you will immediately look like said girl in the Insta pic. Despite your boobs being three sizes smaller, and your bum being three inches bigger and your waist... well your waist does not look like that unless you are wearing spanx. But you know for sure, eating one whole pizza is not going to contribute well to how you 'feel' in your bikini. 

So the dilema ensues. You really want that pizza. You really want that lemon drizzle cake that is oozing lemony, sugary, syrup at you and the sponge is so gaaad dam moist that you could imagine a mini version of yourself jumping on the sponge and then sinking, being engulfed in one big lemony, spongey, cakey heaven and you think. 'Faaak it, who wants to 'feel' that good in a bikini anyways. It happens, what? Like once or twice a year? Noone cares., Noone actually cares. And so, you eat the pizza, but then you also eat the dough balls AND the cake. Washed down with half a bottle of wine and when you get home you think, 'Ahh I've been naughty already so... why not eat the left over ice cream in the freezer.' Get it out the way ready for tomorrow, when you are going to be good. When you are going to start that diet. When you are going to only eat the 1200 calories you allow yourself and tomorrow you will forget about the lemony oozy syrup and the cheesey whole pizza and you will move on.

Except, if you suffer from this ongoing, crappy, but real, body image issue, you won't. You won't move on. The guilt will eat you up and the sugar and the flour will  make your belly cramp and your head hurt and you will wish you had just said no to that bit of left over Ben and Jerrys. Or you wish you had just turned down meeting your friends. You should have just gone home, alone, and eaten kale on air bread with a helping of avocado butter with pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top with some egg whites. DAM IT. Why can't I just be one of those healthy people. Why do I need to diet? Why do I not have the body I want and why, if I want it so bad can I not just stick to a nutrition plan of turkey mince and leaves. 

Why? Because that life right there is a sucky one. One where you are always on a diet. One where you are always on a treadmill. One where you are always standing in front of the mirror lifting bits up, sucking bobs in, trying different angles to see which way you look skinnier, fitter, healthier. That life SUCKS BUM HOLE. After fifteen years of this, I did not want it anymore. It hurt my head. My soul. My relationships with others, my relationship with myself. 

So I began a journey of eating healthier (most of the time) Eating a balanced set of foods daily. Don't get me wrong. In the two years that I decided against no more diets, no more binges, no more counting calories or feeling shite about my body... I have infact done all of those things. I have tried the 5:2 diet, macro counting, binged on weekends a few times and cried when I haven't seen results quickly. My journey is a journey. Not one where I suddenly woke up perfect at life, because I will never ever be perfect at life. So I just began to pick my fights.

It was my boyfs advise, one night when we were at an italian restaurant and I was torn between stuffing my face with everything on the menu or having a salad and crying whilst I watched him eat his whole pizza. He told me to pick my fights if it was causing me this much stress. What can I not live without? What can I say no to? Really. Give or take. I could not say not to the Arranchini balls. I could say no to the pizza. I could not say no to the salted caramel cheesecake, but I could say no to the two glasses of wine. 

People want quick fixes. I so did. I wanted to look like those instagram girls in bikinis. I wanted to look toit, and firm and I wanted it in four weeks. Then the four week mark would come, and maybe I would be a bit smaller, I would weigh 8lbs less and I would be happy about it. For a week. Until I started eating everything and anything I could because I was no longer 'being healthy' anymore.

This lifestyle did not work. It took my sanity (OK that's a bit dramatic) but it took a part of me. I was either all or nothing. The saddest bit was that it was literally about weight. I had no intention of being healthy, of living a balanced lifestyle, of feeling nourished or getting my head into a state where none of this mattered so so much.

So I began picking my fights. 

Instead of a chocolate bar everyday, I have a cube of dark chocolate. Instead of having a Mac Donalds every month, I have an Honest Burger. I can live without the bun on most burgers, but I can't live without the fries, any fries, all of the fries. I can live without cake everyday at work, if it means when I actually go out socialising with friends I can have the gooey, cheesey fritters. I don't need pizza at home from Tesco, but avoid a pizza express pizza? Hell no. I pick my fights. I chose what is worth it for me. I decide what I LOVE, what I don't, what I enjoy with friends and what I don't need at home alone. 

For me, this is 'flexible eating' There is a more technical term for flexible eating, which I will do a post on, but to keep it simple. This for me is how I started my journey.

To a healthier body and a healthier mindset. 

A day in LA...

Well... I guess you could say a typical day involves a lot of hiking and a lot of driving. Yup, that's the truth. I will give a run down of a packed LA day and I promise I will try not drop too many wank stain cliche'd daily routines in there. But it's LA. There will be a few and I have to admit, I love em.

So I set my alarm for 7.15am every morning. I often snooze until 8am. I like a snooze. The little pockets of extra sleep are such treats that I feel like I am somehow beating the universe (sorry universe) When I do wake up I might do a sneaky five minutes on Instagram. Post a pic from the day before and then catch up with friends, family, the boyf on Whats app and such social media. Soon as the UK has been up for a good few hours, there is often a good hour of much needed voice notes and all that jazz. When I do finally rise, it's often a choice between, a gym work out (in the park) a hike or a run (I know, so freaking wank stainy) Now you add exercise into your routine out here like it's part of your day job. Because it sort of has to be, because here they sell things like giant pretzels with honey mayonnaise and candied walnuts and jars of cookie dough... so, yup, all the hiking... it's a must. Or I may need a helicopter to lift me out of the bedroom window by the end of the trip. 

Whilst we hike we do the cliche'd reflection. Where we are at in our lives, where we are going. Whether it's worth it, and then we look out at the view and pinch ourselves. Or course it is. We look at the houses in the hills and obviously discuss the house we will have when we book 'that' job. It won't be a house in Beverly Hills, but maybe Silverlake or Los Feliz. Well, a beach house down by Venice would be nice too, with a porch and comfy cushions. We'd have a pool at both places and my place would be all white. Because well, Pinterest makes all white houses look totally practical and beautiful all at the same time. Between reflection and actual hiking we take many pictures of us jumping in the air. After about thirty snaps, where we get two of us actually in the air... 

Exercise done, legs shaking, you're in need of some food. This whole routine may be counter productive, but it feels good all the same. I often have brekki at home, because you eat out a lot here. It is sort of justifiably acceptable to eat out a lot here, because food shopping can be pricey. And eating out can be slightly cheaper than at home. Errrm, any old excuse I know. And sometimes we are rebels and eat out for brekki too..

We then head to a coffee shop for some writing. We often talk about what we want to write, more than we actually write, but either way we feel productive. I have an attention span of a gnat so often find myself writing for thirty minutes and then doing life admin for ten, then blogging for twenty and then back to the script writing for another fifteen. We make plans, we drink things like a matcha late (a wank stain cliche I like) we discuss the next days hike, we remember we have lines to learn for an audition on Friday, have a panic and start reading the script. The phone rings, it's the agent. You have another audition, but it needs to be in South African. WTF... I do not have that one on my CV, sorry, resume. Erm, Saaath Afrrican? Ok, yup sure, I say with pretend confidence. Got it. I panic. I go through the phone book, is there anyone I know that is South African and then I curse that I do not have more diverse friends. Jeez. You Tube, that will be my saviour. Or as it turns out. District 9. Fantastic, entertainment whilst learning.

Once confident enough that the lines are in, iccent is aahh kay (that's my Saaath Afrrican, in case you were unaware) matcha chai mocha cino skinny late drank, we head home to get ready for whatever evening is planned. Usually dinner out, seeing other British people out here, cocktails or comedy gigs. Tonight we are heading to the Magic Castle. A castle where there is lots of magic, literally. And you have to dress up all glam... que... a must needed trip to the Melrose. Note to self... Budget! 

You go out, meet new people, talk a lot, listen even more, drink a couple of drinks, one if you are driving. No one wants a Linsday Lohan rep of D.U.I's. You head home and wake refreshed the next day for a quick hike (again) before heading to the audition, where as it turns out, they don't need you to do South African, your British accent will do. You smile so much with relief that you actually come away feeling good about the job you just did in the casting and you breath...

Now between all the plans and the writing and the doing there are moments... Moments that you get to yourself and you suddenly feel this overwhelming feeling of angst. It isn't all rainbow farts and glitter clouds out here. There are moments that your own ego get to you. I like being busy. Busy makes me feel like I have purpose and busy means I often don't notice any negative thoughts that might crop up in my head. But the moments in between can catch you unguarded. This town has a good way of doing that to you because you are usually so busy doing, that when you suddenly stop, it feels weird. Suddenly you are aware that you are far from your loved ones. The ones that laugh at all of your jokes and listen to all of your whining. The ones that you can fart in front of and wear joggers and crocs in front of, the ones that won't judge you if you do not do your eyebrows or you can say mean things in front of and yet they somehow know you're not a mean person. You realise you are far from the place where you can talk bout Kim K and yet your people still know you can talk about things that are far more stimulating too. You are far from a place where you don't have to talk yourself up all of the time, or explain where Slough is (Yes the place The Office was based) A place where you can sit on the sofa and not feel guilty about being outside, because, well, it's raining so of course you can veg out and eat ice cream in your pyjamas. In these moments you miss sarcasm, pubs, pavements that aren't broken, driving on the left, grumpy faces staring at you on the tube, TFL... 

And then you come to and the teeny moments where you feel lonely, subside. At the mere mention of public transport in London, you're back loving the sunshine, the hikes, the views, the sunshine, the kale, the coconut water, the roller blades, the clear blue skies, the opportunities, the business, the no work, the toy money and you slap yourself for not living in the moment and feeling sorry for yourself for that split second. 

Of course you are grateful to be here. Of course you love it. The lifestyle, the chances, the new people to meet, but I would be lying if I din't let on that their are moments of doubt and insecurity. Moments when you feel lonely. Times when all you want is to hug the person that knows you inside and out or debate with you're friends that know you inside and out. There are moments when you forget the journey you are on and want to recoil back into comfort.

But also in those times, you are fully aware that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. (Pinterest says so)